Saturday, October 30, 2010

A nice picture of a cow

Because I have read more than a thousand comments from people who think a) saying all gays should die is fine b) threatening to rape women is dandy or c) harassment is part of being a man and trying to deny millions of years of evolution by telling dudes they can't catcall strange women is just crazy - I need an antidote. Here is a picture of some super awesome cows. It's in an article about how Scottish farmers will suffer the most if the UK goes ahead and changes their time zone.

What is most awesome? Their uber cool haircuts? Their super cool nose rings? Or perhaps their horns? Poink poink. It's kind of hard to decide.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Rape Culture Revisited

When I read the opening paragraph to this post I gasped so loudly that Cullen thought I'd hurt myself.

This has been a particularly rough week. One of my favorite comic artists was lambasted for asking, quite nicely, that people stop trying to compliment her in creepy ways. A school board member said he wanted all gay teens to commit suicide and that he was happy when they gave each other AIDS and died. He has since promised to resign but has already said he'll run again and has many, many supporters posting comments. It's sickening and wearying.

Then there was the Marie Claire blogger who thinks fat people are too disgusting to be seen in public. It's been a banner week for showing your ass.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who's the Oldest Member of the Congregation?

Here's a nice piece about the discovery of a slice of a dinosaur skull found in a church.

In other news Mal has been sick all day. I've been trying to keep his water intake up and just realized I never drank any water myself. Smooth!

I'm extremely disapointed that Caprica has been canceled. I was thinking just the other day how deep the world building is on that show, not just with New Cap City but the tattoos and the complete mythos. So much there and it's gone after one season. Sigh.

A teen I know got in touch with me to say that their stepmother had slagged them off via FaceBook. Crazytown. Their stepmother is almost old enough to get Medicare and is acting younger than the teen.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Women and Children First

Chris very kindly got me a new computer and I've been trying to get my data onto it all week. I spent ten hours on Sunday doing an "easy transfer" that kept failing.

I've downloaded most of the basic programs I use but getting my settings and my email and docs is not so easy.

But today I had some success! I managed to get my userdata for Plants vs Zombies so I didn't lose all my progress. Whew! Does anything else really matter?


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Clockwork Fairies

If you'd like to read an excerpt from the title story in this beautiful book check out this week's Quality Time weekly.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Depressing Post About Horses Turned out for the Winter

Here's a depressing post about horses on an island that apparently work all summer long puling carriages, then are turned out for the winter.

There are hundreds of these horses and their manes are shaved before they're turned out for the same reason people used to bob horse's tails back in the day - for fashion. The post states the horses will have manes all the same length in the spring and if they don't have manes over winter they can't get burrs in said manes.

These horses are losing two important functions of the mane; protection from the cold (and the sun as horses can get sunburns and even melanoma, especially grey horses) and protection from insects. It's sad.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The King is Worried

I don't know if you heard about this shocking situation but the king of the cockroaches, a species who have ruled for like a zillion years, is worried about the rise of the bedbugs, which have been trying to take over.

I especially enjoyed the list of potential allies. Go rats!,18289/


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sad, sad story

This is a very sad account of an accident that occurred in my county this morning, which resulted in the death of a teen. While everyone else was physically okay they've got to be emotionally damaged. Such a tragedy.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Crumbling Houses

Cullen and I went for a drive last night to see a house that has been on my radar for about eighteen months. It was originally way out of my price range, like three and a half times what I wanted to spend, then sold shortly before or after I bought my new house.

Then suddenly I got a notice that it was back on the market. Instead of being sold it is now a foreclosure and less than half of the original price. So maybe it was sold and the bank bought it. Anyway, it's back on the market at a steep discount. Not that I'm in a position to buy it since I just bought a house but this thing is a monster Gothic Victorian and I had to go and look at it.

So Cullen kindly agreed to accompany me, so long as I got him food while we were out, and we went to see it.

It's heartbreaking to look at these houses. You can see tons of them (not necessarily this particular architectural style, but former grand old dames) in Baltimore, rotting away, or partially burned, or in the case of one we saw with squatters living in it and and shitting on the stairs.

This house looked as though it had been purchased and partially rehabbed by a five year old with a short attention span. There was new paint all along one side but the other three sides were falling apart. The gazebo had peeling paint in some parts and other parts that looked new. Brand new screen doors were next to even larger shutters that had fallen and were rotting on the ground. The beautiful turret and two cupolas were amazing; all shell shaped shingles in many muted colors, but then there was a hole right in the side of the house.

It's depressing. And with money so tight for everyone I fear the house is just going to get worse and worse until it's too decrepit to save.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Not sure what to be for Halloween?

How about the most popular meat on the interwebs?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poor Puppy

My new house was originally built to accomodate an extended family. As a result there are two wings of the house (it's like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside) and we keep the cats on one side and the dog on the other. Sometimes Captain Jack, the six month old kitten, comes over to play with Mal, my Akita, but that usually only lasts a few hours before Captain Jack wants some peace and quiet.

They were playing together for a bit then Captain Jack retired for the night. About half an hour later Mal got very agitated, racing back and forth from my room to the door where the cats live, which is next to the front door. He was making a funny noise, not really a growl or a bark, and didn't seem to want anything from me. Finally he grabbed his red rubber bone and carried it off, dropping it next to the cat door.

Okay, I thought. He's trying to give it to the kitty. That's nice considering he hates it when the cat touches his tennis balls. Then the phone rang and it was Cullen telling me he was locked out and could I come and unlock the door. Apparently the bone wasn't for the cat at all. It was for Cullen.

Then Cullen and a couple of his friends went downstairs to eat pizza and play Halo Reach, leaving Mal upstairs. We just bought a baby gate to keep him from going downstairs (where he was getting into the kitchen trash) and he hates it. He thinks he's the only one not invited to the party and is pacing back and forth whining. Of course I'm no good to him. Since I telecommute and home during the day I'm not as interesting as though who are gone all day. He takes me for granted. Poor guy.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Eruption of Misogyny

Aaron Sorkin supposedly responds to the reaction to his horrible portrayal of women in this blog post and the comments erupt into even more misogyny. There's a guy calling for the abolishment of rape as a crime (unless she's a virgin, in which case he has to pay her father and marry her - once she's his wife he can rape her all he wants as he also wants marital rape to no longer be a crime). There's another dude who can only think of one significant contribution women have made to society - Post it notes. He does have the caveat that the contribution has to be when she's in her twenties. I guess he never heard of Temple Grandin, who invented the hug box when she was still a teenager. Or any of the other women who have done wonderful and amazing things, usually while having to battle people just like that commenter.

Many of the other people commenting are apologists, who seem to think that because Mr. Sorkin is a fantastic writer he can do no wrong. All of us, even the most enlightened, still have areas where we can grow. Sure, he's written wonderful female characters in the past but he failed this time. Saying it's because he was writing about misogynists doesn't cut it. Look at Mad Men, which is filled with all kinds of "isms" but still manages to write characters that are three dimensional. (I may not like many of those characters but they're all complicated people who ring true.) Just because you protag is a hateful, sexist pig doesn't mean virtually all the women need to be drunk/stoned strippers/groupies/"bitches". It's ridiculous.

BTW, I say supposedly because it's the internet and impersonating someone has never been easier. If that reply is from Mr. Sorkin I'm somewhat surprised that there are so many errors in the post.

It's hard when someone holds a lens up to your hero and asks you to look at them in a new way. Some people will react without thinking at all. Some will go on the attack. And some will think about the new information and may learn and grow. I wish more people fell into the latter category.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Here Lies

I was looking at this picture that Kate Beaton posted and I realized the language of gravestones has changed as the world has become more secular.

The inscription reads, in part, "here lies the body of". The body and spirit were viewed as very separate things and the "clay" of the body that was buried didn't have much to do with the spirit that had inhabited. Hence here lies the body of, instead of here lies.

Then we moved much more to here lies and there a million joke tombstones people make for their Halloween decorations. The distinction between body and spirit is lessened. Here lies Mary Jacobs implies all of her is there, not just a cast off husk.

Modern tombstones don't even say here lies, in many cases. They just say things like Loving Mother and some dates.

Personally I like here lies the body of and my tombstone should say something like Here lies the body of Georgiana Lee - She cast it off and started a new life in a cyborg body.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dots Don't Matter in Gmail

I was quite surprised to read this post from the gmail team.

They say the dots in the middle of your gmail account don't matter. So you could be or or even and any of those variations will still get delivered.

This was a big surprise mostly because I sometimes get someone else's mail and I thought the difference was that I have a dot in my name and she doesn't. Now I have no idea why I sometimes get her mail. Just one of life's mysteries I guess.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

California Says Minors Don't Have First Amendment Protection

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is filing an amicus brief in the case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA. Why do we care? Anyone who cares about the constitution should care. Details found here:


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Terrific Letter From John Irving

Here's a great letter from John Irving about banned books and the audience in his head. (If you read Until I Find You you'll be familiar with his idea of an audience of one, which his actor character uses when performing.)

I started reading his work when I was a teen and my son Cameron started reading him a couple of years ago. His subjects are sometimes difficult but they're also important and they help abused and endangered teens feel like they aren't so alone.


Friday, October 01, 2010

RIP Stephen J. Cannell

This has been a sad week with the passing of legends Tony Curtis and Stephen J. Cannell. Mr. Cannell was the creator of many iconic television shows including the A Team.

Kay of Seriocity has written a fantastic tribute, which you can access here:

She explains how important his legacy of kindness and protectiveness is.