Friday, December 30, 2011

Sleeping Tom

I love stories like this. Meet Artful Dodger, who lives in England and has a taste for travel.

The ginger moggy, who was named after the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, has taken to hopping on and off the public transport at the bus station near his home.The 15-year-old Tom even sits on bemused passengers' laps as the bus makes up to 10 mile round trips from Bridport to Charmouth in Dorset.
Charming story. You can read it all at the link. Europeans are so mellow that way. This could never happen here. It's against the rules for animals to ride the bus. Well, except seeing eye dogs. And some of the passengers would probably be just as likely to kick the poor kitty, as let him sit in their lap.

And not to forget man's best friend. This is old I think, but it still made me smile all over again. All dogs go to heaven.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last century New York

We all mostly remember Stanley Kubrick for his films 2001 and The Shining but he was a talented photographer as well. This one is my favorite of Kubrick's photos of 1940s New York.

It's the most cheerful one but they're not all depressing either. Rest of the gallery at the link above.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I've looked at clouds from both sides now

You all know how much I love weather. Always have been fascinated by the wonders of nature. Especially clouds. These are some clouds you don't see every day. In fact I've never seen these before.

Experts say the clouds were pristine examples of "Kelvin-Helmholtz waves." Whether seen in the sky or in the ocean, this type of turbulence always forms when a fast-moving layer of fluid slides on top of a slower, thicker layer, dragging its surface.
More pictures at the link. Believe what you will about climate change, but stuff like this makes me believe something big is happening and we ignore it at our peril.

It's not just clouds either. Weather in general is getting more freaky. Floods, tornados, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. I know it's a La Nina year and that brings weird weather. But I've been around for a long time now and I don't recall it ever being quite this extreme. Thinking Mother Nature is getting pissed off we're taking her for granted.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I've seen a lot of white Christmases. Sure they're pretty and traditional but at this point in my life I wouldn't mind waking up on December 25 to a blue Christmas like this:

Photo credit: National Geographic contest winner, In the Philippines.

Throw some Christmas lights on the palm tree and I'd be good to go. But on a more traditional note, I've yet to actually make one of these, but I do love me some gingerbread houses.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the holiday and for everyone, whether you do or not, my Christmas wish for you is that joy fills your heart and peace of mind finds you on this day, and every day thereafter.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Let it snow, somewhere else

No white Christmas for the little city this year, if you can believe the weatherguy. That's okay with me. Been loving the unnaturally warm weather for the last few days. Seems to be about over. I want it back already. But my cold aversion notwithstanding, I do love me some snow sculptures. If I hit the mega millions this weekend, maybe I'll go see this show in China.

That was one of my favorites. Lots more photos of the giant sculptures at the link.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I can't wait. I can't wait

I couldn't begin to tell you how much a part Tolkien's books played in my life. Or how much I love Middle Earth. I'm so happy The Hobbit movie released the official trailer. Think that means the movie is almost ready to be released.

It seems like they're adding some dialogue. I don't recall a lot of those lines in the trailer from the book. But it looks like it's going to great. Can't wait to see it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cravings satisfied

Been a while since I updated you all on my social life. Went out with the Marine a lot last week. Did the Tuesday night dinner club at the Mexican place. On Thursday, went with him to his annual holiday dinner with his golf club buddies. That was interesting. First time I met that group.

There were not one, but two, Baptist preachers at the table. Everybody showed up dressed in Christmas colors, except me and John. I was dressed in black. The wives all wore Christmas sweaters and Christmas jewelery. One showed up with blinking Christmas light earrings. I was clearly the youngest one there. And the only one who didn't bring any presents for the ladies exchange. Who knew? John didn't tell me a thing.

They were all freaked out that I would feel bad about not getting anything. I didn't care at all of course. But somebody cribbed a stuffed bear in a tin from someone else's gift bag so I wouldn't leave empty handed. John foisted off one of his gifts on me later. Which was actually pretty good. A fleece throw with reindeer on it. Can never have too many fleece throws. That's probably all the gifts I'll get this year. Which is okay too. Don't really need more stuff.

So then yesterday I got roped into going to the Baptist church for their cantata. Don't believe I've ever seen a Christmas pageant put on by adults dressed in costume. Not at a church service anyway. It was actually pretty good. The singing was anyway. But the church was pitch dark. I crashed into the pew trying to sit down. And they used red lighting for the actors. For the whole show. Gave it a kind of hellish glow.

Still, the sermon was mercifully short. Not even a sermon really. More like a call to be saved by the baby jesus. You were supposed to raise your hand in the dark if you wanted the pastor to beseech God to save your soul. I didn't do it. On the way out, they gave up plain brown paper bags with fruit and candy in it.

John then decided we should drive 35 miles north to have lunch. At a chain restaurant. To be fair, it's not a chain they have around here. And the food was good. I had some pot roast and a piece of fried chicken. Both of which I've been craving forever. Not craving it anymore. Think I'm still digesting it all today.

And it was a lovely day for a drive as long as you have a good heater in the car. Beautiful scenery in the mountains. Went on roads I've never been on before. And the highlight was the family of wild turkeys that crossed right in front of the car. We had to stop on the road to let them go by. Pretty lucky there wasn't any other traffic at the time. Road so curvy and the locals drive so fast, we probably would have been rear-ended. But accidents were averted and I got to tell John the story about how my sister killed a turkey for Christmas dinner, with a bus. So there's that... [photo credit]

All that jazz

It's traditional to post Bing Crosby singing White Christmas or Count Your Blessings but this year, this rare video crossed the radar screen. So, here's Bing swinging with some jazz greats.

Pretty sure that's a very young Louis Armstrong, isn't it?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Just not in the spirit this year for any major celebration, but I do love me some Christmas lights. John and I took a ride the other night through the upscale neighborhood to view the decorations. Some nice displays. All very elegant. But I'll always like the overblown tacky stuff in the poor hoods the best. Here's one I wish I could see in person:

This is a display in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And there's more photos from around the world here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Movie mash

You don't have to know the movies they used, Lord knows I didn't recognize any of them, to appreciate this really great movie mash-up. But it's probably even more awesome if you know what the movies are...

Uses scenes from 230 movies. Long vid, but I couldn't stop watching.

And breaking my no cat video rule again, because some of these are really cute:

20 most important cats of 2011.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I see the moon and the moon sees me

I just love this photo montage. Not just because I love this sort of photo trickery. Not just because I love the moon. But because it reminded me of a story my friend Victoria told me about her nephew.

When he was just a tiny tot, he made up a little jingle and chanted it regularly.
I see the moon and the moon sees me.
I love the moon and the moon loves me.
From the mouths of babes. Words to live by.

[Note to my mom: If you click on the photo it makes it bigger so you can see it better.]

Monday, December 12, 2011

When I was young

In the 50s and early 60s every gas station garage had a calendar of these girls on their wall. (Yes, they called women girls then.) Love that this one has a run in her stocking.

More here at 50 hottest pin-ups of the 50s.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sorry Lawn Chair Guy

Those of you who know me well, know how much I love anything to do with giant balloons. Hot air ballooning has always been my first love, of course, but you may also recall how fond I am of men in flying lawn chairs. Sorry to say, lawn chair flying is no longer the coolest thing ever. This is:

Click this link for the story and many more photos. This even beats the time Brian Boland used a VW bus for a hot air balloon basket. But our legendary balloonmeister is always dreaming up new flights of fancy. In the air, and on the ground.

I have faith that some day he'll top this flying house.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I haven't had a traditional Christmas tree in many years. Sometimes I throw a few branches of pine, or just bare wood twigs from a birch tree or something, in a vase and decorate those. But if I was going to go all out, this is surely the tree I would want:

Then there's this tree, a truly awesome tribute to recycling.

Click the link for the close ups. It's in Kaunas, Lithuania, a 42 foot tall Christmas tree made of 32,000 green plastic bottles. At night, the tree is lit by 40,000 lights. The tree is by Lithuanian artist Jolanta Smidtiene.

And I've been falling down on the Christmas lights. Hard to find photos I can save as images. They mostly seem to be in flash galleries like this one. Some righteously garish light displays there for the lovers of tacky holiday decorating.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Cat's in the corn

I can't figure out how to imbed this video, and I don't usually bother with cute cats because everybody already posts them but just in case you missed Cat on Boat Plays with Dolphins, you really must watch it. Best cat video ever. Not so much cute as astounding.

Also since it's the weekend and I can't embed this one either, a little time waster of a sort of game. Doesn't waste too much time, and I thought it was fun. Draw a stick man and watch him come to life. Very clever interactive amusement.

As for the photo, no idea where I got it. It's been sitting there in my pictures file for so long I lost the link that should go with it. But great shot, and if the photog happens to see it here, shoot me a link so I can post the credit. .

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Just got this off Facebook. I don't know how he did it. Probably don't want to know because I just love me some magic.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Best Advent Calendar Ever

Nothing I love more than tacky holiday decorations. The more overdone, the better. Just now off the twitter machine, is this beauty. I would so love to see this in person:

I'm told this is my friend's advent calendar this year and she'll be tweeting a new one every day until Christmas. Something to look forward to...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

With no direction home...

I was on a long overdue cruise through my blogroll when I was reminded of my far flung roots by this post at Ellison's cheese aisle. That corner of the world was where my first adult home was located. Having lost all my historic photos in that unfortunate robbery many years ago, I spent way too much time looking for pictures of my very first house in lovely Norfolk, CT.

It wasn't my first place when I left home. I lived in a series of shared rentals in Winsted and Torrington, but Norfolk was the first place I had a house all to myself. It was still rented but this is where my daughter was born. Sadly, I couldn't find a photo of it. However, this was definitely my landlord's house, now a Bed and Breakfast.

Thought at first this might have been mine, but looking at the maps, it's the wrong color, not big enough and situated wrong on the lot. Also the porch wasn't screened in.

The topography has changed in the last 40 years so this satellite shot doesn't look quite right either, but I'm thinking this is it. The house is situated correctly, it's white and seems big enough. It was a huge old Victorian, three stories, with a gorgeous wrap around porch and an attached studio on the back. Back then there were only woods across the street.

It was ridiculously huge for just the three of us. We didn't even have enough furniture to fill it up. But we had a lot of house guests back then. Someday I suppose I might take a road trip to revisit it and get a real photo.

Anyway, if the link doesn't work, plug in 108 Laurel Way and zoom in as far as you can in the satellite view and you can sort of see it. I really did love that house.

Friday, December 02, 2011

It's a small, small world

My video find for the day is this incredible miniature world. I really want to go see this one in person some day.

Largest miniature railroad in the world.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Frightening Food

Sun is shining but it's freezing here today in the so-called south. It appears winter has really started. Guess all those rosebuds on the confused bush in the front yard are going to freeze now. But no snow or ice yet, so there's that.

All I have for you today is this frightening cookbook. Should have been called "100 things you would never want to do with a banana." And fair warning, do not click that link shortly before or after eating.

But if you're feeling brave, and suitably psychologically prepared, go ahead and have a look. The punch line is the very last photo at the bottom of the post. [photo credit]