You are viewing zaratyst

Zaratyst the Word Witch

Rainbow in the Pearl Grey Sky

3/20/10 07:13 am - Where in the world is Laura Sandiego?

I am still in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. We don't have Internet access where we are staying, but Bryan's brother, Gareth is letting me steal some and do my laundry at the moment. Pity, it is so early that none of the americans are online to say hi.

Peter's operation did not work as they'd hoped, so now we are waiting for him to recover from that attempt. THen we'll be scheduling a different approach to the problem, with a different kind of surgery in Pretoria. That requires a plain flight for all of us, and finding somewhere for all of us to stay until he is well enough to fly back home. Not much fun for him, that is for sure. I am scheduled to fly back home 4/20. I may have to postpone that, but there is no way of knowing yet.

I have had unhappy tummy ever since I got here over a week ago. Luckily, I know a pharmcist, who also knows a doctor, so now I have some meds, which may help me. Here's hoping! Otherwise things are good, we're keeping positive attitude. I do miss my friends, who I would normally te chatting to on the dear Internet, I admitg.

11/1/09 02:35 pm - Laura with Ryan's head on....


IMG_1076
Originally uploaded by zenspider
This is me, wearing Ryan's murdering Hello Kitty head for a minute. The children who I gave candy too were not even scared of me. Darn. More pictures on my flickr, and soon on facebook.

10/27/09 03:42 pm - Crown Poem

The Crown Poem
It is novacaine
20 minutes of grinding the tooth down.
Impression
Sit for 30 minutes.
Pour amalgam into impression,
Wait 20 minutes.
Pop on, take off.
Grind edges.
Pop on, take off.
Grind edges.
Okay, feel good.
Glue.

My dentist, who sees zondrrrah and mholmesiv as well, told me I need a crown. He said I shoudl ask one of them, as they are well versed in the experience. The above is zondrrrah's response, which I thought made a fun poem. :)

10/23/09 09:33 am - Secret Societies

Some of you will know what this song really means *shifty look*.

10/12/09 02:50 pm - Hey locals, Got Ark?

flood.ashx Serious flooding may occur in some areas of King County this winter. Homes, farms and businesses in the Green River Valley are particularly at risk.  Residents of Auburn, Kent, Renton, South Seattle and Tukwila will be most effected.

Residents should prepare now for the winter season. Subscribe to RPIN.org and receive alerts and updates during emergency events. Note: When registering your cell phone or pager for text based RPIN alerts, type your 10-digit number (without dashes or spaces), the "@" symbol and your phone line carrier. Example: 2062225555@verizon.com

For more information, maps, plans etc. visit: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/FloodPlan.aspx

10/12/09 11:47 am - The time has come to think of South African fruitcake

As some of you may recall, We endeavored to make South African style fruitcakes for folks last Yule.  Here’s a post about them, including recipe and my notes to make it easier for us this year.  Click the picture to see pictures of the process and outcome.

These are not gross, store bought fruitcakes, which were the only kind I’d ever had until visiting South Africa at the right time of year.  Now I know why people actually like fruit cake. 

Anyway!  I know it seems early to be thinking about anything Christmas related, but making these babies takes a lot of planning.  They are labor intensive and somewhat expensive to make, yet we plan to do it anyway!  However, I don’t want to waste a cake on anyone who doesn’t like them.  This is not a cake you keep passing around!  :)  I’m afraid I can only make this offer to people who are local, or who will be visiting to pick up their cake locally.  I just don’t think I have the expertise to ship them intact, and they are heavy with goodness!    This offer applies whether you tried one last year or not.  If you loved it, and want another one speak up.  If you did not, but you think there is a good chance you’ll enjoy one, and are intrigued, let me know!  Comment here, or email me, I need to get a count started so I can start making a battle plan!  If you haven’t had one before, you might want to read the recipe ingredients to make sure you’re not allergic to anything therein.

YUM YUM YUM, I can hardly wait!.

10/7/09 08:28 pm - Anyone want a pre-snogged Kindle?

I am  selling my 1st edition amazon Kindle e-book. I'll deregister it from my account, so it won't have books on it.  However, I will leave some on it until it is sold, so it can be test driven.  I looked on amazon and they’re selling for between $149 and $199.  I think $125 would be what I’ll try for here.  If nobody I know wants it, I will go ahead and sell it on there for that price.  The only slight flaw is that the letter “o” on the qwerty keyboard is a little bit hard, you have to make sure it registers when you push it.  The keyboard is used when you’re searching or using the web, but not when you’re reading.  I have the leather cover on it.  I improved that by adding velcro strips on the back to keep it in the cover. 
If you're interested, let me know and I'll give you more details.

P.S. I’m selling it because my beloved mholmesiv bought be a Kindle DX!  The old one’s fonts were slightly too small after my retina fell off.  I can read the new one SO bloody well, that I almost ruptured myself doing the snoopy dance of joy.

9/11/09 09:11 am - Geek Dreams

I don’t usually post about what I dream, but I’m making an exception because I think this one was geeky and amusing. I'll be brief. 



We (me, silenceleigh mysticalforest, trueunicorness, their cat, and Boone, the dog) were travelling across country in a giant kitted out RV.  This RV was specifically set up for us to all test a bunch of geek gadgets.  All sorts of iPods, cell phones, laptops, high tech dog and cat toys, GPS, etc.  They were playing a version of WoW that let you unlock places on a game map as you logged in from actual different geographic places.  You want to play north, you drive north.   It was cool, though I suspect the other folks wouldn’t appreciate the addition of Boone.

8/18/09 07:59 pm - The Zoo short story

I went to the zoo this afternoon, and it made me write this story.  It is a little over 1000 words long.  It is a first draft, needless to say.

The Zoo

Diane loved The Zoo.

The Zoo did not love Diane.

In fact, perhaps no one and nothing loved Diane.

Certainly her brother, Brad, did not. “Hey, Brad, I looked you up in the dictionary, you know what it said? Brad: A small boring tool!” the back half of the school bus population chortled, the front half cringed.

Her mother didn’t. She made that plain years before. She’d spat angry accusations at them all as she drove away, her tires spewing a final arc of gravel.

Not her father, she figured. He fed them, he gave them some stuff. Mainly when Diane badgered and bullied and broke his stuff. Sometimes he’d hit her, but usually that seemed too much effort. He didn’t hit Brad, but he didn’t bother talking to him either, so it evened out.

Not anyone at school. The other students feared or ignored her. The staff were sick of sending her home for her acts of spite and destruction, only to have her return unfazed.

Diane loved The Zoo for several reasons. It was close to their house, so she could bike there any time it was open. Her father had bought a season pass to keep the kids out of his hair, so she could get in free. The dippy dots ice cream product was tasty, with the added benefit that you could ping them off toddler foreheads from a safe distance, and nobody would spot you. Best of all, the animals could not tell on you.

Diane liked to pound on the snake’s glass, drop trash into the massive hippo enclosure, and shriek at any creature she found asleep. She felt a thrill anytime she could share pain or fear with another living thing. She even got a laser pointer and tried to blind polar bears. She got caught though, the laser gun (as she liked to think of it) was confiscated, and she was exiled for a month, so she stopped that game. Her pleas of ignorance and repentance worked. She was back. To be banned from The Zoo was not acceptable.

She was taking a risk today. She craved more excitement. She took her father’s bolt cutters. He’d used them to cut the padlock off a box in the garage. This gave her an idea. She slipped around to the gate of the porcupine exhibit. The lock was harder to cut than she expected, but she put all of her anger into it. She thought how satisfying it would be if she could see on the news that someone got a bunch of quills in the face. She planned to release the lions too, but she could not find the gate, it must be inside a building somewhere, so nobody could do as she planned. Damn.

As Diane sauntered toward the exit, after several pointed “The Park Is Now Closed” announcements, she felt satisfied. She had not been caught, and probably somebody would suffer for it. The trees limbs lashed overhead, as if tossed by a hurricane. Looking up, Diane saw no clouds in any direction.

Diane liked the tall, metal barred turnstiles at the exits to The Zoo. She could pretend not to know how to make it go, and stand in people’s way, blocking it up for a minute or two, and causing a frustrated mob to bunch up in her wake. On the way out of The Zoo, the revolving cylinder clanged to a halt. She knew it was after hours, but she did not see how The Zoo could stop the rotation invisibly, from afar. It was a simple mechanism, just iron bars, welded together to form a straightforward, 4 compartmented roundabout, inside a cylindrical cage, with an open top on the inside half, and a roof on the parking lot side . Diane shouted for a worker to come release her. Nobody came. The silence was cloying. She realized, her own voice was not creating any sound. She screamed then, over and over, but the silence held. She kicked the bars, bruising her flip-flop clad toes. There was no clang. She tried to scale the ladder-like bars, but the top of the cylinder stayed several feet away, no matter how she climbed. It didn’t appear to rise any higher, she just could not make progress, despite placing hands and feet on higher bars and seeming to move upward with each push. That’s it, she thought, this must be a dream, like the ones where she ran from a menacing robot, but could not flee, futilely leaping and thrusting through endless, heavy spider web.

She next noticed the black hair on her arms. It was sprouting fast, racing to cover her skin. She gasped, turning her hands and arms over to examine then. Her arms seemed so long, and there were white markings on her hands. Terror clamped her throat shut.

Diane felt dizzy, leaning back against her cell. She set her backpack beside her, and put her head down on her knees. Was this a heart attack? Her arms, her legs, her skull, all pulsed with bright pain. She determined to wake from the nightmare. Diane squeezed her eyes shut hard, a few tears leaked out, then harder, now hardest! Then, flung her lids wide, demanding of her subconscious give up right now.

She was strong. She felt an unfamiliar sense of peace and confidence. Everything was as it should be. She rose, kicking off some confining fabric she was tangled in. This time she able to climb the bars, and fling herself over the top and back into The Zoo effortlessly. She was swift and powerful. She clamored up a tree, then swung to the next. She had never known she could do this, but it was so graceful and natural a means of travel. The wind caressed her as she soared through the landscape. She sang out, a beautiful ululation into the twilit sky.

Eventually she noticed a man, gesturing to her, and a woman, bearing a bowl of fruit. She dropped down to examine the fruit, it smelled delicious. The woman held out the tray, and she took sweet slices, cramming them into her mouth. The man touched her arm, and she felt a sting. She would bite him for that, as soon as she was done eating this mango.

She awoke sometime later, it was dark. She saw the woman who’d given her fruit people talking into a cell phone on the other side of glass.

“I don’t know where this gibbon came from. It must have been another one of those stealth donations. Probably someone had her for a pet, and got fed up when she got too big. She’s fairly young yet, not quite adolescent. It has happened with all sorts of animals since I came to work here. We can work her into the exhibit once she clears quarantine.”

Diane loved The Zoo. The Zoo loved Diane.

7/20/09 10:34 pm - Roar?

Juniper was a mass of mats.  He is old and doesn’t really groom much anymore.  You’re not supposed to use scissors to cut mats off of him, because his skin could tear.  So, we got the mobile pet groomers to come shave him down. 
This is known as a lion cut, so he has a mane, and poof on his tail.

Obvious jokes about Kris’s pussy being professionally shaved may be placed in comments.  Keep in mind he is still wet in this picture.  I’m still considering what LOL cat it should become…

7/20/09 06:44 pm - I did stuff today

Nothing I did was exciting, but I decided to write it down anyway, just for comparison.

  • watered
  • play with dogs
  • research small business class
  • call for Juniper pet groomer
  • clean Juniper presents
  • 4 loads of laundry
  • make bed
  • spray anti-allergen stuff on comforter and sofa and throw pillows
  • vacuum stairs
  • scrub stairs with brush and Murphy’s oil soap
  • clean kitchen counters
  • scrub out microwave
  • fix dishwasher (I hope)
  • clean out fridge
  • take out recycling
  • transport many items to “the other floor”
  • Make place on floor for Boone in living room, so he doesn’t have to jump on sofa
  • perused  Monday job sites
  • Dealt with mobile groomer, got Juniper a Lion cut.
  • Attempted to stop rolling on the floor laughing at that cat
  • minimal weeding
  • Took picture of the cat
  • Tried even harder to stop laughing.
  • still to do:  dog agility class

7/19/09 06:40 pm - Adventure

Today we did what I think of as an adventure.  We drove off in a random direction, with no plan on where we were going, just enjoying things we encountered, or going with ideas as they occurred to us.  zondrrrah and I used to do this often in Iowa, because, frankly, there was not tons of organized things to do.  I”m glad to take it up again with mholmesiv.  I forgot my camera, but we did have our G1 Phones.

We looked through some model homes in Kent by Polygon, doorswhich we were not very impressed with.  Less than McMansions, even.  We did find that Monsters Inc had set up shop in one of their garages.

Bryan test drove a 2010 Prius, which was really nice, and boy, do the breaks work!  It has 7 airbags, which are a feature you never want to see.  I suspect this will be our next car, which will almost certainly happen in the next year, wile this model is still out. 

rainier We traveled through and around the Muckleshoot lands.  They were setting up for a concert at the White River amplitheater, No Doubt and Paramore.  Wow, that’s pretty cool!  The mountain was out, dressed up for a evening out.

I then remembered that a Sonic recently opened down there somewhere.  We looked it up, and paid them a visit!  It did my little Okie heart good to partake of a cherry limeade.  P.S. The carhop was so thrilled to be tipped she almost fell over.  It’s polite to tip carhops people, even if it IS fast food.

bbqpetsThe most amusing moment was seeing this sign, right down the street from the King County Animal Shelter.  Um… I know economic times are tough but…

* Note for fellow blind guys:  Sign reads “BBQ PET S” and yes, the second “e” fell off.

All in all, a good adventure.

7/8/09 12:50 pm - Allergies

After mholmesiv got his allergy testing done, I was thinking I probably should go have this done too.  They change over time.  Mine were feeling more seasonal than they used to.  In 1993 when I got tested I was only allergic to dust mites & ragweed.  After they got done with me, my inner arms look like those pictures of the suction cups on octopus arms.

The most important finding is that I have asthma, and kind of significantly.  I thought I was just unfit for running out of breath.  D’oh.  I know have stuff to deal with that, and a meter that I’m supposed to use a couple of times a day to measure my lung capacity.  Weird. I think my Dad brain washed me to believe asthma isn’t real or something.  I have no trouble believing other people have it, I just didn’t believe I did, I guess.

I used the same format for allergies as Bryan did in his post in February so that I can compare and contrast. 

Things I am HIGHLY allergic to

  • D. farinae (house dust)
  • d. pteronyssinus (house dust)
  • Red Alder
  • White Birch (yeah, the ones outside our bedroom window)

Strongly allergic to

  • stemphylium solani (mold)
  • alternaria (mold)
  • helminthosppium (mold)

Moderately allergic to: 

  • peincillium (mold)
  • Kochia (weed)
  • cats (!)
  • trychophyton (tickle fight song?!)
  • hypoallergenic dogs (more allergic than normal dogs)

Mildly allergic:

  • peanuts
  • dogs
  • candida
  • cottonwood trees

So dust and dust mites are my preferred enemy.  I’m going to see if I can find a weapon with plusses against them.



EDIT: No holy avengers found yet, but this site the Dr. gave me might have some potions, scrolls and wands at least.

7/2/09 04:44 pm - My america

Hey, so Bryan did the whole becoming an American citizen the other day, and I watched. It wasn't bad, it was kind of solemn and so forth right up until the very last bit... during with they showed a horrendous country music song, that sounded xenophobic and self righteous, the opposite of everything they JUST FINISHED saying we don't stand for! It was also religious, which they just finished saying how you are free to worship any way you want, or not worship at all. That song was called God Bless The USA with Lee Greenwood, for the curious.

I realize that is not an unfair representation of many people's versions of the country, but it isn't mine. Here's what I think they should play instead, if they wanted to welcome people to my America!


6/23/09 10:19 am - Happy 8th wedding anniversary!

Best Husband Ever.P6232770

6/19/09 10:23 am - Adventure!

Tomorrow Kris goes off to fulfill a long held dream.  She’ll be away from home for 6 weeks.  I’ve never been away from my living place that long.  It should be quite an adventure.  All we can say is “Go Kris!” and “We’ll miss you!”

6/19/09 10:01 am - Bryan the American


Bryan the American
Originally uploaded by zaratyst
Bryan did his oath of citizenship yesterday. Now he be enfranchised. No more taxation without representation for him. P.S. If anyone wants the laminated study cards for the test, speak up.

6/16/09 03:02 pm - Weilrd Al as Jim Morrison does it get any better?

Yes! because it's about craigslist!

6/15/09 11:30 am - Happy 2nd Birthday, Pip!

She’s a good dog.  Yesterday she conducted a special recital for Bryan on turkey and duck noisy dog toys.  Such talent!

6/13/09 01:03 pm - Can’t take animal witches anywhere

This cat is the local greenhouse cat.  He would have been happy to ride around on me and drool all day, I’m pretty sure.  I would have been happy to let him. 

6/6/09 09:03 am - Happy Birthday Greebo!

Greebo is seven today. 

6/3/09 09:32 am - We moved here for the moderate climate…

You know, it was a cold, nasty, lengthy winter.   Now it’s hot.  Who is this strange climate, and what have they done with Seattle?   Seems like it has lost the hang of moderation.

Heat Advisory

Seattle, Bremerton Area (Washington)
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
305 AM PDT WED JUN 3 2009
WAZ505-507>509-032300-
/O.NEW.KSEW.HT.Y.0001.090603T2100Z-090605T0100Z/
EAST PUGET SOUND LOWLANDS-EVERETT AND VICINITY-
SEATTLE/BREMERTON AREA-TACOMA AREA-
305 AM PDT WED JUN 3 2009
...HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 6 PM PDT
THURSDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A HEAT
ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 6 PM
PDT THURSDAY.
OFFSHORE FLOW...WARM AIR ALOFT...LONG DAYS...AND A HIGH EARLY JUNE
SUN ANGLE ARE COMBINING TO PRODUCE VERY WARM CONDITIONS IN THE
SEATTLE-TACOMA-EVERETT AREA. DAYTIME TEMPERATURES ON TUESDAY ROSE
WELL INTO THE 80S TO AROUND 90. EXPECT TEMPERATURES THIS AFTERNOON
AND THURSDAY AFTERNOON TO BE ABOUT THE SAME AS TUESDAY...NEAR
RECORD LEVELS.
THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT AND AN OFFSHORE BREEZE MOVING DOWN
OFF THE CASCADES IS NOT ALLOWING TEMPERATURES TO COOL OFF MUCH AT
NIGHT. LOW TEMPERATURES THIS MORNING AND AGAIN THURSDAY MORNING
WILL ONLY BE AROUND 60 DEGREES.
DEWPOINT TEMPERATURES...A MEASURE OF HOW MUCH MOISTURE IS IN THE
AIR...HAVE BEEN IN THE COMFORTABLE LOWER 40S. THEY WILL RISE TO
THE LOWER 50S ON THURSDAY...MAKING IT FEEL A BIT MORE MUGGY AND
UNCOMFORTABLE. LIGHTER BREEZES ON THURSDAY WILL ALSO MAKE IT FEEL
MORE UNCOMFORTABLE.
THE EARLY JUNE WARM SPELL WILL COME TO AN ABRUPT END THURSDAY
EVENING AS A STRONG MARINE PUSH ALLOWS COOL AND MOIST PACIFIC AIR
TO SURGE INLAND.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS
EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND RATHER HIGH
HUMIDITY CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE.
DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS. STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM IF POSSIBLE.
STAY OUT OF THE SUN...AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.
REMEMBER THAT AREA LAKES AND RIVERS ARE STILL COLD. ESCAPING THE
HEAT BY JUMPING INTO A COLD LAKE OR RIVER CAN LEAD TO DEATH BY
HYPOTHERMIA OR DROWNING.
$$
ALBRECHT
WEATHER.GOV/SEATTLE

5/31/09 10:32 pm - Would you not love a lawn faerie?

So, we have this fabulous friend who many of you know, named Gina.  She doubles as a talented and fleet garden

faerie!  She’s making her living this summer by doing some gardening, which she loves to do. For us, she has  mowed the lawn, trimmed bushes and trees, weeded, used the weed whacker, gave advice about tricky growing spots, and all sorts of other amazing tasks!  We can’t possibly thank her enough.   She’s rather astonishingly hard working.  We once paid some “professional” landscaping dudes, and they did not do as much as she manages to do, and charged more.

In short, if you’re in King County area, and you’re like us, that is, you have your own lawn care and gardening equipment, but you’re either not particularly inclined to use them yourself, or just don’t have the time or talent, she’s currently considering new gigs.  If you’re interested, you can contact her via email and see if what you have is a good job fit for her, negotiate cost, etc.  I believe that a one shot or ongoing outdoor doings are both possibility if everybody is having fun.  I imagine her days are filling up fast, so get in before she’s all booked up! 

Gina’s  email is hrhwillows at aol dot com, tell her Greebo sent you.

5/29/09 10:30 am - Memorial Day recipes (I knew it was one of those bracketing summer Monday holidays)

Several of the folks at the Labor Day cookout asked for various recipes, so here are links and such like.  The salmon was planked on various types of planks (alder, cedar, cherry, white oak and maple) and topped with lemon and dill.  The way we do it is just to cook it until it’s bright pink all the way through (no longer translucent).  This may be a bit rare for some audiences, but out here the salmon is so GOOD, you don’t want to insult it by over-cooking it. 

The baby back ribs were from Alton Brown, you can find that recipe here.  We ran out of those, let that be a lesson to those who didn’t RSVP, if you tell me you’re coming, I can buy more food, and you’ll get all you want, and not be stuck with macaroni salad.  :)  The vegetarian riblets were a new product from Morning Star Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets.

 

Thanks to all who attended!

5/26/09 05:19 pm - Weasley Clock

Several months ago, I decided I wanted to make a Weasley clock.  I researched the 8 “times” described by J. KClock before . Rowling, and I decided to try decoupage to create it.  I bought a big, plain white clock from Ikea, and started work.  I shopped for fonts, choosing one  more elaborate than the one you see on the finished product.  I tried several times, but wasn’t happy with the look of it.  mholmesiv took a look at my plight, and suggested a way of doing it that involved me making stencils, and using various tones of spray paint.  I knew that I’m just not precise enough to do this.  He volunteered!  I made the stencils, and he did all the work on the clock itself.  The surface is an iridescent purple, which you might not be able to tell from the picture.  I love it!  Thanks mholmesiv!


our Weasley clock

Powered by LiveJournal.com