Thursday, April 18, 2013

Back at the homefront, and the waterfront

On April 9th, Vada was happy that I finished re-arranging my office, which I did while listening to rocker Lou Ryan and his friend McCagney rockering out in the living room. The main reason for this is so that I can have better access to my things, more room to move around, and a clear space on my wall so that I can hang my new white board.
` Since this involved moving my magazine shelf five inches to the right, I had to take down all my magazines and put them all back. Notice how they are stacked in offset chunks for ease of finding a specific issue -- just that that took me hours.
` Also, I laughed when I found my mom's nail file in my November 2006 Scientific American.

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Vada says, "That is so hilarious -- now shut up and let me sleep!"

The 9th was also a tough day for Dr. Hypno, whose second job driving a van with some canvassing retards is going disastrously as usual. Not only did his boss rudely comment on his having trouble hearing directions over the noise of the underling retards, but the underlings wouldn't roll down the van windows while they were passing the pipe around.
` Yes, really.
` Although the spoiled lawyer's kid hasn't dared to taunt Dr. Hypno again by farting in his face, the cretin still stinks up the van and is now flatulating on the female employees. ...Because chicks totally dig a guy who walks in front of them emitting ass-stench.

Dr. Hypno said that the next day, he would bring an air filter mask, and perhaps some even more drastic measures in case they still don't want to roll down the windows. Luckily, his hypno powers worked once again, and the underlings are even more hesitant to mess with him than ever before.
` As for me, I've been cleaning the house a lot, and have been annoyed that whenever I took a break in order to check my email or write, there was someone doing ridiculously loud yard work. That's the curse of spring for me, although I've also been having more outdoor fun...

On April 12, Lou Ryan and I went over to a friend's house for dinner. It was very nice, and I learned a lot about children's books (for making my own) because their young son, who is "four and eleven twelfths years old" has so many nice books -- and an interesting (and somewhat annoying) iPad-like device.
 Moving onto my next particularly interesting photo, I was walking up a hill in Seattle when I saw what almost looked like giant spotlights on Puget Sound, and, naturally, it made me think of aliens trying to communicate with us:

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Attention, people of Earth! We've decided that most of you are too stupid to bother
associating with. Don't bother trying to call us back.

I was in Seattle for a crazy party, which involved fried ice cream, George Carlin comedy and learning about ways to make oneself more awesome. Later on, Dr. Hypno and I headed out to the Starbucks on Alki Beach, and called Scot Bastian to announce a meeting of the West Seattle Branch of the Seattle Skeptics -- but he had beaten us to it!

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Technically, Scot, Martha and JC are "Skeptical squirrels", the ones that scheme up the next meetup. As I recall, they were considering different speakers for next meetup, and picked one that seemed the most mentally stable, although I don't recall which one that was.

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Remember -- I will still eat your brains if you displease me.

Martha was telling us about how she went off with some paleontologists to the more remote regions of the country, where her presence was supposed to prevent the men from getting shot. She was surprised to find that the ranchers kept themselves abreast of the latest in paleontology because they found fossils on a routine basis!
` After our time there, Dr. Hypno and I went on a nice, refreshing beachwalk on Alki. The tide was out somewhat, so the sandbars were slightly exposed and thus occupied by birds and children.

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Dr. Hypno and I walked up to a crow on the beach in order to help break open the cracked clam it was picking at. He showed the crow how to smash it against a rock, then peeled the shell off.

apr 060 - Smashing the clam
Oh noez, call the Humane Society!

He tried to give the clam back to the crow, but the crow seemed to think this was some sort of evil deception, so the seagulls ran off with it instead. In this video, we watch them in amusement:

Then, we followed the seagulls to see what other dead animals they were picking at in the water...

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I don't remember what we saw drifting in the surf -- perhaps it was too disgusting to bother remembering -- but we found many sea stars clinging to rocks on the beach, seemingly in danger of becoming the birds' next meal.
` Unlike the situation with the already-cracked clam, Dr. Hypno kicked wet sand on these two. I'm not sure whether they were in danger of drying out, or whether wet sand would help them, and the funny thing is, I couldn't find the answer on the internet, either.

apr 064 - Sea star on the beach

Meanwhile, at home, Christina and Dilly have been venturing outside together now that the weather is clear. Notice that Wilton, the plant that had more than once been buried under our former roommates' cigarette butts, is still blooming and growing strong.

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As usual, they still play quite a bit on the cat tower, despite the fact that Christina always wins.

apr 070 - Christina and Dilly

It's funny -- whenever Dilly proclaims that she is going to smack Christina around, Christina always has an answer, which generally involves smacking.

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After Christina has answered, Dilly then flups down onto the floor by Heather and says, "I'll get you next time!"

apr 081 - I'll get you next time

That's what she thinks... but little does she know... Christina is always plotting!

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Next time, I'll make her fall down and go boom!

It was a sunny day on the 15th when I was mowing the lawn and suddenly a wind blew up and hailstones began pelting me! They stung and froze my fingers for a few minutes, then stopped just after the grass was wet enough to create a clogging problem with the lawnmower.
` Really?
` Days earlier, I actually got a photo of a different hailstorm on a different sunny day -- what a coinkidink! -- so I can show you what such a thing looked like:

apr 046 - One of those sporadic hail showers
You might want to look at the original size to see it in full, steaming detail.

I also replaced the Long-Legged Cartoon Pig, the last super-kitchy item on the shelf (though it is in memory of Lou Ryan's mom), with my Arcrylic Paintering #1.

apr 088 - The shelf, without the long leg pig

I don't know much about the other items, but the Japanese doll, which belonged to her boyfriend, the man who made the very first hard drive out of a wastepaper basket, has a little plaque behind it that says;
Given to Jack Connolly by Mr. Okada, the president of Fujitsu, in 1963.  (Fujitsu is the largest computer maker in Japan, and the founder of Amdahl Corporation in 1968.) 
This doll is the representation of a samurai dressed as a little boy.  It is given as a present to honor the birth of a son., suggestive that the boy will grow up living by the samurai code.
Hrm... seems prestigious, exotic, and a bit strange, but there you are, one of the several items that have taken up residence on the shelf -- there's a lot of history there.

On the 16th of April, there was constant noise all day (so I didn't get much writing done), although at least there was some major cuteness, as Vada is tolerating Dilly even better than usual.

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I further wasn't able to write because I was gone for the evening, which included a Skeptic's Meetup -- starring Martha the archaeologist. This time around, they had a TV on a stand, by the doorway, and I had a difficult time seeing what was going on.
` As I recall, Martha had gotten access to original patent medicines through the Home State Miners. These included copper bracelets and rings, which are still sold today as "medicinal". Around 1900, one of the rings actually killed a woman -- not because it was made of copper, but because no one could get it off her finger and it became infected.

Although I could barely see the screen, she also showed videos such as the Merseyside skeptics double-blind testing a Shuzi band, which they showed is about as effective as a copper bracelet (or a placebo).
` On a humorous note, we also watched Luke's Change -- because conspiracy theories about Star Wars are at least intended to be pure entertainment.

apr 091 - Skeptic's meetup

Moving on to the 17th, Dr. Hypno had another interesting incident with the van retards when he discovered melted chocolate on his seat -- luckily, this was before he sat down. The farter was probably the one who did it, but that remains to be proven.

At least by now, they're rolling down the window when they clambake in the van, and don't pick at him while he's driving quite as much. Pulling the van over and saying, "If you don't like the way I drive, would you rather drive?" works rather well, especially when the reason you're driving is because the others (including the boss) have several DUIs.
` His boss, who is 45, hates women, and is into D&D, also tries to waste everyone's time on the clock by insisting that they play hackeysack. Since Dr. Hypno would rather be off getting leads -- as he's lucky to get two hours a day for this -- he uses his ninja skills to flip the hackeysack in improbable ways, thus infuriating the others.
` Of course, what he would really rather be doing is getting just a few more clients than he has now and going back to doing only hypnosis. Even if his clientele don't pick up soon, he's been making plans to leave the company -- for instance, if they're really getting on his nerves, he can just pull over on the highway, hand over the keys, and walk to the nearest bus.

As for me and Lou Ryan and the cats... well... Vada is still not getting along well with the two cats we inherited from Lou Ryan's mom, but for us at least, it is still entertaining.

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O, hai! What are you two doing on MY porch?

Heather is continuing to slim down, although she was vomiting for a few days because we stopped cleaning the litter box (which is outdoors) in an attempt to stop any cats from wanting to use it. Not wanting to go anywhere else, she probably just tried not to go at all, causing her to be all backed up. With a clean litter box, however, she is fine again.

apr 095 - poor Heather isn't feeling well
Don't think I'm not suspicious of you, human -- now keep my litterbox clean!

Vada continues to be fascinated by birds -- although she fails to catch them -- but she is learning how to speak their language.

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I tried to get some video of this, but didn't catch much, although I was rather more amused by Christina's ninja ability of going unnoticed by Vada:

Things got a little hairy, however, when Vada finally spotted Christina. Heather has also been spending more time outdoors and begging for more attention, which is also in the video, along with some loud yard work noise, which there has been a lot of lately.

In fact, most of the timespan of this post, there has been a lot of such noise disrupting my post-making (thanks to very thin windows), and so I've been running behind, waiting a few days before posting my articles. I can't wait for the next largely-quiet day!
` Speaking of waiting, I'm still waiting for those guys to hang my whiteboard without poking holes in it. Really, I'm about ready to do it myself -- just pound some nails into the wall and set the whiteboard down on top of them, and then put some more nails on either side.

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"Whatever you do, don't disturb my napping!"

Once I have my whiteboard up... well... you'll see! Until next time, this has been several days in the life of me. Stay tuned for several more, and some other posts I have planned, which may be a while if day-long annoying noise plagues me every day that I'm home.

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