By: sp34n119w , 21:04 GMT le 01 mai 2012

The Merry Month of May!

What makes May a month so merry? Well, probably the whole fertility thing. I mean, who isn't merry about activities surrounding fertility? Oh, Santorum, I guess, but, for most folks, it's all very merry!

Not surprisingly, the month of May may have been named for a Greek goddess of fertility, Maia. Or, not. She is worth reading about, in any case, as her name (and that of her son) has several important etymological descendants in modern English and European languages.

While the pfft of all knowledge is less than confident on the etymology, it does have a long list of May events and remembrances, including Mother's Day, Labor Day (in some places), VE day and, lest we forget, Towel Day.

Bogon has an entry with his thoughts on May Day and Beltane and I link those two wiki articles for WU's edification (also, sadly, in consideration of my own time limits). It really does have a lot of history and a broad significance in so many cultures. Follow the wiki links to learn all about it!

Inevitably …


LowerCal's excellent list of the season's SoCal weather terms:

May Gray, June Gloom, No-sky July, Fogust and Summer Bummer.


Sensuous Swirls:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

Copious Clouds :

Recrudescent Rain:

Make May Merry!!!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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59. LowerCal
20:46 GMT le 01 juin 2012
A welder's mask is fine if it is #14 and made of glass. Rule of thumb I just learned today - if you can see anything other that the sun through it, it is not safe to look at the sun. So, if you look through and see trees or anything, even dimly or in silhouette, it isn't the right thing to use.

Good on ya for the caution about welder's glass. Here's another note on welder's glass from Perkins Observatory - Eclipse Viewing Safety
Be careful that you use the right kind of glass! Welder's glass is numbered from 1 to 14 with 14 being the darkest. It is only number 14 glass that is dark enough for solar viewing! And NO STACKING! A pair of number 7's or a 10 and a 4 together DO NOT have the same protection as a single piece of number 14 ....

The law of supply and demand is at work on eclipse shades. The local prices are now in the $2 to $5 range where they still have them. After the transit of Venus prices may fall and you could check Scope City in Simi Valley. The shades will still be good for seeing large sunspots.

An alternate way to obtain a 6 foot box is to use two 3 foot boxes, a box cutter and your favorite engineering technology, duct tape. ;^) Technical info including the optical formula can be found in this two-page document.
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58. sp34n119w
07:04 GMT le 01 juin 2012
Ylee - aliens, elves, the voices in my head ... it's a never-ending cacophony of demands ;)

A welder's mask is fine if it is #14 and made of glass. Rule of thumb I just learned today - if you can see anything other that the sun through it, it is not safe to look at the sun. So, if you look through and see trees or anything, even dimly or in silhouette, it isn't the right thing to use.
Here's S&T's suggestions for viewing the sun.

gg - British humor is an acquired taste and I acquired it at an early age, lol

LC - I do need a new sofa ... but don't think I have time to choose, transport, and assemble a sofa and manufacture a pinhole projector thingy before the transit!
I did see Karen's cool photos, of course, and they do help.

Yeah, those filters are beyond my means for such a thing. I don't live in the big city like you do :) and don't have a local shop that will definitely have even those glasses. There's only one camera shop within 30 miles or so and they don't sell telescopes or anything like that.
I checked and it seems that neither of the astronomy clubs that I consider "local" are publicly meeting for the transit. I'll think of something ... or watch it online!
Oh! I was thinking of trying to use the Galileoscope to project an image. Gotta think on it - may be more trouble than it's worth and I don't want to damage it.

Saw the movie, Hunger Games, on Monday. It wasn't great but there is something about the story that keeps it interesting. I kept thinking "I should be bored by this ..." but felt the same way about the books - and kept reading, LOL

BC - you made it sound interesting, for sure, so I clicked. It definitely has my attention based on a quick scan and I will go back. Thanks!


Weather has been too fine for words so I haven't bothered with any.

I am way behind in reading my wufriend's blogs even as a lurker :( Except LC's because, you know, space dragons!!!! LOL

Working on a June entry for tomorrow sometime ... we'll see if I can finish it up before the end of the First. Need words for the graphics, lol

Happy Friday :)
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57. BriarCraft
23:19 GMT le 31 mai 2012
While reading a recent Rolling Stone (I buy it for the news analysis articles, not the music info, can you believe it?!) I learned about Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog. It's not about editorial opinion, but rather about statistical analysis of some interesting topics. Here's a quote from the blog, describing that Silver is doing.

"FiveThirtyEight's mission is to help New York Times readers cut through the clutter of this data-rich world. The blog is devoted to rigorous analysis of politics, polling, public affairs, sports, science and culture, largely through statistical means. In addition, FiveThirtyEight provides forecasts of upcoming presidential, Congressional, and gubernatorial elections through the use of its proprietary prediction models."

Thought it might be of interest to you and the inquiring minds lurking around your blog.
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56. LowerCal
02:01 GMT le 31 mai 2012
wow, that was quick! :) Thanks!

You're welcome.

Someone at the event in Goleta showed up with a very long (like 6 feet) box with foil on one end - he was having some trouble aiming it properly and I didn't stick around to see the results. Um, if the projection screen is inside the box, how do you see it?

Also, where do I find a six-foot long box? LOL

Buy a sofa from IKEA. :^)

I made a pinhole thingy using a business card, a ballpoint pen, and a sheet of paper for the projection - not at all sharp but not bad. My other favorites from the club were the two projections using cameras and 'scopes onto screens - got the enlargement without having to squint through an eyepiece. Problem there was that the Earth kept turning!

The apparent size of the Venus is much smaller than the Moon...

Photo credit: Jan Herold

... so for the transit of Venus I think projection/magnification will give a more impressive image. A local astronomy club, observatory, planetarium, science museum, etc. would be possible places to find that option.

I'd forgotten that KEYT news was there and they were talking to the guy who said (not on camera - I overheard him elsewhere) he used a filter meant for telescopes in his shoebox ... so I checked this morning and there is video of him and his box and a photo of it, too. It really gave a great view of the sun and folks were using cameras to zoom through that filter. I wonder if it is prohibitively expensive.
Alas, I did not make it into any video or photos ;)

It looks like he did use a filter for telescopes and just used a shoebox as a holder and to shade the person viewing. That type of filter is not inexpensive. Link I used a pair of eclipse shades...

... that cost me $1 at my local camera & telescope store.

Map credit: Fred Espenak, NASAs GSFC

The transit of Venus will be visible on June 5 until sunset for the 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii will be able to observe the entire transit. Starting west of the International Date Line (IDL) the transit will be visible on June 6. Farther west the transit will be in progress at sunrise.

You can find timetables for major cities at 2012 Transit of Venus - Cities.

Are you enjoying the books? I caved and read all three of the Hunger Games books a short while ago. It's hard to resist something that got so big and popular, lol
In fact, I have sitting next to me The Golden Compass, which I have resisted all these years ... I hope I like it.

I am enjoying the Hunger Games trilogy. It's not "great literature" but plot turns and suspense keep pulling me along.
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55. GardenGrrl
15:04 GMT le 29 mai 2012
Who says the Brits don't have a sense of humor or fashion sense. Vogue aluminum foil sounds to be a delightful shimmer of evening wear.
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54. Ylee
19:19 GMT le 28 mai 2012
"Waiting to be told when and where and how to do what next."

By who? Aliens? ;-)

We'll see about the transit; I work 7AM-7PM that day, which gives me, accounting fo travel time home, about 10 minutes to catch it before the sun sets below the trees.

Could borrow a welder's helmet from maintenance, if I have time to use it!

Have a good one!
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53. sp34n119w
19:03 GMT le 28 mai 2012
It's true, Ylee. When I talk or write too much and get worded out I turn to books for a refill. It does take me away from wu, among other things.

The Venus transit will last many hours - I don't have a link handy but maybe LowerCal has one in his blog - so you have no excuse not to see it ... excepting if you have no eye protection! Do not look at the sun X-(
Yesterday's apod was of another transit - Mercury!
Today's apod is a very cool eclipse pic.

I had fun in Ventura, thanks. Did not bother with the beach. Maybe today.


Anyone with too much time on their hands and in need of a laugh might like to check out these reviews on Amazon. I feel better knowing that at least some humans will survive the alien attack.


Don't feel I can concentrate on thoughtful comments so I'm just killing time ... waiting to be told when and where and how to do what next. Typical day "off" ;)
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52. Ylee
19:25 GMT le 26 mai 2012
Happy Towel Day? Ford Prefect would be proud! :)

No wonder you disappeared! You've been busy reading!

I'm assuming the Venus transit is near sunset, right? I may have a chance to see it after I get off work that evening at 7!

Hope you have fun in Ventura!
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51. sp34n119w
18:04 GMT le 26 mai 2012
LC - wow, that was quick! :) Thanks!
Someone at the event in Goleta showed up with a very long (like 6 feet) box with foil on one end - he was having some trouble aiming it properly and I didn't stick around to see the results. Um, if the projection screen is inside the box, how do you see it? Also, where do I find a six-foot long box? LOL
I made a pinhole thingy using a business card, a ballpoint pen, and a sheet of paper for the projection - not at all sharp but not bad. My other favorites from the club were the two projections using cameras and 'scopes onto screens - got the enlargement without having to squint through an eyepiece. Problem there was that the Earth kept turning!
I'd forgotten that KEYT news was there and they were talking to the guy who said (not on camera - I overheard him elsewhere) he used a filter meant for telescopes in his shoebox ... so I checked this morning and there is video of him and his box and a photo of it, too. It really gave a great view of the sun and folks were using cameras to zoom through that filter. I wonder if it is prohibitively expensive.
Alas, I did not make it into any video or photos ;)

Are you enjoying the books? I caved and read all three of the Hunger Games books a short while ago. It's hard to resist something that got so big and popular, lol
In fact, I have sitting next to me The Golden Compass, which I have resisted all these years ... I hope I like it.

calpoppy - I was thinking you'd be able to see that cloud - on satellite it was huge!

Yeah, the wind ... again. I mean, I know it's always windy in certain places but it seems like it has been excessive more often than usual. I was in Ventura late yesterday afternoon and wished I had my video camera. The wind was whipping like crazy - much worse than here in SP and really bad even for there - on video it would have looked like a tropical storm with the palm trees and such.
Well, I'm going to Ventura later today and don't know what the wind will be like but will take the camera, just in case, and might try for the beach as there is a coastal flood warning. It's cold there, though, so I might not, LOL

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50. calpoppy
03:13 GMT le 26 mai 2012
That very long lenticular cloud was just to the north of me at work. Caused a lot of comments amongst my customers. The wind was terrible at work, wreaked havoc on my trees and shrubs :(

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49. LowerCal
00:30 GMT le 26 mai 2012
sp, I knew you were one of few who could give me any competition but calpoppy actually beat me with a 9.22.

The telescope filter only makes sense if you're looking through the filter and using the box to shade your head and eyes.

For projecting an image cut a square out of one end of a box and tape foil over it. A pinhole through foil will have nice clean edges and project a sharper image. Tape some white paper on the inside of the other end of the box as your projection screen. A longer box gives a bigger image. You can test the sharpness of the image by examining sunspots until the date of the Venus transit, June 5/6 (June 5 for the Americas).

In book news - I'm 43% of the way through the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy, lol. ;^)
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48. sp34n119w
21:49 GMT le 25 mai 2012
Aack! My blog is infested with LIBRULS!!1!11!!
heehee :)

See, that's part of what's sad about looking back at that 2008 blog – people were still talking to each other then - hanging out in each others blogs and arguing but communicating. It was nice and I learned a lot. Ah, well. No doubt my own fault.

Thanks to all who have posted while I've been off wandering - calpoppy, Karen, gg, Bogon, LowerCal, Ylee, Briarcraft - it's great when I can pop in here and find friends have been hanging out :)
Since so much time has passed I think I'll skip responding to everyone here and instead try to get to your blogs.


gg - oh, gosh, that video is hilarious. And your bumper sticker is great – you could get that made up at one of those online stores, I'm sure!

LC - Thanks for the info and links! We've got some interesting challenges in Cali this election.
Also, you got me beat - I'm at 8.75 :)

Ylee - You fit right in!
Yeah, some of us knew that Obama was heading up there with the other guys way back before the last presidential election. Some folks, on the other hand, still thinks he's a Progressive, despite the evidence. Odd, isn't it?

BC - “Do as I say … “ was my grandfather's favorite saying. My mother still cringes every time she hears it, LOL
You're right about needing Congress to get anything done. As voters we need to consider national issues, as well as local issues, when voting for our national representatives.


Hey, did anyone notice the persistent cloud on satellite all day Wednesday? The weather guys did! This is from yesterday morning's (3/24/12) discussion:

“By the way...some of you probably noticed a standing lenticular cloud
(looks like a flying saucer) parked over the Mojave Desert through
the entire day yesterday. This was a good detector that strong
northwest winds aloft were blowing as it formed on the leeward side
of the tehachapee mountains. It actually formed Tuesday night and
finally dissolved around 1 am this morning. It lasted an unusually
long time. Its no coincidence that strong winds were occurring
across the region while this cloud appeared.”

Two wuphotogs snapped pics but each used a different location. If you look at the wunderphotos layer on the wundermap for 3/23 you will see one to the northeast (mojavedesertrat's, I think) and another to the southwest of the actual cloud. Wish I'd thought to get a screencap of the visible satellite.

There have been an unusual number of small earthquakes up and down CA the last several days. I felt two of the four that were nearby. After that rash of big eq's south down the coastal faults … spooky.
That lenticular cloud mentioned above was pretty much right on top of an area hit with a 3.6 mag eq. on Monday.
These things happen, of course.


Happy Towel Day!
Hope you all remembered to carry your towel today … and every day! ;)

It is also Glorious Revolution Day, for Discworld fans!
"Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!"
I don't actually remember this from the books but haven't read them all yet.

Speaking of books ...
Over at Whatever, a Big Idea entry from Kim Stanley Robinson about his new novel, 2312. I will read that book.
Whilst investigating that one, I found out that David Brin has a new novel, Existence. This one is squee-inducing. I found Brin through a recommendation by a clerk at Waldenbooks decades ago (yes, decades) and, while I don't think he's the bestest writer ever, I never miss a novel. I am very happy :) While we're talking about him … Brin has a fun article in Science 2.0 today - From Towel Day To SpaceX And Transparency Grenades.
Of course, Scalzi has Redshirts out, which I suppose I must read before I run across too many spoilers.

Just finished reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which I bought a few years ago on a whim (honestly don't know why I picked it up) and without realizing that it was an international best seller (over 7 million copies? That's insane!). Now I have read it and highly recommend it. Major magic in those pages and I expect it will stick with me for a very long time.

That may be enough bookishness for right now ;)
Anyway, I'm kind of worded out, which is one reason I haven't been around here.
I didn't even tell you about my eclipse experience! I went to Goleta because the Santa Barbara astronomy club was there and they are really nice people. I saw it through a nifty shoebox (among other devices) that I would like to make – ideally before the Venus transit, but, we'll see. I think he said he was using a telescope filter affixed to the box. Does that make sense, LC? (See how I trust that LC will eventually find this question buried here? That's wufriendship, that is ;) )
I got a picture of shadow crescents and that's about it. I also got some pics of a walk to the cliffs but they haven't been dealt with, yet, and may never make it to wu, lol


Ah, Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend … the possibilities seem endless, don't they?
Unless you've already made plans, of course ;)

Have a great weekend!
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47. calpoppy
19:52 GMT le 22 mai 2012
Here is my political compass graph, and I like that bumper sticker too, GG!

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46. LowerCal
03:11 GMT le 22 mai 2012
I like the bumper sticker too. Maybe you could add in small type across the bottom

(and he didn't even make us look at him in an overly tight flight suit.)
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45. BriarCraft
22:57 GMT le 21 mai 2012
"look who's telling who not to over-do it!"

Ever hear of "Do as I say, not as I do."? }-]

Hmmmm.... Looks like I'm the farthest left of anyone showing test results so far. I'm surprised, based on comments I've seen here in the past.

As with many political polls, I suppose this has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4% as I, too, had trouble deciding if I strongly agree/disagree or just average agree/disagree on several questions. When in doubt, I didn't go with "strongly". I figure if I had to think about it, it wasn't all that strong.

I think this is a much better political test than the world's smallest political quiz found at, which just says I'm a left liberal. I much prefer being called a liberal libertarian. Thanks for sharing this one!

GG: Another way to get the country (or at least Congress) to go forward a bit is to get back a Democratic majority in both houses. And I like your bumper sticker idea. Good 'un!
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44. LowerCal
19:15 GMT le 21 mai 2012
Not so random and refreshingly NSFW...

Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&%u2019s Sake! - The Daily Beast
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43. GardenGrrl
18:26 GMT le 21 mai 2012
Has anyone heard Romenys new campaign song. It's called "Lazy Harp Seal"

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42. GardenGrrl
18:21 GMT le 21 mai 2012
Not surprised that Obama and Romney are so close. I was almost leaning towards voting for Romney this year. The reason being is that so many of his policies, including healthcare practically mirrored Obamas.

I figured the Republicans that would rather let our Country go to heck in a hand-basket than vote for "Democratic" solutions, would have to vote for the same solution under Romney.

Basically it was a decision based on getting the Country to go forward a bit. Now that I am learning about Romneys character, forget it. We already had unscrupulous bullies in office and to make money for their buddies, illegally invaded another country. I'm guessing years from now historians will call the Iraqi war one of the greatest tactical blunders in modern history.

I'm thinking of having bumper stickers made up in a language that they understand here in the South.

Obama Got Osama
Mission Accomplished

Anyone interested?
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41. Ylee
21:16 GMT le 19 mai 2012
I had to go upstairs to do this test, it intrigued me so!

A relative Maggie Thatcher to you guys, but a lot closer to the Dalai Lama than Obama! :)

I'm surprised that Obama is so close to the GOP candidates; I think of the Who's song Don't Get Fooled Again "Come Meet the new Boss, same as the Old Boss". ;-)

Hope you're having a good weekend!
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40. LowerCal
01:08 GMT le 19 mai 2012
Some who know me have had to listen to me gnashing my teeth for the last few years about the lack of a credible and palatable alternative to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Studying my NPP (No Party Preference) sample ballot today I struck gold in the form of Democratic Consumer Rights Attorney Mike Strimling. Just to start with take a look at their respective candidate statements and share your opinion (anyone) if you care to - U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE STATEMENTS.

California's new "Top Two Primary" system may require a little explanation for some. Every California voter can vote for any candidate for any office except President [and the party's central committee] regardless of party preference (voter's or candidate's). The "Top Two" candidates, regardless of party preference, move on to the General Election. NPP voters like me use an NPP ballot or can request a particular party['s crossover] ballot if that party has decided to allow it.

[Modifications in brackets.]
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39. LowerCal
01:03 GMT le 19 mai 2012
Me in 2008

Me in 2012

... pretty much sitting with the Dalai Lama now but just a little more libertarian. Maybe I'll be the Dalai Lama in my next life... no, wait, he'll be Dalai Lama in his next life too. (J/K, sp.)

I've shifted significantly from 2008. In 2008 I was already one of the most radical (furthest from the center) of anyone willing to publish their chart/score so I'd probably beat all of them this year.

I didn't have to agonize over "agree" or "disagree" in this year's questions like I did in 2008. I did mull over "Strongly" or not on some questions.

(BTW using the Pythagorean Theorem I compute my "radical" score as 8.94. Can anyone beat that? LOL)
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38. Bogon
03:06 GMT le 16 mai 2012
GG, it's because you changed your avatar. :o)
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37. GardenGrrl
02:48 GMT le 16 mai 2012
The chart looks different this year. Last time I was a socially liberal borderline fascist and this year I'm Nelson Mandela. Hmmmmm.
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36. SBKaren
01:49 GMT le 16 mai 2012
The party was fine but a bit too windy. I dare say that the weather has been pretty fantastic. I have probably jinxed us now and Mr. Eddy will make his re-appearance. Notice I say he is a he. A she would never do this to us! Our dispositions are too bright! LOL
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35. calpoppy
20:22 GMT le 15 mai 2012
I took the test while waiting for the ciabatta to rise. Holy Dalai Lama, he and I are very close. I am a little to the left of Mandela and the good Dalai Lama.

Peace to all!!!!

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34. sp34n119w
19:53 GMT le 15 mai 2012
Lovely sunny day here :)

gg - LOL at your new avatar! Too funny - and I saw the explanation in your blog along with the pics of Syd the camera killer :)

No doubt those folks can and do help sometimes. Any time you get a group of people together to work towards a common goal good things can happen! Bad things, too, but, you know. It's about the goal and the leadership, not the organization.

calpoppy - oh, bummer about the computer! How do you have 3 monitors in your tiny place? Are they on the ceiling?!?! LOL

My arm hurt for over a week, too, when I got that shot. Also it was all crinkly sounding. Weird! I think there was air trapped under the skin (ew!).

Nice that you've got a nice day - I know you'll take advantage of it!

Bogon - yeah there were some questions I'd have liked to have a "neutral" option but, I guess, that would defeat the purpose.
Thanks for playing and sharing your thoughts on the test!

I was looking back at the blog where I originally posted that test - it was in my blog of June 9, 2008, titled "Disappointed?" - and thinking it would be fun to make up a crowd chart of those results and a new one for this year, if folks want to share. Problem is, a couple of people from then are permabanned (so I don't have their results) and some results ended up on other people's blogs (and I'm not searching through all of them!). Even a handful would be interesting, though.

The test shows me to be more extreme now than I was then. Not surprised by that, LOL


There is some sadness in looking back through old blogs :(


I am so behind schedule today it ain't even funny. Well, someone might be laughing, but, not me!

Have a great day, WU!

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33. Bogon
17:58 GMT le 15 mai 2012
I took the political compass test. My dot ended up in the vicinity of Gandhi and Mandela, which I figure is pretty good company.

I had issues with some of the "questions". The only options are Agree/Disagree. Sometimes I found myself sitting on the fence wishing for "Don't know" or "Don't care". Sometimes I could see different ways to interpret the language, such that my answer might have changed depending on how you read it. There were times when I clicked "Disagree" just because I didn't like the tone of the statement. Rephrase it or qualify it, and it might sound okay.

The FAQ attempts to explain some of the reasoning behind the test. There was one item that specifically addressed one of my problematic questions; after reading it I was no better off. Taking the test without reading the introduction seems to be as good a way to proceed as any.
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32. calpoppy
17:55 GMT le 15 mai 2012
I got my shot last August. My arm hurt for a week! But I think that was from the tetnus part.

It is really cool here, I mean cool like in not hot, LOL! It surprised me, I guess I wasn't following along with the weather like I should be.

Computer problems arise again, as now we can't get the computer to acknowledge the third monitor, back to tech support this time a different company! Mr. P isn't a gamer well maybe he is, he is involved in the stock market! LOL!
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31. GardenGrrl
16:26 GMT le 15 mai 2012
Some of the those church people mean well and actually do help (re Stockton). Then again others always have us thinking the end is near.

I did not know how near until my "new" avatar showed up.
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30. sp34n119w
22:16 GMT le 14 mai 2012

Ylee - I can't take either antihistamines or decongestants - they make me crazy - so stick with fluids and ache/fever-killers. I wonder if everyone pays attention to how they feel and how long a cold lasts on various OTC meds.

Also, that's not a book. This comment, like most of mine, will be a book, LOL!

BC - look who's telling who not to over-do it! ;)
How'd that nifty clipper work out?

WTS - the nice thing about a deep cough that lasts awhile is that it really trims up the waistline! Hey, what can I say? I'm a bright-sider by nature :)

That is an amazing bloom on your willow! Great capture of the colors and it reminds me of a tie-dye shirt I have, lol. Your pic is now on my HD for screensaver rotation!
I wonder if I could grow one of those in a pot ... they take a long while to get really big, don't they? Hmmm...

calpoppy - Hurray for a working computer! Man, that's a pain in the neck having to deal with customer service on a brand new machine >:(
I spoke with a very professional Indian woman about a problem with my internet connection a few months ago ... she was very through and fixed the problem but didn't tell me what was wrong. She hung up on me!


Couple of things to drop by -

Washington State has a large outbreak of Whooping Cough (Pertussis), following the year-to-year trend across the country. Read about why - it isn't just a matter of the anti-vax whackos.
Get your TDaP shot, pronto.


I may have linked this before but re-read it this morning. This subject is in the news more and more -
The Bizarre Calculus of Emergency Room Charges
- and has relevance to all medical charges, not just ERs.


In Stockton, CA, some churches have found the solution to all of society's ills. That brief article has a line which perfectly summarizes why it is so difficult to effect real change in this country.


It's a big election year. Some might remember that, in 2008, many of us took the political compass test and found it valuable. It's still around and I took it again this morning. Really fun and quick to do.
I'm linking to the test page where it says to read the homepage first but ... I remember back then that the recommendation was to take the test first so that you won't be influenced by the introductory info. Do as you like, of course, but I wanted to make it easy for you to go straight to the test, if you want.

Post your graph or your numbers here if you want to - we had fun last time even with just a relative few folks participating.

I saved a copy of my graph along with a copy of the "Crowd Chart" which compares my position with this year's crop or presidential candidates. No wonder I'm even less thrilled than usual this time around, LOL


Oh, yeah - weather is fine :)

Crazy about those invests so early, isn't it? I didn't think EPac would get such an early start, anyway. Perhaps there will be spinners to watch this summer ... hopefully just churning up the sea.

Happy Monday :)
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29. calpoppy
19:12 GMT le 14 mai 2012
A report on the Dell computer. It is fixed!! It was a problem between the wireless card and the ethernet card. So the ethernet card was disabled and now it hooks up to the internet. The are supposed to fix the problem with some software, but we are not holding our breath. Their customer service really sucks. On our old Dell they were great when Mr. Poppy wanted to set up a raid system. But they were at that time still here in the US now they have outsourced their tech staff to India. Not that these people were not good at what they do, it's just you could not get a hold of the same person and they would never call back. So you had to start the process over and over and over again and do try the same things over and over again.

We thought after all of this we would hate this computer but it is really quite fast and we do like windows 7.

I hope that cough is finally getting better, take care and have a good work week!!!
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28. WatchinTheSky
15:49 GMT le 13 mai 2012
Hope your cough does not last as long as my last did, sheesh! Have a good day.
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27. BriarCraft
19:05 GMT le 12 mai 2012
Glad to see you're just about over the creeping crud and feeling better. Sometimes that remaining cough can linger for the longest time. A typical cold lasts 7-10 days. The confusing part is that many flu bugs emulate a cold in terms of general symptoms, but they can be much more severe and long-lasting. Those you know that got over it quickly probably just had simple colds, while you've had a nastier virus variety.

Don't you go out and over do it and get a relapse. Be good to yourself, okay?

We've got some glorious weather in the as-good-as-it-gets category this weekend, so I'm going to try out my new long-handled grass clipper.
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
26. Ylee
15:03 GMT le 12 mai 2012
Over a lifetime of taking OTC cold meds, I've found that sometimes the best strategy is not to take anything with antihistamines in it. To me,(And I am by no means medically trained, just someone that's observed stuff over a period of years) all the crud that builds up in the sinus cavity is the result of your body doing what it's designed to do, which is fighting the germs that's causing the trouble. Taking antihistamines blocks this process, IMO. It seems whenever I take cold medicine, I feel better(drugged, lol) for a little while, but the cold seems to go on forever! Taking the tylenol/ibuprophen combo, plus a decongestant, seems to do well for me.

Having said all this, 8oz OJ, plus a good multivitamin or two a day, helps a lot in keeping me from getting a cold in the first place, IMO! :)

Good grief! I think I wrote a book, lol!
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25. sp34n119w
00:53 GMT le 12 mai 2012
Ylee - I had a funny response to you about Santorum days ago ... I don't know how that got left out of the appropriate comment and now I don't remember :(
Oh, well.
Thanks for the advice. I think you're right - tylenol helped more with the fever but ibuprofen helped more with the aches.

calpoppy - you should have bought a Systemax!
Hope Dell works with you with minimal hassles!
Glad you have knitting to keep you occupied :)

Bogon - ditto. Well, one option is to just keep bouncing around, trying new things, lol

gg - LOL The Daleks could do with some expectorating - they always sound like something is stuck in their throats.
I sincerely hope there is a link here to further cement your reputation at work ;)

Karen - happy to hear the USC trip went well! I was thinking of you and how you weren't looking forward to the drive downtown.
Must have been fun to watch your niece finish up such an accomplishment :) Do hope you get continued good weather for the party - but you'll have a good time, either way!
I agree with you and calpoppy - this is not the time for colds! Especially when I am the very last person to get it, and I avoided getting sick all winter! Not fair!!! lol


It's okay. It's been a lesson in humility. I was kinda rough on a few people that I thought were overstating their illness, because about half the people I know got over it quickly ... not me and, I now realize, not all those people I was mean to. Not mean, but, you know. Less than supportive. Ah, well.
It's all over but the cough, now.


Nothing fun to post today. Big working day and it ain't over, yet! That's okay, too :)
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24. SBKaren
00:33 GMT le 12 mai 2012
Well, we did see the moon and we did take the boys up to see it. I also did not notice that it was so much bigger, but, boy, was it bright!

Weather is on again, off again. Today was glorious. Went to our niece's graduation ceremony at USC and was actually pretty happy that it was overcast. Then the sun came out and it got hot. Thankfully that was about the time we went home. Sun was out here too! Yahoo.

Hope that keeps up tomorrow for her beach party.

Sorry you aren't feeling well. There's something just wrong about having a cold during spring or summer, they should be reserved for winter only!
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23. Ylee
17:00 GMT le 11 mai 2012
Glad you're feeling better! Maybe inspiration will find you today!
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22. sp34n119w
21:17 GMT le 10 mai 2012
Well, I began to write proper responses and to look into others' blogs for same ... not gonna happen :(

So - let's have art day!!!

Animal sculptures from woodchips!
Man, I can only dream of that level of OCD.

Chain link lace!
[click "English" (unless you prefer the Dutch); click "Projects"; then click on each item on the list - and don't miss clicking the thumbnails to the right for other views]

Feeling better - thank you so much for your well wishes!
Hope to be back tonight ... or tomorrow :)
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21. Ylee
05:27 GMT le 09 mai 2012
GG, just make one! Sounds easy enough! :)
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20. GardenGrrl
20:20 GMT le 08 mai 2012
Hey, I go back to work tomorrow and hopefully will have time to lurk through all your links, laugh out loud, make co-worker nervous while he surfs homes for sale.
Sometimes I do really liek my job.

Hope you get to feeling better. Haven't found a Dalek picture yet that says; EXPECTORATE! ;-D
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19. Bogon
18:19 GMT le 08 mai 2012
Re: xkcd

I still don't know what I'm going to do when I grow up.
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18. calpoppy
16:55 GMT le 08 mai 2012
I sure hope you feel better!!!!! Spring colds are just not supposed to be!

I explained my knitting progress on my new blog.

We are having a world of problems with our new Dell computer. It will not connect to the internet!! We have 3 other computer devices and they all connect just fine. For two week Mr. P has had to deal with Dell's tech staff. I think he about ready to blow!!! Now finally we are in contact with the highest division of the tech department (whatever that is) and it seems (hopefully) that the problem will either by solved or they will take the thing back. No joy in Mudville today :((
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17. Ylee
08:16 GMT le 08 mai 2012
Sp, take care of yourself; plenty of fluids, rest, and alternating ibuprophen and acetaminophen every three hours!

Feel better soon!
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16. sp34n119w
20:14 GMT le 07 mai 2012
An xkcd for the kiddos thinking about college next year.
Also answers the "What happened to my career plans?" question for some adults, lol

Articles in the NYTimes that I read today:

TBN being looked at for tax fraud, or, "Tell me again why religious organizations don't pay taxes."

Krugman on recent developments in Europe

Online privacy, or lack thereof.
Gee, that's good to know, huh?
I did read through a privacy statement just yesterday at Code Year that sounds good. But, I never believe them, anyway, lol.


I'm just killing time. My fever is back, my brain is still scrambled, and I have stuff to do later so need to conserve energy. Reading is easier than writing, lol

Going out into the sun now in hopes it burns off the fever. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that hot out there, but, it is nice.

Hope wu'all's day is nice, too :)

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15. sp34n119w
23:03 GMT le 06 mai 2012

Sometimes I wish that I led a life that could justifiably use Peer Gynt as the soundtrack.


So many Hulks, so little time. LOL funny if you know who the Hulk is and read the #s.


Happy Belated Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you.


Thanks to Bogon and mush for easing my mind about the blog weirdness. Glad they sorted it out!


Thanks to all for stopping by and keeping the blog spiffy while I've been mostly away from this computer :)


I've had the creeping crud all week. I'm tired of people shying away like I've got infectious Tuberculosis every time I cough. I mean, everyone else has had it, and that deep cough has become the background noise in all public spaces, so we should all be used to it. I suppose everyone else got the Tb response, as well.


gg – Weeeeee back atcha! That was fun :)
But do you have the docs' okay to pole dance? Not to mention spouse's? ;)

LC -
#3 – shhhhhh!!! They'll all come here if They know that! LOL
I learned about our amazing water source from a fireman who explained that they don't have to worry about running out of water when fighting fires. Good to know! That is an issue for some areas during fire season, as you know.
He also pointed out that if there were a tsunami or major earthquake or other disaster that disrupted services down there on the Oxnard plain, all those people would come here. Eek.

#4 – nice that some folks are noticing that. There is also an article in the May/June Utne Reader on the topic of truth. Repetition is the key.
Last week I ran into a friend/colleague at his mom's house and he said that he didn't even know if Obama is an American citizen. His mom and I (and another friend there) went over the facts and he accepted them, though mainly on the strength of his trust in the three of us. Here's the thing – I, personally, have had this discussion with him four times in the last four years. His mother tells me she's been over it with him many times. He always seems to accept the truth. Yet, he continually “forgets” what he learns in these conversations. Why? Well, he works in a shop that has AM talk radio blaring all day, every day, and they just keep repeating lie after lie and that's enough to undo reality.
Human brains aren't all that good at some things.

BC -
#5 – :) Many flowers, many sunshines since Friday.
I don't think we're at great risk of losing our water in that way, mainly because there are building/population limits in place (at the moment, anyway), so I don't expect a large increase in usage. Also, this river valley is near the mouth of a huge watershed.
Now, down on the Oxnard Plain they are destroying their groundwater. It's mainly for agriculture/industrial use, I think, and has not been well conserved until recently. Some years ago I read about salt water intrusion (from that ocean out there on the edge of the plain) becoming a very real threat to agriculture. I haven't followed those events, though, since I don't live down there anymore, lol

#12 – love the mashup :) Too funny and pretty well done, too. It was fun seeing so many seasons of Trek used in one video – the hairstyles of Worf, lol

Bogon -
#6 - "It's mythology; it doesn't have to make sense." That's the spirit!
To be fair to etymologists everywhere, it may be that May has a better historical record than that offered by the pfft but I was way too lazy to go looking for it.

#10 - I sure wish the WU developers would bring back the functionality of the classic wu blog list. For one thing, nuwuvu made it that much more difficult to figure out if something was wrong the other day. Before I switched browsers I was using wuclassic for blog reading and nuwuvu for weather in a separate tab. I guess I could still do that.

TTTNG? Pretty good :)

mush! - bunnies! Too cute and perfect symbols of Spring … and the quintessential symbol of fertility!

Karen – oh, yes. I know! Hope you've had a chance to recuperate a bit :)
The sun finally showed up here on Friday and the weekend has been glorious. Yesterday, even I did not need a sweatshirt, even being sick, even in Ventura. Wait, that might have been because I'm sick, now that I think on it. Well, anyway, the weather's been very nice.
The moon was beautiful last night, for sure. Can I tell that it's 14% larger than at apogee? Nope. Does it matter? Nope. :)


Okay, I'm sleepy now. I can't believe how long this stupid cold is hanging on and how much it is dragging me down. I actually wrote most of this comment on Friday night but couldn't stay focused. Tried to knit, instead … and knit the same four inches three times because of dumb mistakes.
Was going to complete and post this yesterday, but … decided to go to the bookstore. Bought a knitting book. May need an intervention soon. Don't worry – pretty sure some friends are on it.
Yep. Nap time for me.

Here – have some cool science-y thing to read: zombie ant fungus hyperparasite

and a dance with the troll princess -

Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. Bogon
07:58 GMT le 05 mai 2012
BriarCraft, I look forward to Tulip Trek, the Next Generation. 8o}
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13. SBKaren
01:49 GMT le 05 mai 2012
Hi sp - sorry I haven't been around in forever....well, you know.

May started out rather gray, but the sun has broken through the last few days. I can take it in the morning, as long as I get a bit of sunshine later on.

I just hope it stays back long enough for us to see the super moon tomorrow night. We'll have the boys for an over nighter, but it'll be too late to have them up to see it.

I like the words you have for our upcoming spring/summer weather. I'll have to write those down. Next weekend, on Friday, we're heading up to USC for our nieces graduation. Then on Saturday we're headed to the beach on the SB Naval Weapons Station for a graduation party. I warned her way back when she reserved it that she's taking her chances for beach weather in May. It could be iffy. She said it doesn't matter, we'll have fun anyway.....youth! But she's right!
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12. BriarCraft
23:29 GMT le 04 mai 2012
I stumbled on this today while looking for something else. And of course, I thought of you.

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11. unclemush
19:19 GMT le 04 mai 2012
Hi SP all the blogs were goofed up today!
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10. Bogon
19:07 GMT le 04 mai 2012
Maybe this means the Developers are working on the list. The old classic list still does more, and does it better, than NuWu.
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9. sp34n119w
17:47 GMT le 04 mai 2012
Having some weirdness with wu - blog list not updating properly - so am leaving a comment to see if that fixes it.
Either way, BBL, I think!

ETA: Well, it fixed my blog, which now says 9 comments where it did say 7 - not having noticed mush's cute bunnies - but almost everyone else's are still wrong. No time to fiddle with it - please let me know if this is a problem for others so that I can know where to look when I do have time. kthx
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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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