Friday, December 02, 2005

Greetings from NATO

Best wishes for a holiday of international cooperation and drinking between AV geeks.

"System's down--I'll drink to that!"

NATO has decided, in the generous spirit of the season, to furnish the world with e-cards that feature warm & fuzzy artwork images of people living and working in harmony...with the help of communications technology and booze.

It's hard to explain, but they're hard to resist. Check it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Welcome, Ruth!

The baby has landed!

(click any image to view larger version)

November 17th FINALLY arrived, and a whole slew of us trekked out to meet the newest member of the family.

12 adults and only 1 brought a camera!

Here are the best of the shots.

There'll be time for more intimate portraits later.

Though in her dad's arms, "Roo" is interested her in Grandpa Adams...

And the proud & excited grandmas!

The shirt says "Hi, I'm new here."

Meeting Grandpa Benting for the first time, and her godfather, John, too:

Very interested in the balloon.

With her new mom & dad!

Meeting cousin Serena for the first time, Ruth was fascinated! Serena was tickled to be the "big girl" for a change.

No more airports! Leaving PDX.

Not going home yet. First, the requisite stop at Elmer's.

Got a bit bored waiting for everyone to get there and get our breakfast order placed...

OK, her Aunt Margaret started it! Serena demonstrating her architectural prowess.

Ruth: "Hey, waiter! Down here!"

Breakfast in America

Who's the cutest thing? Why, that'd be YOU!

Congratulations to the entire family, and another warm welcome for Ruth.

(You can leave a comment for me, or for each other to view,
by clicking the link below:)

Monday, November 14, 2005

In which we become godparents to a little girl from China

(click on any image to view larger)

Her name is Yan, or "Yanyan," but her new first name is Ruth ("Roo" for short). Her parents, who are in-laws of ours by marriage, are on their way home from China, where they have been spending their first days with her.

She's just under a year old and a bit small for her cohort (size 6 to 9 months, everyone!), but sleeps all night and is delightful by day. Her adoptive father taught her how to blow a raspberry and she has already demonstrated her new skill by razzing the orphanage director.

None of us (godparents or adoptive parents) have any parenting experience, so this ought to be interesting. I think we're all still a bit shellshocked, after dreaming of this day for so long, to have it become reality. It's strange to think that families from opposite sides of the planet can recombine this way.

She comes home this week and it's impossible for me to predict how I'll feel when I hold her for the first time.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Good Art Should Feed Your Soul...

...but bad art can be pretty cool too.

I know it's weenie to write an "entry" that consists primarily of links to other websites, but I was greatly cheered today to be directed to:

The Monet Cook Online Gallery, in which you can revel in impressionistic paintings set in the 19th-century French countryside of haystacks and sunsets, but also populated by beautifully rendered Sleestaks
(yes, those rubbery green lizard-creatures from Sid & Marty Krofft's Land of the Lost). No point in trying to describe further: in this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words. ("Sleestaks at Giverny" is my new wallpaper.)

The Carved Egg Gallery
, where you can commission a work of art engraved on an emu egg. Caveat!!!!! "
Unfortunately, there are limits to what you are about to see. Browsers, monitors and other hardware used to view images on the internet vary, the color range and resolution are restricted according to the computer system used to access the internet. What does this mean to you? Just that these photos will probably not do full justice to the depth and perception of the different shades reached in the carving or sculpting of these eggs." Browse at your own risk.

Wes Clark's Avocado Memories, a sort of online journal/scrapbook dealing with the author's childhood home. His parents were very hands-on about implementing their own home version of pop culture trends, such as a Polynesian patio. There is something very charming to me about the idea of these folks simply constructing for themselves the design ideas they admired...and inevitably painting them avocado, or for a bit of stylish contrast, harvest gold. I like the fact that they didn't wait around for things to come to them, but stepped boldly forward to grab the gusto! This site is more of a loving essay than another coffee-table celebration of kitsch, warmly endowed with discussions of real people trying to live the life that drew them.


Friday, June 10, 2005

New Hope for the Fashion-Conscious Chicken

Okay, my next entry was going to be a brilliant debate on the necessity of blogging, but I found something that ties in to my first post all too well. On a site called Ananova I discovered a lovely piece on a new line of fashion clothing for chickens. It has a spiffy photo of a rooster in a sort of futuristic jogging suit, but putting the image up on my blog would be a no-no, so here's the link:

Here are a couple of lines to whet your appetite:

A range of fashion clothing for chickens has been launched by a group of designers working in Austria and Japan.

Austrian Edgar Honetschlaeger said he decided to work with the Japanese on the project because he hoped to make the chicken label clothing essential.

He said "It's something that you don't really need but everyone wants to have anyway."

For some reason I am not surprised about the debut: in the Austrian pavilion of the World exhibition in Nagoya, Japan, where 20 chickens paraded a catwalk with Mozart music playing in the background.

More scary pictures are available at Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Name of this Band is Haptic Jacket

"Naming the band" is a favorite game of mine (I'll post a list one of these days). I found the ultimate band name for me, Haptic Jacket, in a small item on

Fowl play

Sure we've collapsed time and space -- in a manner of speaking -- but we still can't actually "reach out and touch someone" who's not in the room. Yet. Researchers are now testing a device, relegated to experimental chickens at this early hour, that will allow us to have tactile experiences mediated by the web.

The prototype consists of a faux chicken with sensors hooked up to a computer in one location. In another, an actual chicken is fitted with a haptic jacket (a suit with corresponding sensors) also hooked up to a computer.

When the computers are turned on, signals are sent from the chicken to the sensors...from the sensors to the computer...from computer to computer and so on to the "chicken" which mimics the movements of the real thing.

And, as Wired puts it: "Fondling the doll translates into touching the real fowl."

Speculated uses include dance lessons, safer interaction with pets and wild animals, and, of course, "safe" and anonymous sex.

Fortunately for the abstinence-only crowd this potential challenge is more than a decade away... Posted by Evan on May 17, 2005 @ 11:09AM.

What a beautiful, typical application of technology! Allowing chickens to express themselves through interpretive dance and puppet theater. Until we find a way to apply it to sex, of course.