Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here a min, Theremin

The guys in this band are playing a theremin, something you've probably heard a lot but haven't figured out what kind of instrument makes those ghostly noises. I usually hear it when I'm listening to old broadcasts of scary radio shows. The spector emerges from the cemetery, belting out musical sounds thanks to the theremin.

This is actually the oldest electronic musical instrument ever, having been invented in 1919. The inventor Leon Theremin wowed Stalin with it and the leader quickly learned how to play it himself. Basically there are two antennae that stick out on both ends. The player moves his or her hands through the air, changing the frequency and volume. It was wildly popular after it was introduced, but few people ever learned how to play it.

I love the theremin because it is such a bizarre instrument. You don't even have to touch it. And, the fact that it's been in so many science fiction movies has endeared it to my heart. Let's see now if I can afford to get one...I really want this mini theremin from Japan. It's less than the rest and it's even illustlated, haha. I wonder if I can find a cheap one on craigslist...

I really ought to stop buying frivolous things, especially since my extra money has run low. Until I save up for a real one I guess I'll have to settle for my acapella (sp?) theramin rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Real (Fake) Zombie

Not the best zombie movie on Youtube, but pretty good splatter action. I used to be afraid of zombies until I learned that they would get mad cow disease (the human equivalent) if they ate your brain. That means they could eat some humans, but they would be twitching on the ground after a while. Morons, if they only knew to eat everything BUT the brains...

I am pleased to announce that is available. I might get it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You'd Better Start Living in Your Car

I'm sure you've heard of this if you live in Utah, but if not, take a look at this article. A gigantic tanker overturned on I-15 and has blocked all traffic going North since before five this afternoon. The tanker weighs 210,000 pounds. Crazy. 

The nice thing about all this-besides the bizarre nature of a HUGE object blocking a whole freeway-is that people could still get up North as long as they were willing to leave their cars. I know it would have been a pain to go home without your car, but if you really needed to get home to, say, take care of the chilluns, then you could have gotten home much faster. 

Would this have been such a big deal if there was more public transportation? Yeah, but it wouldn't have had such a huge impact. Like most states, Utah has a problem with transportation. The development of most areas over the past fifty years has been fueled by cars and highways. Who wants to walk, or take public transportation? Of course, what has resulted from that is constant congestion during rush hour and often during other times too. 

I think the city would grow much more if there was a convenient public transportation system in place. That way, people could come into the city from the suburbs and the West side could be linked with the East. I think we should work toward a goal of making cars unnecessary in most urban areas in Utah. The problem is the reticence some people have with riding public transportation. I think suburbanites conceive buses as only for poor people. I have noticed that the kids going up to the university who obviously live in the suburbs have almost a fear of the other people on the train. It's ridiculous, but it also keeps people from riding. I hope that with gas prices staying high more people will consider public transportation and make it viable, so the next time a humongous tanker overturns on I-15 nobody will care. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Had a Little Crisis

Today, actually. I started thinking about my future and what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go...all that stuff...and I got discouraged. I freaked out. Although I tolerate my job right now because it pays well and is flexible, I don't want to be there for the rest of my life. I say that because there are several people who have worked there since the plant opened. They are really bitter and complain all the time. 

But I want to be free! I want to be a professional. A professional what, you may ask? I don't know, but something to which I could feel professional about. Maybe opening a practice to be a therapist. Maybe having an antiques store. Or, I could do some sort of consulting. In any case, I want to feel that I have a great deal of knowledge about what I do and that I am really making a difference in my field. I don't get that feeling working at the Postal Service. Even if I work as hard as I can all the mail just seems to come back the next day. 

I'm kind of feeling like I need to get down to business and figure out what I really want. I will be graduating from the U in a year, with two bachelor's degrees to show for it. After that I'll have to try to go to grad school or try to find a job, or both. While I'm excited for a change, I'm also scared that I'll have nowhere to go. I don't think my degrees are worthless necessarily, but I most probably need to go to grad school to fully implement them. But I'm sick of school...

What I think this anguish comes from is a lack of knowledge on my part. I've calmed down now and I've decided to look into what sort of careers I'd be interested in and then see what I need to do for them. And, if I take a year off from school, it's not going to hurt me. I'm still young. 

Maybe I'll move to Portland. I friend told me the economy isn't very good there, but I should see what I can find. The idea of packing up and moving to a whole new city is pretty exciting to me, even though I just had to unpack here. There's something about mobility that is invigorating. It brings new energy to a person. 

That's it. My outburst has been contained. I thought I would write about this since I usually write emotionless posts. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm a Dealer

The auction for the first three items I've sold on Ebay will be over soon. So far, nobody has bid. But maybe some buyers have been waiting in the wings. Let me check.


There is less than two minutes, someone bid already! It could be that what I'm selling isn't that interesting. I have three Fire King baking dishes that are white with blue flowers on them. Doesn't that sound iresistable? Why can't I spell irresistable? What's wrong? 

Argh, I don't think anyone will buy the pieces. I don't know why I'm so surprised; most Fire King pieces aren't worth a whole lot. Jadeite and really old pieces are the best sellers, as are mugs with random companies' logos printed on the side. Still, I did hope to get a buyer to pay more than I bought the stuff for. I guess it's not the day for that. 

Antiques are interesting things. I used to think that something made the antique inherently special, like it was touched by aliens or something. Most antiques are valuable simply because people want them. If one day everyone decided that furniture more than 100 years old wasn't worth buying, the price of so many beds and chairs would fall to nothing. 

Or, maybe it wouldn't. I think I'm making this sound too simple. I think that good craftsmanship, age, scarcity and history all combine to make something an expensive antique or not. Although I could buy a mid 60's typewriter for about twenty dollars at the DI, I would have to pay much, much more for the one owned by Lee Harvey Oswald. The difference is that while there were thousands of typewriters made during that time, only one was owned by him. By the way, I didn't see how much that one ended up going for. 

I guess all I can do is try to list the stuff again, or sell it somewhere else. I certainly don't need it cluttering my kitchen. The whole reason I wanted to sell this stuff is to get a feel for how it's all done, and I think I need to work on how I list my things. And maybe I need to sell stuff that would go for more money. I need a warehouse. 

With any luck I will be putting my garden in order tonight. The sunflowers have gotten so tall that they block the sun and water from other plants. It's a day of reckoning for them. 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Terrorized in My Own Home

That's right, I've been harassed in my own home for quite some time. He (or she, I don't know) will come out of nowhere, bringing an unknown source of wrath and fury. I cover my face for protection, but He is too fast. I'm like a dumb animal against His anger. Up until now He has done no harm but I can't take those chances anymore. I have to kill him.

Don't let His small size fool you; I've looked into His eyes and seen pure negative hatred juice. It's boiling in there. 

In all honesty the moth is more of a nuisance than a threat to my life. It's like Zsa Zsa Gabor; hiding from everyone for the most part but occasionally flying out of the abyss to get in your face. I think the reason I dislike moths so much is because they do fly in my face all the time. At least bees have the courtesy to buzz around you. Ladybugs are downright genteel. But moths, moths are trashy. 

Did you know that the reason moths fly into lights is because they use the light of the moon to navigate? In a natural setting like a forest the moon would be a predictable distance away. The moth somehow determines the angle of itself with the moon to fly up and in a good manner. In our artificial world, however, the moth calculates incorrectly and ends up bursting into flames. It's a small margin of error. 

Luckily I have Rocky to deal with the moth. Apart from being the cutest kitten on the face of FSM's green earth, he's a tough son-of-a-gun and is willing to kill the damn moth. He is my neighbor and periodically visits us. All he asks in return is to be pet behind the ears and to occasionally be allowed to attack my hand. Seems reasonable. 

I hate bugs in my apartment, but it's so much cooler with the windows down. 

I almost forgot about her. And I particularly like this picture...actually, you should just go to the gallery and look at all the pictures. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Broken Promises

I said I would write in here more often, but I haven't done that. Mainly it's because I haven't had a reliable internet signal and I've been a little busy. Well, I have a dedicated signal now, and all is good.

I have plenty of good things to talk about, like the giant moth that has been terrorizing me in my apartment, kitty visitors, my trip to Portland, and failed seances. I also hope to create a few audio entries (I won't call them podcasts yet) in order to explore this medium.

The newness begins this Saturday, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy this throat-singing movie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reality of the Homeless

Just returned from Portland. It's a beautiful city and when I get the time to go through the pictures I will put up an entry.

I was driving home from work when I saw a man on the side of the road. He had a huge cardboard box which he had taped to a stop sign. On it he had written something about being robbed and having nobody to help him. I couldn't see the rest of the sign, but I knew it ended with a plea for money. What else would he put on a sign? Regardless, I didn't give him any money and I drove off. I sense that spot was a bad place to panhandle.

A thought entered my mind: was he telling the truth, or lying to get money? I bet everyone driving around me had the same thought. We had all chosen to err on the side of caution (and comfort; I didn't want to cross three lanes to give him a dollar). I decided that he was probably just trying to get money for drugs or booze.

How depressing is it that I have come to regard homeless people with mistrust. I think about how hard I worked to get my money and I'm loathe to give it to someone else just sitting on the street. The harsh Protestant work ethic comes in too, if he is poor it is because he is lazy. Is this idea valid? Couldn't this man get a job anywhere and save his money, making sure to hide it or deposit it before he has a chance to get robbed? Perhaps he could do this. Maybe he has too much pride to do that...but what about begging? Isn't that below working at McDonald's? I can't diagnose this guy based on my twenty second observation of him.

Here is my opinion on the homeless. I think that there are some people who have fallen on tough times, be it because of drugs, alcohol or economic situations, that can be helped to live a better standard of life. And, I think there are some homeless people who are mentally unstable and would require medication or counseling to get off the streets. I also think that there are a group of homeless people who are there because they feel entitled to help without working. I think it is at best regrettable and at worst despicable that these people would take resources from those who need it and then continue to panhandle.

This idea might be controversial, and I've decided to stop it there. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Number Five is Still Alive

And so am I. I was hoping I could easily set up my network today, but I can't seem to figure out how. I'm stealing this signal from someone else. I feel kind of bad about that, so I will try to get the network set up somehow.

I have made the decision to start selling Fire King stuff on Ebay. This seems only natural because I love Fire King and I can't possibly keep all of the things I have been getting lately. I have gone several times to the DI (a thrift store in Utah owned by the Mormons, if you didn't know) and I've found some good things. I haven't ever sold anything online, so it will be a good first experience I think. I'll let you know how things work out.

I'm going to Portland tomorrow, and I am quite excited. This should be fun not only because I'll be doing fun things, but also because I'll be discovering new places and seeing new things. It's a temporary shift for my normal life. I will definitely take some pictures and talk about my trip later.

I have been wanting to play with new media for some time, but I haven't yet decided what I should experiment with. I really like the idea of creating an audio record of some of the things I do and I would like to shoot some footage of activities I do while in the moment. Anyone have any suggestions? I would have to buy equipment either way.

As soon as I get my network set up I will write more meaningful posts. I also hope to start up the soda reviews again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blaze, More Cat Burglars and a Vacation

Still don't have the internet, but I should be able to reconnect come Wednesday. In the meantime, here are some highlights from my previous week.

It is interminably hot in my new apartment. While I enjoy living in an attic, I have come to understand certain principles of energy all too well: namely, that heat rises. There is an air conditioner in the bedroom so at least I don't have to suffer in the nighttime. I'll be happy when it cools down.

We had another kitty burglar, this time in my new place. It was a tiny furry kitten who meowed by our window to let him in. He was very adventurous and explored our apartment with feline bravado. Then, he got hungry and scared and wanted to go home. Unfortunately we couldn't figure out where his rightful home was. When I went outside with him he escaped and hid under a car. I am happy to say that he was thereafter found by his owner, my neighbor, and is fine. I don't mind these kitties sneaking into my place, I just want them to be safe.

Lastly, I am going on a vacation! We will be in Portland for four days. I am looking forward to the break from my regular life as well as the opportunity to do some exploring of my own. I will definitely keep a travel journal and take some pictures as well. Until then...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Silence

Hello everyone. I broke my promise of writing in here everyday because I don't have regular access to the internet as of now. I'm working on getting something set up in my new place and I hope to reconnect by the end of the week. In the meantime, sit tight.