New Jen's Horde

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween, Everyone!


Anya, as a werewolf Posted by Hello


Maya, as a black cat Posted by Hello


Sage, as the G.rim R.eaper Posted by Hello


Tiernan, as a Firetruck Posted by Hello


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Fall Back...

It's time to turn the clocks back again tonight. Yes, folks, Daylight Saving Time ends early tomorrow morning.

And, as we learn from this website, it is NOT "Daylight SavingS Time" it's most definitely "Daylight Saving Time." Apparently there is at least one person out there who is getting the crap irritated right out of him or her on a semi-annnual basis. Sorry.

Anyway, don't forget to change all of your clocks so you're not late to church. As for us, when Tiernan wakes up at his freakishly punctual 7:40am even though he can't tell time, now it will just be 6:40am for a while.


If I were in Waxahachie, Texas,

this is where I'd be today for their Halloween party!

You can absolutely tell that they don't live in a neighborhood with a housing association like ours! We had trouble getting permission to use the color of blue we wanted to paint the trim, I can't imagine getting the go-ahead for this project...


Friday, October 29, 2004

The Makeup Gallery

Wow! This is neat collection of all kinds of different make up special effects shown in movies. They've broken it down into all different categories, everything from creating the perfect Audrey Hepburn to the many Brides of Frankenstein. Surf around awhile if you're interested in this kind of thing, it'll be worth your time.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cry Little Sister

Yeah, I think I actually might cry.

This is a recent video remake of the theme song from the defining vampire movie of the '80s, The Lost Boys. It's still kind of a good song, but instead of the flashy Santa Carla boardwalk, with underlying sexual/undead tension thing going on, you get this? It's a bunch of thirtysomethings dork-dancing around in the dark, looking so lackluster that you can't help but wonder if the vampiresses make their move just because they have to hurry so they can get their babysitters home by 10?

If our cool 1987 selves could see our 2004 selves, is this what we would look like? Don't answer that...

Plus, I'm very confused because the vampires actually showed up to the "party" on motor scooters, wearing helmets. Now, I'm all for cycle safety, but, aren't vampires immortal? What's the worst thing that could happen if they get into a crash without their helmet on, nothing right? So why risk helmet hair when it's not going to do anything useful like protect them from a stake through the heart or garlic or crosses or the rays of the sun or anything? Research, people, is it too much to ask?

It would have made more sense to have them show up in a hybrid Prius (without their seatbelts on, of course), because, since they're immortal, they don't want to be crapping up the earth and leaving themselves nowhere to live for the rest of eternity. We should probably thank them.


In the wake of Beslan

I wondered if this would happen. Apparently the climate in Russia now, post Beslan school hostage crisis, is very similar to the one here after Columbine, and many people are considering homeschooling.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lunar Eclipse

Woo hoo! We actually remembered to run out and look at the lunar eclipse!

Normally, unless you're Batman, you don't get to see you're own shadow projected way across the sky like that. Wow!


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I wish I could solve MY budget problems this way!

If this would take care of everything, I wouldn't even mind cleaning up after.


This even impressed MY girls!


This is actually CAKE, and the whole thing is edible! You can find detailed directions here, including step by step pictures. Apparently they rigged the whole thing so blood would come out when you first cut into it as well. Ah, it's so satisfying to see a job well done! Posted by Hello


The Hoax Photo Gallery

Quote: When Daguerre's discovery of the art of photography was announced to the world in 1839, many scientists, such as Dr. Bird of Philadelphia, found the concept so extraordinary that they insisted the announcement had to be a hoax. Photography was, of course, quite real, but it has proven to be a favorite tool of hoaxers since its invention. What follows are some notorious photographic fakes arranged in chronological order from the Civil War to the present.

This is pretty cool, scroll through and check out some hoaxes from way back in the day! This one came to me from my dear old Dad.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Missing Woman Found in Submerged Car

This happened very near my house. My friend, Sybil, happened to be driving by when they were pulling the car out of the lake. Sybil's the kind of person who WOULD be driving by when they found someone they'd been looking for for days, she just has that special sparkle that puts her in the middle of everything, all the time. That's part of why we love her!


Mustard Gas Party

There is no explanation for these photographs, but they're so interesting to scroll through that any story that might go with them would probably just be too boring anyway.

The first series, "Two Legs," is spooky enough that it kind of scared the crap out of me all by itself...


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Finally! A job with GOOD dental benefits!

I'm sure our goofy family could come up with some sort of side show act to fit in. I don't think these kinds of jobs pay much, but with free dental you could lose a LOT of income before you really noticed, don't you think?

Postscript: Ok, Davin's pointing out that it's a bus full of volunteer dentists showing up once a year, not really "benefits." To which I reply, "Hey, I'd take that about now!"


The Adult

Steve at The Sneeze (tagline: "Half zine. Half Blog. Half not good with fractions.") always gives me a giggle. Today was no exception.

A Delightful Getaway is another recent one that made me laugh, not only because it's funny, but because it sounds like the kind of place my sister and brother-in-law would come across while searching for a place to take a family vacation. Just for contrast, Davin and I end up in places like "Iowa" and "that nice hotel up by the highway, you know, the one with the pool..."


Friday, October 22, 2004

To boldly go

where no Has Been, balding, Canadian actor has gone before...

I'm sorry, I have shamed my Trekker heritage with this entry. Please note, it practically wrote itself and I'm sure I'm only one of millions writing nearly the same thing today. In my defense,I submit here that he's also recently been called a "Song Poet".


Pie Hole

I was just surfing around today and I came across this. The kids asked me to blog it. I am actually rather impressed with his a cappella rhythm section and accompaniment. Bravo!


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Happy Birthday, Anya!


She is 9 today, when did THAT happen? Posted by Hello


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What do you suppose she considers a "real job?"

Apparently, teaching, being a librarian, raising twins, oh, and being First Lady don't count to Teresa Heinz Kerry. At least she apologized, sort of.

You know, "Heiress" is good work, if you can get it...


Molding Our Impressionable Youth


Like putty in my hands! Posted by Hello


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

There once was a man from...

This news story was so odd that it struck a nerve. And then, finding out that the suspect was from Limerick was the icing on the cake and I just couldn't stop myself. Here goes:

Maybe he should have gone slower,
or chosen a window much lower,
or perhaps it'd have been better
had he not worn a sweater
or not tried to stand on their mower.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Godzilla through a Scholar's Eyes


It's Godzilla's 50th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than by staging a scholarly conference? Later this month in Kansas, you too can attend In Godzilla's Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage.

Quote: To commemorate the King of the Monsters' fiftieth birthday, the University of Kansas Center for East Asian Studies is hosting a conference in which scholars from around the world will consider the Godzilla films and their surprising impact on global culture. Find out what a man in a latex lizard suit can tell us about the making of media icons, the international appeal of Japanese pop culture (from AstroBoy and Hello Kitty! to anime and Yu-Gi-Oh!), and the enduring charm of creature features.

You know, I do agree that Godzilla has completely taken over our consciousness in some odd way. Anya, our soon to by 9 year old, considers Godzilla to be one of the "classic" monsters, like Cyclops, werewolves, vampires and of course King Kong and Gamera.

Anya wants everyone to say, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GODZILLA!!!!" Posted by Hello


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Maybe if people practiced common courtesy...

...this sort of thing wouldn't be necessary.


Happy Birthday, Tiernan!


He's 3 today! Posted by Hello



Fines, jail used to enforce flu shot rules

Honestly, given the temperament of some of the folks in our family, you might actually need to threaten jail to force them to get a shot*. Seriously, this is kind of scary, are they saying there are healthy people out there who are really this self-absorbed that docs need to be able rely on criminal charges to get patients out of their faces? Weird.

*This isn't really true, but offering a milkshake after does work wonders...


Friday, October 15, 2004

This makes the whole Bush/Kerry thing seem tame

I'm just going to start focusing on the presidential race in Ukraine. After their crazy poisonings and assassinations threats, things here really don't seem so out of hand at all!


Thursday, October 14, 2004

I have many questions about this.

Israeli man accelerates into hospital with car key in skull

This occurred during a brawl? Here in America when we brawl people get injured by things like fists, guns and knives, sometimes broken bottles. You'd think in Jerusalem, with such a large portion of the population being military trained and prepared at all times for a terrorist attack, they could muster something deadlier than a car key.

Was it his key? If so, how did his opponent disarm him? If not, how did the other guy get home? Plus, how do you go about getting your keys back under those circumstances?

Really, this article raised far more questions than it answered.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Yet another excellent Christmas gift thought!

In fact, you could call it a "Capitol" idea.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Got time to kill?

This should take care of some of it for you! This should finish off the rest...

I'm wracking my brain trying to remember where I came across these. The kids have been playing them on and off for ever it seems, and in the meantime I've completely lost track of where I stumbled across them.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Huh? Update... I DID IT!!!!!

As I blogged earlier today, I was trying to sort out a T-shirt folding video I saw at Dave Barry's blog. One of his commenters, reneviht, pointed us all to a longer, more comprehensive tutorial. It's still in Japanese, but it occasionally has helpful English subtitles like "OK" and "FINISH." More importantly, it goes slower and gives a little more visual instruction.

I kept thinking how amazing it was, then I caught myself. Duh, these folks invented origami! Like now I'm supposed to think it's magical when they fold laundry? Still though, it's pretty cool.


Christopher Reeve Died Yesterday

Here's the article with the details.

I don't know why this gave me a shock this morning. It's not like it's unexpected, or I knew him or anything, although I did have a schoolgirl crush on him. I think maybe it's simply BECAUSE he was so injured but hadn't died yet, I kind of started to think he never would. Like maybe, even though it makes no sense, I thought I could count on him to beat the odds forever?

It's not often you get slapped right in the face with proof that you've been carrying around a delusion. Weird.

I hope his family is able to find peace with his passing. He was certainly a man they could be proud of.



I saw this on Dave Barry's Blog. It appears to be a quick and easy way to fold a shirt, but the commentary is in Japanese (or another Asian language, I'm not an expert here, please forgive me.) Anyway, I can't figure this out, but it looks really cool and I'd like to be able to do this in the comfort of my own home. Can you sort this out and come over and show me how to do it?


Sunday, October 10, 2004

New Fish!


These are our new fish! They are goldfish, and we got them through Freecycle. Their family is moving to California and didn't think the fish would do too well on the four day car trip so they're just going to start over at their new house with spiffy new California fish. Their loss is our gain.

The family had two small children, and I think the children may have named the fish because their names are Bear, Kitty, Doggie, and Ice Cream.

This was perfect for us, since Anya was wanting fish for her room more than anything for her birthday. We already had the 10 gallon tank. So, once we know the fish have made the transition, they will head down to the basement with her. Oh, by they way, in case you're following our last fish story, they are all fine and still numbered among the living. Posted by Hello


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Psychedelic Jew's Harp

This has such an interesting sound to it, not at all what I would have expected from a Jew's Harp.

As NightBazaar describes it over at the forums at macca4ever, "I suppose many people consider it to be something that belongs to a Deliverance-type hillbilly. Not very musical though. Or is it?"

You learn something new every day!


Update on R. Lee Ermey Vocabulary Lessons

To catch up, go here.

After watching the Best of Seasons 1 and 2 of Mail Call, I have caught a little of the drill instructor lingo sneaking out of the girls. Out of their "pie holes" to be precise.

So far it's OK. It's kind of cute to hear them say, "I've got a loose tooth in my pie hole!" or to be able to tell my 8, 6 and 6 year olds, "SHUT YER PIE HOLE!" when they're walking around with it hanging open...

I'm going to try to start working some of this in to my daily conversation, too. Check this out, "All I ask of my children, is that they obey my command as if it were the word of God." Works for me!


Friday, October 08, 2004

History's Notable Films Reconsidered

I can't remember how I originally found McSweeney's but it's always enjoyable to surf the archives, there are some remarkably funny tidbits to be found there. History's Notable Films Reconsidered is a hoot!

Quote: It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life, it seems to me, missed the point. The question isn't: What would the world be like if George Bailey had never been born? The question is: Would the world be improved if George Bailey, at this point in time, jumped off this here bridge? Two very different questions. And while Clarence clearly makes the case that George Bailey should have been born, he oddly (suspiciously, one might say) skirts the issue of whether or not George Bailey's family might be better off with a pile of insurance money than with the bitter, angry wreck that George Bailey has become.


Fish Tank Disaster, Update

I had also posted my plight on my homeschool group list, and my amazing friend Heather was able to give me some advice. She said that, of all the things she'd had dropped in her fish tank, extra food was one of the easiest to deal with. (The worst is potpourri. Crayons are fairly inert, especially if the paper's already been removed...) Another mom told me her children had dropped in an entire bag of algae wafers and she didn't notice until the next day. She compared her tank to Nemo's before the Aquascum 2000!

In case anyone is wondering, I need to do partial water changes (and gravel vacuuming) for the next few days until the water is all cleared up. Also, I shouldn't feed the fish for 3-5 days. Some of the fish might die, but they have a good shot at being OK.


So, it's about 12 hours later and they're all swimming perpendicularly to the floor of the tank. And, anyone who's seen enough fish die slowly over a period of time knows that this is a good sign. It looks like the toilet has had his prey snatched out of his grasp for today at least.

I will do another partial water change today and see how they do.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Any Fish Experts Swimming Through?

Somehow, even though I watch my soon to be 3 year old all day every day like a hawk and never take my eyes off of him even for a minute to do anything, not even to use the bathroom (yeah right) he got up on the kitchen counter and dumped approximately a 2 year supply of fish food into the aquarium.

I found out immediately, by means of the Ever-Vigilant Tri-Sister Alarm System, and leapt into action.

I was able to vacuum out the majority of the food from the gravel in three 1/3 water changes. I'm afraid to do more, because I don't want to completely suck all of the beneficial bacteria out of the tank.

I'm concerned that there is probably still more food in the tank than is good for the aquarium cycle. Should I maybe do partial water changes over the next few days to get the rest? Or, do those little white chips that you add to the filters to reduce the ammonia levels really work, should I add some of those to counteract the ammonia rise that's in the mail as we speak?

Also, this wasn't a quick process, and the fish all gorged themselves almost immediately. They all have bloated little tummies, and they're swimming around like they want to unzip their pants and take a nap, you know like Grandpa on Thanksgiving... Is there anything I should do for them?

They're not prize fish or anything, but I'd hate to have them all drop dead on me.

Thanks in advance!


Math and Science Geeks Unite!

Our hearts all beat a little more proudly today!




This is the pure, unadulterated result of Maya's photography. Or at least her camera dropping. She was very excited with how it came out, even though it wasn't "on purpose." Posted by Hello


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Oh great, like I don't have ENOUGH to worry about!

Are they trying to freak me out?


Animals on the Underground

This is awfully cute. Someone's scoured maps of the London Underground and found lots of little animal shapes.

Via Pop Culture Junk Mail


Memorial Park vs. Cemetery

I'd have to side with these families on this, too. I wouldn't want to have only a public memorial to vist my loved one's remains at, especially one that was, literally, a dump.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Poor sad Sage :-(


This is what Sage has been doing all day. When she wasn't throwing up, that is. That's Sage's lovey "Meowie." Because of Sage's increased activity in detonating anti-personnel vomit charges today, Meowie's taken a ride in the washing machine (along with Sage's and Mommy's clothes), Sage got two baths, we've cleaned the carpet, and we need to get the car detailed...  Posted by Hello


R. Lee Ermey taught our homeschool yesterday!

We Netflixed The History Channel's Mail Call just because Davin and I love to watch R. Lee Ermey on Full Metal Jacket and we wanted to see what it was all about.

Since the kids have been sick on and off, everyone's going stir crazy. So, I thought I'd pop it in and see if it would be at all something I could watch during the day while the kids were around. Little did I know they'd be HOOKED! They watched the DVD non-stop TWICE (the second time no doubt for review), which I'm counting as well over 5 hours of military history.

There really was a lot of neat stuff on there, including the kinds of gear carried into different wars, the origin of terms such as "tank" and "shrapnel", and a look at how the military operates today.

Since my Dad retired after 32 years in the USMC, it was especially cool to watch the segments that were specific to the "Beloved Corps" such as Semper Fi and Gung Ho.

They seem to really have absorbed a lot of the information, which makes me think that I should perhaps adopt a tougher pose when teaching. I wonder if the days would go better if I started out by saying, "Drop and give me twenty, because the more you hate me, the more you will learn! Now listen up while I educate your butt!"

Oh that brings me to another point... There is some salty language in this DVD, and while the kids do seem to have learned the history I've seen no evidence that they've picked up the vernacular. I'll have to let you know later if they exhibit new vocabulary such as "numb nuts," "kick ass," or my personal favorite, "grabasstic."


Monday, October 04, 2004

OK, I'm going to quit complaining

about my clutter. At least I have some way to get rid of it...


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Anya's Dragon!

This seems to be quite an apt description of our Anya...

If an Electric Dragon flies by your house, all the electic appliences over surge and your TV flickers...
You're an electric Dragon! Well, Well, Well, Speedy!
Electric dragons are just too darn quick, which
means you must be quick at something. Whether
it's running, swimming, or answering questions,
you are super speedy. But of course, you have a
craze for video games or computers. You can
play amazingly at any game or at least try to.
Go you!

What elemental dragon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Oooh, 'Pooky!

That's vintage twinspeak for "spooky." They also didn't like food that was too 'picy, to be translated as "food with flavor."

Anyway, moving on, X-Entertainment is doing a big Halloween Countdown. Today's offering is a pretty nifty (and simple) set of instructions for making your own Glowing Balloon Monster. I think I can manage this, maybe even in time for Halloween! Since Martha will be in jail, there's a lot of room for the rest of us to express ourselves without fear of shame or ridicule.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Surf's WAY up!

Instead of riding a wave, a California surfer ended up riding a whale!

I love it when stuff happens in real life that's so weird that if it happened in a movie you'd never believe it! :-D


Eyes on the Prize

At the suggestion of my friend Wendy we've been watching the PBS documentary miniseries Eyes on the Prize. The focus of the miniseries is the American civil rights movement, and it's full of interviews of central figures and footage of relevant events.

Since most of the events of the videos happened before I was born, or at least before I was aware of what was going on around me politically, it's been really interesting to watch.


Friday, October 01, 2004

They Found Lori Hacking's Body



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