Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Who Else!

Old Books, Book, Old, Library, EducationAfter reading up on Robert Lewis Stevenson, I wondered what other writers I know have similar lives or ways of getting ideas for writing.  I often wonder how some of the writers go their ideas.

1.  Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge was written after spending the night enjoying his evening in an opium induced dream.

2. Edger Allen Poe published his own work in the magazines he edited.  Turns out he married his 13 year old cousin and had a drinking problem but he knew what the public wanted.  Poe is recognized as starting the detective genre.

3.  Allegedly,  Charles Dickens saw every word he wrote in his head and didn't have to think about the story or plot line.  Although according to my father, his books are so long because he got paid by the word, so the more he wrote, the more he got paid.

4. Apparently, Shakespeare derived his ideas from earlier works and from his imagination.

5.  My favorite.  Mary Shelley suffered a nightmare that inspired her famous story Frankenstein.

Yes little things peek my interest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

10 Interesting Facts About Robert Lewis Stevenson

Swains Island, American Samoa, Sea  This morning as I looked out my window, peering at the thin ground covering of snow, I thought of Robert Lewis Stevenson and the pacific.  I pictured him in Tahiti, sitting on the porch, enjoying life.  So I looked him up so I could learn more about him.  I found out so much.  There are facts about him that I didn't know.

1.  He was born in Scotland
2.  He was sick much of his life.
3.  He became a lawyer but never practiced.
4.  He married a woman 12 years his senior.
5. He wrote A Child's Garden of Verses while he recovered from a hemorrhage.
6.  He wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde based on a nightmare he had.
7.  Many of his books were first published in serial form.
8.  He settled and lived in Samoa.
9. At the time, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was his best selling novel.
10.  He  died from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 44.

I found this interesting because I only knew of him as the author of Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  I didn't know about the other books because I've never heard of his other works.  Possibly because his most famous three are movies.

Monday, September 28, 2015

First Snow???????

Snowflakes, Blue, Sky, Winter, ChristmasIt sort of snowed today.  It did snow!  At points the snow came down in a thick blanket of fluffy, swirling, snow.  You could see the individual flakes as they came down and raced across the landscape pushed by the gentle breeze. 

It was beautiful.  When the snow flakes hit the windows, they instantly melted because the heat vent is on top of a bookcase, right under the windows.  It was fun watching the flakes transform into droplets of water that ran down the outside of the windows.

The snow fell twice today with sunny, beautiful sky in between the snow falls.  Even as I write this, the sky is a gorgeous blue outside and you'd never know that it had snowed.  The brown grass still peeks up above the mud covered world and my guess is that it is going to be kind of slick outside. Did the snow stick?  Not here but it did up on the hills in the distance. 
Norway, Fjordlandschaft, Mountains
In fact there has been snow on the mountains in the distance.  How do I feel about the snow coming?  Well, the ground will freeze and I won't have to walk in the mud anymore but any areas where the mud was churned making a mess is going to be hard to walk on.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lunar Eclipse

Sun, Moon, Eclipse, Space, Planet, NightI heard there was a lunar eclipse tonight between 6 and 9 my time.  I love watching eclipses but unfortunately, the sun has not set yet and there is a bank of clouds covering the sky so I doubt I'll get a chance to see it happen.  

For the past week or so, we've had rain, so when I woke up this morning and there was no rain, I had high hopes for a clear evening.  Just my luck, the clouds rolled in and covered the sky, just in time to block out any possible view of the lunar eclipse.

I actually prefer lunar eclipses to solar ones because there is less possibility of damage to your eyes.  Both types of eclipses can produce a beautiful site.  There are times when I wish I could be somewhere warm, where I could sit in a chair, under a clear sky to watch an eclipse happen.  I think I'll add that to my list of things to do in the future.

I wonder how well one can see eclipses in areas around the equator.  I know you have to be pretty far north to see the aurora on a regular basis but I assume you can see the lunar eclipse as long as you can see the moon.  You know sometimes the moon doesn't set and just circles around the sky for a full 24 hours! 

I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that the clouds will disappear before sunset!  If not, others have captured beautiful pictures we can all enjoy and use to pretend we were there and saw it happen.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It Arrived!!!!!!

Barges, Canal, Sunset, Dusk, EveningYou may not realize it but the barge and the airplane are the backbone of getting supplies to most of Alaska.  You may wonder at the statement because you are used to seeing trucks driving down the roads all the time.  You see them in traffic. You don't like it when they turn wide so they can make the turn. 

The problem is that most of Alaska is not connected by roads.  if you check the map, you see lots of rivers and lakes but few actual roads.  Thus the need for barges and airplanes. 

We get a barge in two to three times a year and believe me, they are extremely important because its the barge that brings in the gas needed to run the power plant, the snow machines, the ATV's, the city.  If the gas had to be flown in, the price would be well above the current $6.35 per gallon because air freight is cheaper.  One thing about gas coming in by air is that the price is stable all winter long till spring because enough gas is brought in to last 7 to 9 months.  We do not suffer the weekly or month changes in price people do when they have a regular deliveries.

The barge also brings in tires, heavy equipment, building supplies and what ever else is too heavy or expensive to bring in by air including trucks. The barge is huge because has to come from the ocean, up a series of rivers to reach its destination.  Most villages have a spot the barge can anchor itself so it can unload supplies.

This is probably the last of 2 to 3 barges that stops through during the summer and it signals that winter won't be too much longer. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Home Brewing of a Sort!

Keg, Barrel, Cooper, Whisky, Beer  Tonight I checked one of my books and discovered I have at least recipes to make my own soy sauce.  I took a look at the recipe and it doesn't seem too hard.

Cook up some soybeans, mash them, add a bit of salt, add the koji (starter) and let it set for a while in a container with an airlock.

That does not sound too hard but I know that it can't be THAT easy or everyone would be making their own.  Well, after a bit more research, it turns out that just finding the proper type of koji can be a challenge.  Add to that, the fact that it can take up to a year for the materials to ferment to the proper stage and that explains it right there.

Discovering that the length the soybean/koji mixture ferments determines the type of soy sauce was the extremely interesting.  If you want a light soy sauce, it takes a couple of months but if you want a deep, dark, heavy soy sauce, you need to let it go a full year.

I also found out that the koji starter can be used to make sake, certain types of pickles, miso, and a couple other things. I think that the term koji refers to the rice or barley that was inoculated with the appropriate strain.  That is so cool. 

The whole process interests me.  Now will I try to make my own?  I am seriously thinking of it but it won't happen right now because I live in a tiny one bedroom apt and I'm trying to figure out where to put the items for fermentation.  I have enough trouble finding space for the kimchi I make.  In fact I have two more cabbages I have to cut for kimchi this weekend.   Kimchi in soup is fantastic.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Beer, Bottle, The Bottle, Brewery When I hear the term microbreweries, I think of small artisan beer makers.  The ones who put out a limited amount of product so they don't flood the market and keep the quality high.  I think there is at least one in every state.  The other thing about microbreweries is that you can purchase liquid in growlers so as to save money by only having to fill the growler rather than buy a new one every time.

Today, I discovered a different type of microbrewery.  I was on Amazon shopping for soy sauce and I came across a brand of artisan soy sauce microbrewed in Kentucky!  You read that right!  Kentucky!
Seasonings, Soy Sauce, White, Saucer
Bourbon Barrel Foods makes a Blue Grass soy sauce.  The soy sauce is micro-brewed in old burbon barrels.  They make small batches so that the quality is good.  I have not tried it yet but I want to.  In addition they produce a variety of sauces and salts.

As far as I can tell, Bourbon Barrel Foods is the only microbrewery of its type in the United States.  All others are overseas in Japan or Korea.  I plan to order some and give it a try.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Evolving Language

Word, Many, Help, Support, LettersIts interesting how the usage of language changes and whose meanings sometimes fall away. 

1.  Consequence - often associated with negative actions but can refer to something that results from an action.  Such as-
As a consequence of doing well on the test, she earned a scholarship.  This meaning is not used as much as the consequence of his choosing to drive while drunk was being arrested by the police.

2. Provocative - sometimes associated with something sexual, yet it can refer to an idea that stimulates your interest.  There is a chewing gum commercial that is very provocative or intriguing with a connection to dirt and teeth.

3.  Intercourse - Aside from being the name of a town in Pennsylvania, it is often used in a sexual connection yet it used to mean a conversation.


My favorite right now is transparent.  The term transparent is now used to indicate that we should be open so people can see what we are doing.  I remember when people said they were being open.  On the other hand rather than increasing business, you grow your business.  When every I hear someone talk about growing business, I picture a giant watering and fertilizing a building to make it bigger.

I once knew a teacher who said that we really speak two versions of English, written and spoken.  I think I'd add a third to that with the development of text talk.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I Did It! # 1

Last night I finished my first, well second robot!  The first one I made was a Legos one but this is the first one I had to really put the electronic parts together! On the lego robot, everything was together in the brain and I just built the rest of it.

This one was partially started.  I took the pieces, assembled it with a bit of swearing, especially when I pulled a couple of wires and had to re solder them.  But with a bit of persistence, I got it done.

I popped in the two batteries, found the switch and wonder of wonder!  The light came on indicating the circuits were functional. I was so afraid I'd get it together and it wouldn't work at all.  After reading the programming directions, I managed to input a sample program and the little creature moved around the kitchen floor!  Yeah!   I did it!

Man, Back, Robot, Cyborg, AndroidIt is designed to have each step put in.  You push the forward button six times, enter, turn left six times, enter, go straight 6 times, etc.  I'm still learning to clear the program so I can start again but it is all one step at a time. 

I hope to get a short video of it moving later in the week but I made my first step!  I know I sound like a kid who finally rode a bike for the first time without falling but this is my bike riding in electronics. 

Just think, today a small robot, tomorrow, the world!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mmmmmm Good!

Fruits, Sweet, Fruit, Exotic, PineappleI love the summer and fall when fruit is just ripe and ready to pick. I realize we often get fruit in the middle of winter.  Fruit that is brought in from countries in South America so its available almost year round.  I fell in love years ago with fruit when my parents couldn't afford much.  I used my baby sitting money to buy apricots, peaches, pears, apples, bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherries and anything else I could find.  I'd buy pounds of fruit and pig out on it. 

Even today, I still have a love of fresh fruit. The other week, I had fresh picked peaches.  As I bit into the fruit, peach juice ran down my chin and the sweetness burst on my tongue flooding my mouth with flavor.  Ohhhhh, talk about ambrosia!  Today, I enjoyed a dark plum with light orange flesh whose flavor filled me with such joy, I was speechless.  mmmmmmm. 

Papaya, Tropical Fruit, Pawpaw, RipeThen there is cantaloupe! Most fruit I like at room temperature but cantaloupe has to be chilled, so the flavor explodes in your mouth and has a shade of ice to it.  It is also the only fruit I tend to but a sprinkle of designer salt on to bring out more flavor. 

When I'm in Hawaii, I always purchase way more papayas, bananas, mango, and pineapple to eat in fruit salad.  I never smother the fruit salad in anything more than a sprinkling of sugar to bring out the juice.  I can eat fruit for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

Will I ever get tired of fruit?  I doubt it because every time I eat fruit, I experience ecstasy and I love going through the feeling again and again and again.  Fruit is always mmmmm, mmmm, good.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ooooooo, Yeah

Raspberry Pi, Computer, ElectronicsTomorrow is my day to finally put together my Raspberry Pi kit fully and start playing with it.  I've got everything I need, I just haven't had the time to do it before now.  I have the base kit, a small TV, the keyboard and a bunch of other stuff to play with.

 I found this nice website filled with tons of information on using raspberry pi to build projects.  I also found a couple videos on Youtube to help me create these projects. 

The other night I worked on a 4 button robot but I pulled a wire so had to solder it but in the process I misplaced the last piece needed to put it together.  I'll look for the last part but I still have a planetarium to build.  I won't bother with that one for a couple months because it doesn't get dark enough to use for another month or two.  

Kit, Computer, Arduino, Board, ChipI decided it was time for me to learn a new skill or two so I"m going to build electronic things.  I tried doing it years ago when Radio Shack still offered do it yourself kits but the kits disappeared for the longest time and only sold things I was not really interested in.  I just checked their website, clicked the DIY tab and the site said it was all coming. 

On the other hand, my soldering skills are quite rusty so I ordered a kit to relearn to solder and I"ll be making  a flashing European Flashing Siren.  Yeah.  I can hardly wait.  If I manage to put it together tomorrow, I"ll take a picture of it and post.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kilkelly Ireland.

Sheep, Ireland, Wool, Animal I found this wonderful song I love called Kilkelly Ireland and spent time enjoying it last nightWhat makes this song quite different is that it is based on a family's history.

For those of you who know little about the song, it it is based on some letters that were found in an attic in America.  After the letters were found, a family member wrote a song based on these letters.

Ship, Cutter, Tall, Vessel, Sea, Sailing It starts out "Kilkelly Ireland, 18 and  60. my dear and loving son John"  The John in these letters is John Hunt who emigrated to the United States around 1855.  His family was not literate so the local schoolmaster actually wrote the letters but each letter was filled with news of life.

Although the song takes bits and pieces out of the letters, Peter Jones, the songwriter, was able to convey so much about family in Ireland and the yearning of parents to see their son again.  The last verse is the letter sent to John to inform him of his father's death.  Each verse ends with a desire to see him again and when is he coming home.

This song speaks of what happened to the people who lived in Ireland during the potato famine, of those who emigrated elsewhere to live and the difficulty of not being near each other.  It makes one realize that once people moved away, they might never return home. Might never seen their family again.  Can you image how hard that would be?  Now we can move away but still hop a plane home to visit.  I  searched to find out if the letters used for this song could be found online.  Yes they are there

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Redoing "Roads" and "Parking Lots"

Country Road, Dirt Road, Rural I realize the title has a couple things in quote marks but those actually work in the context.  It appears the city has decided to upgrade several parts of the road and the parking lot by the post office.   The only problem is that its all dirt!

Yes, you read that right.  Dirt!  There are no paved roads or parking lots in town.  Not even the airport is paved!  Yesterday, when I went over to the post office, the city had dumped a bunch of fine, silty dirt all over the post office parking lot and one of those huge front end loaders was being used to tramp down the dirt.  Today, when I wandered through, it was a mess.  Half of the parking lot was under slimy mud and water while the other dry half showed all the tire marks from the loader.  It was uneven and hard to walk across.  It was so much better before they started.

Mud, Street, Sidewalks, City, Clean Up
In addition, today, they were trying to smooth a new load of dirt over the road in front of the post office and the result was about the same.   Some of it resembled the mud in the picture to the left.

 Out here, fixing the road simply means bring in a bunch of dirt, attempt to pack it down, and hope it holds until the snow covers it.  Usually, they dump the dirt down at the beginning of summer but sometimes they do it in the fall.  Either way, the dirt starts eroding away until the road is again filled with cracks, holes, or open streams.  Its all a cycle that happens every year.

Personally, I don't usually mind it except on days when the roads are bone dry and the wind blows the fine silt across the place.  You usually end up with particles in your mouth, eyes, hair and it even slips up into any sleeve or shirt openings so you end up needing to take a shower when you get home.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yes, I've Been There!

American Samoa, Island, Scenic, Sea
American Samoa
The interesting thing about traveling is you often claim you've been somewhere because you had a layover or stop in that place.  For instance, I've been to many places but only as a stop over or a short weekend visit.

The plane I was on stopped through American Samoa one time on my way to Australia.  It was night and we never actually got off the plane but I can still claim to have been there.

Neuschwanstein, Castle, Germany, Disney
On the other hand, I've been to Germany too.  Again, it was a short stop to drop people off and pick up others.  The difference this time is simply it was day time and I actually saw much of the area surrounding the airport coming in for a landing and taking off.

Of course, I can claim I've been to New York City because I stopped at one of the airports long enough to switch planes on my way to England for a short vacation.  Although, I've been to New York State for a couple of visits because I drove from Pennsylvania, I've never actually seen NYC except on television.

Then again, does driving straight through a state on a 48 hour road trip count as really seeing a state?  I've been through a few states on a cross country trip where I shifted off with another driver, stopping only for food or gas.  What do I remember about some of those states?  Honestly, not much except the only music I could find at night in some places was country.

I do have plans to go back to American Samoa to really check it out.  I also want to see more than just the airport in Germany.  Two more things on my some day list.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Hot Air Balloons, Hot-Air BallooningI absolutely love watching balloons. One of the first times I saw a sky full of balloons was in Albuquerque, NM, many, many, years ago.  Just picture this:
Its early morning, not long after sunrise.  The air is still chilly and you are snuggled into your coat with your fingers wrapped around a hot cup of liquid.  You are both excited and wondering what caused you to exchange your nice warm bed for this?

Cappadocia, Turkey, TravelAll around you are hot air balloons.  Each one a different color and pattern. Too many to look at individually but together make you feel as if you are looking at a painting by Monet or Andy Warhol.   All the sudden, you hear a roaring noise that spreads from one basket to the next until there is a thundering roar surrounding you and vibrating through you.  

Within minutes, the balloons lift off the ground, each going up at a slightly different rate until none are left on the ground and the sky is filled with a sea of color.  They begin to drift in the direction of the wind, much like a jellyfish floats in the sea.

You stand there, watching, enthralled in the joyful movements of the balloons, loving the way they dance in the sky.  You stand there until they fade out of sight.

You know I'd love to ride in one someday but I am so scared of heights that I'm not sure I could do it.  I think that is one of those things on my someday list.  Someday gives it the idea that I'll do it, just not now.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Book, Read, Relax, Lilac, Bank, OldI hate buying a book that starts out well and disintegrates into tell rather than show.  You know those books that try to explain everything through the characters and you are sitting there wanting the narrator to shut up and let the information become obvious.

I purchased a book by an author I like and whose books I have really enjoyed in the past.  This book, well I think it might have been an earlier one before her talent developed.

Its one of those "you are going to save the world but in the meantime we need to tell you that your father is not your biological father because your nasty aunt threw a lust spell on your mom and uncle and you are the result of that union.  Your father knows and he's ok with it.  Ohh and by the way, your cousin is really your half brother!

Gag me!  About that time, I gave up and deleted the blasted story.  I also hate those stories that are like 20 pages and what can you tell in 20 pages.  I often buy the free e-books to see if I'll like the author.  I bought one where the girl was bit by some creature and a stranger came through and had sex with her and then disappears.  Ohhh and if you want to know more, buy the next book!  No way am I going to buy anything by that author when it was filled with air.

When I read something, I want to feel something.  I want to have my interest grabbed so that I do not want to put the book down.  I don't want to read about some 18 year old girl who sees this guy she lusts after and they step into a hall to have sex.  I am definitely a bit older and know life.  That is not a safe thing to do anymore.

Thank you for putting up with my rant and I'm sure many of you feel the same!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It Happened.

Powder Snow, Snow, Sparkle, WinterI spoke with a someone up in Fairbanks and they got half an inch of snow over night!  What did I get?  More rain and mud!  At least frozen much is easier to walk on but right now, I'm not that lucky.

When someone says Fall, we often picture trees whose leaves are changing from green to  orange, yellow or  red in preparation for going dormant.  I love watching the leaves change and I think of maple syrup when I hear the word Fall.  Freshly made maple syrup you can put on waffles, french toast, or pancakes.  In some places in Alaska, they tap the birch trees to make birch syrup which serves the same purpose up here.  There is a growing birch syrup industry up here because birch trees are quite common and grow well.

The only trees I have near me are a few willows that are not much more than waist high.  They've been here for many years but will never get much taller than they are now.  I think that is the only real trees we have.  There are lots of bushes and ground cover but most of it ends up buried under snow.  

Basket, Papago, Indian, Indian BasketOn the other hand, there is a type of grass found locally that is used to make coveted grass baskets.  The grass is cut, brought back and dried.  Once its dried, it is then used to create baskets or hanging pieces of art.  I own both a piece of art and a basket and I've made my own basket before. 

It is always cool learning a new skill.  Enjoy your day.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Its That Time of Year

Leaf, Leaves, Yellow, Autumn, FallIts that time of year! Fall is coming and it won't be long till the cold weather starts hitting.  Depending on where you live, fall arrives early or might not hit till November.  Here it can arrive as early as this time in September or wait till the end of October before making itself known. 

Right now, we've got more rain and mud than usual with a cold wind that seems to be constantly blowing.  The type of cold wind that makes you want to pull out your winter coat, gloves and hat so you stay warm.  Fortunately, it hasn't brought the snow yet.

Winter, Snow, NatureI know, snow in September doesn't sound right but it sometimes happens when you are far enough north.  About 18 years ago, a huge snow storm hit on September 10th and blanketed the city in several feet of snow.  It hit in such a way, the trees had not had enough time to go through the process of getting ready for winter.  Many trees had leaves for the whole winter.

The storm caused a massive power failure when the weight of the snow caused lines to break, leaving folks without power for several days.  In fact, the university opened up so people could come stay, take showers or get meals.  It took a while for the roads to get cleared and everything back to normal.

I don't think we are heading that way this winter but I think we are going to have a ton of cold wind blowing most of the winter.  Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Splendid Table

Spaghetti, Pasta, Noodles, Cooking, FoodThe Splendid Table is a lovely radio show that addresses cooking.  Someone close to me turned me on to the show.  The show regularly sends out recipes, talks about all sorts of cooking topics and my favorite! 

People call in with a list of ingredients they have in the cupboard and the hostess suggests what to make out of those items.  She is delightful and does a great job of coming up with ideas.

Today, I received an e-mail from them.  They are celebrating their 20th year anniversary party by having a contest.  The winner receives help with their airfare, one night at a hotel and VIP tickets for the event.  I got thrilled until I read that it is for people who live in the contiguous United States.  In other words, people who live in Alaska or Hawaii are excluded. 

Oh well, story of my life.  Although I won't be able to enter the contest, I do enjoy visiting the website.  It always has such nice information, recipes and techniques.  If you love cooking, give the website a shot and check it out.  I already found my article today to read on the seven Japanese ingredients you can add to desserts.  Yeah!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Last Fight

Box, Boxing Match, Uppercut My father is a boxing fan.  I grew up seeing boxing matches every weekend on the tele.  Sometimes, I would watch the matches because he had to do something and wanted to know who won.  He had my mother do the honors one time but he didn't like her answer.  When he asked her who won, she looked at him and said " The guy standing of course!" which game him absolutely no clue.  

I usually was able to tell him enough of who wore what to know who won.   I know he boxed in the Navy for a little while.  He was one of those flyweights.  So I grew up watching boxing.  One of the people I work with left today for Las Vegas, NV.  He was going there to watch Floyd Mayweather's final fight before retirement.

I admit that I'd never bother to fly that far for a boxing match because I don't like the sport that much but I know if the event is free on the tele, my father will be glued to the set.  If its a pay for view event, I may give my father the money to pay for it as a late anniversary gift. 

He enjoys boxing so much, he'll even watch the matches in Spanish, Dutch, or any other foreign language.  Who needs to know the language when you can tell from watching who won?  When my coworker gets back from the final fight, he'll share every blow, every miss, every upper cut that happens because he loves boxing.  I'll listen, smile, and congratulate him on being there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Art is All Around Us.

Today was one of those day's I needed something so I went to my stash of pictures and realized that there is so much art around us.  The art might be purposely created such as on the side of a bus so it catches every ones eyes.  The artwork advertising a business or a band.  Perhaps its on the wall of a house so that when seen between the two planters, you are suddenly transported away to another place.  There are times when our day has been horrendous and all we want to do is escape and pictures allow that.

I also love looking at nature, whose math is so incredible that each plant provides a beautiful display to see.  There are times, I can just sit in a flower garden, reveling in the different colors and shapes surrounding me.   I think we all need these little bits of beauty be it man-made or natural. 

I have friends who see the beauty in clothing and they love the variations they see there.  Others are captured by the fluidness of coding that causes things to blink, walk, or move.  Have you ever been with a geologist who found a crystal that in there eyes is absolutely perfect?  Or a wood carver who sees the inner grains of the wood to release the inner shape?  Others I know can look at a piece of fabric and turn it into something that speaks to everyone. 

 Even athletes see beauty in their shots.  That perfect shot made in the split second of time to fly through the hoop for three points.  Or that long pass in football that gracefully flies above every ones head to land exactly in the catcher's hand.

Each and everyone of those examples is art in its truest form.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Boggles My Mind

Jelly Fish, Sea Life, Fish, StingI was watching a television show the other night when a smack of jellyfish came up!  A what????? I had to look it up on the internet to find out that a smack of jellyfish is a group also known as a bloom or swarm!  Geez, I hear smack and think of wrestling, hear smack and think of wrestling and bloom is what a bunch of flowers do!

So I looked smack up on the internet and learned about some other weird names.
-Parliament of owls
- Intrusion of cockroaches
- Unkindness of ravens
- Cloud of grasshoppers
- Troubling of goldfish
-A knot of frogs
- A bloat of hippos
- A mess of iguanas
- A scourge of mosquitos
- A crash of rhinos
- A zeal of zebras
- A romp of otters
-A quiver of cobras

There are quite a few more of these crazy names.  I actually learned several new things while looking these up.  It was awesome.  I love things like this.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Six Favorite Places to walk.

Sunset, Ocean, In The EveningMy favorite places to walk are as follows:

1.  Walking by the ocean when its low tide just at sunrise or sunset.  I love the feel of water as it gently rolls across my feet.  You can watch the sailboats, para flyers,  birds, whales, and even just watching the waves bob across the ocean.

2.  Walking through the woods, listening to the leaves crunching under foot.  Listening to the birds as they take off, startled by a walkers approach.  Little creatures scurrying here and there.

3.  Walking along the lake shore early in the morning before sunrise.  Watching the rays of the moon shine down upon the lake bathing it in a gentle light.  The light almost as strong as the light on a cloudy day, yet giving it an almost unreal feel.

4.  Walking across the tundra on a late summer afternoon, watching for patches of ripe berries scattered on top of the slightly higher areas of the landscape.  The wind tickling your ears as it keeps the no-see-ums away.

Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert5.  Walking through the desert, enjoying the light colored sand spotted with various cactus and rocks across the horizon.  Walking carefully so as not to attract the attention of snakes and scorpions.

6.  Walking on a drizzly day, doesn't matter where, the drops gently on you and around you, making a tinkly sound on the sidewalk, or a deep thunky on the ground next to you.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Three Types of Curling

Fitness, Muscles, Exercise, WeightsThe word curling brings different images to people depending on their experiences.  For some it is a type of weightlifting.  I gather it is a common one armed exercise to raise and lower a hand weight to build muscle.   It is very common at the gym.  I do it occasionally to build bone density, not muscle......LOL.

Curling, Team, Olympics, Usa, Ice, SportYears ago, one of the college offered Curling as one of their PE classes.  I think about half the people who signed up were expecting a weight lifting class, not the game where you throw a 42 pound rock down a narrow sheet of ice to hit a bulls eye!  I'm told it began in Scotland and came over to the US. 

One of the towns in Alaska has had a curling rink in town since just after it was founded.  Originally, the curling was held outside on the river ice but now it happens inside where they can control the ice and keep it smoother.

Hair, Curls, Blonde, Long, HairstyleFinally is the curling my cousins love.  The type where they put their hair in curlers to create curls.  I tried it the weekend I graduated from college.  I spent all day Friday in large orange juice cans in the hopes that I would tame my frizzy mess.  My hair looked good until it rained and the moisture cause my hair to frizz.  I tried again on Saturday but it rained again.  I gave up totally.

I just discovered this past summer, I can slightly dampen my hair, wind it around those spiral rods and in 15 min, I have nice spiral curls.  Yeah!!!!!  On the other hand, the minute it rains, the curls turn into frizz. 

Have a nice day everyone.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Finally, A Nice Long Weekend.

Robots, Computers, Bots, CharacterI have been waiting for a nice long weekend for a while so I could play.  I bought several robotic kits earlier this summer but I have not had a chance to work on them.  These are small robots, nothing fancy, nothing but a learning experience.  They have a couple of wheels, the processor and enough other pieces to put it together.

I went in to work and got everything done so that I have time to play.  I have one small kit that will allow me to program it with four buttons. Another one uses Arduino.   I just don't know for sure, which kit I'll do.  I can state with full certainty that I want to make all of them up!  Right now!  Maybe, I'll blow both of them off to build a small drone camera. 

Drone, Helicopter, Aircraft, Fly
OHhhh the choices.  I feel like a little puppy who can't make up its mind on which toy to play with.  Wait!!!!  I have three kits that I can make up over the next three days.  Yes,  maybe I'll do all three. 

I can hardly wait till right after dinner.  I'll start with the first one night and share the results with everyone tomorrow.  I'm off.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Flashes, Night, Weather, Thunderstorm  I love watching thunderstorms capured on video where there is no chance of having your eardrums blown due to a crack overhead.  I love watching the electricity streak across the sky but in person, that is another story.

In Hawaii, they say the Menehunes are bowling and what you hear are the strikes they make.  I love the story because it makes it seem as if the sounds should be a bit more muted and friendly but its way different if you are outside playing and the storm blows in bringing with it the thunder and lightening.  It is scary for me to be outside because I was told all my life that you could get electrocuted if you touched anything during a storm. 

Thunderstorm, Cloud Roller, Turbulence

I've also been camping when those dark, angry clouds stormed across the sky releasing its wrath on campers clustered around a lake.  The wind so strong, it felt as if you would be blown away as you struggle to strike your tent before the boiling clouds turn into tornadoes that scour and rip the earth apart.

I have friends who would love to be out on the prow of a ship so they could see every finger of lightening that plays tag across the sky.  If I am behind a window, safe from attack, I don't mind watching the multicolored lights streak across like children playing tag.

Where I live now, we have few if any thunderstorms to challenge the peace of a beautifully rainy night.  Do I miss living near those storms?  Not at all.  I sleep better and enjoy myself.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Far Can a Paper Airplane Fly?

After seeing the information on the paper airplane drone, I wondered how far are paper airplanes able to fly.  If you base it on my airplanes, I'd say three feet on a good day when the wind is helping it.  Honestly, I have enough trouble just getting my creations to fly straight.  I did a quick search on the internet and came up with these interesting facts.

Papers, Aeroplane, Crafts, Crafty
1.  According to the Guinness Book of Records site, a paper airplane in Japan stayed afloat for 29.2 sec back in 2010.

2.  According to the Paper Airplane Guy site, his plane set a new record of 226 feet, 10 inches in 2012.

3.  According to the Gizmag site, several Air Force volunteers launched a paper airplane from a high altitude balloon at 96,563 ft elevation and it landed 82 miles away after a flight of 2 hours and 7 min.

4. Red Bull even had their own international paper airplane competition with results for longest airtime, longest distance and aerobatics. Wow.

 I thought when I started researching the topic, it would be easy to find an answer.  I guess I was wrong.   I also discovered several sites which offer instructions for building a record breaking paper airplane including the Smithsonian site.  It even has a video to follow for those of us who have trouble following written directions.  I'm off to fold my own record breaking paper airplane even though I doubt it will go as far as the one thrown by a professional football player.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Right Out Of A Horror Film

Fog, Tree, Desert, Sky, Earth, BeigeWhen I stepped out onto my porch this morning, I saw it.  A thick, grey, dense bank of fog that had rolled in off the lake making the world appear eerie.  The wooden deck was wet and I could hear geese and other birds calling in the distance, their voices muted.

The moon shown through the mists so it appeared smudged, its light scattered and blending into the fog.  I couldn't see much past the end of the deck.  I couldn't even see the building at the end of the lake no more than a two minute walk away.

House, Halloween, Spooky, Scary, HauntedThe whole scene reminded me of those modern horror films. You know, the ones with the haunted house in the background, the dead body the girl stumbles across in the mists near the house and all her friends decide they must go in to find the murderer.  The misty morning, made me think of that.

You know,  I often wonder why people want to go into a building that has a murderer in it just to find the person!  It makes no sense at all to me.  I'd rather call the police and let them handle finding the lunatic since it is their job.

Everything should clear up by lunch and then it should be a nice warm day with lots of sun.  Yeah!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Paper Airplane What?

Paper Plane, Folded, Paper DartLast night I came across a link to an article on paper airplane drones.  Yes, you read that correctly!  Paper airplane drones!  It is a paper airplane with the addition of a motor and a small control unit that can be controlled by a smart phone.

According to FAA rules, drones may not be used commercially anywhere in the United States, unless the operator has applied for an exemption.  It makes sense as the FAA is responsible for the safety of people who fly.

A lawyer filed papers for an exemption to use his paper airplane drone for commercial uses and the FAA granted the exemption.  I find it interesting that the FAA has determined a paper airplane drone had commercial uses.  I don't know about you but most of the paper airplanes I remember making in my youth were never big enough to handle both a motor and a camera without bogging down. 

It is possible that the motor and spine provided by the kit could easily add enough stability and areodynamics so the plane could fly further and stay airborne much better.  I don't think you can use the standard lined paper either because I don't think it will give enough support.  Hmmmmm, that brings up an interesting question, "Just what type of paper can you use to make this type of drone?"  I'm off to do more research on this but you can find information on this drone with ABC News and Popular Science.