Wednesday, October 3, 2007

blog moving

As of today, 3 October 2007, I have moved my blog to a new address. It is now hosted by WordPress at

I have imported my entire blog into that one, so all posts and comments are still available there. Please change your bookmarks, etc.

Monday, October 1, 2007

some things that are going on

I made doughnuts the other day, both raised and cake kind. I watched Alton Brown making them on Good Eats the other day (the raised kind) and thought to myself, "That looks like fun -- and tasty to boot!" So I decided to make some. When I mentioned this to my dad, he told me that our former bishop's wife (not our bishop's former wife) makes good doughnuts, so I asked her if she had any pointers. She gave me her cake doughnut recipe, and I made a batch of those too. I had some trouble getting the oil to the right temperature at first, but with a little help from Mom, they turned out just fine. The only trouble was that, by the time they were finished cooking, Dad had started his fast for the next day, and Mom and I were almost late for watching the Relief Society broadcast. So they're now sitting here -- at least two dozen of them, still. In the meantime, Dad and Mom have both become sick, and I'm afraid I'm coming down with it too. :(

The other day I had a fabulous run. It was rather late, so it was already dark, but I had missed my best opportunity earlier in the day, thinking it was going to rain. It didn't at the time, and while I waited for it to, it actually snowed for some time. But that had cleared up and melted away by the time of the RS broadcast, so afterward I went out for my run. I've recently learned that it's a great help to me when I run in places I'm unfamiliar with. So that day I took a path I never have before, and it was simply amazing. On the other day, today's run (which also followed a new path) was awful. I didn't make it for my whole time, but I was so out of breath and so horribly sick to my stomach that I simply couldn't make it any further. I'm hoping that had something to do with my feeling sick.

My brother and sister-in-law are going on vacation this week, taking a cruise to the Bahamas. They've hired me to "nanny" their five kids while they're gone. I'm looking forward to the extra money and the nannying experience. I just hope I don't get them sick! (B isn't worried about it, so I'm still planning to do.)

I got a new assistant for my FHE calling, which is nice. It's a load off my shoulders, and it was especially convenient today, when I was able to call her up and ask her to take over the whole she-bang since I'm not feeling well. (She was already in charge of the lesson anyway, so it wasn't that huge a deal.) I do feel a little bad for her, though, since this is now the third calling she has!

books & reading
Mom and I have been reading James's "The Turn of the Screw," which is great preparation for Halloween season. We both are finding James's syntax rather challengning, though. Today I told Mom that I might have to start pulling sentences from James as examples of poor syntax in my composition classes, and have the students re-arrange the clauses into more understandable sentences. (Though I'm not sure yet whether I would want to tell my students that these examples are from an established author.)

I also picked up a book from the library on the life of Augustine, which I'm excited for. I've decided that I have to do some real, serious reading this week, and I figure that will help me with my planned quick-through of Augustine's major writings that I borrowed from one of the professors at BYU-Idaho. I also got about four Georgette Heyer books, in hopes that these would help Mom and me through our illness.

As he pretended to ignore me, I pretended to ignore him. (21 points)

The last quote was from the Leslie Howard version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, one of my favorite moments in that movie. The quote before that was from an episode of Futurama -- Man 1 was the Professor, Man 2 was Fry, and [name] was Bender. I just think that show's is hilarious!!

musical monday: commercials

One thing about indie music is that it's cheap. That means that lots of companies are willing to pay the cheaper prices to use indie music in their commercials. And -- though I hate to admit it -- I kind of enjoy hearing great new music that way. So today's post is about some of the great music I've gotten to know from commercials in the last year or so.

Ingrid Michaelson: The Way I Am This is being used currently in an Old Navy commercial ("If you are chilly, here, take my sweater"). I love Michaelson's vocals, with the light but commanding tone of her voice. Can't get enough of it.
  • visit Ingrid Michaelson's website, where you can watch a YouTube video of her performing "The Way I Am" on Carson Daly's show and read the lyrics to the song

Feist: 1234 This is the song being featured in the Apple commercial for the new iPod nano with video (and, according to Wikipedia, in many other commercials). Though I don't love this song (I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars), it always reminds me of Feist's most familiar song, "Mushaboom," which I do love (5 of 5). Feist -- who also performs with Broken Social Scene -- has an ethereal, almost dream-like sound, and her lyrics always evoke for me early 20th-century domestic scenes. Maybe that's just me. "Mushaboom" was apparently quite a hit in the indie world, though, and several other artists have covered it (inlcuding the Postal Service).

Shiny Toy Guns: Le Disko I had already downloaded and fallen in love with this song (offered for free on iTunes) when I heard it used in some commercials for the TV show So You Think You Can Dance? and then, later, for Motorola's fancy-shmancy Razr2 V8 cell phone.

Iron & Wine: Such Great Heights I discovered this song when it was used in an M&Ms commercial, about a year ago. It stuck in my head, even though I didn't know it, and I loved the lyrics (the little of them I could hear in the commercial). So I had to Google it and find out what it was. As it turns out, Iron & Wine's version was a cover of a Postal Service song, and I prefer the original these days. Mostly, though, I love the lyrics in this song: "I'm thinking it's a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned; and I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay." They're great!
  • visit Iron & Wine's website -- which frankly doesn't have anything that great; well, OK, you can launch a music player, but it only has three songs (none of which are "Such Great Heights")

  • visit The Postal Service's website, where you can download "Such Great Heights" (go to Downloads in the menu) and check out the Such Great Heights EP, which inlcudes Iron & Wine's cover (Discography in the menu)

Of Montreal: Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games I haven't actually heard this song in a commercial itself, but when I first listened to it as an IndieFeed podcast, I found that I couldn't give it a fair chance because the tune is used in Outback Steakhouse commercials these days -- and annoys the crap out of me. I also don't much care for the rest of Of Montreal's music and mostly just find them weird.

Friday, September 28, 2007

the percy senility fund

I'm sorry to say that my faithful Dell Inspiron 600m laptop computer (aka Sir Percy, aka Ladislaw) has officially become senile.

I just had a new hard-drive installed last Christmas, which more than doubled my disk space. But ever since then, things have only been getting worse. The power cord has frayed right near where it plugs into the computer. Around May, near the end of the semester, I finally bit the bullet and bought a new cord, out of fear that I would lose all my data and have no way to retrieve it.

The universal power cord worked fine for a while, except for one thing: it couldn't charge my battery (which is, itself, a hand-me-down from my brother-in-law when he bought a new computer). That wasn't too awful, since I have become accustomed to not using my battery much. And I could still pull out the original power cord from Dell and plug it in for a while, just long enough to get the battery charged up. But it was still annoying.

Then the universal power cord started having trouble of its own. I'm not sure, but it seems that part of my laptop where the power cord plugs in has become loose, so that the cord doesn't fit it right. That was a very annoying problem all during the summer (mind, this started only about a month or two after I first bought the cord -- which was pretty pricey, too). Still, things worked all right.

In the meantime, besides all the power cord drama (which is by no means finished yet ... stay tuned), my computer has just plain been running slowly lately. Even when I clean up my files and de-frag the hard-drive, it doesn't help much. I've been thinking for a while now that I would like get more RAM, but that is both expensive and difficult. So I'm making due instead.

Now, to finish the power cord drama: It's recently been getting harder and harder to get either power cord (the original or the universal) to stay in the right position, so that they are actually providing power to the laptop. That means that, unless I either command the luck of the gods or decide to sit with my hand pressing the cord in just the right place, the battery runs down to critical levels. This has happened a number of times in the last few weeks, but today it's been worse than ever. I have sat all day long with my hand pushing the cord, and after leaving it for a mere hour and a half (while I ran Mom for an emergency chiropractic visit -- seriously), it had already run down the battery completley. As in, 0% battery remaining. Clearly the battery is getting old, too.

I'm not sure it's worth it at this point to upgrade everything. Actually, I've been thinking that for quite a while now, but I have been holding off on looking for a new computer because I didn't want to buy another until I could afford a MacBook Pro. And I was far from affording a MacBook Pro. Still am.

So, in hopes of raising awareness about Laptop Senility Dysfunction (LSD) -- and also some money -- I am establishing the Percy Senility Fund. Should you wish to contribute, please send me an email, and I will provide donation details. (If you don't know my email address, I don't know you well enough to trust an email from you, so ... I guess we'll have to figure out some other donation possibility. Maybe a PayPal account.)

Plain? It's as ugly as a parson's widow! (22 points)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

good news

the good news first
The internet is working again! We finally got the phone service switched back, so that we are now able to use both the internet and the phones at the same time. Life is very, very happy again!

ramblin muse
I also recently took the plunge and registered at, so that I'm able to (a) post on the discussion board (assuming I ever want to) and (b) edit my own content. It's really a pretty cool site, and I'm not just saying that because I happen to adore Muse. There is a media player embedded in the bottom right-hand corner, where you can listen to music and watch videos -- and it's the whole song, not just a 30- or 60-second clip like most artists give you. When you register you can also edit your own playlist, so that it plays exactly what music and videos you want, and it allows you to use any and every song from all of their five main albums, as well as every official music video they've done and even a couple of live gigs.

Didn't mean to go on about that so much. I promise I'll find a new interest soon so that I have more to talk about than just Muse. In the meantime, thanks for your patience!

back to the good news
So, to reiterate: the internet at our house is working once again. That means that you are sure to see more regular posts on my blog. Yay! And more points for all! And I don't have to stay up late to use the internet anymore (so that I can disconnect the phones when we don't expect to need them). And I can listen to podcasts regularly. And ... the list of goodness goes on and on!
Man 1: Well, throw him out in the street.

Man 2: Wait, wait! [name] is my best friend. We can't just throw him out like Grandma's ashes!

(38 points, plus 5 for each character you can name in that exchange)

Monday, September 24, 2007

musical monday: the used

I promise that I will post a real update soon and tell you all what's going on in my life. The trouble, you see, is that there's not much going on right now. But as soon as there's something to tell, you can be sure I will do so.

This week's Musical Monday is about The Used. I love their song "The Bird and the Worm," even though I've only heard it a few times. It's one of those rare (for me) songs that grabbed me the first time I ever heard it. The lyrics are fascinating -- I especially love the first line: "He wears his heart safety-pinned to his backpack" -- and the layers and varieties of sounds on the track create a real depth.

Enjoy the YouTube version I've embedded below -- and please don't forget to comment and let me know what you think, whether you hate it, love it, or don't think it's worth either of those extremes.

read the lyrics

some memes ...

... because I'm bored and not yet ready to go to sleep.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The West
The Midland
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Here's the trouble: I grew up in the West, but I've also lived overseas a few times and have always been very conscious of how I speak. By the time I was 16, strangers told me I sounded European. So I think this quiz is just plain messed up for me. I'll tell you one thing: I for sure don't have a Boston accent.

What mental disorder do you have?
Your Result: OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

You have odd obsessions that you cannot seem to control. You may even perform rituals to make you feel better. Counting and continuously obsessing over things happens frequently.

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
Manic Depressive
What mental disorder do you have?

I've known this for a long time ... no big surprises.

How will I die?
Your Result: You will die while saving someone's life.

The most noble of all deaths. Your rewards will be great in the next life. You are most definitely a humanitarian. If not currently, you will be. To give one's life is a precious moment that will be remembered by friends and family for many decades.

You will die in a car accident.
You will die while having sex.
You will die in your sleep.
You will die from a terminal illness.
You will die of boredom.
You will die in a nuclear holocaust.
You will be murdered.
How will I die?
Create a Quiz

Cool! Sounds to me like a great way to go. Thing is, they don't have that classic method-of-death, "old age." I wonder how that would change the results.

Which God or Goddess are you like?
Your Result: Budha

You are Budha. You are a very peaceful person, you love all who love you. You are a cheerful personality, and you have a great sense of humor. Congratulations!! You are Budha!!

The Christian God
Goddess Bast
Goddess Sekhemet
God Zeus
You are your own God or Goddess
Which God or Goddess are you like?
Make Your Own Quiz

Buddha? Have to say, I'm surprised by this one. And a bit disappointed that I'm not Bast. :)