This truck came to address the septic tank issues at the late parental residence, and naturally I took the opportunity to take a picture.
Speaking of the late parental residence, we closed yesterday, the new owners have the keys, and y'all missed out on the perfect opportunity to own a chunk of real estate in beautiful Carmel Valley.
And I do believe I'm going to sleep for about a week now.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
This truck came to address the septic tank issues at the late parental residence, and naturally I took the opportunity to take a picture.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Just been really, really busy. Being the executor/trustee of your parents' estate can do that to a person. (Mother just faded away at age 91 back in December.)
Which reminds me. I don't care how old (or young) you are. Do your heirs a favor, and thin out your stuff NOW. If you can't figure out why that's a good thing, ask me about filling the biggest dumpster Waste Management will deliver, and still having trash left over. Not to mention so many trips to Goodwill, the guy at the donation station knows us by name.
Oh, and does anybody want to buy a 2000+ square foot house on an acre in Carmel Valley? A million in cash and it's yours.
None of which explains the algebra.
For reasons I'm too tired to explain right now, amongst my various other endeavors I am experimenting with creating handmade flutes. And before I (pun warning!) branch out into wood, bamboo and other such materials, PVC pipe is a good place to start.
Yep. Good ol' PVC pipe from Home Depot, at less than 2 bucks for 10 feet of the stuff.
Anybody can just start drilling holes in a tube, but if you want the thing to play in something resembling "tune" (what is this "tune" thing I speak of?) you have to do some math.
Well. Anybody who has known me for any length of time knows that Algebra 2 was one of the worst experiences of my life, and I quickly and purposely forgot it all once I had passed the class and moved on with my education. Where and when, I often asked, was I ever going to use this knowledge again?
Fast forward to yesterday, and a few useful websites. One of those sites offers the following text:
If I want a pipe that plays an A-440 (that is, the note at 440 Hz, which happens to be an A), sound waves have to go around it once in 1/440 second. So, (2 x (length of pipe in m)) / (345 m / s) = (1 / 440) s. We can solve this equation algebraically to find that the length of pipe must be .392 m (39.2 cm).
Algebra? Heaven help me.
Heaven came in the form of yet another nifty website. (They've got practically everything on the net these days, don't they.) Somehow I managed to actually use those instructions to draft my own equation and plug it in, once I had figured out the part about sound waves traveling at 345 meters per second. And I found that for a pipe to play a D at 293.66 Hz, it needed to be 0.58741402 meters long, or about 23 1/8 inches for us English speakers. And lo and behold, when I cut the PVC pipe to that length and blew into it, aiming at a nifty tuner app, I got a D.
I then used the Flutomat to calculate the distances and hole sizes for a D-minor scale, drilled out the holes, and now I've got my first homemade flute.
Fine-grit sandpaper takes off the black printing as well as the shiny surface, so it looks just a little less like PVC at a distance, although the cap at the end kind of gives it away....
Silly me, I should have offset the G hole a bit. Yes, it is rather awkward to play. But it has an interesting sound.
Bonus feature. If you drop it on the floor, or even step on it, it won't break!
Want to hear what it sounds like?
Friday, October 5, 2012
So I couldn't take a picture, and you'll just have to take my word for it. For a couple of miles on the freeway, I followed a septic tank service truck. You know, the truck with the big tank on the back and the great big ol' hose. On the back of the tank, right under the name and phone number of the company, it said "Warning! This tank may contain political promises!" Honest. Really.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
That is how one of the San Diego Zoo bloggers referred to this baby bear, in the context of last week's veterinary examination.
The little tank is going to be a very big tank before we know it.
Friday, September 28, 2012
After all, they found Richard III under a parking lot. (Maybe.)
Michigan police skeptical they will find Hoffa's body under driveway
Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:03 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The new baby in San Diego is already recognizable as a panda, and s/he is trying very, very hard to mobilize!
No, I don't know what that yellow stain in the corner is, since this camera does not broadcast in color.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Might as well get used to it... this blog is likely to be wall-to-wall bears for a while.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Bai Yun gave birth to her 6th cub Sunday afternoon. She is one of the oldest panda mothers ever at age nearly-21, and is now the most prolific panda mother in any breeding program outside of China. Congratulations to mama and papa, and cheers to the panda staff at the San Diego Zoo! (Photo credit: The LA Times, via San Diego Zoo.)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Expecting the pitty-pat of widdle cubby feetsies at any moment. Yay!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Someone presumes to correct my grammar--and they're wrong! Case in point; the exceptions to the comma-between-doubled-word rule being "had had" and "that that." Changing "had had" to "had" or "has had" changes the meaning. Worse yet, "had, had" is COMPLETELY wrong. Wrongety-wrong-wrong-wrong. Look it up. I had to, so you can too.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
As one of the mandated duties of the federal government. Right next to that wall of separation between church and state.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Mama bear Bai Yun from yesterday, having herself a snooze. She is on hopeful pregnancy watch, so cross all your fingers and toes for a new cubbie to be born later this year!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Posted by CrankyBeach at 9:32 PM
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Anybody read in the financial news today about that big ol' merger that was announced in the medical transcription industry?
Yes, I will be involved in that. Thank you for asking.
Last time I went through a merger, I was part of the smaller company that got gobbled up by the big fish.
This time, it's the other way around. Last time's gobbler (for which I still work) will become the gobble-ee.
And even though the sale was announced today, it will not be final for 6 to 9 months, they told us, so nothing is supposed to change for at least 6 months. After that? All bets are off.
Oh, and the most fun? The announcement conference call was set for 9 a.m. . . . eastern time. Lovely consideration for the employees in other time zones (not). And they still didn't beat the press release. Facebook was hopping well before the conference began.
Yep. The fun never stops.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Nothing quite like telling the terrorists the best places for them to target. Uh huh.
No, I am not linking the news story, just in case there's a terrorist watching this space.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Captured live on the Pandacam just now... not-so-little-anymore Yun Zi at San Diego, taking a nap in a rather extraordinary position....
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Show an appalling lack of consideration, thumping around in the bedroom closet at 11:30 in the morning. Makes it hard for a girl to sleep on the job.
I'm just saying.
Monday, September 12, 2011
... borrowing a flute off a street musician and playing "God Bless America" at Ground Zero.
(In case you haven't read the post immediately below this one, this picture was taken in July of 2003.)
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Today seems like an appropriate day to review my two visits to New York, and compare and contrast.
Interestingly, both visits were made in the company of my best friend, sometimes known as Muppy.
The two visits, 14 years apart, had in common a ride on the carousel in Central Park, and a visit to Tavern on the Green, although on the first trip, we only had coffee, because we were very, very poor, and on the second visit, we splurged and had lunch.
On the first visit, in 1989, the city seemed proud of being designated the attitude capital of the world. The hotel desk clerks, taxi drivers and airline agents seemed to be the only exceptions, and I expect their job descriptions included not getting snarky with the customers. I have a vague memory of a public relations campaign going on with the taxi drivers, in which the phrase "May I help you?" figured prominently. But other than that, people were generally rude and mouthy, and unrepentant.
And on the ride into the city from the Newark airport, the twin towers dominated the skyline.
Fast forward to 2003, and a similar ride from the same airport. On that July day, 9/11 became fully real to me when I saw with my own eyes the gap in the skyline.
We made an early start the next morning, and the first thing on our agenda was, of course, the pilgrimage down to Ground Zero. I think we had a printed Google map and not much else. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but we wound up going into a hotel, not our own, via the rear entrance, and we must have looked mystified, because the nice uniformed man at the podium (bellman? concierge?) immediately took us in hand, although we had not gotten to the point of asking for help. He gave us a map, pointed out the location of the nearest subway station, told us what stop to get off at, and then gave us his card, saying, "If you get lost, call me."
And we weren't even guests at his hotel; we came in off the street, and he saw us come in off the street.
After that, I can't even tell you how many times we had only to pop out of a subway station and look around, trying to get our bearings, before someone would approach us, within seconds, and ask if we needed help finding our way.
Even the street vendors accosting the tourists and hawking their swag in the blocks surrounding the big hole in the ground, although they were just as aggressive, somehow were much nicer about taking "no" for an answer.
What a difference 14 years makes.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
And how quickly we remember, when prompted....
I usually operate with the home phone ringer turned off, mostly because I am not fond of interruptions.
Today, I am expecting a call from a co-worker, so I turned the ringer on.
So far, it's been the breast cancer donation people, and the recorded message from "card services" to alert me that I could get a lower interest rate.
And as soon as that co-worker calls, the ringer is once again going to be turned OFF.
Everyone that knows me knows to either e-mail me, or start yelling when they get the answering machine. If I'm here and I feel like talking to you, I will pick up. Otherwise... use the answering machine for its intended purpose and leave a message.
Hey, I'm paying for this phone, I'll decide when and how I want to use it. I will. Not the breast cancer donation people, no matter how worthy their cause, nor "card services," nor any of the other myriad of callers who (thank heaven) mostly do not leave messages if they reach voicemail.
Yes, I am feeling especially curmudgeonly today. Thank you for asking.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Just got back from this year's Black and White Overnight at the San Diego Zoo. One of our activities was creating treat boxes for the bears. We actually missed seeing this ourselves, but one of the narrators got the shot of nearly-2-year-old Yun Zi beheading the box we made.
And here is the pandacam shot of the overnighters. We are the ones with the panda ears and blue shirts.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
That I would run into both ex-pregnant women on the same day? Especially considering it's been a very long time since we all worked together?
I ran into Dr. Nancy in Whole Foods at around noon on Sunday. She gave birth to Zack back in August of 2006, and he's going to start school this fall. She assures me that my old boss, her dad, is doing just fine, and they're treating her well over at the new office, which isn't so new anymore.
And then I ran into Stacy, who gave birth to her twins in December of 2006, at the Mercy Me concert at my church Sunday night. I was taking tickets at the door, and found myself face to face with her and hubby Nick. I did see Stacy not all that long ago; she was in the area, and we met up for lunch.
But to run into both Nancy and Stacy on the same day? Who'd have thought?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Of things I can't run at the same time without blowing the breaker, that is.
Until now, the only one on the list was the microwave and toaster oven.
Now, it's the microwave and the hair dryer set on "high."
Ahh, life in the modern age.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 4:46 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
Went off on a mini-tour, seeing the Moody Blues in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Went with good friend Pam, who won the VIP upgrade for SB, and thus we got a special tour of the stage, and had our pictures taken onstage. Minus the band, alas, but that's as close as us fans actually can get, so we were pretty happy. Also saw some old friends, and met a few new ones.
But, despite actually getting to bed at a decent hour, neither one of us really slept, so we were pretty draggy the next day. The adrenalin rush came back in full force by concert time, and we had a blast. We did get some sleep that night, and headed home the next day.
Now I'm back at work, and I really, really need a nap... but, miles to go before I sleep, alas.
Pictures later, if you're lucky, but don't hold your breath.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
That was my first thought, until I realized it was a grave insult to all honest black-and-white stinky fuzzballs out there.
To paraphrase my good friend Denise AKA Butterflysneeze...
Hey, Pakistan! You got some 'splainin' to do!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Gao Gao spent a LOT of time this morning scent-marking all over the enclosure, not just on or near the gate.
Bai Yun came over a few times and sneered at him, then flipped her tail and walked away again. Talk about playing hard-to-get....
And then... SHE came to the gate looking for HIM, and he wasn't there!
Right about then, they switched the live cam over to Yun Zi's enclosure.......
Later, a new zoo blog entry was posted with the happy news that the happy couple finally had a successful rendezvous.
Which means we might, just might, hear the pitter-patter of new fuzzy feet this fall. ::fingers crossed::
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Yun Zi is back in the "classroom" exhibit, where Bai Yun the Mommy Monster infamously pushed him off the drinker when he had the audacity to climb up there one day....
Goodness gracious, that was a whole year and 4 months ago!
Bai Yun is playing hard-to-get.
Shortly after that video was captured, Gao Gao tried his pole-dance maneuver, and now he's in the midst of the "I'll turn my back on you and sulk" maneuver.
Stay tuned, and thanks to Doxiemom for the video.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Or so it seems.
At the San Diego Zoo, Bai Yun is pacing, and Gao Gao keeps sniffing at the howdy gate. See, the big Stud Muffin (tm) knows there's a soon-to-be-ready female nearby, and he doesn't want to miss his opportunity. The two bears can see each other, but a grating still separates them.
This morning, the live cam showed a couple of apparent zoo employees with clipboards standing on the walkway, observing the action. After the zoo opened, apparent members of the public were seen also on the walkway, so evidently it's not time quite yet, because when it IS time, they will clear the public out of the exhibit, then open the grating, and if all goes well, there will be a new cub come August.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Some of you know I work as a medical transcriptionist. There is speech recognition technology involved in this job, or as we often call it, "speech wreck," with good reason.
The speech wreck engine just now gave me "California."
What the dictator actually said was "schizophrenia."
Discuss among yourselves. I have to get back to work.