Archive for November, 2011


TANSTAAFL*


I’m putting this under Weird Work Files even though it’s not technically a work-thing, but it’s funny.

You’ll see.

Several years ago one of my coirkers – now an ex-coirker who manages another branch of [ghostbank] – was playing golf one weekend with some of his friends. Gambling was involved. Coirker scored a touchdown or whatever it is makes you win in golf and collected his winnings – twenty dollars each – from most of his friends. One of these friends did not have any cash (I guess he hadn’t planned on losing) so my coirker told him he could just send it to him. He also made a joking off-hand remark that he would just charge him a lunch as interest.

As I have mentioned previously, I sort the mail when it comes in. One day not long after this game my coirker received a small flat-rate box that was surprisingly heavy and made odd rattling noises. I took it back to his office and lingered long enough to see what he had received.

The box contained the following:

  • Ten rolls of nickels, each worth $2.
  • The remains of a bologna sandwich in a plastic bag.
  • Shards of pulverized potato chips in another plastic bag.
  • Three quarters taped to an index card that had “FOR A SODA” printed on it.

His friend had not only paid him back, he had even paid the interest and sent him a lunch, which was a bit worse for wear after traveling through the postal system in a box containing ten rolls of nickels.

I have no idea who this friend was, but I admire his style.

 

*TANSTAAFL is an acronym coined by my favorite author Robert Heinlein, it stands for “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.”

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Okay, It’s Not That Bad.


While I have been a long-time fan of Western animation, it has only been in the past year or so that I have ventured into the world of Japanese animation AKA anime.

My first introduction to Anime was Sailor Moon back in high school and it was pretty sucktastic. A few months ago I watched  Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time.

Wow. Just … Wow. That shits rocks.

Is it bad that I want my room to look like this?

 

For my next sojourn into the world of non-tentacle Japanese animated entertainment, I picked another Studio Ghibli film,  Castle in the Sky.

That shit also rocks.

I now want a gardening robot for Christmas.

Feeling a little bit better about anime in general, I started hunting through Netflix to see what they had to offer.

There is a surprisingly wide selection, they even recently added Howl’s to the on-demand selection so I can watch it whenever I want. I was poking around to see what was there and came across a series of CGI anime called TO.

Googling the word "TO" is just asking for a headache.

 

TO is a tangentially linked pair of stories broken into two “episodes” set in a dystopian future and takes place on various spacecraft and a research station on an alien world. If you’ve never heard of it or seen it, you should. It is beautifully animated and the story is very well done, I was quite enchanted with it.

I headed to Google to see what I could find out and learned the very special difficulties that come with searching for a movie with with a name like “TO”.

There were over twenty-five billion hits.

Screw that, I’m just gonna go watch it again.

I did manage to find the official website where you can watch a few clips, if you are so interested.

Geek Art


I spent most of Sunday working on a craft project so I didn’t really have time to write something clever and witty for today, so enjoy this picture I found on DeviantArt.

Ten and Wheatley by radiohamlet, a geek after my own heart.

One Size Fits All


I recently got rid of the last bits of the old cat scratching post that Fearless managed to break.

There were some structural integrity issues.

One of those pieces, the ring at the top, has proven to be very popular, although Fearless is not quite as svelte as she once was.

I don't know what you're talking about - I fit perfectly!

Technically, I'm still in the ring.

Family Time!


Time for Thanksgiving pics!

I'll take one of each, please.

After supper we went down to the park to let the Things run off some energy.

FYI - those things aren't meant to handle that kind of weight.

And the tail is apparently not in a good spot for a grown-up rump.

 

 

GhostBoy rockin' a 'stache.

 

I think that's a good look for Thing 2.

What Day Is This?


NaNoWriMo update time!

I have actually “won”, reaching a total word-count of 50129! I’m not actually finished, not even close, but now I’m not pushing myself quite as hard to get my daily word-count goal met. I’m going back and filling in a few areas that I sort of skipped over, so my word-count will probably go up but I’m  not going to be as vigilant about updating it.

Today is the infamous Black Friday – the day most retail stores have all kinds of sales trying to draw in the teeming hordes of shoppers.

I personally have never shopped on Black Friday and never want to – it seems like a big hassle to save five dollars on a waffle maker, so I will be staying home and working on a craft project or maybe doing some writing. I might do a bit of web-browsing, I still have a few people I need to find gifts for. Normally I shop early, but this year I have been a slacker and do not have as much shopping done as I would like.

But there is no way I’m going out shopping on Black Friday.

Giving Thanks


Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving, where we celebrate the momentous occasion of a handful of English colonists managing to not kill themselves by gathering together with our families and stuffing ourselves into a food-coma.

At Casa del Ghostie the actual holiday marks the end of a week-long cleaning spree as we try to get our house to resemble something a normal person might live in before all the relatives show up. (I could show you what I mean, but Mother Dearest really would shave off my eyebrows if I did. I’ll just say that we – Mother Dearest and I – have clutter issues and leave it at that.) I have spent the past week splitting my downtime between NaNoWriMo and cleaning all the things, so hopefully my portion of the house is presentable by now.

My favorite thing about Thanksgiving, besides the food, is the family. It is rare that so many of my family members are together for any length of time, even if we do live in fairly close proximity to each other.

The day will probably go something like this;

Morning –  Mother Dearest will get up early to put the turkey breast in and turn the crock-pot with the ham in it off (This year we’re having both.) and then go back to bed. The cats will probably wake me up around this time in the mistaken notion that I am supposed to feed them at the ass-crack of dawn. When everyone is awake there will be a quick breakfast followed by any last minute cleaning  of all the things and vacuuming. GhostDad will probably head outside to set up the horseshoe pitch for after supper, take out any trash that needs to go, and move any extra seats in that will be needed to the living and dining rooms. Mother Dearest will start any of the dishes she is going to make and, provided I’ve actually finished cleaning the areas of the house I’m responsible for, I’ll help her. 

Late Morning to Early Afternoon – The house is starting to smell really good by now. Most dishes are finished by this time, last-minute things like slicing the turkey and making gravy are done, and everyone gets changed into their “company” clothes. The plates and good silverware Mother Dearest inherited from Gramma Ghostie will be taken out and cleaned and the tables set. The TV will be set to a music channel and candles will be lit while we wait for the first arrivals. Mother Dearest usually plans for the big meal to start in the late afternoon and people usually start arriving a few minutes before the designated time.

Late Afternoon – Family arrives with yet more food and there is much hugging and talking. Room is made on the kitchen table for the new arrivals, most of the males gravitate towards the living room while the womenfolk head to the kitchen to snack and talk. Any small children, such as the Things, run around being small children. Once everyone arrives and all the food is ready we gather in the kitchen/dining room and a prayer is said. You pick up a plate from your chosen seat at the table and fill it with whatever you like, get a drink, and dig in. We are a fairly noisy family, even while at the table, so there will be about a half-dozen conversations going on at once. As people finish their first helpings they will go back for more in dribs and drabs. Once everyone is stuffed to the gills Mother Dearest will ask if anyone wants dessert yet, but the majority will decide to wait ’til later.

After the actual meal is over and the plates are scraped and stacked, people start to drift around. It’s hard to describe but I’m sure most families do something similar – some will wander out and play horseshoes, or maybe play video games, the Things will want to watch a movie or play in my rooms, some might decide to go for a walk down to the creek, and everyone will be talking. After a few hours of this, those who want dessert will help themselves to whatever is still there – I’m looking forward to a piece of Mother Dearest’s chocolate chess pie; it goes pretty fast so you have to be quick.

Once it starts getting dark, people start getting ready to leave – this is a fairly drawn-out process. Someone will mention that it’s getting late and they should go. Leftovers will be offered and packaged up. Any leftover food that they brought will be located and put back in whatever container it was brought in. 

There will usually be at least one conversation that goes something like this;

“Did you want some [food item] to take home?”

“No, you might want that later.”

“We’ve got plenty – here, take some with you.”

“Well … If you insist. Don’t you want some of this [other food item]?”

“Oh, no – you take that home with you. There’s enough for another meal there.”

“Here, you take some. It’s too much for us.”

“Maybe [relative] wants some …” :calls out to person in another room: “[Relative], did you want some of this [other food item]?”

:distantly: “If no one else wants it, I’ll take it.”

“Is that a yes or a no?”

:enters kitchen: “Is there enough to go around? :sees other relative: Don’t you want the [other food item]?”

And so forth. The actual process of leaving, from beginning to end, can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour.

It’s tons of fun and I look forward to it every year, but it’s also exausting. Once upon a time when Mother Dearest did the big Christmas craft show that they have out at the state fairgrounds on Thanksgiving weekend, she would have to leave immediately after Thanksgiving supper to go set up and would get worn down to a ragass frazzle. She stopped doing it years ago and I know she doesn’t miss the hassle.

‘Tis The Season


…To scrape frost off your car.

I’m a Southern girl, born and raised, and I hate cold weather. More than hate, I loathe it. Hot weather I can handle, but cold? No, thank you. Cool weather is fine, but cold weather where you have to scrape off your windows every blasted morning is a pain in the ass.

My particular corner of the South is far enough north that we get some very cold weather, occasionally some snow but sleet and freezing rain are far more likely in the winter.

It’s getting to be that time of year where it starts getting frosty in the morning. So far it’s only been a few days a week, but that will get worse as it gets colder. Our humidity is such that you can almost guarantee that there will be some form of moisture, frozen or not, on your car in the mornings.

Now, I could go out and start the car and let it get all warm and toasty and let the frost melt from the internal heat, but I am what some might call “frugal” (stop laughing, Mom, or I’ll tell everyone about the ass-muffins) and don’t see the reason to waste gas like that unless I need to. So I would start the car and scrape the windows as fast as I could and end up frozen myself.

I thought to myself “There has to be a better way.”

And, as usual, I was right.

Like many people, I use a de-icing windshield wiper fluid in the wintertime. I was filling the reservoir up and got to thinking. Why couldn’t I use the same stuff on the side windows and back glass? I filled a spray bottle with the stuff and the next cold morning I gave it a try. It did melt the frost, and quite fast, but after a while whatever chemical was in it (probably alcohol) would evaporate and the solution would turn to slush. Driving down a curvy backroad is a bad time for your windows to start clouding over.

Enter my trusty squeegee!

As mentioned earlier, thee is usually some form of moisture on my car in the morning. If it’s dew, I use a regular bathroom squeegee to clean it off so I can see. So I started using my dew-squeegee to clean off the de-icing spray. Instead of spending fifteen minutes chipping the ice off my car on cold mornings, I just spray and swipe – it comes right off. Thick coatings of ice usually take a couple of tries, but significantly less time than the old-fashioned method of curse-and-scrape.

I’ve been using this method for a few years, last year I noticed that they had started selling the deicer in spray bottles – for the price of one spray bottle you can buy the regular jug of wiper fluid and fill a similar-sized spray bottle almost three times.

(Of course, since I’ve written this we have started experiencing a streak of unseasonably warm weather so no action shots. Blast it.)


Last Friday during my lunch hour, I had a small mole removed from the upper thigh/lower ass region area of my person. Everything went well, but I now have a small sore spot in the place where my mole once was.

Being me, I decided to name this sore place after the first person who ticked me off on Monday. It didn’t take long.

Tiny pain in my ass, I dub thee “Patrick”.

The original Patrick came into [ghostbank] Monday morning trying to cash a counter check drawn off of another institution. This is against [ghostbank] policy, since counter checks are among the most easily forged items out there.

The drive-thru teller told him “No.”

Three inside tellers, including the Teller Supervisor and Teller Manager, told him “No.”

I told him “No.” He also tried to get me to talk to someone on his cell phone so they could tell me that the check was good, but I refused to do so. I have no idea where that phone has been or who has used it and talking to a stranger on a cell phone isn’t going to change bank policy.

The representative he insisted on signing in to see after this also said “No.”

Our VP said “No.”

He left in a huff and came back late in the afternoon and tried to do it all over again with the same check, after everyone had told him to either take it to the bank it was drawn off of or contact whomever had written it to him and have them write a non-counter check to him.

I now have the urge to bounce a little in my seat to crush Patrick flat, but he’s still a little tender.

I Haven’t Done This In A While


I was browsing over on Swap-Bot instead of doing something useful, and came across something odd. I found a swap that reads very much like something you would find in a teen magazine – it’s a list of fifty-seven questions that seem well, stupid. So I thought I would copy them and answer them here.Here is the text of the swap, with all its hideous grammar left intact. I hope this girl writes fanfics.

Hello every one I am here today to start up the 57 Girly Questions yes you have read that right 57 Girly Questions, You don’t have to be Girly to do them but hay if this is not your kind of Swap I understand no worry at all. All you have to do is Answer the 57 Questions and then Sent it to your 3 Partners by E-Mail and then wait for your own Partners to send you there Answers. If you don’t understand or need help you can Comment on this Swap or give me a Message and I will Answer you back right away.

This promises to be fun.

THE QUESTIONS:

Is it cute when a guy kisses you on the forehead?

As I am not a toddler with an ouchie, I would have to say no, it’s not.

Poofy dress or short party dress?

Shocking as it may seem, I don’t own any dresses. Do I have to turn in my girl card now?

Would you like a long love letter?

Why, are you offering to write me one? Be sure to use scented stationary.

Group dates or single dates?

Yes.

Do you hate when guys act different around their friends?

“Different” as in “drinks the blood of cattle and howls at the moon” or just “behaves like a jerkass”?

Are diamonds a girls best friend?

Large denomination bills are good, too.

Is your hair up or down?

Down – with OPP.(Yeah, you know me!)

Do you straighten your hair?

I love and accept my hair no matter what its lifestyle choices are.

What’s your favorite girly magazine?

Analog Science Fiction & Fact

What’s your favorite mascara?

I wasn’t aware there was more than one.

Do you get your nails done?

Occasionally, but since I got my new scratching post I haven’t had to go to the vet as often to get them trimmed.

Small or large purses?

Both – I put the small purse inside the big purse and then shove them both into a backpack.

Jeans or skirts?

Jeans or skirts what? I’m gonna need a verb here.

Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that’s uncomfortable?

Hells no. Anyone who does is a flippin’ moron.

Do you test a lot?

Test what – my paitence? Because right now I’ll have to say yes.

What would you do if you got pregnant?

Raise the baby wild, like a squirrel.

Whats your favorite color?

The indefinable color of magic.

Heals or flats?

Can I get a noun, please?

Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?

I cried during Saw, does that count?

Would you ever leave the house without makeup on?

I did this morning and will continue to do so every morning for the forseeable future.

Walmart or target?

Yes – both have good and bad qualities. WallyWorld is cheaper but Tar-jay has better granola bars.

Do you wear shirts with collars?

Yep – my shirts have sleeves, too.

Do you like preppy boys?

No, and not just because saying yes could get me a visit from Child Protective Services.

Are you spoiled?

I’m beginning to think you might be.

Do you think lipgloss is the best?

The best what? – The best for re-grouting tile, the best for basting a chicken, the best jet fuel what? You need to work on your sentence structure.

Do you own any big sunglasses?

Do tinted goggles count?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

If you subtract the time it takes to make myself breakfast, pack my lunch, and mess around on Farmville, about fifteen minutes from fully asleep to fully ready to go.

Do you like to wear band aids?

As fashion accessories or to cover a physical injury and prevent infection? No to one, yes to the other.

Do you like skater boys?

My nephew is a skater and I like him well enough, even if he does spend too much time fiddling with his hair and reeks of Axe.

Gold or silver?

Again, nouns are very helpful with this sort of thing.

Do you like to get flowers?

Unless they’re for my funeral, yes.

Do you like surfer boys?

I don’t know any, as I live several hours’ drive from the nearest ocean.

Do you dress up for the holidays?

Only Arbor Day.

Do you like dresses?

To wear or as a general concept?

On a scale of 1-10 how much do guys confuse you?

Spoon.

In the last 48 hours have you hung out with a guy?

“Hung out with” as in “had sex with” or “occupied the same space without killing”?

Do you wear lipsticks?

Yes, they make attractive earrings.

Do you like to hold hands?

It’s the only way Mother Dearest will let me cross the street.

What is the youngest you would date?

Since I’m thirty-one and no one’s invented a time machine yet, I’ll have to say “Thirty-one.”

What do you notice when you first meet a guy?

If they have child-bearing hips. It’s mad sexy.

Is it hot when guys are sweaty?

That’s usually the reason.

What is the best possible feature in a boy?

DVR or some sort of self-cleaning cycle.

Do you like making eye contact?

I do, but the doctor told me if I keep poking myself in the eye I’d go blind.

Do you ever picture your wedding dress or wedding?

I want to get married in a Batgirl costume.

Would you kill for chocolate?

Depends – is it the really good stuff or that cheap crap you can get at the supermarket?

Do you ever spend all day and night getting pretty for a guy?

I don’t have the paitence for that much pretty.

On a scale of 1-10 how fun is shopping?

Aardvark.

Do you freak out if you miss your fav shows?

No, that’s what Netflix and DVRs are for.

Do you yell a lot?

No, I have to sleep sometime.

Do you wear sweatpants to school/work?

No, that would be unprofessional. I do wear my rubber duckie footie pajamas to work sometimes.

Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy?

There was that time I dressed up as Wonder Woman, but there were extenuating circumstances.

Do you write a lot of mushy letter?

I use “h” and “s” quite a lot, and sometimes “y”.

What makeup could you not live without out?

I can live “without out” all makeup, since I do not wear any.

Do you fall in love easy?

Since I got my glasses prescription updated I don’t run into things or fall as much as I used to.

Do you have cramps right now?

My wrist is a little sore, but I wouldn’t call it a cramp.

Do you consider yourself pretty?

I am pretty, oh so pretty. Also witty and wise.

Do you think guys will open this even though it says girly questions?

There was nothing to open – you openly posted a list of questions on the Internet that anyone could read.