This sums it up pretty well…

July 24, 2009 at 6:31 am (Meanderings, Patriotism)

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio speech, 26 October 1939

This is the post in which my politics become completely obvious. Most of the time Pundit Kitchen is just pretty funny.  This one, however, makes me feel sad.



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Where Does the Title Come From?

July 22, 2009 at 7:28 am (Meanderings, Music)

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all. ” — John Lennon

Someone asked me where the title of this blog came from, so I thought I’d explain. It is a lyric from a Beatles song Tomorrow Never Knows.  The lyrics have a lot of meaning to me. (And no, a psychedelic experience is not necessary to appreciate them, although it can’t hurt.  But that is a topic for another day.)  It’s easy to appreciate on a technical level as well; there is a lot of innovation in the way the song was recorded.

The song is the final track on the brilliant album Revolver, and there is another amazing version of it on Anthology 2. If you haven’t heard these works of art, now’s the time!

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It’s hard not to anthropomorphize…

July 5, 2009 at 10:57 pm (Critters, Meanderings)

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”–Khalil Gibran

I learned today that one of the peregrine falcon chicks that recently fledged from a nest box in downtown Boise has died.  Apparently, Madge Ellen (Maggie for short), as she was informally dubbed, hit a high voltage line.  It is a sad fact that while peregrines have adapted well to nesting in cities, there are dangers to them there that don’t exist in the wild (although the wild has dangers of its own, of course).  According to a citation in this Wikipedia article, the mortality rate for young peregrines is 59 to 70 percent, so something like this is not unexpected, or even unusual.  And still, I am sad.  I become even more sad when I think about the parents.  Do they wonder where she is? Are they mourning her?  I know there are many out there that would scold me for anthropomorphizing these amazing creatures.  But who am I to judge whether or not they feel emotion?

I know that what I am feeling is real, though.  There have been some major stresses in my life in the past few months and watching the baby peregrines grow has been a great source of comfort, delight and amazement to me.  I suppose that makes the pain this loss brings somewhat easier to bear. Good bye, Maggie! You were a delight to so many in your short time with us.

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Happy Independence Day

July 4, 2009 at 6:14 am (Meanderings, Patriotism)

What we need are critical lovers of America – patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.  –Hubert H. Humphrey

(This one is especially dedicated to my husband.)  And to everyone else, although I feel very cynical about the U.S. sometimes, I believe this is still true, for the most part, and I’m grateful for it.  (OK, I probably wouldn’t fight to the death for Bill O’Reilly, but that’s more because he’s Bill O’Reilly, not because of his views.)

Happy 4th

Credit where credit is due:  Cartoon by Dwayne Powell.

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Fledgling Alert!

June 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm (Critters) (, , , , )

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be? —it is the same the angels breathe. — Mark Twain

For the past few months, I have been following the peregrine falcons nesting on a building in downtown Boise. I’ve been watching these little ones since they were still eggs.  There were four eggs and three hatched, producing two female chicks and a male.  Today, the male (unofficially dubbed Wall-e) fledged! The video below shows some footage of him sitting on top of the IdanHa Hotel, several blocks away from the nest box.

Thank you to Boise ISP Fiberpipe for hosting the peregrine cam and posting all the footage!

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Darren McGavin, We Miss You

June 26, 2009 at 3:53 am (Meanderings, Nerd stuff, SciFi) (, , , , , )

“I promised I’d show up with a haircut, a new hat, and pressed suit… but I lie a lot.” — Carl Kolchak

Kolchak faces down a vampire!

Kolchak faces down a vampire!

I didn’t actually see Kolchak the Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin when it first ran in the 1970s. I was a bit young for it.  I did catch it later, though, on the Sci-Fi channel.  I got interested in seeing the show after Chris Carter mentioned that it was one of his inspirations for the X-Files. Later, when the entire show (which was sadly, cancelled after one season) became available on DVD, I purchased the  box set.

I have gotten quite a lot of enjoyment out of watching the episodes over and over again, although there are a few that I tend to enjoy more than others (I think the first two-the jack the Ripper episode and the zombie episode are my favorites).  As it seems to be a time honored tradition with cult classic style TV shows, I began to ponder whether or not there was a Kolchak related drinking game. My scientifically conducted internet research 10 seconds of Google searching showed that this didn’t appear to be the case.  Since that definitely needed to be remedied, I present to you, forthwith, my official Kolchak the Nightstalker drinking game. Of course, we all know that drinking is dangerous and sinful. You can play this game with soda pop, chocolate milk,  plain old water, or other…imbibables.  Whatever suits you.  Personally I don’t drink anymore, so this is purely a mental exercise.  (Just smile and nod with me here.)

How to Play

If you don’t have a copy of the boxed set of the series, get one. It’s not that expensive.  Pop in the DVD, take hold of your favorite intoxicant (or some chocolate milk), and imbibe as follows for each event.

One drink

  • Kolchak and Vincenzo get into an argument.
  • Kolchak asks snide questions at a police press conference.
  • Kolchak’s camera and/or tape recorder gets confiscated/broken.
  • Vincenzo rips the article Kolchak is working on out of his typewriter while Kolchak is actually typing it.
  • Carl’s voiceover announces someone’s death in a dramatic way. For example—“She wanted to be a famous masseuse…she should have settled for being alive!”
  • Kolchak walks out of the office to pursue a story in the middle of the day over Vincenzo’s protestations.
  • Updike makes an appearance.
  • Kolchak uses a  library book on some obscure occult topic with cool esoteric pictures to explain whatever supernatural event is occurring. (The person(s) he is explaining to dismisses it, of course.)
  • Kolchak goes out after the monster by himself, gets scared, and runs away screaming like a little girl (usually to great comedic effect).

Two drinks

  • Carl mispronounces Updike’s name as Uptight.
  • Kolchak’s hat is disparaged, stepped on, run over, etc.
  • Vincenzo has to bail Kolchak out of jail.
  • Vincenzo has indigestion.
  • Miss Emily makes an appearance.
  • Monique makes an appearance.
  • Kolchak’s photos don’t come out.

Three drinks

  • You can see the zipper on the monster’s costume.
  • Kolchak makes a sudden u-turn in his big convertible after he hears something on the police scanner.
  • A cop is actually nice to Kolchak.
  • Gordie the Ghoul makes an appearance.

Can you think of any more?  Leave them in the comments.

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I’m actually one of the quiet ones…

June 26, 2009 at 3:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Someone in the room says, ‘it’s the quiet ones you’ve  got to watch.’ This sounds to me like a very dangerous assumption. I’ll bet you anything that while you’re watching a quiet one, a noisy one will f**king kill you!” – George Carlin

…while I have plenty of blogs bookmarked (most of them about knitting), I had never really given much thought to creating one of my own.  I never really thought I had much to say.  Not much to say that anyone would want to read anyway.  But then it occurred to me that it might be a therapeutic thing to do, and that maybe it doesn’t matter if anyone wants to read it or not.  It  also occurred to me that maybe if I decided to start a blog, and actually write about things like the fact that I have bipolar disorder, and that my life isn’t all fairy fluff and rainbows, and that having a mental illness really, really sucks, but that it can be pretty damn hilarious sometimes, it might help me (and cost a lot less than seeing a psychologist twice a week).  And maybe, just maybe, if there is someone out there who is hurting so profoundly that it feels like their spiritual eyeballs are being carved out with a psychic knife, and it helps them feel not quite so alone,  even better. Then I started thinking, what if I write candidly about things that make others squirm (but educates them at the same time)?

So, born of those thoughts,  here is this blog.

So as not to overwhelm you (and make you want to close this page and delete your cache and never come back ever, ever again), I will just start by saying that I have bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder with mixed episodes. What that means is I get manic and depressed AT THE SAME TIME.  This is about as much fun as falling into a large pile of fire ants.  BUT, in addition to having bipolar disorder, I like to knit, I like roleplaying games, I have a masters degree, I enjoy reading, I can kick your butt at trivia contests, I am a big Star Trek geek, I have a completely soft heart (and soft head) for cats, I like to go fishing, I’m a Seattle Mariners fan, I’m pretty good at working on computers, and I like math. Those are just a few of the things that have a lot more to do with defining me than my illness. At the same time, I’m owning my “crazy”, because a mental illness is simply part of who I am.  And society wants to call me (and others with mental illnesses) crazy, so I’m stealing the label back. I’m here, I’m nuts, get used to it. Or something like that.

This blog won’t just be about having bipolar disorder, though.  That would get really boring really quickly, and there are so many other things to write about.  So if this has piqued your interest, please check back in the future, and I’ll be writing about some of those other things I mentioned too.

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