Saturday, November 29, 2008

Know a varlet? He'll like this.

The ranks of birdwatchers will be sundered no more by feuds and debates.

Are they currently sundered? I'm not sure; I'm not part of any official birdwatching organization, unless by "organization" you mean "me saying hey, look at that bird over there" while I eat breakfast, and the rest of my family completely failing to react.

But I imagine that the ranks of birdwatchers have been sundered by debates along these lines:

Person A: I saw a double-crested something-or-other today.
Person B: Did not!
Person A: Did so!
Person B: Here's a punch in the nose for you, varlet!

Which dialogue demonstrates that I think birdwatchers live in the middle ages, that I don't know much about birds, and that also there is a need to be able to prove that you did or did not see a double-crested something-or-other.

And you can do that with digital camera binoculars from Binoculars combined with a camera: The end to A and B's debate up there (and also, probably, the end to the use of the word "Varlet.") has high quality binoculars: night vision, bird watching, hunting, marine, military, and more. The best ones around, from compact to giant, all at great prices and all backed by the customer service representatives who will walk you through your purchase and make sure you get the right kind.

Potatoes are the REAL transformers: 51 down, 9,142 to go

Sweetie and I got all of our Christmas shopping done yesterday. I'll give the full details next week, but in the meantime, here's a list of the things I got yesterday:

-- Two "Mr. Potatoheads," the Transformer and the Taters of the Lost Ark kind.
-- An Orange Julius (finally!)(and it was excellent.)
-- One eye roll and one head shake from fellow shoppers, both of which I'm pretty sure were entirely undeserved.
-- A lecture by Sweetie on when one should use one's blinker to turn into McDonald's to get an eggnog shake, also entirely undeserved. (The lecture, not the shake. The shake was deserved.)

Song 51 is not a Christmas Song, but it should be, as demonstrated by the video. Song 49 also answers this question: Weren't ALL Mr. Potatoheads "transformers?"

Okay, it doesn't answer that question at all. But it's a valid question. And I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes." Potatoheads were also the original "Muppets."

Song 51, by the way, is "Music Box Dancer" by Frank Mills,a song that I can play on the piano as one of my many hidden talents.

Down ... to Go... is the only blog entry feature that combines listing every song on my iPod with Potatohead trivia. Song 50 is here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Arecibo is in South America, right?

Just today, in our newspaper, there's a story about 5 UW students who just discovered a galaxy. I love that kind of stuff - -and I didn't realize that I loved it until I took an astronomy class my fourth year of college.

But I do love it, and kids everywhere will likely love astronomy if they're given a chance to do so -- a chance you can give them without sending them to the Arecibo Observatory (like those UW Students). Instead, you can go the much cheaper and much less South-America-ish route of getting them one of the telescopes or solarscopes available from has telescopes at prices that are... okay, I can't resist this... Out of thiw World! Ha, ha! But really, they are great prices and they have refractors, reflectors, Newtonian, just about any kind of telescope that exists. (Not the Very Large Array. I said "Just about.")

Not sure what's the difference between a Newtonian and a Refractor telescope? I could link you to a 40,000 word article that makes it all clear -- but instead, just ask's customer service staff. They'll tell you and it'll all be perfectly clear.

Like the view of the night sky through the telescope you get for your son or daughter.

See what I did there? I'm a pro.

So, how did YOU spend Thanksgiving? 50 down, 9,143 to go.

Yesterday was Official Thanksgiving. However, this year, we are celebrating "Alternate Thanksgiving," waiting until Saturday to have the big dinner with all the trimmings, which left us yesterday doing nothing much. We took the boys to the park for some all-bundled-up swinging, and then killed time: Me by making gallons and gallons of Chex Mix...

... is gallons the right measurement? It seems like it...

And Sweetie by repeatedly watching the videos that led her to make a rare song purchase. I can't, for some reason, embed the video here-- it's "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap and she wants you to watch her video, but not watch it TOO much, apparently. So I'll honor her wishes and post THIS video of song 50:

and then I will post the two videos that Sweetie watched about 100,000,000 times yesterday while we made Chex Mix and hung around:

Here's the first one you should watch:

THEN watch this one:

Oh, and you can watch this one, too. Sweetie did:

And yet, she had the gall to say I was a bad parent for watching "Badder Santa" while I played The Tackle Game with the boys!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oldest could use this.

Boy, if I could only get Oldest into this program. Oldest has... questionable... taste in men sometimes, and seems to be at a loss for how to meet decent people to date and hopefully marry.

"Great Expectations" might be able to help her; they're like a combination of an online dating service and an real, physical, business -- they've got a website but also buildings where offices are actually located, which I kind of like because I like to think that things will continue to exist in the real world, not just online.

But more important is that Great Expectations isn't a "matchmaker," like many sites are. They set up twice-monthly member events where singles who have joined up go to mix with each other, meeting in person, in the community. So the members are meeting people, in person, who live in their area.

And not just any people: Great Expectations screens members and does background checks, so they'll weed out the people nobody would want to meet. Photographs and videos are all kept current, so that a member could see what the potential date looks and acts like now, not five years ago.

It all sounds good to me -- so I probably will mention it to Oldest, so that she can find a better way to meet people than hanging out in... where is it young people hang out nowadays? The bowling alley? I don't even know.

You may like it, too: watch this video to find out more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's the same, only better.

Businesses need to move fast these days; there's no time anymore to wait for banks and their endless requirements and paperwork and approvals and board meetings. Your business needs money now-- to grow, to take on supplies, to add employees -- you need money to keep making money.

Don't wait for banks. Go to, home of the "Fast Business Loan." It's just like any other business loan -- except that it's approved faster (within 48 hours), there's no closing cost or fees, the application process is easy, they don't require collateral, they offer repayment schedules that work within your cash flow, and get the money to you in 5 to 7 business days. And they work with poor credit and approve 90% of the loan applicants.

So it's just like any other business loan except faster, easier to get, and easier to repay. If that sounds good to you, then go to, and while you're there, check out their other services, too -- they can help your business accept credit cards, do check processing (including check by phone), and even help you accept gift cards.

Cookie Stashing: 49 down, 9,143 to go.

Last night, The Boy came home with not one, but two huge chocolate-chip-and-nut cookies from his job at Panera. So I helped myself to one, showing a little restraint for a change, and left the second one in the bag for whomever might want it.

Then, today, I took out the lunch Sweetie had made me, and found that she'd gone back and added the second cookie into my lunch.

You can talk all you want about what makes a marriage work -- love, respect, blah blah blah. What makes a marriage work, really, is when one spouse understands the other well enough, and cares enough, to stash the second cookie in the first spouse's lunch.

Song 48 has nothing to do with any of that. It's "The Car Song," by Cat Empire. go... isn't always limited to marital advice. Sometimes I also just make vague references to songs that readers then make vague references to poems about. Speaking of which, "Kick," let me know what poem and what song you're talking about!


Rachel's not sure where she came from or what she's supposed to do, unless she really is trying to take over the world with a little help from her Octopus, a Valkyrie, and her lover Brigitte. Read Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World!