Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: June, 2006

The Thursday Threesome: Butterflies are free!

Onesome: Butterflies– June 21st has come and gone; it’s Summer, and the Monarchs have pretty much finished their migration. How about you? Any travel plans? …or are you staying “safe and sane” on the 4th?

I’m moving!

I know, this weekend is a terrible weekend for moving. (How many cars are going to be on the road again?) And yes, I’m driving–for over two thousand miles all the way to, er, Potato Country. I have never imagined that I’d ever go to Potato Country but one never knows what life will throw at you.

At the very least, driving across the country instead of flying across will be interesting. One could ask why indeed I’m not flying and shipping my stuff. That would be easier, would it not? But I have it all figured: shipping the car alone would cost more than gas (even in these inflated times) and hotel/motel stays.

Today, it’s pretty much taping up some boxes, cramming the car with stuff (I hope it all fits!), and running around doing last minute things. And then I’ll be hitting the road early tomorrow morning. So don’t expect any blogging in the next couple of days.

Twosome: are– What are you reading this Summer? Do you have any recommendations for the gang?

I haven’t read very much lately due to the above, but I did like The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. I think even non-science people will enjoy it. Maybe I’ll post a review of it later, when I have time.

Threesome: free!– As we do every so often: Have you found any free software or cool extensions lately to share with each other? Fonts? Butterflies?

I used this color scheme tool to help me find the colors I wanted for this current blog design.

Bad Song

I have heard a particular song several times on the radio. I heard it again this afternoon. I like the music but I hate the singer. Well, I don’t hate the singer personally. I just hate how the singer sounds–like a mix of incompetent lisping and chalkboard scratching. The singer is popular though, so I guess there’s no accounting for popular taste.

The Internet and Too Much Information

After seeing all those little signs hammered into people’s front yards advertising for local politicians I never heard of, I decided to do a little look-see on the internet. I ended up on the county website and got sidetracked.

The county has this new feature where you can look up property assessments. This does not mean only lists of prices. There are details about everything on a property. For instance, if you search for an address, not only do you get who owns the property and what it’s currently worth, but everything else. If there’s a house on the property, there are even details about the roofing materials and the quality of the cabinetry included. So it’s not just the realtors who can find out how many plumbing fixtures are in your house but pretty much any random stranger.

Lucky Break?

The one time I’m not paying attention, I get pulled over by a cop. I figured it would happen sooner or later. Everyone gets pulled over by a cop sometime during their driving career. What was really weird was that the cop had backup. What were they going to do? Make me get out of the car and put my hands up? Search the car? (The most dangerous substance I had was laundry detergent. And maybe those really heavy library books.) I was already resigned about getting a ninety dollar traffic ticket. I mean, how could I not get one? I had no excuse. And I couldn’t bluff my way out of anything even if my life depended on it.

Yet…I did get off. Simply because I admitted that I was in the wrong. How crazy is that? Either I was the first person in a long time who actually fessed up to a traffic violation or that cop was in a really good mood.

Language Links

A Color Portrait of the English Language. It’s a graphic representation of the English Language from averaging the colors of the images found on Google’s image search. As expected, there’s a lot of green for plant words and blue for marine mammals. But there are also patches of unexpected color for odd words like purple for “causation” and bright pink for “identifier”.

The Speech Accent Archive. Listen to different accents from around the world. Some are subtle. Some are so different, one wonders if it’s an entirely different language.

Can Never Be Too Early

Lately I’ve been going through some writer blogs like The Recycled Writer whose latest entry pondered on journal writing. Unlike the Recycled Writer, I don’t care too much what I use to write in as long as there’s plenty of paper and a black pen around. However, nowadays, I don’t really write in a journal about how my day is going except when I’m traveling. As for any random thought, I suppose the electronic equivalent–the weblog–is just as good.

I’m also reminded of National Novel Writing Month which is just over four months away (and sign-ups are just over three for those of you interested in joining this year). It’s never too early to start planning that 50k novel–I’m a big advocate for planning and outlining since it can both be a roadmap and a backup plan when inspiration doesn’t happen to strike at the moment.

So I’m slowly collecting bits of ideas here and there for this year’s marathon writing spree. Genre? I’m wavering between colonial sci-fi and supernatural-tinged travelogue. No plot yet though.

Sun Does Not Equal Fun

As far as which seasons are my favorite, I’d have to say summer is at the bottom of the heap. I don’t particularly like summer–primarily due to the heat and the humidity. Is it fun to sweat even when you’re just sitting? What’s so fun about roasting in the sun and getting mosquito bites? If you’re feeling overheated, there are only so many clothes to take off.

I don’t trust people who say they love the summer. They’re either living in places that never get above 90 degrees or they spend the entire day in an air conditioned building.

The Thursday Threesome: Hurry Up… and Wait

Onesome: Hurry- What kind of driver are you? Always in a hurry, speeding to your destination, or going along with the flow whilst sticking to the speed limit exactly? Or are you somewhere in between? If you don’t drive, are you always in a hurry, more laid back or some where in between, personally?

I always try to go the speed limit. You never know if the highway patrol is watching. But you know, in reality, no one ever does the speed limit. If you’re on a limit 55 mph zone and everyone is doing at least 65, well, dog-nabbit, then you do 65. I go with the flow with most traffic since going faster or slower usually irritates people–and who knows what’s going on in the minds of other drivers. I don’t want to end up the victim to some road rage maniac.

And personally, I’m more of a laid back person except when it comes to important stuff–like deadlines.

Twosome: up- What drives you up a wall when you are driving? If you don’t drive, just tell us your biggest pet peeve.

People who do not signal when they want to change lanes. Especially in busy traffic. Are these people suicidal or what?

Threesome: and wait- You rushed to get where you needed to go on time, and now you face a wait. Your date’s not ready, your table in the restaurant you booked isn’t ready, or the doctor is running behind, whatever it is, you were on time, but they aren’t. How do you react? Do you complain, sit and wait, all the while silently fuming, or just settle in and wait, accepting it as part of life?

I wait. It’s sort of pointless to get mad at it all. Actually, I get sort of irritated at other people who get mad when they’re forced to wait. I know our society is really obsessed with time, but things happen and there’s usually nothing you can do about it. Well, except maybe vent your spleen, but that can’t be good for your blood pressure.


After reading Cottage Girl‘s recent posts on moving, I’m reminded of the lists I’m making in preparation for my own moving. The lists consist of the practical things, of course. Things like finding a suitable place to live, switching banks, packing clothes. But making a list is nothing like actually doing the things on the list. Ever present on my mind is that odd and uncomfortable mix of optimism and apprehension that always accompanies a big move.

On the other hand, there’s also the lists where I make but never get around to implementing. For instance, the list for revamping the weblog. Now, I’m just going to take it one step at a time–like getting back to regularly posting even if the only thing I put up is an interesting link I found somewhere. Sooner or later, I’ll have to update some of my more static pages, put up a more satisfying “about me” page for the curiously hungry, and perhaps even change the site design.

Where Are the Good Ideas?

You know how at night, just before you drift off to sleep, you do some thinking? Sometimes I get the worst ideas. The kind of ideas that don’t hold water in the light of day. It’s a good thing I realized this before putting those ideas into action.