Thursday, April 30, 2009

The great enemy of clear language

Quote of the day, from The Quotations Page:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
~ George Orwell, Politics and the English Language, 1946

Love this. It's so true.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just a Tease

What am I up to this afternoon? Just a little experiment. Which may or may not have anything to do with Murphy-Goode Winery. I've never used my camera to take video before. I think it works pretty well, except that I have NO battery life. Get it in one take, or else, I guess.

What I didn't realize at the time was that the Society Garlic plants I was sitting in DO start to smell like garlic after they've been crushed.

No, the video doesn't actually show anything. Yes, I am amused by it for some reason. That is all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Attractive with Glasses

Attractive with Glasses, hat tip to @timothompson

Some years ago, a friend of mine married an optician. He offered me free eye tests and cheap frames, and frequently tried to convince me to switch to contact lenses.

“You’ll be free of these metal things on your face,” he declared. “Free. Imagine that.”

I imagined it, and I hated it. I love these metal things on my face, I told him. I don’t want to be dependent on tiny bits of plastic pushed against my eyeballs. I don’t want to be forever making sure that I have sufficient stocks of chemical crap for soaking. And I especially don’t want to be pushing plastic bits against my eyeballs after they’ve been soaking in chemicals.

See? I'm not the only one who feels this way! I love my glasses.
I'm keeping them. And I'm certainly not putting pieces of plastic in my eyeballs. Besides, glasses are a great prop. You can look over the tops of them (see photo), or take them off and wave them around, or clean them when you don't know what else to do with yourself and want to look busy. Glasses are great. See?

Saving Water

I like this water catcher sink bin from Hughie, but am certainly not paying $25 plus shipping for a plastic box. The main thing it has over the regular plastic bin I use now is the well-placed handles.

The idea is to catch the "gray water" and re-use it to water plants and so forth. I use my regular plastic bin (which is admittedly awkward to carry) to capture water while waiting for the taps to warm, or that I've rinsed my dishes in, to water the plants. I tend not to use water that might have soap residue on the edibles, but I've got geraniums and ferns that are happy for the drink either way.

Speaking of geraniums, the two that E bought me in Half Moon Bay, which I planted on either side of my front door, are on the move. The purple has busted out all over, while the red is about to start any minute now. It's nice to be greeted with flowers at the front door. They've probably quadrupled in size since being put into the ground.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cats & Knitting: a universal combination, it seems

There is apparently a book called Kitty Knits. I am torn between thinking it is twee and reinforces bad stereotypes, and, um, wanting it.

Also, I want to make one of these Knitted Kitties. Maybe my cousins would like them for Christmas next year? They're not really cat people. But stuffed toy kitty! So cute.

(Yes, I said Christmas. In April. You have to understand that knitting is a time-consuming hobby and those who give knitted gifts have to plan ahead. And I've been spending online time with some crazy-prepared-and-organized knitters. With schedules for the whole year of what gifts should be knit in what month. So really, thinking about it now is lazy, by some standards.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Garden & Chicks for Earth Day

Chicks beneath the Apple Tree
Originally uploaded by jessajune

I spent the morning of Earth Day puttering about in the garden - it felt appropriate. We're moving the chicks out to the yard during the daytime, since they're getting too large for the nesting box, but the main coop still contains older ladies who have yet to be retired. It does give me that living on a farm feeling - get up, put out the chickens, put them away again at sunset.

I took a lot of garden pictures too. In fact, this morning I created a set just for the many progress shots I've taken of the patio vegetable garden that E and I planted.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cowl & California

I wasn't all that happy with the way the cowl turned out, as you could probably tell; however, this morning I was chilly and sore-throated (stupid cold), so I slipped it on. I am happy to say that regardless of appearance it is warm, comfy, and highly functional.

(That's as much as you get to see of sick Jessica. But I am definitely pleased with the knitting. And yes, I'm wearing my Calorimetry as well.)

Otherwise, I've been working on gift knitting and listening to the California Legacy podcast, which I subscribed to as a good member of the project but haven't spent much time listening to (since I hear most of the pieces as they're being recorded). However, this morning I browsed through some segments from 2006, and I am finding that there are some I'd forgotten about that I want to share with E (we were just chatting about Raymond Chandler, and I think we might both enjoy reading F. M. K. Fisher).

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Great Dictator

Just watched The Great Dictator for the first time. It is an interesting film for a variety of reasons, but what is resonating for me at the moment is how in the final speech Chaplin touches on the idea that technology can either turn people into "machines" or bring them together. His specific example is radio, but it struck me how much we wrestle with the same idea today, with the internet. It allows so many wonderful things, and it is so easily turned into a tool to make people lash out rather than reach out.

Not much else to say for myself at the moment. Jury duty is done, but I've caught a nasty cold. It's hard to be reflective through congestion, so perhaps I'll just go back to building the Middle Kingdom.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Springtime Lunch

It is a gorgeous day out there - sunny, warm, breezy. Everything is sprouting or blooming.

And to top it all off, I just had a perfect spring lunch. Salsa-cooked chicken in corn tortillas topped with peppery wild arugula, followed by a Toracco/Tarocco blood orange so juicy I ate it over the sink.

I usually say autumn is my favorite season, but today I am loving spring.