Saturday, November 28, 2009

random jokey stuff

Star Wars on facebook!

Via... Neatorama or TYWKIWDBI. One of those.

Friday, November 27, 2009

waning days of Nano

Struggling to keep the plot going. they've finally arrived in Cincinnati, but not yet in Oxford, where I had meant to put half my novel.

I had less than an hour of writing time today, because the thunder woke the toddler from her nap. I have just over 7000 words to go to my self-imposed goal of 75K words and three days to do it.


Monday, November 23, 2009

60K words!

Just 15K more to go to reach my new goal of 75,000 words this month.

Dang characters are still traveling. They're about to get a surprise in Pittsburgh and then travel on to Ohio.

I've been trying to get them to Ohio for the last 40K+ words. Travel in the end of the 19th century was much faster than at the beginning, but dang, these people seem to need an airplane...

Friday, November 20, 2009

a few updates

On Monday - or maybe Tuesday? - I completed 50,000 words of fiction this month. Since then, I have hit a huge slump. But hey, I'm a NaNoWriMo winner again. Phew!

Since then, I have helped the 4th graders at the kids' school learn to sew with a machine (even though sewing machines hadn't yet been commercialized in 1847, the date of their reenactment at Sutter's Fort next month. I have also sewed a black vest/waistcoat for DS1, whose role is a 40-something year old businessman named James Reed. I need to find some sort of frock coat for him and some pants. And cravat and hat. Oy.

I also got the kids vaccinated for H1N1 at the county clinic. The line was really short last night when I just went by to check and hte boys got the mist and the toddler got a nasty old shot but recovered quickly. We're supposed to get a booster in a month. I wonder if the seasonal vax is still available, too?

We all have had sniffly colds for a week or so now. And DS2's friend who spent the night last Saturday has come down with strep.

We have a week off now to come down with or make sure we don't come down with a whole list of diseases.

And geez are we ever off to a flying start. The boys have been cranky and crazy and goofy and just plain pains in the BUTT for a few days. Especially the day we had a zillion errands to do. And now today. I think I'll take them to school all next week anyway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

what I want for Xmas (well.... most of them, no)

50 of the oddest handbags.

yeah. baybee. dead toads

(via Neatorama)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I haven't put up pictures from day 2 of Monterey. I will someday, I swear.

But check it out - almost 38K in NaNo now. More than 75% to 50K and hoping for 75 to 80K by the end of the month.

The story is still dragging as they travel instead of being so much about the stuff i actually researched. But hey. They're almost across the ocean now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monterey - continued

Some aspects of the aquarium are exciting, some are hands-on, some are definitely more Zen.

Here's a good exciting one, right by the touch pools. They have a glassed-in area over which a huge wave hits every few seconds and splashes down into a fake tidal pool just outside the window. That's DS1 along with Ms. D our esteemed field trip organizer and a few other kids.

I have a short film of the toddler jumping as it splashes down and grabbing her stroller to get OUT of there. But blogger will only allow me to upload one video per post and I didn't get the shot framed very well, so you'll just have to imagine it.

And another of me standing too close to it outside and the water splashing me, though that's mostly "Look ma, the water!" and then footage of the pavement.

They certainly encourage you to look out at the Bay itself. Or not.

There's a new seahorse exhibit, which is pretty cool.
That's a leafy sea dragon. or a weedy sea dragon. Something that looks like a hunk of seaweed and which glides around gracefully, anyway.

And here's a Zen sort of place. It's the open sea aquarium which is viewable on two stories and is one of the biggest aquaria in the world. You can sit there either close to the top or close to the bottom and just watch these huge fish swim by. The used to have a great white shark, but it was unhappy in captivity and they let it go again.

That there's a Galapagos shark, of course. Can't you tell? The blob at the top is a tuna and not even the biggest one in there. And we can now identify Yellowfin as opposed to Bluefin tuna, thankyouverymuch, Google and DS2's report.

And this here's uh.... something else big and slow moving.

And this here is Exhausto-Baby. She slept in just that position for about two hours once she finally gave in and went to sleep.

Coming soon: the kids get all wet again. Surprise!

Monterey travelogue (with pictures - LOTS of pictures)

Thursday after school, we got in the car and left for Monterey. The school organizes a field trip to the aquarium there every other year for the 2nd and 3rd grades so we've done this before and had a good time.

Here the kids are Friday morning. Watching TV is soooooo very fascinating when you only get to watch videos at home and it's not fair and so on. But then again, it's not fair when nothing's on that looks any good or that your mom will let you watch, ie in the evening.

We set out far too early because kids+excitement+hotel room is a recipe for disaster. We parked the car and went for a walk on the other, less-populated (non-Cannery Row) side of the aquarium and soon came across this:

Harbor seals on the beach at the Stanford something-or-other marine research station.

Boys watching seals.

Boys - and dad and little sister - climbed down a little path to some rocks and then down some rocks to the tiny bit of beach and rocks. With the tide coming in.

So a bit later with DS2 soaked and complaining that we should go back to the hotel to change and DS1 a bit damp, we went back over to the Aquarium.

We met up with everyone else from the school and the adults got Chaperone badges and we all went into the auditorium where there was a presentation about Freaky Fish and a little booklet was handed out with questions and such. We managed to lose it within minutes. Oh well. Almost right away, we headed over to the touch pools, where DD splashed and tried to drink the water. DS2 was intent on touching as many fish as possible, but those darn Bat Rays were too smart and only rarely swam anywhere near where people could touch them. In fact, they were rather desperately trying to get into the neighboring observation NON-touch pool.

They had more or less dried out before that. Next time: short sleeves, no matter how cool it is outside.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

random stuff that I need to clear out of my head

1) The boys taught the toddler how to bend over and make puking sounds yesterday.

2) ds2 was sleepwalking last night. he got up and was babbling and making odd noises and came into my room at about 11 (I was still awake and reading a book) and picked DH's old, broken cell phone that DD plays with off my nightstand and went back to his room. He then went and used the bathroom, still babbling. he then went right back to bed. He doesn't remember any of it and was wondering why the cell phone was on his floor.

3) DD has been trying on her boots. She has one Hello Kitty boot and one Bob the Builder and puts them on and takes them off then puts them on then complains until someone helps her take them off and then she.... Well, you get the picture.

4) Nanowrimo is going quite well, thank you. As of yesterday, the word count thingummy wouldn't load up still, so you have to take my word for it that I passed 17K words this morning. I am trying to get ahead because we are going to be busy with activities and field trips, etc for the next couple days. My characters are finally about to set out on their road trip. They've already learned a lot about themselves and their reasons to want to emigrate, so now it's onward to learning about themselves through being tested by travel (and it'll take 3 -4 weeks to get to Ohio from London, I am guessing).

5) And hey-ho off to the salt mines.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

mmmmm beer!

Now THIS is important research!


These specialty made beers get lumped into one category both because there are fewer fans (and thus less statistically significant data) of them, but also because the personalities of one type fairly well describe another. This group is more likely to spend time thinking about beer rather than work. They are more open-minded than most people, seek out interesting and varied experiences and are intellectually curious. Craft-beer drinkers also skew as having a lower sense of responsibility—they don't stress about missed deadlines and tend to be happy-go-lucky about life.

Craft-beer lovers are 153% more likely to always buy organic, 52% more likely to be fans of the show "The Office" and 36% more likely to be the ones to choose the movie they are going to see at the theater.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pictures from Halloween

My three charmers


Captain C. (the ninja superhero)

And yes, she can ring the doorbell herself

Three of our pumpkins


Word is that the word count widget for NaNo is not working yet. So it;s not me, it's them. It makes it a bit less frustrating, but I still want my counter NOW.

Speaking of which, I wrote 4367 words today, according to my software and the Nano site told me I had 4362 when I cut and pasted what I had into their counter. So somewhere around there. I am ahead of schedule.

I am also ready to move on to the next scene and will do so later or else tomorrow.

And now i want to download the pictures of my kids...

Lego-scarecrow-man (picture)

At the boys' school, they have a scarecrow contest each year at the Harvest festival. DS1's 4th grade class didn't even participate this year (I think there was just so much going on with the parents getting their haunted house together and all the other fundraising stuff that no one wanted to take the lead on it).

DS2's class, though, made a Lego scarecrow out of boxes and shiny wall paint. I might be biased, but I think it was great :)


I wrote 3427 words so far today and have just spent half an hour trying to get the word count widget to work on my blog.

So a waste of time there.

I hope to get some more writing donw after lunch when the toddler takes her nap.