Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thank you!

Thank you, Barbara Oakley, whoever and wherever you are. 

Today I received an unexpected package from Amazon.  Inside was a gift - a Doctor Who fleece throw - and the enclosed note said "A gift from Barbara Oakley."  The item wasn't on my wishlist and I don't know anyone named Barbara Oakley. 

So I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you, and this is the only way that I know how to do so.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Well, it's that time of year again.  The time when people show that they have no idea what the twelve days of Christmas are or when they happen.  The twelve days of Christmas are a season in the Christian church calendar, and they do not fall on the first twelve days of December.  Christmas day is the first day of Christmas.  The following eleven days, the days between Christmas day and the day of the Epiphany (January 6), are the other eleven days of Christmas.
In fact, there are several seasons within the Christian church calendar, complete with color coding.  We are currently in the season of Advent, which is colored purple or dark blue.  Other seasons include Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thought of the Day

After the election on Tuesday, and the campaigns that preceded it, I would like to make a brief statement on political terminology. 

If you seek change - of any kind - you are not a conservative.  By definition, a conservative is someone who seeks to maintain the status quo. 

If you seek change to produce a future that is different, and in your mind better, than what has existed in the past, you are a liberal.

If you seek change to produce a future that is more like the past (because in your mind the past was better), or seek to reverse changes that have become well established, you are a reactionary.

For example, in the time of FDR, the New Deal was liberal, because it sought to produce positive change in society by trying something new.  However, today, seeking to maintain those programs is conservative, because they are well established programs.  Seeking to revoke those programs is reactionary, because it seeks to return to a way of life that existed prior to these programs being established.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Relaxing in the Sun

Yesterday, when I was outside hanging a quilt on the clothes line to photograph it, my cat Tiger decided to follow me out.  He was laying in the grass being so cute I had to take a picture of him.  I think cats are particularly cute when they lay on the tops of their heads like that.  Tiger has been sick lately with lung issues, so it was nice to see him looking so relaxed and comfortable.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What will become of Minecraft?

According to BBC News (and I'm sure many other sources) Microsoft has bought Mojang, the makers of Minecraft.  I find this information somewhat unsettling, especially since the article says that the three founding members will be leaving the company.  I hope this doesn't mean that we will now have to pay for new updates.  That is probably my biggest fear.  What direction will they take the game in?  And, I don't use mods (I'm a vanilla Minecraft girl) but what will it mean for all the people who make mods?  Will Microsoft get all proprietary on them?  Change can be a scary thing.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thought on Doctor Who

I'm not sure what to think about the newest season of Doctor Who and the newest incarnation of said TARDIS driving Time Lord.  I'm just not finding Peter Capaldi quite believable as the Doctor.  I feel like he is just too confused to be the Doctor.  With the way that he keeps getting confused about things, and apparently thinking things to be their opposite (Clara is old, not wearing make-up when she is, that sort of thing) it makes him seem more like Strax than the Doctor.  It is fine for Strax to be that way, not so fine for the Doctor to be the way, in my opinion anyway.  I guess that is more the writing than Capaldi himself, but somehow he just doesn't seem to be selling it to me very well, either.

And also, I know that the Doctor doesn't know everything, but when it comes to history (past, present, and future), as a Time Lord, he is supposed to be "in the know" on most thing.  I found it odd that he did not know that Robin Hood was a real person.  At first I thought that his disbelief at there being a "real" Robin Hood was because the legend was actually built about the Doctor himself.  But that did not turn out to be the case.  It was just that the Doctor doesn't believe in heroes.  I wasn't real taken with that explanation, but at least I did find that episode amusing. 

And what was with last night's episode anyway?  Moffat takes an interesting idea - that there is really something under the bed - and then seems to leave it hanging.  The episode seemed to become more about foreshadowing Clara and Danny being together than about these being that have evolved to be the perfect hiders.  Was that really something alien or supernatural under the bed covers in Rupert/Danny's bedroom?  What did the Doctor see when he opened the door?  Are we going to find out?  And I wasn't especially taken with the scene of Clara talking to a scared little Doctor hiding in his bed in the barn either.  What exactly was that all about?  I feel like Moffat is trying to explore the darker side of the Doctor and look at some of his fears and weaknesses, but I just don't think he is doing a very good job of.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

My Take on the HIMYM finale

I haven't read a lot of commentary on the How I Met Your Mother finale from Monday night, but I've a heard a little bit here and there.  A lot of people don't like that they killed off Mom and put Ted with Robin in the end.  I'm not really fond of the idea either, but that's not really my main complaint with the episode. 

To me, the problem was that it just wasn't funny.  HIMYM was a funny show.  The finale was sad, not funny.  There were so many comedic turns they could have taken to end the show on, but instead they go with the almost too obvious twist of putting Ted with Robin.  Yes, it makes sense, and, honestly, makes the majority of the series make more sense, but it makes the whole last season leading up to the finale make no sense at all.  Why spend this whole last season making us believe Barney has changed and Robin and Barney should be together, to then just have them get divorced?  Why make Tracy (Mom) be so perfect for Ted and then just kill her off?  And why have everyone's life be semi miserable after the wedding?  True, it may be more realistic to show that not everyone is happy in middle age, but since when was HIMYM based on realism? 

I'm all for twists and original endings, but for a comedy, the ending should be clever and, most of all, funny.  To me, this one just wasn't.  It was disappointing and sad. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

2013 Book List

Here is a list of the books I read in 2013:

Monday Mourning - Kathy Reichs
Cross Bones - Kathy Reichs
A Study in Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
Heat Rises - Richard Castle
Player Piano - Kurt Vonnegut
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
To Kill a Mockingbird  - Harper Lee (reread)
Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
To the Last Breath - Francis Slakey
Break No Bones - Kathy Reichs
Frozen Heat - Richard Castle
The Walk - Lee Goldberg
Deadly Heat - Richard Castle
Bones to Ashes - Kathy Reichs
Devil Bones - Kathy Reichs
The Quilt - Kimberlyn Owens
The Quilter's Apprentice - Jennifer Chiaverini
The Christmas Quilt - Jennifer Chiaverini

Well, still no actual book reviews this year, but 20 books in a year is probably a record for me.  The fact that I didn't teach in the spring probably contributed to the overall total.  Again, most were library books or Kindle downloads - again some free and some paid for.  The Walk  and The Quilt were both free from the Kindle library.  Thank goodness I didn't actually pay for The Quilt because it was awful - almost painful to read, in fact.  One book was borrowed from a friend (Gone Girl), it was okay, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.  And only one book, To the Last Breath, was read in order to teach it.  And I will say, it was better than last year's Common Reading Initiative book (The Ghost Map).

Looking through the list, it is obvious that I have authors that I go back to and I tend to gravitate towards series.  I am currently caught up on the Richard Castle Nikki Heat series.  I still have several more Kathy Reichs novels in the Tempie Brennen series that I could read, but I'm taking a break from them at the moment.  I can only take so much Kathy Reichs at a time.  There are still more Vonnegut novels I could read, but I got a little burned out on them, too.  I just started the Jennifer Chiaverini Elm Creek Quilts series, and I'm currently reading the book that is technically second in the series, thought the two I have read are in chronological order by story line.  Once I finish the one I am currently reading I may take a break from that series as well.  I'm not sure yet.  Hopefully this year will be as filled with reading as the last.