The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: February, 2007

Do You Need a Pan Flute?

I think it’s very important that you all go and figure out if you need a pan flute or not.

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I Remembered!

I remembered what I was going to write about! I should probably save this for a novel or short story, but don’t you think you have earned a special posting? I think you have. All 3 of you who read this site regularly.

Sunday night there were a lot of odd conversations. VERY odd. We had my niece and nephew over for a while, and then when my sister came to get them, we all went to TGI Fridays. So here are the things that occurred after we got the kids in the van:

1. I became an eastern European tour bus guide. I pointed out helpful things along the lines of “In front of you is road. Behind is road.” I pointed out the rubbish barrels on the side of the road. I told them that if at any point they noticed the bus driver missing, they should “Press ding button”. They seemed greatly amused by the whole drive.

2. There were two shows on the TVs in the TGIF bar – on one was a car race. On the other, I don’t know because I could only see TVs with the car race. I pointed out that race car drivers probably wore diapers. There was some discussion about “pit stop” means something different in non-racing circles. We call it a pit stop when we want a potty break. Mr. Dump pointed out that race car drivers don’t exit the car during the race.

3. Whatever was on the other television involved bees. I asked what it was about and Mr. Dump said it was a story about how they are training bees to sniff out drugs. We envisioned a world where they would release swarms of bees in airports to look for drugs. I thought maybe they meant farms where they were growing pot. We wondered if it would be helpful to attach little cameras to the backs of the bees. Then Mr. Dump admitted he made the whole thing up. I still think you’d get a lot more people admitting they had drugs on them if swarms of bees were circling their heads.

4. Nah, I’m saving this one for the re-write of the nano-novel. I have to have SOMETHING to replace all the crappy stuff I have to remove.

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When You Have 2 Hours to Think

I had the really pleasant “2 hours to drive what normally takes 40 minutes” commute this morning. People, if you can’t drive in the snow, stay home and let the rest of us get to work. Of course, I have four new tires on my van, so I’m feeling a little better about driving in bad weather. Nothing like fresh treads to take your mind of hydroplaning. Not that I’m a risky driver; I most certainly am not. But there was nothing out on 117 today that should have caused it to back up the way it did. Someone is to blame, and when I find that person, I am going to give him/her SUCH an Indian burn!

Oh wait, is it politically incorrect to call it an Indian burn? I’m sorry. I meant no disrespect. Do tell, dear readers…what is the politically correct way to refer to an Indian burn?

So while I was stuck in the car for two hours, I had some kind of great idea for what to talk about today, but somehow I forgot what it was. I could make something up, but it wouldn’t be the great thing that I thought of. You know, the great thing that would catapult me to the top of the personal website heap. Make ME blogging queen 2007. But I can’t remember what it was. So I continue to flounder in obscurity. In 11 years of doing this, can’t I be the queen at least once?

Other ordinary stuff:
Video Game Review: Sonic and the something something for Wii: I haven’t played the game-game (sorry!) but I have played the really great bunch of party games a la Mario Party. In fact, I like them better than Mario Party 7. I’ve heard Mario Party 8 (due out soon?) isn’t what it could be. So A- for Sonic’s party games, or what I’ve seen of it so far. [Note: If you buy this at Target it comes with an exclusive DVD with a Sonic Comic book on it. We took a look and it’s not worth buying just for that, unless the Target price is lower than wherever else you shop.]

Music: John Mayer Continuum A. I love it. Mr. Dump loves it. What more do you need?

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Sunday Afternoon Challenge

Okay, only a few hours left to the Leominster challenge on Flickr. The challenge was to take a photo of a door. Nothing specific on the type of door, mind you, just that it couldn’t be a photo you’d taken prior to my issue of the challenge.

Upload yours to flickr and add it to our Leominster group!
shed_door

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Wednesday Is Idol Day

I actually forced myself to sit through last night’s American Idol. I am hoping that the reason everyone was so lame is because they were so completely overwhelmed by being in the final 24. I’m hoping.

I’m a huge huge fan of Chris Sligh, though. Enough that for the first time since Idol debuted, I actually called in and voted in an early round. He’s great, his personality is great. I want to hang around with him. Don’t you think he’d be fun to take bowling?

Tonight the girls are on. I pray they are better than the guys, because if they aren’t, that’s 4 hours of my life I’m not going to get back. Well, 2.5 because have a Tivo.

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Don’t Be Mocking Me

Okay, Junior and I were taking photos today. That was our activity. We did take a bunch of pictures up at Skyview Middle School, which can be seen in my personal Leominster set (they are also in the Leominster group I linked to below.)

That little trip went fairly well, considering it was about 500 below zero up on top of the hill so we decided to take most of the pictures from inside the car.

When it was closer to sunset (i.e. good light) we headed over to Evergreen Cemetery to get a few more shots. I went in the main entrance to see if I could get a good shot of the sign (I couldn’t) and then headed up the road to the right that goes into the “old” section. I got to the part that curves uphill…and it was snow-covered with big ruts. Uh oh, my van was not going to make it up the hill. But when I went to back down, the car didn’t turn, it just sort of slid straight down. I didn’t hit anything but snow, but that snow got good and jammed and my car got stuck. So I tried to rock it back and forth and started to get nervous that I was getting too close to the stones, given that I was trying to do this by myself.

I eventually called Mr. Dump to bring a shovel to save us. How embarrassing. But I don’t think this is my fault. If the city didn’t want to plow that whole road (it was plowed up to that curve) they should have blocked it with a barrel or something. And looking at that immediate area, it looks like I wasn’t the first person to get stuck there.

If the city is going to plow the roads in the cemetery, they should plow all the roads in the cemetery, or block them off so that people like me don’t get stuck and there isn’t a risk of anyone damaging the stones.

So Mr. Dump freed us, and we went home photo-less. I told Junior we’d go back…after the snow melts.

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Flickring

I just created a Leominster MA group on Flickr. There was already a Fitchburg group. I’m going to make the description that it’s not just for photos of Leominster, but for photos from photographers from Leominster.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/leominster/

I’m going to try to go out and take a few photos today. I am really going to try to take advantage of flickr and the communities. I’ve already learned a couple of things from the Canon Rebel XTi group I joined.

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Nose and Paws


Nose and Paws, originally uploaded by Big DumpTruck.

This is the coolest photo of the group I took today.

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It’s Backup Day!

I’m working from home because Leominster called a snow day, so Junior is trying to figure out how to make snowballs out of sleet. Someone is bound to get hurt, I just want to call that one early. The conversation will sound a lot like

I got hurt!
Put some ice on it.
That’s how I got hurt!

I decided it was as good a day as any to burn some backup DVDs. Actually, I’m starting to think I should have burned backup CDs. Sure, I can store many gigs of content on a DVD, but it takes a good half an hour or more to burn one. Sheesh.

There’s nothing that feels better than doing a backup of my photos so that I won’t be as nervous about the laptop pooping out on me like the last one did. I also did a backup of some of the stuff I’ve purchased on iTunes recently. Heavens to Betsy, I don’t want to lose anything I actually paid for!

I was practicing taking snow photos with the new camera, but I’m still in the learning stages. I think I will be for a long time. I have started to “get it” about certain settings, but I can’t say that I know which ones to use to get the results I want.

I also practiced taking pictures of the dog, because it was a lot less cold and wet sitting on the floor in front of him. The thing I need to try to figure out (and I don’t know if there’s anything specific to this in the manual) is how to take a photo through a window without it auto focusing on the screen. I think I may have to use manual focus. Wish me luck!

[Link to Phantom Photos ]

Update 2:47pm: I also took some bird pictures but I don’t think they came out nearly as well. One of you is going to have to pony up for one of the Image Stabilization lenses I want for my camera. The zoom one they just released for a thousand dollars will be just fine.

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I Did NOT Make Shoo Fly Pie

I don’t even know what Shoo Fly Pie is. I think it’s molasses-based super sweet pie. Just the kind of thing that gives dentists the heebie-jeebies.

Our house is infested with what I call “banana bugs”. They got in the house via banana, and found an onion that was on the counter behind something else, so we didn’t see it right away. I guess it was pretty bad when Mr. Dump found it. By then the gnats were making themselves comfortable whenever and wherever they liked. So we’ve been doing extra scrubbing, doing dishes immediately, putting all fruit and veggies in the fridge or the microwave, throwing the rubbish out right away, rinsing out our empties so well you could eat off them. Still, the buggers are in the house, driving us crazy.

Mr. Dump went to Shaw’s last night to get the minimal groceries we need for the next few days, when he passed through the produce section and saw there were fruit flies EVERYWHERE. So the store is infested, which is how our house got infested. He ran to customer service and reamed them out and the woman casually mentioned he was the FOURTH person to complain. Oh, and all the fly strips and all those types of bug-catching devices? The shelves are BARE. So we aren’t the only people in Leominster breeding bugs. Thanks, Shaws! I hope you straighten things out before someone gets the board of health involved!

Oh, and here’s the method we’re going to use to get rid of the buggers. Apparently they are stupid, which is why this works.

From http://fruitflytraps.com/hometrap.htm

  1. Get 1 empty 2-litre plastic bottle.
  2. Remove the cap
  3. Mark the bottle about an inch below where the curvy part stops and the straight side of the bottle starts.
  4. Cut the bottle where you marked, at the the straight part
  5. Put an inch or so of one (or more) of the following into the base of the bottle: Vinegar, Apple Cider, Wine, Orange Juice.
  6. Turn the other piece, the top piece, of the bottle upside down, so the spout is pointing into the base of the bottle and jam it in
  7. Use tape (duct, masking) to seal up where the two pieces meet.

Voila, jar of dead bugs! We hear it works pretty quickly to trap them, although they may not die immediately. You can replace the liquid if it gets too gross.

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