The Litter Box

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Topic: I need a topic?

I really have nothing to say right now so here's a GIF of Calvin and Hobbes dancing. The GIF was made from the panels of the origiginal Sunday strip.



Posted by lincatz at 10:46 AM EDT
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Thursday, 17 May 2012
Nothing to see here.
Topic: I need a topic?

So I've been busy lately with things that are not exciting to write about. Gardening, sewing pants and shorts for summer, that sort of thing.  I'll try to get a few pictures. I had to replace a couple pairs of shorts because they were worn to death.

You know what burns my butt?  When evil squirrels attack the plants that i have so carefully planted.  I have a nice little kitchen door herb garden and they attacked that!  They yank the plants out, nibble them, decide that they don't like the taste and then leave the mess behond to die.  I hate squirrels right now.

Know what else burns my butt?  When rocks I collected at the beach that spontaneously combusted in my pocket -like in this story:  next time don't collect Flint and phosphorine at the same time: bad things will happen. 

And that's what's been happening.  I noticed that a bunch of stuff from my entry about t-shirt patterns vanished into the electronic ether, so tomorrow I will try to fix it up.  I hate when that happens. 

Posted by lincatz at 11:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 8 December 2010
A shameful secret: I listen to New Age music
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: I need a topic?

I have a shmeful secret.  It happens every year after the first real snowfall...and continues until the end of February.  I do it when Dave is at work and Ben's otherwise engaged.  That way they don't know I do it.  I listen to new age albums, and most horrifying of all:  John Tesh albums -especially my favourite "Winter Songs"  They are all a clear unshaded pure color, no grey blues or muddly greens, no yellows or reds or oranges; everything is a bright clear cool pastels.  Yes, john Tesh, the entertainment reporter.  He's also a musician and he makes some really awful stuff.  Most is pure drivel...It's not really classical, and it's not really adult contemporary...and it doesn't quite fit into the New Age category either. Much of it is closer to Muzak rather than music. There's only a couple thing of his I like, and Winter Songs is my favourite. It's all instrumental and everything is done to sound wintery. Which it does.  It's not "christmas" music, it's winter music, which coninues on long after christmas. I wonder if he has music/colour synesthesia too?  

I have another shameful secret.  Hennie Bekker. Who? why none other than one of the pioneers of "new Age" music.  It's his music that Dan Gibson combined with nature sounds to give us all those CD's and tapes sold at stores that smell like incense and sell "wellness" stuff. His music is also very cold and clear, perfect for winter afternoons when I do my best artworks. I like to play this tranquility new age bull-crap music while drawing and painting and being creative. In the summer I like the music with nature sounds, in the winter I like the music without the bird and babbling brooks.  It does help.  I have to admit: I shop in stores that smell like incense. I've bought clothes at stores that smell like incense. I've bought INCENSE at stores that smell like incense. My sewing area smells like incense. 

These guys are for days when even Enya isn't tranquil or new age-y enough. 

And not so shameful or a secret: focusing on myself and not trying to do everything for everyone. There's a real upside to finally focusing on what I want to do and not giving into the demands of others: A Very Clean House! finally I'm getting a chance to stop the audition for "hoarders" and rid the place of accumulated stuff.  It's not big or important stuff, it's nothing that we need or anything that has a function or for a job we haven't got around to's crap like Dan's college bus pass from 2006.  It's receipts for fried chicken from Central.  It's that busted thing we got as a wedding present 25 years ago from people whom I don't know but my parents invited because they got invited to the other people's son's wedding.  And the kitchen utensils that are warped, rusted, have holes in them or no longer function.  And really, do we need to save 13 year old magazines? Or that free VHS tape of exciting time share opportunities in Florida? Really?

So a lot of this stuff is going.  Things like knick-nacks and decorative items get put away for a while and then after a few years I bring the box out and recirculate them.  I have a few that I adore, and the others get a regular rotation on the shelves.   I can't bear to throw out pretty itms that sit on shelves, so it's how I keep them under control.

My next big project is one that I'm not entirely certain about...I get conflicting information: Bills, mail, receipts and records.  How long do I need to save that crap? One year, two years? Forever? Unfortunately it's taken over a corner of the dining room, one that should be used for something else, and it needs to be brought under control.  So I'm getting one of those plastic storage bins, tossing it in there, and I'll deal with it in January. And then I will have a neat and tidy corner for a coffee maker, a radio and a fruit bowl with the cereal boxes, salt and pepper shakers and sugar canisters all neat and tidy underneath. And I will find some way to keep all that paper stuff from taking over our lives!

So that's what's going on.  Nothing really sewing related, unless you count organizing a big jar of buttons into a bigger jar with smaller compartments, or getting all my buckles, d-rings, clips and other hardware organized into a little thing that used to have nuts and bolts and washers, or re-folding and re-rolling my fabric stash so it doesn't get lines or creases  True, all this is sewing related, but it doesn't make for exciting blog entries.

Posted by lincatz at 11:59 AM EST
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Monday, 9 March 2009
Bucks, Pussywillows and Beads
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: I need a topic?

Something really cool happened on Saturday.  My hubby and I had to take his mom to the vehicle licence place and it's boring waiting in a long line so I decided to take a walk along the trail along forwell creek, beside the building. There were signs of a receded spring flood, tufts of dead dry grass coagulated in the Y's of tree branches all facing the same way, the ends pointing in the direction of the rushing water.  The path was rimed with ice and the tracks of people and dogs were frozen in high relief. Among the tracks were the hoof prints of a deer, cracked through the frost.  Aha!  A deer had been through very recently!  I looked around for more deer signs.  In the underbrush was a clear low path, the brush bent backwards making a tunnel through the thin undergrowth.  I followed this trail to a spot on the south facing side of an esker and found the deer beds.  Deer beds are unmistakable once you know what to look for, patches of ice, the wrinkled skin pattern in the ice, the little bits of fur, it's quite obvious.

Meanwhile as i am observing the deer signs, I am oblivious to the fact that I am being observed myself.  When I finally became aware that i was being watched I turned to the sound of clattering hoofs.  I was just in time to briefly look face to face with a big old buck with large antler buds. He turned and ran just as i saw him.

This isn't the first time I've been face to face with a deer.  They are quite active in the early spring.  The entire walk reminded me of the song by Gordon Lightfoot, Pussywillows, cattails, water in the was cool and damp and smelled of mud and green growing things.  There was some barbarae vulgaris, or wintercress growing in the meadow, just past the bridge beyond the eaves of the forest.  On the meadow side I saw a skunk wandering through not more than twenty feet in front of me.  I don't know which got my heart racing faster, the big old buck or the skunk! The skunk ambled into the hummocks and tussocks beyond the edge of the path.

Friday was very warm, up to 18C according to one Time and temp sign.  Shaggy...I mean BEN got his haircut!  We did a lot of puddle jumping!  Much of the snow is gone and what's left is mostly black and muddy. 

Another sign of spring: I have gone bead-crazy again.  My muse hit me on the head and forced me into making the crystal and geode necklace.  I'm now working on a piece made with a big heart shaped blue goldstone, blue crystals, canary crystals and blue goldstone beads.  Blue goldstone looks like a rock filled with stars.  The heart is full of stars and I want the piece to be like a heart full of stars.  When people look at it I can tell them I am wearing a heart of stars and that will be poetic and evocative. Or lame, one of the two.

I also have some butterflies made of carved moonstones.  Moonstones are a milky opal.  They aren't full of fire, like australian opals, but they have a milky multicolour aurora in them. I'm going to place the butterflies on some ballpins and have them floating away from a thicker chain with crystal bead intervals.  I want tit to look like the butterflies are escaping the necklace, flying away from the chain.

I also have a some tektites.  No,  not THOSE tektites, these aren't the bad guys from some retro video game, the tektites I'm talking about are are volcanic rocks, they are from the magma that splashes up with an asteroid crashes into the earth and breaks through the crust.  They are a matte black and have little holes and tunnels in them.  They aren't sharp edged and foamy like pumice, these holes are irregular.  I'm not sure what I will do with these, maybe combine them with some black and gold leafed fimo beads.

Lastly, I have a few crystal wands.  These are slightly turquoise, about an inch long and a quarter inch wide.  They have traces of their growing matrix on the one end and the other end is sharply pointed.  I think I will use epoxy glue to attach bails and then use them to make matching earrings and a pendant necklace.

And that's all for today.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:48 AM EDT
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Monday, 31 March 2008

Mood:  not sure
Topic: I need a topic?

It's raining.  You know what this means: It's not snowing.  This is a cause for much rejoicing and much celebration.  Or it's the cause of that huge puddle on the street.  This also means that some of the snow should melt away, leaving us with only five foot snow banks instead of the ten foot banks we've had all winter.

Dave and Dan both have colds, sore throats, sneezing, raspy coughs.  So who wants to start a pool for when I get the cold?  Wednesday?  Thursday?  I'll put ten bucks on Wednesday at midnight!

Since Monday is depressing, and rainy mondays are also depressing, even if the rain means winter is mostly over, here's a neat little game to make monday a little less grey and a little more colourful: An interactive collection of Mad Al Jaffe Fold-Ins.  just place the mouse on the right side, drag and drop and see the fold in magic!  Back in Mad Mgazine's golden age of 1965 to 1985 the fold in were one of the many highlights of the magazine.  Always brilliantly and cleverly executed they always conveyed a pointed and often timeless message.  Years later many of these fold ins are still relevant to today's news stories.  Number two, where the bloodiest battles are being fought, was originally referring to vietnam, today there is still relevance in the Iraq/Afghanistan debacle the  world finds itself in, having learned nothing from vietnam.  And the election battles this time are just as brutal.  Some of the mid sixties early seventies fold ins are quite trippy and reflect how mainstream drug culture had become in that era. 

We still have a bunch of old Mads hanging around somewhere, dating from 1968 to about 88.  I can't bear to throw them out even though they have been read and enjoyed to shreds.  The kids read them when they were teens.  We all noticed how similar the Lord of the rings Movies were to Mad's long ago "The Ring and I" musical, and they loved Star Wars, the empire strikes Out and some of the other stories and cartoons.  Mad is but a shadow of what it once was, the edge is gone, the bite is more like old man gums rather than shark tooth sharp.

We didn't do much on the weekend.  We turned off most of our lights at eight o'clock, Dan had to use his laptop by many of these so called "grass roots" eco drives seem to be nothing more than pissing in the ocean, if you'll pardon mon Francaise.  On the news there was some little kid parroting what he heard at a school's Earth hour assembly, something about a home using the same amount of electricity in one day as a McDonald's sign uses in one hour and that's why we had to turn off our lights for one hour.  I'm not sure about his facts, but it seems to me that the problem isn't home lighting, but too many McDonalds (and others) signs gobbling up too many kilowatts simply to tell us Billions and billions served bad food.  I's quite ironic That Branson...the guy from Virgin started the big "flick off" campaign, when his store signs are huge electricity wasters.  Something not right, somehow the blame is being deflected and attention taken away from the biggest electricity wasters.  Changing home light bulbs to those awful buzzing popping flickering compact fluorescents is not going to help when the biggest consumers and wasters of electricity is business and industry.  Do those office towers and shopping centers and stores really need all the lights on all day and all night?

So that's all i have to say today.  not much, i know.  but the snow is melting and I have started some flower seeds, so that's good, isn't it?  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:55 AM EDT
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Thursday, 29 November 2007

Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: I need a topic?

Hi!  It's thursday!  I like thursdays.  Thursday has always been my favourite day.  I've never been a big fan of Wednesdays.  Tuesdays are okay, they think they are far better than they really are because they come after monday.  Monday isn't such a bad day, it would be far more enjoyable if it began an hour later than it did.  I dunno about saturday, it's a mini van driving soccer mom who has scheduled too many thing in one day and is too much of a rush to get somewhere that it ends up nowhere.

Next week is the big Kitchener german Christmas Market at city hall.  The air will be filled with the smell of smoked pork chops, caramel popcorn, all sorts of goodies.  And there will be plenty of german language pop music, the kind with the accordions and the polka type beat...all the songs sound the same and they are in german.  And here's the website!  I always like to get a few traditional glass German ornaments, especially glass birds.  They may not be featured in the latest issue of Martha Stewart, but there's something special about german glass ornaments that makes them trump whatever the latest fad ornament theme.  And why not?  The christmas tree has its origins in far more ancient german pagan yule traditions.

Last time we met Ben and his english class there and then met up with Dan.  This year ben and I will be going later on either thursday of friday evening, meeting Dave and then coming home after spending some time freezing our asses off looking around and shopping.  Every year the have the festival during the first big cold spell of the year.

In case you didn't know, today is official Square Dancing Day.  As someone who was a kid in school in the late sixties, I was forced to learn square dancing.  For some reason square dancing was part of the required curriculum at that time.  No one knows why, and it's no longer part of the gym curriculum, but for some reason at one time square dancing was considered essential to a student well rounded education.

What else?  Oh yeah Project Runway US featured men's wear!  That's a first!  Men's wear is much different from women's you can't just drape a bunch of fabric, tack it together and call it a suit.  Suits require much more skill and technical ability.  It was okay, so far there's nothing really outstanding in this latest incarnation of the show.

And CSI:New York...I am of two minds, first they changed Mac's life story, and it's too bad the whole episode didn't match the intensity of the final ten minutes.  It was cute the way the guy used the same laser arrangement Mac used in the Die Hard episode, but I could see the ending coming from a mile away, once they brought the brother in from Chicago I knew he would be the one shot by the elaborate laser trap.  All in all, a not too bad conclusion to the 333 story line.  I really appreciate that Flack is getting more face time...he's hot.

Dave's going to be home tomorrow!  Yay! That's all for now.  I have to thread my sewing machines.  Bye!

Posted by lincatz at 12:02 PM EST
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Thursday, 25 October 2007

Mood:  not sure
Topic: I need a topic?

All I can say is that all television should be discontinued it's reached its peak with CSI:New York's Second Life episode.  Television has reached some sort of nexus point and nothing else will ever come close.  Second Life...also know and no real life in some circles.  Between time travel, James Bond cars and now an episode that mostly took place in the cyber world, this is either stunningly brilliant...or stunningly stupid.  I can't make up my mind which.  All I know is television has entered a new era...

Now, about the world series  Don't care.  You can't make me care.  If I hear one more thing about fenway park being holy baseball ground or whatever I'll shriek!  I don't care who wins, as long as it was not the Yankees.  The yankees are not there, so baseball season is over for me.  I'd like to see boston get bostOWNED! simply because they were so stupid that they thought lit bright pics of Mooninites were terrorist threats.  I have a bostowned pic somewhere:


Cool!  There it is! So yesterday i went to Bead Bazaar in Waterloo.  I did not need beads, so I only got a few.  I also went to the art store and got a bigger sketch book.  The store is having their anniversary sale so I also got a fridge magnet and a clear plastic artist's pallet with the store logo on it.  I resisted the allure of the yarn shop, after all I'm going to the needlework show.  Because Dave asked, here's a map with all the parking:


We can print it later as I have it saved now 'kay Dave?

Now it's off to usenet to see if there's anything interesting out there.  I posted a rant on a group and then proceeded to be unable to get on usenet for a few days as the free server I use crapped out. It's back on now.  I have to see what kind of crap i stirred up.  i posted a rant against faith based ontario schools in one group and somehow it now being cross posted to at least eight groups, including a programming group?!?  I don't get it. I was nominated for a kook award but no one seconded it and it was removed for lack of kookness.  that's sad; I need to try harder.  My biggest regret in life will be that I was never an awful site of the day, a portal of evil site, or a usenet kook. 

And that's all for today...I now must go out and post anti PETA rants on fashion groups. Ta! 

Posted by lincatz at 12:28 PM EDT
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Friday, 3 August 2007
My Kat Hates Me
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: I need a topic?

My kitty now hates me.  I accidentally stepped on her and she spent all of yesterday hiding from me.  I went searching for her because kats hide when they are hurt or sick, and I was worried.  Ben and I searched high and low and I finally asked Lucky to lead me to her.  His tail stuck straight up in the air and he trotted up the stairs, turning and looking at me and thinking "follow me!  I know where she is!" so we followed him up and he went to closet and stuck his nose in and thought..."she's in there look!"  I looked and she wasn't there.  I told him she wasn't there so he took me to a pile of dirty towels (where she was the day before and thought, "this is her favourite place to sleep" and I said. "No Lucky...that's YOUR favourite place to sleep." and he thought back, "well FINE!  I'm having a sleep then you kat stepper onner!"  I found her behind Dan''s bedroom curtains on his window sill with her nose up in the air.  She was avoiding me and Lucky was helping her.  He's always thinking at me like that when I talk to him.  And I hear him as clearly as if he speaks out loud.

From My NatGeo newsfeed...ancient skull fuels theory homo sapiens interbred with neandertals.  And to quote a farker...and their decedents ran for the Kansas board of education.  Actually, it breaks down some more of the conceit that H. sapiens is somehow different and special.  We aren't. There isn't any difference between us and the anyone who's ever attended a monster truck show can tell you.   The Geico cave man nods in approval, check his rolex and realizes he's late for his cricket match.

It's the long weekend!  I have no idea what we will be doing or if we will be going anywhere, but I'm certain some of it will be spent sitting in a car while driving to or from somewhere that is not home. I hope as we drive we don't see any of these road signs.  Especially the bottom sign of page three.  Although there used to be a one way street off Weber that terminated at a dead end sign at the train tracks with no streets coming onto or off of this one way street.  Hasn't everyone felt at one point or another that life is a dead end one way street?  OOOOOO!  How EMO is that? a dead end one way street!  Get out the eye liner and the black t shirt!

Oh yes, here's the website for the atelier of Lesage, master embroiderer house.  Ther's a school, almost 7000 euros to learn hook-needle couturier embroidery. I think it would be worth it! There's a couple books available, and a couple kits.  Kool!

okay, so I'm as much an atheist as the next person, provided the next person is Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris or Austin Cline...but there's something not quite right about these t-shirts...something a bit like Hester Pryn was forced to wear in The Scarlet Letter. They even mention the scarlet letter, and the idea of outing...didn't gays get a copyright on that one?  I dunno...I like the flying spaghetti monster shirts better.  When I wore that one I had stranger come up to me and remark that they too were atheists pastafarians.  Here's a whole bunch of far better atheist t-shirts from Cafe Press.

And that's all for now!  I just got a notice that my website's terms of service has been updated...and it's three scrolls worth of tiny tiny words...looking for magnifying glass...

Posted by lincatz at 12:09 PM EDT
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Thursday, 12 July 2007

Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Queen-Innuendo
Topic: I need a topic?

In the continuing saga of the rise of our guitar playing overlords who control time and space, Brian May has finished and submitted his PHD thesis for peer review.  It's nice to know he has a good education to fall back on in case this whole rock star thing doesn't work out.  He needs to break free, after all! At least he should break free of those bunny slippers.

Those are some mighty fine lookin wimmin...

Merriam Webster has repaired their new words web page so I can now feature a link to the Dictionary site with Ginormous.  Also being promoted to real word status is Bollywood, telenovela, and smackdown!   

Ben received his final report card yesterday and he has officially finished high school.  he has all his credits, his community service and passed his grade ten test.  He will be graduating in October or November, whenever the official ceremony is.  Not bad at all, considering how questionable his future was when he started school.  His average ended up being in the seventies, which is fine.  We never expected him to be on the honor roll or end up in the Ontario Scholar ranks; indeed anything over 70 is outstanding for a kid with so many challenges as he went through school.  Next is signing him up for a special mentoring program called "jobtrack" which helps kids like Ben find full time well paying jobs. 

And that's all for today.  Once again, just a tiny little entry.  Have I mentioned how much I adore my new sewing machine? He makes the biggest jobs go so fast!  and he gives me such amazing results.  Like I said, I don't know why I waited so long to get him!  And that should give you an idea as to what I've been spending much of my time on....

Posted by lincatz at 10:59 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007 11:02 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 June 2007

Mood:  hug me
Topic: I need a topic?

I can tell it's monday.  I got up, grabbed what I wanted to wear...and there was a large barbecue sauce stain on it from the night before.  I got another dress from the closet, and then tried to stick my head through the armhole and my arm through a buttonhole, then between a pair of buttonholes.  When I got things straightened around I then poked myself in the sternum with a bra wire that burst forth from its casings.  Ouch.  Then when I get down here, I crash the computer on start up not once, but twice!  Then I go to my temp internet files and discover they are no longer purging themselves and they are a bloated 500MBs in size.  And I have 67 emails in my hotmail account and half are junk and five have viruses and I have three flames yelling at me and for what I don't know because the writing is so freaking awful. 

To day is fabric cutting day.  I cut out four patterns based on the basic shorts block that I made on friday.  I had to raise the center-back waist seam a bit,  from force of habit I make it for a bigger ass and slightly swayed back, now all I need is the slightly swayed back.  My ass isn't quite the bubble ass it used to be.  So for much of the day I'll be cutting those and several other things.  snip snip wrist will be aching by this evening!

On saturday i went to Fabricland for a while. I got some brown and pink boho border print.  It was fifty percent off so I got twice as much!  The border is on both selvage so I have four times as much to work with!  I also got three types of twill for shorts and a couple of different cotton voiles to make matching blouses for the boho print.  There were scads of border print fabrics there.  ALmost all were simple skirt weight fabrics, I can imagine it would be super easy to make one seam patternless skirts from these. 

Mr Anderson and I are getting along famously.  I'm beginning to wonder why I waited so long to welcome him into the sewing room.  He sews and sews and sews with nary a complaint.  One of us still has a bad habit of putting the bobbin in the bobbin case the wrong way, but I'm working against forty years of habit.  I'm having no trouble with the speed, either fast, slow or anything in between.  My only complaint is dragging my chair between the new machine and my old sewing room.  I think I might get a new chair just for Mr Anderson.  He's so good, he turns jobs that used to take hours into quick little joys that take minutes.  I'm trying to get into the "pinless sewing" habit.  It takes practice but it's really the best when working with a machine like this.

We also went to the farmer's market on Saturday.  I got a large bag of dried Morels.  Black Morels, the ones that are richer, earthier and smokier tasting.  The guy who sold them is a fungophile and has a mushroom farm because he loves fungus.  We discussed the different shrooms out there, he said he's looking for a mushroom hunting buddy.  Dave gave me one of those looks, so I don't think that's a good idea!  Never get two fungophiles talking about shrooms, or they could talk for hours. They were simply spectacular in my pasta sauce.

That's all for today. I have far too much work to do.  Later my brother is bringing me a CD of the pictures from Rockwood so tomorrow will be a picture day.  But for now, it's laundry day. Again.

Posted by lincatz at 10:52 AM EDT
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