Happy Christmas Day, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

Christmas day is nearly over. Here’s a Dino-discovery from a neighborhood walk —

Christmas Dinosaur

Doesn’t every neighborhood need Christmas T-Rex?

… and a little something from the tree.

Christmas bubble lightsOur parents had bubble lights on the tree when we were growing up. Now my brother has some new ones in their honor.  I’ve downsized decorations along with everything else, so I just appreciate the ones that friends, family, and neighbors put up.

One more holiday: right now, we’re in the middle of winter Discardia (December 21 – January 9), so Happy Discardia folks, are you ready to reduce, reuse, and recycle?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Now


Vintage Kitchen Gadgets (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering)

I made another swipe at unpacking basement boxes, and look what I came up with… a gathering of retro kitchen gadgets.

Vintage Kitchen Gadgets

West Bend Penguin Hot/Cold Server, Rival Ice-O-Matic Ice Crusher, and Juice-O-Matic Juicer

Don’t they look like they’re having a conversation? Then there’s what I think of as the Gort Factor (after my favorite robot, from The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951) — that sturdy and streamlined mid-century look. They do kind of look like little poseable robots. I know I can’t keep them, but out of guilt for hiding them so long, I polished them up and will do my best to find them good homes.

Meanwhile, Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year. And, do you see that winter sunbeam playing on the edge of the table?  If you’re in the northern hemisphere, welcome back the light — Merry Solstice to all (11:48PM last night, EST).

Celebrating Ada Lovelace (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops!)

Ada Lovelace made me start hoarding magazines. Well, made me start keeping magazines that were already hoarded and packed in the basement…

1981 Computer Magazine - Ada Lovelace cover

Augusta Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852. The cover article here is about the programming language “Ada”, developed by the Dept of Defense, and named for her.

As for the Oops factor, Dec 10 was the 200th anniversary of Ada’s birth. I was planning to write this post then, but oops…

As the “first computer programmer” and the daughter of a poet (Lord Byron), she’s a natural bridge between my love of the arts and the profession that gave me a living and a retirement, not to mention many years of airline passes. And – bonus – she’s a woman! — but I won’t get into gender politics in the IT industry. Well, maybe just a little… here’s an excerpt from another magazine I found…

CTechnology and Society - Spring 2000

Technology and Society – Spring 2000

As for hoarding magazines, there were lots of old Smithsonian‘s in the same box (and many earlier boxes). I didn’t have trouble letting them go at first. There were so many, and they were packed along with hundreds of dense computer publications that I knew I’d never read, so the ones I found first were easy to donate.

Then I found Ada, and I’m down to the last few boxes of magazines. Now I can’t seem to let things go without reading them.

Cover: IEEE Annals Fall 2003

See? Still more magazines…

Is there a cure for this magazine-madness?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

More on Ada Lovelace

Misericord Eyes, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

It’s a busy day here for autumn clean-up outdoors, but I don’t want to miss the Eye Spy challenge.

Eyes - Misericord Amsterdam Oude Kerk

Three eyes and double noses: Misericord in Amsterdam’s Oude Kirk, the oldest building in Amsterdam.

When we toured the Oude Kirk in Amsterdam last year, we picked up a booklet that explained the misericord images.  A more organized Hoarder would know where she put it. As it is, the meaning will be a mystery for today.

Am I the last person in the neighborhood to get the autumn leaves cleaned up? Maybe. Now it’s post-and-run, and out for yard work. I want a clean driveway and full compost bins.

Wish me success?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

Autumn Changes (Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition)

It’s autumn, the season of transitions: the leaves are on their way down, the geese are on their way south, and I’m just home from Thanksgiving holiday, trying to get back to my chores.

Geese take a rest on their migration through the mid-western U.S. —

Geese at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge

Geese at the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO.

When they all fly up at once, out across the marsh, they’re like swirling dots in a pointillist composition.

Over 200,000 geese fly up at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Geese in the air. The water was icy, and every blade of grass was coated — I’d fly up too.

… and speaking of pointillism, Britannica’s On This Day just reminded me that today is the birthday of painter Georges Seurat (1859-1891).

Back in the wildlife preserve, the eagles have arrived… slow geese better beware.

Eagle - Squaw Creek Swans are in transition too, and cleaning up (like I need to be doing).

Swans at Squaw Creek Wildlife Preserve

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, I hope you had a happy one.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

And more on Georges Seurat