bunrab: (bunearsword)
Well, the roof is replaced. And the eaves/sofits and the gutters, and a few bits of the siding trim. Energy-efficient white shingles, that will get us an energy tax credit on our next income tax return.

And Fern bunny is fine, after the application of quite a bit of money at the veterinarian.

All of which is to say, we're not going anywhere this summer. No RG in Pittsburgh, sorry M-friends. No Knit and Crochet Show in Buffalo. Nowhere that we can't drive to within a couple of hours and stay at someone's house for free.

We are fixing up the other house for sale, since we haven't had much luck renting it - it goes on the market in a week and a half. A bit of interior paint, repairs to the sidewalk, replace a couple doors, stuff like that. We won't get what we paid for it; we bought it at the peak of the market, and that's not going to come again any time this ten years. But we should clear enough on it, if all goes well, to pay off the mortgage on the current house, replenish savings that were depleted by the new roof, and maybe, just maybe, enough to let us replace the pink bathtub with something we can stand to look at with our glasses on. There's no chance it would be sold and closed on in time to use the money for any of the afore-mentioned summer travel, though.

Anyway, that's what's been happening around here lately. I've gotten in a bit of reading, some crocheting and knitting, and have written some reviews for the Tea Review Blog -check out the blog here:
and a few of my reviews, specifically, here:

And, just so this has a bit more content, a picture of the most recent sweater I finished:

I've already worn this one a couple times and people seem to like the little sunflower, even though [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet says it looks like a large-winged insect has landed on me.
bunrab: (bunearsword)
1. [livejournal.com profile] angevin2, have you seen this cartoon in the Jan. 26 New Yorker? Roz Chast cartoon entitled "Grad-School Parent-Teacher Conference" shows somewhat older couple sitting in front of desk of frizzy-haired, tweed-jacket type, who is saying "Barbara is very mature for a 28-year-old." and (next balloon) "And she certainly isn't drinking as much as she used to!"

2. Ad in the January 2009 The Progressive for this t-shirt and other items with slogans such as "Future Librarian" and "Knitting is Knotty."

3. I seem to have saved a page from the Nov 08 issue of Metropolitan Home, showing the new Long Center in Austin, built on the skeleton of the old Mueller Auditorium. Says the old roof tiles, hail dents and all, now line the elevators and lobby walls. I haven't been there since it was finished; what kind of effect is that, really, someone?

4. I got the subscription for free, that's why I get Metropolitan Home. I am not normally in the market for $5000 furniture and $1000 bedside lamps, though some of them are cute. It is interesting to look at the ads for the latest in sleek, modern Murphy beds.

5. An interesting article from the July 2008 issue of Discover (that shows you how long this pile of magazines has been sitting next to my computer) about Laughing. Refers back to the essay "The Laughter of Copernicus" by Jim Holt in the book Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge edited by Damien Broderick. I believe I meant to make a note to myself to look for this book and Holt's Stop Me If You've Heard This. Is that what I meant?

Yes, I have a huge stack of recent reading, and a report from the Tuba-Euphonium Conference, and numerous other things to tell. Perhaps I shall manage a post after rehearsal tonight.
bunrab: (bass)
go to http://www.montgomeryvillagecommunityband.org/video/holiday-concert--2008
scroll down to Jingle Bells Hora, and watch the video! I get to take a quick bow at the end.
bunrab: (alien reading)
Book list:
The 133 books that for one reason or another I saw fit to mention in my blog this year )
Not all of those were books I liked. The ones with asterisks are the ones that I guess I'd characterize as my "favorites" for the year. Hmmm, two science fiction, one historical fantasy, one fiction classic, and two nonfiction - not bad! One thing I was pleased at was meeting the goal I had set for myself back at the beginning of the year, of reading a bit more nonfiction, and rather fewer murder mysteries; there are only 30 books on the list that are mysteries, and considerably more nonfiction than last year! 48 of them are nonfiction - an average of nearly one a week! I feel so intellectual.
bunrab: (bunearsword)
So we went to the Winterthur on Saturday. They have really nice lunches in their cafeteria, including a fancy dessert table. I spent more time on the "Who's Your Daddy" exhibit than [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet or Cindythelibrarian did. We all enjoyed the "Feeding Desire" exhibit - if you're anywhere in the area, that's a great one to go see. Of course right now, the house tour includes Winterfest, which is always beautiful. And mid-afternoon, there was a concert by a Sa"ngerbund - I forget the name of the group, but it was a chorus of about 30 people. Mostly songs we did not know, many of them in German. When we crossed the driveway to the gift shop, we noticed the largest holly tree I have ever seen, somewhere over 30 feet and full of berries. I am used to holly trees being spindly 10 or 12 foot things, and in Texas holly is a shrub; this was most definitely a tree! We got a good deal of holiday present shopping done in the gift shop. On the way home we avoided the evil Delaware toll plaza - on the way up, we were so busy talking, we missed the exit for easiest toll avoidance.

Backing up a bit. I did not wind up making the corn pudding for Thanksgiving. It would have been the last thing to get started, and when I got to that point, I realized that I had every single inch of space in my oven and my toaster oven completely filled with stuff already, more stuff than 8 people could possibly eat. (So I used the corn to make corn chowder late at night for S & I for supper - so we didn't have to eat the leftovers the same day!) We had a nice Auslese Riesling and a lot of apple cider. The day went well. My 7-month-old nephew Luke seems to be attempting to bypass crawling altogether and trying to stand up by himself and learn to walk. We watched "Babe" after dinner, which was popular not only with almost-2 Kyla, but also with my dad. My stepmom gave us a housewarming present, a Tensor floor lamp with a daylight-spectrum bulb in it - and it's dimmable! That will be useful not only for all my needlework but also for S's fiddling with stereo pieces and with gadgets.

Currently reading: Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred - very funny SF graphic novel - and The Eight by Katharine Neville, a thriller about Charlemagne, chess, the French Revolution, and auditing. The number 8 has many meanings in the book, and one of them is the "Big Eight" accounting firms, back when there were still such. Our heroine works for one that is a roman-a-clef Peat Marwick, often known as KPMG; in the book, the names of the firm form an acronym of FCK-U, which pretty much describes the firm's attitude toward its clients, its employees, and everything else.

I love museum gift stores.
bunrab: (bunnies)
edited to quote the article so you don't have to jump to [livejournal.com profile] manjinakon.
article about it )
I'll miss Alex - I thought the work Irene Pepperberg was doing with him was just wonderful, and I have enjoyed reading about him over the years.
bunrab: (bunearsword)
thanks to [livejournal.com profile] miz_geek, I now know my squid quotient:
find out your squid quotient
Your Squid Quotient = 164
Interpreting your results: An average Squid Quotient is around 100. A SQ of 100 means you have a normal affinity for squid. A SQ above 100 means you have an attraction or fondness for squid. Below 100 means that you should probably stay away from the deep ocean.

Tell a friend about squidsquid.com

Currently online: 11 humans, 2 squid, and a hamster.

Not sure how the hamster is managing to breathe in there - do they make hamster scuba gear?

ETA this link: http://dailytentacle.blogspot.com/
bunrab: (teacup2)
One of my favorite political writers. We met her a couple times when she spoke at meetings of groups we belong to. Her being 5-foot-twelve won't be the only reason her shoes will be hard to fill.
bunrab: (soprano_sax)
So, continuing the saga of What I Did Last Weekend with Sally:
Saturday evening, we went out to Mastic (about an hour east of Wantagh) to some friends of hers who were having a "house sing." This involved pot luck supper too - and there was lots of good food. There were people singing when we got there, from the book Rise Up Singing, which I have a copy of somewhere and know much of by heart, so I was able to jump right in, alternating between singing soprano and tenor (my middle range is quite weak, though). Talked to a few people, pulled out my recorder but never actually got around to playing it because I was busy singing; the other person who brought recorders didn't get around to playing his much either. There were three guitar players. I got to be useful almost immediately, guarding the kitchen garbage can while it had no bag in it, while people who knew more about the house than I did went looking for some more garbage bags. Made me feel right at home.

Nice people all around. More than a few computer geeks. Wide variety of musical interests - at least one woman who sings in a Sweet Adelines group; several people who expressed a bit of interest in my soprano saxophone, which I had not brought with me but was still excited about. People who wanted to know how I knew Sally - and many people who told me they were extremely glad I was there to help Sally clean house; apparently, quite a few of her friends worry about her apparent hoarding. I guess I have the edge, since I've known her since forever, and knew her mother, and knew that house when she was little; this makes it possible for me to move stuff around and choose what to throw out and what to keep with more knowledge of the sentiments involved than other people, which is why she would trust me to do it but has never allowed them.

Anyway, besides the stuff from Rise Up Singing there were a few anti-war songs from Tom Lehrer and Phil Ochs. Then I retreated to a relatively unoccupied room so I could rest, and hide, and I wound up chatting with my host, who was doing the same. I think I'll probably pursue staying in touch with my host and hostess, as they seem like people who have interests that have more than a little overlap with mine. And stay in touch with at least one other person, as well, one of the guitar players, who once had a job doing singing telegrams. People to exchange science fiction book references with! To meet up with, perhaps, at cons at some point in the future! (Stuff Sally isn't into.) One can never have too many friends.

Coming up in the world of music: this Saturday evening, we have tickets to a Marine Band concert in Randallstown, and we're hoping [livejournal.com profile] sanada can join us for that. And then, the following weekend is the Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference! Which is just as wild as any other kind of con, except that most SF cons, for example, do not involve large hunks of brass being toted around. We will get to see more long-distance friends in person there, too!


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