Update: Oops. I may have wiped or corrupted my Windows installation on that computer when I installed Ubuntu. Ah well, that's why I did it on the old computer first. But that does slow me down quite a bit.
Odile Crick, illustrator of DNA, has died.
A Kiva success story.
Copper Thieves destroy crops.
Boing Boing has photos.
Comics Should Be Good day 4.
Comics Reporter Reports.
Bully Day 4.
Bully's Wiedlin Watch Ends, or does it? Nah, it's over.
More Newsarama photos.
Final photos... oh man, Aquaman himself, Justin Hartley. Maybe I'll meet him someday.
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #113.
Loser in on-line fight burns down house.
On-line ASL videos, learn sign language on your computer.
MetaFilter discusses Eric Flint and Baen books.
YouTube Pug for In-Laws.
Aquaman included in photo from Newsarama.
Todd Klein reports.
Comics Should Be Good Day 2.
Bully Day 2.
Newsarama: Eisner Winners.
Newsarama Meets Bully.
Colleen Doran reports Eisner Winners.
Teen Titans Year One!!!
Tons of photos from Comics212.
Comic Con Costume Contest.
Newsarama on Iron Man unveiling.
The Beat on DC Podcasts.
Bully Day 3.
More Newsarama Photos.
Bully's Ten of a Kind Comic Con Special.
Comics Should Be Good Day 3.
Colleen Doran on being an inspiration.
Newsarama Day 3 News Roundup.
Comic-Con Wrap Up from Bags and Boards.
The Beat Link Roundup.
Brit reject copyright extension.
Stormy Day on Lake Washington, from 1913.
Why on Earth did DC not use the solicitation image instead of the insulting image they ended up using? What idiot editor made that choice?
Whole Foods CEO is Internet Troll. That's almost enough to make me never set foot in Whole Foods again, but I already buy almost nothing there.
Computer Virus turns 25 Years old.
ATM reprogrammed to think $20 bills were $1 bills.
Boing Boing has an excellent post on things on TV that scared you as a kid. I long ago posted my childhood terror, The Giant Killer Lollipop.
A different look at blindness.
What is it?
Kids in the news, where are they now?
A hoax TV show about a competition for a donated kidney has resulted in a donor boom.
Judge awards almost $70,000 in Attorneys Fees to a woman wrongly sued by the RIAA scum.
Enigma Machines on eBay.
Death threats for teaching evolution. Are we living in the dark ages?
Speaking of, Evolution is Not Just a Theory.
People Playing Chess on Roller Coasters.
Mad Bun returns with an origin story. YAY!
I really want the full set of Unshelved books. And a LIBRARY Swat Team T-shirt.
Otis Frampton rounds up reviews of Oddly Normal, including mine.
Real Thugs. Are they truly gone?
The Simpsons - and Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, and Alan Moore.
Unscrewed is now a Nonprofit.
Wal Mart flip flops cause nasty chemical burns (warning, graphic photo).
Pirates vs Ninjas Slide Show.
Massive Power Outage takes out part of the internet, via Boing Boing, MetaFilter, and Slashdot.
Plastic Bag Panic.
And for the in-laws: Mike Daisey's Pug.
Sara Ryan has new minicomics ready. I want.
The Beat has some links.
Photos from Newsarama.
Photos from Wired.
San Diego Roundup from Newsarama.
Pictures and thoughts from Comics Should Be Good.
Bully on Day 1 (thank you for the Yellow Brick Road pics, Bully!).
More from Newsarama.
Colleen Doran on the Friends of Lulu Awards.
Still more from Newsarama.
Links from The Beat.
Photos from The Beat (Eric Shanower looks snazzy!).
The Beat has also posted a couple of videoblogs. The first is a general overview, the second is an interview with Scott McCloud.
Bully is live-Twittering, and it's great fun to read and respond. THANKS AGAIN, BULLY!
Death Cat is on the prowl.
Seattle is selling old street signs.
Scott Adams Compliments You.
I wonder if we can borrow these goats to get rid of our blackberry bushes.
If you like goofy music, FilkerTom has a great recommendation for you. As it also has an Aquaman song on it, I recommend it too.
I kind of like these ads.
Have you ever heard of Yamamoto Otokichi? Now you have!
Librarian.net an interesting video telling people to read a book. And other things.
Keith Topping, who once got a piece of ice put down his back by yours truly, writes The Doctor Who Fan's Phrasebook.
People really need to get their minds out of the gutter. They are definitely seeing things that aren't there.
Patriot Act Abuses Abound.
The Censored Eleven.
I like the anti-DRM t-shirts, and I kind of want the green one.
Webcam catches scumbag.
Yessir, President Sterling! Read also this blog account of the view from the other side.
Howto Build a Secret Bookcase Door.
Homeland Security Gut Feeling Warning System.
As you can see, there was a great spot across the street to take a picture for the complete effect. If my camera had been set on panoramic view, the Space Needle would be just to the right a ways. The arches in the background of this shot are the Pacific Science Center.
Eric attempted to figure out what the Comic Book Guy was reading.
Some stuff you could buy in the Kwik-E Mart. We bought all three.
A very gracious and long-suffering employee of the
Anyway, we picked up our goodies, including a couple of donuts to hold us over until the movie ended, and headed back to the car and dropped everything off. Then over to the line for the Cinerama. It was a good line. Lots of people. Pretty calm for the most part. I took my medication and was seeing lots of interesting things that weren't there. Eric kept me grounded. The edge was off the medicine by the time we went inside.
As it was a sponsored preview by a radio station, we got the usual trivia before the movie. As it was a preview that happened just before opening day, we also got the movie previews before the movie... including the teaser for the new Batman movie. Yes, I saw the teaser on the big screen already. Score one for me.
As for the movie itself... if you like the Simpsons, you will like the movie. If you are ambivalent about the Simpsons, you will probably not feel like you've wasted any money. If you don't like the Simpsons, DON'T GO SEE IT. As for me, who can handle the Simpson's in small doses, I was beginning to squirm by the time the movie entered its final act, although for the most part I enjoyed it.
Of note, when the Simpsons get to Seattle, there was a great cheer from the hometown crowd.
There were lots of in-jokes and winks to the audience, including a framing sequence involving a movie theater. If you stay and watch the credits, you'll see more of that sequence. At the very least, stay until you hear the Springfield Anthem (*I* found it funny). The Comic Book Guy has a very life-affirming line towards the end of the movie, as well.
All-in-all a pretty good flick, especially at the price we ended up paying for it. I can't recommend it to everyone, but people who will like it already know who they are.
Amelia Rules: The Things I Cannot Change. More information here.
Thursday, August 9th is Miracle Treat Day, and hubby-Eric and I plan to get a Blizzard at DQ that day.
Speaking of food, can dieting make you fatter? Well, yeah, if you diet for awhile and then rebound. My current "diet" is permanent, I plan on sticking to it for the rest of my life. In similar news, Obesity is contagious. Unfortunately, the reverse doesn't seem to be true.
Bob Harris recommends a 1987 movie set in 1856 Nicaragua to explain 2007 US foreign policy.
Although I missed the Fourth of July in linking, really, I still want to shout out Bully's wonderful entry for the day. Way cool.
Tammy talks about men in feminism. This relates to Dark Horse comics reprinting an incredibly disgusting misogynist work.
Vintage Seattle looks at The Bon Marche.
Yes yes, it happened some time ago, but I still want to glee over Ichiro's All-Star inside-the-park home run, the only highlight of the game for me.
Science Fiction Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
New Olympics for youth?
Ken Jennings mentions my husband on his blog. Ok, so Eric wrote to him, but it's still cool.
Follow San Diego through text messages at San Diego Dreaming.
Pics from Preview Night.
I'm at home, having just gotten back from a doctor's appt in which I learned I have a nasty cold that has settled deep into my sinuses and will need to be rooted out... which is better than the ear infection that I thought I had. Heh. I'm sick in the head. I really didn't need to pay a doctor $100 (no insurance) to learn that.
I will now watch some TV and mourn my lack of nerdprominess.
The quick way to test the script is to run it from the GIMP console (Xtns->Script-Fu->Script-Fu Console). To run it, I simply type script-fu-mylevels "TestIn.bmp" "TestOut.bmp" and hit the enter key and VIOLA! Ok, well, not quite... First I have to put the TestIn.bmp in the correct directory on my machine. In my case, I just put them in the same place as GIMP was running from, since that was easiest. I could put them elsewhere, put I need to put the whole path into the variable. For example: "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\TestIn.bmp".
In the end, because it meant less typing, I decided to just stick it in the same directory that GIMP is running from (C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\bin). This is also how I ended up setting up my batch file, so I have to put files in that directory to run the batch on them. My excuse is that it was just easier. I'm sure I could figure out how to make it run in the folders I want it to run in, but I don't feel like taking the extra time to figure it out. Batch scripts are supposed to SAVE time.
Anyway, back on track, I use the GIMP console to test my script. If it works, I'm good. If it doesn't, I alter it. I actually ended up using this step quite a bit with the levels script, as I found numerous little problems with it, including that the channels was set to all red in the first version. Most of the other problems were typos on my part.
Once I knew the script would do what I wanted it to do, I had to batch it so I can run it on a lot of files all at once. In Windows, it is easy to create a DOS .bat file, so that's what I ended up doing. I learned DOS batching in college (not in classes, but from hanging out with comp-sci majors) and so I had a good grip on what I was doing in this section of the effort.
A DOS batch file is just a text file of DOS commands saved with the .bat extension. To run my script-fu, I used this:
for %%G in (*.bmp) do gimp-2.2 -i -f -d -b "(script-fu-mylevels \"%%G\" \"F%%G\")" "(gimp-quit 0)"What this script does is take every file (%%G) that has an extension of .bmp and opens GIMP, runs my script on the file, saves the result with a prefix, then closes GIMP.
I ran the batch with a test group of 50 images, and it worked like a charm. At that point, I was satisfied. I managed, with a lot of help, to create a script and batch it in GIMP. If I need this again, maybe this write up will help me remember how it happened so I can duplicate the success.
Labels: Tegans Tech Talk
The easiest way for me to look at my script is to present the script as it finally ended up, then dissect it. So here's my final script:
(define (script-fu-mylevels infile outfile)There are really only two main parts to this. The first starts at "define", and the other starts at "script-fu-register".
(let* ((img (car (gimp-file-load 1 infile infile)))
(drawable (car (gimp-image-get-active-drawable img))))
(gimp-levels drawable 0 25 225 1.0 0 255)
(gimp-file-save 1 img drawable outfile outfile)))
SF-FILENAME "Infile" "infile.bmp"
SF-FILENAME "Outfile" "outfile.bmp")
You can read about the "script-fu-register" bit on this page. It is a necessary step, but it's just basic script-fu stuff. In short, this section tells GIMP what the script is. It doesn't need much editing in my non-interactive script. By the way, "tomcat" is the guy who helped me figure this whole thing out, thanks Tomcat!
So let's get into the meat of the script, the part that starts with "define". It's easiest to take this apart a section at a time.
(script-fu-mylevels infile outfile)just says "I'm naming this this thing 'script-fu-mylevels' and it accepts two variables, 'infile' and 'outfile'" This is important, infile and outfile are my two main variables. When I run this script, I have to include BOTH for the script to run correctly.
The next two lines load the file and get it ready to edit. Not much I can really say about them, since I don't entirely understand what each bit does. I do know that the "1" in there tells the script to run non-interactive... so it doesn't need any input after it starts running.
The really important bit for me is the next line:
(gimp-levels drawable 0 25 225 1.0 0 255)There's a menu in GIMP called the Procedure Browser (Xtns->Procedure Browser). Using this tool you can find the script version of every single command available in GIMP.
In my case I wanted to use the levels command, so I did a search in the Procedure Browser for "levels" and found an item called gimp-levels. When you have an item selected in the Procedure Browser, over in the right pane you see the parameters that the item needs. In the case of gimp-levels I was sure it was the right one because the various parameters matched the inputs available on the menu item.
Going through the rest of the line in my script-fu, "drawable" is an internal variable set earlier and refers to the image that's been loaded. The "0" is the channel, if I use "1" it would only affect the red levels, "2" would affect green levels and so on. "25" is the lowest input. When you start the levels item in GIMP it starts at 0, in my script I'm upping it to 25 to increase the dark level in my image. The "225" is similar, it starts as 255, so I'm lowering it to increase the light level in my image. If you know how the levels menu item works, you'll understand this. If you don't... well, just know that those are the only two settings I've changed from default. The next three numbers are just set at the defaults, "1.0", "0" and "255".
Pulling it all together, this line says, "Take the image we loaded, run gimp-levels on it with the following parameters". In reality, very simple. Not so easy to understand for a beginner. This line in the script would change completely depending on what item you use from the Procedure Browser, and what variables need to be set for it.
The last line of my script-fu
(gimp-file-save 1 img drawable outfile outfile)just tells the computer to save the file, using the variable outfile as the name.
The next step is to take that script-fu and save it as a text file with a .scm extension (mylevels.scm), and put into the scripts directory (in my case C:\Documents and Settings\User\.gimp-2.2\scripts). The next time I load GIMP, this script will be added to the list of scripts I can use.
Whew! So that's the script-fu side of it. Next step is to run this sucker!
Labels: Tegans Tech Talk
Only the Shadow knows... and anyone else who compares Batman to the old pulps, of course.
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #109, Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #110, Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #111, and Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #112.
Lea Hernandez made Boing Boing.
It Happened at the World's Fair.
Ghost Ducks. I want one. I don't know why, but I want one.
A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome.
What Happened Before the Big Bang?
LOLCats in the Seattle Times (AP).
Newly declassified window film could protect your network from war drivers.
To make things even more interesting, I just got a real, legal copy of Photoshop, which I haven't even installed on my computer yet. I'm stunned to have it, and eager to start learning it (and incredibly grateful to the person who acquired it for me). But it makes me wonder if the effort of learning scripting in GIMP is worth documenting. However, I feel like if I took the effort to learn it, maybe I should try to hang onto that knowledge. So here goes...
This is REALLY esoteric, so most of you will want to stop reading about now.
To the rest of you, I'm not dumbing this down for you, I'm dumbing this down for me. I want to be able to understand this if/when I come back to it months from now. I really hope that this whole blog entry will be made obsolete by someone adding proper macro recorders and batching to GIMP. I'll point out that a start has been made by David's Batch Processor, which has some GIMP functions, but not all. The functions I needed weren't in DBP.
GIMP batch scripting is made up of two parts at the moment. Because this is open source software, the reality on the ground can and will change at a moment's notice, as some new developer adds something wonderful. This reflects reality as of Spring of 2007, when I first made a stab at GIMP scripting. Right, so to get back on track: GIMP batch scripting is made up of two parts.
The first part is writing a script in script-fu that will accept variables. The second is writing a batch file/shell script to run that script-fu. There's a tutorial here, but it doesn't help much if you simply don't know anything about it, which is where I started out. The same goes for this tutorial, which is missing the dead-simple stuff that newbies like me need. The guy who wrote the first tutorial came to my rescue, and now I understand most of the script.
Script-fu is the built in scripting tool in GIMP. It was designed by developers for developers, so it lacks the grace of a simple GUI for end users. However, it is actually very elegant and complete. What it offers is a way to access every function of GIMP via script. So if you want to rotate an image, you find the corresponding rotate piece in the script-fu and use that as your command. Yeah, it's a little more complicated than that, but basically anything you can do in GIMP using the GUI can also be done with a script, if you can figure out which script to call and feed it the right variables.
And that's what I'll do in part two... make myself a script-fu!
Labels: Tegans Tech Talk
Happy Pi Approximation Day.
I want a Star Wars Stroller!
Lawyer unclear on copyright.
Tropical Giant Penguin!
Intolerance and bomb threats shut down library program.
87-year-old woman catches marauding bear. 72-year-old man catches thief. Don't mess with the senior citizens!
Scientists think they've found The Tunguska Crater, from the comet or asteroid that hit the Earth on 30 June 1908. As usual, other scientists disagree.
I can't help but think of Roy "$54 Million Pants" Pearson as the sort of guy who shouldn't be a judge.
Royal mummy, literally, found because of lost tooth. Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh of Egypt that the male rulers didn't want remembered.
Houses in Unusual Places. Some are real. Some are not. Can you tell which is which?
Bedbugs are back. Beware.
Kilts shouldn't have wild sporran. That sounds amazingly kinky.
Anyway I promised my sister a very very very short review. Either one or two words. So here is it:
The other option was the same word with "not" in front of it. I won't say anything else unencrypted, so as not to spoil it for anyone else who might be intending to read the book. You may post spoilers in the comments, though I'd like it if you put them in rot13 first. Just a precaution. I don't know if anyone reads my comments in RSS and thus would be surprised by the sudden appearance of spoilers in them. (Note: if you are using Firefox, there's an addon that does rot13 and other cryptography automagically).
Speaking of, here's some of my spoilerish thoughts in rot13...
FCBVYREF FCBVYREF FCBVYREF
Ebjyvat unf n irel ernyvfgvp ivrj bs qrngu. Vg'f fbzrguvat gung whfg unccraf. Vg qbrfa'g znxr frafr, vg qbrfa'g freir n terngre checbfr zbfg bs gur gvzr. Vg whfg vf. Guvf qevirf zr penml nf na Ratyvfu znwbe, ohg nf n crefba, vg vf hapbzsbegnoyl gehr.
Gur qrnguf va guvf bar, fgnegvat jvgu Urqjvt, jrer ernyyl qvssvphyg gb gnxr.
V'z vzcerffrq jvgu ubj jryy gur inevbhf cvrprf bs fgbel svg gbtrgure. V guvax Ebjyvat fubhyq qb genqvgvbany zlfgrevrf arkg, orpnhfr fur unf n tbbq frafr bs ubj gb frg hc n pyhr jvgubhg qenjvat gbb zhpu nggragvba gb vg. Nsgre V ernq gur obbx, V jrag onpx vagb gur bgure obbxf gb svaq gur svefg zragvbaf bs frireny bs gur guvatf naq punenpgref fur vapyhqrq va guvf bar. V gubhtug fur qvq jryy.
Gur rcvybthr jnf vagrerfgvat. V jnag gb frr n snzvyl gerr bs gur Jrnfyrl snzvyl abj. V jnag gb frr jub nyy gurfr eryngvbaf ner. Naq jurer qvq Uneel svanyyl frggyr qbja? Gur Oynpx ubhfr? Fbzrjurer ryfr? Jung qbrf ur qb sbe n yvivat? Gurer ner fb znal hanafjrerq dhrfgvbaf. Naq lrg, vg fgvyy znantrq gb or n tbbq ernq. Gurer vf whfg fb zhpu zber jr pbhyq yrnea nobhg. V ubcr Ebjyvat qbrf n ovt obbx bs Uneel Cbggre yber, naq svyyf va whfg gubfr oynaxf.
Fancr ghearq bhg gb or rknpgyl jung V gubhtug ur jbhyq or, vs abg sbe rknpgyl gur ernfbaf V rkcrpgrq. Qhzoyrqber jnf n zhpu zber vagrerfgvat punenpgre bapr uvf synjf jrer erirnyrq. V fgebatyl qvfnterr jvgu crbcyr jub ungr gur Eba/Urezvbar guvat, nf vg jnf gryrtencurq sebz gur svefg obbx gung gubfr gjb jrer tbvat gb raq hc gbtrgure. V shyyl rkcrpgrq Untevq gb qvr. V gbgnyyl rkcrpgrq Arivyyr gb orpbzr n terng ureb, vs fyvtugyl bhgfubar ol Uneel nf hfhny, naq fb jnf abg qvfnccbvagrq gurer. V jbaqre vs ur zneevrq Yhan? V qbhog vg.
Labels: Harry Potter
Sadly, the image of Torvald is a little blurry, but that just means that Eric and I will have to make a return trip and try to do better some time.
I have my choice, either the audio CDs or the book... well, actually, I started on the book fairly quickly and I'm already ... a couple chapters in... yeah. I was waiting at the library doors when they opened this morning, and was first in line for Harry. There were big signs all over telling people to go to the circulation desk for reserved Harry Potter, not the self-help hold shelves.
I've been reading since then with a short break to help my Mom buy a camera (since my little sister was insensitive enough to go on vacation and take her own camera with her, so my Mom couldn't borrow it!). I think we got Mom a good one, right in line with my sister's and my own camera, so she already knows how to use it.
Anyway, I needed a quick break, so I thought I'd post a pic of Harry from the library, like I did when the last book came out. I'll note that I suffered for my reading last time, so I'm taking more breaks this time.
Labels: Harry Potter
Lea Hernandez on the ugly Flash cover that really is a complete grossout. Complete with a visual explanation of why Flash is represented more heroically than the gals in the Heroes for Hire debacle of a cover.
Making me into an American Girl. Yikes.
Scott Adam's Best Story Ever.
North Dakotan Farmers want hemp.
Oooh, that's a cool toy.
Kalakala. I just like saying it. "Kalakala!"
UFO over Salt Lake City becomes an IFO.
Google Sightseeing catches Street Fight in San Francisco.
Oh give me a home, where the children can roam...
The Ghosts of Pike Place Market.
In case I didn't already mention it: Ice Cucumber Pepsi! Sometimes I'm glad I don't drink much pop anymore.
Can't afford Canada???
Iron Age Mickey Mouse resembles the character more than licensed popsicles do.
More Pug-itude for the in-laws.
I will also not be checking my comments, thus they will most likely not get passed through. True, most of my comments consist of spam, but you never know when someone (not my regular readers, of course, them's too smart) might try to spoil it for me via comments.
See you all on the other side.
Labels: Harry Potter
Numa Numa! This video comes in at about 4 minutes long, minus the credits:
Here's a chilling account of how a blogger witnessed a drive-by shooting, then helped apprehend the shooter.
West Seattle Property: A Good Investment! I'll say.
Ellie McDoodle, a real graphic novel?
A teacher answers the question, What do you make?
See how much work everyone in the house actually does with Chore Wars.
Crud. King County has passed a stupid restaurant menu law like New York's, in which nutrition information has to be ON THE MENU boards, with the prices and such, instead of just easily available. There are far more intelligent ways to make the information available and easy to read than forcing it onto the menus. This is a poorly written law, and ought to be altered substantially before it goes into effect next year.
I think I need to pare down my blog reading a bit.
I don't think the current Aquaman title can be saved from cancellation, but if everyone whose life was touched by Leah bought a copy of each of the next few issues to remember her, it would surely go out with a bang.
I'm thinking that once I read it, I'll start a discussion in the comments of one of the posts and keep all spoilers there. Again, what do you think of that idea?
My biggest hope is that this book is a fairly good read, like the others, and that the various dangling plot threads are resolved neatly.
Labels: Harry Potter
Is it the genuine article? Looks real enough:
But looks can be deceiving. And even if it IS the real deal, the pages are EXTREMELY hard to read. I looked at the first few pages and the table of contents to check (curiosity killed the cat), but I have no desire to read the whole book in this format (satisfaction brought it back). Hubby-Eric has a copy on order, and I have a copy on hold at the library.
If you do seek out this copy, what you'll see is a lot of pictures of the pirate's hands and carpet, along with blurry and barely readable images of the book itself. Take my advice: wait for the real thing. It isn't going to take long.
He ruled, in effect, that only readers had the right to censor publications - by simply refusing to buy or read any that offended them.When I have a baby, I want one of these.
Top Gear has Darth Vader, a Cyberman, Ming the Merciless, a Klingon, and a Dalek race the same car.
Wow. I suddenly have no desire to see The Dark Is Rising movie at all. I read the books awhile ago, before I heard of the movie, and enjoyed them a lot. Hat tip to TangognaT.
I'm not sure what to think of the double-amputee runner who is making waves by trying to qualify for the Olympics.
The Black Diamond issues one and two: Larry was kind enough to send me these, even though he wasn't sure how much I'd like them. The answer, Larry, is that I like them well enough. The biggest problem is that the plot doesn't seem to move much in these first two issues. I suspect (hope?) that it will all read much better together. But to make up for the lack of progress in the main storyline, Larry included two GREAT back-up tales. I may not end up liking the main story as much as the fascinating side stories that have been built on the foundation of the Black Diamond. The world of the Black Diamond is a good one, with lots of potential in it. Larry is to be commended for allowing others to play in his world. My conclusion is that this is a solid book, well worth a look. If you get a chance to read it, give it a shot.
Oddly Normal: Family Reunion: "Wet Boy"!!!!!!! Ahem. I love this book. I finished the book and the first thing I thought was "When is the next installment? I wanna read it now!" I bought the first series for the Wizard of Oz reference (witches being hurt by water), and loved it immediately. Now this book has given me another character to appreciate, in the son of a superhero family who can turn into water. Another excellent book. Go read it, and the first volume.
Did a quick trip down to see my parents this evening, same issue. The slow lane is mostly clear, and the passing lane is filled with folks driving slower than half the folks in the slow lane. ARGH!
Sometimes I think there can't be so many stupid drivers in the world... but then I remember that it doesn't require a driver to be stupid all the time to do stupid things. Just a moment of stupidity per driver can account for most of the stupid acts I witness each day.
I really hope I get the final book on the day of its release from the library (hubby-Eric ordered a copy from Canada, so it'll be a few days after the release date before that arrives). I also hope I like HP7 more than I liked the final episode of this last season of Doctor Who.
Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.
Ingenuity creates power. Follow the archive links for LOTS of pictures.
July 5th, filled up at the Salem Costco ($2.799/gallon), the trip meter was at 300.8 miles. Filled again at the Medford Costco ($2.979/gallon): 229.6 miles. Stopped in Red Bluff for the night after about 12 hours of driving. Lunch was at the Salem Costco: $3 for a couple of Polish Sausages. Dinner was in Perko's Cafe in Red Bluff: $17.24 for both of us. We stayed at the Motel 6 in Red Bluff, $45.53 (internet reservation ahead of time).
July 6th, filled up at the Walnut Grove Chevron ($3.139/gallon): 342.8 miles. Breakfast was at the Flying J in Lodi: $22.57 total. Reached Asilomar after about 6 hours of driving. Our stay in Asilomar was prepaid, and we bought only a few trinkets and Oz stuff over the weekend.
July 7th we stayed at Asilomar.
July 8th we left Asilomar after lunch and headed to Santa Clara to visit Anna's new comic shop. We stopped at The Garlic Shoppe in Gilroy to get caffeine and steak sauce. We got to Anna's shop around 2pm and met the Sunday Lackey and stretched our legs a big. Then we headed to South San Francisco for the Winkie Dinner. We were extremely early. We also left first, and owe a fellow Winkie for our bill. I only had an appetizer, because the meals themselves were so huge. I wasn't able to finish the appetizer.
Ahem, moving on... after dinner we headed North on 101 to 80, then took 80 to 505. There was a $4 toll on the road. Grr. We stopped in Fairfield at the Chevron for fuel ($3.199/gallon): 353.9 miles. We made it just to I-5 at about 9pm, and stopped at the Best Western in Dunnigan for the night. $67. Very slow internet access, but it had internet access!
July 9th, the long day. Have to get home so Eric can go to work in the morning. Continental breakfast at the hotel, we left Dunnigan at 7:10 am. Went through Redding at 9:00 am. Reached Weed at 10:00 am. Stopped at the rest stop North of Weed. Hit the Oregon/California border at 10:50 am. Stopped at the Medford Chevron at 11:15 am (2.969/gallon): 317.3 miles. Reached Roseburg at 1 pm and stopped for lunch at Jack In The Box (ug, too much food). $16.38 total. Reached Portland at 4:20 pm, just in time for rush hour. Crossed the Washington/Oregon border at 4:45 pm thanks to the carpool lanes. Stopped at the Castle Rock Chevron (3.029/gallon) at 5:30 pm: 340.7 miles. One last rest stop at the Federal Way rest area at 7:00 pm, then we were home at 7:45 pm.
We imagined the perfect road trip car... a modified hybrid, capable of powering some extras as well as allowing for non-gasoline idling in the summer construction back-ups and various rush hours in various cities. It would have a built-in fridge with small freezer, AC, navigation computer, compass, external temp, trip meters, comfortable seats, plenty of room for luggage, sound system with MP3 capabilities, satellite radio, UV protected windows, cruise control, dashboard camera... well, we had a lot of time to talk while driving, so we came up with many many modifications for a perfect road trip car. Discussing a fantasy like that passes the time.
Speaking of time, that's the other thing we both wished we had on the trip. While it's nice that we can make it to Asilomar from Seattle in about 18 hours of driving, it would be nicer if we could take an extra day or two and be tourists along the way. And then go down to San Diego for the Comicon after the Oz con. And while we're wishing, we want a pony and world peace.
The Oz convention itself was great, with over 120 people attending, and some wonderful presentations. If I had one complaint about the presentations, it would be that Oz fans do tend to go on and on and on, and every single presentation went longer than they really should have. Seriously, if everyone had cut their speeches, tightened up their speaking a bit, the whole thing would've been elevated to fantastic from merely great. However, I can't blame anyone, since EVERY SINGLE PRESENTER did it. At least a few of them had interesting visuals to go with their speeches.
I would call the costume contest a big success. With such a big pool of talent to draw from, the costumes were bound to be fun. In addition to the usual Dorothys, Lions, Scarecrows, and what-nots, this year saw a great costume of Dorothy's Farmhouse:
The back of the house was in black and white... heh. The adults dressed up too. I was part of a group costume that featured characters from Ozma of Oz. I was part of the Army of Oz, with hubby-Eric as a subordinate I could boss around. I'm sure Eric will post more about that on the Oz Blog soon.
Asilomar itself was as beautiful as usual. Either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning I saw what appeared to be a very lively log or some sort of wildlife. Unfortunately, I didn't have my glasses on, so I wasn't sure. Saturday evening, during the program, a raccoon investigated the Farmhouse costume, which was left out all weekend for folks to enjoy. He left too quickly, or I might've gotten a picture of him. On our way back from the late night Saturday party, Eric and I spotted two deer. One was much smaller than the other, and I think we saw them again on Sunday. The only pictures I got were of the one who got confused when a car stopped in front of him, and eventually wandered off into the street.
Random extra thoughts... This may be the first visit I've made to Asilomar where I didn't go down to the beach. I went down the boardwalk a way, but not all the way to the beach... I think I regained about 10 pounds from the travel and Asilomar food. I shall have to be very careful what I eat for the next couple of weeks... I got pretty adept at using my cellphone camera to get pictures... The Whimpy's in Woodland Washington is now an empty lot. They had good food there, so it's a bummer... Regarding rest stops: I've noticed that if the facilities are between the trucker area and the passenger car area, the womens restrooms are ALWAYS on the trucker side. It seems counter-intuitive... I-5 is about 308 miles long in Oregon, and takes about 6 hours to drive with the usual rest stops/fuel ups... It's about 177 miles from the Washington/Oregon border to our home, and takes about 3 hours to drive... Many 100 calorie packs melt in hot cars... California has added mileposts to the I-5 corridor in recent years, and the exits now have milepost numbers, but that doesn't help us when our map is so old it doesn't have those numbers on it... Always bring long pants to wear at Asilomar, as the weather there is more like Seattle than like most of the rest of California... L Frank Baum's great-grandson, Robert Baum (pictured earlier in this post with a Dorothy standee), apparently is the spitting image of his great-grandfather.
Well, the ferry crossed the water in record time, and we got there about 15 minutes early. They hurried everyone off the boat, and up the street... onto the parade route. Which was lined with happy citizens celebrating our nation's Independence Day. It was a Kingston Ferry Pre-Parade, and we were in it...
I contained myself, and only waved to people who waved at me. Indeed, I did the "elbow, elbow, wrist-wrist-wrist!" chant to a couple of women who were waving at all the cars flowing by.
Once out of Kingston, the rest of our drive to our night's destination was pretty uneventful.
We had a good night, watched the fireworks across the bay. I even tried to photograph them, with mixed success. It was a LOUD night. Now we're prepped for the first long leg of our trip.
I probably won't have 'net access when I get to Red Bluff, so this is it for today. I'll try to post once we're in Asilomar on Friday. Comments won't go through until I have internet access again. See you all on the other side!
Thank goodness our hotel has a pool.
Sunshine on the Fourth of July in Seattle? No way!
LINUX and Open Source software save time and money in a school district.
I wanna plant these matches.
A Tribute to St Nicholas Magazine. L Frank Baum's book Queen Zixi of Ix was originally serialized in this mag.
Women need cuddles, Men need kudos.
Giving the clinically dead oxygen may be what kills them. Cells don't die as quickly as previously thought, but reintroducing oxygen... which they need for life... kills the cells. Yikes!
Heh, You're welcome, Bully!
Hmmm. A Virginia woman who bought alcohol for her son's 16th birthday was sentenced to 27 months in prison. While she definitely deserved punishment... well, read the article. She didn't allow the kids to get drunk, nor did she allow them to drive after the party. I can't approve of what she did, but at least she was responsible about it. And for that she gets over two years in prison.
Michael Sensei sent me some awesome snacks called "Penguin's Lunch". The treat comes in a box with a plastic toy penguin and a small bag of fish-shaped snacks. While the penguin alone made me extremely happy, the snacks were also quite excellent (and at 60 calories for the box, they also aren't a threat to my weight loss).
Now I've seen another goofy Japanese snack that I wish I could try out on Boing Boing. I really need to find a good Japanese import shop that might sell these things:
If only American snack food was so creative and silly.
Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #107, Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #108, and Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #109.
Unshelved reviews Owly.
Healthy women are more interesting than skinny women.
Super Easy Ice Cream.
Toilet water cleaner than drinking fountains. This student used brains to prove his point.
Bully on Book Expo Day One, Book Expo Day Two, Book Expo Day Three.