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Anima's Interesting-chip Cookie Journal

Lethal Nerf Guns, Man-Eating Panthers, and Sci-fi Stories

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The journal of a lazy writer and geek who happens to be a furry. Meow.

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June 6th, 2013

Here's the Artists Beware post about my dealings with Jace. Please read, and spread the word. http://artists-beware.livejournal.com/682272.html

In a nutshell, he effectively stole roughly 300 dollars of money and goods from me by never delivering the art I commissioned. One piece is eight years overdue, the other piece is five years late. This January I ran out of patience and gave him a deadline of May 31st to deliver my art. After an avalanche of excuses, he talked the quality of the commissions down and completely changed their content, and still did not deliver.

Do not commission him. Do not trade with him. Do not recommend him. He is a thief.

April 18th, 2013

Politics

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I'm really feeling crushed tonight by what's going on in Washington.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/254605/cispa_passes_the_house_what_you_need_to_know.html

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/politics/senate-guns-vote/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/tommy-tucker-north-carolina_n_3101083.html

And a few weeks ago, there was this travesty, http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp
and this one, not caused by the government but watch the government fail to punish Exxon appropriately for permanently damaging the homes of hundreds or thousands of Americans for decades, because they have no idea how to clean up their own mess. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/17/us-exxon-spill-pipeline-idUSBRE93G0YF20130417

Do you feel represented by the senators and congressmen in Washington? I at least used to feel represented by the president, but I'm not so sure anymore. I don't feel like anyone in Washington works for me. I feel like they are working for no one but themselves, which ends up meaning they work for corporations and special interest groups to line their pockets and keep themselves in office in spite of how the population would vote in a fair political fight.

It's been over four years of virtual deadlock in congress, and meanwhile the country is suffering. Unemployment is still high, education at *every level* is unacceptable, veterans returning from wars we shouldn't be fighting and can't pay for are unable to find work, and have a very hard time getting medical care, and an even harder time getting mental health care for the invisible scars they gained on the battlefield. People are frightened about the future of their health care, of their social security. Students have debt they feel helpless about paying off, and many of them accrued that debt earning degrees that aren't helping them get work. Rape culture and misogyny are still disgustingly prevalent in society, and abusive cop behavior seems endemic in many cities. Look at the numbers in this article. http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/15/15848051-prosecutor-leads-effort-to-test-long-abandoned-rape-kits-brings-justice-to-victims?lite Uninvestigated rape-kits. Thousands of them. When you know how frequently rape doesn't even get reported, I hope it makes your blood boil to know that so many cases when it *was* and this evidence was collected, NOTHING was done with it.

There are so many problems we're staring at, with so many seemingly obvious solutions. Take money from the defense budget! It's obscenely bloated, and it would help fix so many problems. But every day we make more enemies, so every day that budget is more and more justifiable. There are hungry people everywhere in the country, but stores and restaurants and even people throw out good food every day! Can't we redistribute, make everyone happy? Well, even if the food itself is 'free' at that point, the cold/hot storage, packaging, transportation, and logistics of such a distribution are not. That would be better done as a grass roots, private citizen project, which people are already doing.

Dumpster diving. Taking home leftovers from farmers markets, and giving what they don't need to people they know are in a bad spot. No government involvement, no corporate sponsorship, no grants, but good is being done and the community is healed just that little bit. Is that the answer then? Stop relying on the government to be the answer, and spend a little more time giving your neighbors a hand? It's easy to say 'I don't have the time' for that, but the thing is, if you had three or four neighbors looking out for you, you *would* have the time. It's a return to the village style of living, where neighbors depended on one another for everything from childcare to sharing tools to sharing meals. It feels unnatural, and I bet it would be damn uncomfortable for most of us, even for a long time, but it could go a long ways towards propelling us into a better world.

March 13th, 2011

Red Dwarf

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So, I recently finished watching the TV series Red Dwarf. It was fun, but more than that, it fulfilled a need I finally identified this time around. I watched all the seasons of ST:TNG, DS9, Voyager, and now Red Dwarf not only for the entertainment value of the shows but because the 'company' of the familiar characters was somehow comforting. It's very hard right now to go see local friends, and while TV show characters are a pathetic substitute, they're much better than nothing.

Back to Red Dwarf specifically though, there's a real undercurrent of horrifying depression in the show. Lister takes everything so cheerfully, but the song that plays through the ending credits really nails it home: 'I'm all alone, more or less.' Do you remember being left alone in the house as a child? Do you remember how empty, huge, cavernous it felt with no one else there? At first it was probably exciting, but as the minutes and hours dragged on it grew more oppressive, lonelier, and you likely struggled to find things to do to keep your mind occupied.
Multiply that feeling by a million to see where Lister was. The only human left aboard a massive, empty ship hurtling (virtually unguided given how lousy their AI was) through space, with just a hologram recreation of someone you never liked and a rather aloof felinus-sapiens for company? Later there were a couple of others, sure, but for a long time it was just Rimmer and Cat.

Imagine for a moment that every character other than Lister is a figment of his imagination. There are plenty of reasons why that isn't likely the case, but it wouldn't be a surprising reaction to his circumstances.

Thinking upon a situation like that, I have to admit that my younger self was wrong; I wouldn't be happy living totally alone, no matter how many books I had to read or how many cans of cherry pie filling I had to eat.

December 21st, 2010

Split Pea Soup Recipe!

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Are you cold? Nod your head. All of you who aren't cold can skip this one and go watch Zero Punctuation while tropical breezes caress you through the barely-there walls of your cabana.

This is a slow cooker recipe, so get that crock-pot out.

Ingredients:
* 2 tbs unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, sorted & rinsed
* 1 meaty hambone, OR 2 ham hocks, OR 2 cups diced ham (I used ham hocks)
* 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
* 2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped (My leaves were wilt-y so I left them out)
* 1 bay leaf (I used two)
* 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
* 1 tbs. seasoned salt (or to taste) (I used half a tbs. because of the broth subst.)
* 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
* 1/2 tbs. Curry powder (or to taste)
* 1 1/2 qts. hot water (Or low-sodium chicken broth. Mine was a tad salty, so feel free to go half broth, half water, depending on how salty you tend to like your vittles.)

Turn your slow cooker to high, add the butter, and cover until butter has melted. Sweat the onion until translucent, then stir in the garlic. Cook for two or three minutes, reduce heat to low.

Layer the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker in the order given; pour in water/broth. Do not stir ingredients.

Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. (If you're using ham hocks, you may want to remove the hocks an hour before the soup is done, and using tongs and a knife to spare yourself burns, slice the meat off the bones. Dice it small {this also serves to ensure only edible bits make it into the soup} and return the meat to the soup.)

Remove bones and bay leaf.

Mash the peas to thicken it more if you'd like, but I didn't find it necessary.

Serve with rolls, Southern biscuits, oyster crackers, corn bread, whatever floats your boat.

Freezes well.
Serves 8.

December 7th, 2010

Birthday

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Happy birthday Graveyard Greg! *rolls dice to decide his age* ...Hmm, I don't think I have enough dice. S'pose I should ask for more for Christmas.

;K)

November 13th, 2010

Panther-suited Teddy Bear

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My girl loves me, and understands me. How the hell did I get so lucky?

November 9th, 2010

I combined two recipes from the FoodNetwork's website to make these, and they were absolutely incredible.

Ingredients

* 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 cup light brown sugar
* 1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 1/2 cups raisins
* 1/8th to 1/4 cup milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy (fluffy is subjective; mine never became what I'd call 'fluffy'). Add the sugars, and cream together until light and fluffy (again, subjective). Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

In a bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, spices, and baking soda. Mixing, slowly add the oat mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Add raisins and mix just until combined. Add walnuts and mix until combined. If the mixture is too dry to let the raisins and walnuts distribute evenly, add enough milk to loosen the mixture up enough to allow proper mixing.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving at least 2-inches between cookies. Bake until browned and crispy around the edges, about 14 to 16 minutes. (Check them often. They will be pale for quite awhile; pull them out when they just start to turn brown, because waiting too long will burn them on the bottom.) Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets long enough to become stable enough to move, then transfer them to cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

September 28th, 2010

Cerberus!

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September 23rd, 2010

Random character ideas

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Owl, middle-aged, recently switched to contacts from eyeglasses and keeps trying to adjust his non-existent glasses. Photographer, specializing in nocturnal wildlife photography. Loves Mexican food, Hates the government. Had an extended engagement with a cute kangaroo female, but she ran off with another male, leaving him bitter and disillusioned when it comes to love. He has an abnormally high sex-drive, and owns a staggering amount of actual printed pornography. His siblings never let up on him about his unwillingness to try dating again, so he avoids them, much to the displeasure of his nieces and nephews who love him to pieces. Missing a toe on one foot from a mishap with a hunter during one of his forest photo-shoots.

Chubby impala college student, studying to be a chef and restaurant owner. Crushingly low self-esteem from a lifetime of being mocked by his extended family and peers. Pops anti-depressants, cooks for his dorm roomies, and puts on a cheerful face. Desperate to regain some of the herd belonging and safety he craves, he tends to fall easily for anyone who's kind to him, male or female. This hasn't landed him in any really rough spots yet, but his luck won't hold out forever. Loves to dance, is quite superstitious, and has famously rotten recall. Has no car, and constantly bums rides off other students.

Somber femme coyote, middle-child and ignored by many throughout her life. Thanks to one observant high school teacher, she nabbed a huge scholarship and attended college for an art degree. Her work is unique and soon nets her money and fame, two things she's totally unprepared for. She finds happiness in her work, but gets blocked easily. Very much a creature of habit, she practices several self-destructive behaviors/habits which no one has gotten close enough to her to notice. She eats almost nothing but pizza and drinks Kool-aid by the pitcher. Her entire back is a map of seared-in tattoos (one of the few ways the furred can have lasting ones) and she presently dresses to conceal them from all. Allergic to chocolate. Adores polka music. Drives a VW bus fitted with a few comforts more suitable to an RV.

September 14th, 2010

Brawl in the Family

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I'm glad I looked through this comic's archive. :K)


how to
Originally uploaded by sonmisonmi
:KD

September 11th, 2010



My favorite comment on the video: "I hate you France!"

August 29th, 2010

Hummingbird tongue!

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Got this shot Saturday. Tooooooooongue!

August 27th, 2010

I was in the right place at the right time with a camera today, it seems.

Here's video of the snatch-and-nom.


Writing exercise: fear

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I've been reading the Dresden Files books lately, and I've come to notice that Jim now and then strikes a real chord of truth in his descriptions of certain emotions, especially fear. Dresden encounters a lot of stuff that inspires that particular emotion. So, I thought I'd try and differentiate between the different types of fear I've felt.

Nervous fear: I sweat no matter the temperature, a buzz lives in my head, and my stomach feels like it's in the rotating hot-dog rack at the gas station. I can't seem to get my breath, I'm twitchy, and I don't think clearly. The more I try to cover up the fact that I'm nervous and try to act cool, the more mistakes I make.

The heebie-jeebies: Similar to nervous fear, but I have no target for the fear. Post-scary movie, walking through a dark place, is a good example of when this can crop up. If I knew what it was I was afraid of, I could convince myself I was being silly. Being alone in the house and hearing sounds has the same effect. I try to brush it off, but like a slowly but steadily rising room temperature, I have to act on it eventually.

Dread: This is cold, and this is quiet. I have not felt it often, and I hope that trend continues. My brain recoils from the thoughts and concepts that inspired the dread, like I push a too-hot morsel of food around in my mouth to keep it from burning a single spot too badly. There's no buzz, there's no gibbering, no nervous energy-spending movements. My capacity for thought turns to mud.

Near-miss fear: This one comes in different sizes, like fountain drinks. When I almost clothes-line myself off the riding lawnmower with...the clothes-line usually, there's a little spark of 'that could've been bad.' Then there's the peripheral-vision shock of a car doing something dangerous and retarded, just feet or inches separating me from a hospital-stay. My heart slows down an hour later.

Sickening fear: Not only a reaction to something that's happened, this is about the consequences I fear as well. My gut feels like it has literally tied itself in a knot, tight at the top and bottom while a horrid ball of acid churns and bloats, trapped, in its center. Unlike some of the other kinds, my mind works overtime to showcase all the horrible scenarios I could be facing over the next few minutes, hours, days and weeks. This type may be stronger in the memory-making department than the others, because even after much time has passed, dwelling on the events that sparked this fear can bring back a tinge of it.



I've never experienced the subjective slowing-down of the world when afraid that seems so popular in fiction.

August 24th, 2010

Fallout 3 Plasma Rifle Prop

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Nose
Originally uploaded by CitizenSnips
You just have to look at this gallery. Astounding detail, great weathering.

August 23rd, 2010

Mass Effect rifle prop

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Less is more
Originally uploaded by Volpin
Remember the Daft Punk helmet guy? Same dude. Really, you all ought to make him a contact if you've got a Flickr account and dig seeing iconic objects materialize in real life.

August 21st, 2010

Parent Ray

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I thought of a great 'weapon' today. The parent ray. It shows whatever the target is doing at the time, to his/her parents.

Video camera + retinal scanner + wireless internet connection + Skype/IM service with webcam chat = Point it at someone, retina gets scanned, database searched for parents, phonecall/IM sent.

Sure there are a lot of problems with the idea, and it's totally impractical, but there are plenty of situations where having this thing on hand would make for priceless moments. If the parents aren't around for the live feed, it could post the video to youtube and send the link to the folks.

I predict this will eventually become part of COPS. Maybe a picture-in-picture deal with the sobbing mother or furious father glaring while the loser suspect argues that his shoe box full of drugs was a friend's.

August 16th, 2010

Late musings

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So, at 3 this morning (when my brain does its best to keep me from sleeping) I thought,
"Hey, I bet there are a ton of people in my area who are just as sick as I am of getting rejected by employers for even jobs we can barely stand the thought of performing. Why don't we band together and do something that would make us money?"

Not a lot of money obviously, but *something* would be good while the job hunt continues. The question is...what? I don't even know what level of organization I can achieve without the government smacking me down or taxing the bejeezus out of me.

What do people need right now? Child care. Resume editing services. Cheap home repair work. Cheap car repair work. Cheap dentistry. Cheap medical care. Cheap entertainment. Cheap/free re-training for new careers.

Hmm. I guess resume editing falls within my purview, though given my lack of success finding work, maybe my own resume isn't great...casting doubt on my suitability as an editor. x,x

Maybe a barter system between the unemployed would be a better idea than some sort of garage enterprise. Making goods isn't the best game to be in, with people keeping a tight hold on their wallets. Painted handicrafts are right out, unless they're of outstanding quality and suspiciously cheap, which is untenable.

SHUT UP BRAIN

August 8th, 2010

Infringement!

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Hey! HEY! I didn't authorize you to use my likeness!

August 5th, 2010

:K/

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I miss snugglin'.

July 21st, 2010

Grrrrrr

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Grrrrrr
Originally uploaded by Volpin
Prop builder posing with his awesome scratch-built Daft Punk helmet.

July 20th, 2010

(no subject)

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Imagine you've just built an Amish robot and are activating it for the first time. What does it do?

July 11th, 2010

Movie Misadventures

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So Mystee brought over the live-action Popeye movie, (1980, starred Robin Williams, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081353/ ) and we watched it.

It's also a musical, did I mention?

I have to say, it wasn't horrible, but I want to strangle the lyricist.

June 29th, 2010

Gimme somethin' to watch.

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Did you see a good TED video lately? Some fascinating lecture on how quantum computing is a pipe-dream of absinthe-guzzlers? A video clip of a canine humiliating its owners on an intellectual level the humans failed to grasp? Liiiiiiink meeeeeee.

It's not a great return, but here's 'Sliders' on Hulu. 6,6 http://www.hulu.com/watch/14126/sliders-pilot#s-p2-n1-so-i0

June 26th, 2010

Facebook Wrongness

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After my nephew did something truly annoying today, I looked into liking a 'I hate kids' group on Facebook.

Searched for one. Facebook had a 'did you mean' suggestion for me. ...Wut


June 25th, 2010

Heaven's Corner white tiger

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Issa white kitteh, in the baaaaaaaack of the cage where all pictures will look crappy. But I sympathize. I would want to get as far as possible from the screeching human children too.

June 24th, 2010

FUSION!

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Gizmodo just posted a story about a guy (not a scientist or an engineer) who has achieved fusion on his own in rented lab-space. No team, no government grant, just parts from eBay and some serious inspiration. http://gizmodo.com/5570817/no-sleep-til-fusion

And you know what's even more eyebrow-raisingly neat? He isn't the only one trying, not by a long shot. http://www.fusor.net/

I really hope Mark Suppes is the one to get a sustained reaction though, 'cuz I really want fusion to be purple.




I do wish he wouldn't operate high-voltage equipment while drinking beer though.

Here's his Twitter, http://twitter.com/famulusfusion
And his blog, http://prometheusfusionperfection.com/

June 23rd, 2010

Heaven's Corner Wallabies

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Must follow snakey with cuteness, so here are wallabies. One of 'em is named Gadget. Squee!

June 22nd, 2010

WoW

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Soltris bought me some gametime, so for a week or two I've been in WoW-land.

WoW-related ramblingCollapse )
Learn more about the Gaboon here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitis_gabonica

The reptile handler told me its venom will turn your blood into 'chocolate pudding.' Fun!

June 21st, 2010

Heaven's Corner Red Fox

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Heaven's Corner Red Fox
Originally uploaded by animakitty
Continuing the Heaven's Corner pic-posts, here's one for all you foxies. It took some doing getting the right focus through two sets of bars, but I finally got a decent shot of fox-eye.

June 20th, 2010

Though I've been to Heaven's Corner several times now, this black leopard was always sprawled out in the very back of a cage, and totally unphotographable. They must've moved the black kitty to this new cage, which is very accessible. Finally, I got some shots of him/her. Not enough though! The trip was cut a bit short.

June 15th, 2010

Hunka hunka burning savior

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Big Butter Jesus, Touchdown Jesus, is dead. Struck by lightning late last night, he burned to the frickin' ground.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061500172.html




June 7th, 2010

Birthday loot

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Got a few neat things for my birthday I thought I'd plug.

Boneshaker - a novel by Cherie Priest, combines steampunk and zombies. That should be enough to get some people on board. I'm perhaps 1/4 through it, and it's interesting enough, but nowhere near as immersive and captivating as Jay Lake's clockpunk novels.

Implied Spaces - A sci-fi novel by Walter Jon Williams. In the far-flung future, man has learned how to create pocket universes and link them to ours through perpetually-open wormholes. This and most of modern life is made possible by 12 vast supercomputer-AIs (to give you an idea how vast, one or more planets in our solar system were dismantled to provide the raw materials for them). One of the AIs goes rogue, making pod-people by rewriting their brains and attacking its fellow AIs with particle weapons. It's up to one of the three computer scientists who designed the 12 (and his cat Bitsy, who is actually an avatar of his favorite AI) to get to the bottom of this! ((This was fun, but the writing was rather flat. It's so hard to write well about technology so advanced it may as well be magic, without sounding like everything is a cheat.))

With a 20 buck Amazon gift card, I managed to score Rock Band, Saint's Row, and Dead Rising with enough left over to pay for shipping. Yay!

June 5th, 2010

House Centipede

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Someone on Facebook posted about a bug they kept seeing near their desk. Turns out it was what I would've called a silverfish, but is actually a house centipede.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutigera_coleoptrata

The wikipedia entry was very interesting. These guys can live anywhere from 3 to 7 years. When I read that they're called "mustache bugs" in certain cultures, I experienced a one-two punch of 'Aww, that's cute!' and 'Oh GOD now I'm picturing it on my upper lip!'


Then of course I have to haul out the African bug memories. While in Sierra Leone, I saw a millipede that was a dark purple with bright orange legs. It was probably 6-8" long. Tried to find a photo of one, but my Google-fu was weak.

June 1st, 2010

Sweet and Sour Pork

Recipe: http://rasamalaysia.com/chinese-recipe-sweet-and-sour-pork/

Not bad. Not good-Chinese-place good but definitely superior to orange-sauce-hell from cheap Chinese places and buffets.

May 28th, 2010

A most determined suicide

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A gentleman passing through the United States, on the Union and Pacific Railroad, was one morning telling the guard about a relative of his lately committing suicide. ‘Very sad, indeed,’ replied the guard, ‘but the most determined attempt at suicide happened the other day down Sacramento (California) way. A young man went down to the beach when the tide was out, with a long pole, sharpened at one end, and a hook in the other; he had also a rope with a noose in it, a phial of poison, a pistol, and a box of matches. He drove the pole into the sand, and climbed up it until the tide had risen high enough to drown him, when he swallowed the poison, set his trousers on fire, put the noose round his neck, and then fired his pistol. The bullet, instead of entering his forehead, grazed the top of his head and went through the rope; the rope, being weakened, snapped, and dropped the unfortunate man into the sea, which, of course, put the fire out, and swallowing some sea water made him vomit the poison, and in two or three minutes he was washed ashore alive, and only suffering slightly from the effects of his immersion.’

– Tit-Bits From All the Most Interesting Books, Periodicals and Newspapers in the World, Dec. 3, 1881

May 25th, 2010

Oh. My. God.

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panther


Five pound grilled cheese with 13 different cheeses, 3 slices of grilled bread served with fries and slaw.


http://thisiswhyyourefat.com/post/540916311/the-melt-challenge-five-pound-grilled-cheese

Birthday!

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Happy birthday Galis! I hope your cheesecake turned out awesome. :K)

May 22nd, 2010

Iron Man comics

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I've been reading Iron Man comic books from way back, the start of the character, and I've been terribly amused.

Transistors can do anything, for some reason!

I guess this must be a recurring theme, you know? A new technology becomes a supremely versatile proponent for any device you can think of. The equivalent today would be nanites I suppose. What was it before transistors? Vacuum tubes? Steam power?

May 18th, 2010

They're Made Out of Meat

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http://www.metacafe.com/watch/177153/theyre_made_out_of_meat/

Enjoy a silly video about aliens disgusted with our composition!

May 12th, 2010

Morphicon!

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Morphicon this weekend. Will I be seeing any of you there?

May 11th, 2010

One of a matched pair of mavericks I made as gifts for a certain suney and kitten. Purple + black = mmmmmm.

May 5th, 2010

Multnomah falls 042

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Multnomah falls 042
Originally uploaded by animakitty

May 4th, 2010

Cannon Beach, Oregon

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Cannon Beach, Oregon
Originally uploaded by animakitty
It was a bit chilly, but it was so nice to see the sea again.

April 30th, 2010

Oregon!

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I'll be leaving early tomorrow for Portland, Oregon. So if anyone needs me, that's where I'll be. ;K)

Also, I've been called for jury duty apparently. This is my first time, ever. I was excited about the 15 bucks a day thing until I found out parking isn't free. Argh!

April 27th, 2010

PC game

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This is driving me nuts.

Does anyone remember the name of a PC game on CD-ROM with cinematic content that starts off with your character's body getting killed, and your teammates put your brain in a robotic body? It's not a *good* robotic body either, but something like the ROVs used to explore sunken ships.

**EDIT** Found it, FINALLY. The Daedalus Encounter.
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