Thursday, March 31, 2011

BTT: Odd Reads

Oh-oh-oh, this week’s Booking Through Thursday question from Deb goes quite a bit beyond the usual stuff… P(f)unny she is, too, because while last week’s question was entitled Serial… she calls this one Cereal! Ha ha. Here’s the question:

If you’re like me, you grew up reading everything under the sun, like the cereal boxes while you ate your breakfast, the newspapers held by strangers on the subway, the tabloid headlines at the grocery store.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever read? (You know, something NOT a book, magazine, short story, poem or article.)

Oh gosh. How am I to remember that?! I think that at some point in history, there were short stories or encyclopedia kind of facts printed on our milk cartons (i.e. text not necessarily connected to milk). Maybe there still is – I’m not really keeping myself updated with milk cartons since I discovered I was lactose intolerant more than 15 years ago. (I now drink soy milk. Without stories.)

Ah. I see a loophole! If there’s one place where I’ve come across odd things… That will be the internet… ;) Probably especially while I was most involved in Harry Potter discussions between the sixth and seventh (=last) books in the series. (Some of the oddities I picked up then, I’m now trying to collect in my blog Through My Spectrespecs.) But the experience of blogging has also continued to be a source of  “odds and ends” that I wouldn’t otherwise have come across: Learning about places, plants, animals; words and expressions, quotes and weird signs; bits of history, mythology and whatever, from all over the globe. And Google and Wikipedia have made it very easy to look things up.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ABC Wednesday – K for Kaleidoscope

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A kaleidoscope is a circle of mirrors containing loose, colored objects such as beads or pebbles and bits of glass. As the viewer looks into one end, light entering the other end creates a colorful pattern, due to the reflection off the mirrors. Coined in 1817 by Scottish inventor Sir David Brewster the word "kaleidoscope" is derived from the Ancient Greek καλ(ός) (beauty, beautiful), είδο(ς) (form, shape) and -σκόπιο (tool for examination)—hence "observer of beautiful forms." [Wikipedia]

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Exactly how the digital photo kaleidoscope works, I have no idea. But it’s a lot of fun to use, and easier than you might think. (Basically, just click a button and see what happens.)

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The software used for these is Corel Paint Shop Pro X, where you’ll find the Kaleidoscope under Effects / Reflection Effects.

Have a guess, if you like, what kinds of photos may be the origin of the four kaleidoscopes in this post. Scroll down for the answer.

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The answer is:

Winter – Spring – Summer - Autumn

Here are the original pictures:

Four Seasons

For more of the letter ‘K’, visit ABC Wednesday.

… … …

You might also be interested in checking out
the K-post at my blog Through My Spectrespecs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Morning: Splash of Pink, Splash of White…

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I think I need to start this week with a real splash of colour for Macro Monday. This is another shot that I took outside a florist’s shop last week. (I always feel a bit sneaky doing that… With my camera I can take home those gorgeous colours without actually buying the expensive bouquets! I did go in and buy a begonia for my window, though. I’ll show that some other day when it does not have to compete with these.)

… … …

Now to a more depressing sight. Yesterday we turned our clocks forward one hour to “summer time” (daylight savings time), and this is how we were rewarded for our efforts:

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It snowed all night. This morning the sun was back. But it still looks more like February than what we like to see at the end of March:

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I just checked my old blog. We had the first snowfall as early as 21 October. It’s been a long winter, and it’s not over yet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Yes, it’s that time of year again. I woke up early this morning, and was considering trying to go back to sleep, but then it struck me that it was actually supposed to be later than I thought… or… whatever… Anyway, instead of going back to bed, I forced myself to a morning walk around the flat to put all the clocks forward one hour. Because while I slept, Time had rushed ahead and decided that it’s now Summer Time, or Daylight Savings Time if you prefer. A change which always makes me grumble a bit – and to be sure, this year I had the outdoors thermometer very much on my side. At six… er… seven… o’clock, it showed minus 7°C (and windy too, according to swaying treetops). That’s certainly not what I call Summer…

Well, at least it’s not snowing. Not yet, anyway. Around noon we’re up to +2, darkening sky and increasing wind force. Not sure what might come out of it…

Yesterday we had blue sky and sun (but chilly winds):

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Last year’s reeds down by the riverside…

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…where the rich people live.

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I was actually able to sit for a while in the sun on my own balcony (smaller, not overlooking the river,  and not glassed-in…). Had to cover myself well in winter jacket and blanket, but still. It was my first real “sit-out” lasting more than a few minutes.

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It also seems my clematis plant has survived another harsh winter out there. Just tiny little buds yet… but… buds! Always gives me a “wow” feeling. (I do hope last night’s frost didn’t kill them!)

Linking to Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Double Feelings

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Had two more rather big dental jobs done this week – I hope yesterday was the last one for a while! I have a wonderful dentist and he did a good job as usual. I’m also very thankful for local anesthesia… But… Since 10 years I have chronic pain problems concentrated to the right side of my neck and shoulder/arm. This also makes me more sensitive (oversensitive) to pain in right side of the body than on the left side. This phenomenon has gradually become less distinct. But the recent dental jobs mostly on the right side were evidently enough to trigger my “double personality”… Last night I woke up in the middle of the night (as the effect of painkillers taken in the early evening was wearing off), very much aware of that weird feeling of being ‘split in two halves’ (including a sort of numbness all the way down through the leg). I’ve been out today trying to walk it off (stimulating blood circulation etc) but I’m still conscious of it. An increase in neck pain was to be expected, but I had almost forgotten that feeling of a zipper running all the way down though the spine… Hope it wears off soon. But I might do well to spend a little less time at the computer over the next few days.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BTT: Series or Stand-Alone?

This week's Booking Through Thursday question from Deb is very brief:
Series? Or Stand-alone books?

I'm not sure I relly have a preference. I like both. Series can also be of different kinds: Sometimes you know from the beginning that the author planned it as one long story published in so and so many parts. (Like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, or Rowling's Harry Potter.) With others perhaps even the author didn't know from start that there was going to be more than one book.

With some series it matters more, with others less, if you read them in the right order or not. With many detective novels for instance, there is a detective with a set of family or friends that you follow from book to book but at the same time each novel is a complete story in itself. It might be an advantage to read them in the right order, but with many of them not strictly necessary.


Just now I'm reading the third book in the Masie Dobbs series by Jaqueline Winspear, which would be one example of that kind. Taking a peek at my old reading list... It seems it's been 3½ years since I read the previous one, and checking the author's website I see that by now four more books have been added to the series... Whether I'll ever read them all, remains to be seen!

With the Harry Potter series, I got caught up in that story when the author was about half way through; and waiting for the the last three books to be published became part of the reading experience itself for me, in that particular case. (That's one series that should definitely be read in the right order.) I'm mentioning it (again!) because I just recently gave my Harry Potter blog Through My Spectrespecs a bit of a make-over (new template). It's really not so much a proper 'blog' as just somewhere to collect bits and pieces of thoughts and research connected to those books, so posting has been irregular with sometimes months between. I put in a few new posts this month though because things happened to come to mind.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ABC Wednesday – J for Jesus

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In June 1990 (21 years ago! – how time flies…) I had the privilege of going on a trip to Austria to see the Oberammergau Passion Play. This is a musical Easter drama which has been performed in the little village of Oberammergau every ten years since the 1630’s, to fulfill a vow made by the villagers when a plague was ravaging the area. (Follow the link to see, hear, read more.)

Passion play actors

The play, now performed repeatedly over the course of five months in the first year of each decade, involves over 2,000 performers, musicians, and stage technicians, all residents of the village. The play runs through a whole day, with a break for a meal.

There is a reason why, among all the things I could say about it, I mention the break for a meal. Because that’s when I saw Jesus ride a bicycle. At lunch break, going home for a meal, before getting on with his job of saving the world.

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Even if I had not been lucky enough to catch it with my camera, I’m pretty sure that image would have stuck with me through the years. Because that’s just so like him.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.

Luke 22:14-21

Monday, March 21, 2011

Macro Monday–Kiwi Kaleidoscope

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“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a
kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same one
everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating
bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility.”

~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter ~

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Linking to Macro Monday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SOOC Sunday: On the River’s Verge

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“Here, on the river's verge, I could be busy for months without
changing my place, simply leaning a little more to right or left.”
~ Paul Cezanne ~

(What was good enough for Cezanne must be good enough for me, right?)

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Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Surprise: Pink Punk

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Ï’m not really very bold when it comes to taking photos of strangers in the street… But sometimes I just can’t resist!

So I used the “shooting from the hip” method we practiced recently in the Friday My Town Shoot Out Challenge (which I take part in from my other blog).

If I had been a more daring reporter (or a very close personal friend), I would gone up to him and asked how long it takes him to do his hair in the morning…?

Friday, March 18, 2011

River Reflections

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One of my favourite town river views includes the old church tower and a slightly curved old factory building just by the water. (The building is temporarily housing our town library while the ordinary library building is being renovated).

Visit James at Newtown Area Photo for more Weekend Reflections.

Sky Watch Friday

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17 March ~6.30 pm: Spring sunset over bare roofs

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18 March ~ 6.40 am: Hey! This is not what I ordered!!!
Can I send it back, please?!!

10 cm of new snow fell down over night… *Sigh*

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Watch the sky all over the world at SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Booking Through Thursday – Headlines

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btt buttonDeb @ 1:13 am

http://btt2.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/headlines/

The news has been horrifying and addictive this week, with catastrophe piled on catastrophe, to a degree that–if I had read this in a book or seen it in a movie–I’d be protesting that it was just too unlikely, too farfetched.

But, topics for novels get ripped from the headlines all the time. Or real-life events remind you of fiction (whether “believable” or not) that you’ve read but never expected to see. Or real life comes up with an event so unbelievable that it stretches you sense of reality.

Hmm … I can’t quite come up with an outright question to ask, but thinking about the theory of fiction and how it can affect and be affected by real world events can act as a buffer between the horrific events on the news and having to actually face that horror. So … what happens when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim? Discuss!

… … …

That has got to be the hardest question yet from the weekly Booking Through Thursday meme!

I know I commented to someone yesterday – right now I can’t recall to whom – that one thing that perhaps makes a catastrophe like that in Japan – or, just weeks before, also the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ – come “closer” to us who live on the other side of the world, than some other world events do, is that it was brought about by Nature. We can sympathize without mixing it up (immediately, anyway) with the question of Who To Blame, which is there whenever war or terrorism is involved.

At the same time, having no one to blame often makes us feel helpless and confused. So with any kind of accident we still tend to get hung up on questions like: Could this not have been foreseen and prevented? And to follow: Did we react quickly enough? Were the right decisions made within the first five minutes/first day/whatever? Isn’t there someone whose head should be cut off (at least figuratively) for not doing a better job…?

I suppose that’s one area where fiction steps in as a buffer. In crime fiction for example, things get sorted out in the end. All damage cannot be healed; and people are rarely raised from the dead; but the reader is not left in the darkness of mystery. Someone was to blame and they usually do not go unpunished.

With fantasy literature – at least most that I read - I’d say these kinds of books usually also have a mythological foundation in that there is a battle between good and evil, which often involves also other beings than just humans and animals. (Elves, trolls etc.) Sometimes nature itself gets involved and take sides – like when the trees/ ents march to Isengard in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Landscapes and climate are used to illustrate moods and spiritual status – like mountains and valleys, ice and water, woods and deserts, or flying vs going down deep under the surface. Like the mines of Moria (Tolkien) or the Underland (CS Lewis: The Silver Chair).  Very little is left to pure chance. Somewhere in the background there is spiritual warfare; powers are at work that go far beyond what can be seen.

The relief that fictional stories of this kind brings us (as does religion) is that there is an end to it. There comes a day when we’ll be able to put the book down and say “phew”.

With authors like JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, their fiction reflects their personal Christian faith, with a deep interest in theology as well as classical mythology (especially Greek, Roman, Celtic and Old Norse, which are all also embedded in our Western culture).

I see the same pattern in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. She may be simplifying things in some ways, and complicating them in others. But whether one sees her attempts as wholly successful or not: By letting the Wizarding world and the Muggle world (our modern world at the end of the last century) interact, with only a limited number of characters able to move between both, she does bring in the perspective of “unseen powers” at work.

The sixth book in the Harry Potter series (The Half-Blood Prince) opens with a chapter called “The Other Minister” which describes a meeting between the Prime Minister of England and the Minister for Magic in the Wizarding World (Fudge). The latter has a very different explanation of some recent events that have also mysteriously affected the Muggle world. (Muggles = non-wizards.) Like a collapsed bridge in central London, and a hurricane in the West Country.

The Half Blood Prince was released on 16 July, 2005. Rowling had intended to read from the first chapter of the book at her official presentation. The choice of text for the public reading was changed, because only a week earlier, on 7 July 2005, there had been a series of coordinated suicide attacks upon Londoners using the public transport system during the morning "rush hour". Fifty-six people, including four bombers, were killed by the attacks, and about 700 were injured.

Attacks that came just a little too close to the fictive disasters that open The Half-Blood Prince:

The Prime Minister’s pulse quickened at the very thought of these accusations, for they were neither fair nor true. How on earth was his government supposed to  have stopped that bridge collapsing? It was outrageous for anybody to suggest that they were not spending enough on bridges. The bridge was less than ten years old, and the best experts were at a loss to explain why it had snapped cleanly in two, sending a dozen cars into the watery depths of the river below. And how dared anyone suggest that it was lack of policemen that had resulted in those two very nasty and well-published murders? Or that the government should have somehow foreseen the freak hurricane in the West Country that had caused so much damage to both people and property?

And indeed, the explanation that the Minister for Magic gives turns out to be a little different: Voldemort and his Death Eaters were behind the bridge accident, and as for the hurricane:

‘… and we suspect giant involvement.’
The Prime Minister stopped in his tracks as though he had hit an invisible wall.
’What involvement?’
Fudge grimaced. ‘He used giants last time, when he wanted to go for the grand effect. The Office of Misinformation has been working around the clock, we’ve had teams of Obliviators out trying to modivy the memories of all the Muggles who saw what really happened, we’ve got most of the Department for the Regulation and Control of  Magical Creatures running around Somerset, but we can’t find the giant – it’s been a disaster.’
’You don’t say!’ said the Prime Minister furiously.

So with the tragic London events on everyone’s mind, the text for the public reading on the night of the book release was chosen from another chapter. Just one of those times “when the line between fiction and reality becomes all-too slim”, as Deb puts it in her BTT-question…

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Headlines and distorted news actually play a very important role within the Harry Potter series. It is a recurrent theme through all seven books. Read more about that in an extended version of this post in my Harry Potter blog Through My Spectrespecs.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ABC Wednesday – I for the Internet

I’ve been having a hard time stretching my imagination to  come up with something for this post. The only word that came automatically to mind (after 4½ months of it) was ice… but honestly I’m so tired of winter by now that I really don’t want to return to that theme again…

So instead I’m just going to give you… the Internet.

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Photos of my TV-screen as I was watching an episode of the British sitcom The IT Crowd.

I tried to find the scene on YouTube. The first link I tried had been removed, but then I found another one with subtexts in a foreign language… And then also the next scene, which shows you what Jen actually does with the internet…

I hope the links will work for you. (The video will not start right away but if you click the line that comes up, the link should take you to YouTube where you can watch it.)

If explanations are needed: Jen is head of the IT department, without knowing a whole lot about actual IT.

For more “I” visit ABC Wednesday

Quote of the Week–Rest

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmurs of water; or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

~ John Lubbock ~

Actually, even when the climate does not provide grass and trees and gentle murmurs of water… Taking time to just rest might still be a good idea! And one single flower on the windowsill may do its job of beauty to rest your eyes on.

Linking to  Macro Monday

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Straight Out of the Camera: World

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With all the things going on in the world lately, my atlas book
somehow felt too flat when I was trying to grasp distances.

Then I remembered that high up in a box in a cupboard
I had this tucked away… an inflatable beach ball…

So I huffed, and I puffed… And there it was.

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The whole world in my hand.

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But still physically impossible
for me to see all of it at once. 

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See all those lines stretching across it?
Must be the World Wide Web, don’t you think? ;)

… … …

From Heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth -
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
~ Psalm 33:13 ~

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Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekend Reflections: Upside Down

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A reflection of the gable of a house in a puddle of melting ice. This photo was taken a week ago – a day of blue skies and with hope of spring in the air…

Since then we’ve had a relapse into winter, snowstorms alternating with rainstorm. For the fourth day in a row, wet snow is falling outside my windows as I write. I’ve not been out for three days. Having enough supplies at home, it seemed better to just stay in. Now the road is beginning to look more wet than icy again. On the other hand the stuff falling down from the sky just now is definitely frozen…

Let the photo also illustrate how quickly our world can be turned upside down – thinking of the terrible tsunami that hit Japan.

This morning through our local newspaper I found out that a Swedish family I know are living in Tokyo now. (Obviously I don’t know them all that well since I wasn’t even aware they were in Japan.) The newspaper had interviewed them via Skype. The mobile phones weren’t working but the internet was. They had left their home when they felt the quakes, but were able to go back after a few hours. Things had fallen down from the walls etc, but otherwise they were okay. One of them was at work when the quake occurred, but managed to get home. They were too high up to be hit by the tsunami.

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Visit James at Newtown Area Photo
for more Weekend Reflections

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sky Watch/News Watch Friday

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Had to focus on the trees rather than the sky here just so that you’d see the snowfall… Not really the right time to moan about a bit of extra snow though, since I just heard about the tsunami hitting Japan.

This is the second time in… what? has it only been 2½ weeks?! … that I first learned about world news of this magnitude through a personal blog, rather than through media.

The quake happened around 7 am our time. I didn’t listen to the TV or radio in the morning, as often I just read my local newspaper (yesterday’s news) at breakfast. Around noon I learned about the tsunami in Japan - from a blogger in the Netherlands.

It’s hard to take in and I really cannot find the appropriate words. But it does make our own snowstorms over the last couple of days feel rather insignificant. Especially since I haven’t even had to go out but am perfectly warm and safe inside…

 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

BTT: Multi-Tasking

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This week’s Booking Through Thursday question from Deb:

Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?

Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?

(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

I do much of my reading “by ear” – listening to audio books. Sometimes I listen while doing routine things in the kitchen, or ironing etc. It also happens that I listen to a book while out walking. (Not so often since I started taking the camera everywhere, though.)

But holding a book and trying to read while stirring something on the stove… No, that goes beyond my multi-tasking capacity!

I often prefer silence when I read; but if there are other background sounds I prefer my own choice (like soft classical music – nothing that demands too much attention). 

When I started listening to audio books on tapes back in the 90’s one of the reasons was that it allowed me to do other things simultaneously. But then a neck/shoulder injury made me need a lot more rest just lying on my back “doing nothing”, preferably not even holding a book. I’ve also had increasing eye problems. So nowadays much of my audio book listening is done without multi-tasking. But I still regard it as sort of multi-tasking in itself, since it allows me to feel that I’m still “doing something” with my head, even when the rest of the body is resting!

In the picture you see my “bedside equipment”… MP3-player, CD-player, and loudspeakers that can easily be switched from one to the other (or to an old audio cassette player).

My latest discovery is that I can now also borrow “streaming” audio books online from my library. The advantage is that I don’t have to queue for new and popular ones. The disadvantage is that I do have to be online on the computer to listen to them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Midweek Blues: Snowing Again!

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This morning I had to get up early to go to the dentist, because I happened to break off a corner of a tooth last week. I’ve not been in pain but as I suspected it resulted in the tooth needing to be replaced by a crown. So I spent 50 minutes in that chair today to get a temporary one and then I will have to go back in two weeks to get the real one. (Well – fake one, but the real fake one. You get my drift…) He also detected another tooth that needs to be fixed; and then there’s a third job that has been postponed before, which I had probably better get out of the way as well. For reasons hidden within the insurance system it will be cheaper to have it done in connection with the other expensive jobs rather than by itself.

For other reasons hidden within the insurance system, there was a new experience involved today. In addition to the usual x-rays, the dentist took a photo before he went to work on the tooth! Have you ever had anyone take a flash photo into your mouth? Maybe I should try that with my own camera?? (But I think I’ll spare you that view.)

My day could have been worse though. The weather forecast yesterday said we were to expect snowstorm today. I mentally prepared myself that it would already have started in the morning when I had to go out to go to the dentist. Actually, when I woke up in the night I took a peek out of the window, and I was convinced I saw slush on the ground. That, however, turned out to be just an illusion, caused by a combination of how colours get distorted by the streetlights, and “headology” (see my previous post today)… Because when I woke up again, there was even a bleak sun on the horizon, and the ground between patches of old ice was perfectly dry. I was even able to walk into town (instead of taking the bus).

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About an hour after I got home, though, the snowstorm was upon us in full force. “So much for spring”…  Now we’re back to this:

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There is still a hard wind blowing, and more snow supposed to fall from the sky tomorrow.

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For Midweek Blues at The Dusty Cellar

PS. The star in the top photo is made from horseshoe nails. It hangs in my bedroom. All three photos in this post were taken through my windows, today.

ABC Wednesday - H for Headology

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Mannequin heads at the Textile Museum

… … …

“I believe the ability to think is blessed.
If you can think  about a situation, you can deal with it.
The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think.”
~ Richard Pryor ~

… … …

“Headology” is a word used in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
It is similar to psychology, but sort of more… practical….

“The power of Headology is not to be underestimated. Clearly, the way a person sees himself and the surrounding world forms the person's reality. If this view is changed effectively through the use of Headology then this person's reality changes. This allows witches to make people think they are frogs, for example. Witches generally think that Headology is a more powerful style of magic than any of the fancy stuff wizards use. Headology is what witching is all about. A witch needs a very powerful, focused, and trained mind to use Headology. Granny Weatherwax is the foremost practitioner of Headology on Discworld.”

Discworld & Pratchett Wiki http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Headology

Monday, March 7, 2011

To Separate Light From Darkness

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I’ve kept myself busy today with a curtain project. Not as advanced as it may look from the pictures – all I did with the sewing machine was to hem to the right length. The eyelets at the top were already there ;) … Nonetheless, I’m glad to have the machine and to be able to do that much.

My bedroom faces north east. When I moved in (3 summers ago) I put up light white curtains, which have been good in the winter time, because then the nights are long and I like to get as much light as possible into the room in the daytime. But in the height of summer, when our days are long and the nights short… I get the sun right in my eyes very early in the morning (in spite of Venetian blinds). Last summer I put up a pair of darker ones that I had; it helped a bit but they weren’t really made to draw, and I wasn’t 100% happy with the solution.

Now in a shop I found these in a cheerful green but still supposed to be “blackout” curtains. They have a layer of white on the back which is supposed to reflect the incoming light back out and so keep the room cooler, as well as dark. They are also easy to draw and push back. (Luckily I have window sills that go into the wall instead of sticking out.) They were rather expensive, and I had to get a new curtain rod as well. But I’m hoping they’ll be worth it. So far at least I’m very pleased with how they looked when I got them up. I was a little hesitant about the colour in the shop – I didn’t buy them at first sight, but thought about it for a couple of days and then went back to buy them. But now that I got them up I think it was just the right shade of fresh “nature” green which goes with almost anything.

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Macro Monday: Life

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Life on top of an old stone wall surrounding a cemetery.

… … …

“To affect the quality of the day,
that is the highest of arts.”
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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For more Monday macros, visit Lisa’s Chaos.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Straight Out Of The Camera–What?

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Another piece from the 1960’s/70’s Swedish Design exhibit. I couldn’t see any sign attached to this one so I have no idea for what exact purpose it was made, or by whom. I’d have loved to see a demonstration of it. My impression is that it must have been built for someone with much longer legs than mine! But still?

In the background the orange Permobil electric wheelchair from 1969 which I presented in my Friday Weekend Reflection post.

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More Straight Out of the Camera Sunday at www.murrieta365.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Surprise (‘Allowed To Peek’–2)

In my last Booking-Through-Thursday post, Allowed To Peek, I quoted from Moominland Winter by Tove Jansson. It came to mind for me again today, for a different reason.

In that book, Moomin wakes up in the middle of the winter and can’t go back to sleep (Moomins are usually in hibernation from November to April). With the rest of the family still snoozing away, Moomin feels very lonely. He goes out into the empty kitchen. There he suddenly becomes aware of a pair of eyes staring at him from under the sink…

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This morning, sitting at the breakfast table,
I suddenly became aware of a glint of blue under the fridge…

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I thought it must be a clip for plastic bags that I’d dropped.
So I found some kitchen tool with a long handle
and bent down to poke “it” out…

Imagine my surprise when I found a pair of eyes staring at me!

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Especially since it was a pair of eyes I had never seen before!

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On second thought he reminds me of someone…

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He must have been hiding under the fridge ever since I moved in (2 years 8 months ago). Probably longer! (A young family lived here before me.)

What on earth made him suddenly come out now? Have I not been leaving enough cookie crumbs on the floor for him???

Spooky… until I remembered that I made a half-hearted attempt last week to stick the vacuum cleaner under there. Even my extra thin tube didn’t get in properly though, so I gave it up. The suction must have been enough to draw him half way out anyway.

Now I wondered what else might be under there! So I had to figure out how to remove the grid, without actually lying down on the floor. (Not too sure I’d be able to get up again without injuring myself if I did that!) I managed to solve it sitting on a low footstool. Phew. No more “monsters”... ;) Just a bit of dust.

Now the cookie monster is sitting on the freezer.
There might be some cake left in there… or not… 

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PS. Scroll down for today’s weather report.

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