Monday, March 31, 2008

Taggers are Gay

Well, that's what my son says, anyway.

There has been a rash of tagging along Arlington Ave., between Sepulveda Blvd and Previously-Hull Middle School. The perps are a couple of individuals whom the Torrance P.D. refer to as members of a 'clique' - read immature unsupervised group of kids posing as a gang, but aren't really. The tags should be gone by today.

I have a couple comments for the taggers.

MAC (MACF, MAC29): If you're out there, I hope your mom grounds you 'til you're 30, and someone etches their names on the windows and doors of your first car - that is, after you've gotten your drivers permit.

K Whatever-the-hell-your-initials-are: Improve your penmanship, and take a look at real typography in the video I've posted below. Good typography "communicates... with skill and imagination". Your scrawl is seriously lacking in both regards.

AKR or ARK or whatever?: I've never heard of a tagger using lipstick (or is it nailpolish?) as their preferred medium. You may be an original - are you a girl or a cross dresser?

Thirdly, to the parents of these kids: If you don't want to spend your end of days languishing in the Nursing Home of the Damned, I suggest you start supervising your kids, or they'll end up in jail, unable to support you in your old age.

Update: The tagging was removed within an hour of writing this post.

Typography video

I love type - here's a juicy video from the Vancouver Film School.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I try not to use insecticides in and around the house. A good hosing, clearing away dead leaves, and an occasional spray with soapy water typically keeps the 6-8 legged critters at bay.

There is one pest, however, that resists my typical treatments. If anything, they appear to thrive. We have a lot of plantings, especially in the front yard. It's the ideal snail homestead.

I like to think we have creative ways of dealing with any problem that presents itself, but I think our Ultimate Snailution is particularly good. It's the perfect combination of family time, entertainment and a bit of gore.

First step is to collect all the snails you can find. Place in a bucket.

Find a comfy place to sit adjacent to the street.

Toss snails onto street, ensuring snails land somewhere near the center area of street.

Watch passing autos to run them over. (Extra points if a bicyclist runs one over.)

Wait for crunch. Cheer.

No, I don't live in a trailer, park my cars on the lawn, or throw beer cans in the back of my pickup. I don't have a pickup.

There may be something wrong with me, but I can't resist a little mollusk vs Michelin.

Last year, we gave up snailing. My son had raised a couple dozen snails for a science project. He gave them the best, most tender greens, and a really nice terrarium. They were so happy, they created several hundred little snails. Caring for them as we did, we felt responsible for them, kind of like parents. And good parents don't throw their children under speeding vehicles. We released them into the wilds of our yard, and my eleven year old son was a tearful empty nester.

This year, all bets are off. We are going to embrace our killer instincts and throw the great grandchildren into traffic.

Works well with tomato worms too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Gewgaw, Las Vegas Souvenir Fan

The Gewgaw has finally returned.

This plastic fan is decorated with pictures of casinos, a few which have long since vanished from the Las Vegas landscape - The Sahara, Landmark, Stardust (with original starburst sign), Circus Circus, the Freemont/Downtown area, Caesars, the Hilton, and the pre-fire MGM Grand.

Oh, and of course, what souvenir would be complete without the ubiquitous Hoover Dam.

The fan is a bit dysfunctional - the plastic is flexible and it bends and flops when you fan yourself. It would probably melt in the heat of a Las Vegas summer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pigeon Saga, cont.

I hope this is the last we'll see of our feathery poo generators.

My husband used a non-polluting, cruelty-free, wonderfully clever method of ridding our power lines of pigeons.

No birds were harmed, although they were shaken up, a bit.

One gentle tap with one heavy duty sledge hammer to the base of telephone pole, and voila, the vibrations drove the flying hordes away. They returned a few minutes later, however, one additional tap, and they took up housekeeping elsewhere. We observed them sleeping on a power line a couple blocks away. They're probably pooing on someone else's vehicle as I write this.

Only time will tell if the poo pests are history.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Doin' the Pigeon

I love Bert and Ernie. As for the pigeons...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Problem with Pigeons

We've been having an ongoing problem with pigeons. Not so much the pigeons really, but the loads of guano they leave behind.

They've been around, but lately they've multiplied and are now roosting on the high tension wires in front of our home. Park a car there overnight, and by morning, it's been firebombed with pigeon splat that covers the hood, windows, roof and trunk. It's quite amazing how much a sleeping bird can poo.

It's much worse than in years past.

The real problem is two fold. For several years, pigeons roosted in the attic of a home across the street. This house was owned by a couple going through a divorce, and it sat empty for several years. When it was finally sold, the attic was abated, but the pigeons managed to find other roosting sites to squat, and they've been here ever since.

The second ongoing problem is the little old lady a few doors down that loves pigeons. She provides fresh water and food, and the pigeons spend their days noshing and socializing in her front yard. If you walk the dog/kids by her home, you have to run to avoid any new hair accessories. Small children like to examine the white and green splats as you try to drag them quickly through the poo encrusted guantlet.

My husband is planning an intervention this weekend. He's hoping, with the help of an with an older neighbor, to try to convince her to stop being so altruistic - good luck, dear!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back from the dead

In the event anyone had noticed, I haven't written for my blog in quite some time.

February had been an eventful month, and I didn't have the energy nor the inspiration to write anything.

With the onset of Daylight Savings, I've felt re-energized. Hopefully, I'll keep going and going, and end my sluggery.

Is that a word?

Science fair is over, so it's safe to relate an experience that I don't want a repeat of, at least 'til next year. The project itself was uneventful - my son did alot of work, but the experiment/typing was condensed into a harrowing week and a half because of a little glitch called the US/Canadian postal services.

I ordered some chemicals from a Canadian company on February 1. The last week of February was in full swing, and the package still hadn't arrived. I was sweating bullets, as the project was due March 4. I ended up overnighting an additional kit, at the tune of $50. When the original order finally showed up, I noticed it was stamped 'air mail'.

I suspect it was taped to the back of a messenger pigeon that was shot down over Montana - hence it's belated arrival.

Postscript: He won a first place ribbon, which was nice.

My advice - if you plan on doing an experiment involving these chemicals, have them shipped Priority.

In other news...

My dad ended up in the hospital for a few days - his blood pressure had dropped precipitously, and he had flu like symtoms, stomach discomfort and no appetite. The doctor was surprised he had walked unassisted into the office - I think his pressure was 76/45. They rushed him into emergency.

They pumped him full of antibiotics and fluids, and almost immediately he felt better. Ate two meals at the hospital, and then asked for an enchilada on the way home. At 85, he needs to be a little more careful, don't you think?

Let's see, what else...

My hub brought home a little toy called a Flip Video - it's a handy little camera that has its own USB plug that you hook right into your 'puter. Very simple and uncomplicated. I've made a couple of little movies with the help of iMovies (although the camera has it's own software loaded into the camera.) It's perfect for me, because it only holds 1 hour of footage - it forces you to do something with it, so it doesn't sit in the camera forever. iMovie is great for editing the raw footage.

My son and his friend have taken up filmmaking, and have made their own videos, with the help of this handy little device (only $150.) He's posted one on his own blog. The plan for today is to film another.

Baseball season is in full swing, and I've taken on the task to become scorekeeper. I don't feel confident enough to be the official scorekeeper, but I'm getting better with each game.

Someone explain to me why 'Strike out Watching' is represented by 'KC', and a 'Walk' is called 'Base on Balls' (BB).

No wonder foreigners think this game is confusing.

The hard part is when there's several plays going on at once. I get caught up in the moment and forget I'm supposed to be tracking all the excitement, not cheering. Takes all the fun out of it.