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  1. I heard an interview with Frances Mayes yesterday on NPR. She was discussing her new novel Swan. I may find myself purchasing that one. Or maybe I should just get a library card.

    Tash, would you believe that we missed the Australian Festival? I guess it was last weekend. Bummer. Vegemite abounded.

    FYI: Icons3: Icons by an Icon in an Icon, an Andy Warhol exhibit, is coming to The Parthenon in November.

    Toasty Frog (.com) – it’s hard to put into words… be sure to check out the Star Wars thumbnail theatre.

    David Bocking – Pictures from Northern England: simply beautiful photography

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  2. Last night I experienced a horrible assault on the ears. Some country singer (who I later discovered was Chris LeDoux) attempted a remake of Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway”. I’m sorry… you don’t mess with greatness of that calibre.

    Went to Dave’s reception yesterday in Illinois. Becca is absolutely stunning. It was weird, but cool at the same time. Saw a guy I toured with for the first time in five years… surreal.

    I admit it. I have a problem. I’m addicted to Dope Wars.

    The Great American Dinner – a commentary on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. You know you love it.

    Song of the Day:

    Life is a Highway – as properly done by Tom Cochrane

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  3. And since I probably won’t have much time to write tomorrow (tooth&nail; day)… here’s the Friday Five:

    1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind? Mmm… coffee, computer. At other times getting away from the computer is more relaxing though.

    2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands? I usually dump my stuff on the table inside the door. Go upstairs. Crash on the couch.

    3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells? I love sandlewood.

    4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself? I’m truly an introvert at heart, but I can be relaxed around almost anybody.

    5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don’t? I don’t know if others do or not… but driving is so relaxing for me. I take the scenic route so often just to prolong the experience.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  4. It has been such a blustery day. I was freezing all day at work — so first thing when I got home… sweatpants, big t-shirt, sweatshirt, moccasins… baby, yeah. Coffee, music, virtual fireplace. Mmm. Now if there were a little thunder to go with it, would be perfect.

    Americanada / Canadamerica

    These are for Ern… and eventually Allison:

    An American’s Guide to Canada – looks like a good resource to immerse yourself in this next week.

    Slanguage – so you don’t get confused by the local folk

    British, Canadian, American Vocabulary – more dictionary skills

    Canuck Jokes – for a good laugh before you go, but probably not a good idea to use there.

    I love you and will miss you. Blog often. Hug Josh & Aaron for me.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  5. Enron Merchandise! Get your Enron Merchandise! Online asset auction of the year. Don’t miss your chance to own a plastic Enron beer mug (with colored logo), a sailing ship model (because you know you want one), semi trucks filled with jelly beans, or even some orange stress balls. Hmm… maybe my Teligent crap will be worth something someday.

    This is a pretty spectacular Star Wars spin-off.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  6. How strange…

    Europeans apparently celebrate their Name Day in addition to their Birthday.

    Hmm… this could be a nice thing.

    On this American version, ‘Danielle’ is January 3rd. So is my Slovakian name day. (Well, if you go with ‘Daniela’.) My Swedish name day is September 11th, although my Czech name day is Septhember 9th, and my Bulgarian name day is December 17th.

    Feel free to celebrate me on any of those days.

    Surreal Experience for the Week:

    Going to Outback with five Australians talking with an American accent so as to not sound Australian.

    Mini-golf anyone?

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  7. We celebrated the autumnal equinox last night with a little aussie wine while playing cards on the deck by the pond/fountain. It was a little rowdy and deliciously chilly. It got down to the 50’s — bring on the changing leaves and sweaters and bonfires. I love AUTUMN!!

    (T, when are you coming here again? I think last night I agreed to go to Australia for a month or two in March if I can get a sabbatical from work. Then again, I think I also agreed to marry Drew, so who knows if I’m obligated to go.)

    The Universal Packing List – perfect for the travel with the tendency to forget to take enough… and the one with the tendency to take far too much.

    Though it has apparently been floating around (no pun intended), this was news to me…

    “It happened on November 12, 1970. The carcass of a sperm whale had been rotting on the beach just south of Florence, OR for several days. At the time, the Oregon Highway Division (now called the Oregon Department of Transportation) had jurisdiction over beaches and decided to dispose of the whale the same way they would clear a large boulder from a highway construction project. The rest is history.” — from The Exploding Whale

    Yeah, so they blew the thing up in a massive explosion of whale guts… not completely unlike the shark guts at the end of Jaws. You can watch the news report and explosion here.

    Song for the Day:

    Man in the MirrorMichael Jackson

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  8. There are now three Hummers in Franklin, and I’m on a first-name basis with all three of the owners. Is that sad?

    Revelation v.2.0 saved me some hassle this morning. Nice little program converts passwords that look like this: ********* back into words. I hadn’t had to type in the password for one of our servers for ages, and of course, today I needed to email the login to someone. (That’s right… a new site is coming, Tash!) Revelation saved me a few phonecalls.

    (Btw, T, I had a nice lunch with QuietE today. Weird, eh?)

    Song for the Day:

    Heartshaped BoxNirvana

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  9. We played RISK for 5 hours last night, and only two people have been eliminated. (Jesse went on a bit of a kamikaze mission and got massacred right away. Steve became a superpower early on and was ganged up on by the rest of us. Phil & Fi have been maintaining Europe. Drew is struggling to hang on to Africa while going for South America. Stemo was the sleeper who now has most of the Americas and must be stopped. Hans & I got Australia and most of Asia while trying to stay under the radar.) We will resume again tomorrow night.

    Helly Jelly Jelly Beans – Jelly Belly reject flavors.

    Aha — death to the Microsoft Office Paper Clip Assistant!

    Lip Balm Anonymous – for those addicted to lip lube.

    You might be a child of the 80’s if… “David Hasslehoff” makes you think Knight Rider not Baywatch.

    I’m spiritual Madonna, who are you?

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  10. How to Make Your Own Game of RISKTM… Like I Did

    The Board

    The map of my board was created from this graphic. I resized it so that it was the size of a full sheet of paper. I erased all of the color and words out so it was just a black and white outline of the territories.

    My photocopier can blow up images. So I first doubled the map from one page to two pages. Then I blew those two pages up to four pages each. So the end map is four pieces of paper by two pieces of paper all taped together.

    I chose to add the text after it was blown up to keep it sharp. I printed them out, taped them where I wanted them on the pages, and then rephotocopied those pages. I also added this compass and this galleon as decorations.

    I used this font (preview John Speed) for the title of the game, this font (preview Zothique) for the names of the oceans, and used this font (preview Queensland) for the names of the territories.

    I used packing tape on the back side to tape the 8 pages together. Then I outlined the territories with black sharpie. I outlined the inside of each territory with the corresponding color of the continent. (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia) I colored the territories in lightly and used a little brown chaulk on the oceans to give an aged look.

    I covered the whole thing with contact paper (front and back) to keep it safe from tears and spills.

    The Cards

    I used the handy sheets of business cards to make the game cards. I used the black and white territory outline from the board, and just cropped out a square containing each territory for each card. Used the same font for the text. Used a black silhouette of a soldier, canon, or horseman on each. Colored the territory with the corresponding continent color. Printed “RISK” on the back… and voila!

    The Army Pieces

    The earlier versions of the game did not have the fancy-schmancy pieces like the newer versions do, but they worked just as well. They had six sets of different colored pieces, one set for each player. They consisted of a large number of three pointed shaped pieces (each representing one army) plus several star or asterisk shaped pieces (equivalent to ten armies each).

    I found a simple solution to this aspect of the game in my craft box. Little tri beads have the three points like the old game one-army pieces. The sunburst beads actually have six sides, but they should be sufficient. (Both come in packages for $.50 from Hobby Lobby.)

    Each color is stored neatly in it’s own container.

    The Dice

    Traditional RISKTM requires three red dice for the attacker and two white dice for the defender. Being the purist that I am, I decided to go with that color scheme though mine are slightly marbellized. Got them for $4 at a local gaming store.

    The Rules

    I printed out the rules that I found at the Hasbro site… for those of us who need a refresher course on the gameplay.

    And that was it. I believe we are having game night tonight… so we’ll see how it works! 🙂

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  11. Crash Bonsai – The perfect gift for the horrible driver in your life. Nothing says “thanks for not killing me” like crash bonsai. (Thanks to The Copydesk.)

    US Population Clock – for when you have nothing better to do than watch our population grow.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  12. You are Civilian Calvin!
    You don’t get to travel much outside your neighborhood, but you still manage to get in plenty of trouble. When you’re not acting up, you like to wax philosophical.
    Take the What Calvin are You? Quiz

    Friday Five

    1. Would you say that you’re good at keeping in touch with people? Ugh… I used to be so good — now I’m absolutely horrible.

    2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why? Email works out the best… for the most part. I hate talking on the phone in general, although I make exceptions for a few people. Snail mail, well, I go in spurts with that. Meeting in person is nice.

    3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it? Yes — AOL, MSN. Those are the ones I actually use once in a while. I have ICQ and Yahoo ones too but can’t be bothered logging on.

    4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away? Far away. Although having made some friends around here lately, I’d say it’s starting to even out a little bit.

    5. Are you an “out of sight, out of mind” person, or do you believe that “distance makes the heart grow fonder”? A happy combination of the two.

    I get to run sound again! Yay! A once-a-month deal, but still… it’s better than never. 🙂

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  13. What Video Game Character Are You? I am an Asteroid.I am an Asteroid.

    I am a drifter. I go where life leads, which makes me usually a very calm and content sort of person. That or thoroughly apathetic. Usually I keep on doing whatever I’m doing, and it takes something special to make me change my mind. What Video Game Character Are You?

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  14. I saw a PT Woody on my way back from lunch today. (That would be a PT Cruiser with the faux wood siding.) I’m not so sure how I feel about that yet.

    It’s the Torture a Spammer Game!

    The Jonah Movie Premiere is tonight, but I can’t go because of a meeting. 🙁 I guess it is going to be a big to-do with a red carpet and everything. I guess I could stop at the after-party later. I was at The Factory for lunch, and they already have lots of decorations up. Really cute.

    This is officially my new search engine. google with quotes. Quotes such as: “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

    The Degree Confluence Project – I don’t know who comes up with this stuff, but I wish it was me. Talk about a completely weird yet totally interesting idea.

    My J Ralph cd came. Life is good.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  15. The game is working out perfectly — look out, Parker brothers!

    Song for the Day:

    Gotta Get Thru ThisDaniel Bedingfield

    Catchy tune, and apparently, he’s a Christian.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  16. No time online today — I am making my own Risk boardgame. Don’t ask. Somehow it seemed easier than spending twenty bucks on it.

    For anybody I didn’t email today: I played 500 with Steven, Andrew, Fiona, Jesse, & Hans last night until 4:30am. Beth says I’m grounded. I sleep now.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  17. Drugs are helping… still feel a little crappy.

    When I answered the phone this morning, my boss said, “oh…. you sound scary.” *rawr*

    Song for the Day:

    Not an AddictK’s Choice

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  18. Weird Question for the Week:

    “Hey, do you know Portuguese?”

    Huh? Umm… sorry, my Portuguese is a little rusty. Turns out Beth was playing with her new mobile and accidently switched the language to Portuguese and couldn’t figure out how to get back to the language section of the menu to switch it back.

    It’s called “paranoia”, kids. Apparently some kid at the University of North Carolina Charlotte mistook a prize-winning Coke bottle for a bomb. Seems like a silly way for terrorists to attack, but whatever.

    Remember the wacky cows that were all over Chicago several years ago? Well, I didn’t realize how big this phenomenon of street art has become until my parents told me that they have prairie dogs in Sioux City. Upon further investigation, I see that there are wild animals all over the place:

    • Naperville, IL – Carousel of Fun: carousel horses

    • Racine, WI – Dog Days of Summer: labrador retrievers

    • Saratoga Springs, NY – Horses Saratoga Style: thoroughbred horses

    • Cincinnati, OH – Big Pig Gig: pigs

    • Meridian, MS – Carousels Abound: carousel horses

    • Knoxville, TN – Bearfoot in the City: bears

    • San Jose, CA – Shark Byte Art: sharks

    • New Orleans, LA – Festival of Fins: fish

    • Evansville, IN – Carousel of Caring: carousel horses

    • Davis County, UT – Utah Buffalo Roundup: buffalo

    • Richmond, VA – Go Fish!: fish

    • Lexington, KY – Horse Mania: horses

    • Omaha, NE – The J. Doe Project: human figures

    • Florida Keys – Dolphins on Parade: dolphins

    • Toronto – Moose in the City: moose

    • Santa Fe, NM – The Trail of Painted Ponies: horses

    • Los Angeles, CA – A Community of Angels: angels

    • Saginaw, MI – Hareitage: bunnies

    • Providence, RI – Potato Head: potato heads

    • Lake Charles, LA – Gators on the Geaux: alligators

    • Lafayette, LA – Pelicans on Parade: pelicans

    And another odd site I ran across: Beans Around the World. Some people have lots of spare time.

    I got there in time to see the balloon glow last night. I hope a couple of my photos turned out.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  19. I have a rare gift. My strength lies in my ability to do one thing very very well. Sword, pistol, airplane… whatever the weapon, I wield it with a deadly force, and a deadly accuracy. I love competition, and refuse to lose, no matter the stakes. I can make friends quickly, but can lose them as fast, due to my competitive nature.

    What’s your superpower?

    They are showing The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind at the Franklin Cinema. I’ve made it 25 years without seeing GWTW… so this leaves me with a dilemma. Do I go see it at the theatre assuming that at some point during the rest of my life someone will find out I haven’t seen it and make me watch it, thereby experiencing it to the fullest on the big screen before that day? Or do I just make it my goal to never ever see it?

    I hope to get some photos of the Hot Air Affair tonight and tomorrow. If they go up, I would think they should go right over my house.

    Sunday I’m off to the festival. Karl’s got passes for us, so I figure why not. I’m only really interested in seeing Jeremy Camp and BenGate, but maybe I’ll be surprised.

    Song for the Day:

    Cover MeCandlebox

    Heard the first two chords of this today when I was driving to FirstCo., and I was like, “oh yeah… cover me, baby.”

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  20. Happy Birthday, Christopher!

    The perfect something I referred to on Monday has to do with his present… which was just a minor thing, but I cannot post it until I know he has gotten it.

    I signed up at today. I can’t remember the first blog I saw, but it led me back to blogger, so I used that as my parent.

    I’m on drugs. Ear infection. I’m one night’s drainage away from having the ultra-sexy sick voice…. it’s getting there.

    For those who haven’t clued in yet… I am a total lover of beautiful wedding photos. Should I tie the knot one day, I hope to have a really imaginative photographer who will do really fun and playful, yet sophisticated shots. These photos are wonderful. (Plus the girl has gerbera daisies in her bouquet.) 🙂

    Star Wars Episode II is coming to IMAX, and we are so there. It’s supposed to release in November at 50 commercial IMAX theatres. Surely we would get it here, seeing as how we are a mighty metropolis, right?

    Friday Five

    1. What was/is your favorite subject in school? Why? I always loved creative writing/english.

    2. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Mr. Tacke – freshman english. He treated me like a person, not just a student.

    3. What is your favorite memory of school? Working on sets for the theatre productions.

    4. What was your favorite recess game? Kingpin dodgeball.

    5. What did you hate most about school? I liked it except for having to wake up in time to get there. (Even though I lived across the street.)

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  21. So coincidental it’s spooky: Last night’s winning lotto numbers in New York were 9-1-1.

    I wish I were outside. Maybe it’s time to go to the post office. And then maybe a nice drive.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  22. I made it through most of the day yesterday without seeing too much tower-collapsing footage. Enough is enough, you know?

    The weirdest thing was Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. We had this going-away thing for Mick and Lisa at some karaoke bar. At the stroke of midnight, the guy leading the whole thing breaks out in Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be An American“. It was just a surreal thing standing in this smoke-filled bar with these strangers (hats off and hands over hearts) and these friends (50% of whom were actually Australian) singing “I’m proud to be an American… God bless the USA.”

    Irish Tribute .com

    Jump the Shark – “It’s a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on… it’s all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it jumping the shark.”

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  23. “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies,

    but the silence of our friends.”

    ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The World Trade Center Memorial . com

    America Remembers

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  24. What is your Alter-Ego Personality?

    We watched The Count of Monte Cristo last night, thanks to our hook-up at Blockbuster. (It comes out today.) It was a swashbuckling delight. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

  25. Something worked out perfectly. Unfortunately, it cannot be revealed until Friday. (tash, you’re going to love this.)

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.