Showing posts from July, 2006

tattoos and other skin decorations

I like some tattoos and skin decorations of that sort. My favorite is tats that circle the upper arm. I doubt very much that I'll ever get one but a person that I know quite well recently indulged in this activity.

This is the picture of the new tattoo. What do you think?

I like the colors and while I've not seen it in person, I'm told that it's a bit over 2 inches across so the size is reasonable.

She's had other skin decorations in the past but they've mainly been related to car accidents. You can see an example from two years ago below.

While both types of skin coloring are decorations, I guess, the tattoo just seems more pleasant. And more permanent also, I might add.

So what tattoo do you have? And if you dn't have one (or more), are you thinking about getting one? Come on--dish! I want details! LOL

Doesn't this just make you want to say "Ow!" This was the biggest bruise but there were others on the right leg, across the chest from the seat b…

Good Eats, Alton Brown and a nasty rabbit!

I was watching a show on Food Network tonight and the subject, as you can probably guess given the title of this post, was Good Eats and narrated, of course, by Alton Brown.

If you're not familiar with the show, here's the description of it from the Food Network site:

Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eating: Host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and presents food and equipment trends. Punctuated by unusual interludes, simple preparations and unconventional discussions, he'll bring you food in its finest and funniest form.

...or you could look at the very good summary of Brown & Good Eats on the Wikipedia site.

Anyway, this show was an hour long and is about the creation of the Good Eats show and some of the behind the scenes shenanigans that go on. Tonight was the first showing of it, but it's going to be on 5 more times in the next week. Of course my main interest was to learn more about the infamous W, the saucy sexpot of …

errands and such

I had misplaced my auto insurance renewal invoice and just found it yesterday--and it's about to expire--so today before work I rushed up to the agency and paid that. Nothing like a little panic to start off your day. LOL

By the time I got to my bus stop, there was a 15 minute wait before the next bus so I went into the shopping center to see where the DMV office was for renewing my driver's license. It expired a little while ago so it seemed a good idea to figure out where to go to get it renewed. Weirdly enough, there was only one person waiting so I went in. In a big surprise, the 15 minutes was just enough time to get the new license. Amazing. Last month I stopped at another office of the DMV and at that location the wait was over an hour--I just walked out as soon as I heard that. Now I'm glad I waited. :-)

At work I was mostly creating graphics for a Powerpoint presentation my boss is giving next week as well as some stuff for a paper we're submitting to PNAS in …

failure to launch and big trouble

I watched two DVDs so far this week. I got them at the library and have to return them tomorrow. It's nice to have a deadline like that since otherwise I might never get around to watching them.

The movies were Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker as well as Big Trouble, a movie based on Dave Barry's book of the same name. Big Trouble had quite a cast (Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Dennis Farina, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Lee etc.) but the plot was a mite thin despite all the madcap adventures. Failure to Launch had no real plot, it was just one more movie that had girl meet boy, girl has reasons not to love boy, girl ends up in love with boy as its basis. It's a very hackneyed approach and I doubt most people will like it--but I did. Those romantic comedies--even bad ones--just get me. LOL I liked Big Trouble also but it was really silly--and if you're familiar with Dave Barry, you should be expecting silliness. He's only wri…

The Amazing Race

Folks, I'm not happy.

This coming season The Amazing Race is going to be on Sunday nights at 8pm. I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in NC college basketball is king and on Sunday nights it almost always runs over at least 20 minutes, sometimes an hour. That's going to wreck havoc on my trying to watch TAR, dammit. Sunday is going to be the best night of TV during the week for CBS (60 Minutes, TAR, and Cold Case) and it's annoying that the regular programming schedule is going to be at the mercy of basketball.

My girlfriend is really into the UNC games and watches the occasional game by other teams but it's rare for me to watch any unless she's there. I've just never enjoyed the game. That makes me very out of step with the culture here in NC--it's even worse than saying you don't like vinegar in your BBQ sauce. If you ever say that at a pig pickin' you just might find yourself being added onto the rack right next to the pig! Can…

web searches

Every so often I check to see what search terms bring people to my page.

Some search terms appear often others only rarely. These are the 5 that have appeared in the past 24 hours. Bruchetta and Will & Grace appear frequently but this is the first time I ever recall Corn Snakes as appearing in a search. I don't recall ever posting on that...maybe it's a type of food and not a snake. I like to think about food more than snakes, y'see.

The person doing that search is from Skiatook in Oklahoma. I've never heard of that town--and they've probably never heard of Mebane (my town) so I guess we're even.
20.00% kayak sex 20.00% bruchetta reciepe 20.00% cultivating fig tree 20.00% pitchers of types of corn snakes 20.00% will & graceAnyway, I guess I've exhausted that topic. Maybe I'll be more interesting tomorrow...


This is the best lightning picture I've ever taken. It was one of about 110 pictures I took that night and the only one that was really good. I had about 10 others that had a little success but nothing like this one.

The house in the picture is just down the street from me. The storm was coming in from the west, it had been over Charlotte NC about an hour before, and I got this picture just before the rain started to fall.

The strike on the right side of the picture wasn't all that close, but the one on the left side sent my girlfriend into the house. Quickly! LOL Soon after the wind really started blowing and the rain hit. We had rain for about 5 hours with electrical activity for most that time. Quite a storm but not nearly as violent as several others this past month.

This is what the area of the picture above looked like between lightning strikes. I was taking 8 second exposures so the small amount of ambient light was just enough to show the outline of the nearby trees. The…

lightning and a bug

I took an incredible shot tonight of some lightning. The 6 second exposure has two big strikes in the frame, one on each side of a neighbors house, so you have a frame of reference for the size and strength of the lightning bolts. I'll upload it on Sunday.

For the moment, here's a picture I took earlier tonight, before the storm rolled in, of a grasshopper. That's the fellow, over there, on the left.

I'd taken a number of pictures of him while he was clinging to the underside of the table but the shots I got of it when he moved up on top were much better.

This one is my favorite though my girlfriend liked an earlier one better due to its legs being fully extended. She liked that due to the unusual nature of the pose. Speaking of my girlfriend, there she is below mowing my lawn in a 1.5 second exposure. It was getting dark so the low light level forced the long duration. As a result, it looks like she's really moving fast!

half naked thursday

I've never participated in HNT before but since I got accused of exhibitionism yesterday by a certain someone, I decided to indulge.

That's the accuser over there to the left. I thought the execution of the photo worked quite well and since the person in question was sans clothing at the time, it should qualify as full naked thursday but I don't know if that's a meme or not.

The top of the picture is quite overexposed by the flash I used but I used my hand to shade part of her face--and it worked a lot better than I expected.

This is me, as you might recognize from yesterday's pictures. It's a closeup of the hair on my thigh. Not very exciting but hair rarely ever is. Since I was wearing boxers at the time, this is a true HNT picture.

I'll have to start thinking about what to do for next Thursday! LOL


Yep, that's one of those damn blood suckers. Renee's revenge on my neglecting her feelings, no doubt. We guys just have it so tough! LOL

This here is a picture of my ankle and while it's not very obvious, I guess, there's a bunch of flea bites on there. Itches a bit, dammit.

The annoying part is that the damn fleas can't use my blood--fleas are mostly species specific and don't have the proper enzymes to make meals out of blood from other critters--so they're not getting anything out of biting me. It's just frustration and starvation driving their biting.

Well, I guess the real annoying part is the bites themselves, but I wanted to seem a little sensitive there for a moment. But no more of that. Kill the fleas!
While most of the bites are on my ankles and calves, there's an occasional bite up higher like these 4 on my thigh.

They're kinda hard to see through the hair but I wasn't able to focus on the skin with all the hair in the way. Sorry.


catching up

It's been a while since I've posted. Sorry! I'll catch y'all up on my life.

Truck: My truck has been on the fritz lately. I thought it was a clogged fuel filter but I guess my troubleshooting skills aren't that good. It turned out that my engine block isn't getting hot enough. When they ran diagnostics on it, the chip indicated that it was 185f instead of the 215f it should have been running at. However, when the mechanic actually measured the temp he found that it was only 150f. No wonder the damn thing was skipping so much--in the world of car engines, mine was acting like a refrigerator! Too cold a running temperature results in incomplete combustion. It must have been a recent problem since I had just had my emissions check 4 weeks ago and it was fine then. Incomplete combustion of the gasoline would have been caught on the test.

All those diagnostic tests took a long time since they needed a constant and hot running engine so I was there for 5 hours by the t…


What is up with the blog spam? I have comment moderation enabled and it's a good thing. The past 6 months I'd probably only been getting one or two spam posts a week but that's changed recently. Starting two weeks ago it's gotten a lot worse. Last week I was getting several spams a day and this week I've gotten over a dozen each day for the past 3 days. What's up with that??


I was going south on route 751. Traffic was slow due to several construction vehicles. This is nothing unusual on this road. 751 is a long narrow winding road, with few passing areas, that connects Chapel Hill with Highway 64 by Apex near Raleigh, NC.

In a short passing zone, near the intersection with highway 64, a truck that was two vehicles ahead of me decided to pass. It was an odd place to do it since the passing zone was quite short, we were currently doing 50mph, a reasonable if not swift speed for that location, and most important, the truck that was pulling out to pass would not be able to see around the dump truck he was following.

Regardless, he did pull out to pass and not more than 80 yards away a car was coming towards him. Incredibly he did not slow, brake, swerve or do anything else to avoid the oncoming car. It was like he didn't even see it. I saw it. The fellow in front of me did, so did the car behind me. We all slowed and pulled over to the side to avoid what we…

last holiday

I watched Last Holiday in the wee hours of the morning. It didn't get a very good rating at IMDb but I didn't read any of the comments so I don't know why.

I can see folk objecting to the movie due to its exploring old themes and being derivative of many other movies. In a way it's like Date Movie which I saw a few days ago. However, where Date Movie was gross and did everything wrong, Last Holiday gets everything right. I loved it and no small part of this was due to the charismatic personality and wonderful acting of the star, Queen Latifah. The supporting performances by LL Cool J, Gerard Depardieu, Timothy Hutton and the lovely Alicia Witt (I love red hair!) were all on the money as well.

This film borrows from a number of other movies but it does it with grace. Pretty Woman gets a nod, as do most movies in the Cinderella niche, even Shrek, an anti-Cinderella movie. But the best comparison to me seems to be Jerzy Kosinski's Being There (1971). In that book, a cha…

more movies!

I picked up 3 more movies from the library today. King Kong, the 2005 version, Last Holiday with Queen Latifah and Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. I need to return them by Friday so most likely I'll only get to watch two of them--and I'll probably start with Two for the Money. Of the 3 movies, it's the lowest rated on IMDb but it appeals to me the most.

I've watched two DVDs since the weekend. I've been having trouble sleeping so I toss in a DVD to pass the time. I watched War of the Worlds on Sunday and From Dusk to Dawn on Monday. Of the two, the Tarantino Vampire movie was the better, but that's not saying much. The main thing I carried away from Dusk to Dawn is that Salma Hayek is amazing looking. Wow. Pity she was a vampire. War of the Worlds I was expecting to like despite the bad press it got. Unfortunately it was so trite and boring I'd have been better off just watching reruns of M*A*S*H on television--Hell, I'd have b…


I just noticed that I've gone over the 50,000 visitor mark. It's taken a while to get here but I'm glad y'all have visited me. Thanks!

Weekend Movies

I watched 3 movies on DVD this weekend--well, actually 4 but one was only to counteract the effects from one of the original 3.

The first movie my girlfriend and I watched was The Tao of Steve. We both liked it a lot. Donal Logue, who stars in the movie, has long been a favorite of mine. In this movie Donal plays Dex, an underachiever who's developed a philosophical justification for why his life never moved forward after college and which incidently can also be used to pick up--but not keep--women. As the character is written, Dex should be a nasty piece of work but somehow in the movie he comes across as sweet if a bit misguided. As you might guess, the movie starts at a point when Steve and his philosophy of life are challanged by a woman who doesn't fall for his game. The movie is well written and well acted. Give it a shot!

The Date Movie was the second movie we watched Friday night. It's a parody of date movies and it's not afraid to name names. There's constan…

slime, slugs, and a moonlit night

This little guy was on my deck the other night. There were two of them but the other stayed down on the deck and wasn't very entertaining. They looked like Great Grey Slugs but since those are only found in the British Isles, this must be something else...

moon is out tonight

Actually it was last night that I took this picture. I've not been outside since it got dark tonight. The moon was looking lovely last night though and I snapped a dozen or so shots of it before it got too cloudy.

cook books

Tina, over at Recommended, posted this on her blog also. I was a guest for a day there. She's also renting me a bit of room on her blog. She's such a nice woman!

I read an interesting article today on the bus while riding into work. The article concerned cook books and, oddly enough, it was in Smart Money. Not a magazine typically associated with cooking--unless we're talking accounting and cooked books.

Amusingly enough, the writer, Neil Parmar, was aware of the cognitive dissonance and named the article just that, Cooked Books. The article is in the August issue which unfortunately isn't available online yet so there's no link to it. Sorry!

The gist of the article is that many of the popular cookbooks coming out these days are by so-called celebrity chefs, who often aren't famous for long, and that the publishing companies have a strong incentive to get the books out on the shelves before the chef's popularity wanes. As a result, there's very little in t…


We had a bad storm last night that knocked out my cable and RoadRunner. Since the wires are underground, I'm not quite sure how that happened but it went out sometime around 8pm and was still gone when I went to bed at 4am. That long an outage is quite rare here.

Since I couldn't watch TV, I put a movie in late at night, and watched Cabaret for the first time. I made the Header above after watching the movie. For some reason the movie had me thinking about dying--and apparently ears, as well.

I was quite impressed with the movie, especially considering how old it is. Lots of older movies get dated but this one seems fine. Of course the themes of Nazis, singing, dancing, love and insecurity are timeless. Why wouldn't Cabaret hold up well?

In other news, I was watching out my back door, the one that leads to the deck, when the storm was arriving. I love to watch dramatic weather. That was fortunate as things turned out. You see, I have an awning over my back deck. It's a fa…

superman returns review

I watched most of the World Cup soccer game today. I was looking for Germany to win but I wasn't disappointed at all in the way it ended. With the second overtime almost over, it was a relief to see a goal finally made. And then it was two. And neither some cheap screw-up either. I hope tomorrow's game between Portugal and France has as much good play in it.

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to see the movie Superman Returns on Sunday with my girlfriend and her older son. Neither of them liked the movie much but I certainly did.

There's some spoilers below but nothing terrible. Don't read past the next paragraph unless you want to get hints about the plot. Okay?

I guessed their objection to the movie before they said a thing. Too slow. I can see their point but don't share it. While watching the movie, I noticed a number of places in the movie where there was a lot of dialog or other types of character development and thought that they might be losing some of the audie…

baby, it's hot outside

A little play on words there. The classic song "Baby, it's Cold Outside" was by Frank Loesser with lyrics from Johnny Mercer and it was published in 1948. I love a recent version of it as sung by Vanessa Williams though with her, I suspect it should be subtitled "..but it's damn hot here inside with you". That woman sizzles. Anyway, back to me (Me! Me! Me!) and my travails with my air conditioning: it's damn hot outside but it's only 82 inside and the temperature is dropping!

My A/C is fixed and I am so much more comfortable already. The repair fellow arrived at 1:15pm and by 2pm he was gone with me being $80 something poorer. I can't wait for it to get back down to the 76 I usually keep it at...but I suspect for the next day or so I might splurge and keep it at 74 just to recover from all that hot weather! It'll be so much easier to sleep now.

The problem turned out to be a blown fuse in the part of the A/C system which is under the house. Pr…

frickin' hot

About a week and a half ago I complained about how hot it was in the lab due to some repairs taking place on the roof of the building. They had to turn off the A/C to do some work with our hood vents. Well, now the problem has come home to roost. The A/C in the lab is back on but my A/C at home died 5 days ago. The repair folk will be there Monday between noon and 2pm but at that point I'll have been suffering in the heat for a full week. Egad!

It's been kinda hot with temps in the high 80s and low 90s this week so it's been getting to around 82 inside at night. It's pleasant in the mornings when I wake up--around 74 inside--but it's so hard to get any sleep even with the ceiling fans on medium speed. Making things worse is all the rain we had last week. It adds a lot of humidity to the air of course--but more to the point, it added a Hell of a lot of length to the grass. So, I have to mow. In the 87-92 degree heat and then come back inside to no A/C. It's like …