For my birthday my sweetie bought me a USB hub shaped like a skull. The skull has a depression in it, as if someone scooped out the brainpan, so it's the perfect place to put my little amplifier bot. The bot's googly eyes juuuuust peer over the top of the skull, so I must use the word "lo-bot-ony" here.

Now I can play WWOZ from New Orleans on my old iPod anytime I want (it turns out ere aren't that many things I want to do with an iPod).

Oo, I just noticed that the eye sockets on the skull are deep enough to put things in...I need to find some pearls.
Is there a difference between a
contact language
Macaronic languge

Is it that a contact language is spoken and Macaronic language is more likely to refer to a written or sung creative work? (Except the Macaronic language entry refers tot he Sublime song, which I love.)To give this a more specific context, I'm thinking of Salvatore's speaking style in _The Name of the Rose_ and of the minions language in the movies, both of which I have read referred to by linguists as examples of contact languages.
because watching the temperature go sloooowly up to sixty-odd degrees, only to see that the next day's weather is calling for snow, is just making me crazy.

The Things That Live In the Wall (yes, there are now multiples) also seem to be stunned speechless, or at least, a lot less twittery. Or perhaps, just like a character in a horror story, I have misinterpreted the unusal quiet and they are stealthily planning to hack through the wall, but with those little beaks instead of axes. Heeeeeeere's Tweety!
A month or so ago I realized that, since the large evergreen tree in the front yard had been cut down to provide more light for the new solar panels, there was a big empty space where I could plant a wildflower meadow.

Yes, that was my simple plan, something low-maintenance with no picky requirements for a particular soil pH, or demands for regular watering, or anything like that. I did get sidetracked by stumperies for a while, but then realized that I liked using the stump as a seat way too much to let the plants have it.

Sunday, LJ user tinybuffalo helped me scatter some wildflower seeds for the first day of spring, and Alexx just helped me complete phase one, which was to sow a pound of white Dutch clover to cover up the bare spots. I wanted to get this done before the week of rain begins.

Also, I got a crow call, since I really like crows. It actually sounds a lot like a kazoo, or maybe it's just a musical form I have yet to master.

The next phase is to start some seedlings in one of those mini-greenhouse kits; I have lots of lavender, rosemary, and thyme (I tried to break up that phase so that the song wouldn't start up in my head, but I completely failed, sorry about that).

And then...

I came across a book that called to me: _Ancient Roman Gardens_.

I expect my original goal of keeping it simple may get more complicated. I'm already lusting after a rock garden...

Do you think a Priapus statue would upset the folks at the Salvation Army house next door? I was thinking I would try to find a small subtle Priapus, but Priapus probably doesn't go for small or subtle.
I understand that it is nesting season, and I'm okay with you choosing my aerie as the site for your home.

What I am not okay with is the constant tapping and scrabbling, which I can only guess is the bird equivalent of redecorating.

And at 5 a.m.?

You're like the Felix Unger of avians.

Chill out, or there will be consequences.

I still have plenty of shiny Mylar tape left, and I'm going to get it from the Closet of Mysteries *right now*..


Mar. 9th, 2016 02:07 pm
It's a little disconcerting to be reading about Lovecraft while something is scratching at the wall two inches from my head.

I'm almost positive it's just a bird building a nest, but isn't it just like a Lovecraft character to blithely reason away weird and ominous signs of the supernatural?
I have a hook-handled white cane, which is my preferred form, but the elastic is stretched out, which makes the bottom shaft somewhat flaccid (for some reasons, men always seem to sound a bit perturbed when they point this out to me, go figure).

Anyway, I have a golf handle cane which I am willing to use for parts; has anyone done something like this? is it worth taking the newer one apart?

Alternatively, the elastic seems to be basic bungie cord; does anyone know the specifics on what I should be looking for?

FYI, I tried searching on white cane supplier Web sites for repair kits, but the elastic only seems to be available in bulk, $100 a spool, and I have a lifetime's supply of new cane tips still in their plastic (is this the blind equivalent to wire hangers? because I'm pretty certain cane tips are replicating in the dark corners of my closets).
While trying to find a folky version of this song, I came across this magnificient version, which begins with one girl playing, and ends up being one of the most fun versions I've heard
The title is _The Far Forests_, and I found it in digital format on the library for the blind Web site. It's a digital recording made from an audio recording, done in mono, and in the '70s, so I'm getting a paper version to scan.

About the book: These are possibly Aiken's darkest stories, darker even than _The Green Flash_, my other favorite collection, which probably accounts for why this collection doesn't get a lot of love. It's definitely not for read aloud to children, but would probably appeal to young adults who like spooky stories. Another aspect to these stories which probably account for it being one of her scarcest to be found collections is that many of the stories feature middle-aged or just plain old characters. A number of these older characters (who, in the way of Aiken stories, may or may not possess uncanny abilities) is that they are very content with their definitely eccentric lives, something which is hard to find in modern fiction. I love the way these people with their small magicks go about making the world, not dramatically, but quietly, a slightly better world to live in.

My favorite story, which I have described to other Aiken fans, none of whom ever remembered reading it (doesn't that make you crazy? it's as if you are a character in a Borges story, reading a slightly different edition with one extra story no one else has ever laid eyes upon; okay, that actually sounds pretty cool when I describe it that way)...
Anyway, my favorite story is about a young woman who sits in a storefront window and is paid to destroy any paper documents that the customer wishes to get rid of (yes, this is before paper shredders ertr a commonplace office item). This story is more of a screwball comedy--there are a couple of thse in this collection--and the title is "Safe and Soundproof."

so, ta-da! There you have it, my long lost Joan Aiken story collection, soon to be scanned and available for sharing.
You know what a bad blind person I am, so I'm late coming to the news that Stevie Wonder made a blind joke, but I'm thrilled to be reminded what a cool guy Stevie is. I caught him a few years back on the Spike Awards, which is an award show for games, and, before announcing the winner (probably of the best game soundtrack), Stevie said something tot he effect of "In the future, I hope more of these games will be accessible," and the next day game boards freaked out, and all I could do was shake my head and say, "What were you thinking when you invited a blind genius to be on your show talking about games of which not one could he play?"

Stevie's braille joke also remeinded me that, back in the day when VHS was a thing, I would label my tapes in braille, which made my sighted friends crazy, especially when I would say, "What? You can't access that? Welcome to my world."

So, while I was searching for a video of Stevie doing the braille thing (in hopes of converting it to mp3), I came across the "Stevie Wonder isn't really blind" conspiracy. WTF? You crazy sighted kids: Stevie isn't too cool to be blind; Stevie is too cool to be sighted. This reminded me of my college days, when people often said to me, "But you're not blind-blind," and I would have to say no, I was as blind as they came, really, I had removable eyeballs, fercrissakes.

Also, question of the day: what is it called when a word is repeated for emphasis? I'm reminded of this trickster god I like, whose name is "Old Old Coyote."
I realize that this might not be very exciting, but I am pretty pleased that I managed to
1) save my new purple alpaca socks (alpaca being one of the few wools which I am not allergic to at this point), and
2) squelching my "but my sewing isn't perfect" anxiety. Seriously, how many people are going to be looking at the inside seam of my sock?

Sometimes the inner-critic monster is so over-reaching that he just looks ludicrous. It's like one of those B horror movies that totally terrified you as a kid, and then you see it years later and are just baffled about what seemed so scary before.

Also, I like picturing my inner critic-monster as a guy in a cheap rubber suit with an obvious zipper.
What I heard: sore rose
The actual word: sorrows
From a letter written by Nerval, to a lover:
"Tell me your sore rose..."

I like this image of sorrow as a sore rose.
Is LasTPass accessible? If so, how do I get to the question of whether I want to add a login for a site to LastPass?
What I heard:
Ayn Rand Dancers

What it actually was:
Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A by Robert Mayhew
Not from a text scanned by me, but from a book I downloaded from, titled _Survivals of Roman Religion_:
a chapter titled "The Egyptian Dieties: Isis, Serapis, and Harpo."

Reread and then reread again. Yes, that is what the text says.

Wander down the page a few lines and find the word "crates."


Honk if you love Harpo!
While my cataloguing system for ebooks is quirky but efficient, organizing my paper and ink books remains an annoyance, mostly because the braille labels I make for the books keep flaking off.

The really irksome part is that these same labels have no problem sticking to the bottom of my socks.

I probably should not have named my armarium The Closet of Mysteries.
K (after spending an hour making a parachute for a squirrel puppet): Why do all my craft projects come out looking like the gnome tech in World of Warcraft?
A: You say that like it's a bad thing.
The article is in part an opinion piece by Dr. Sajay Gupta, a popular scientist, but it's also a fascinating examination of how scientific research can contain biases which have a really big impact on attitudes not only in the public, but in doctors themselves.



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