bunch of random crap for the summer

Time to flush out some stuff from my my blog list again. There is a lot of stuff here because I’ve been lazy and busy.

Scary Earthquakes

Peninsula Regional (quicktime, 15MB) and San Jose (quicktime, 4MB) simulations of real time ground shaking in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Watching the ground on this simulation shudder and convulse in wave after wave scared the absolute bejeezus out of me until I noticed the part that said 1000X Exaggeration. Still. Whoa. See more earthquake simulations and maps on the USGS site here. (from boingboing back in april for the 1906 centennial).

Big Mouth Play Cave

Nido Play Cave. OK! Plastic, brightly-colored, adorable, anthropomorphic, yes, indeed, I must order one now. Never mind that I’m probably too big to fit inside. I can store, um, acorns in it. This was originally at Design Within Reach But seems to be unavailable now (insert out of reach joke here).

Squid Shirt

The Loch Ness Imposter, another threadless t-shirt. Design by Ross Zietz.

OMG Kittens!

Kitten vs Frontrow Battle. Apparently the defining purpose of the internet is to enable pornography and adorable kitten video. OK I guess lipsyncing teenagers are in there somewhere too. (the quality of this video stinks near the start, it gets better). (I got it from Gizmodo).

Things to do With Old Computer Books

Usually my pubsub egosearches for my own name are pretty boring. Very rarely, however, I get something like this:

Deep Inferno resident Vibrating Liz, 52, says she gets around this dilemma by using thick, heavy, mostly outdated computer manuals. “One night the roaches just stormed my house,” she explained as she reclined comfortably in a rust-colored Barcalounger that had been temporarily relocated to the top of her refrigerator. “Hundreds of them, running all around, their little feet click-click-clicking on the hardwood floors. I was flinging those big books right and left. Finally I was so frazzled and worn out, I just couldn’t deal with cleaning up the corpses until the next day. A friend dropped by later that night and saw the complete works of Laura Lemay scattered randomly all over the house. I started to apologize for the mess, but he said, ‘Oh no I understand perfectly. I get pretty frustrated with CSS myself sometimes.'”

Read (dead link) the rest of the story at (dead link) Granny Gets a Vibrator (an extremely well-written blog and I just realized that I know the author from her previous life on the Well. Well, hey.)

Good Deed For the Day

I keep losing this site so maybe if I post it here I won’t lose track of it again. Greendisk recycles computer trash. Not actual computers, I have a local recyclery for that, but all the other computer related crap that big computer recycleries won’t take. They recycle tapes, CDs, batteries, cables, boards, and printer cartridges. You have to pay them to take it ($7 for 20 lbs) but its better than tossing it all into a landfill. I think I may be able to fill up my 20 lb allowance just with old coax cable.

I have No Shame

The One-Man Salute. Moon Gas. Tail Wind. The Gluteal Tuba. The Third State of Matter. Chair Air. Backdoor Breeze. Otherwise known as a fart post, by the Fat Cyclist. Now, you may be thinking, “Surely, Laura, fart posts are beneath you,” but you would be wrong. It is a really funny fart post.

A Visual Extravgaza of Light and Music and…soda

Have you seen the mentos and diet coke fountain video yet?

HOWTO Become a Tuscan Butcher

Bill Buford’s story in the New Yorker about learning how to be a real butcher in italy and then the adventure of buying a whole pig in the middle of New York City.

“Signor Cecchini,” I said, “I am a friend of Mario Batali.”

“Accidenti!” he declared (which seemed to mean something like “Well, I’ll be God-damned!” but what did I know?).

“Mario is the son of Armandino,” I said, reading from a script. (My Italian was no better than Chapter 18 of “In Italiano,” the textbook used at the Scuola Italiana del Greenwich Village.)


“And I would like to be a Tuscan butcher.”

“Accidenti! Vieni! Pronto! Ora!”—Come! Quickly! Now!

One week later, I was in Chianti—Dario’s butcher shop was halfway between Florence and Siena, in Panzano—feeling that when my stay was completed I, too, would be a different person, but I had no idea how.

Fix-it-Yourself Geekery Runs in the Family

My sister Sharon’s really great story about the leaky water heater in her Airstream trailer and the random bullshit the RV water heater dealer tried to tell her about why she couldn’t put a generic water heater in there. “you can’t do that, it’s the wrong kind of power. It goes through inverters and converters and things.”

My sister is an electrical engineer.


Have you seen the video of the Mime acting out Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn yet?

Really Bad Ideas Part 3985

Lord of the Rings: the Musical is a really bad. I repeat: didn’t see that coming.

OMG Kittens 2

A bunch of months ago I posted about the cheetah cam at the National Zoo. The cheetah kittens are all grown up and now we have a tiger cub cam for three sumatran tiger cubs born May 24. On a DAILY BASIS I am DYING of CUTENESS watching this site.

I have more stuff but that’s enough for now.

dammit, laura, write SOMETHING

I am 28 books behind on my reading list. The last book I read was Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, which I was reading because I needed an airplane book, but it was really bad. Even for Michael Crichton.

I had too much caffeine today and I feel kind of queasy.

Fierce Cat disappeared for two days this weekend and I was completely in a panic. She is back now. Right this moment she is standing at my feet and chirping at me. Pay attention to me. Pay attention to me. PAY ATTENTION TO ME OR I WILL VANISH AGAIN SEE IF I WON’T.

I am four loads behind on my laundry. I have more than enough clean socks, so I am OK.

I went for a short long bike ride this weekend (35 miles) and finally conquered the Evil Hill I’ve been unable to scale for a while now (Mt Sycamore, in the hard direction). Of course it helped that Eric put lower gears on my bike. But I will pretend that actually I am suddenly a much better climber.

I am three episodes behind on 24 (I know how it ends). What a dumb show I can’t seem to stop watching. Note that I am all caught up on Lost. I have my priorities straight.

I am 22 messages behind on my email. This is actually low.

Some dutch norwegian guy appears to be trying to sell my dead cat. This puzzles me a lot. I am thinking a nice http redirect to something foul might be amusing.

I have not upgraded my Macs to Tiger yet because I do not own a DVD drive (I know, I know). I am conflicted over whether I should do the apple media return and get CDs or just buy a DVD drive. Computer lust will probably win over practicality, as it always does. I figure by the time I decide what to do Apple will have done a couple bugfix releases so I’m not in any big hurry.

I have not seen Revenge of the Sith because I really don’t care. In my 80’s teenage crowd there were Star Wars geeks and Raiders of the Lost Ark geeks and I was in the latter camp. Except for the occasional resurrectional rumor my series is over.

cats cats cats

Today has been a Day of Cats. It started with Elsa, my older cat, who woke up with problems and had to be rushed to the vet first thing in the morning. Because Elsa is a large maine coon and DOES NOT LIKE the vet, she had to stay there to be sedated so they could take tests without unnecessary loss of limbs.

While I was in the waiting room of the vet waiting I visited with KITTENS. Kittens are the BEST THING EVER. As I sat next to the big cage the vet receptionist explained that these were feral kittens and they were really timid. One of the kittens had reached through the cage and was fondling my ear. “You can let them out of the cage and play with them,” the receptionist said. I opened the cage and my ear-fondler LEAPT into my lap, wrapped itself around my neck and PURRED. “Timid, you say,” I said, and the receptionist said “huh.”

I managed to escape the vets office without a kitten, however, and Elsa is now at home wandering drunkenly about the house and I have a couple week’s worth of antibiotics to feed her (and THAT will be plenty fun).

And just now as I was writing this Fierce Cat, my other cat, showed up on the porch with yet another dead bunny. She is called fierce cat because the first time I saw her, a few years back, she was carrying a dead bunny nearly as big as she was and I thought “what a FIERCE cat!” and the name stuck.

Anyhow, now that Fierce Cat has decided to be our cat (technically she belongs to the neighbors and her real name is missy and she’s not very fierce at all but that’s a long story), she blesses us us twice a week or so with dead critters on the porch. Gophers, chipmunks, the occasional bird, but mostly bunnies. She is good at bunnies. Initially she just left them for us, but then since we were ungrateful enough not to want them now she just brings them up, waits for approval, and then crunches them loudly just outside the patio doors. Like us humans with our chocolate bunnies, she starts with the ears. Unlike chocolate bunnies, she leaves bits of guts behind on the mat. Yuck.