Things Learnt Today

1. Mike is playing Civ IV and, quite sadly, Port Maudine has burnt to the ground.

2. It's not uncommon for people to be allergic to watches.

3. The woman checking out my library books does not want to hear me prattle on about Sri Lanka or Ceylon. The woman, whose salary is funded exclusively by people like me, would rather turn around and talk to the person arranging this month's display while scanning my barcodes than hear me prattle on about Sri Lanka or Ceylon. And I hadn't even gotten to the Duran Duran part yet.

4. Clark County's library system, despite being recognized for its overall excellence, quite strangely doesn't have automated checkout machines. Even Victoria, TX, had those.

5. Grizzly bears and black bears require opposite human responses to avoid attack. Climb trees with the former, but not with the latter. Ditto play dead. Except sometimes what you least expect works. I've just started reading A Walk in the Woods, and it's so good I might have to put down Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail for it. (I forgive #4 just because our library has both of these books, plus Kitten's First Full Moon.)

6. The kids think I'm "eternally optimistic" and "always smiling." This is what's wrong with kids today - too gullible.

7. John Waite is still one of the nicest celebrities on the planet, perhaps even the Michael Palin of the singer/songwriter world, although I'm not sure where he's at with trains or the K2. I know he's top-ranking in the amicability charts because he bought Wouter and his wife dinner. (For what it's worth, Wouter is pretty nice, too, but we already knew that.)

8. Credit card theft can take place when you swipe your card through methods other than insecure wireless connections.

9. It's hard to find Syrian hamsters in Syria. Wasn't that whole "all pet hamsters come from one pregnant female caught in the early 20th century" story proven to be a myth/overstatement, anyway?

10. My column title is also now some sort of open source newsletter software. Former column title. Is it wrong that I don't miss it?

11. This weird thing that I have under my skin in a semi-but-not-wholly-unmentionable place, this thing that feels like a hard plastic cylinder planted vertically into my flesh, a la an exterrestrial tracking device or - worse? - a terrestrial one, well, it has sprouted a junior edition nearby.

12. Pluto has three moons! Pluto has three moons! Wow, and just when we were all ready to demote it from planet to Kuiper Belt Object. Can KBO's have moons, or do we just call that "whirling debris"?  I still don't think Pluto's long for the planet label, but has anyone even asked how Prosperina feels?

13. Oo-oo-oo. I finally (bother to read up on and) understand histograms. Now all I need is a pretty camera to play with (aka "with which to play", thank you grammar watchers everywhere). These are the moments when I convince myself that I will live on beans and rice and vitamins for six months, save enough money for a camera, and lose so much weight that I'll (ironically) win the lottery* and be able to buy all the cameras I want, including my fill of vintage fun stuff.

(*this makes sense if you have ever been fat enough to eventually start seeing losing weight as they key to any success, including being able to do tricky calculus stuff, or enjoying temperate picnic weather for the weekend)

14. Celine Dion has another child, one that is cryogenically frozen. Okay, I guess I never realized that they can freeze human embryos for later. I sort of knew this, but I wasn't paying attention, because mostly I don't care. I don't get the baby thing, so I definitely don't relate to the idea of freezing offspring in minimial cellular form until a convenient later date. But again - who knew? The rest of the world, apparently. It's just like the way you can (I hear) re-animate flies from the freezer (or grasshoppers, offers Mike, also claiming no experience). Anyway - TRES CREEPY. I'm pro-choice and this bothers me. Just f**k and let the result burrow its way out nine months later, already.

15. I won an autographed bread book at the Stamp Expo from these nice people a couple of weekends ago, but because I only check my car-cell for messages when I remember that I have such a thing and wonder how the battery is doing, I'll assume that loaf has fallen. I feel bad. The patriarch of the family behind the service is some sort of bread master, and his son was really agreeable and enthusiastic. Cripes, now I feel really bad. They were so friendly. (And Mormons! One always feel bad when letting down a Mormon - THANKS ANNE.)

I feel almost as bad as I feel about mouthing the words "thank you" to a speaker ar school last week, except I realized too late that it may have looked like I was saying "f**k you" (wow, that's twice in one blog), which would make sense if you knew how controversial the speaker was. My anxieties become a little more Seinfeldesque every day. (I incorporated a mention of Vandelay Industries into one of today's classes, after all. Not everyone can make that connection to 12 Ang*y M*n, you know.)

16. There is a bit of snow on top of one of the mountains on the west side (my side - Mount C?) of the Las Vegas valley. Lots of people forget that, come autumn, snow is but a short drive away from the Strip. (Half an hour in one direction is snow, in another direction is water sports on Lake Mead plus Arizona, and in another direction is the salty/sandy California border. Whereas 30 minutes up I-15 is just 30 minutes up I-15. Some day I will tack on another 2.5 hours and visit Rachel.)

02 November 2005 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)