Thursday, October 26, 2006


Added to the links section/blogroll:

GAIM - An open-source and (almost) universal messaging client that I personally use and love. You can use this program to communicate with people on ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc... all at the same time.

Get Rich Slowly
- A sensible financial blog/news source that (so far) seems to give excellent advice and focuses on traditional, lower risk, sustainable methods of managing finances.

- A blog loaded with helpful tips for refining one's computer power-user skills as well as good general tips and tricks for improving one's life as well as working more efficiently, with a heavy focus on non-DRM and non-spyware-ridden software.

Nietzsche Family Circus
- possibly written by a man with too much time on his hands,"The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs a randomized Family Circus cartoon with a randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quote." This gives the comic an unexpectedly humorous twist with some amusingly dystopic untertones, picked up from Steve Schalchlin's Blog.

One Girl Show
- I've not been following her writing for very long, but she is an interesting character who lives in my area and is in some ways a kindred spirit. I spotted her blog link on the uvScene Blog, an excellent blog which has also been added in because it captures the spirit of the area where I live and covers some interesting features of this region.

Shutterpimp - A sorely missed ex coworker :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Georgia O'Keefe

A pic of a framed print in my household, posted for the benefit & amusement of McPolack.



Ummm, so maybe that's a bit of a dramatization, but I am getting really sick of political ads that have swung to an all-time low.... it seems that some of the candidates have sunk to the level of supermarket tabloids in their mud-slinging efforts. The radio station that they play at my workplace is based in Vermont (just across the border), and I've been getting an earful of these ridiculous ads which (despite the fact that I am not involved with Vermont politics) even I can tell are sensationalistic, misleading, and in some cases completely false. If you take time to look up Bernie Sanders' voting record and the reasons for his decisions, you will find that Richard Tarrant's websites only represent a completely blind view of things with no regard for the big picture. Anyone who even pays the slightest bit of attention to politics can tell you that politicians often vote against seemingly positive funding initiatives and laws due to unreasonable legal concessions riding on the coattails of whatever bill it is that they are voting for. Then again, I am getting the distinct impression that Mr. Tarrant is not targeting these ads to anyone who is politically aware. As usual, it's a game of driving the sheep in the direction that you want them to go.

Hmm... pretty hard to end this post on a positive note, so I will simply hand you some Cute Overload ferrety-werrety weaseliness.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Surprise Surprise!!!

Yeah, I'm actually still alive. I know I've not written in a while. Sorry about that. Life has been very busy yet fulfilling. The other day we had a very strong autumn rain storm which removed almost all of the colored foliage from the trees. Now we are entering my least-favorite time of year, that bastard sub-season between fall and winter; when there are no more leaves on the trees, it is too cold outdoors to casually relax & enjoy oneself, everything looks drab & dead, and there is no snow to pretty things up. Last year's snowfall was a bit disappointing. At the time, I had received snowshoes for Christmas and bought myself cross-country skis in hopes that they would give me a reason not to stay cooped up indoors all winter, bouncing off the walls with a killer case of cabin fever... yet there was never more than six inches of snow on the ground (for those of you not familiar with cross-country skiing, one needs AT LEAST 9-12 inches of snow on the ground in order to minimize damage to the underside of the skis). I am hoping for a solid couple feet of snow this year so that I can do some deep-woods cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

My "autumn foliage" party was loads of fun. It has been a while since I've had any sort of real social gathering at my home. One of my coworkers has shown me some blackmail-worthy pics of myself and many of the others there (yeah, we all had a bit to drink). I may or may not post them depending on how brave I am feeling. There was a pretty good turnout of people and a good time was had by all (who were invited)... and here is where I have a bit of a story to tell. In the wee hours of the morning, there were still about eight guests hanging around. Somebody showed up uninvited while I had nodded off in the living room. He helped himself to some of my liquors and got really drunk, belligerent, & violent. One of my friends (who had training in the management of aggressive behavior) ended up tackling the guy and dragging him kicking & flailing out of my house. The guy refused to leave even after he was barred from going back inside, fighting ensued, and the man ended up in the hospital the next day with a concussion. This is by far one of the craziest things that has ever happened at one of my parties. I am grateful that he was removed though because I don't take kindly to drunken fools destroying my property and causing a scene. Although I will say that the guy had the strength of character to apologize to the people who were involved in his removal and subsequent smack-down.

Now here is where I admit that I have an addiction problem: I broke a solemn promise to myself.... Last year I finally caved in and started reading the series of Harry Potter books that everyone has been raving about. I enjoyed them so much that I ended up reading all six books in just under two months. My head was spinning... I couldn't help it... they're like brain-candy. After I finished the sixth book, I resolved that I would not touch the series again until a month before the seventh (and ostensibly final???) book came out. Well, I had a moment of weakness at the beginning of this month... I just couldn't keep my hand from straying up to the bookshelf.... and here I am again, already three quarters of the way through the fourth book. They must have support groups for this sort of thing (haha). I've decided that I am going to take a break after this book and pursue something a bit pithier... The Poisonwood Bible , a controversial best-seller by one of my new favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver. My dear sister and several friends have recommended it as a bit of an eye-opener.

As usual, I'm a bit awkward at ending my posts. Somebody once told me to always end on a positive note. So for now I will leave you with a video of "Cheech," a long-haired chihuahua at my workplace doing his "walk like a man" thingy.... and may I mention that I am NOT a small-dog person, but he's still pretty cute.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"They Are Rather Fetching, I'll Declare That Good Times Are In The Pipeline!"

... is a quote from one of David Firth's more recent flash movies known as "Pulch: The Good Times". For those of you who aren't familiar with David Firth's animations, they are sort of.... ummm.... Tim Burton meets Salvadore Dali and Terry Gilliam at a Dadaist convention and they go out drinking... after a wild night filled with various crazy psychotropic substances, this is what they come up with. If you are, like me, bent toward slightly disturbing, dark, absurdist humor, then you should like most of the animations by David Firth.

Update: My apologies to those who have been to my blog lately. I've removed the previously embedded flash movie mentioned in this post because I did not know that they immediately load themselves whether or not you want them to, thus eating up bandwidth and taking forever to make the blog page load. Click on the title of this post if you wish to view the aforementioned movie.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Hike of Found Objects

Well, after a day of discount store shopping with my buddy Pasha, I ended up going on another loner hike into the mountains just as the sun was setting (my buddy Dimitri was going to go with me, but bailed out). I used to be terrified of the woods at night-time, now it seems to relax me while honing my listening skills. Chalk it up to personal growth and conquering of fears I guess.

St. Anthony of Padua, eat your heart out... During this hike, I found a small assortment of useful objects that had either been lost or discarded. I ran across the manky (but solid) old wrench you see in the picture... buried, but partially emergent in the mud. I've a manky toolbox that will match it perfectly! Next I ran across my harmonica which I had dropped on a previous jaunt; I was impressed to see that it had survived the last few rains just swimmingly, no water entered the case and tarnished/mildewed it. I was also delighted that it survived that long in the middle of the trail, with ATVs and assorted harsh weather passing over it multiple times a day for two weeks on end. Finally, when I was coming back down to the mountain road that connects with the main road, there were a bunch of free items piled on the corner of the intersection, where I found an awesome vintage (70s?) cooler. Maybe I am a weird person because I get excited over things like vintage coolers, but just a couple days ago I was thinking that I should buy myself a big cooler for the dinner party this weekend. I will simply call this divine provenance :). So, after lugging it 3 miles back to town, turning down a couple offers of rides from some friendly (but heavily inebriated) hunters tooling back home in their trucks, and receiving numerous odd cat-calls from several teenager-filled cars speeding by... I got home. Yeah sorry, that's a lame conclusion to a story, so deal. :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Further Video Blogging

...and here's another of my experimental forays into the world of video blogging. It simply shows me doing one of the things I do frequently at work... fair warning... this video is probably not for those who are a wee bit squeamish.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Oh Deer

I am now trying my hand at video blogging. Here are a couple of short clips of some whitetail deer that I crept up on while out hiking today. I was impressed with myself, I actually managed to quietly approach within 30 feet of the group (in an open field) without spooking them, then I accidentally tripped over a clump of grass while I was trying to get closer and they got spooked. The second clip is of them running away. For those of you who wish to sneak up on deer, the key is to move in slowly and silently while they are grazing and freeze whenever one of them looks up. I've decided that I need to buy myself some flat-soled moccasin style woodland shoes if I want to get closer wildlife shots.

Classic sunsets in the fields and woodlands of New England.

Are you sick of my peculiar fascination with old barns yet? Well, studies have shown that old barns can look 236% more rustic under the light of an October moon!!!