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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

I sat in front of my computer after a long 12+ hour work day, after listening to some insightful questions from my sweet nephew about how many hours I work everyday and how often I work this late, after eating some warmed over canned chili with much too much sharp cheddar cheese, after daydreaming about welcoming Sweetie back home on Saturday after his long work trip away from home, after taking my blood pressure and marveling at the startling increase in numerals from my blood pressure reading last night……….and I sat in front of my computer and switched on my iTunes and asked my music “What do I want to listen to right now?”

And my music replied:

That’s my Phil!  Hmmmm……sounds about right. 

Long Long Way to Go

While I sit here trying to think of things to say
Someone lies bleeding in a field somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go
I’ve seen all I wanna see today

While I sit here trying to move you anyway I can
Someone’s son lies dead in a gutter somewhere
And it would seem that we’ve got a long long way to go
But I can’t take it anymore

Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off it will go away
Turn it off if you want to
Switch it off or look away

While I sit and we talk and talk and we talk some more
Someone’s loved one’s heart stops beating in a street somewhere
So it would seem we’ve still got a long long way to go, I know
I’ve heard all I wanna hear today

Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off it will go away (switch it off it will go away)
Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to)
Switch it off or look away (switch it off or look away)

Switch it off
Turn it off

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If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s worth a look.  Massive massive Rube Goldberg device (complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways). 

According to Wired magazine, this really is one long unbroken shot.  If you watch it, think of how impressive it is – not only that they finally got it all done in one shot, but also how the heck the camera can even follow the action.  I find myself more intrigued by how they set up the camera to follow everything so well.  The Wired mag articles says it took over 60 takes over 2 days to get the final video.  That means they would start the machine, some part of it would go wrong, they would have to stop the shot and reset the machine.  Insane.  But impressive.  And yes, if the name OK Go sounds familiar, these are the treadmill song guys.  The YouTube page has a link to the makers of the device over at Syyn Labs

Check it:

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Most of this speaks for itself but some minute-by-minute commentary below provided by me.  I wish the interviewer had asked some more questions but I also like that he just steps back and lets people speak. 

0:10:  She wants to meet you too!  Or at least meet your money.

0:31:  Ma’am, I am so glad you are not my grandma.  You’ve got that classic pissy “You are an insolent frak-up!” look down pat.  You scare me. 

1:22:  Way to protect yourself from those “Gotcha!” questions.  Because – “What are some issues of hers that you agree with?” is fraught with danger.  Run away! Run away!

2:00:  Are you related to the older woman from 0:31?  You have that look down too. 

2:22:  Word Salad Alert!  She’s trying very hard but is missing some of the key elements of grammar.

2:33: So, you would like to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs?  You’d like to leave our service men and woman out in the cold?  What a good patriot you are. 

2:43:  Word Salad Alert! Are you trying to impersonate Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin?  Cap and trade.  Job creation. Trade! Alaska! 

3:06:  Good job sir.  You are compliant with Principle #7 of Mr. Glenn Beck’s 9 Principles: ….Government cannot force me to be charitable.

3:53: Sir, if an atom bomb goes off in the United States, I guarantee you that you and I are going to have more important things to worry about than the President declaring martial law.  Couldn’t you come up with something slightly less dire?

4:00:  No! Noooooo!  You are violating Principle #1……America is good.  Glenn Beck is gonna be mad at you.  Out of the club with you!

4:22:  She’s not going to have the votes because of illegal aliens?  I don’t think that is why she won’t have the votes to become President, but I’m just guessing.

4:35:  I wish the interviewer had let this woman expound a little. I’m curious where we need profiling.  At the grocery store?  The bank?  Does she advocate starting up something like the Hitler Jugend so kids can report on what is going on with their suspicious (non-white?) neighbors?  Because the police are a little overtaxed right now. 

4:55:  Pretty much speaks for itself.  ok.  No wait.  I have to ask – how many illegal aliens enter the US via the Bering Strait??  Or are you talking about illegals from Yukon?

5:45:  Oh!  She’s talking about endangered species.  PETA?  PETA?  They do weigh in on some endangered species issues, but they are not the main proponents.  You might want to talk with the lady from 2:33 about eliminating the Department of the Interior. 

6:04:  Holy crap! Why didn’t anyone tell me? I could be an oil millionaire!  I’m grabbing my shovel.

6:30:  I’ve heard over and over again that Braveheart is a good movie.  Doesn’t make it true.

7:45:  Well, I think this guy is typical of about 80-percent of all voters.  80-percent.  Am I being too generous?

7:57:  True.  When in doubt, raise volume.  Have you seen the tea-bagger rallies?

8:05.  I think so too!  It’s called: Multi-Million-Dollar-Book-and Speaking-Deal. I’m afraid to look up her other sleeve.

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Living on the Edge

I’m not a downtown kind of girl, I’ve figured out.

I thought about this as I drove down the hill to go grocery shopping the other day.  I hate traffic.  I’m don’t think I’m unusual in this dislike.  Haven’t heard a lot of people lately who mention “Oh, I was stuck in this nice bit of traffic yesterday.  It was quite pleasant.”  The saving grace in that situation is, of course, good music.  If I’ve managed to stow a couple of good CDs in the car, a longer car ride can be quite bearable.  Of course, I’d prefer a long car ride along the coast, or up Haleakala to the Kula Lodge for some nice breakfast.  That sort of thing. 

Speaking of music, here’s a song to keep you company during this blog trip.  I like this:

So, what have I done?  I’ve found a new route to Costco that involves driving about a mile in the opposite direction, then going down the hill, then driving back towards town.  If traffic in town is light, my new route is about the same time.  If traffic in town is heavy, I save myself a bit of time.  But that doesn’t matter to me as much as the bliss of LESS traffic.  I don’t use this route for the grocery store (yet) because it would really be out of the way.  But it’s been so much nicer to drive past sugar cane and empty fields instead of track homes and the mall.

Because, about a mile away from my house, I’d be in the middle of sugar cane fields.  When I look up at the sky at night, I see stars.  I live on the edge of town.  And, as I thought to myself on the way to Costco, I realized that I’ve lived near the edge of towns my whole life.  Granted, most of my life has been spent in relatively small towns.  I think I’ve mentioned that – growing up, even though I technically lived in “town,” the area across from my home was grape fields.   I climbed the tree in my back yard (a lot) and on a clear day, I could see the Sierra mountains.  If I got in my car, I could be in wide open fields in two minutes. 

I went away to college to an Ag school in the middle of ag land.  Not hard to get away to open fields from anywhere in town.  Even when I lived in the dorms, I was close to empty fields.  I lived on the west edge of town.  I lived on the east edge of town (at least, it was the edge of town back then.  There’s a few extra miles of homes to the east nowadays.)  I lived on the south edge of town. 

Even when I made my way to Sacramento, I still managed to find a neighborhood on the edge of town.  Some days, after a bad day at work or a heartbreak of some kind, I would get in my car and seek solace in wide open space.  And that wouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes from my home.  I visit friends who live in Sacramento neighborhoods who are socked in by suburban development.  You get off the freeway and have to drive another 15 to 20 minutes through crowded streets to find their home.  I sometimes think that if I lived in those areas, I would suffocate.  If I were to climb up to the top of my roof (another thing I used to do quite often) and could not see open space in at least one direction, any distress I felt would just be multiplied.  I guess you could call it my “Heidi Syndrome.”  Take the simple country girl and stick her in the middle of a city and she wilts.  She wanes.  She weakens.   I am half Swiss.  I need my alps.

It’s not that I don’t like a good city.  OK, I don’t actually like many cities.  I love San Francisco.  That may be it.  I just need to be able to clear my head in open air.  And since I don’t often know when the need to clear my head will arise, I guess I have this instinctive need to be near open space.  Maybe it stems from my girlhood plans to run away from home.  That plan involved the mountains and my bike.  It was going to be a long ride, but I knew I had to get up to the hills.  I’ve had many recurring dreams over the years that end in me running as hard as I can towards hills and trees for solace.  I don’t know what I will find.  But the search for peace of mind always seems to start there.

I don’t know where our next move takes us.  Right now, Sweetie and my #1 and #2 choices are both fairly small-townish.  It will be easy to be near trees, hills, and open space in both these spots.  Who knows.  We could end up somewhere else.  I could suck it up and thrive in a boxed-in, artificially-lighted, urban home.  I could survive away from the edge.

If I own a helicopter.

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New Guinea is a country in Oceania, a group of islands between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia.

In New Guinea, there can be found many members of the family Paradisaeidae.  Birds of Paradise. 

From a 2007 National Geographic article “Birds of Paradise:”

Birds of paradise perch on an improbable branch of the avian family tree, the flashy cousins of straitlaced ravens and crows. They began splitting off from their bland kin millions of years ago, evolving into today’s 38 eclectic species. Of these, 34 live only on New Guinea and its satellite islands.

Fruit and insects abound all year in the forests of New Guinea, the largest tropical island in the world, and natural threats are few. Linked to Australia until about 8,000 years ago, the 1,500-mile-long (2,400 kilometers) island shared much of its neighbor’s fauna. Marsupials and birds were plentiful, but placental mammals were entirely absent, meaning no monkeys and squirrels to compete with birds for food, and no cats to prey on them. The result: an avian paradise that today is home to more than 700 species of birds.

Freed of other pressures, birds of paradise began to specialize for sexual competition. Traits that made one bird more attractive than another were passed on and enhanced over time. Known as sexual selection, this process “is to birds of paradise what natural selection is to Darwin’s finches—the prime mover,” says Scholes. “The usual rules of survival aren’t as important here as the rules of successful mating.”

Mating.  Male Birds of Paradise are all about the mating.  The colors of their feathers.  The behavior they display.  The songs they sing.  For a time in their lives – it is all about attracting a mate.  These birds put on their best plumage, strut their best dances, and sing their best songs in hopes of becoming the lucky male who is picked by the lovely but drab little female chicks.  Take this guy – the Six-Plumed Bird of Paradise. 

What extremes will he go to to impress a potential mate?  He sings.  He dances.  Would you believe he even makes the effort to clean up his home turf before strutting his stuff?

If any of you have watched the enthralling, enchanting, gorgeous, amazing series “Planet Earth”, then you have seen this guy in action.  They even have footage of him cleaning up before any lady friends arrive. 

Hmmmm….does that sound like any other creatures we know? 

Pretty impressive behavior.  Unfortunately for the lucky lady who picks this fancy bird to start a family with, it appears that most of the work and effort end with the act of mating.   The Six-plumed Bird of Paradise is polygamous and does not take part in raising the young.  All that work to make a good impression.  And then, an entirely different creature.

Does *that* sound like any other creatures we know?

I for one worked very hard to make a good impression on my Sweetie when we first got together.  I guess I did a good job because here we are – married and committed to each other for the rest of our lives.  Now, a few years into our relationship, when I go through my bad days and my low points, I still sometimes think to myself: “Don’t screw this up. ”  I worry that my bad points are too too off-putting for anyone to bear.  I wonder if Sweetie really knew what he was getting himself into when he married me.  Did I dazzle him with my bright plumage into thinking I was some kind of woman that I am not?

Which is a ridiculous thought because I went through plenty of low points during our dating time.  And he knew everything about me before he asked me to marry him.  Because, eventually, the newness of our time together wore off and we became comfortable enough with each other to display behavior that was less-than-prime courting behavior.  The burping.  The tears.  Leaving dishes in the sink.  The grumpiness. The insecurity.  His inability to remember to pull the shower curtain to ward off the damp buildup.  My inability to shut my brain off in the middle of the night.  All of it.  He knew.  I knew.  We did a little more in-depth research and soul searching than those six-plumed birdies. 

For many humans, our instincts have evolved beyond the basic “make a copy of yourself before you die” tic.  And with more complicated wants and needs comes the complications of human relationships.  I don’t know if I can ever completely shut off my occasional insecurity in relationships.    And Sweetie may get frustrated by my inability to swallow my own feelings and my endless need to talk things through with him, but I’m not like the housewives of yore – who smoothed their aprons and plastered smiles on their faces for their husbands, no matter what.   And I don’t imagine that’s what he wanted, or thought he was getting. 

At least I am able to reassure myself that I tried not to puff myself up to an illusion of something I am not.  When my feathers come down, I am an ordinary woman with ordinary foibles.  That can’t be too surprising to him, can it?  He knew what he was getting into. 

I think, for us humans, if we want our mates to actually stick around past the mating act itself, we do ourselves a favor by exposing our flaws along with our fine feathers.  In the long run, we are better able to adapt in the future if we see the real people behind our loved ones’ faces.  No guarantees, of course.  But it helps. 

But really, check this guy out –

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Head Over Heels

A bit of nostalgia to go with yesterday’s blog…

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n case you don’t know yet, I am a HUGE fan of Neil Gaiman. HUGE. Ever since 1990 when my then-boyfriend introduced me to Gaiman’s Sandman comic books. These books are not just a bunch of caped crusaders jumping from rooftops to help damsels in distress (although some of those are good to read). Gaiman’s Sandman series are filled with complex characters, intricate story lines, and fantastic artwork. Sandman is the only comic book to ever win the World Fantasy Award.

You know I love good character development, and the Endless of the Sandman world are a crazy cast of characters. They include Dream himself, as well as one of my favorite characters ever written – his older sister Death. Awesome character.

I can literally point to books on my shelves I bought after my curiosity was piqued by a good Sandman issue – American History (ever heard of the Emperor of the United States?), mythology (lots of folks from myth in there), 50 Great Philosophers, and on and on. Not to mention, Sandman kicked off my own comic book collecting habit.

Anyway, besides Sandman, Gaiman has written many novels – American Gods, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Neverwhere, and Anansi Boys. He wrote the 2005 movie Mirrormask, a visual trip directed by Dave McKean.

And, he wrote the book Stardust. Which has been made into a movie. Which is coming out in August. Which looks FANTASTIC! Really good. Like, possibly – the director didn’t destroy Gaiman’s work (except……Claire Danes as Yvaine???…..erg?). Oh well. I think it helped that they allowed Neil to consult during the movie-making (I think). He’s written on his blog about how he was joking about who his dream cast would be for the movie. Thinking “That’s impossible.” Little did Neil know that the movie would attract the likes of Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ian McKellen, Rupert Everett, and Peter O’Toole. And, again – they look FANTASTIC! Movie website is: http://www.stardustmovie.com/

So, check this out. Then check the movie out in August. It’s mostly a big fairy tale. But, like all of Gaiman’s work, it can be both thought-provoking and fairly dark at times. Consider that fair warning.


Photo Credit: www.stardustmovie.com

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