Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Last January, Sam came home for lunch one day to discover that our front yard had sprung a leak. And though it took a couple of weeks, they finally got it and the DSL which had been cut in the process fixed.

Ever since, though, we've had absolutely no hot water pressure in our kitchen sink. All of our other fixtures had plenty of hot water pressure, however. So, periodically we'd mention to our landlady, "Hey, it's pretty hard to wash dishes without hot water."

So, last weekend she sent her son out to replace the faucet.

Isn't it all bright'n'shiny'n'purdy? I even have a spray nozzle now. Woot!

Of course, since nothing ever goes easily when fixing something in this house, it also resulted in... this.

This, my dear friends, is the pan that's currently under my sink catching water from the leak that was sprung. This is also the pan that I have to empty every 30 minutes or so because it fills up. At least, when we have to water to the house turned on.

I'll explain that in a minute.

Our landlady's son spent all day Sunday trying to epoxy the pipes and stop the leak that way. Unfortunately, that stop-gap measure never succeeded.

Landlady contacted a plumber and told us that he'd be by between 8 and 12 Tuesday morning. By lunch time, however, I still had not seen hide nor hair of the plumber, so Sam contacted the landlady. Long story short, the plumber didn't want to be working out in the cold and rain, so he'll "probably be by sometime on Thursday."

In the mean time, we've been turning our water off at the street save for when it's absolutely needed for bathroom purposes. 'Why don't you just turn it off at the shut-off valve at the sink?' you ask? Because when it was installed they put it too close to the bloody wall to be able to turn it. Nearest thing we can figure is that they installed it before they had all the wall paneling up or something.

I swore up and down when we moved in here that I wasn't going to move again for at least three years, due to the fact that the longest I've lived any place since graduating high school is about 18 months.


I'm becoming sorely tempted to start looking elsewhere. Between leaks and the driveway and the DSL and the cracked windows and periodic AC/heating issues... it's starting to become ridiculous.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Capella Mario

It's Monday. It's rainy. My sink may or may not be fixed.

Let's brighten our day with a bit of Mario, shall we?

Sam claimed it was one of the best arrangements of the Mario music he's heard. I'm inclined to agree.

Also, go check out his You Tube page. He has a lot of other awesome videos (particularly Ching Chong).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Then and Now

Eight weeks ago, this was the view out my front door:

So snowy. So cold.

So bleak. So desolate.

A frozen wasteland, if you will.

But that was then...

and this is now!

The trees are blooming.

The grass is green.

And there's color everywhere!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Unexpected pleasures

Nala was curled up in my lap, trying to distract me from my goal of editing pictures for a new recipe. I had wrapped up in my green fuzzy blanket--the night before it had dropped into the thirties, and even though we'd kicked the heater on when we got up, it was still cold in the house. After some coaxing (or, more accurately, picking her up and setting her on the floor) Nala was finally out of my lap, and I reached for the mouse to resume my work.

The phone rang.

Wondering if the fates were planning on driving me crazy that day, I fished out my phone and answered, "Hello?"

"Hey Hols, do you have plans this afternoon?" came the voice of Walking Hyperbole.

My eyes flitted from unfinished chore to unfinished chore which I had ignored in my eagerness to get up an 'interesting article' for my father. "No... not really. Why, what's up?" I asked.

"I need to run to the city to pick up [Adorable Nurse's] birthday present, and I really hate making that drive by myself. Would you like to come with?" Walking Hyperbole asked.

For about 0.02 seconds I thought about the recipe I was working on and all the chores awaiting my attention. Screw it. "Sure! What time do you want to go?" After all, I could probably get a few things done.

Walking Hyperbole said, "I'll be there in five minutes."

"Oh, okay," I said, blinking a little in surprise. "Well, I'll see you--" Click. "--soon then."

I stared at the phone for a count of five, and then oh-my-I'm-leaving-in-a-few-minutes-and-am-only-half-dressed panic kicked in.

Flying about the house like a chipmunk on speed, I quickly finished getting dressed, pulling my hair up, putting my jewelry on, making the bed, picking up clutter, throwing dishes into the sink, and saving all of my photos. As I hit enter on the last file, Walking Hyperbole was knocking on the door.

"You ready to go?" He asked.

I nonchalantly picked up my purse and double checked I had my keys.

"Ready when you are."

The afternoon was just like when we were kids at the local university. We talked the entire drive up, while shopping, through lunch, the entire drive back to town, and then well into the afternoon. Mostly it was about D&D, but also about classes and friends and local politics and things we'd seen and heard on TV/radio.

It truly made my day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

T.V. Tropes

I spent more time yesterday than I care to admit looking through the website TV Tropes. It started with someone linking to it about Eberron, then moved to looking at Our Elves Are Better, which lead to... there's got to be a better way to do this.


Eberron --> Our Elves Are Better --> Can't Argue with Elves --> Babylon 5 --> Badass Boast --> I Am the Noun --> The Thrawn Trilogy --> Nightmare Fuel --> Who Wants to Live Forever --> And I Must Scream --> Fallout --> It Just Bugs Me --> Aladdin --> Clark Kenting --> Magical Girl --> Sailor Moon --> Xanatos Gambit --> Xanatos Speed Chess --> Magnificent Bastard --> Word of God --> Shrug of God --> A Wizard Did It --> Fridge Logic --> Fridge Horror --> Stuffed in the Fridge --> Put on a Bus --> The Wheel of Time

To be honest, I could easily continue from there, but I don't honestly remember the path I took from there to get to The Wesley.

So, basically, if you enjoy having names for archetypes and tricks in stories, it's a place you can very easily lose a week. If you decide to venture forth, I do recommend you have someone who can come pull you out of it.

Just saying.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rewards of Photoshop

I am extremely happy to have Photoshop back. I've been using it since high school, and I hadn't realized how much I used the program until it wasn't available to me any more.

But as soon as I got it back, I whipped this up. For those of you who are in my D&D group, I apologize that you're seeing this yet again, but really, I like it and feel like showing it off.

This is Aurora, Something Catchy's character in our game. She's an Eladrin warlock who just happens to be the original sleeping beauty. Also, she's pretty bad-ass, so watch out!

Blessings Continued

Thirty-nine days after the death of Frank, we welcomed a new, fully functioning computer into the family. This resulted in much rejoicing in our home, and I'm now actually capable of having three different windows open at once.

Plus I have my music back.

And my Photoshop.

*sighs happily*

We have not yet officially named the new computer. It takes a little bit to discover a computer's personality, after all.

Last weekend, Rapier Wit and Literary Cat came down for four days. The first day, Literary Cat, Adorable Nurse, and I walked down memory lane (literally as well as figuratively), made food for the guys, and then had a fun night just hanging out.

The next day I was considerably ill, but it could have been worse, so I'm still grateful.

Saturday all of us got back together to play D&D, and something that I've been planning for months finally occurred to my character.

(My almost-teenage cleric is going to be angsty for a little bit. Lord have mercy.)

Also, Literary Cat loaned me The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, which is the sequel to the book she gave me for Christmas, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. So far I've managed to keep from disappearing inside of it, but I have a feeling that after I'm done catching up around the house today and tomorrow, I'm going to disappear Wednesday and devour it.

It's good to have friends who feed your addiction.

Sherri made it safely back from her visit with will and family, which I'm very glad for. I've missed my sister terribly.

Overall, there's a lot of happiness in my life right now, and I felt like sharing. I hope things are going equally well for you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I felt the urge to do some sketching yesterday. So I gave in, and drew this picture of Annie, my character in D&D.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tiger's new happy place.

Sucked in

Books are dangerous for me.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading books. When I was a child, the punishment my parents used to threaten me with wasn't losing sweets or television, but my books. I would spend hours and hours and hours reading.

The problem, however, is that it's very difficult for me to focus on getting anything else done when I have a book. School work, housework, jobs, friends, family--it all has a tendency to fall by the wayside. If for some reason I can't read right then--like when I was having to take customers' calls, for example--I was still focused on the book. Why had the characters done that? How was the author going to tie these disparate plots together? When will they catch the bad guy?  

This can be a very bad thing.

The very first test I failed was in first grade. Being a rather bright child, I typically completed my classwork ahead of my classmates and was frequently bored in class. This resulted in my constantly talking to the other students and disrupting class, so my teacher moved my desk to the side of the room and made me sit by myself.

On one such occasion where I'd finish my classwork well ahead of the others in the class, I pulled out a book and started reading, since there was no one nearby to talk to. Next thing I knew, the teacher was going around the classroom asking for everybody's spelling tests. When she asked me for mine, I looked at her blankly and wanted to know what spelling test. Apparently, the class had finished working on whatever project I'd completed, and so the teacher moved on to the next thing, the spelling test. I, however, did not do this, because I was busy reading a choose-your-own-adventure book. Since I wasn't paying attention, she just failed me on my test.

Twenty years later it still pisses me off to think about it, to be honest. I've always privately suspected she forgot I was over in my corner, and then blamed me for occupying myself.

But I digress.

Thankfully, as I grew older, I developed a knack for being able to hear my name and pull myself out of the book I was reading and participate in classes. But that all-encompassing hold that books have over me never truly diminished. After I graduated college and had to start working for a living, my consumption of books drastically decreased. I simply couldn't afford to split my attention off from my work, especially since it had a tendency to be rather dangerous for me.

Now-a-days, I rarely pick up books and read them any more. Not because I dislike reading--far from it. But when I pick up a book, that pretty much means that the next 4 to 24 hours are shot, because I'll keep reading until the book is finished, and I rather enjoy being productive around my home and taking pictures and blogging and gardening and spending time with my friends and... well, you get the picture.

Every now and again, however, I allow myself to go off on a binge. Which is why I disappeared last week.

Sooner or later I've got to learn moderation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wandering Toe

Growing up, my father often told me that his family line frequently manifests a "wandering toe." We have a hard time staying in any one place for a great length of time; we're always looking to the next horizon, wondering what's over the next hill.

We have a long tradition of migrating ever further west, first across the Atlantic, then to Tennessee, and on westward to Kansas, Nevada, California, etc.

More recently, my Grandpa Norman, my dad's dad, worked with a surveyor's team in Kansas and Oklahoma back in the 50's. The majority of the oil wells throughout this area were originally surveyed by my Grandpa Norman. Dad attended over twenty elementary schools as a result, before they finally settled out in California when Dad was in high school.

After Dad graduated from high school, he spent the next thirteen years or so wandering from one machine shop to the next, while his eldest brother went into the navy and off to see the world. When I myself graduated from high school, I headed into theatre, which meant that every six months or so I moved to some place new. Even when I was in college, I was doing summerstock.

Last week it hit me that I was still in one place. My eyes kept drifting to the horizon, my mind wondering what was out there and where we should go next. Texas? Arizona? Washington?

This is not to imply that I'm unhappy where I am--I love living in this small town, close to friends and family. As much as I may complain sometimes, I love this cute little house and the garden we've planted in the back. I love making this house a home and taking care of Sam. This is, quite frankly, the happiest I've ever been.

And, eventually, the itch passed. By the time Sam and I collapsed into bed Saturday after doing our planting, my energies were focused back on the here and now, and the restlessness from the previous week was gone.

I think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz got it right:
"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Could have been

Why is it I always get a flood of ideas of things to write about just when I'm not going to have the time to devote to them?

I ask, because I woke up this morning with a couple three ideas of things to write about, but I don't have the time to devote towards developing them to their full potential right now, namely because my parents will be arriving in about an hour and a half and I have a few other things I want to get done before they arrive.

(Excuse me while I take a moment to take a breath.



But I promise I have not forgotten about you, even though I did not say anything yesterday and likely will not say anything else today or maybe even tomorrow. Which is sad, because I have ideas for actual content instead of pictures or videos or links. (Frightening, I know.)

Alas, however, my ideas will have to wait a few days. As such, here's yet another random video:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I was uninspired, until...

I came across this slice of my childhood:

Some day I'll have something interesting to talk about again. Until that time comes, enjoy this filler.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pretty cool, NASA, pretty cool.

This goes out to my father, and all other fans of the original Star Trek series.

Bill Shatner rocks. That is all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

We are not amused

Yes, Tiger finally got us to open the box. She even shared it with Nala.

Devil in the Details

Despite our best efforts and intentions, I still don't have a computer.

When we ordered all the pieces and parts for the new compy, we selected an AMD Phenom II six-core processor and an MSI motherboard. We also picked up 4 gig of ram, several fans, and a new case. Everything else we already had and could easily transfer over.

Wednesday night, before I'd even finished taking all of the dinner dishes off of the table, Sammy was pulling out his card table and starting to open boxes up. It had the general feeling of Christmas morning--lots of oooooh shiny moments.

It took about three hours, but soon enough we had everything put together, and it was time to turn it on for the first time. With great joy and trepidation, Sam reached out and pushed the power button.

The box lit up, the drives all indicated that they were happy and ready to go, the motherboard has all of its little lights come on... and no video signal.

This was frustrating, as it was problems with video that caused Frank to go buh-bye.

So we proceeded to do a couple of hours of troubleshooting, and eventually determined that even though everything has power, the hard drives were never being accessed. Did a little more digging and determined that the bios wasn't even pulling up.

We then commence on a bit of research. After delving through the manufacturer's websites for our new components, we soon figured out that even though the motherboard said it was compatible with Phenom II processors, it wasn't compatible with this particular Phenom II processor.

So what this means is that we've shipped the motherboard back and we're waiting for a compatible motherboard to arrive.

Oi vey.

Italian Spiderman

This is truly... indescribable. So much so, I just have to post it and share it with you, in hopes one of you might be able to explain it. I think my brain my have melted a little.

The only coherent thought I could formulate when I saw it was that it was totally something will would have suggested for Manly Movie Night.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It has arrived

It's heeerrrreeee.....

Tiger is so ready for us to open those boxes.

Seven kinds of awesome

I'm apparently having good luck coming up with fun videos today.

(No, the computer isn't here yet. Yes, I'll let you know when it happens. Trust me.)

As it is, please enjoy this fantastic music video of Scattered Trees' "Love and Leave."

(Found on Boing Boing)

"We were no longer good society."

I really don't know what I think of this. It's both splendid and awful at the same time.

Out for Delivery

On Monday I mentioned that we ordered our new computer parts over the weekend. Like any true addict, I've been checking the tracking number every thirty minutes or so.

Which, coincidentally, is about how often I've been checking Words with Friends.

(Tangent: I don't remember ever actually playing Scrabble in real life. I have vague memories of playing Up-Words as a child, but that's as close as I ever came.)

I bring this up because, as of 6:19 this morning, our computer went out for delivery. If this is like when we had the TV shipped to us, it will probably show up close to five this evening. However, because I'm paranoid, and hopeful, I've had the front door open, listening for signs of arrival. Every time someone drives by, I go up on point, hoping it's the new computer.

Alas, it has failed to arrive as yet.

But soon! Soon my precious will be here...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Light Painting

I found this video strangely fascinating. A lot of you probably won't want to watch more than the first couple of minutes, but I couldn't take my eyes away.

Courtesy of Warren Ellis.

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi from Timo on Vimeo.


Should you decide that it is an excellent day to go out and take pictures of incoming spring-time, please remember to either a) take your keys with you or b) not lock the door behind you.

Thank goodness I had the back door open so Tiger could see out.

That is all.

Hints of Spring

Today is absolutely beautiful outside. It's in the low-seventies with a light wind out of the south. The birds are singing, the cats are pouncing, and I just had to go outside and say hello to the world.

So, I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and on a whim I took my camera with me.

It's beginning to look a lot like springtime.

Grass is starting to poke its way up in the back yard.

People have been painting the rest of the grass green. (Actually, this is a result of the fertilizer that a certain company in town will put on peoples' lawns, but it always looks to me like they're trying to paint it green.)

Flowers are trying to make their way above ground so that they can bloom soon.

Just like our neighbor's tree.

Some things are already blooming in our yard.

While the holly berries are bright and cheerful.

And the final sign that spring is almost here?

The local wildlife is out hunting!

Rocky start

"You realize that once summer gets here we're going to have to get up at the crack of dawn to work on the yard, right?"

"Of course I do, Sam. Number one, we'll need to do any watering needed before it gets too hot so we don't boil the plants. Number two, we'll need to do the yard work before it gets so hot that we start to boil too. I have lived through Oklahoma summers before, you know."

"I'm well aware of that. It just occurs to me that if we're going to have to start getting up at six in the morning--"

"--we should start doing it now. Ah well, it'll give us a chance to have breakfast before we start working."

*    *    *    *    *



"Honey bun, it's time to get up."


"Yes, it is. We're going to have breakfast before working in the yard, remember?"

"Pillows. Nest. Bed."

"Don't do that, baby girl. Hiding your head under the covers is not going to help. Now come on..."


"We can snuggle later. Now crawl out from under the covers. There we go."

"Sammy is a big meanie."

"Yes, yes I am."

*    *    *    *    *

"About done with your cereal and coffee?"

"I have a little more coffee left. Plus I'm trying to come up with a word in my game with Mom."

"Well, finish up. It's nearly 7:15, and I'll need to take a shower before work."

"Alright, alright. You act like it's my fault or something."

"Well, it did take me thirty minutes to get you out of--"

"--which is why we're starting this now, so I'm used to it when it becomes necessary."

"I suppose. Now, are you coming outside or not?"

"I'm a coming, I'm a coming, let me grab my jacket."

*    *    *    *    *

"Wow, it's cold out here."

"Too cold, Sammy?"

"Weeeeellllllll, I can almost see my breath."

"Then can we go back inside? Now?"

"Yeah, let's go back inside. At least I managed to get you up this morning."

"Pillows! Bed! Nest!"