Sunday Song: Gangnam Style

After today, I may have no readership. This post contains content that may be offensive to all viewers. There will be the “Oh gawd that song is horrible and now it’s stuck in my head!” crowd. There will be those who found elements of the video unforgivable, especially those with a sense of taste or color coordination. There will be those who roll their eyes and say, “Dana, are you really that far behind on pop culture?” to which I will have to admit, “Yes,” which will then cause those readers to abandon me as hopeless.

So there are huge potential losses, but I’m going to post this anyway. Because, and I hate to admit this, I actually do like the song and think the video’s a scream. And because – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

[Read more…]

O, Computer Geeks, May I Request Your Wisdom?

I’m emerging from my sickbed – well, sickchair – for a moment to request a favor from the computer geeks in the audience. Does anyone know of a simple and preferably free way to set up your television as a dual monitor? I’ve got me HDMI cable, and I’m happily playing content through the PC, but I’d like to have video playing on the teevee whilst still being able to work on the machine. Right now, what I see on the PC screen is what I see on the teevee. This makes working whilst streaming movies difficult.

I’m sure this is simple, but I’m rather muddled at the moment and don’t trust myself not to fuck it up without expert guidance. Thanks in advance!

In other news, I’ve taken this unexpected absence to discover the joys of nasal spray and contemplate the invention of a cuisine based on texture and sensation rather than taste. It’s been very exciting. Wish you were here! You would be greatly amused.

I think I just managed to sort-of smell an English muffin, and I might have detected one out of the forty or so spices in the chili soup, so I’m off for what promises to be a somewhat lively lunch. I’ll be back soon with actual, y’know, content. Just you wait ’til you see what I’ve got for the Sunday Song. You’ll never be the same again…

Ducklings for My Nurses

I’ve acquired strep throat. I could have ended up with the virus that’s going around instead, but no: my immune system got overstressed, and it chose strep. Which is fine with me – easy to survive with antibiotics, as long as you minimize swallowing for the first 24 hours. Bed rest is also lovely, but here’s the thing about the company I work for: you can only get Family and Medical Act leave if you’re out for three days. If you don’t need to be out for three days, you don’t get excused under FMLA. You just rack up the attendance points until you risk getting fired. In the meantime, your chances of promotion or transfer are destroyed, because you’ve ended up on a written warning for the crime of being sick too many times. This is how American companies work. And keep in mind, this is a company with a rather generous attendance policy compared to some.

So you come in sick, sit your highly-contagious self down, and suffer.

[Read more…]

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “Truth is the Only Safe Ground to Stand Upon”

I’ve been in search of strong 19th century female freethinkers, and they don’t get much stronger than this. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was fearless. When it came to women’s rights, she wanted it all. Forget those cautious folk wanting to shuffle carefully towards woman suffrage, and maybe after that, if it wouldn’t upset folks too much, maybe then they could work on another right or two for women. Stanton wasn’t having any of that. Hells to the no.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1848. Image courtesy Wikipedia, cropped by moi.

[Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Primroses or Just Roses?

There’s a kind of rose I’ve got used to calling a primrose, and which some of you lot swear are not, so I figured that since all you had to go by was the buds, I’d best post some blooms. Then you can duke it out amongst each other, and I’ll know whether I’m on a primrose path or not.

[Read more…]

UFD: Raptor Ready

Yes, yes, I said I was doing a reader submission next. I lied. I’m dying to know what this fellow is.

Sunday was sunny and warm, so I hiked my work over to one of our picnic tables. Those are usually full of families having birthday parties, but this week, the whole strip was deserted. Sun and solitude? Combo not to be missed.

So there I was, beavering away whilst basking in the sun, when I heard a raptor scream. And the bugger flew right overhead in its full glory before I could get the camera out and on. I can tell you several things about it. It’s not a bald eagle – the coloration and markings were completely wrong, even for a juvenile. It was a kind of yellowish-tan hue with dark spots and creamy bits. It was utterly lovely. And it, being a bird and therefore an unutterable bastard, decided to go show off from a distance by the time I’d got my camera ready.

[Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Questions About Comments

I’m wanting to know what readers think about commenting at Rosetta Stones. There’s even a survey! Whee! You needed to waste a few minutes, right? Go have fun and give me an earful.

Commenting here appears to have become more difficult for some folk, so if you want to vent your woes in the survey, there’s a bit at the end for additional comments. You can let ‘er rip there, but please be sure to mention you’re talking about ETEV when you do. I’ll pass along your choice words to our webmaster.

It Wasn’t Bluffing

I took my boys to Discovery Park for a little lovely geology. We’ve done this sort o’ thing before, but it wasn’t quite as exciting as this.

Started off rather quietly. Nice, leisurely breakfast at a Thai food place, ramble through the meadows and down the bluff. Mind you, there was a bit of foreshadowing.

This sign is 100% correct, as we shall see later.

[Read more…]

The S Has Hit the F

So, you know that feeling you get when your rage button has been pressed so hard for so long that you hit that nice plateau where you’re furious, but happy? It’s that one you get to because you’ve been pushed beyond hoping the finger will stop jabbing. It’s the place you arrive at when you realize you have nothing to lose, and you have donned your warpaint, chosen your warpath, and embarked upon it with your best warhorse.

I am there. It took five years and quitting smoking, but I’m so there.

That’s why I haven’t been around the past couple of days: my company, after five years of spectacular fuckups, decided no cool-down period was needed between sessions with the rage button. And I realized: there are many jobs I’m qualified for open right now. Sure, they don’t have cushy union benefits, and I’ll lose that scrumptious extra week of vacation, and I’ll have to move, and I won’t be close enough to come home to the elderly cat on lunch breaks. But still, jobs. Other jobs. Elsewhere. With good pay. And if I get fired for rocking the boat, even if I can’t land another job immediately, I have been with the company so long they have no choice but to pay unemployment. Tee-hee. Freedom! Freedom to yell repeatedly and loudly at people rather high up, freedom to stand on principle, freedom to tell them to shape up or watch it come down to a question of will I find a job I like elsewhere before they find a bullshit excuse to dismiss me? All the while, being cheered on by those who have too much to lose to fight. And I’m staying not just for the cushy union benefits etc., but to fight that last good battle for those who can’t.

This, mind, is the kind of freedom Republicans don’t want peons to have, but I’m in a Blue state working a union job, so they’re out of luck.

And if the higher-ups listen, it will be good for the company anyway. Happy employees, happy customers, etc. They want that. They keep telling us that’s exactly what they want. It just seems that the jab-employee-rage-buttons reflex is so strong it overrides their stated desire to improve. And that’s fine. If they can’t get past that, I can certainly get past them.

Things may become chaotic for a bit, but I have my battle plans, and they include divesting myself of extraneous responsibilities at the workplace in order to concentrate on what should have been most important all along: you and my cat. With winter on its way and duties cut down to only those included in my job title, I should be able to devote plenty of attention to you both.

The last adventures of the summer season will soon be over: we have my boys tomorrow, and then maybe a small local bit o’ fun Sunday if the weather entices, and that October trip to wherever-it’s-best with Lockwood, then done. And do I ever have a collection of things to present to you this winter. Oh, my darlings, you don’t think I run around outside merely for fun, do you? Okay, well, admittedly, bringing you treasures is fun, but it’s also my job.

So look forward to that. And do be sure to lay in a supply of popcorn. You’ll be needing it.

In Which Pumpkins are Hurled. Plus, a Horse for RQ.

Deary me. It seems all of you can hardly wait for the moment where you get to sit on the edge of your seats and watch Trebuchet and I launch pumpkins from, well, trebuchets. I’d meant to inflict horses upon you today, but never let it be said I neglect my readers. Well, not badly neglect. I’ve done the hack-and-slash on the video I shot, and here you are: two trebuchet vids!

[Read more…]