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YouTube Kittehs! May 27, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Strange & Unusual.
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I came across this from a Felicia Day tweet:

SQUEEEE!

Which led me to this one:

That’s just flat-out cool.

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Morning Star – Best Trance Song of 2011 May 23, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Trance.
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Yeah, I know the year isn’t even half over. I don’t care. Nothing is going to top this one:

What an amazing voice that woman has. Blows me away every time. There are three other versions on youtube as well. Check them out if you liked this one. They will be available for purchase on May 30. Mark your calenders!

You Suck At Photoshop May 22, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art.
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Just admit it, you do. I do too. We all do (EDIT  Stoaty T. Weasel excepted). Fortunately there’s Donny Hoyle around to explain to us in a series of tutorials “You Suck at Photoshop”  how we can at least suck a little less at Photoshop. He also teaches us a bit about life along the way. Each tutorial is about 4-6 minutes long so they’re as easy to go through as potato chips. Which means you’ll probably do the same thing I did and go through the whole bag in one sitting. Enjoy!

Oh, and Donny gets a bit frustrated from time to time, so there’s a language warning. Also, you do not need to know anything about Photoshop to learn and gain enrichment by watching.

Operation HouseSwap is ON! May 21, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Home, Operation HouseSwap.
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I had lunch and discussed the House Situation with The Parental Units this afternoon. We did the official Running of the Numbers to see if it was in fact doable. It is indeed doable and so we then proceeded to outline The Plan. It is thusly: The Parental Units are going to start looking for a smaller, one-story house for them to rent. When they find said place they will move out of their current house to the new one. Some stuff they’ll leave behind, and the other stuff they don’t take will be sold. I then move out of my place into theirs. Then I put my place up for sale. Currently house prices in this community are about one-third of what I owe. If I get that then I’ll still have $124,000 to owe. The Parental Units will then make up that difference and I’ll be out from under this house entirely. I’ll then rent their place at their current mortgage rate and pay a bit extra besides to start paying them back for the difference. Basically it’s an interest free loan. There will be a bit of a gap between when my place sells and when I can take on that rent payment but they’ll let me stay mostly rent-free for that period. So there it is. Funny, for what they are looking to pay in rent is about what my mortgage is now, but of course they can find a MUCH nicer place than what I’ve got.

This also means that I need to start getting The Submarine Hut ready to sell and start packing up my stuff. All other arty-type projects are on indefinite hold. And blogging. I’m going to be kinda scarce for a while, sorry. This is also going to stretch me close to my financial limits so Yorling is right out for the foreseeable future too.

I Am Just An Egg… May 20, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Watercolor.
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Well no, I’m a person but I had to use that line to introduce this new post. THIS is an egg:

A Big EggOstrich of course. I picked up a couple from the internet a few years ago with the intention of doing a carving project. One egg was to be the practice egg and the other was for the final version. I had my dremel tool ready and waiting when the eggs arrived. One thing I did not realize was just how tough these damn things are. The bits I had barely scratched the surface of the practice egg. I figured the bits just simply weren’t hard enough so I ordered diamond covered raspy bits. When they arrived I sat down at my workbench and proceeded to work away. The results of my efforts:

Scratched Egg

Yeah, even with the diamond bits it was slow, slow. slow going. Later doing some more research on egg carving I discovered that it’s pretty dangerous to breath in egg shell dust and you had to be very careful. I WAS wearing a decent dust mask but I could smell it when I was carving with the dremel. Smelling = breathing in dust so I stopped. Yeah I could get better quality professional masks but frankly I just didn’t feel like dealing with all that. So I popped them into boxes and shoved them into a closet and forgot all about them. Now, after the nifty way that tree turned out I remembered these eggs I had lying around. They don’t have to be carved you know. 😉

Comets, Hopis & Mayans Oh MY! May 18, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Bad Times Ahead, Science & Technology, Strange & Unusual.
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Repent For The End Is At Hand!

Apparently we’re gonna get our planetary shit all jacked up by the comet Elenin. Or perhaps Honda. It seems we’re gonna get buzzed by two of these suckers at almost the same time around September or October this year. This is a new scenario I hadn’t heard of previously. The writer of that article also ties it to the whole Mayan calendar deal as well as a Hopi End of Days thing. I know what you’re thinking: wasn’t that Mayan calendar thingy supposed to happen in December 2012? Yes, well it seems that between the Romans & Popes screwing around with the modern calendars that calculation is a bit off. So adjust your schedules accordingly. Obviously the writer of that article has only a vague understanding of various astronomic phenomena he or she is describing and starts throwing around some sciency gobbledygook, but it’s an entertaining read otherwise. Of course your mileage may vary.

And then there’s that whole May 21st thing that’s just around the corner. It looks like that is when The Shit starts going down and the comet/brown dwarf/planet thing is perhaps the Grand Finale?  Hey, look at that – the two end times match up! Nifty. I guess we’ll know for sure if a whole buncha people don’t show up for church next Sunday and/or Aggie Sith stops posting at H&B eh?

***Update!*** Here’s a cool video to show how that’s going to go down:

In other weirdness – funky atmospheric phenomenon often reported proceeding major tectonic events. Scientists are maybe starting to get a glimpse at what’s going on. What does this have to do with the stuff above? Nothing. I just thought was interesting. Then again, perhaps it has everything to do with it.

And if that isn’t enough World Endy stuff for you, I also have Iranian missile bases being constructed in Venezuela, for those folks who like their Apocalypse to be more locally based instead of outsourced. Want more? How about The Black Death kicking off its comeback tour in New Mexico? And while they’re not quite a plague of locusts, we got a bumper crop of these noisy fuckers coming to drive us all nuts this summer.

All snark aside, between the economic stuff here and in Europe, the eternal wars in the Middle East and the very real prospect of it expanding to Israel should members of a Certain Religion of Peace get their way, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc, etc, etc I’m getting extremely uneasy. I think 2011 is going to go down as a Very Bad Year. How about you?

***Update*** Oh, and Nice Deb has more on the Tucson School Board thing. Basically the Mexican version of the KKK (aka “La Raza”) owns that school board now.

At least we have a decent theme song for all this. Hit it boys!

The Final Project May 14, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Watercolor.
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Behold:

The Spectrum of Zen

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The rock garden part isn’t quit up to final stage yet as I don’t have a proper sand rake to form the swirls properly, but I will soon. Now the question is where to put the darn thing. Oh, and the salamander dude isn’t my creation. That’s a little Tim Cotterill bronze sculpture that I thought complimented the tree colors nicely.

This was fun. I’m going to have to do more of these. Oh I’m not going to start killing bonsai trees to get raw material to work with. Interesting dead tree branches would work nearly as well I would think. I need to get out to the mountains and do some hiking.

Edjumacation Horrors May 13, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Bad Times Ahead, Destined for the Gulags, Politics, Strange & Unusual.
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If you have a kidlet in the public screwl system you might want to take a few minutes to flip through their textbooks and see what’s being fed into their little heads full of mush. One mother woman did and and didn’t much care for some of the stuff she found. (Edited – she looked at a textbook a student at a bus stop had.)

Link fixed.

And then there’s a completely different horror going on there too:

The above was blatantly swiped from Mr. O’Flea.

Oh, and I’m off to see Priest in the theater today. Seems to be getting some mixed reviews but I’m going anyway.

Todaze Endorsements May 9, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Movies, Politics, Yorling.
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I saw Thor last weekend and I paid full boat for the IMAX 3D experience. Worth every penny. This was a blast and probably the best movie based on a comic book series I’ve seen. No, I’ve never read the comic books, but I am familiar with Norse mythology. You don’t need to know about either to enjoy this one. OH, and do be sure to stay until ALL the credits have rolled. There’s an extra scene at the end that’s worth staying for.

Interesting fun fact about Norse mythology – lots of religions have an End of Times apocalypse-type Final Battle and the Norse were no different. Their name for this battle is Ragnarok and it’s between the gods of Asgard against the Frost Giants. What IS different though, it’s the only Final Battle in recorded human mythos where the good guys are destined to lose.

Product endorsement: SodaStream soda maker. Link goes to Amazon, but I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond a couple weeks ago. I LOVE this thing! They sell the syrups to make your own sugary soda drinks but I don’t use those. They also have unsweetened orange, lemon/lime & raspberry flavored concentrates that I really enjoy. Or, you can just add fresh fruit squeezin’s to your carbonated water, which I do as well. The CO2 cartridges are pretty big so you get a lot out of them. It’s 30 bucks for the initial one, but if you bring back the empty to BB&B for recycle they’ll take half off.

Another product endorsement: Yomega Dash yo-yo. These aren’t the sucktastic yo-yos of our youth, but better ones with the axle in a bearing that lets you get easy, long sleep times so you can actually learn how to do tricks.

Most people who come here probably already know about Ricochet.com, but in case you don’t it’s another political group blog, center-right flavored. It was started by a couple National Review guys and has a good stable of regular contributors. James Lileks & Pat Sajak do stuff there too. One of the things I really like about it are the weekly podcasts that usually feature Lileks, Rob Long and Peter Robinson. Jonah Goldberg makes an occasional visit and he’s always fun to listen to. They have great guests too. Some content is available to members only, like contributing comments and whatnot. Anyway, check it out if you’re inclined.

My back is all jacked up again and had to take off work today. I really wish this would stop happening.

The Tree Is Done! May 8, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art.
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BEHOLD!

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Clicky to embiggen.

Well…it’s done but not finished. It’s too much of a mass of red at the top so I need to adjust that. It’s not quite that much of a mass in person as you can more easily see the other colors behind the reds but yeah, needs tweaking. Also this isn’t the final version of the project – this is the mobile one I’m taking into work tomorrow so check back soon for the final unveiling and title.

Other angles below the fold:

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