Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
That reddish haze you can see in the background is the reflection of my umbrella, for those who insist upon knowing such things.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
This is especially for you, Mister Bum.
From the Pandacam yesterday:
ETA: Bum, it's for you because you so often razz me about the excessive bearish content of my blog posts.... That is the "little" cub climbing on top of his mama. I believe he is now over 70 pounds. She will probably wean him fairly soon, and then "kick him out," as Kay the panda narrator called it.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Only the lame-stream media would find it "surprising" that Michael Moore, who hates America, has come out in support of Leaky Julian. (The image below is a clickable link, in case you want to actually read the news story for yourself.)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Spotted at Target, while on a mission to score a 1 terabyte external hard drive on sale:
The only image-capturing device I had on my person was the Palm Pilot, so the photographic quality is not up to my usual standards.
Ahh... it may be a new EDITION, but it's not exactly a new RELEASE.... I'm just saying.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 11:32 AM
Sunday, December 5, 2010
And so it was that in the Kingdom of the Corporate Suits, a decree went forth that all matters shall be issued a support ticket, from start to finish.
Imagine the surprise and consternation, therefore, of the humbly-compliant minion when she received e-mails from a Top Suit inquiring on the status of several of her tickets.
Humble Minion bit her tongue and did not inform Top Suit that had he simply LOOKED into each of those tickets, the status thereof was copiously and scrupulously annotated therein. Rather, she sent forth dispatches to Top Suit informing him of the status of said cases, thereby wasting her precious time (although not nearly as precious as that of Top Suit, presumably, being a safe bet that Top Suit's level of remuneration equals several multiples of that of Humble Minion.
Humble Minion also refrained from pointing out that Top Suit should have known these things, being a Knight and Overseer in the very department of the Kingdom from whence the decree came forth, and being a Keeper of the Sacred Keys of Access to the ticketing system.
Humble Minion believes this would be a very good time to resurrect the "Bang Head Here" low-tech anti-stress kit that got such heavy use at her previous job.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 11:44 PM
Thursday, December 2, 2010
It's been a LONG work week.
All started Monday when I apparently kicked over quite a hornet's nest. My first mistake was in expecting that other people had actually done their jobs.... How silly of me. I only found out when my scheduled Tuesday morning trainee came looking for me, wondering why tech support had not contacted her to install her software.
Turns out the HR department had dropped the ball somewhere, and never passed it on to tech support. After a large blizzard of e-mails and intervention by my boss (who carries a very large metaphorical gun) I got started with the trainee only an hour and a half late... and it was a good thing she was the only one in the class; otherwise, I'd have had to reschedule the entire class, which tends to annoy people.
Then I had another class of 3 trainees yesterday and today. They're done, but I still have more to do with the first trainee tomorrow (she's getting different training; that's why she's not done and the others were).
Yep. Been a long week. But at least I have a job, and I even like the job most of the time. Best of all, it (mostly) pays the bills. Can't ask for a lot more than that these days.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Oops... did I just give away my age??
Thanks to Lizz and Tony, we've had a sort of blizzard-like class reunion on Facebook, with friend requests appearing seemingly out of nowhere and people linking to other people.
So hello (in no particular order) to Rod, Susan, April, Tony, Lizz, Mollie, Kathy, the other Kathy, Bonnie, Michael, Robert, and Robbie, who I have to admit I don't remember (but she's married to Tony, so that means she's all right by me). And all the other folk who haven't friended me yet, or vice versa.
Speaking of Tony, I will always remember that he was the big hotshot football hero who wasn't so high and mighty that he couldn't come up with a kind and cordial word for an uncool band geek (that would be me). I used to always ask him to predict how the football team was going to do that week, because I always had side bets going with the band director. And Tony, of course, was always right in his predictions. I still remember that last game of the season when he got majorly squashed and had to be taken away in an ambulance....
And since Rod said he's now reading my blog, I guess I better start posting more often.... Wouldn't want to disappoint the vast (ahem) audience, after all....
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Has our gubbermint gone mad?
Unless I am gravely mistaken, in any other era and just about any other country, this Wikileaks mess would be considered treason, punishable by death.
But in the United States of Wussies, in the year of Obama 2010? Not so much.
Please, PLEASE tell me somebody else finds this as seriously disturbing as I do!
And why, in the name of all that's holy, has the government not slapped about a hundred restraining orders on Wikileaks, or a cease-and-desist order, or something, ANYTHING to shut them down and stop them from spilling stolen national secrets!
Oh. My bad. This is the US Gubbermint circa 2010 we're talking about. They're running around like headless chickens warning everybody about how stupid the US Gubbermint is going to look and how embarrassed the administration will be when the information hits. Oh, and it's going to endanger countless lives too.
Two wrongs don't make a right, and I don't condone illegal activity, but let's just say I wouldn't be terribly upset if someone took the law into their own hands and put Wikileaks out of business, at least for a while.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
For the second week in a row, the Yahoo! news front page has shown a photo of Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas with a headline about another cut having been made from "Dancing With The Stars."
And for the second week in a row, Bristol and Mark are SAFE.
In other words, they have NOT been cut from the show. Yet.
We report, you decide.
Friday, November 5, 2010
I just found out that Blogrolling has closed up shop, so until I re-code all my favorite links in the sidebar, they will not work. Sorry about that. Stay tuned for updates.
Monday, October 25, 2010
This was actually posted 10 days ago over at Wizbang, by Jay Tea. I am quoting it here in full because it's just that good.
Posted by Jay Tea
Published: October 15, 2010 - 7:30 AM
You know, in the aftermath of the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners this week, it's clear why that nation is a third-world hellhole and not part of the developed world. The reasons are legion, but one of them stood out in stark relief over the past few months: their president simply doesn't know how to manage a major crisis.
I mean, look at this comparison with how El Presidente Sebastian Pinera handled that situation with how our own President Obama dealt with the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
Not once did President Pinera talk about how he was going to make certain that the mining company was properly brought to account for their misdeeds, promising to hold his boot to their throats.
He didn't demand an end to all mining everywhere.
He didn't snub offers of assistance from other nations.
He didn't vow to "not rest" until it was over, then take off on vacations and go golfing at the drop of a hat.
He didn't try to demonize the mining company.
He didn't use the crisis to advance his political agenda.
He didn't make sure that federal government officials were overseeing and micromanaging every aspect of the disaster response, keeping outsiders and other levels of government didn't get in the way.
Nope, El Presidente Pinera did just what you'd expect from any two-bit jefe from a two-bit backwater banana republic. He marshaled his nation's resources; requested and accepted aid from anyone, anywhere; kept the spotlight focused, laserlike, on the actual immediate crisis; ignored such matters as blame and responsibility who to punish; and most critically, failed to shore up the critical golfing industry by keeping his tee times.
Poor, poor Chile. Yes, your miners were rescued, alive and mostly healthy, but that was not because of your El Presidente and his response to the crisis, but despite it. The silly Chile-pepper simply doesn't have what it takes to be the leader of a modern, advanced nation.
Maybe some day, you will. Maybe some day you'll be as good as we are. But right now, you ain't there -- and you ain't headed in the right direction.
(This article is also instructional on how the rescue played out.)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
It's been a busy one.
Shall I list everything that has gone wrong?
- Network card on work desktop machine died.
- Personal desktop machine died.
- Laptop power supply temporarily died.
- Router died.
- CD-ROM drive on work desktop machine died.
It all started when, silly me, I went to follow my boss's instructions and install PowerPoint on my work computer. It was then I discovered the CD drive was hosed.
No fear, said I, I'll just make the desktop machine's CD drive a shared drive, and install from there.
Easier said than done, when the target machine has suddenly decided to take 10 minutes to boot up, and then 5 minutes to open anything at all.
So I took a stab at a Windows repair installation. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
The machine did boot up just fine in safe mode--but half my software wouldn't work.
Off to Best Buy to pick up a USB CD-ROM drive, cross all the fingers and toes, and re-format the hard drive, and reinstall the operating system.
Finished all that at about 7 o'clock last night, and then called company tech support to see when they could install all the company software so I could, um, do my job. You know, the thing that generates the paycheck.
Their first offer was Wednesday afternoon. Fine, I said, if you want to 'splain to my boss. They punted, and gave me Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. my time. And then the tech was late calling, and then he postponed the appointment until noon.
After that, it took 3 hours to get everything up and running.
All things considered, this wasn't how I wanted to spend the last 4 days. But at least the final result was a whole lot cheaper than buying a whole new computer, which was tech support's first suggestion.
Ahh, machinery. Can't live without it, but can't live with it either, a lot of the time.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
An acquaintance just sent me a collection of images via e-mail today. When I went hunting on the net... I found some of them posted to a blog entry as far back as April 15, 2009. This, in Obama's own back yard, less than 3 months after he was inaugurated. For your viewing pleasure, I am re-posting just a few images here, with the caveat that the copyrights belong to those listed.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This item is again making the rounds of the in-boxes. Sent to me by a "friend" of the male persuasion. Actually, I think it's hilarious, and creative... but I won't be participating, so all of you who know where I live... just stay home, and don't stalk my house. There will be nothing to see here... move along... move along...
DON'T FORGET NEXT SATURDAY!
WALK NAKED IN AMERICA DAY
Don't forget to mark your calendars.
As you may already know, it is a sin for a Muslim male to see any woman other than his wife naked and if he does, he must commit suicide. So next Saturday at 1 PM Eastern Time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.
Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort.
All patriotic men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their houses to demonstrate their support for the women and to prove that they are not Muslim terrorist sympathizers. Since Islam also does not approve of alcohol, a cold 6-pack at your side is further proof of your patriotism.
The American government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this anti-terrorist activity.
God bless America!
P.S. It is your patriotic duty to inform others. If you don't send to at least one person, you're a terrorist-sympathizing, lily-livered coward and are possibly aiding and abetting terrorists.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I didn't know until I watched a fairly-recent TV program on pandas that they actually have fur on the bottoms of their feet. Apparently this makes it more comfortable to walk around in the snow.
One of the panda fans, a lady known only as Rita Petita (yes, I do know her real name; no, I'm not going to tell you) has posted one of the cutest pictures EVER of Little Prince Fluffy-Butt (and fluffy-paws) recently on her Flickr site. Her pictures are all copyrighted, and I am doing her the courtesy of not getting around that by grabbing a full screen-cap, but I will send you to see this picture for yourself.
I did, however, make a screen cap of just one of his fuzzy paws, to whet your appetite....
As an aside, I met Rita Petita at the recent event at the San Diego Zoo. She was packing some serious photographic hardware, and I remarked to her that now I could see why she's able to get such great close-up shots. She smiled and said yes, the pandas have become a very expensive hobby for her. (Those great big lenses are EXPENSIVE.)
Friday, September 3, 2010
Yep, we've got everything you need, right here in the Land of She Who Is Cranky.
Thanks to good friend Janet, one of the "TER Ten" (don't ask, it'd take too long to explain), yet another video from the Dallas double-header. It's already been a whole year. Amazing.
Anyway. Yet another view from the hill --er, that's view from the balcony--where you can spot me by my glowstick. The flickering one, right in the front row, at the far left side of the frame, nearly in front of John the bass player (the guy wearing all black, for those not in the know). Mine is the one that flickers because it was a battery-operated glowstick, and when it's doing the color blue, it flickers and flashes.
Posted for your viewing pleasure as a public service of your Crankiest Beach Ever. Watch especially closely right around 4 minutes and 53 seconds... I pointed my glowstick at first Justin, then John, to acknowledge them--and John gave me a thumbs-up (or maybe it's a fist-up) in response. So very, very cool. Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Baby bear is now a year old and weighs 53 pounds. And he's STILL cute as a button!
Mama's on a mission, I think....
Precious Zhen Zhen (who is leaving for China momentarily with her big sister Su Lin) naps up against her water fountain. She learned this trick from mama Bai Yun.
These pictures are all from Friday. More to come, I'm sure....
Monday, August 23, 2010
The last event of the Black and White Overnight was that they put US happy campers on the Pandacam. Really. Honest.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
... my router decided it was a good day to die.
I tried everything. I figured out it wasn't my internet service or the DSL modem, because each of the computers is able to connect to the internet individually, if I take the router out of the chain (and remember to manually re-configure the IP address on each machine, since it was obtaining it from the router before).
It also isn't my laptop's wireless capability, because I was able to get online via a neighbor's unsecured connection that the laptop sniffed out.
I did a factory reset of the router, then painstakingly re-configured it from scratch, after I figured out that to get to the router's setup screens, the computer I'm using to do so has to have its firewall turned off.
Zip. Zilch. Nada. It's hosed. Bricked. Busted. Ka-blooey. It's a doorstop with pretty blinking lights that go nowhere and do nothing.
So I'm off to Best Buy to see what they've got.
This was not how I wanted to spend my weekend.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Somebody unearthed this Youtube video, nearly a year later, from the second night of the Moody Blues double-header with the Dallas Symphony. You can watch the entire video here, but here's a screen cap, so you can spot me:
Saturday, July 31, 2010
... His Chubbiness, Prince Fluffy-Butt, will be a whole year old next week.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The good news: The 'pooter is out of the shop. Finally.
The not-as-good news... I have to reinstall the operating system.
They put the new parts into it days ago... but it was having trouble booting up, and after several days of attempted diagnosis, they finally figured out that when the power supply blew, and took out the motherboard with it, there was a cascading effect on the operating system.
I told the guy I can do that myself. The truth is, I'd far rather do that myself, because I know exactly how I want it set up.
Guess how I'm spending my weekend....
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I have had to enable comment moderation because the Chinese pornographers are having a field day with Blogger blogs.
All this means is that your comments will not show up on the blog until I have approved (or disapproved) them.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I've just been chatting on Facebook with my grand-niece B, whom I have not seen since she was just a toddler. She's 10 going on 11 now, and is coming to this area in August for a visit. What fun it will be to see her. She friend-requested me last night, out of the blue, and until she did so, I wasn't sure she actually knew who I was... although, being her grandmother's youngest sister, she certainly SHOULD know that I exist, at the very least!
And all this and 50 cents will get you tomorrow's newspaper.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 11:50 AM
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I'll give you 3 guesses what I've been this week. (Hint: It's not the windshield.)
It all started Tuesday morning. I was minding my own business, when all of a sudden my personal desktop computer shut itself off, and I smelled something burning. So I took it to the hospital, and the prognosis was grim. Seemed the power supply blew--and took the motherboard with it. Since I'm on a budget, I took the option of new power supply and new/used motherboard instead of a new computer. All the other pieces are still good. But they had to order the parts, so the 'pooter is still in the hospital.
But I still have the company computer to do my work on. Or do I? Mid-shift this morning, it quit talking to the internet. Since I work over the internet, this was not good.
I rebooted it twice, also rebooted the router and the DSL modem. I even tried switching the network cable to a different port in the router, in case the port had gone bad. I knew the router was fine, as was my internet connection, because I had the laptop running on wi-fi in another part of the house, and it was talking to the internet just fine.
I called tech support and they said it was very likely the network card inside the computer, as those have a habit of dying at the most inconvenient times. He suggested I try a "dongle," which is a USB ethernet adapter. I finally found the thing, right where I last left it. I even found the driver CD.
Next problem. The CD drive in the company computer could not read the driver CD. Back to the laptop, to download the drivers (which are fortunately still available) onto a thumb drive.
Now we're cooking. Or so I thought, until I experienced the first Blue Screen of Death I've seen in a very long time.
After yet another reboot, now Internet Exploder keeps freezing up on me. This too is bad, because the company software platform is IE-based. Makes it kind of hard to work....
So now I'm running every diagnostic trick I know to see if I can settle this thing down. And meanwhile, I had the tech support guys install the company software on my laptop, so I have that for a backup now.
I should have just rolled over and gone back to sleep when the alarm went off this morning, I am thinking.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
There is no indication of what zoo, or what bear this is... but this panda tries to climb the enclosure wall to greet some delighted visitors.
(Hat tip: Velia, via Facebook)
UPDATE: Velia contacted the person who posted the video to Youtube, and they replied that the video was shot at the zoo in Chongqing, China.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Forbes Magazine, no less.
People. Please. If you're going to discuss my home town, for cryin' out loud LOOK AT A MAP FIRST.
Distance: 72 miles on the Big Sur Coast Highway
Points of Note: You'll start in the idyllic Carmel-by-the-Sea and head north to Los Padres National Forest (complete with Redwood trees), then hit Carmel Mission, Basilica, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You'll see sea lion caves, cliffs and gleaming coastline.
For the record... Los Padres National Forest is NOT north of Carmel. Furthermore, neither the Carmel Mission nor the Monterey Bay Aquarium is on Route 1.
For you flatlanders, those points of interest, in the proper order, north to south, are:
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Carmel Mission
- Highway 1
- (a bunch of other stuff they don't mention in the article)
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Yes, I am feeling a bit curmudgeonly this morning. Thank you for asking.
Friday, June 18, 2010
You'll have to watch it on the computer at Hulu... but it's well worth it, if you like quirky British humor. (Or should I say 'humour'?)
Friend Wendy recommended it to me a few weeks ago, as the 4th season was just finishing up on local PBS. With the first episode I watched, I understood the basic premise and who all the major characters were. That's good writing, if you ask me--for a viewer to "get" a show by watching a random episode in the 4th season.
So last night I found my way to Hulu, where they have the first 3 seasons available for viewing. You have to sign up for a free account to watch this one, because the show has "adult" content. They get away with stuff on British TV that would be a no-no here. For instance, in the first episode, the main character said the S word.
Oh, you want to know the name of the show? Doc Martin. Not related to any form of footwear that I know of. Check it out. It's quite amusing.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
... without sounding like I'm blaming the victim? Because I'm not. I'm blaming the perp.
But it's hard not to assume somebody has been living under a rock for the past 5 years, if they aren't aware that going off alone with Joran van der Sloot can be hazardous to one's health, not to mention life and limb....
Monday, May 24, 2010
On a tip from TYWKIWDBI:
You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again
More than half of the internet’s top websites use a little known capability of Adobe’s Flash plug-in to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies, UC Berkeley researchers reported Monday.
Unlike traditional browser cookies, Flash cookies are relatively unknown to web users, and they are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser. That means even if a user thinks they have cleared their computer of tracking objects, they most likely have not.
I installed a Firefox add-on called BetterPrivacy. If you read to the bottom of the article linked above, they have some other options listed.
Not, mind you, that I much care who sees that I browsed some photos at Flickr... but better safe than sorry.
Anyone besides me ever feel like they're playing whack-a-mole, trying to stay ahead of all the possibilities?
Cross-posted at the Monterey Bay RWA Members' Blog
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
One of my favorite audio bits that made the rounds online a few years back....
Somebody has done a nifty little Youtube video.
Why? Just because I still think it's funny. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Su Lin (the 4-1/2-year-old) proves what the keeper told us at our visit, that pandas have all-but-rubber bones and joints.
A bit later, she found a slightly more comfortable-appearing position in which to take her next nap.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
(Except Bonnie... that's her husband singing.)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Both at once, I guess.
Image borrowed from www.myconfinedspace.com
Friday, May 7, 2010
Remember that alleged "professional" bulletin board I keep getting banned from?
Well... the trolls and the paranoids are still at it. Interestingly, the company I work for is one of the biggest targets of their spewed venom, and if anyone dares to poke their head up and say they're actually happy with their job, they are accused of being a "suit" or a "plant" because nobody could possibly be happy working for that company.
I keep maintaining that I am not a suit, I am a pajama, and besides, if the suits have it so good, why on earth don't these people claw their way up the ladder and BECOME a suit, so they too can sit around on their pinkytoes eating bon-bons all day, which is more or less what they accuse the suits of doing, while collecting a ginormous paycheck at the expense of us minions down in the trenches? (I've been a suit. It's overrated, and nary a bon-bon in sight.)
But I digress. Early this morning somebody mentioned that management "stalks" the board, so the complainers better hope nobody ever finds out who they are.
Well. You know me. An opening like that? Watch and learn.
So I posted a message titled "Rats! They're onto us!" which read as follows: "Initiate secret code protocol Alpha Alpha Whiner Finder. Execute in three, two, one, MARK!" and I signed it, of course, "The Suits."
One of the real "suits" with whom I am in contact had a good laugh, at least.
UPDATE: Some humor-impaired maroon actually took my post seriously, if you can believe it, and wrote "Quick! Just keep calling everyone who doesn't blow sunshine up your butt a whiner!"
Good freaking grief. Our society (and our profession) is doomed. Doomed, I tell you!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
For the Big Sur Marathon 10.6 mile walk, that is.
Because the night before (last Saturday), I threw out my back doing absolutely nothing. (Okay, I lied. I was breathing.)
And if I had signed up for the walk, I wouldn't have been able to do it anyway.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Still wiggling, as my dad used to say.
Good friend Lucy Ann was ready to send out the posse to make sure I was okay.
Go ahead and send 'em anyway, Lucy... especially if any of 'em are cute.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Had a disagreement with one of the camera cards. I finally won, and recovered some photos from the Saturday morning that I thought I had lost.... Here's lil' miss coy Zhen Zhen, the 2-1/2-year-old, peeking out of the hidey-hole where she was sleeping when we first caught sight of her:
Her name means "Precious." Quite appropriate, isn't it?
And to prove once again I didn't ONLY take pictures of pandas... here's a California condor, a highly-endangered and startlingly-ugly bird up close:
Friday, April 2, 2010
A few residents of the Wild Animal Park:
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Bai Yun (the mama bear) in one of her favorite poses... hanging over her drinking fountain.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
From the label on the back of a bottle of drain opener:
Isn't enough the federal gubbermint is taking over our healthcare? Now they have to take over our bathrooms too?
Look out... the bathroom police are coming for YOU!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
For smart-aleckry on the census form.
Yeah, they can make me fill it out, but they can't make me play their stupid little ethnicity games.
On the "race" question I went all the way to the bottom, checked "other" and wrote in "human."
Expecting the jack-booted knuckle-dragging thugs to show up on my doorstep any old time....
But I'm pretty sure they really don't give a rat's rear end that I'm
white beige because the only yes/no question had to do with whether I was some form of Hispanic.
And if there'd been room for an essay answer, I would have spewed about how it's unfair and misleading to lump all people of European ancestry under the "white" label because if you're going to go down that road, let's point out that those of us whose ancestors several hundred years back hail from northern Scotland (mine) have little in common with those who were born in Italy and emigrated to this country as young adults (my landlord and his wife), for instance. And yet, the gubbermint considers us all "white."
Can you tell I get really, really annoyed about this crazy Balkanization that I'm paying for via my tax dollars?
I am a human-American of light beige skin tones. So there.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Old pal Patrick mentioned the "khaki" hat.
Actually... if you look very, very closely, it is a WHITE baseball cap, complete with plush panda ears sticking out of the top.
I had at least half a dozen people at the zoo demand to know where I got it. Well... new friend Laura made it. That one and most of the other ones you can see being worn in the picture. She took plain white hats and sewed fuzzy ears onto them, complete with something to stiffen them and make them stand up.
Because inquiring minds want to know.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Can you spot me?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Spent the night in Lost Hills, because although it's only 3 hours from home, I was very, very tired, and I did NOT want to drive into the setting sun!
So I'm off to make that last leg this morning. And there was another method to my madness... on the trip down, I spotted hillsides absolutely COVERED in wildflowers, not too far east of Paso Robles, but I didn't stop to take pictures. Today, I will.
Yesterday's adventures began around 8 a.m. at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. I had the place completely to myself, and took about a 40-minute walk. The flowers were rather a bust--but the silence was magnificent.
After a quick breakfast back in Rosamond, I made my way to the cat place. It's small enough that you can get in and out in a hour--and that's if you go around twice and spend some time rummaging through the T-shirts in the gift shop.
And then... a meander down San Francisquito Canyon Road, with a hike to the site of the St. Francis Dam, which fell down and killed hundreds of people back in 1928. There's not much left of it, but it isn't hard to spot, because whenever you see a piece of grayish-beige aggregate with smaller rocks in it... that's a piece of the dam. Don't tell anybody... but I picked up a chunk and brought it with me. (There's still enough there to satisfy souvenir-hunters from now until Doomsday.)
After that, I just pointed the car northwest and drove and drove. I wasn't sure how I did it... but I ended up in Buttonwillow, of all places, and thus to Lost Hills where I decided it was time to call it a day.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Taken during the 10 seconds or so that "Yunior" was awake Monday morning.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, our little extravaganza even got press coverage. Several of the reporter's photos can be found here.
Liana is already planning next year's convention....
Monday, March 22, 2010
Two of the pictures I described below.... First picture is Gao Gao, second picture is Zhen Zhen.
We got very, VERY lucky....
Saturday morning, as part of our special tour, they took us into the "classroom" area (which is normally off-exhibit) where Zhen-Zhen is currently living, so we got to see her. Of course we saw a lot of Su Lin, Bai Yun, and Yun Zhi as well, because they are the bears currently on exhibit to the public. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of Gao-Gao, the patriarch (father of Su, Zhen, and "Yunior") who is also currently off-exhibit, but he was never in line with the tiny cracks in the fence.
Until this morning. We had gotten a heads-up that one could see into his enclosure (and Zhen's) from a high walkway across the canyon, so this morning on our last trip to the zoo, we purposely came down that walkway--and there he was. Mister Stud-Muffin himself, prowling around his enclosure. Yes, he was at a great distance, but we saw him.
We saw a lot of Su, Bai, and Yun. Then, on the way back, we looked for Gao-Gao again, and he was not visible--but Zhennie was playing trapeze artist in a tree branch, swinging around, hanging upside down, doing all kinds of maneuvers. Again, she was quite far away, but we sure got a kick out of watching her. I took some pictures with my telephoto, but I haven't yet checked to see how they came out. Stay tuned....
I dropped Laura and Brad off at the airport and headed north. This time, it only took two and a half hours to get from San Diego to Burbank (remember, it took 4 hours on Friday). The time frame was 1 to 3:30 p.m., and included a gas stop, a burger-to-go stop, and a couple of fairly minor traffic tie-ups.
After a Starbucks stop, I headed on up into the high desert. I am now ensconced for the night in Rosamond (near Edwards Air Force Base), because tomorrow I am planning to go visit the cats. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time might remember a prior visit there--5 years ago already, it was, on another road trip (the Death Valley trip, for whatever that's worth). I also plan to do a little wildflower-chasing.
Point of minor trivial interest. This motel is the first I have been to in YEARS where the room key is--a key. Not a card, but an actual key that looks just like my front door key at home.
And now I'm going to finish my bowl of soup and get ready to watch the season opener of Dancing with the Stars. If y'all are lucky, I might get some more pictures posted before I give up for the night. But don't hold your breath. :)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I didn't stay in Burbank. That was just the last time I had looked at the clock. That's how I know it took 4 hours to get from there to San Diego.
Today, we started out at the Wild Animal Park, and were fortunate enough to see the cheetahs doing something besides sleeping (the lions weren't nearly so visitor-friendly), and we saw the baby elephant.
Then, we went back to the zoo--and were very, very fortunate in that Prince Fluffy-Butt also did something, for once, besides sleep. I shot 500 frames in the panda section alone. (Rapid-fire shutter mode is a wonderful thing.)
The remaining convention survivors are headed off to dinner in about half an hour. My new friends Laura and Brad and I will be making one last trip to the zoo tomorrow morning, because their flight home to Texas doesn't leave until 3 p.m., and I'm driving, so I can do whatever I want. They had bought a zoo membership, which paid for itself this weekend alone--and they gave me all the free passes that came with it, so I haven't had to pay admission to any park I've been to this weekend.
All day long.
We went through the line 5 times, I think, and baby bear did what he does best--sleep.
Our little extravaganza got some press coverage.
This morning we're off to the Wild Animal Park, but some of us are going back to the zoo late this afternoon, hoping for another try at some good pictures.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Long story a whole lot shorter... I'm in San Diego, going to visit (who else) the pandas tomorrow. A bunch of us who met on the internet are going together, and the zoo is providing us with a special behind-the-scenes tour. And tomorrow night, we have a major banquet/shindig here at the hotel. Should be a lot of fun.
But this hotel is amazing. When I made my reservation, I said, just put me in a place with a bed and a working bathroom, I don't need anything more. Well. Apparently, the entire hotel is suites. So I have a large room with 2 queen-size beds, a LARGE closet with mirrored sliding doors, a full bathroom--AND a full kitchen, complete with 4-burner gas stove, microwave, full-sized kitchen sink, and full-sized refrigerator. There's also a dining table with 4 chairs. The closet contains a full set of dresser drawers, and then there's another completely-empty storage closet without even a hanging rod in it. I'm not sure what that's for. (It would hold a kidnapped baby panda. Hmmm.)
I know people who live in apartments smaller than this.
Other than that, it was a LONG drive. It took me 4 hours to get from Burbank to San Diego--and I didn't stop once. (That was in addition to the 6 hours it took me to get to Burbank in the first place.) Who were all those people on I-5, and what were they doing in my way??
Oh, you want to know what hotel it is? Park Manor Suites. You can look it up.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Anybody know what/where this is?
See below the fold for more information,if you're curious.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 10:10 AM
Saturday, March 13, 2010
In today's Yahoo news:
Think about it. How many times have YOU had a job where you could have been happy if only it weren't for that constantly-whining co-worker? The person for whom the glass is not half full, it is not half empty, it has a very large crack in it? The one bad apple that spoils -- well, you get the drift.
A little creative Photoshopping, found at the always-interesting Are We Lumberjacks?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
"Baby Blues," from today's comics page, offered without further comment from me. Interpret as you choose.
Posted by CrankyBeach at 9:54 AM
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Empty cleaning fluid bottle included....
So much for that handy-dandy appliance. The second time I went to use it... as soon as I pointed the business end of it at the floor, the entire bottle of cleaning fluid leaked out in a steady stream.
It's a good thing I still own a mop. You know, a mop. The thing you dunk into a bucket of some kind of liquid and wring out.
An entire bottle of Swiffer fluid, plus an old-fashioned mop, will indeed clean the kitchen floor.
But the now-empty bottle will NOT disengage from the appliance. It laughs at my puny efforts when I press the release button and try to pull off the bottle. We'll see how it feels when I take an X-Acto knife to it....
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Andrew Koenig, son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, has been found dead of apparent suicide. He was known to suffer from depression.
I never met Andrew, but I met his father many times in the late 1980s, and met his sister Danielle on the west coast Star Trek cruise in 1987.
Heartbreaking, to see Walter break down on national television. My deepest condolences to him and his wife Judy, and the rest of the family.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
What happened to good sportsmanship? Am I really such an old fogey that I see something wrong with all this grumbling and sour grapes?
Last night, it was the Russian ice dancers who whined that the Canadian gold medal winners didn't really "dance" on the ice, they just skated, and therefore did not deserve the gold medal in ice dance. (I am assuming that they believed that they, the Russians, DID deserve it. I did not see where they mentioned the American silver medalists, probably conveniently forgetting that one more pair stood between them and the gold.)
Last week, it was another Russian, men's silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko, who grumbled that American Evan Lysacek should not have won gold because he does not have a quadruple jump, and therefore somehow is not a proper skater.
Umm... Scott Hamilton (who won gold in 1984) did not have a quad either.... Gosh darn. All these years he's been entertaining us, and he's been an improper skater all this time. Dang.
By contrast, American fourth-place ice dancers Tanith and Ben congratulated the medal winners, and if they had disagreement with the judges' decision, they did NOT display it in public. And this is how it should be.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Not a chance!
Rock-a-bye bear-baby, on the treetops....
I just e-mailed tech support with a quick question about how to turn off the sodding beeps that drown out whatever is supposed to be in my headphones, every time I hit a certain keystroke combination.
And they opened a support ticket. Geez. It seems it would have been a lot easier for somebody just to e-mail me back and say here's how you do it, either that or tell me it can't be done.
Guess this is how they guarantee full employment for tech support people, eh?
A little late to the party here... but it's a wonder her friends didn't totally crash the internet yesterday, looking for her. You see, she works for the IRS in ... Austin, Texas.
However... she works in a building about 15 miles away from the the one where the latest Darwin Award contender met his demise yesterday. Naturally, she's a bit shook up, exhausted, and VERY glad today is Friday, but it could have been So. Much. Worse.
Quite a miracle that the idiot took no one else with him, isn't it?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Via e-mail from faithful reader Pat, aka Bum:
SILICON VALLEY – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.
According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and even the much anticipated Google Buzz in a cloud of dust.
“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.
“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains. “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.”
Another breakout utility of PhoneBook allows the user to arrange face-to-face meetings with his or her friends at restaurants, bars, and other “places,” as Fruber calls them.
“You will be sitting right across from your friend and seeing them in 3-D,” he said. “It’s like Skype, only without the headset.”
PhoneBook will enable friends to play many games as well, such as charades, cards, and a game Fruber believes will be a breakout: Farm.
“In Farm, you have an actual farm where you raise real crops and livestock,” he says. “It’s hard work, but it’s more fun than Mafia, where you actually get killed.”
Kind of reminds me of the thing that was going around a few years go about a guaranteed piracy-proof method of music distribution. I can't find it now, but it involved a picture of an old-fashioned vinyl record album, and some text about how the youngsters could not figure out what to do with it.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
... Prince Fluffybutt, complete with spotted tail tip.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I'm not sure who is winning this contest.
About ten seconds after this screen capture was taken, Big Mama came along and knocked the red ball right out of his lil' paws with her big snout, and now it looks like he's got one of his back feet stuck in one of the holes.
Sometimes, these balls with holes in them come with treats inside. Don't know if this is one of those occasions.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Hard to believe it's been more than 10 years since this showed up....
I only went looking for it because I was hitting the car radio buttons, and the song came on.
Now, be honest... does ANYONE out there ever hear this song anymore without thinking about a squashed one-eyed alien??
In an effort to perform some function on my computer, I accidentally hit some combination of CTRL and ALT and an arrow key--and my entire screen turned upside down.
I have enough trouble working without adding THAT little feature to my workday.
Fortunately, I have another computer, so I went to it and Googled "screen upside down." And, in short order, I was able to fix the screen that was catty-wompus.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
This morning I was perusing my old blog (which is actually still up on the former site) and found a few things worth resurrecting--and worth re-posting, just in case their links ever break.
First up: An extremely politically incorrect poem, by St. George True.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
In which Chubby Cubby rolls around, chews on the shrubbery, and eventually tries to stand on his head....
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Baby bears don't have thumbs, so they suck on their entire paws.
Thanks, as always, to the fabulous DoxieMom who "runs tape" almost every day on the live Pandacam.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The good news: Got an unexpected message this morning from former co-worker Stacy, who was going to be in town for an appointment, and wondered if I wanted to meet for lunch. Long story short, we did, had a lovely chat, got caught up on all the news.
The not-so-good news: It's like I'm learning my job all over again, because today our work got transferred to a completely different software platform. The work itself is the same; but how we get to it, where we click, the shortcut keys, every single thing, is new and different. We were supposed to have migrated 2 weeks ago, and we were trained accordingly--but then the conversion date got switched back, so we all forgot every single thing we learned in training.
Are we having fun yet? No!
I think I'll go take a peek at what the you-know-whats are up to....
Ahh. Snoozing the afternoon away. Big surprise there.
Yesterday afternoon, Mama Bear was doing her headless panda act: