Friday, December 28, 2007

And on the Fourth Day of Christmas I Gave You Poll Results

Our poll numbers show that what we most wanted for Christmas this year was World Peace... or for Congress to get a clue. And let it be known that NO ONE wanted a scarf. It apparently is NOT the default Christmas gift that we all thought it was. Thanks to everyone who voted!

World peace
2 (22%)
For the Congress to get a clue
2 (22%)
My dream job
0 (0%)
Daily Show DVD
1 (11%)
A snazzy scarf
0 (0%)
Colbert Report DVD
1 (11%)
The top five on my Amazon WishList
1 (11%)
For my family to get along
1 (11%)
1 (11%)

I'm Holding Out for a Hero

Didn't I get this result before... from another test? And I know that my super villain came up as Dark Phoenix.

12/30/07 Update: How perfect - my sweetie came up as Spidey! You may remember that in the super villain test he came up as The Joker (which was why I cracked that our kid would be called Dark Humor). Obviously I married a guy with a funny bone. Spidey was always my favorite comic book hero because of his clever lines. In fact, the first toy I remember picking out for myself was a small Spiderman. My mother, who wanted me to be a girly girl, was probably traumatized. Little did she know at the time that it was because I planned on growing up to marry him.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A is for Anteater

Checking out the 12/24 Pet of the Day I had two very quick thoughts.

1. Who keeps an anteater for a pet?

Christmas Random Ten

Since Susan on easy bake coven did her Friday Random Ten today I thought I would join in.
  1. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag - Brian Setzer Orchestra
  2. Good King Wenceslas - Bing Crosby
  3. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  4. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Al Hirt & Ann-Margret
  5. Winter Wonderland - Aretha Franklin
  6. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Frank Sinatra
  7. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Pointer Sisters
  8. Joy to the World - Nat King Cole
  9. Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby
  10. Frosty the Snow Man - Harry Connick, Jr.

December Holiday Countdown

Merry Christmas Eve! It's time to take stock of where we are in this month of holidays.

December 2007 Holidays Past
4th-12th Hannukah (Festival of Lights, sundown to sundown)
21st Winter Solstice (Are you having a cool Yule?)
23rd Festivus (Did you engage in Feats of Strength and Air Your Grievances?)

December 2007 Holidays Upcoming
25th Christmas
26th Boxing Day
26th & Jan 1st Junkanoo
26th- Jan 1st Kwanzaa
31st New Year's Eve

We are still in full cookie baking swing here since there are, you know, twelve days to Christmas. And you need cookies to make it through all those days. (Do you celebrate Twelfth Night on January 5th? It's a day of feasting, you know.)

Our cookie collection thus far includes:
  • Sugar Cookies
  • Butter Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Norwegian Lace
  • Black & Whites
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Frosted Cranberry-Orange Cookies
  • Chewy Coconut-Orange Macaroons
  • French Lemon Wafers
Yeah, I bet you wish you were Christmasing at our house. My favorite so far has been the Black & Whites, which are like little brownie bombs covered in powdered sugar. I have to admit that the Cranberry-Orange cookies taste like Christmas all baked up in cookie form.

L33TERATURE: Notes From The Underground

How Notes From the Underground might have come out if it had been texted from one 13 year old to the other in the 21st Century.
1/ Notes From the Underground text courtesy Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
2/ Translation services provided by The AOLer Translator

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Two Goofs in a Window

It is almost impossible to get a good picture of our youngest dog Herger the Joyous (the one on the left, nose pressed to the screen). He is incredibly shy and timid, finding all electronics scary beyond measure. As you can see here, though, he is easily distracted by an open window.

We've been talking about Herger's lineage lately. We had assumed when we adopted him that he was some sort of Norwegian Elkhound mix. But we have always wondered if he actually has some wolf or coyote in there somewhere. After reading The Daily Coyote, and seeing all of the pictures, I began to wonder more seriously about a coyote connection. As well as being shy Herger is also brilliant, touchy, and has incredible focus. And he sits goofy, just like Charlie (pose 1, pose 2).

Oh, and that fluffy 100+ lbs. goof behind him is our shepherd/ collie mix Gitta. You saw her puppy picture back in 2005 on the Thoughts (that picture actually dates to 2002).

Soogle Researches Frog Symbolism

Tonight someone came by the Thoughts looking for the answer to the search "in Practical Magic what was the meaning of the frogs?" According to Amerindea frog is "protection, growth, cleansing" and also "abundance and fertility."
Frog will often come to guide you when there is an unexpected change about to happen in your life. Frog can guide you to wisdom that will help you find a path after great change. Frog is very sensitive to your emotions and will direct you as to how to keep your emotions in balance.
Although I can't know the mind of the director - and I haven't read the book yet, in case it is detailed in there - I have to believe that the usage was somewhere along these lines.

Does anyone else have anything they can add to this?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All Tied Up

To make sure I don't trip over my own shoe laces I found a bunch of new ways to tie them from Sneaker Freaker. I'm now a fan of the "Loopback" method.

Maybe I'm a Dreamer, But I'm Not the Only One

3/28/08 Update**Are you looking for the lyrics to John Lennon's "Imagine"? You can find them here.**
Click to view my Personality Profile page

Good news? I'm highly creative and can express myself in words. Bad news? I may trip over my own shoelaces and kill myself. In fact, with that logic score I guess I should be proud I figured that out on my own...

Oh, What Can Happen in a Lifetime

The history of the internet, from ARPANET to ASSHAT.

Honestly, I didn't realize how progressive we were in our household. We've been online at home since the early 90s.

Oh, and pretend that I put a banal anecdote about my pets here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Big, Fat, Hairy Angst

This disturbed person took a well-beloved American cartoon and turned it into a profile of postmodern angst. Not by adding anything, no. By taking something away. I present you with Garfield Minus Garfield.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

They No Write So Good?

I had recently been turned on to Nick Mamatas' Journal by Scalzi. As well as being a writer, and writing teacher, Nick is the editor at Clarkesworld Magazine. I get the distinct impression that the majority of people who aspire to publication... shouldn't. He isn't the first editor I've read commentary from who borders on complete exasperation over the basic incompetence of the majority of submissions, but he is the most recent. And potentially the most amusing. His tone makes me feel like he is sharing these insights over a drink at a dinner party.

After teaching a class of high school girls in the Young Adult Writer Program he writes:
The last exercises generated renovated fairy stories approximately 4856394562 times better than the usual retellings I get for Clarkesworld in the slush.
In the Clarkesworld submission guidelines:
A cover letter is what you wear and how you groom yourself for a job interview. It is your first impression.

Google is Just Alright With Me

Checking out some of our latest visitors I can see that the Thoughts have a higher ranking on Google than you might expect for some searches.

Go Away Before I Taunt You - We're #1! (Because of this post.)
Drunko the Clown Shirts - We're #2. (Thanks Nevsky. That was one of your old posts in 2003.)
Stuck in My Head Again Lyrics - The Thoughts are at #3.
Ghost Hunters Fan Fiction - We're #4. (If you want some, I researched it here.)
Penguin vacuum - We come in at #5!
Doobie Brothers Blogspot - The Thoughts come in at #6.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Soogle Helps With Mixed Metahares

Someone came to the Thoughts tonight looking for a Looney Tunes quote. Well, actually, two Looney Tunes quotes, but in the same search box. One quote we already have, but the other half of their search, "I will love him," references a different episode. Both Georges, so I can see where the confusion comes in. I can't find the exact quote "I will love him" so apparently we both misheard that. It's all about the hugging, squeezing, rubbing, etc.

The lines are delivered by Hugo the Abominable Snowman in the episode The Abominable Snow Rabbit.
  • You can listen to the wav file for "Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit. I will name him George. And I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him." (And some other lines from the episode.)
  • You can buy the action figure.
  • You can read about the episode at The Big Cartoon Database. (And watch the video if you register and log in.)
  • But right now you can NOT watch the video on YouTube because Warner Bros. doesn't realize that the world is changing.

The Lullabye of Helms Deep

TNT is showing Two Towers tonight.

If you've ever been by the blog I don't need to explain to you that we are HUGE geeks. The movie started on 12/18/2002, a Wednesday, and our movie house started with a 12:05 am show. We caught that one, slept a couple of hours, went to work, and then hit two more showings - technically seeing it three times on opening day. (And then went to work again on Thursday.) Yes, I know it is a three hour movie. No, I'm not kidding or miscounting. Nine hours of movie, plus time in line, etc., etc.

I remember dozing through the Battle of Helms Deep on the third showing. I never sleep through movies so it was very surreal to me. As a consequence of that insanity whenever I hear the Battle of Helms Deep scenes now I get sleepy.

Yes, the pinnacle of battle coolness in LOTR makes me stifle a yawn and consider taking a nap. No matter what time of day it is.

I learned my lesson. And asked for time off when Return of the King opened. What, wait for the weekend to see it? You've got to be joking.

Soogle S'plains

Another intriguing search where the Thoughts showed up on the first page of Google results for this week was the police lyrics nietzsche, a query that comes to us from Swampscott, Massachusetts. I can see how you could land here with those search terms. And I can see how you might assume that Sting would make Nietzsche references in his lyrics, especially back during his Police days. For awhile it seemed like he couldn't read a book without writing a song about it (which I'm sure I would do if I had to keep producing songs). But unless I missed something in my compulsive analysis of their lyrics when I was a teenager, there isn't any Nietzsche to be had.

From what I can tell, Sting didn't start making literary/intellectual references in his music until the 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta where "Don't Stand So Close to Me" referred to Lolita. He was also trying to say something with "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da."
I was trying to make an intellectual point about how the simple can be so powerful.
By the album Ghost in the Machine in 1981 (the title itself refers to a book by Koestler), Sting had gone into full intellectual reference mode. "Spirits in the Material World" explores the Koestler work of the album title. "Invisible Sun" is a concept mentioned and footnoted in that book. "Secret Journey" is about a different work, called Meetings with Remarkable Men.

The album Synchronicity, of course, references Jung. There's a little shout out to Greek mythology (and geography) by mentioning the Scylla and Charybdes in "Wrapped Around Your Finger."

So, we have references to literature, mysticism, psychology, and mythology. But no Nietzsche. Maybe if the band had stayed together for one more album we would have had a release called "√úbermensch" or "God is Dead." But I doubt it. I don't think that Nietzsche's inherently aggressive stance on.... well, just about anything, would appeal to Sting. If he were to explore a philosopher I would expect to see something more like the airy intellectualism of George Berkeley. If Sting releases an album called "Esse est percipi" just remember that you read it here first.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Taking Responsibility

I think that Salvage may have captured the folly that has plagued mankind since the beginning.

People blaming inanimate objects for their problems and looking to invisible men in the sky to solve them.

Can't even begin to understand that.

~ Your Addiction is Yours, Hairy Fish Nuts Blog

Top Hits This Week on TTGSiMH

God Rest Ye, Unitarians
Soogle Strikes Again - Recent Searches Solved

The Unitarian song still makes me laugh... The search post being searched seems like looking in a mirror in a mirror in a mirror... But it proves that once people are looking for something they will keep looking for it.

Another search that came in this week pointed out that... we're still #1 in Colbert Fan Fiction! That's my Wikiality, baby!

Yes, I know, there are only about two paragraphs of Stephen vs. the Factinistas. But obviously the agreed upon reality - Wikiality - is that WE ARE NUMBER ONE!!!

Because Stephen would have wanted it that way.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Random Ten

It's been awhile. Welcome back to the weirdness known as my playlists.
  1. I Really Don't Know Anymore ~ Christopher Cross
  2. Strange Magic ~ Electric Light Orchestra
  3. Blue Sky ~ Allman Brothers
  4. 25th December ~ Everything But The Girl
  5. Walk on Water ~ Aerosmith
  6. This Is Your Life ~ En Vogue
  7. No Tell Lover ~ Chicago
  8. A Kiss to Build a Dream On ~ Louis Armstrong
  9. Higher ~ Creed
  10. Oh God (Prayer) ~ Annie Lennox

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Doodlist

One time when I did an assessment of my talents, interests, and abilities I came to the conclusion that the perfect job for me was "doodlist." Not cartoonist, because that sounded too formal.

So I was intrigued when I saw that someone had stumbled upon TTGSiMH by using the search terms "doodle test patterns personality." I thought 'Yes! What about doodling and personality?' So I went hunting. The BBC has some advice on Doodle Analysis, including symbolism. There is also Anna Koren's Graphology page for Doodles. And has a page on Doodle Interpretation.

Personally I mostly doodle across the top and down the left hand side of the page. According to the links, that means that I am "an energetic, free-thinking, spiritual person" (top) but also affected by "the past, nostalgia or regret. It may indicate apprehensiveness for the future" (left). Fortunately they point out what I was thinking about the left side of the page, "separated by a margin, or with punched holes waiting to be decorated - is also prime doodling real estate." If you have any sense of space it is just the easier place to doodle.

My most common doodle when at work is of repeating geometric patterns, especially triangles. "Regular patterns from geometric shapes tend to indicate an organised and efficient mind. Triangles are a geometrically stable shape but also suggest direction and sense of purpose."

I also like to doodle vines and flowers. Anna Koren tells me that means I'm "friendly, sociable (motifs used extensively by social workers), sensitive, humane, warm, open."

I couldn't find any references to tell me what it means when I doodle Garfield and have him say something sarcastic about the meeting topic.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hooloovoo Tree

You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.
You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.
You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies

So you won't be surprised to know that recently I've watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and baked chocolate chip cookies. Not at the same time, though. "While You Were Sleeping" is my official Christmas Cookie Baking movie.

My husband's results:
You Should Have a White Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent joy and sprituality.
The true meaning of Christmas is important to you - even if you're not religious.

The holidays are a time of reflection for you.
You like to spend time thinking about what's important in life.

Your white tree would look great with: Bright, bold ornaments

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: The Nativity Story

What you should bake for Santa: Sugar cookies - served up with a tall glass of milk

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tribute to the Rules of Bureaucracy: Episode Two

Before clicking, please note that some rules are in the same post and some rules have changed. Rule #7 does not appear to have an originating post. If you have problems with that, return to the Zeroth law. If you still want to file a complaint, fill it out in triplicate and bury it in your backyard. We'll get back to you.

Rule #6
(and Redux): "Politics is the enemy of good government."
Rule #7: "The biggest detriment to public service is the public."
Rule #8: - "The second biggest detriment to public service is the service."
Rule #9: "There's a reason; there's ALWAYS a reason."
Rule #10: "The Law is a harsh mistress: The rigorous and exacting application of which can benefit of society when used correctly to advance good policy and block bad, and be the bane of society when used incorrectly to advance bad policy and block good."

Special note: when I googled rule #7 to see if I could find a full post about it I got the following bloggers commenting on it.

Tonight on Soogle: What Do You Think I Am, An Idiom?

Today I got a hit from someone trying to find out the meaning of the joke: "Where are we going and why am I in his handbasket?"

In order to understand this joke you need to know the idiom going to hell in a handbasket.

Thus the implicit meaning of the joke, which is usually on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, is that the person "saying" it so clueless that they don't realize that everything is going straight to hell. The "voice" of the joke comes off as rather innocent and trapped in their circumstances. Contrariwise, the people who display the joke aren't being innocent, they are being ironic and sarcastic. They are indicating that they *know* everything is going straight to hell.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

U. S. Err

Hopefully my travel days for the year have come to an end. This morning, after landing on the East Coast on a red-eye flight, I got caught in the fog blanketing the southeast and my connection got canceled. I didn't suffer any ill effects personally, other than having my three hour layover stretch into six hours - but there was no helping that. Half of the morning had been lost to the fog and the airports were scrambling to get things back in order. They actually rebooked my connection into an airport closer to home (less than ten miles to my front door). My Irish luck knows no bounds.*

All of that time in the layover, though, gave me an opportunity to hear about the trials and tribulations being suffered by my fellow travelers. And there were some doozies. Canceled flights had abounded the day before and the airlines hadn't covered hotels or anything. And now here they were with a morning of cancelations and changes. Yikes.

*I hadn't mentioned it before, but on the outgoing flight I had been TOO LATE to check in for the first time in my life. I'm usually two hours early. Without complaint or charge they rebooked me into a flight leaving a half hour later - and whose connection landed five minutes earlier. Three flights were supposed to dump luggage onto the same conveyor and my bag was literally the first one down the chute.

so that's what morale sounds like...

It's been awhile since I have heard the sound, but dim memories are
being evoked by the scene in front of me. A certain boisterousness,
enjoying those minutes before the problems of the day start to
surface. A distinct giddiness at seeing each other and looking for
those opportunities to tease, joke and cajole. An innate respect about
who knows what: group questions about a location code and results from
a sporting event are immediately surrendered to the appropriate
resident experts - and each of them demonstrate why they have their
positions in the group. Underlying the social interaction are
efficient little motions setting the day in order. Lists checked,
logistics assessed, supplies stocked. The day will get started shortly
and someone will come along to throw stones in this pleasant pond.
They will have a problem, or an issue, or just BE an issue, and then
the joviality will slowly fade and the "real work" will start. But
eventually we will go away, and they will get to go home, and they
will look forward to tomorrow - when they will be able to see each
other again. They can try out those jokes that will occur to them
tonight. They can talk about the game and have another trivia question
for He Who Knows All Codes. They have that to look forward to.

What are you doing tomorrow?

I know my day won't start nearly as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

TTGSiMH Top Hits of the Week

When Life Hands You Lemons
Which Way Did He Go George?
Ghost Hunters Fan Fiction

I put a comment on Dilbert Blog about the lemon test, so those hits are no surprise. I *always* get a lot of traffic for the Looney Tunes quote. But the Ghost Hunters Fan Fiction? There is obviously more afoot here than I had realized. Apparently those things that go bump in the night are Ghost Hunters fans.

Capitalizing on Talents

If you were to ask me I would say that I was a better writer than artist. But it occurred to me today that of the two it has only been art where I've made real cashy money. Part of it may be that because I don't perceive myself as a real artist I am willing to use what small (really, I mean small) talent I have in whatever capacity it serves me. I've mostly done contract craft and textile work. It's not like I've made a LOT of money from art - certainly I've made much, much more selling my soul to The Man - but I've at least made some.

I find that interesting.

It's arguable that I get money from The Man for my writing (all those white papers...), but I think that we can all agree that business reports are to writing what bathroom stall doodles are to art. Can't we? I hope we can agree to that.

I have other talents. Many of them unknown to me until I accidentally tried them out. Some I make money from and others I don't.

What do you consider to be your talents? Do you use them in your work? Do you make money from them? Are you averse to making money from your greatest talents?

Soogle Researches Holiday Poetry

12/14 Update: This post has been popular enough I thought I'd better find the audio clip. It's on this page in Real Audio format.

Someone came to the Thoughts last night with an interesting search term: Harry Harrison holiday poem "may you always." Well dang, I thought, I didn't know that one of my favorite humorous science fiction authors had written a holiday poem. How interesting.

Turns out he didn't.

However, there is a disc jockey named Harry Harrison that recorded one - at New York's WCBS FM101.1 when it was an Oldies Station a few years back. Attribution at the bottom of the official copy cites Larry Marks and Dick Charles as the actual writers. I found the text of May You Always but since they revamped the WCBS website in their change to "New York's Greatest Hits" I can't track down the audio. Most of the articles and blog posts about the poem date back to 2004 and the links are dead. Based on the adoration of his fans I have to assume that if we can find the recording it will be tantamount to Baz Luhrmann's reciting of Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) (VH1 video).

To give you a taste of the piece so you will know whether to click on that link up there:
As the holiday bells ring out the old year, and sweethearts kiss,
And cold hands touch and warm each other against the year ahead,
May I wish you not the biggest and best of life,
But the small pleasures that make living worthwhile.

Sometime during the New Year, to keep your heart in practice,
May you do someone a secret good deed and not get caught at it.
May you find a little island of time to read that book and write that letter
And to visit that lonely friend on the other side of town.

May your next do-it-yourself project not look like you did it yourself...
If you want the rest, follow the link.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Where's the Funny?

I ran across a column called The Script Shredder 9000.
In this age of fast food info we realize you're busy. Sometimes too busy to even see a movie. So we've taken recent films released and distilled them into an easy to read quick script. So, without further ado, iF is proud to welcome back the 9th Wonder of the World back to our Web site -- SCRIPTSHREDDER 9000 - Version 2.0
The idea is funny, there is the lingering promise of funny in the writing. But it is not actually funny. I dug a little deeper and it got less funny. Things like this kill me. I was expecting a chocolate sundae of funny and I got a rice cake. It leaves me hungry, grumpy, and ready to kill for a bottle of chocolate syrup. I wasn't expecting something that would make the maraschino cherry come out my nose, just something... funny.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Your Thoughts Get Stuck Where?

I continue to get periodic hit for people trying to figure out what to do about obsessive thoughts that are really stuck in their heads. And it makes me wonder what would have happened if I had gone with my first funny thought and named this blog "Thoughts That Get Stuck in My Neck." I skipped that because I figured you had to be an SNL fan like me to even have a clue what I was getting at.

Trivia question:
Which SNL cast member did this skit with the quote "Thoughts get stuck in my neck"?

Bonus round:
Who were they impersonating?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tribute to the Rules of Bureaucracy: Episode One

You may know that we here at the Thoughts have a background in public service. As such, we find the Rules of Bureaucracy by the Notorious ADB (aka "O") on the Angry Drunk Bureaucrat to be absolutely hilarious. Although he keeps the list in his sidebar it is not linked to the original posts and explanations. So in celebration of the fact that Monday is Bureaucracy Day, I've started a tribute series to link the rules to their originating posts as a... public service. It's the least that Soogle can do for you.

For Episode One of our tribute I have captured the first five Rules. Plus the Zeroth Rule. Before the clicking, please note that some rules are in the same post and some rules (either text or number) have changed. I'm sure that "O" filed paperwork in triplicate before making those changes, in observance of Rule #1, but said paperwork has been stolen by the pixies.

Rule #O:"The Rules of Bureaucracy are mutable, non-canonical, non-ordinal, and contradictory, except in the cases where they are not."
Rule #1:"Document everything you do; if you didn't write it down, it didn't happen."
Rule #2 [The Sixty Minutes Rule]: "Never do anything that would cause Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Steve Croft, Leslie Stahl, or even Andy Rooney to persue you down a hallway with a camera crew."
Rule #3: "Nothing Simple is Ever Easy"
Rule #4: "It's about the money; follow the money."
Rule #5: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Sleepless in...

My travel continues. This has been the most I have traveled in years. I'm in Seattle to follow up on some opportunities, so do you have any suggestions on what I should do while I'm here? I remembered that I still haven't been to the Science Fiction Museum. I have been to the Space Needle and the fish market.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ghost Hunters Fan Fiction?

Looking for Ghost Hunters Fan Fic? A LOT of people come here looking for it so being Soogle we hit the web to find out where to send you. The best option we've found is the Ghost Hunters Fan Fiction Community on LiveJournal. You might also check with @GhostHuntersBlog on Twitter. And as long as you're on Twitter, tell Grant (@grantwilson) that @cmdrsue said hi.

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