Showing posts from July, 2010

deer commentaries

Maybe that should be spelled "dear." It's kinda hard to determine.

The picture is from a hike I did on Saturday. I got the picture just as I was leaving Eno River Park at 8:50pm. The deer were grazing near where I was parked. While there's only two deer in the picture there were 8 in all. Mostly males.

And yes, it was getting a wee bit dark to be hiking in the woods. That last 20 minutes of trail had me doing some serious jogging.

The "dear" versus "deer" part involves some Emails tossed around between me and JLee. I was teasing her about having to work on Saturday and she was teasing me about her having a dinner date afterwards and me.... not having one. Overall I think she won. Dammit.

And speaking of dates, number 3 hasn't happened yet. Nope. Not on Friday, nor Saturday, and not even anything scheduled for Sunday. It's enough to make one wonder...

Goodie Two Shoes

Actually the title should be "two sandals" but that just doesn't have the same cachet.

I received this pair of sandals today from Amazon. My last pair got tossed at the end of last summer and I'd not bothered to replace them until now.

I liked the low profile of these and the flat lines---plus the crazy colors. And on top of that it's all for a good cause. The Sole Rebels organization is out of Ethiopia and they promote economic and social change for their workers.

They've got an interesting website (you should check it out) as well as nice shoes and sandals. See what you think.

The company, soleRebels, began in 2004 as a way to bring jobs to their village, Zenabwork, located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Their shoe selection features collections of sandals, flip flops and shoes. These feature recycled car tire soles and an array of recycled and sustainable ingredients like hand spun and hand loomed organic fabrics and a palette of unique natural fibers including org…


Have you seen the new show The Glades? It started early this month on A&E and I really like it so far.

The show stars Australian actor Matt Passmore who plays a Chicago detective who was fired due to screwing his boss' wife. Bad move, eh? So he relocated to southern Florida and took up his bad boy ways down near the Everglades. Passmore does a good job in this role. He's very irritating and that's how his character is supposed to be. The love interest is cute as the dickens and a bit complicated since she's married to a guy in jail.

The reality shows on Bravo are closing in on the end. Work of Art (which I still like a lot) is down to the last 5 artists and on Top Chef, Andrea Curto-Randazzo's departure ---she reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker in that an iffy face is combined with a hot body--- means that there's 10 left, I think, out of the starting 17.

Last night's episode of Top Chef got viewers all riled up due to a pea purée fight. Personally I thi…

Patootie Pain

Work today was a pain in the patootie. A royal pain, at that. Three different crises running in parallel. It was truly a mess.

None of them were all that bad and could have been solved in fairly short order --- if only the other two crises would have left me alone for 40 minutes or so. Unfortunately all three took quite a while to solve because the other folk kept calling or Emailing me which forced each problem in turn to worsen while I was taking care of the most recent complainer. Yikes.

Fortunately days like this are very rare in my job. Was it a full moon day or something? I was sure glad when I got out of there at 5pm.

And after work I went on my second date with.... what name should we give her? Maybe Sybil. That's easy to remember. And this time we had a traditional "dinner and a movie" date. Dinner was Italian at Tarantini Restaurant not far from campus. Sybil had the Fettuccine Alfredo (only $12---gotta love it) and I had the Vitello Parmigiana ($17) and we ha…

The Taste of Singapore

I went on a date tonight, the first one in many weeks. And the first one to go well in months. Yes, months!

We met at a Asian restaurant in Southern Village named Merlion, which specializes in the cuisine of Singapore:
The vibrant, multicultural country of Singapore is home to an equally distinctive blend of foods from all across Southeast Asia. The perfect synthesis of the best of Asia makes Singapore a food paradise. Merlion Restaurant brings the authentic and unique flavors of Singapore to Southern Village in Chapel Hill. Come visit and find out why we call Merlion Restaurant, “Uniquely Singapore.”
This is what I decided to have:
Merlion Pineapple Rice
Rice stir-fried with Merlion’s aromatic spice blend and refreshing pineapple
cubes. Garnished with pine nuts, scallion and golden shallot.
With Vegetables or with Chicken 13.95
I liked but wasn't thrilled with the meal. Unmentioned in the menu description was the huge amounts of broccoli in the dish nor did they mention the heap of dried…


This has been one long and very hot week. The temps have been hovering near 100 the past few days and might have hit triple digits once or twice.

Walking across our hilly campus today to drop this weeks worth of books off at the library got me soaking wet with sweat. It's brutal out there!

The books on the left are the ones I'm bringing back. I'm going to take out a few more by Karin Slaughter. I'd read two book by her before but hadn't remembered her name. Now I'm going to read her books more systematically.

Back to the weather topic: while I might complain about the heat, the pictures below are of people who really should complain. Construction workers and athletes that have to train outdoors.

I took the two pictures while walking across campus. The UNC football stadium is having some cosmetic surgery and this is a bad summer for it. At least if you're doing the work. I'm glad I was just taking a mile and a half walk. Doing real labor outside is just nut…


Just a few river scenes taken with my new waterproof camera.

Yes, no more cases of digital camera suicide for me. The days of kayaking mishaps and hiking sweat causing cameras to die early deaths are behind me!

The First to Table


Coming Along

Now I've got 6 Roma tomatoes that are ripe and nearly half of the grape tomatoes. My bell peppers, on the other hand, just aren't doing much. The beans are looking good but it'll be some time before I can harvest them.


I had lunch today at a Chinese restaurant today. The Red Lotus in Chapel Hill.

A friend of mine had her 43rd birthday recently and instead of a gift, she asked to go out to lunch. So we did.

It was great for me since I don't get to go out to lunch very often. I have to park off-campus and as a result going out to eat isn't easy. Cry has a parking spot on campus so she can just scoot over to her car and drive away.

The receipt is funny. They ask at the bottom for customers to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. The world is changing too fast for me!

new toy--again

I have another toy. This time it's a kayak. A pretty yellow one.

I got it used off of Craig's List from Jeff, a guy who lives over in Burlington. I paid $550 for it which isn't a great deal but the yak is in good shape, almost new, and it is nearly $300 off what I'd pay for it in a store at retail.

If you know much about kayaks, then you realize this is a very inexpensive boat 'cause 14 foot long kayaks usually go for a lot more than $750-800. However this one doesn't have much in the way of frills and it's plastic all the way.

But it will float---or at least that's what Jeff told me. :-)

I hope to find out for myself tomorrow night. If I can get out of work early enough I'm planning on going to a Meetup paddle on Lake Jordan.

I sure do hope this thing floats.

In case you're curious, the first picture is at Jeff's house after we loaded the boat on my car. And the second picture is the boat on my rear deck. And my deck starts to look quite small …

Fun in the Sun

I was out on the Dan River today kayaking. Hot sun, danger of rain and thunderstorms, serious sweating---all in a days work.

It did rain a bit on my drive to the outfitting company up in Stoneville, NC. Fortunately despite some threatening clouds, we saw nary a drop while on the river.

Stoneville is pretty far to the north in NC, just 10-12 miles from Virginia, and about a 80 minute drive from my house.

The first picture is the 13 of us at the boat launch site, just before we started down the river. It was a 3-hour paddle and we got under way (weigh?) around 10:30.

The second picture is me. Staged and it looks like it too. One of the other paddlers, probably just to get some relief from my frenzy of photo taking, offered to take some pictures of me with my camera.

She did give it back. Eventually. :-(

We went a little slower than I would have liked---some of the folk let the river do most of the work---but I kept busy paddling all over taking pictures and being a bother. It was a lot of f…

Finally rain

There hasn't been a drop of rain on my lawn in over a week.

And during that week it was consistantly in the 90s with one day in triple digits. When I walk on the lawn it sounds like rice crispies: Crack, snapple, pop.

Late last night, after midnight so I guess it was actually early morning, we finally had a downpour. When I got up this morning my rain gauge greeted me with a very welcome 1.25 inches of precipitation. My lawn is very happy!

Now I need to go get some gas for my lawn mower. I'm all out and I suspect that I'll be mowing on Sunday. My kayak trip on Saturday is going to keep me from lawn duty that day. It's amazing how fast grass grows when it finally gets some water.

Five Days

That watermelon has been sitting out in the heat for 5 days now.

Between the dehydration and the insects feeding on it, the watermelon is looking a wee bit worse for wear.

I took this picture around 8am this morning, before going into work. It was already 85f out and I gave my tomato plants some water since I didn't want them to end up looking like this watermelon.

We're supposed to get some afternoon rainstorms for the next few days but I'll believe it when I see it. It's been over a week since there's been any rain at my house and the grass in the lawn breaks when you step on it.

I've signed up for a kayaking tour on the Dan River this Saturday. It's supposed to take around 3 hours so it'll be from 10am to 1pm, more or less. I hope it doesn't rain then!

Aging Rapidly

In my title I'm referring to the watermelon below but it could, I guess, refer to me also.

I went to see my doctor today. Scheduled appointment, nothing serious. And she told me to lose some more weight!

I'd already dropped 45 pounds to get to 183 which is the upper threshold for a normal BMI at my height. But apparently she wants me to be near the middle of the weight range for "normal."

Jeeze. Pretty soon I'll look all dessicated like that poor watermelon over there. At least the bugs like it now.

Pics from my Canon

I was playing a little with my Rebel EOS today. There's a lot of stuff to learn. I keep trying to zoom electronically and then sheepishly I remember that I have to zoom the lens manually---just like I did back in the film camera days.

The first picture is of some watermelon I was going to eat while reading outside today. Unfortunately the watermelon was tasteless so I used it for a photographic still life and fly food. But even the flies weren't very impressed.

And this is my front sidewalk with the lovely sun shining down. Odd how much more I like sun when the temperatures are no longer in the 90s. Too bad our respite is short lived. We're getting back into the 90s tomorrow and it's supposed to last for quite a while. Might even get up to 100 by midweek. *sigh* And my parents and brother, who live further south, are going to have temps in the 80s. What the hell?

Size is Relative

I was going to go hiking after work today but something I read on the Internet changed my mind.

I went to check the delivery status of my recently purchased camera, expecting to see that it was still stuck in Indiana, but lo and behold---it was delivered to my house just a few minutes after noon. Woo-hoo.

Since I didn't want to leave it there unattended on my porch any longer than necessary I made a bee line for home once I finished things up at the lab. And that's the box over there that the lovely toy came in. I was surprised at how much it weighed.

But once I'd unpacked the box some of my surprise went away. There was one hell of a lot of stuff packed away in that little box.

And I was also surprised at how much bigger the SLR was over my old cameras. You can see the comparison below. The Canon Rebel dwarfs the Fuji that I have sitting next to it.

One thing that didn't weigh very much was the lens. Back in my non-digital SLR days I had this really nice Tokina zoom lens.…

Entropic Chaos Factor

The title of this post is a description of Lisbeth Salander, one of the principal characters in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" and it's ascribed to her in the book by her sometimes lover, Mimmi Wu.

The series started with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo though the "entropic chaos factor" description occurred in the second volume The Girl Who Played with Fire. The girl referred to in both titles is Salander.

But back to the entropic chaos factor description. It's a phrase that just plays havoc in the mind. At least my middle aged male mind. But let's examine the individual words a moment. In common language chaos and entropy are often interchanged as if the meanings are the same. For example a party might be described as chaotic because there seems to be little order exhibited there. In science jargon this would not be accurate though. What's really meant is that the party exhibits a high level of entropy.

Entropy is a tendency for closed syst…