Saturday, December 30, 2006

California Cachin'

Since we've been back we've been mostly lazy - sleeping late, watching movies. I've become slightly domestic and even cooked dinner last night, but we had to eat out tonight because I wouldn't want to be TOO domestic two nights in a row.

We have gotten some exercise though because we've been geocaching out here. My sister pointed out that not everyone knows what I'm talking about. Our trusty friend Wikipedia can tell you more about geocaching. Of course, Wes's definition is that geocaching is the sport where "people use trillion-dollar satellite systems to troll for nickel and dime treasures."

We did a few geocaches yesterday and got stuck on one. The first clue is here in Los Angeles and the second clue is hidden in a park in Midtown Manhattan, NYC. If anyone who reads wants to find clue #2, we'd love the help! Otherwise we'll have to travel.

The second cache was located near the movie studios. The quest was entitled King Kong Gone as the site was where the King of Kings set was built and was later used for the original King Kong and Gone with the Wind. Very historic LA. We also placed a travel bug in there - a Dorothy Charm (from the Wizard of Oz) and a Wicked Witch toy. We're hoping that Dorothy can find her way home to Kansas and Wes.

Today we started out just south of LAX in the town of El Segundo where we retrieved Big Hearted Red Bear. He's a travel bug that longs to see the world, so Wes is going to take him to Kansas (I'm not sure it's the mecca of the world, but he hasn't visited that state yet, so Go Big Red!)

Our second cache of the day was located in the beautiful Kenneth Hahn Park in Los Angeles. It's amazing how I've lived here all my life, and even driven past the entrance on my way to school but never been there. It was beautiful and provided some great views of the city and even the moon! We found the cache fairly easily, though we did have to do some waiting so no one was around when we dove into the bush.

Tonight we're hanging out, possibly devising our own cache to hide here in LA, and looking forward to New Year's Eve tomorrow. Plans include hitting one more cache (we have one more bug from Kansas to place in California) and having dinner with my parents at my favorite restaurant ever.

Happy New Year all!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Home again, home again.

Well today concludes the Kansas portion of the holiday break. We're getting on a plane this evening and heading back to the City of Angels. It's been a wonderful break here. The weather has been good, the food has been too good (I shudder to think of the scale), and the company has been great as well.

Now let us just hope that the sky and airline gods are with us and we don't get marooned in Dallas-Fort Worth. More updates and pics tomorrow.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Cache

We ended up opening presents up last night, on Christmas Eve, which left us free to play with our new toys and go geocaching today.

We hit 4 caches, walked at least a mile, climbed through fields, and up and down rocky hills, careful not to disturb residents of a cemetary or lose our footing on hills that advertised needing a "goat-like" climber. All in all a good outdoors day.

At the second stop, Wes handed me the GPS and sent me out searching. I found a cache and even found a travel bug which I'm going to relocate to sunny California. Other than the cold (got to road test my new hat and scarf) it was lots of fun!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Winter Adventure

Whew! Well it's Christmas Eve and I'm finally in Kansas with my sweetheart. And oh what a trip it has been.

I started Friday morning, ready to leave LA on my 1pm flight, through O'Hare and on to Kansas City. Except all flights out of O'Hare had been cancelled. Then my flight out of LA was delayed. PANIC TIME!

I ended up arriving in Chicago at 9pm. My sister and her boyfriend graciously met me at the O'Hare Wyndam, where I spent the night. And my sweetie, my knight in shining armor, arrived on a white steed (ok in a white Hyundai Sonata) to rescue me. We drove back yesterday, hitting Wal-Mart at 12:30am for our last minute shopping needs and fell into bed exhausted. He really gets all the credit driving 600+ miles each way, in two 12-hour days.

So now I'm here and ready to celebrate the holidays, thankful for my family and friends, and for the man I'm going to marry.

Hope you all got to your destinations safe and sound! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Warmest Holiday Wishes!

I finished up work today and headed home for some packing, some laundry and some knitting. Tomorrow morning I'm off to Kansas to spend Christmas with my honey and his family.

Just thought I'd share my newest creation with you. Knitmeister S. gifted me with two lovely skeins of Malabrigo (Cactus Flower and a beautiful Silver/Grey). So far I've got a hat going, and soon a scarf will follow. I'm going to need it in Kansas - the high today was 40! Thanks S!

Happy Holidays to all!

Edited to add: I decided on the Irish Hiking Scarf to accompany my hat.


Thursday Humor: Leaving on a Jet Plane Edition

Since many of us are boarding planes to get on out of town for the holidays...


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wednesday Funny: The Eggnog Edition.


Deluxe Leg Lamps

It really is too bad that I didn't catch these earlier in the season because I really would have liked one of these for Christmas. And what gifts they would have made for my in-laws-to-be!

Fan Restores 'Christmas Story' House

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ralphie Parker and Brian Jones know what it's like to want something.

For Ralphie, the object of desire was an official Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. (Go ahead, say it, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid.") For Jones, the gotta-have-it item was Ralphie's house - the one in "A Christmas Story," the quirky film that's found a niche alongside holiday classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street."

Jones has restored the three-story, wood-frame house to its appearance in the movie and will open it for tours beginning Saturday. His hope is that it will become a tourist stop alongside the city's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other destinations.

He's unsure whether he'll make enough money to cover his $500,000 investment, but as sure as a kid's tongue will stick to a frozen flag pole, he's committed to the project.

"A Christmas Story" wasn't a big hit when released in 1983 but repeat TV airings and, in recent years, a 24-hour run on TBS starting Christmas Eve have made its story of boy's quest to get a BB gun for Christmas as infectious as the bespectacled Ralphie's eager grin.

Jones first saw the movie in the late 1980s and he and his parents became fans.

When the San Diego resident's dream of a becoming a Navy pilot like his father was denied because of his eyesight, his parents sent him a package to lift his spirits. Marked "FRAGILE" on the outside, it contained a leg lamp his parents built to look just like the one received by Ralphie's father, who proudly displayed it in the living room window, boasting, "It's a major award!"

Jones' mom noted that he could probably make a business out of selling them. In 2003, he started doing just that.

"I tooled together 500 lamps in my 1,000-square-foot condo in San Diego and sold them all in the first year," Jones said.

And he's still making and selling them - $129.99 for the 45-inch model, $159.99 for the 53-inch "deluxe full size" leg lamp.

When the house from the film was put up for sale on eBay in December 2004, it seemed like destiny to Jones.

"I said, `Ooh, I gotta have that.'"

The auction price got up to $115,000. Jones, who shares Ralphie's unflinching enthusiasm, less than 20/20 eyesight and ability to speak at a breakneck pace, said he'd pay $150,000 if the owner stopped the bidding.

"It was mine. I sent him a deposit and flew out two days after Christmas just to make sure it wasn't a falling-down shack," Jones said.

He put in new windows and replaced the 111-year-old house's gray aluminum siding with mustard yellow painted wood and green trim that perfectly matches Ralphie's house.

Although only a couple interior shots were filmed there, Jones has recreated the '40s feel of Ralphie's home with a brown-and-white tile kitchen floor, a wide cast-iron sink in the kitchen, a claw-foot bathtub and, of course, a leg lamp in the window.

He also bought the house across the street - Ralphie runs past it in the film's opening scene - to serve as a museum and gift shop. Several original items from the film are on display, including the infamous snowsuit ("I can't put my arms down!") worn by Ralphie's brother, Randy.

The house is located in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, just a few minutes from downtown where the exterior department store shots were filmed at the former Higbee's.

The cooperation of the department store is what brought the filmmakers to Cleveland for the film based on author Jean Shepherd's stories of his upbringing in Hammond, Ind.

The house is well known in the neighborhood and neighbors like Marlene Childers have watched the house change owners and go through ups and downs over the years. She's excited about Jones' tribute - even if it means more cars and traffic.

"I love that story," she said.

Jones knows the feeling. And he says stepping onto Ralphie's old street makes him feel like he's in the movie.

Standing in front of the house holding a replica Red Ryder rifle, he discusses his future plans - which could include a nearby bed and breakfast - when, seemingly on a director's cue, a motorist passes, stops his car, rolls down the window and shouts, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Labels: ,

D(-cup) is for Dutch

Dutch women's breasts getting bigger

AMSTERDAM — Dutch women are getting bigger breasts and 32 percent of them now have a D-cup or bigger compared with 20 percent five years ago.

In Europe, Dutch women are ranked third behind British and Danish women in terms of bra size, research commissioned by Bodyfashion Promotion indicated on Wednesday.

Some 42 percent of women aged 30-39 have D-cup breasts and feel in general okay about that. Women with a large bra size are now the largest group in the Netherlands.

But the shape and size of breasts start to change once women reach the age of 40 and women then opt for a smaller bra size.

Some 44 percent of surveyed girls aged 12-19 think that eating fatty foods helps increase the size of their breasts.

All survey respondents said poor nutrition habits are the cause of increased breast size. Hormones in food and the general increasing size of the population are also leading to bigger breasts.

THIS explains why WineGuy regaled me with tales of Dutch nipples (of the feminine variety) during his trip home this past summer.


Productive Progress

I took today off of work to go to two doctor's appointments. I also managed to get those last few holiday gifts, run some last minute errands, stop by the knitting store and have dinner with my mom. Rarely have I gotten so many things done in such quick succession.

Oh yeah... I also finished a little something else. Charity Blanket #3.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Life is simply too short.

I, like much of America (at least the Western part), have been following the horrible weather in the Pacific Northwest, and the stories of the climbers on Mt. Hood and the crisis in Seattle. Some of you may have heard about the woman who drowned in her basement when a flash flood (possibly caused by clogged and ill-serviced storm drains) destroyed the foundation of her house and trapped her in her basement.

What I didn't know is that the woman was Kate Fleming, award-winning narrator of over 250 audiobooks. (A callback to my previous job in the audio publishing industry.) My friend called me tonight to tell me that she was in Seattle for the funeral. This is the second time in the last two weeks that we have called each other to relay news of someone we know who has succumbed to an untimely passing.

Let us hope that the new year brings better things and no more phone calls like these. Life is too short.


Santa's Elves: The Original Slaves

On Sunday night I rode down to San Diego with my parents to celebrate Chanukah with my extended family. As we turned onto their street, we noticed what I called "Santa's playground" at the end of the street. You know what I'm talking about - the massively decorated house where it looks like Target threw up fake snow, lights and animals all over the lawn. Icicle lights adorned every available surface and signposts and utility poles had been wrapped in red ribbon. Apparently the neighborhood was hoping to be one of those places that people clog with traffic to see the lights. But that's another rant. I digress.

My parents started discussing that Santa's elves were really slaves in disguise. Now I've heard many libelous remarks against Santa, and I have to admit that I'm not really a fan of the whole myth, HOWEVER, I'm not sure I want to call his wee ones slaves.

So I queried the internet and found the following:

"Uses midgets as slave labor" in the "Proof that Santa is Evil" category.

Santa is further defiled in a strongly worded essay found The Santa Claus Controversy.

Unfortunately, because Santa Claus has brainwashed so many people into believing that he is a good honest person, this stance will be a difficult one to take. In reality, Santa Claus is a prejudice pedophile, bent on world domination. He sets a bad example the world over and promotes consumerism, communism, and obesity. Not only that, but his treatment of Mrs. Claus is atrocious. That the feminist movement has never taken this issue up to the North Pole, in itself, is a startling realization that the American people are extremely ignorant upon this important subject.

On my internship at Santa's workshop, I found many startling atrocities developing inside Santa's little "fun house." Santa Claus uses slave labor in order to manufacture his toys. His little elves are all made to work day in and day out without any pay except for Mrs. Claus' cookies. Because these little elves are less fortunate than you or I they have no idea that slavery has been outlawed, and that if they worked at UPS (now that the strike is over), they could get close to ten dollars an hour plus benefits, wear a much better uniform, minus the pointy little shoes, and get to drive around that nifty little truck with no doors.

Another irate columnist calls Santa something even worse: a modern CEO.

Santa Claus cares not for human rights, employing slave labor in foreign regions (North Pole) with slack labor laws. Little people (elves) work unfair hours for unfair pay manufacturing cheap plastic toys.

Santa Claus’ profits see no one but Santa himself. While the elves slave away in North Pole sweatshops, Santa enjoys his lavish lifestyle — two-color wool suits and top-of-the-line sleighs.

Santa Claus does not stay faithful to his wife. Just so happens I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus. Underneath the mistletoe last night, as a matter of fact.

Wow this Santa elf-slave business is a lot more serious than I thought. We're gonna need to get Bush to issue an Elf-Emancipation Proclamation. I mean, he pardons a damn turkey every year. Where is the love for the elves?

Labels: ,

Monday, December 18, 2006

And now for the photos.

Introducing M.

A new project - the market squares (entrelac) felted tote!

Mom's trusty Singer. I'm getting my own sewing machine for Christmas, but I love this one too -
even with its 70's orange flowers!

Putting the finishing touches on the holiday gifts with help from the Singer.

Labels: , , ,

Hello Whoa!

We here at the office have a minor Hello Kitty fetish as documented here. But this photo, entitled "Hello Discipline" gives our friend a whole new look. Definitely not kiddie safe.

Labels: ,

Happy Holidays Tux!

And then there was Monday.

This weekend was absolutely delightful. Despite the fact that my boss quit on Friday (Great for him!) and I'm back to not knowing what I'm doing or whom I report to, I had a great weekend.

Saturday was rainy and cold (like in the 40's) and I spent the day finding creative inspiration and extra pocket change at the knitting store. Sunday was Chanukah with the family down in San Diego. The food was good, the company was great, and everything would be fantastic if today weren't Monday again.

Of course, the office is giving us Friday off, which commences the holiday season. I'm off of work from December 22 to January 2 and I intend to make the most of it.

I got my new Mac set up this weekend and even named her - M. after Judi Dench in James Bond. Pictures of M. and knitting progress tonight!


Friday, December 15, 2006

Santa Baby - The Holiday Party Edition

Today might as well not be a work day, as far as I'm concerned. In mere minutes we leave for a local restaurant for the holiday party, and we've been given leave not to come back to work after.

AND my new Mac (that I just ordered yesterday) arrived this morning. So it promises to be a great afternoon!

Things I'm not so sure about:

Why 45 minutes is blocked during the Holiday Party for "Animal Magic". I know that some people are bringing their children, but there isn't enough alcohol for those of us without to sit through a 45 minute kids show.

Why we are "DISMISSED" at 2:30pm. I know that the new boss is Army, but I'm thinking that having to be dismissed from the Holiday Party kinda takes the fun out of it. Ya know? At ease soldier.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Job Search: The Ultimate 4-letter word

Even if it's two words. And 9 letters. I think I'm starting to feel like this:

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."

I honestly have no clue what I want to do. I know what I don't want to do. I don't want to work in finance or accounting. I'm not qualified to work in most management jobs yet. I have skills in non-profit theatre, marketing, graphics, executive support, new media, statistics, and many other things. I'm qualified for many jobs, and no job in particular.

My boss is leaving soon and I'm going to be on my own, amid managers and colleagues that don't seem too interested in helping me develop my career.

Let the panic begin.

Labels: ,

Thursday Funny: Important Life Lessons

From The Fishbowl.

Labels: ,

Thursday Funny: All Hail Chief Google


The Bowl Games - Those that Didn't Make the Cut

Overheard on set this week:

The Toilet Bowl
The Tidy Bowl
The Rice Bowl
The Salad Bowl
The Goldfish Bowl
The Pot Bowl


What the Knit is THAT?!?! The Princess Leia Edition

I don't want to rip on my fellow knitters, but what the KNIT is THIS?


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Knitting Post

I have a back-up of knitting goodness so please forgive the photo-post. I'll update tomorrow with news of my trip and more odd tidbits.
A blanket for my niece for Christmas.

Another Itty Bitty Hat.

Now that I'm done with Christmas presents, a little present for myself. A beautiful teal felted bag with silver handles, pre-felt. Pictures of the WILD lining to come.


Monday, December 11, 2006

The Comedic Genius of Victor Borge

Today at work, a colleague sent me Victor Borge's "A Mozart Opera". Instantly I was transported back to my childhood, when my grandparents introduced us to the classical pianist and comedian Victor Borge. If you haven't heard of him, you should check out these clips.

Victor Borge & The Muppets

A Victor Borge Classic: Lessons in Punctuation.

Although he passed away in 2000, his music and comedy live on.


Recycled Goodies

Arts & crafts using soda pop tops. And I was saving mine for the Girl Scouts! See more at DaLata Designs.



Recycled, modular origami. More cool eye candy here.


What the knit is THAT??? A Flamingo Beach Party.

My next knitting project - for the store. (Pattern available here.)
Genius or Nightmare? You decide.


New for Long Distance Lovers

As long as I know who exactly is squeezing me, I'm in.

Lover away? Hug your t-shirt to let them know you miss them

Long distance lovers used to rely on ink and scented paper. Then came telephones and the more succinct text message.

But by next year, the billet-doux will be transformed once again, into the "huggable t-shirt".

The intelligent top will use mobile phone technology to help couples embrace at a distance.

It is long-sleeved, fully washable and will cost about the same as an iPod, but is said to be more emotionally rewarding.

When hugged by a wearer, the shirt measures pressure, heartbeat and temperature.

It then transmits this data to a second wearer, whose shirt grows warm, tingly and administers "a bit of a squeeze" in the appropriate place. Ryan Genz, chief executive of manufacturer CuteCircuit, said it is the first item of clothing to allow touch over distance.

He said: "Young people are very excited and couples like it because it is something romantic. "It is a new kind of telecommunication, it adds diversity to how to talk to people. It is a world first.

"If you are separated from someone, the shirt can give a bit of a squeeze, and grows warm where the other person's hands are. So if I wanted to tap you on the shoulder, it would tingle in that place." More than 100 of the t-shirts will be available in Britain and America next year.

Found here.

Labels: ,

Big Honkin' Update

Not having a working computer at home is a real bitch. On one hand, I've been spending more time reading and knitting, and less time multitasking. On the other hand, my blogging is clearly suffering. So here goes:

A Book Report on Peter Rabbit...

I finished two books this weekend, both of which were excellent.

The first was a knitting treasure trove, Wendy Knits. This book is a really delightful collection of knitting stories, tips and tricks and a few patterns to boot. The Nordic Sweater pattern is something I think I might use to whet my Fair Isle whistle. And steeks, oh my!

The second was A Thousand Days in Tuscany, Marlena di Blasi's sequel to A Thousand Days in Venice. This is the romantic story of a Venetian and an American who meet by chance, marry and adapt to life together. In this book they have just relocated from Venice to Tuscany, and are enjoying the country life, living among nature, and cooking rustic dishes. This book is filled with yummy recipes and romantic landscapes.

Let's All Go To The Movies

I rented/saw a bunch of movies this weekend, most of them weird.

The Producers was an over the top musical based on the Broadway revival starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. I thought it was amusing, especially Will Ferrell's part, but also found it a bit over the top. Next on the list was Entourage - Season 1. This one is growing on me quite a bit. I'll probably stick around for Season 2. Lastly from Netflix was an odd film by the name of Dogville. At first I thought it was reminiscient of Our Town. The movie was filmed much like a staged play, with minimal set decoration - a chair here or a table there, but no walls nor doors. But this play was anything but bittersweet Americana. Rather it was about the danger and hate that can lurk and breed in small town America. It starred Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany among others. Finally, I caught Starship Troopers on TV on Saturday night. This was one that I always seemed to miss, but was fun to watch. Icky exploding bugs!

Knitting News

I finished a few projects this weekend and sadly, though I could photograph them, I haven't been able to upload them. So stay tuned for pictures of blankets, slippers, baby hats and much more. Also on my project list: a felted flamingo for the yarn store!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Tonight I'm leaving for NoCal to be a PA (read: grunt) on a little film the office is shooting. So I'll be MIA for a few days from the blogosphere, but I'm sure I'll have fun updates when I return.

Here's hoping for a short week!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 08, 2006

Helpful Metrics

We here in America use a bizarre system of inches and quarts and tons and ounces. Here are a few conversions that may help.

1 million microphones = 1 megaphone
2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 wharves = 1 paradox

Labels: ,

The ULTIMATE Santa Source

For those so inclined, the War on Christmas Field Manual with great tips and tricks for greeting Santa.

And an engineer finally explains Santa in clear, rational terms:

If you’re skeptical of Santa’s abilities to deliver presents to millions of homes and children in just one night, North Carolina State University’s Dr. Larry Silverberg, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, can explain the plausible science and engineering principles that could allow the Jolly Old Elf to pull off the magical feat year after year.

With his cherubic smile and twinkling eyes, Santa may appear to be merely a jolly old soul but he and his North Pole elves have a lot going on under the funny-looking hats, Silverberg says. Their advanced knowledge of electromagnetic waves, the space/time continuum, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer science easily trumps the know-how of contemporary scientists.

Silverberg says that Santa has a personal pipeline to children’s thoughts – via a listening antenna that combines technologies currently used in cell phones and EKGs – which informs him that Mary in Miami hopes for a surfboard, while Michael from Minneapolis wants a snowboard. A sophisticated signal processing system filters the data, giving Santa clues on who wants what, where children live, and even who’s been bad or good. Later, all this information will be processed in an onboard sleigh guidance system, which will provide Santa with the most efficient delivery route.

Silverberg adds that letters to Santa via snail mail still get the job done, however.

Silverberg is not so naïve as to think that Santa and his reindeer can travel approximately 200 million square miles – making stops in some 80 million homes – in one night. Instead, he posits that Santa uses his knowledge of the space/time continuum to form what Silverberg calls “relativity clouds.”

“Based on his advanced knowledge of the theory of relativity, Santa recognizes that time can be stretched like a rubber band, that space can be squeezed like an orange and that light can be bent,” Silverberg says. “Relativity clouds are controllable domains – rips in time – that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth. The presents are truly delivered in a wink of an eye.”

With a detailed route prepared and his list checked twice through the onboard computer on the technologically advanced sleigh, Santa is ready to deliver presents. His reindeer – genetically bred to fly, balance on rooftops and see well in the dark – don’t actually pull a sleigh loaded down with toys. Instead, each house becomes Santa’s workshop as he utilizes a nano-toymaker to fabricate toys inside the children’s homes. The presents are grown on the spot, as the nano-toymaker creates – atom by atom – toys out of snow and soot, much like DNA can command the growth of organic material like tissues and body parts.

And there’s really no need for Santa to enter the house via chimney, although Silverberg says he enjoys doing that every so often. Rather, the same relativity cloud that allows Santa to deliver presents in what seems like a wink of an eye is also used to “morph” Santa into people’s homes.

Finally, many people wonder how Santa and the reindeer can eat all the food left out for them. Silverberg says they take just a nibble at each house. The remainder is either left in the house or placed in the sleigh’s built-in food dehydrator, where it is preserved for future consumption. It takes a long time to deliver all those presents, after all.

“This is our vision of Santa’s delivery method, given the human, physical and engineering constraints we face today,” Silverberg says. “Children shouldn’t put too much credence in the opinions of those who say it’s not possible to deliver presents all over the world in one night. It is possible, and it’s based on plausible science.”

So now you can tell little Jimmy that Santa is REALLY about relativity and electromagnetics. Just remember to come up with a good explanation how Santa is at all the malls in America every Saturday and Sunday.

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Definitive Evidence.

Real Men Knit.

I even know one.


Thursday Funny: Outsourcing Christmas


Yodeling is the new black.

Ladies and gentlemen. Very few people have the talent it requires to bring the Yodel back into fashion, but I do believe that Gwen Stefani has attempted this feat.

UK's Female First reports:

Gwen Stefani has used a sample from 'The Sound of Music' for her latest single.

The singer has included a section of 'The Lonely Goatherd' - the song sang during the puppet show in the musical - in her new song 'Wind It Up'.

She said: "I had my friend do a mash-up of 'the Sound of Music' with 'Wind It Up'. It was always a dream of mine to put 'The Sound of Music' to a beat, as it was my favourite movie."

The 'Hollerback Girl' singer - who took a break from her career this year to have her first baby with rocker husband Gavin Rosdale - is thrilled by her new sound.

Actually, I'm almost afraid to admit that I like this tune. And I may or may not have been humming and yodeling along while I was driving around LA today. It's kind of catchy...

The last time I remember anyone yodeling was when Jewel did it a few years ago.

AOL Music's snarky remark:

Gwen Stefani Gets Her Yodel On

Yodeling isn't just for Jewel anymore. Rocker and fashionista Gwen Stefani kicks off her new song, 'Wind It Up,' with a yodel-ay-he-hoo that would make the snaggle-toothed Alaskan songstress proud.

I'm not sure I have a point, but I feel positively ALPINE. Where are my braids?


TGFC: Thank Goodness for Cells

Via my fiance, who read about it on Slashdot, which pointed to here.

Large Study From Denmark Offers the Latest Reassurance That Cell Phones Don't Trigger Cancer

A huge study from Denmark offers the latest reassurance that cell phones don't trigger cancer. Scientists tracked 420,000 Danish cell phone users, including 52,000 who had gabbed on the gadgets for 10 years or more, and some who started using them 21 years ago.

They matched phone records to the famed Danish Cancer Registry that records every citizen who gets the disease and reported Tuesday that cell-phone callers are no more likely than anyone else to suffer a range of cancer types.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is the largest yet to find no bad news about the safety of cell phones and the radiofrequency energy they emit.

But even the lead researcher doubts it will end the debate.

"There's really no biological basis for you to be concerned about radio waves," said John Boice, a Vanderbilt University professor and scientific director of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md. "Nonetheless, people are."

So Boice and colleagues at Copenhagen's Danish Cancer Society plan to continue tracking the Danish callers until at least some have used the phones for 30 years.

This so-called Danish cohort "is probably the strongest study out there because of the outstanding registries they keep," said Joshua Muscat of Pennsylvania State University, who also has studied cell phones and cancer.

"As the body of evidence accumulates, people can become more reassured that these devices are safe, but the final word is not there yet," Muscat added.

Cell phones beam radiofrequency energy that can penetrate the brain's outer edge, raising questions about cancers of the head and neck, brain tumors or leukemia. Most research has found no risk, but a few studies have raised questions. And while U.S. health officials insist the evidence shows no real reason for concern, they don't give the phones a definitive clean bill of health, either, pending long-term data on slow-growing cancers.

For the latest study, personal identification numbers assigned to each Dane at birth allowed researchers to match people who began using cell phones between 1982 and 1995 with cancer records.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Late Breaking Tech/Entertainment News

From Variety:

VHS, 30, dies of loneliness

After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.

The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline.

"It's pretty much over," concurred Buena Vista Home Entertainment general manager North America Lori MacPherson on Tuesday.

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

Although it had been ailing, the format's death became official in this, the video biz's all-important fourth quarter. Retailers decided to pull the plug, saying there was no longer shelf space.

As a tribute to the late, great VHS, Toys 'R' Us will continue to carry a few titles like "Barney," and some dollar video chains will still handle cassettes for those who cannot deal with the death of the format.

Born Vertical Helical Scan to parent JVC of Japan, the tape had a difficult childhood as it was forced to compete with Sony's Betamax format.

After its youthful Betamax battles, the longer-playing VHS tapes eventually became the format of choice for millions of consumers. VHS enjoyed a lucrative career, transforming the way people watched movies and changing the economics of the film biz. VHS hit its peak with "The Lion King," which sold more than 30 million vidcassettes Stateside.

The format flourished until DVDs launched in 1997. After a fruitful career, VHS tapes started to retire from center stage in 2003 when DVDs became more popular for the first time.

Since their retirement, VHS tapes have made occasional appearances in children's entertainment and as a format for collectors seeking titles not released on DVD. VHS continued to make as much as $300 million a year until this year, when studios stopped manufacturing the tapes.


Wednesday Funny

I apologize for my photo-only posts these days, but I'm sans computer at home and sans free surfing time at work, so my material is limited. However, I give you one of my two very favorite Far Side Cartoons ever.


What the knit is THAT?!?! - Roadkill on my Feet Edition

I guess I can understand wanting a pair of these if you're a 5 year old little girl and you love everything fluffy and pink. They kind of remind me of Barbie shoes, or those frou-frou bedroom heels. I believe that my mother always called them "f&*$ me" shoes. Not high on my fashion list...


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Discourse on Flatulence, otherwise known as Competitions in Stupidity.

Flatulence, not turbulence, forces plane to land

Flatulence brought 99 passengers on an American Airlines flight to an unscheduled visit to Nashville early Monday morning.

American Flight 1053, from Washington Reagan National Airport and bound for Dallas/Fort Worth, made an emergency landing here after passengers reported smelling struck matches, said Lynne Lowrance, a spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority.

The plane landed safely. The FBI, Transportation Safety Administration and airport authority responded to the emergency, Lowrance said.

The passengers and five crew members were brought off the plane, together with all the luggage, to go through security checks again. Bomb-sniffing dogs found spent matches.

The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal body odor, Lowrance said. The woman lives near Dallas and has a medical condition.

The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane.

"American has banned her for a long time," Lowrance said.

She was not charged but could have been. While it is legal to bring as many as four books of paper safety matches onto an aircraft, it is illegal to strike a match in an airplane, Lowrance said.

Now who was more stupid here: the woman who lit the match or the authorities who allow matches onboard but ban them being lit? And can someone PLEASE put a can of Lysol spray on board or something?

Labels: ,

Need mints? Make them Impeachmints.

These and other hilarious goodies available via the Unemployed Philosophers.


Tuesday Funny - Poledancing Interrupted.


The day the music Apple died.

We started singing,
"bye-bye, miss powerbook pie."
Drove my chevy to the Mac Store,
But the Mac Screen had died.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin, "this'll be the day that you die.
"this'll be the day the Mac died."

Yes, at the most opportune time known to man (read: switching to bi-weekly paychecks, holiday expenses, tuition due) my Powerbook G4 screen died a horrible death last night. I was reaching for the phone when I heard that terrible crackling sound, and then everything went black. Somehow I managed to use enough duct tape to hold it together and back it up, but it isn't pretty. So I'll be praying to the computer gods for benevolence.

Actually, someone (read: my sweetie) has a new one on order for me with a nifty student discount. Even so, we are not amused. (the royal we, you and me, whoever WE).


Monday, December 04, 2006

Let's All Go Eat Crayons.

Nah... these are too pretty to eat. More here.


Odd Holiday Crafting...

Use Strips Of Plastic Bags To Crochet Snowflakes!

"Cut plastic bags into long strips and then crochet into lovely snowflakes. These will be waterproof so can be used to decorate outdoors or inside - providing you with decorations for free whilst using up old plastic bags. Different sizes and looks can be achieved by using different types of bags or cutting plastic into thicker or thinner strips."

Is it time to go home yet?