26 September 2008
We normally do not have many mosquitoes here, not like some places. Certainly one of the advantages of living in a dry climate. Usually, in summer, we might see one, maybe two mosquitoes in the house. No biggie. THIS year, we have had more than a dozen (at different times) but consecutively since mid August.
Around these parts, the prevailing theory for this increased number of skeeters is that we have had a very wet summer. Since June we have gotten at least seven inches of rain at our house alone (we normally get seven inches in an entire year).
While it is true wetter years see more mosquitoes, I think the real culprits are swimming pools abandoned at foreclosed homes. The metro Phoenix area has one of the highest rates of foreclosed houses, and I think those artificial lakes are the spawning grounds for this year's outsized crop of flying blood suckers.
Who's right? Who knows. I just know I will be glad when the night-time temperatures start going down to about 50 degrees. That's cold enough to kill them (I hope). Luckily, no one here has exhibited any of the signs of West Nile virus, so, whew!
You may read the article here.
18 September 2008
14 September 2008
13 September 2008
Here is a video (from a 16mm original) of me dancing when I was about four years old. I danced all the time around the house, non stop. I was hyperactive (duh!). A few years after this movie I won a dance contest at one of my dad's company picnics. The prize? A giant box of chocolates. Yes, life was good.
Click for about a minute of silliness. There is no sound (things were primitive back then).
08 September 2008
07 September 2008
Here is a little piece of nostalgia: a 1943 radio commercial for Spry Vegetable Shortening, a competitor of Crisco which, as we all know, won. (When was the last time you heard of Spry? Probably never.)
Ration points, mentioned in the commercial, were little stamps you got in a booklet. You had to give your grocer the appropriate number of stamps to allow you to buy things like meat, sugar, coffee, shoes and the like. No stamps? You could not buy the product. This was to insure that no person got more than his or her fair share of that certain item -- to prevent shortages.
You can read more about Spry, and its primary spokesperson Aunt Jenny (pictured).
05 September 2008
02 September 2008
I have hated his voice since I first noticed that every damned American movie preview sounded the same. I mean, the plots are already the same and star the same four actors, made by the same two studios and directed by the same three people. The movies are virtual clones of themselves, but do they have to SOUND exactly alike too?
Of course, they do. Mainstream American cinema is all about remaking the same movie over and over, so why should they sound different?
Well, this guy just died. I don't want you to think I have been doing a little happy dance since I heard about his death because that would be just mean. It's sad when anyone dies, generally. I told my spouse, Matt, that I wanted to write a blog entry about this, but did not want to seem ghoulish that someone has died and that cinemas will (eventually) stop sounding exactly alike (this guy probably recorded a couple thousand move trailers that will play out over the next decade or so, but someday they will run out) and that maybe, one day, it will be safe to step back into a cinema again.
Maybe this will be the beginning of the end of American films all being alike, maybe people will want to do something DIFFERENT and not succumb to the easy money of making sequel after sequel, remake after remake, and every film based on some television show from the 1960s.
Okay, maybe I'm drunk with delirium but it COULD happen.
01 September 2008
Was hurricane Katrina god's punishment because New Orleans was the site of a big gay-themed event or is hurricane Gustav currently god's punishment for the world tolerating Republicans?
If the first is true, then the second must be true; if the second one is untrue, then the first must also be untrue.