I think R:tAG's folks took summer with them. The day after they left, we started getting overcast and hazy skies. Rain will be here soon, which is nice. Leaves here are brown, like the song says, but it's because they're crispy and dead from the dry summer.

I have nothing really important to say, but I have some amusing links that I wanted to preserve and share. I'm usually the last one to the pop culture party, so all y'all have probably seen and gotten bored with most of these already.

50 Dark Movies, Hidden in a Painting - So cool. I wish it weren't an ad, but at least it's an ad for dark chocolate. I got them all in 31 minutes, but that was with a bit of Googling for the last five. This makes me want to re-examine a couple of Hieronymus Bosch's paintings.

Recipies of the Damned
- food anti-porn?

Warcraft Wonders of Tomorrow - For all the WoW addicts.

Caring for your Introvert - have I posted this already? Oh well, it's worth repeating.

The Last Knit - Best. Animation. Ever.

A Great Hat - though if one weren't a huge Katamari Damacy fan, one might think first of some sort of unhappy medical condition.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

R:tAG's parents and sister are visiting us, and it is lovely to see them again. Of course, we've had to modify our standard visitor routines a bit* but it's a good challenge to think of new things to do, or new ways to do old things.

I've also had to pretend to not be a complete slob, but that's probably all for the best.

On Saturday we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row, briefly down to Carmel, and on Sunday up to San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Golden Gate Park** to see the Gee's Bend quilts at the De Young museum). And during the week, R:tAG took 'em to the Winchester Mystery House, Santana Row, Los Gatos and to other shopping opportunities. And tonight they're going to a Giants game (I won't be home in time to join them). So I think that makes up for not having TV for them to watch.

And R:tAG's mum still found time to make us a huge batch of perogies. Yay!

And it's time for me to clear out my bookmarks:

A new Halloween idea
High Fashion - I think it's official, fashion designers are flat-out insane.
The Cultural Role of Apologising - very interesting

* Turns out two-hour hikes up and down hills aren't so attractive to the over-sixty set. Who knew?

** Which is not actually contiguous to the Golden Gate Bridge, mysteriously enough.

So I turned on good ol' NPR this morning in the middle of a political program and I heard something like "... of course there are checks and balances in place in the country's Constitution to prevent a concentration of power, but when someone deliberately ignores them, what can you do? Also, his party controlled the entire government because they were very good at manipulating the system, so it was a corrupt single party rule and many of the intended checks and balances simply don't work when that's the case. Of course, this man was elected democratically, we can't forget that, but he'd abused his office to the point that the people wouldn't stand any more. This coup by the army really might have been the only solution."

And I thought to myself, sweet fancy Moses, what have I missed?

And then, listening some more, I realized they were talking about Thailand.*

* I am reminded of another blog I read a while ago, when someone pointed out that over half of the population of the largest democracy in the world was illiterate peasants, and someone else got all het up about describing Americans as peasants.

Arrr, me hearty R:tAG has already put this link on his blog, but it be too good ta keep mum about! It's International Talk Like A Pirate day, and in case ye be a scurvy landlubber what's never sniffed the salt sea air, here be instructions.

Yarr, I bin singin' Barret's Privateers as I voyaged to work, and that fine tune from the movin' pitcher, and the pirate song from me home port, and any other shanty that came to me mind. Do ye the same, and send the day out with a song and a drink!

So, much of the media today is taken up with the obvious. The oddest comment, I think, was one I heard from a caller on NPR insisting that in the past five years, there has been no national introspection. I can only assume she meant "there has been no introspection that has resulted in a conclusion with which I agree."

On a selfish and personal level, we had a great weekend. Neuba and Pokey had public transit issues on Friday, and I got to ponder once more how completely and unobtrusively the cell phone has become part of my worldview. Saturday was R:tAG's company picnic, with good food, schwag, and train rides! Yay! We left a skitch early to see the Yarn Harlot, who was obviously tired but still a very funny and kind person. And they were giving out door prizes, and as soon as they said "And this one goes to the person who travelled furthest to be here," I started poking Neuba to just go up and claim the prize, since there was no way in hell anyone else would win. And she got camel yarn!*

I am holding The Sock with Ms. Pearl-McPhee here. I am smiling way too hard, but I'd just had some wine and awesome spaghetti carbonara**, and was actually talking to the Yarn Harlot. So I was a bit overexcited. She got us four (the husbands were there too) to all sing the Smarties song together as a test of our Canadian-ness. You know, "When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last..." I had that damned jingle in my head for the next twelve hours.

And the next day was the RenFaire (huzzah!). It wasn't the Pirate Weekend, alas, but it was still fun. I was semi-sort-of looking for a top to wear with my new corset, but I simply can't bring myself to pay $88 for a metre of crinkle cotton, half a metre of elastic, and six seams. I was likewise semi-sort-of looking for a skull mask, but again came away empty handed. Unlike the clothing, the masks were not something I could do myself and they were lovely, but still awfully expensive. The best bit of synchronicity for me was when we were just walking in, and I heard doumbeks and raitas. Perking up like a hound of some sort, a belly-dancing hound, I tore over to the stage, and caught a Hahbi 'Ru performance. Yay!

And I'm not even mentioning the standard weekend activites like dance class and a trip to a gaming store and watching the new MST3K disc. So it's actually quite nice to be sitting at work right now, in a climate-controlled office and on a comfy chair, doing only one thing.

* Not just the colour, the actual fibre. I think Neuba was a bit taken aback when the first thing I did after she gave it to me for inspection was to smell it, but I'm sure she was even more weirded out when every knitter she handed it to did the exact same thing.

** There were about 300 people at the talk, so we had time to find a neighbourhood Italian place and have a lovely dinner before our signing tickets came up.

Neuba and Princess Pokey are here, with no travel hiccups. Yay!

We have some fun stuff planned for this weekend! Yay!

Yahoo Avatars has some way cool new Western stuff. Yay!

I booked the tickets for the Multiple Wedding Weekend for less than I'd thought they'd be. Yay!*

The weather is perfect. Yay!

I have nothing else to say right now. Yay!

* I am concerned about only having an hour and ten minutes to get through Customs in Vancouver (returning to the States) though. This seems tight to me, though it seems like security's getting back to normal speeds. Of course, they're probably never going to allow liquids in carry-ons again. I mean, we're still taking off our freakin' shoes because of that crazy jerk five years ago and somehow, rules like this never seem to get repealed any more than strip malls ever get bulldozed to make parks or farmland.

The taking-off-the-shoes thing is useless. I could stuff an equal amount of plastic explosive in a belt or a backpack strap. The no-liquids thing is useless. There's an exemption list of six or seven cases (baby formula, prescription medicine, juice for diabetics, etc.), so all any would-be suicide bomber has to do is forge a doctor's note or bring a baby. So this is not stopping anything, and causing a lot of inconvenience at the best and a quasi-police state at the worst. But there's a certain type of person, I think, that just gets off on ticking things off a list and making everyone Follow The Rules (any rules) and it seems like they're making a lot of decisions these days.

I predict that within ten years airline passengers will have to strip and wear provided jumpsuits and slippers, like prisoners or mental patients. Wanna bet?


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