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Exit ArchiveArchive for October, 2004

The living room is DONE. It looks GREAT. Once I get my furniture, it will be COMFY.

My having people over to watch Superman and Superman II tomorrow helped me get this chunk of the renovations finished. But my is it echoey! I’ll have to hang tapestries to dampen the reverberations.

And I want to say what a miracle that blue masking tape is! I have never used it before, and I am impressed as all get-out.

But it’s 2:00am. So who cares? I must get sleep before The Incredibles!

It’s very sad. My parents’ ducks are being eaten.

My dad built this pond in the back yard with plants and waterfalls and everything. Then he and my mom bought some baby ducks. The ducklings loved the pond and as they grew they became true pets to my parents. The ducks were tame and very cute.

Something found out the ducks were there, and a few nights ago, one of them disappeared. Then the next night, another one was gone, and my dad found feathers in one corner of the yard.

Now my folks are trying to give the ducks to a refuge somewhere, because they do not want their two remaining pets to be eaten.

This is very sad. I know it’s nature and all, but it all sounded so idyllic and nice, a lovely pond in the back yard with living ducks!

This happened once long ago when I was young and we had a chicken and some chicks at our house. They were fine until the foxes in the field next to our house discovered them and started picking them off one-by-one. The last sight I had of the birds was the hen and one last chick huddled under a tree in the brush, looking, to my eye, very scared. Then they were completely gone.

My poor folks. Maybe ducks don’t fetch and curl up in your lap, but they were still loved.

Permalink Comments Off on Anti-Bush in SpanishComments Off on Anti-Bush in Spanish By

Why not start off a fresh, new day with a fun anti-Bush ad sung in Spanish?

Why not, indeed!

Click here.

Permalink Comments Off on CareComments Off on Care By

Good night and sleep tight Steve. I want you to get good rest. I care about you very much and I just want you to know that.

Steve, can you please come pay us a visit, because we keep running out of jam and it would be useful to have someone here whose finger can squirt jam. Very useful indeed.

I have to admit something rather horrible. I don’t usually do things like this. But I did. And now I have to come clean.

I got very, very angry yesterday at someone I work with. Extremely angry. No hitting, slapping, punching or other physicality was involved (or ever would be) and I used no profanity (and very rarely do). I just said some not nice things.

I apologized soon after, but this person had already decided to take the issue to a superior. (Of course, we had agreed between us that we would settle it like adults and accept apologies and work well together — I meant it, but “this person” didn’t … clearly.) So, today, unsurprisingly, I was asked about it. I did completely admit what I had done and expressed remorse. But then I went one step further and did my best to engender sympathy. I said things were difficult in my non-work life, that there were problems I didn’t want to discuss (but I made some broad allusions to things that are sort of true, but also pretty much not). Yes, I lied.

I lied to save face. I lied to get people not to be angry at me.

I can justify it by saying my lie made the situation better, which it did. I can justify it by saying the lie completely eradicated any ill will and put us both on a level playing field. Yes, I could, those things would be true.

I can even say the lie wasn’t really a lie, because much of it is based in truth. Is there such a thing as a half-lie? A quarter-lie? This was part way between a little white lie and a “real” lie, leaning toward the former.

Should I feel badly about this? If a lie ends up improving a situation, is it bad? Do I come clean and face the music? Do I just quit while I’m ahead?

You see, I rarely lie. Almost never. I’m no good at it (but I surprised myself today) and I feel badly about it after the fact — but, somehow, today I don’t. I believe in honesty, and that’s the truth. But I discovered something today — bending the truth, telling a lie, whatever you want to call it, can actually have a positive effect.

If no one is harmed, if the lie causes no further problems, is it bad?

And why do I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, writing boring rhetorical questions?

Permalink Comments Off on Banana RepublicanComments Off on Banana Republican By

This is fantastic! Check out Banana Republican. [NOTE: No longer around. Sad. —Ed.]

SkullsDespite the irrelevant, off-topic rancor putrefying around my last post on this topic, here is a new discovery that adds another brick to the evolution argument.

“Scientists have unearthed the bones of a species of human never seen before.”

Proponents of intelligent design can, of course, say, “But it was created as a separate creature, not as an evolution from other humans.”

Whatever. And I can squirt seedless raspberry jam from the tip of my left index finger.

Permalink Comments Off on Aaron SwartzComments Off on Aaron Swartz By

A nice post from some kid at Stanford who has lots of great things to say about stuff.

The Politics of Lying

He has an interesting theory about the right lying and getting away with it, or even why they lie in the first place, and how the left lies less and when they do they get taken to task for it more heavily. The Clinton/Bush comparison certainly supports his idea.

Warning: I may contain traces of tree nuts.


My eyes seem to be very sensitive. I don’t mean like sensitive to the sun or extremes of temperature, I mean sensitive to correction. Last year, I had problems with my new glasses. A curve correction fixed the problem, but my Optometrist–or is she an ophthalmologist?–was surprised it had made such a difference to me.

Today I had to return to the doctor to have her check my new contact lenses. Since getting them on Wednesday, my eyes have been feeling “disconnected.” I’ve been getting subtle headaches and dizziness. She discovered one of the new lenses was slightly overpowered but within specs, and might have a tiny warping, usually nothing anyone would notice.

So my eyes are very sensitive. They simply demand absolute and uncompromising perfection!


I am missing out on some amazing moments in sports. As a life-long sports apathetic, I find this to be an interesting discovery.

I was lucky enough to catch Paul Hamm winning the gold, even through scoring error, but I missed everything else in the Olympics.

When the Lakers won the big one last year with fractions of a second remaining in the game, Sven and I had just left Fatburger, seeing on the TVs there that there was no way they could pull it off. The shouting and screams from the entire neighborhood on our walk back to the apartment proved us wrong. How I wish we would have stayed at Fatburger a little longer.

And last night, the hour-long din of celebrating Red Sox fans told me the game was amazing. Not ’til today’s NPR listening did I understand how unique and close the game really was. It would have been fun to watch it.


I am 95% certain (plus or minus 4%) that I’m going to upgrade my DirecTV service so that I can finally receive Comedy Central. I would do it solely because I am in awe of Jon Stewart’s humor and intelligence.

If I do so, I will be breaking a year-and-a-half-long TV fast. I have not watched entertainment TV in so long that I realize I don’t need TV, and I have enjoyed the extra time I have in the evenings. But The Daily Show seems to be worth the time and money.

I’ll wait until the election’s over to see if I still feel that way.


I was attacked by a simple kindness this week. I bought an incredibly heavy new TV stand on Wednesday, and when I got it home after work, I suddenly realized I had no idea how to get it into my place!

As I was standing there grasping the sides of the box in tentative variations, a tall man ambled by. Without any prompting of any kind, he asked me if I needed help. He said I didn’t want to throw my back out.

Together we moved the big box into my living room. I thanked him profusely. The only real appreciation I could show beyond my thanks was to let him through our gate to get to the sports bar across the alleyway. He was probably on his way to watch the Red Sox-Yankees game.

Another public service:

Beware the power of poorly-hidden Christianity. In this Wired magazine article, proponents of Intelligent Design make inroads into Ohio public schools. Intelligent Design is nothing but religion disguised as science, a “theory” created by a conservative think tank.

Science is slapped in the face.

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I must post the following links as a public service.

First up, Jon Stewart on Crossfire, giving them a piece of his mind, and them behaving exactly the way he’s critisizing them for behaving.

And as a follow-up, a piece of The Daily Show the following Monday, where Jon hilariously summarizes his Crossfire appearance and then goes on to bash Kerry and Bush in the final two debates.

This is ludicrous. My Forum was hijacked! Some dumbass posted a comment containing code to forward the forum to another page saying “You’ve been hacked. Call me for help.”

Idiot! I had to go into my database directly to delete the entry. This is silly! I hope I don’t have to add a security feature, like a password or CAPTCHAS.

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Thanks to John for this ridiculous story.

I suppose then that all the religious zealots will agree it’s fair that they restrict their proselytizing to Sunday only and let the rest of the world live in peace the other six days of the week.

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

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Tiny jacket being grown from flesh and bone tissue GROSS

Okay, one more post…

Researchers are growing a jacket–Yes, GROWING A JACKET–from living tissue, specifically mouse cells and human bone cells. Why? Because it’s cruelty-free.


I know killing animals ain’t great, but wearing a jacket grown in a lab? I can picture it heaving and throbbing on my body, glistening with moisture and, if I’m unlucky, gaining sentience and swallowing me up to feed its unnatural being.


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RetroplayerHooray for Mac people! There’s a guy in Japan who created this funny little music player app, Retroplayer, whose interface is a record on a turntable. It adds pops and crackles like on an old record and has a speed adjustment and an on/off switch. You move the tone arm to skip forward or backward on the track. It even adds that warp sound (where the music speeds up and slows down) and will randomly skip!

A preference panel allows you to alter some of these options. Since it’s all in Japanese, I’ll tell you what the control sliders do: 1 = Music Volume; 2 = Effects Volume; 3 = Warp Amount; 4 = Skip Occurrence; 5 = Pop and Crackle Amount.

I say “hooray for Mac people” because Retroplayer is clever, fun and looks great. Details, details. That’s where the Devil resides.

Go here to try it out on either OS X or OS 9. The site is also mostly in Japanese, but it’s easy to figure out.

Monday evenings are my alone time with the dogs. Jeff is out at chorus practice, and I’m here to do laundry (yes, it’s mostly my job — yuck) and try to relax.

The last few days I’ve really, really been missing L.A. Somethin’ fierce. Life up here is so vastly different, and even though this weekend was filled with going out with friends and being social and active, I had a major bout of homesickness. Peter Cetera was right, and if you know what I mean by that, I’ll be mightily impressed (not to mention surprised at your age).

You’re lucky to be there. I’ve got tons of reasons to be lucky to be here — love my job, have a nice house, have a boyfriend who loves me, all that good stuff. In January, I’ll have been gone for two years but I can’t help but think it feels like just yesterday. Whenever you have one of those “I hate L.A.” days — and I think I had one of those years, making me open to the idea of moving away — remember what you’ve got: perfect weather (even when it’s pouring rain, that’s somehow perfect in L.A.), no lack of anything to do, amazing movie theaters and restaurants, and the option to do it all without screaming little kids everywhere you go. Plus, you get to do it all in Los Angeles, which, despite all that makes you want to hate it, is a place you just end up loving.

Heavy sigh. Back to laundry and maybe a trip to Safeway.

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Grim. I love iPods, but I would never eat cooked roaches to get a free one.

But bring on the baked potato bugs! YUM!