Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Driving home with the girls tonight, we had the opportunity for an interesting Science Conversation on the Fly. The Techno Geek in me lives for these moments and when my sweetie pointed out the alignment of the moon and Planets in the sky tonight, we all looked on with awe. A beautiful image hanging in the night sky as Venus, Jupiter and the Moon all converged towards one another. A quick search on my iphone as he drove led me to verify which planets they were and other details on the subject. You can read more here.
The moon is the brightest, closest and smallest of the three and is 252,000 miles away. Venus, the second brightest, closest and smallest, is 94 million miles away. And big Jupiter is 540 million miles away.
The three celestial objects come together from time to time, but often they are too close to the sun or unite at a time when they aren't so visible. The next time the three will be as close and visible as this week will be Nov. 18, 2052, according to Jack Horkheimer, director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.
There is nothing quite like a leisurely drive home surrounded by overly excitable post Black Friday weekend shoppers while having a detailed conversation about the planets.
Its great to let the universe remind us of the more important things. I was also reminded about the upcoming meteor shower expected to begin Dec. 7 and run through the 16th.
Check the schedule here and plan on taking some time to view an amazing event with your families.
Posted by Arrika at 8:37 PM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I do not often respond to chains, the pessimist in me restricts me. Yet here and there I come across a moment that entertains me, Kellines post at http://boelfamilycraze.blogspot.com/2008/11/quirkstagged-by-my-sister.html.
My big sister led a chaotic life in her early years and I believe that this may have played a large part in how close I became to Kelli as she grew up a few years behind me. Their natures balanced each other out at either side of me and offered me guidance as i worked to circumvent my own pitfalls in life.
I have always been extremely proud of Kelline, most often when she would least expect it. She has been my mentor for more than half my life. A best friend for more than 15 years, a lifetime. Here again she is leading by example - writing her story and sharing it instead of my method of perpetual debate of where to begin.
We have an opportunity right now to share in the stories and that is an amazing privilege for me. I am inspired and blessed to have been chosen to be her family regardless to how saddened her history might be.
1. I bite my nails to the quick
2. I am an amazing animal trainer and wish I could make a career of it. Animals around me grow up to be so unique and amazing it is phenomenal. I can't wait to get our dog in the next year or two :)
3. I have a Nankie ( I still sleep with the blanket folded up under my pillow. It was my superhero shield through childhood and I have never grown up enough to not want that extra level of security).
4. Troll Dolls
5. I break stuff to make stuff. I love to reverse engineer, dissect electronics, toys and robotics and then mash parts together from several items and see what i can come up with. I have numerous Furby exoskeletons laying around.
6. I LOVE Canada
7. I am a geek. I play and design video games. I translate information as a hobby. When someone seeks information I find it. I am always learning everything i can about everything i can. I am informed.
8. I get bored easily. To alleviate this i do half a dozen things at a time in steady rotation. I have a hundred hobbies - maybe i will count them in another post.....
lest we forget...
Olbermann: Gay marriage is a question of love
Nov. 10: In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann disagrees with the passing of Proposition 8 in California and urges people to accept love between people of the same sex.
Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.
Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.
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And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.
If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.
Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?
I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.
The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.
You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.
How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?
What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.
And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?
With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.
You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.
This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.
But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:
"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."
Posted by Arrika at 12:10 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didnt start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
I know you didnt do this just to win an election and I know you didnt do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
Friday, September 12, 2008
A dear friend recently directed me to youtube to entertain/educate myself about one of the newest scientific breakthroughs via the Large Hadron Rap.
Earths biggest atom smasher, located in Geneva Switzerland, began its work this week amid a wave of internet buzz driven by a Rap song popularized on Youtube. Entertaining and informative, the song created by Kate McAlpine, has increased public awareness of a cientific experiment which has been referred to by opponents as a doomsday device.
More information and interviews can be found here. Further articles on the LHC can be found at Popular Mechanics & The New Yorker.
A Wiki rundown of the LHC may be located at Wikipedia.
As so eloquently explained in the video - the LHC, or Large Hydron Collider is a multibillion-dollar machine which will collide two beams of protons in a head on collision while propelled at close to the speed of light.
This thought alone raised my curiosity as to whether protons have heads to crash into... and why not? More information needed - I continued my journey until l I stumbled upon the Higgs Boson at Particle Zoo. Any felt loving Geeks out there see Christmas gifts in their future???
Posted by Arrika at 3:23 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I possess an ability to take random ideas, dissect them and alter their configurations into something completely different. I often felt that I was alone in this quirk but over time I have discovered that this is not the case. I have always reverse engineered my surroundings and recently I have become more successful at tracking down my fellow creatures of ingenuity.
Bronze casting is a rather good foot in the door for its ability to take found objects and to incorporate them into found art, molds and sculptural elements through various stages of the sculpting and casting process.
Stepping further outside that realm - these past weeks, these dog days of summer, have led to my developing a devout interest in sites provided by other Creators of habit. These are sites I return to time and again for nourishment when i need a challenge to daydream upon.
I am random, hear me roar. To steal from the maven of random creations, here follow - a few of my (current) favorite things.
Mmm. Fun creative cooking. Tastespotting is a visual feast of Food blogs which is ever changing and inspirational. An example of its delicious spontanaiety are these pancakes with recipe and easy to follow directions posted at makeandtakes.com. Pop Up Pancakes are an awesome idea. These are the perfect size to eat on the run! Mix in a little syrup with the batter and you are good to go!
I could cite 3 dozen recipes and link to a dozen more sites i found via tastespotting - but instead i refer you to investigate the visual feasts yourself.
Moving on... I am learning to weave. Or rather, i am learning to learn how to weave. I tend be very spontaneous with my pursuits.. my resume of handicrafts and hobbies is incredibly long. I want to know how to do EVERYTHING and luckily i seem to adapt well to taking on the roles of teacher and student in most cases.
My downfall seems to be textiles. I adore beadweaving, In the past I shown incredible patience while working with intricate detail work of jewelry making - but I cannot sew. Neither do i knit. My girls insist that they can show me and away we will go. Realistically - this is likely true, so i should clarify. I do not want to sew or knit.
They bore me to tears. the entire concept eludes me. So although i do not want weild a needle or two whichever the case may be... I do wish to achieve creation of clothlike materials for various projects. My solution for slightly quicker to instant gratification is to weave my material and evade needles to my best ability.
I have this daydream which imports value into my hobbies. They are a means to an end - if ever trapped on a deserted island with my sweetheart, doomed to spend the rest of our days alone in paradise, i intend to be well informed in enough skill sets that the world will still be our oyster. I know how to create a kiln, locate clays and sculpt pottery to eat off of. I possess knowledge enough in bronzecasting to make our own arrows, swords and shields to hunt with and protect ourselves. I am skilled enough at carpentry and physical labor to build a hut worthy of Sims Castaway fans acclaim. I can even garden and play a small amount of music to entertain us on an improvised piano made of half filled shells and a mallet - but this would all take place unclothed.
I need to fill in the gap in knowledge. I need fashionable clothing to complete my daydream.
I only appear random - I always start accumalating project knowledge through advance research and then begin the hands on portion of the learning process weeks later. When I became aware of the barbed nature of wool It was enlightening. Online weaving tutorials led to info on Needle felting (which allows for fabric to be meshed together with many needles sans thread), weaving wool together integrates with the felting oncept admirably. I can avoid "sewing" and still make a lot of the items i have had my sights on for so long. MAKE has an excellent information source on many maker projects involving LED's that need fabric to complete - until now i was sidelined by my unwillingness to sew.. but now there is hope. I am also accumulating a lot of knowledge from Instructables.com on how to felt and weave and solder circuits into clothing.
I talk too much... shhhh
Posted by Arrika at 5:31 PM
Friday, September 05, 2008
This has been a good week. a busy one, yet an effective one. I feel only mildly chaotic and stressed, better yet - I am very self aware of the cause of any stress and strain on my sanity. I know why i am feeling discomfort and by being knowledgeable about the source - i free myself from a lot of the angst and anxiety that would otherwise be forthcoming. So yes, it is the end of week one and i am a bit on the AHHHHH side. Thankfully I have a great team of supporting cast members to make it all good.
At the last minute I made some major changes to my class schedule. That in itself is a pretty big roll of the dice. the action of deleting a class to free up unit space to then beg for acceptance into another class which may or may not have room for your sorry ass is always a bit of a frightening one. Unfortunately, the Wednesday night course i was taking was not going to be a success by any measure and I felt that it was wise to acknowledge the fact before time took its toll on me. I was being optimistic in taking a class at a sister college only to determine that the quality of life offered was less than that which i was accustomed to. When i got home from the first nights meeting - I had to fight the urge to promptly throw out my bag as it had spent 3 hrs on the floor directly touching the most grotesquely unhealthy environment i have come across since my journeys aboard Amtrack traveling between San Jose, Utah and Vancouver Canada.
Run on sentences aside, i was dissapointed to discover that between the time of registration two weeks ago and that of my attendance at the actual class, this week, the course description had eroded from one which spoke of weekly guest speakers from various silicon valley companies in the realm of game design, graphic design and other tech sector industries to one which the instructor noted that all his guest speakers failed to show up last semester and our final project would be the completion of a business card.
Run. Run Run.
And i did. Health and sanity now remedied with a quick switch (successfully i may add) to a more relevant course load which is not redundant and a repeat of courses i have taken 3 times already. YAY ME!
I was really looking forward to industry leaders taking the time to speak with me, but que sera or whatever that saying may be. Time to move on.
My solution? A counseling course for careers in tech. Voila. Perfection. Definitely a skill set i am in need of. My eclectic interests make it difficult to quantify my skills within a box. I am a giant zig zag of passions. I could definitely find value in analysis of what makes me tick and a gentle push in the right direction via this class would be welcome.
I often feel too old. I hear others say it too often. but when i stop and THINK i realize that's not true. I am not too old for anything. I can begin any journey from this moment as my starting point. Every day is the beginning.
Posted by Arrika at 11:11 PM
Monday, August 11, 2008
When I was in High School, friends and I conceptualized a category of identification for ourselves, well aware that if we did not define ourselves with a label - others would be liable to do so for us. After much debate, we settled upon the title "Techno Hippie Individualists"Recently sorting through boxes of photographs and mementos I came across my own laminated membership card. A practical joke given to me by a friend and fellow member so many years ago. Years later, it still resonated with me.. Looking back on circumstances, I believe that I must have had the greater influence on the naming decision. Unlike K & J, S & others - I am the only one who grew into her geekiness. I stand alone.
I was inspired by my high school Film classes & work experience program which placed me at the warehouse of set supplier William F. White. Oddly enough K & J were more successful at following their hearts into the tech sector - taking classes in stage production and film makeup while my feet led me elsewhere on a wildgoose chase; but we all lacked equally in the follow through. Time and circumstance, family and lifestyle choices defined each of our destinies more than a tiny piece of cardboard pressed between shrinkwrapped plastic.
I somehow doubt my fellow members remember this at all - but for me - the basic memories last yet. I still rememeber the call sign for CRAT radio, our high school station which J coerced me into helping to DJ with her during school lunch hours. A cassette player and a PA system accessed from the front office of the school.
In hindsight it would be hard to deny that that experiment in geekiness obviously related to my becoming devoted in future years to KSIM radio - the online radio station created in Interhogan to complement the gaming world of THE SIMS ONLINE. KSIM Rocked my world and it, along with TSO, allowed the opportunity for me to create friendships and circumstances for me that allowed my life to evolve further than it might have if the Tech side of life had not been so available to me. Although later renamed WOKI and then SLAK Radio as time progressed and the evolution of community gaming evolved past TSO & Star Wars Galaxies - KSIM is where it all began.
Years later I still pour my heart into the tech side of things. I get giddy at the geekiest events, an example of which is the new STAR TREK ONLINE game being created by a local company to me. When i close my eyes and imagine myself transported to another universe, cryptic studios is well on its way to creating one of my ideal destinations. Mauii and Disney are great vacation spots but theres nothing like the geekfest of a well crafted mmo. I might not quite fit the definition of your mothers hippie experience but the Techno and the Individualist are still in full control.
There are benefits to my sleepless nights; I am at my most creative late at night. Alone, my emotions run high and the shadows offer a discretion that is too easily voided out by the introspective light of day. In the dark I can write, but it is harder to peer at the page and reread the words laid out bare. Words fall from my fingertips with more honesty when given time to rest upon the page a while before being edited apart and dissected under bright lights. Nightfall allows time to pass before the fitful barrage of second guesses occur.
At this moment I am still at the brainstorming stage where ideas bombard me with such great impact that they threaten to remove prior thoughts and dislodge them from memory. I am still at the stage where I am frightened enough to keep pen always at hand, prepared to jot down my frenetic thoughts; to sketch them out a little later, once the tumult dies down somewhat and i can scavenge through the remnants of paper and text files to find the hidden gems.
My intention, to let the words fall, free of critique and restraint. Pleased enough with their existence in of itself.
It is a result of this recent time travel, the catnaps and what might be empty nights that in fact are not empty, that I will be readily available to sit outside and watch the Persiedes Meteor Shower this evening. While awake.
Details available on tonight's sky show that Perseus will rise in the northeast this evening, around nine pm, August 11th. It will not be until after 2 am that the moon sets and the sky becomes clear enough for the main show to present itself though. In a few minutes I am going to go dust off our telescope and ready my sky watching theatre in preparation. Then later, when I awake from another catnap I am going to curl up with a glass of wine in one hand and a pen in the other to watch the falling sky...
I will be looking for Perseid Earthgrazers--meteors that approach from the horizon and skim the atmosphere overhead like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond.
Earthsky offers a calendar of meteor and stargazing events for North America here. Astronomy.com offers excellent introductory to stargazing at their site. Space.com offers historical background and details on where and how to locate the best viewing experience.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I currently have a level 43 HoX and a 35ish Dark Templer in the world of Hyboria inside Age of Conan. Unlike Vanguard, LOTR and EQ2 - I am striving hard to not appear lost in game all the time. Luckily AoC has succeeded in being less complex than some of those "other" locales. To make things even easier, AoC Wayfarer has made its way into the world.
Unlike past map installations for EQ2 and Vanguard etc, this one installs so simply its hard to remember it is there. In fact i had to load aoc on another computer, take a look at my map in game and then return to the first PC to verify that I had done anything. The one downside for me though is that the auto launch feature after update does not work for me at this time. Instead i still launch Conan manually from the desktop.
With luck, this will be the tool that helps me raise my harvesting skills to a level where i can start donating the resources needed to complete our tier two Guild City.
Posted by Arrika at 10:54 PM
Still on my path of introspective wanderings.. searching for more active online pursuits than awaiting my Scramble turn on Facebook... I came across the website of a Canadian band called Arcade Fire. Not only a well laid out and interactive website - but home of a rather awesome interactive music Video. Simple pleasures for simple minds. I am Amused.
Watch and Play with the music video for Neon Bible. Song is pretty decent too.
Release your inner Picasso and create your own Mr.Potato Head'ish creation at Mr.Picassohead.
Posted by Arrika at 10:03 PM
The following diversions are predominantly denizens of this funky site called Neave.com
Plug in your microphone and prepare to be dazzled and bemused. Bounce is a fun diversion with limitless possibilities. Blow, whistle or sing to control the bouncing balls. Blast the stereo to really make them bounce. I sat at my piano keyboard and practiced playing "Beauty and the Beast", then went random and made a game of it by aiming to get the largest silver ball across the screen to the far right then back to the far left while banging away random notes. A perfect diversion for a totally random day.
Dig out your old 3D glasses and head on over to anaglyph Draw in 3D. this is rather fun even without having torn apart the house looking for old paper 3D glasses or hunting down any that might have made it home from IMAX. Rotate the page, scroll up or down, draw in all three planes. Neave.com is an interactive website created by designer Paul Neave.
Surf on over to Neaves' out of context television application and prepare to be bewildered. Giant mutated killer spiders and talking canines o'my.
This next link, Imagination, feels inspiring, most especially after having watched video for the Italian art installation, "The Cloud" so recently.
The Cloud - from mitmobileexperiencelab on Vimeo.
Exercise your imagination and become part of a fiber optic light show of your own making.
Make a wish on a dandelion.
Create a retro kaleidescope here and fiddle with a newer version here.
M.A.S.H. brings back memories of early childhood, my sister and her friends used to play it back when I was in grade two or three. Some days, when i was lucky she would draw out an extra layout on the corner of a lined page from her workbook and let me have a try at predicting her future.
Play Mash here.
Posted by Arrika at 7:30 PM
Today, two close friends of ours lost their dog to the tragedy of time. As he was a stray when they first brought him into their family, his exact age has been undefined, but it was up there in the 15-17 yr range. Even 15 years is a lot of lifetime to have lived. It is with great sadness that they had to say goodbye to him today...
This leads me to the reasoning behind my sudden urge to resume updates of this blog. I was wandering less than aimlessly today, seeking out mild diversions and oddities that might divert my friends away from their great sadness and give them a moment of quiet or laughter or something of a mixture in between. Todays randomness is brought to you by our furry friends... those creatures great and small who make our worlds go round and whom have the power to make the world freeze in place at the moment of their loss.
Surfing the internet, riding the waves in search of new amusements... the following are some of the coolest links I have come across recently.
http://musicovery.com is an interesting and dynamic, interactive music tool. Beautiful and simple graphics allow you to experience listening to online radio differently. A free flowing and easily accessible interface allows for a truly interactive experience. We used to spend a lot more time listening to music. allowing it to be a destination rather than an addition to the background noise of other activity. Part of my free time of these two weeks has been invested in recreating a listening space again. Rearranging craft boxes and art supplies is now a priority.
And now for something completely different! Eddie Izzard is an actor who flew under my radar until recently. I only recognize him through the newish television drama "the Riches", where he portrays a "traveler" or conman impersonating a lawyer. Eddie Izzards voice sounds a lot like a Monty Python character, which of course is a great generalization... but his voice over for the death star clip posted previously had me momentarily confused as to whom the narrator was. Funny enough, his website does not make mention of the sole reason I am aware of Izzards' existence. The Riches is an okay show. Not a great show. I can understand why it is not on his (predominantly British) Biography. Especially true since he is also a co writer of the series. I try to watch new episodes still... but the operative word is "try". I "try not to watch any television that takes an effort to sit down and push play on the Tivo remote. My braincells deserve better. Which takes me further down the brainstorming chain of random where is she leading with this-ness...
Follow that weakened chain of thought - Imagine yourself as a Lego character! A few of my posts from earlier included personalized Lego Characters used as Business cards. Reasonably Clever allows for you to play around with that idea and create your own mini!
Posted by Arrika at 6:30 PM
There is something inherently appealing about the upcoming movie WallE and I can't hardly wait.
Posted by Arrika at 10:40 AM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
If i look at my call display, the results are as follows.
80% of phone calls in the past 5 years have been from my sweetheart.
6% from my older sister.
6% from my younger sister who adopted me when we were 13.
my mother hasn't phoned in years.
my stepdaughters have phoned twice. yesterdays call was to verify what brand of cold medicine we had determined necessary to treat the ailments we brainstormed together over the weekend.. An alternative to ingesting childrens tylenol for headache and fever when her symptoms were no longer such. a very simple call, yet more meaningful than one might expect.
of the remaining 8% of phonecalls - 4% would have been made up by housing contractors all calling within a 2 month time period of renovations.
the last 4% of calls are a diverse bunch.
two friends waiting at a Greyhound Station in Sacramento for my bus, wondering when i was going to arrive finally.
a friend in new mexico wanting to thank me for the "get well soon" card i sent her when she was ill.
a dozen friends attempting to locate each others hotel rooms as we met up as planned in Las Vegas.
an elementary and highschool friend back home in canada that i reconnected with right before she got engaged and then married.. asking me to please attend... then thanking me for being there for her after it was all over....
a friend calling to find out if my train had arrived in Seattle yet.
friends wondering if we were getting close to the campground we were meeting at yet.
a friend in san diego, making plans to show me around Old Town while my sweetheart would be stuck in business meetings...
a friend asking me if i wanted to fly down and wander hollywood with him for the weekend then attend a roundtable discussion held with the cast and producers of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip at the University.
I dont have very many telephone conversations, but those that do take place tend to be of great importance. It seems that the limited contact makes the moment stand out more for me. Although a lot of my greatest friendships don't include regular face to face or telephonic interactions i think i spend more quality time with them than many people are blessed with.
Though i have to say - i do wish friends called me more often regardless of the time we spend together online.
Posted by Arrika at 7:19 PM