Saturday, June 26, 2010

What kind of bird?

Cullen said there was something interesting to see from the top floor of our new house and took me up to see it. We're at the top of a small hill so have a pretty good view. Our backyard ends in an alley, with a string of telephone poles running down along the fence line.

On top of one of the poles was a dead turkey vulture. It looked as though it had been sitting on top of the pole, lost its balance and was electrocuted. Now it was hanging from the top, wings flapping in the breeze. It was quite startling.

Then the cable guy came and installed our internets. He said he had to climb one of the poles to turn the service on. After he left the bird was gone. Did he have to take it off? How much do you get paid to do that? Because ICK.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Women Drivers!

We were over at the new house today getting our internet access (from a self proclaimed werewolf) and an estimate from the plumber for quite some time. When we went home this thing landed in the road in front of me. At first I thought it was made of paper, then metal, then paper, then metal. Cullen was sure it was metal so I stopped and put on my blinker to move into the next lane, annoying the hell out of everyone behind me.

Then I decided we'd better move it out of the way so it didn't ruin someone else's car. When I put my flasher's on the person behind me practically exploded with rage. Cullen retrieved a six or seven foot piece of crumpled, sharp, aluminum siding while angry drivers went around me. He tossed it in the back seat and we took it home to dispose of where it wasn't going to cause any accidents.

I reckon it got pulled loose during the terrible storm two nights ago.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

More about Zenyatta

Really nice post from Kay Reindl, who was there at the race, about Zenyatta's record breaking win. She does a terrific job conveying the excitement and camaraderie you feel when everyone's rooting for the same horse.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Art and Disability

Interesting piece about art and disability as viewed by an architect who became disabled later in life. This article also debunks some of the ridiculous lies spouted by Rand Paul.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview with James Comtois

My friend James Comtois is doing a vampire play that he wrote called The Little One. The Tor website has a nice interview with him.

You should read the article then go see the show.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another House I WIsh I Could Get

Need I say more?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Puppies, Bikers and Bulldozers

This story from BBC News starts out strange and just weirder the further you read. It starts with a young man who stopped taking his meds and decided it would be a good idea to throw a puppy at some Hells Angels. He also dropped his shorts (his only clothing) and mooned them. Then he fled on a stolen bulldozer, which he drove so slowly that he backed up the traffic for three times as long as the distance he drove the thing. Finally he abandoned it and hitchhiked.

He was arrested and the puppy is at a shelter.

I've no idea where he got the puppy or why he thought any of this was a good idea.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nice Deal for Someone

Here's a Fannie Mae foreclosure in Reservoir Hill that's a great bargain for someone. Seven bedrooms, three baths, renovated. There's a lovely circular staircase.

Although Redfin has the house for 280,000 it's actually 255,000, just marked down. I'm still on the Fannie Mae mailing list, which is how I know about it.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

ZENYATTA - 2010 Vanity Handicap

This Never Happens to House


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Final Walkthrough

Today was the day for the final walkthrough for the new house. We met the current owner, who lived there for 45 years and learned some interesting things about the history of the house, like that her aunt lived there 75 years ago. We also discovered that the maple parquet floors, which are gorgeous, continue on in some other rooms of the house, hidden away under soundproof subfloors that she installed because her mother isn't a quiet walker.

She also showed us some arches that have been covered up to help convert the house to give certain parts of it more privacy. Cullen has his eye on one and I won't be shocked to wake up one morning to find him dismantling the wall...

The gardens of the house are even more beautiful than last time we were there, with many flowers blooming. The owner says it's nothing as beautiful as it used to be and that her gardens were written up in the Baltimore Sun when they were in their heyday. I think they're amazing as is and can only hope I manage to take care of them properly. She said some random dude stopped by the house a few years ago and offered her five thousand dollars for the Japanese Maple in front of the house! There's also a Japanese Dogwood in the back, which she says is the latest blooming of all the dogwoods.

The best news is that the house was nice and cool, despite no air conditioning. By contrast our current place is 88 degrees (air conditioning broken, not much chance of landlord fixing before we move) and stifling. There are window units at the new house but hopefully we'll be able to keep our electric use down and only use them somewhat.

I will be so glad when we're all moved. It's been a long haul but I'm super pleased with the new house, which is old and eccentric like me.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Naturalist by Maureen McHugh

Maureen McHugh is a master at the short story form. Here is a link to a recent zombie story she wrote that's up at Subterranean Press. Enjoy.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Great Post re Sei Shonagon

Tiger Beatdown has an awesome post about Sei Shonagon and women's writing. So much to love here!


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Getting Ready for Summer

We're gearing up for summer at my house. School is out for everyone I think (not sure if Chris still has a final or two.) This is the first year we're finished so soon, with school usually ending in another week or so.

Chris has an art show on the 12th and is getting ready for that.

Cullen is recovering from a mad insect attack that left him with about 20 enormous bites and me insisting he take some benadryl to try and get some of the itching and swelling down.

Cam has a massively busy vacationing summer ahead of him. He goes to Cape Cod in less than two weeks. He'll be there for ten days I think then go to Alaska the day after coming back home and stay there until a couple of weeks before he starts his freshman year at college. (That's right, I'll have three kids in college this fall. Oi. And I'm planning to take a couple of classes.)

Then in the middle of all this is our move. We go to closing towards the end of the month, then we have a week to get some stuff fixed at the new house, then move. Cam will miss all of this and come home to have magically been transported to the new house, which will be kind of weird I'm thinking. We've been in this place for six years so even though it's small and cramped and annoying it's still a place we're all well used to.

I have big plans for the new house, which has some beautiful landscaping and is a single family home. Mostly they involve relaxing. On the porch, in the garden, in the rec room, etc. Good books and lemonade are what's going to make this summer special for me.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Where do OCD compulsions live?

Here's a fascinating article about a surprising study on mice that overgroom (called barbering in rats anyway, sometimes they barber their cagemates, scissoring all the fur off and leaving their chums baldish), which is a symptom of OCD in mice.

Mice were cured not via neurological means but via a bone marrow transplant. Which brings up all sorts of interesting thoughts like has anyone been cured or given OCD while getting a bone marrow transplant for a serious illness?


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

And what do you call this?

What do you call soft drinks where you live? Soda? Pop? Soda pop? Coke? Carbonated beverages? If you're interested in regional differences you'll find this an interesting read.

And even if you could not care less you might still find this amusing as some of the answers are pretty odd, like this one:

Zak da mac hit ya up side da head wit a baseball bat, smack!!!!!!!!! and im black and i got a cat dats not black and i got 2 glocks and a gat

Or this one: