Sunday, October 30

This link's for you

I had a silly idea for a meme today, so let's give it a whirl, shall we? Below are the names of ten folks who I suspect are lurking around on Hattie's Blog, along with a link or two that I hope they will find particularly interesting or pointed. Not everyone below blogs, but if you find yourself mentioned and have a blog, why don't you pick ten of your peeps and do the same for them?

1. Walley/Bert, a sick genious and graphic arist extrordinare, might be interested in the Church Marketing Sucks site. They have a good article on the evil that is Comic Sans. This is actually quite a good site with a take on churchy-stuff one doesn't often hear here in the deep south.

2. Mark B and furry friend Newton, step right up for Flying cats #1 and Flying cats #2.

3. Keith L., who has an eagle eye for the spelling error, I'll tell ya, needs to check out the helpful Center for Writing's list of no-nos.

4. Dead Pan Ann, whom I affectionately call my "grammar nazi" friend, will enjoy the previous link, and I hope she also gets a kick out of this The Angry Flower. (By the way, Ann, according to this quiz, I am Grammar God!
a GRAMMAR GOD!
Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.
--brought to you by Quizilla)

5. Crotchety, but loveable DSMars might enjoy some paintings inspired by Frank Zappa.

6. Greggie-tha-pooh, who has his hormones firmly in hand, should check out the freaks, geeks and girls in glasses of Nekkid Nerds. But unless you run your own business, like Greggy, you should probably wait until after work to view this (pay, with some nekkid freebies) site. (Sorry if this site is old news to ya, Greg. I know Suicide Girls is. . . .)

7. For Alphabitch, I present a clever little article from Stay Free Magazine. I can't remember where I saw this link and can only hope it wasn't originally at Alphabitch. :)

8. Anne Arkham, whose tagline reads "art. humor. larceny." should be interested in this article about female hackers. And perhaps she also might enjoy the MUM site. (Warning, not suitable for young men who are easily squicked out by natural lady-type body functions.)

9. Proud new papa Dr. Max puts me in mind of my favorite all-time Dave Barry column about his daughter, Sophie. And a great daddy blog, if you are into that kinda thing, is Velcrometer.

10. Finally, Magnus in Sweden! Married to a sweet Japanese lady and a huge fan of Sumo wrestling, here is your link: Sumo blog. Here's a translation of his latest post for those of us who don't read Japanese and are sadly without a Japanese wife.

This took me a surprisingly long time (though that may not be apparent), but I really enjoyed doing it. Even though it may not be the Best.Meme.Ever, (or even The.Most.Original.) I made it up! I hope the victims enjoyed it, and the rest of you guys, too.

Sunday, October 23

Linky Round-up

Why are you at the computer? The weather is beautiful! (At least here in Hattiesburg. Could be crap where you are. Feeling your pain, Florida.) Well, since you're here, you might as well check out some of my hand-picked links for bored folks.

The Arcata Eye is Arcata, California's weekly newspaper. The crime docket they print is at once quite alarming and amusing. Here's just one sample:
June 11, 2005:
A young-sounding woman got hurly
And vomited loudly and early
Alarmed 12th Street neighbors
Reported her labors
And cops found one drunk, boisterous girly.
--Doesn't scan great, but it ain't often you get your crime report in a limerick.

Brian Kass's site has links to literally hundreds of games. Set aside an hour or seven before you commit to clicking this link. Once you're done with that, visit Orisinal. I think I may have linked it before, but the sweetest little games on the internet deserve re-linkage anyway. My favorite is "Pocketful of Stars." I'm such a girl.

Shinyfire has good reading material that puts me in the mind of one of my other favorite web places, Cockeyed. Both worth wasting some time on. One of the best features of Cockeyed is the pranks area. I love a little gentle messin' with The Man.

The next sites are thought-provoking. The Implicit Association Test purports to tell you what you really think about women's roles, the overweight, different races, homosexuals, etc. A little time consuming, but pretty interesting. One of the tests made me feel a wee bit defensive, and no, I'm not telling you which one. And the Global Rich List might make poor little old you feel a little better about your lot in life.

Lunarama is a site for the night-owls in the crowd. It is a listing of restaurants and joints that stay open all night in select American citites. Now, I wonder why old Hattiesburg doesn't have a listing?

Wanting to do some shopping? Are you Pentacostal or perhaps a traveller here from the 1920's and looking to do a spot of swimming? WholesomeWear is for you. Good grief. (Via Sardonic Bomb.) On a similar note, author Anne Rice has apparently found the Lord (I figure he's been kickin' it at The Dungeon) and has written a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by the Young Man himself. Look for "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" in a book store near you shortly.

Hey, now it's time to get yourself outside!

Friday, October 21

Dead Man Blog is live

Trot on over and let me know what you think.
http://hattiesburgmusic.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 20

I'm a blogging fool!

Debuting this weekend is the Dead Man Blog. This is something I should have done long ago, but it suddenly occured to me just today after getting another request to put local music-related stuff on this site. The Dead Man Blog will be a place for Hattiesburg folks to swap equipment, look for band mates, or discuss the local scene. Look for it in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 18

Hattiesburg Musicians!

I have been asked (several times--sorry it has taken me so long) to announce that a new band in town, Cathode Ray Gun, is fervently looking for a drummer. For more information, please view Cathode Ray Gun. This is a band with a great pedigree and is sure to have an interesting sound. (Even though they're not an S&M band. No, I don't know what that means, either.) Contact cathoderaygun@cableone.net.

On a related note, I am announcing that I recently found a bass drum kicky-thing (hey, I'm not a musician) beside a dumpster. It appears to be in good shape. If you are the lucky new drummer for Cathode Ray Gun, I'll throw this at ya for nothin'. If you are a drummer in need of a kicky-thing, but Cathode Ray Gun is not in your future, email me and we'll discuss the incredibly low price. If this is your kicky-thing that you abandoned near a dumpster, shame on you! But if it was a mistake and you really want the kicky-thing back, email me and we'll discuss ransom. deadmandancing at gmail dot com.

Sunday, October 16

Babies on Parade

My mother once told me that she didn't understand why people go gaga over babies, as "they grow up to be bastards just like the rest of us." Not going into the implications that it was my mother telling me this, I do see her point.

I have somehow gotten the reputation as a hater of small children. This is ridiculous. Why, just today, I had lunch with a child. Granted, I was ignoring him, as he seemed to be gearing up to pitch a fit about something until he decided he wanted to have a race of who could drink his or her soda faster. Finding no other takers, he turned to ask me if I wanted to race. Someone at the table told him, "TC doesn't speak to children."

Another example of this was the very sweet lady at work who apologised to me about not showing me her newborn. She said, "I could see you were busy. Besides, you don't seem the be that fond of babies." Apparently, this comes off of me like waves of bad perfume.

I have been an only child most of my life and was not very well socialized to the world of children. I was raised primarily by cats and books. I was the kid at camp who ended up paired with the counselor, so uncomfortable was I with the other girls, and they with me. I was by turns both bossy and shy. I talked weird, with my vocabulary of a college student in 4th grade. Hell, I was weird. When I met small children I felt like formally introducing myself, and shaking their sticky little hands, not coochi-cooing and chucking under chins, etc.

As most real people know, life loves to screw with you. You're not a kid person? Well, then, let's make your first job out of your master's program be, oh, let's see, how about children's therapist? Yes, that will do nicely. And believe it or not, I was quite a good one. I found that I remembered what it was like to be a child, and I also found how rare a quality this is in an adult. I discovered how self-centered most parents are. A child's motivation is rarely to drive his parents crazy, but to get his needs met somehow. Parents who have forgotten the world a child lives in take even normal kid behavior very personally.

Somehow, my not being a "kid person" gives me some objective distance on them. I don't love children, this is true. I also don't love adults. But I love certain children and certain adults. Children are individuals: some are good natured, some are creeps; some are witty, some dull, just like the adults they grow into.

I think some of what people are reading off me during the baby parades is resentment that I am supposed to adore your child for being a child. I don't romanticise children and I probably am not the best pick for playing Santa at the mall, but I have learned one thing from my mother's harsh statement. These wonderfully diverse little beings grow up to be wonderfully diverse big people, just like the rest of us.

Wednesday, October 12

Life in the 21st Century, or where's my jetpack, already?

Boys and girls, school has changed so much since the Long Ago when I attended. I never laid eyes on a computer until my Junior year, and then for only an hour a day. The glowing green screen had no icons, the box was interfaced with no other machines, and the pinnacle of my abilities was making it print my name 450 times. Sometimes. We had something called recess (no, not in Junior year, sillies, we're talking grade school) that was an unscripted free-time. Children, running willy-nilly, flinging each other around on merry-go-rounds at a nausea-inducing speed, and climbing monkey bars over CONCRETE. Recess was often a mini Lord of the Flies, friends, and one could easily determine the future wallflowers, ruthless execs and other adult types by merely seeing who was the noogied, and who the noogie-giver. Myself, I was the child that asked a question right as the bell rang. I was that kid who did her homework on the bus home. I was the noogied. (And I turned out ok. Right?)

Anyhoo, all of that was a preface to a couple of useful links for academic help which was unavailable to those of us who when to school in the Long Ago. I am thrilled to be living in an age of cell phones and GPS, on-line shopping and kitty porn, but I have to admit a little resentment that I wasn't able to cheat like your currently school-age whippersnappers.

Online Verb Conjugation. In tons of languages! Old Norse, Runic Swedish! Even the pluperfect tense! Whatever the hell that is.
Common Errors in English is an alphabetical list of those mistakes I'm always making.
Homeworkhelp.com "Providing real-time, interactive academic and professional classes for students, parents, and business professionals."
Bullying Online Oh, great, now I can get noogied in the privacy of my own home. No, wait, Bullying Online is actually a very comprehensive resource for victims of bullying, their parents and school personnel.It is UK-based, so some of the info won't apply in the US, but the site provides lots of generally useful material.

For some reason, many women seem to be attracted to tiny things: cute widdle dollhouse furniture, those small ceramic shoes, itty-bitty baby clothes. . . . Minimus is a site where you can pick up travel-size products of all types. Wook at the eensy Heinz ketchup bottle! Awww. (Via Cool Tools)

Is it safe to go in the water? The International Shark Attack File can tell you. They have maps of all known attacks, tips on reducing your chances of being bitten (though they have left off my preferred method: vacation in Minnesota), and other sharky facts.

Speaking of delving into dangerous waters, Plumbnet is the best resource I have found regarding all things plumbing. It is very nicely designed and covers topics of interest to the plumbing professional or the lowly homeowner.

There are many websites out there to help folks get organized, and I'd list them here, but I have lost that particular file. One to-do site that I have kept in mind is Remember the Milk, which humbly promises to help one "achieve domestic bliss." There are tons of pre-made to-do lists and multiple ways to get reminders of a special event. Oh, shit! According to Remember the Milk, I'm already late to somewhere. Gotta go!

Friday, October 7

I was pleased to see this morning that the Hattie's Blog has passed its 10,000th visit. Some of which weren't even me!

One interesting thing that I have noticed about blogging is that my friends and aquaintances have an irrational fear that I will blog about them. Now, I ask you, with the exception of my post about my friend Mark, when have I ever written about folks in an embarrassing way? (Oh, that reminds me of a story I had forgotten to tell on Mark in that post. One day, I got an email from him, the body of which read "What is your email address?")

But even more pleasing than silly blog milestones was opening the door to find that it is actually coolish outside this am. Autumn is my favorite season, and I am able to enjoy it each year for 3.7 days before we are in to "cold and wet." (The other seasons here are "hot and wet," "just plain wet," and "hurricane!")

Does anyone remember the thundersnow we had about 11-12 years ago? Now, that was bizarre. Having experienced snow about 5 times in my life, I was not even aware that this phenomenon existed. The snow stuck around for a while, too, allowing Hattiesburgers to demonstrate thier snow- driving prowess. You can imagine how that went.

Thursday, October 6

Apologia

You can't openly like Sinead O'Conner without some sort of caveat. So here is mine: I know she's crazy. Yeah, I remember that she tore up a picture of the Pope (the only time anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line has sided with the Pope, by the way). Oh, and I am also aware that she was bald when she was in/famous.

But Sinead spoke to me for a time. I had several dreams of she and I. (Usually, we were on the David Letterman show. Set's smaller than you'd think.) In the late '80's, I wished I looked one 10th as good with hair as she did without.

Today I had a sort of a crazy warm flashback when I heard that a new Pixies album may soon be on the shelves. Then I heard that Sinead is going to be on Craig Ferguson. Call me when it's 2005 again, if you must.

Meanwhile, what about that Katie Holmes being pregnant?! I guess Scientologists still don't know what causes that.

Monday, October 3

Hog Bustin' and stuff

It's Smokey the Goddamned Interactive Bear. This is a heavily interactive site that works. It's cheesy, aimed at kids, and it's from the gov'ment, but I have to say: It never crashed my computer and I may have learned something. (Though not a damn thing about alternative energy.)--Via

Meanwhile, I love Andy Rooney, but are we really spending $5.6 billion a month in Iraq? Honey, I know we're foolish, but that can't possibly be true.*

However, it does make a good lead-in to my joke of the month:

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing.

He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!" Bush begins to cry.

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President gathers his composure, and looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

(thanks to Dave Tisdale and Fired up Missouri)

*Addendum: just because I don't want something to be true doesn't mean it ain't, apparently. See The Daily Kos and the Congressional Budget Office Analysis for fiscal year 2004.

Several hours later: I am abashed at my own naivete in this post, but $5.6 billion just seemed so. . .so. . . BIG! Good grief!

/too busy blogging about cats to have noticed these things.

Links of Varying Worth

Here are some neat-o interactive websites.
A little graphics intensive, but I could view all of them and I am on a dinky dial-up connection.

Virtually Lost. I am not sure I am hip enough to visit this site, but I'm sure you are.
Eternity Travel. Wait, I think they are trying to teach me something. Sneaky!
Stretch Daily. I played around on this a while and only quit when I began to feel existentially inadequate.

You might need this one day. Useful Sites:

Find-A-Human. A clearinghouse for tips on how to navigate corporations' toll-free numbers to quickly get to a human operator. (In the same hack-the-system vein, on an elevator, hitting the "door-close" button along with the button for your floor will often cause the elevator to glide right on past the floors in-between, even if someone is waiting. Not real useful here in "Hey, we only have two floors-ville," but perhaps you live in a more metropolitan area.)

Mailinator. This one is genius. If you need an temporary email address, say to register at a site where you don't want to give your real info, you simply make up an address ending in "@mailinator.com" Later, you go to pick up your password or whatever at "sillything@mailinator.com" for example. The mail you receive there is only visible for 24 hours, and anyone can check it, so keep that in mind.

Snopes. This is a must-see for those of you who persist in sending me the latest "Little Billy is dying and needs bottlecaps, emails, or postcards for some reason," "Atheists are petitioning the FCC to get religious broadcasting banned from American airwaves," and "There's a new computer virus that can steal your underpants" emails. Come on people, get a little more net savvy or I'll have to put sugar in your gas tank. To my already web-savvy friends, you know this information bears repeating.

Recalls. One of the many useful .gov sites, this one is a listing of all US product recalls.

Firefox. I think this is simply the best webbrowser out there. Very, very personalizable and extendable. I rarely get popups or other ads with Firefox.

Story Code is another site that helps you decide what to read next. I look at these and intend on using them, but it always seems like a lot of work. If you use this, let me know how it works out for you.

If you are a sushi newbie, (pretty much guaranteed here in Hattiesgulch, wouldn't you say?) the Sushi Reference page is a good start.

Another neat idea is Jot Spot. It's a webpage where several people can real-time edit documents in WYSIWYG.

Speaking of WYSIWYG, whenever I run across an acronym with which I am not familiar, I use a resource such as Acronym Finder before I make a fool of myself. IMHO, if you don't RTFM, you are ABI. ("A Big Idiot," proprietary to Hattie's Blog.) You can even add the Acronym Finder to a sidebar on your browser. By the same token, I don't understand how people can post on the internet and admit that they aren't sure how to spell a word. I understand typos, but it's the internet, people! Hell, enter the word you aren't sure about into Google, and Google will correct you. I used that trick twice in writing this one post. Please send all grammar and spelling corrections to: imagrammartool@mailinator.com.


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