Friday, March 31, 2006

I only checked five boxes

How Evil Are You?

You Are 10% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.

Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

...Ah, what the hell, let's do a bunch of 'em...

How Open Minded Are You?

You Are 68% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.

Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.

But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.

You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

How Do People See You?
(Okay, you're people, right? Is this really how you see me???)

Slow and Steady

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy.

They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder.

It'd really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment.

They expect you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then usually decide against it.

What Advanced Degree Should You Get?

You Should Get a MBA (Masters of Business Administration)

You're a self starter with a drive for success.
You'd make a great entrepreneur.

What Kind of Soul Are You?

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you away from this world
So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time
You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...
But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.
Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.
Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.
Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

Should You Quit Your Job?
(Really not designed for freelancers, but most of the questions were at least somewhat applicable to my work)

Your Job Dissatisfaction Level is 44%

Well, you don't have the worst job in the world, but it's not great.

And don't worry, you're not the problem - your company is. Start looking around for another job, even if you're not totally fed up. Because in time, you're going to be dying to quit!

How Abnormal Are You?
("Taking double negatives to the Nth degree")

You Are 4% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at low risk for having a social phobia. It is unlikely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

The Five Factor Values Test

Your Values Profile


You value loyalty a fair amount.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties.
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.


You value honesty highly.
You're unflinchingly honest, even when it's not easy.
For you, integrity is very important - in yourself and others.
People may not always like what you say, but they know they can trust it.


You value generosity a fair amount.
You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.
Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.
But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!


You value humility a fair amount.
You tend to be an easy going, humble person.
But occasionally your ego takes over.
You have a slight competitive streak - and the need to be the best.


You value tolerance highly.
Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...
You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.
You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

How Lucky Are You?

Your Luck Quotient: 78%

You have a high luck quotient.
More often than not, you've felt very lucky in your life.
You may be randomly lucky, but it's probably more than that.
Optimistic and open minded, you take advantage of all the luck that comes your way.

What Type of Writer Should You Be?

You Should Be a Song Writer

You have the ability to evoke emotion, tell a story, and hook someone...
In a very small amount of words, perhaps with some deft rhyming.
Even if you can't write music, you can sure write compelling lyrics.
Lyrics so good, people will have them stuck in their heads!

How Is Your Inner Child?

Your Inner Child Is Happy

You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.
You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.
And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.
You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

Have you spent too much time taking inane quizzes?

Oh yes, you most certainly have

You have lost sight of the phone calls you intended to make before 5:00 pm.

You have spent an hour and a half on a dialup connection despite the fact that you will have DSL in a matter of weeks.

You haven't fed the animals yet.

You really need to get offline.

Right now.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The kind of girl I am

In which we examine the finer points of my ethics and how they shape my viewing experience

So I like Friends. The television show. Lisa gave me the heads-up when it first came out, and I liked it as much as she did. She taped the weekly episodes for me for years. I still have like ten of the videotapes, but they're all moldy now and even the ones with no visible mold have deteriorated so the audio is pretty much shot.

A while back, I got myself the "Best of Friends" DVDs on eBay. There are four discs, and each one has six of the most popular episodes. I've watched them, well...let's just say, a time or two.

As I've said before, I don't have cable TV and I don't watch the local television fare. I also don't rent videos all that often. The local stores don't have super large collections, so you kind of go through the selection and then it's hard to pick something.

Plus, with very few exceptions, the videos and DVDs are all copies, and the quality varies widely. Often they're almost as functional as a legal copy, although a lot of times whoever makes the copies doesn't bother to include the Special Features, which is always disappointing. But sometimes the copies are unnecessarily bad - like the one I got this week (Fun with Dick & Jane), which was a DVD that was clearly copied from a video tape. I betcha didn't even know that could be done, but it can. I guess they play the video on a VCR and hook up a digital recorder to record whatever plays on the television at any given time. As a result, the DVD functionality is almost nil. There is an automatically generated scene selection menu, so you can jump to different parts, but you can't do any of the normal DVD things like select an audio option (for other languages, say). You can't even turn off the subtitles because they are on the screen when the recording is made, so they are recorded as part of the video content.

Oh, and this particular bad copy froze up about 15 minutes from the end and I could neither fast forward through it nor go back to the scene selection menu and select a later scene. I had to ask the guy at the video store how it ended. (He had recommended the video in the first place, so I knew he'd know.) (He did offer to give me a different video to replace the one hadn't worked out, but he had given me an extra low price when I rented it [not because he knew there was anything wrong with the DVD, but because he's seen us there enough he considers us good customers] so I didn't bother to get a replacement.)

Anyway, I digress (a little).

So, what have we learned so far?
I do patronize video stores where 99.8% of the rentals are bootlegs. I'd like it if that were not the case, but it is the case in 99.8% of Costa Rica's video stores and I've kind of decided, "Well, oh well."

Finer point:
Chatting with the owner of the video store I frequent the most, I once mentioned the Best of Friends DVDs and that I got them on eBay. He suggested that I go ahead and buy any movies I felt like seeing and, after I watched them, he would buy them from me for whatever I had paid. I thanked him for the offer, but won't be taking him up on it. Renting a bootleg is one thing. Providing the copyrighted material to the bootlegger...another thing altogether. That's my fine line.

So. Back when I bought the Friends DVDs, I saw that you could also get a complete set of any given season. (There are a total of 10 seasons.) I think these were running about $35 new (per season) and maybe $25 or so on eBay. I coveted them, but they were clearly too expensive and I went with the "Best of." I don't remember exactly, but I think I paid about $15 for all four discs (from two different sellers), including shipping.

Making the two most recent quilts, I found that Friends lends itself most excellently to hand sewing. I've already seen almost all the episodes, so I can keep my eyes on my work for the most part, but I am entertained while sitting for long periods of time. Since quilt making is going to become a larger part of my life, I began to feel that I really wanted (needed? deserved?) a better collection of Friends DVDs. I decided that, when I got to the point where I was selling quilts, I would use the first profits to buy some more.

Except, of course, that once I had made that decision, I really really really didn't want to wait that long. Checking back with eBay, I found that a collector's edition had been released (I think last November), containing all ten years' worth of the series (40 DVDs with wooden collector's case!).

A bit of clicking and searching reveals that this collection can be had from, say, Wal-Mart for about $300. It can be had from Amazon for $233 (eligible for FREE super saver shipping!) It can be had on eBay for about the same amount.

Also available on eBay, the "Asian Collector's Edition," for around $100. This version is new, factory sealed, region free (guaranteed to play on US/Canadian DVD players), with all the original material. Some Chinese characters on the discs and packaging. Removable Chinese subtitles. Original English audio.

Well that's an easy decision, right? I'm certainly not one to be uptight about a foreign language after all.

But. . I had to do it. I had to go and look for more information. Well, it turns out that, "factory sealed" notwithstanding, "Asian collector's editions" of any given movie or television show are pretty much guaranteed to be bootlegs. Just really fancy, pretty, often very well-made and professionally distributed bootlegs. I guess it's a thriving industry in parts of Asia.

I wanted not to care. I wanted to pay $133 less. But I've watched the discs that I do have so many times that I feel a real affinity with the people who made them. I love their work. I know they worked hard and cared about what they did, and they made a product that makes my life better.

How much money do these people already have? A whole. Hell. Of a lot. How much money will actually trickle up to them from my individual purchase of a set of discs? Probably not much. Possibly none, if I buy used discs. What would the real-world, net effect be if I bought a bootleg? Or a used bootleg? There's probably no way of knowing.

Anyway, I made my decision. No bootleg. Then I remembered the whole reason I like eBay: if you know what you want and about how much it's been selling for, then you know when something is a good deal. If you're patient and keep tabs on it, you can be there when a good deal comes along.

Here's a fun fact: If you search for a misspelling of the item you want, you can sometimes get a great deal because it's not coming up in most peoples' searches. I tried that (Freinds, of course) and there were a few, but they were mostly for "Thomas the Tank Engine and Freinds" and suchlike. Apparently, Friends fans, on the whole, are fairly decent spellers.

So I decided to search for only used items. For one thing, that cut the results down from hundreds to dozens of auctions at any given time. Plus the prices were likely to be lower for used items. Then I narrowed it down to just North America (for affordable shipping) and cut out anyone who was so new to eBay that they had no feedback from past transactions.

Anyway, I ended up finding someone who was selling authentic copies of seasons 1-8, used. No wooden collector's case (which, really, I couldn't see asking Alex to pack anyway.) Fewer people would be interested in an incomplete set, so that's all to the good. The seller didn't have a real high feedback score, but it was 100% positive. Not a power seller, but has done well by his customers so far. Fair enough.

The thing about eBay is this: You can bid at any time, but the auction isn't over till it's over. You put in your maximum bid and the system will indicate if you are the highest bidder. If you are, your actual bid will only be one increment above the current high bid. If someone comes along and puts in another bid that is below your maximum, the system will raise your bid to one increment above that offer and you will still be the high bidder at your new intermediate price. If someone else comes along and places a maximum offer that is higher than your maximum, then obviously they are the new high bidder (by one increment above your highest bid).

There wasn't that much movement on this auction, but a lot of times it all happens at the end. People will swoop in and place a high bid in the last minute of an auction when you thought you had it. Then they'll win it by one increment above your highest bid. It's seriously annoying, but it is not against eBay policy. The auction is open for bids until the ending time and if someone wants to be that way, that's their right.

Last minute jerks aside, I didn't want to bid too early and drive the price up because, even for an incomplete collection, it was very cheap - like around $50-something I think. It was ending at 11:00 p.m., so
what did I do? After I put the kids to bed I checked back in every once in a while. And I set a timer for the end of the auction and, 90 seconds before it ended, I placed a bid for my real, true maximum price that I really wouldn't want to go above. I felt bad for the person who had been the high bidder for the past day and a half - if I knocked him or her out, that is.

I decided that I would be willing to pay about as much as a bootleg set (two missing seasons notwithstanding), then I rounded up a little because you don't want to bid exactly $100...newbies bid in round numbers and us experienced people outbid them by little fractions. So I offered, I think, $116. The first result was that I was the high bidder at $70-something, which would be one increment above that other person's high bid. I then refreshed the page obsessively (on my poor little dial-up connection) and saw my high bid rise - meaning that someone else was out there at the last minute, and making another offer.

Anyway, I won it for something like $83, plus shipping.

Jen's ethics in review:
I rent bootleg movies.
I don't make or help other people make bootleg movies for fun or profit.
I don't buy bootleg movies.
I am a jerk on eBay.

(PS When I reviewed the bids I found that the person who had been high bidder all along did not make that other last-minute bid in a desperate attempt to save what they had thought was a sure thing. It was some other last-minute jerk who lost out because they were trying to one-up me by five bucks, while I had placed my true highest offer and therefore I prevailed. This made me feel much better. That other poor shmuck would have lost out anyway.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I know you've been holding your breath, so

A gym called (*cringe*) Power Time............signed me up.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Well I've never done THAT before

This morning after I dropped the kids off at school, I drove another mile or so down to Heredia, walked into ____________, plunked down my $16 and ____________.

Fill in the blanks, anyone? (I'll narrow the field by 50% or more by noting that it's something everyone will approve of.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Squeaky Wheel

I so got the grease.

Don't tell me complaining doesn't do any good. I was talking to my neighbor yesterday and she said the phone company is offering DSL service on our street now. Hers was hooked up already and she was thrilled. So I came straight inside and called the phone company, and guess what? It's true.

The phone line is in Alex's name so I need him to take a picture of his government-issued ID card and E-mail it to me so I can provide them with a "photocopy" (What? It'll be a copy of a photo) of it along with his "signature" (What? It'll be his name, written at his request, just the way he would write it if he were here) on the filled-out forms. It's supposed to take two to three weeks once the forms are in, but my neighbor says hers was hooked up in 10 days. Woo hoo!

And get this - it doesn't even cost more than dialup. Not really. Dialup is $15/month for unlimited access, but local calls are not free here. (The phone company, being a government monopoly, has no reason to offer anything resembling custom calling plans.) So, at the level I'm currently using it, my "unlimited" dialup ends up costing me another $10 to $12 a month in phone usage. The DSL is a flat $28.

So okay. Lesson learned. You can expect to see a lot more bitching and moaning about things I'd like someone to do something about.

(Umm, does this mean I have to stop telling the kids not to whine at me when they have a problem with each other?)

Updated to add: Well, the Internet has put me most emphatically in my place. Crowing about getting improved Internet service by complaining about my Internet service? Yeah-huh. Couldn't even publish this post, which, you will observe, contains not a single photo.

(Kids, quit yer whining. It doesn't change anything anyway.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Not for children under 3 years"

I have had this box sitting on my desk for a very very long time, intending to share it with you. Now that I can just take a picture of it instead of having to fire up the scanner, I think I'll get it out of the way. In fact, I think rather than firing up the scanner, I'm just going to fire it. Alex bought it, let him keep it on his desk. I don't need it anymore.

Anyway, this toy (excuse me, "play set") was given to my children the Christmas before last. José had chosen two "Barbie" (not really Barbie) play sets, one for each of the girls. This was one of those stores where you can see the merchandise but you have to ask the salesperson to go get the thing you actually plan on buying (or want to see up close). He apparently didn't check the boxes before he brought them home and wrapped them up (as if HE did the wrapping), so on Christmas morning we were all surprised to see:

The Gloria (TM) Happy Hour Play Set
(Not for children under 3 years)
(Doll & wine carafes not included)

[Yup. Couldn't upload the photo. Again. Since this post relies entirely ON the photo, I'll just save it until I can.]

Monday, March 20, 2006

All arty and stuff (Now with pictures!!)

On the way home from school today, Robin announced that she wanted me to pose for her so she could paint my picture. She was going to sketch first, then paint. Once all the supplies were gathered (and the scones were in the oven), she worked pretty quickly, taking occasional measurements of my face with a ruler. When she was done she had produced what I like to call:

Portrait of the Artist's Mother as a Young Man

Maybe I should have taken the ponytail out before posing. It's a good thing I took a picture of it, because she immediately set about mixing her (primary colored) poster paints to achieve the flesh tones she wanted and before long we had:

Picture of the Artist's Mother as Dorian Gray

We have agreed that it will look considerably more like me once she paints the hair which, I was surprised to discover, she considers the hardest part.

She also produced this fleeting masterpiece, which was then covered with another piece of paper, squished and peeled before being pronounced Done:

And two more lovely photos that you can now SEE, yaaaayyyy!!

Even though I've finally managed to upload the photos, I'm going to leave in the last bit down below here, because the part about Flickr is still true, and I think I may be using it more now that I've finally bothered to create an account.

Updated to add: But! I did finally get motivated to figure out what Flickr is all about. These five photos can be seen there by Lisa and Anita, who already have Flickr accounts, and who I have added as contacts.

Flickr is huge and, apparently, everyone in the world except me (and, maybe, you) uses it and can browse through other peoples' pictures based on tags like "kids" or "painting." I figured it was a little too public for the photos of the girls, so if you aren't Lisa or Anita you won't be able to see the pictures of them. But their artwork is marked as public and you should be able to see it by (if I did this right) clicking here. If I didn't do it right, go to Flickr and search for "Jennifr Tuckr" (Or, for some lovely landscape photography, search for "Jennifer Tucker," who isn't me.)

Be warned that the pictures are all out of order, unless you can get into the "set" I managed to make of them. Good luck with that.

Two jokes I didn't get

In both cases, because I was too young to understand the full context.

From, I believe, Mad Magazine:

A fake advertisement touting some particular make or model as The Rolls Royce of Cars.
That's it. Even after Dad (was it you?) explained the irony of this to me, I still thought it made sense. And in a way, I totally still do.

I think the second one was actually told to us (Lisa, you were there weren't you?) by Mom in the What's Happening to Me? days. I picture us sitting on a bench in a mall outside the store where we've just bought the book. I doubt that was the sole location of The Talk, but I have to admit it's what stuck in my mind.

So anyway, the joke:
A mother and father have decided that it's time to explain the Facts of Life to their son and daughter. After the mechanics of procreation have been explained, the boy looks down at himself, then over at his sister, then back at himself. Skeptical, he turns to his parents and demands, "you mean to say you did that TWICE??"
My reaction at the time: Well, sure, they must have. Plus, the whole part about the kid looking at himself and then at his sister? Really really really makes it sound like the whole family is sitting there naked.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bear with me here, I'm talking shop.

Well I know it's been a while. I just updated two recent posts to add new photos. Scroll down, or click here and here.

In my (partial) defense, I will note that I tried to add these pictures days ago, but Blogger was having one of its semi-regular spasms and wouldn't let me upload them. In Blogger's (partial) defense, I'll add that I tried to do it again a couple of days later and the system was working fine, but I had deleted the blog-sized copies of the photos and had to re-export them from the large file generated by the camera, and didn't bother to do it right then.

But enough about that, let me tell you about my latest get-rich-slow scheme. First it was the hand-dyed fabrics. But not any more. I've decided that selling them locally isn't going to be the way to go, because A) It turns out that the person who used to dye fabric and sell it at the quilt shop has not stopped doing so (I thought she had) and, B) The local market really won't pay what I would want to make. I can still sell them to people who come to the retreat, but you can't build an economy around that.

Once I realized that the fabrics weren't my final product, I decided that the way to go would be to use the hand-dyed fabrics to make quilts myself, then sell them. Everybody seemed to like the wedding quilt I made for my friends. Maybe people would pay for something like that. Hand-dyed fabric increases the value of a quilt but, when I dye it myself, it actually decreases my cost. So I've been chewing on that idea for a while now.

Then I picked up a random handfull of quilt magazines from my very large supply of back issues and one of the first things I saw was this article about printing on fabric. We all know you can print on fabric and, fortunately, the science of doing so has progressed immeasurably since Lisa and I used photo transfer paper for The Quilt That Started It All. Now you can pre-treat your fabric with this lovely chemical, let it dry, print your picture, wash the chemicals out, and there you have it. No plastic, no cracking. Marvellous stuff.

And Rita and I even have a bottle of this lovely chemical (is "lovely" the word I want here? The stuff is actually 0.001% formaldehyde...) because we're going to use it to print quilt labels with our logo on them. Plus Alex just sent me a lovely (definitely the right word) digital camera. And a new color printer.

With all that stuff already available to me, I just happened to pick up the one magazine from my collection that not only talks about the technique--no news to me--but also shows a whole new use for it. Not printing family portraits for memory quilts, no no. Printing pictures of plants and flowers, cutting them out, and appliquéing them down instead of cutting, say, flower petal shapes out of plain pink fabric. Did I mention I also happen to have this great picture of an orchid from when Dad and I went to Lankester gardens? And a good digital camera? And access to all the tropical foliage I can photograph?

The thing about selling quilts--or any product, really-- is, you have to give the people what they want. And if there is one thing I know for sure, it is this: most of the people who come to Costa Rica are here for the pretty.

Here's the test block I made today - it's 9" square. Of course there's any number of ways to go with this. To start off, I'm picturing four (or maybe nine) of these made with different flowers and different colors, made up into a wall hanging.

Technical notes: The flower is appliquéd in six pieces - the five petals and the central area. I printed four copies of the photo on one sheet of fabric, and ended up using three of them. I cut the three back petals from one copy, the two front petals from another, and the central area from a third. I moved the back petals just the tiniest bit closer together than they really were so that when I put the front petals on top, they would cover the edges of themselves on the pieces below. Got that?

Here's the original photo:

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Let's not do the math

Things I am not happy about today:

1. Pee on the bathroom floor (big potty + small bodies = the occasional miss)

But hey! No pee on my bed, right? Well...

2. Cat-yakked furball on my bedroom floor AND bed (well, okay, on the sweater that was on the bed)

But hey! Bodily fluids happen. At least I had a productive day...I did my taxes ahead of time for the first time in my life! Which leads us to...

3. Looks like we owe over $1300 in Federal income tax alone (due to insufficient withholding)...I haven't even started State yet, and historically that's been higher. Plus, of course, we've never made an estimated tax payment in our lives (never having needed to before), so there's a penalty for underpayment which I don't even know how much that will be.
Things I am happy about today:
A great new word:

Robin: Are you playing cards because you're waiting for something [to upload or download] or are you just playing cards to play cards?
Me: I'm playing cards to take a break from something I was doing that didn't come out the way I wanted it to. Why?
Robin: Because I'm waitful for when I can have a chance to make the checkerboard I told you about.
Happy/Not Happy Quotient:
Childhood moments like that are supposed to be priceless, but I'm not going to lie to you. I'd be perfectly willing to let this one go for, oh, say, $1300.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My favorite street sign

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's anybody's guess

Every day this week, there has been a family of chickens hanging out at a particular corner three blocks from the girls' school. And every day, as I approach the corner, one or more of the chickens has run across the road, right in front of the car. Why? Why would they do that? Why?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The splitter splatter of little feet

So we had a quilt guild meeting last night.

The creation of committees--including a refreshment committee--was on the agenda, but the board members were supposed to bring something for this meeting.

Last month, before the board was created, I had been at the initial planning meeting and had volunteered to bring some cookies to that meeting as well. That time, I forgot until the last minute and picked something up at the grocery store, then misjudged rush hour and arrived after the refreshments had already been consumed.

This month I planned to redeem myself by bringing something homemade. I had a busy but relaxed day yesterday, getting the treasury report up to date and fiddling around with the membership list. I made a lovely refreshment that the recipe calls "blondies" (as opposed to brownies, you know), which are essentially a chocolate chip bar cookie.

They looked done before the time was up, but I left them in and they didn't burn or anything, so that was good. I poked them with a knife when I took them out and they seemed okay inside - maybe a little soft, but I decided that was just because they were still hot.

So I left the pan on a wire rack (thanks Dad! If I hadn't had that, I'd have left the pan on top of the stove...) to cool while I got the last of my things together. When I went back downstairs and looked in the pan, there were these random depressions in the surface, as if it had not, in fact, been fully cooked, and had fallen a bit, but only in certain spots.

Then it occurred to me that these certain spots were all of a certain size and a certain shape, and that's when I realized that my freaking cat had walked across the pan, leaving footprints in the still-hot cookie stuff. Of course I immediately went into salvage mode...Is there time to make more? (Nope) How bad is it? Can it be fixed? Has this thing really come to pass?

It's true that the cat has taken to walking across the counters because, even though she always always ALWAYS has fresh water in her own private spot by her food, she never never NEVER drinks there, so she is forced (by circumstances, don't you see?) to seek her liquid sustenance elsewhere. Like mainly in the kitchen sink. My grand plan to thwart her evil machinations has been to keep the dishes always washed and the sink dried out with a cloth so she'll learn not to bother. (What are you laughing at? I COULD wash my dishes as soon as they're used.)

I examined the dessert closely and didn't find any actual SIGN of the cat, other than, you know, the footprints. Maybe it was my imagination. She had been lying on the stairs all afternoon. Maybe she was still there. Maybe I made this all up. But no, there she was, lying on the couch. Still. The stuff was hot. Don't animals have instincts? Wouldn't she have gone around? I went over and checked her feet. No crumbs. I actually got down and smelled her feet.

They smelled like cat litter. The dessert stayed home.

Updated - Because I know how much you care:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Approaching the legal limit for cute kids in one post

And none of them are even mine...

Alex's aunt, Mercedes, has three kids who, among them, have seven young children. The youngest of these turned three today and I took the opportunity to photograph all the cousins in this branch of the family.

Friday, March 03, 2006

"Our commitment to the public remains in effect"

Now me, I'm ready to take this relationship to the next level. I've got my 30 bucks a month clutched, creased and sweaty, in my hand, ready to throw it at anyone, ANYONE who can bring dedicated Internet service of any kind into my home. Cable? DSL? WIFI? I don't care what they call it or how they do it, I just know it's time.

The country's only Internet service provider, while it proclaims commitment (on the page, by the way, that lists which telephone prefixes have a hope in hell of getting DSL service) really doesn't seem to understand me at all. I have needs, and if this (state-owned) telephone company isn't able to fulfill them...well, I just may have to look elsewhere. Oh, wait. That's right, there is nowhere else.

But! Strides have been taken! Just this week, they've started playing ads on the radio! All techno-bass boompa-boompa modern. They want me to be assured that they know Costa Rica's future is linked to the speed of its telecommunications. They are RACSA. They are fast by nature.

Whew, and I was worried, sitting here with dialup that, just this week, has slowed down to a crawl that has my searches timing out before the results come up. Hey! They're fast by nature! That can't be bad. And their commitment to the public "remains in effect." Well, color me relieved.

Update: Hmmm....

Supar job

She would like it to be known that she ran out of S magnets, so the Z at the end is really an S. Although I think the Z is cooler anyway. The lack of an S also led her to ask if any other letter combination made the "sh" sound, to which I replied that some words have a TI instead. Other than that, it's all her.

A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

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