30 April 2009

Hot Dish* Dinner

Fixin' to go upstairs for dinner... made my Mom's famous tuna casserole (maybe if y'all are real nice I'll post the recipe -- I bet it's different from what you've had before) and we're gonna see how the girls like it.

Have a good evening everybody!

*no, I'm not from Minnesota, but I've been a fan of A Prairie Home Companion since the early 1980s.

29 April 2009

Funniest Thing I've Seen In A While

You Shall Not Pass!!

(photo and caption lifted from Samurai Frog -- well played, sirrah!)

28 April 2009

Annals of Stupididity


Just one question. Has the Gummint not heard of PhotoShop -- or, if they're tight for cash, GIMP?

Welcome To The Light, Senator

Senator Arlen Specter has switched from (R-PA) to (D-PA), which brings the Democrat total in the Senate to 59, with Al Franken waiting in the wings for Norm Coleman's petulant tirade court challenge to be over.

From Specter's statement this morning:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view....

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

Good news or great news?

What do y'all think?

27 April 2009

Are You Freakin' Serious?

I just finished installing the latest Linux update -- which zapped all the settings that I had on the computer. So, now I'm having to remember how the hell I set things up before and... well, anyway, I have to reinstall Adobe Flash Player (for what seems like the billionth time, but wev). I click the Firefox auto-install widget thingy and it says "not available" -- just like last time I had to do this, so that was expected.

The Adobe page loads, and I'm given the "Select version to download..." and the ole sinking feeling hits. This is where I got stuck last time. Then I see a "Learn More" button. Yay! Maybe that will help me!!

So, I click it and... the screen flashes a "you must have Adobe Flash Player installed".


26 April 2009

Tropics or Tundra*?

I think I might have mentioned that I'm living in Costa Rica now, yes? Right. And y'all all know that Costa Rica is in the Tropics, down Central America way, right? Okay, then.

Furthermore, it don't snow in the Tropics -- except very rarely at extremely high elevations -- right? Okey-dokey.

Now, some architectural history. From the Wikipedia (but it's accurate) page about A-frame buildings: The steep slope of the A-frame roof is designed to help heavy snow to slide to the ground, instead of remaining on top of the house and weighing it down.

Why did I go bringing A-frames and snow load into this post about living in Costa Rica?

Because --

-- these were seen on our little trip up to the Local Top of the World.

Now, I know that people in the States build A-frames at the beach and whatnot, but they just look out of place here in the tropics -- no matter how many of them there are (there's one -- albeit smaller than the two above -- just a couple blocks from here, btw)

*yes, I know that "tundra" literally means "treeless", and that doesn't apply here, but I like alliteration. Sue me. :)

25 April 2009

Super Heroed Again (Again)!!

I bet y'all didn't know I was living with a super hero, didja?

Ladles and Jellyspoons, I give you...

Photography Girl!!!

Faster than a speeding shutter! Able to photograph tall buildings in a single shot!!!

(and beautiful, to boot)

24 April 2009

Yabba Dabba Do!!!!!!!!

In honor of quitting times all over the world:

Happy Friday, Y'all!

23 April 2009

Jen Said I Had To Post Something

So I guess I will....

As of about 4 hours ago, I have been in Costa Rica for one whole calendar month (which in this case is four weeks and three days). It seems like a lot longer than that -- in the good way. I'm happy to be here. :)

Here's a couple of pictures I took on our little outing yesterday:
The path leading up to the lookout point

A big ole tree with lots of different types of epiphytes

22 April 2009

Since It Is Earth Day And All....

Google's artwork for this year:

So, I guess I won't be going up on Mount Mitchell (highest peak east of the Mississippi River) this year, as I'm over 600 leagues from there. This has been my usual Earth Day activity for years. I normally find a spruce seedling part way up the mountain and transplant it to near the top (because almost all of the ones up there have been killed by pollution -- mostly the acid rain and sulpher fallout from the TVA coal plants upwind)

Since I'm in Costa Rica now, here are some pictures taken from Mount Mitchell that I found online:

The old observation tower, since removed.

The new observation platform.

The view to the northeast.

Looking northwest toward Tennessee.

More photos, video and lots of info on the park (in case you're gonna be in the area) here.

I'm Blinded. By Science.

Okay, I know it's Earth Day, but you've got to see these pictures of Saturn and its moons, courtesy of the Cassini-Huygens space probe (click for the embiggening -- trust me, you want to):

There are 20 more (with descriptive paragraphs) here.

21 April 2009

Nature: Exhibits A and B

A: Yesterday's sunset
Sunset Wow
Sunset Wow again
(click to embiggen)

B: Today's insurance salesperson (with apologies for my cameras crappy close up capabilities)
Bill Oba closest
Bill Oba

20 April 2009

I Is Smart

Well, according to this test, at least.
Intelligence is your strongest virtue

Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, and solve problems. And you? Your brain shines. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your intelligence runs deepest.

It is likely you're a smarty-pants. And it's likely (but not necessary) that your discipline score is high also. It takes a certain resolve to maintain all those neural thingies.

Intelligent famous people: Einstein, Shakespeare, Da Vinci.

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.

  • 30% Compassion
  • 56% Intelligence
  • 38% Humility
  • 33% Honesty
  • 38% Discipline
  • 43% Courage
  • 42% Passion

(h/t to the inimitable Blue Gal)

19 April 2009

I Don't Care If I Can Save A Lot....

So, it's Sunday, right?

Day of rest and all that, right?

So, why did an insurance seller show up? Why?
(click to embiggen)
Just waltzed right into my hallway.

18 April 2009

More Costa Rican Wildlife

Oh, wait. The Bird is tame.

My bad.

17 April 2009

Yes, Please?

Haven't we all wanted to do just this?

(I tried to post the pic here with the accrediting link, but it's just too wide.)

Science: Still Cool

Anyone who says we know it all is full o' shit:

Scientists have found life in an ecosystem trapped underneath a glacier in Antarctica for nearly 2 million years. The microbes, they suggest, are surviving the dark, oxygen-free waters by drawing energy from sulfur and iron.


But how could they have survived for so long, with no light or oxygen? Mikucki and her team uncovered three main clues. First, a genetic analysis of the microbes showed that they were closely related to other microorganisms that use sulfate instead of oxygen for respiration. Second, isotopic analysis of sulfate's oxygen molecules revealed that the microbes were modifying sulfate in some form but not using it directly for respiration. Third, the water was enriched with soluble ferrous iron, which would happen only if the organisms had converted ferric iron, which is insoluble, to the soluble ferrous form. The best explanation, the team reports in tomorrow's issue of Science, is that the organisms use sulfate as a catalyst to "breathe" with ferric iron and metabolize the limited amounts of organic matter trapped with them years ago.

Blood Falls, a small, saltwater outflow from Taylor Glacier's subglacial lake in Antarctica's Dry Valleys,... trickles out at the glacier's end, painting an orange stain across the ice as its iron-rich waters rust upon contact with air.

16 April 2009

Quote of the Day, Blowing My Own Horn Edition

Keeping up in today's world is all about transfer of information. We are all effected by the events in the world around us, and without a fast, affordable and open internet, we cannot make informed, educated decisions. Those who oppose fast, affordable and open internet access oppose intelligence and the exercising thereof. They desire a nation of sheep that can be led to the trough of whatever-the-latest-faux-outrage-is, so that they may increase and perpetuate their lust for power.

This is why we must all speak up in favor of nation- (and, indeed, world-) wide broadband. Only by being educated can we choose wisely and improve the human condition.

-- Me, filling out an online survey from Freepress.net

Teabag WIN

(h/t to Bob Cesca)

15 April 2009

You Can't Have A Revolution Without Breaking A Law Or Two, You Know

"We have a million tea bags here, and we don't have a place to put them because it's not on our permit," said Rebecca Wales, lead organizer of D.C. Tea Party.

h/t to Bob Cesca, who adds: "The same thing happened to the Sons of Liberty. Except for the fact that it didn't."

If these teabagging idiots weren't also semi- to abso-fucking-lutely nuts (not to mention owners of assault rifles), then this would be the most hilarious thing ever.

I Just Want To Say That I Did Not Approve This

NBC wants ex-Ill. gov. for Costa Rica reality show
By MIKE ROBINSON – 5 hours ago

CHICAGO (AP) — In the span of a few months, Rod Blagojevich could trade the Illinois governor's office for the Costa Rican jungle.

NBC says it wants Blagojevich, who pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering and fraud charges Tuesday, to appear on its upcoming show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"

A network statement says 10 celebrities will be dropped into the Costa Rican jungle "to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness."

But Blagojevich's legal problems could end the venture before it begins.

The ousted governor's bond does not allow him to leave the United States.

An attorney close to his legal defense says Blagojevich is seeking permission from a judge to leave the country to appear on the show.

The lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan was confidential, says Blagojevich could tape the show in June if given permission.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

14 April 2009

Quote of the Day, Part Deux

"this is america, it was fromed on GOD, and our lanunage is ENGLISH" -- "gail" from Alex Jones' website (h/t to C&L commenter sienna)

I wonder who really fromed her lanunage?

Quote of the Day

"And in Cavuto’s defense, if you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey." -- David Shuster, last night on Countdown.

13 April 2009

Science Is Still Cool

(h/t to Brian at Incertus)

12 April 2009

Today In Unnecessary Signage

Jen took this picture yesterday (after I referred to a similar sign sited elsewhere near the summit) up on IrazĂș -- which, by the way, I erred in my conversion from meters to feet; it's actually 11,260ft above sea level.

Now, this is a volcano that is still active... the last eruption began in 1963 (which was a very good year) and lasted until 1965, so I ask you, is it really necessary to have a DANGER sign posted?

Yes, I know the sign refers to the crater itself, but... it's a freakin' volcano, which, by their very nature, are not safe places.

11 April 2009

Was It Pretty? You Betcha!

As Jen said this morning, we went on a day trip to see some pretty. The aforementioned pretty included Irazu Volcano, the Orosi Valley and points in between.

I only took a few pictures, cause my camera will only hold a few pictures (note to self: get a memory card soonish). Yes, there was some pretty. And hopefully, Jen will post some of her pics soon. ;)

First up, OMGBootz!! As most of you know, Jen really likes purple, so these boots we saw were the object of much wanting:

But seriously, folks, we did see some awfully pretty stuff. These two pictures were taken from the top of Irazu... which is 3432m (~10900ft) above sea level, which was a good deal higher than any elevation I've ever before experienced. In fact, it was above the clouds:

It was nice and cool up there, if a bit airless. Look here (and at Jen's) for more pics to come!

10 April 2009

09 April 2009

Holy Purple, Dude!!

We went for a walk yesterday afternoon, for to get a good deck of cards. Since this is Semana Santa (aka, the Catholic-- okay, all Christian -- Holy Week) Jen knew that some of the stores might be closed. But she thought that one in particular would be the best bet, so off we went.

Just down the street, afore ever we reached the nearest corner, we spied this:

"It's purple!!"

Still on our way to the one store, we got to the square in the middle of town, which, as usual around here, was next to the church:

(don't tell God that I'm proud of that pic, cause Pride is one of the Seven Deadlies)

...and then finally to the One True Store.

Which was closed. So we got ice cream cones and went back to the park and sat and ate them. Then we looked in about forty-leven other stores -- okay, three -- before finding some. Which were purchased and have already begun the process of being broken in (and are also involved in some reputation-rebuilding, or so I'm told). Two-handed Spades, don't you know.

On tap for tonight, some tuna casserole and Harry Potter movie action. And probably more cards, too.

08 April 2009

The Flora And Fauna Of Costa Rica

And that's just inside the apartment!

07 April 2009

This Is Too Cool!

Prototype of the new P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility) vehicle, developed by GM and Segway. It has a range of up to 35 miles, and will attain speeds of 25 - 35mph.


Presented Without Comment

(h/t to Matthew Yglesias, poll at CBS)

06 April 2009

I've Been Here A Semi-month

It's hard to believe that I've only been here in Costa Rica for two weeks (dos semanas). But that's all it's been (well, and six hours). I aready feel like I live here, ya know?

So, when Jen got home from work this afternoon we went to do some shopping (cause I need new clothes and stuff and I don't know where anything is -- I've only been here two weeks, after all. :) ).

Our tasks for the afternoon took us to Barva, which, I've read somewhere, is the oldest village in the area, and I managed to get this shot of the old church on the main square as we drove by:

And then later we went to the local superstore to look for some things that we didn't find, but did that stop us? Oh, no it didn't! We bought other stuff. This store, by the way is not WalMart. It's Hyper More, see:

(and I don't care that it's owned by WallyWorld (well, I do, but....) -- it doesn't say WalMart, so it isn't one.)

05 April 2009


Another beautiful tropical sunset...

The view out my kitchen window. As you can see in the lower photo, the actual sunset is obscured by vegetation (and wall, as the camera is sticking its li'l head out the window on these shots). But, what I can see out the window doesn't suck.

Doesn't suck at all.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am completely not already jaded by the beauty here -- and don't really expect ever to be so. After all, I did spend the first 45+ years of my life in the mountains of North Carolina, which is not an ugly place at all.

04 April 2009

Open Letter To The Former John McCain Campaign

Dear FJMcCC,

I would like to thank you for choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for the vice-president slot in last year's election cycle. If you hadn't done so, then we (the public) would likely not have been treated to the ongoing sideshow that is her family. I mean, it's possible that any seated governor's sister-in-law being arrested for burglary would have made the news, but your elevation of this eminently disfunctional family to the national spotlight has been a boon for senses of humor around the country and, indeed, around the world.

Thanks ever so much,

03 April 2009

Sad News In Our Little Corner of Blogistan

Steve's (aka pidomon) sister Michele has moved on. There is no right thing to say at a time like this, but this quote from one of my favorite books comes to mind:

May the hand of the Creator shelter you, and the last embrace of the Mother welcome you home.

02 April 2009

April Foolish

Yes, I know that yesterday was the day, and all that, but it kinda slipped past me (I think I was laughing too much at the Bob Cesca post I linked to in the previous post). Consequently, I didn't really catch any of the pranks.

Luckily, there's Google (who, btw, had some good ones this year). After looking through a bunch of this year's pranks, I have decided that I like this one best.

Aviary Launches Crane!
By Meowza Katz on April 01, 2009

Aviary is proud to announce that it has launched its newest product, Crane, the web's first paper-based image editor.


For example, to draw in Crane, simply place the Pencil Tool between your index finger and thumb (located on your dominant hand). Press the tip of the Pencil Tool down onto your canvas and using controlled strokes, you will be able to simulate the act of digital drawing on your canvas.

Read the whole hilarious thing here.

01 April 2009

The Republican Budget Proposal

Bob Cesca nails it to the wall over at HuffPo.

A sample:

Yes, the Democratic budgets will be so out of control they'll eventually make little curly-cues and travel backwards in time -- adding to past deficits -- while also looping around the word "government" -- you know, because the Democrats love government.

You really should read the whole thing.

Speaking Of A Crisis Of Competnce

With a hat tip to Jesus' General, here's a compilation of quotes from Fundy Forums: