Sunday, October 31, 2004

we had tricks and treats too

So many that we freaked out a little bit and had to dump out the deluxe Halloween goody bags full of toys and candy into a bowl so the kids could choose and we wouldn't run out. Most no one was actually dressed up in a full costume, but they were all very cheerful and appreciative. And carrying pillowcases!

Trick or Treat

We just gave out our first sweets and candy! 3 or 4 (or 5...!) kids and adults (witch, Dracula, fairy princess for the curious). V. few Halloween decorations, but they followed the pumpkins to the door and found us. Less candy for me, good!

Just came back from Mike's Maze! Great fun. We collected enough Electoral Votes to fire the potato gun (steam powered!), and got many pumpkins! Next year we will go and go again!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

My hero, Black Widow

The sweet potato is the official vegetable of North Carolina, so at the state fair this year they had a sweet potato casserole eating contest. The Black Widow won, eating over eight and a half pounds of casserole in eleven minutes.

"The ability to eat starch-based casseroles in mass quantity fell out of favor in the late 20th Century, and those with skill in this area found that they were not celebrated by the public," said George Shea, Chairman of the International Federation of Competitive Eating. "However, in the first four years of the new century, casserole-eating has experienced a resurgence in popularity. This rebirth culminated with Sonya Thomas' impressive victory at the North Carolina State Fair."

Friday, October 22, 2004

Vote with your fingers.

Joined the global vote?

Will you vote your heart? Will you vote tactically? Will you tell the pollsters the truth?

Wilton Barnhardt stopped on his way through town. No, writers aren't already all heading for Canada (yup, a foreign country, Richard), it's just time for some leaf peeping and maybe a trip to The Lady Killigrew.

Found art

This is a weird thing, a guy transcribing some abandoned cassette tapes he found when he moved into a new apartment. Transcriber Wilson says he found the tapes in Raleigh, but none of the (OK, pretty fanciful and fantastic) places described on the tapes sound familiar.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Headpiece filled with sound

Boy oh boy was it good to see them Mission of Burma fellers play out last weekend. Sure, the purist part of me wishes that Martin Swope was still in the band. But that's my only quibble. They were having fun, the crowd was having fun, they played songs new and songs old and all songs were good songs. Inappropriate Dancing Girl was having a little too much fun, but we managed to stay out of her flight path.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

International/long distance phone reccs?

Anyone have a recc for International/long distance phone companies? AT&T are about to up their peak* state-to-state rate (on the simply named...) One Rate Off-Peak Plan from 10 c/min to 12 c/min. Peak times are M-F 7-7. Methinks I can beat that, but am confused by all the plans offered here and other places like that.

So, any ideas? Anyone have a good plan? I call interstate all the time -- you know that, right...? Also the UK and Oman and occasionally other places. My sister in the UK can call me for 3 c/minute....

*When did peak times move from 9-5? Blame all those bums who work at home or just the time differences?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Flags are symbols

Some are pretty, some are ugly: the latest stats are out. The North American Vexillological Association principles for good flags, which most folks grasp unconsciously, are:

  1. Keep It Simple


  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism


  3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors


  4. No Lettering or Seals


  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related


With the city flags, it's interesting to see how many look historic and how many look like they were designed in the 60s and 70s. Sacramento's flag looks like a shag carpet design. This is not a bad thing.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

We shall know our feline's velocity

The cat in the USS Monitor's cannon is a great little history mystery, possibly solved/debunked in the "Cat Owner's Perspective" section at the end. "Was there a cat?" ... sounds like a magazine, or something. (Spotted on food for small animals.)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Yet another House of the Future

Everything you need to know about the aptly named, aptly shaped Futuro. When I stopped by the one on Hatteras Island, it was a decayed and decaying snackbar, but I understand it's been spruced up in the meantime.