Sunday, December 31, 2006

They really wanted to stay up 'til midnight

But they couldn't.

Martha even insisted she'd stay up all night long. I vetoed that, of course, being the responsible mom that I am.

She's sound asleep already. They talk big, but Mom knows how it's really gonna go.

Of course, Alice was asleep by 9:30... she's just too regular a sleeper to manage staying awake. Once the sun goes down, she starts running out of gas.

Isaac tried to make it 'til midnight too, but just couldn't swing it.

Neither could Rick.

Just me.

I love being awake late at night when everyone else is asleep... it's so quiet, and I'm at my most clear-headed time of the day. Don't ask me why; I wish I knew. I'm sure it has something to do with Circadian rhythms or biofeedback or some other gobbledygook. I have certainly tried to shift my sleep patterns to match the rest of the family, but it always reverts back to night-owlishness. Left completely to my own devices, I'd probably stay up all night and sleep all day. Maybe someday, if I ever get to be a professional artist and don't have to keep anyone else's hours, I'll do that. Paint all night, then sleep all day.

The weird thing is, I can get a full eight hours' sleep and still be sleepy during the day and have to take caffeine pills or drink extra coffee or something. Doesn't seem to matter how much I sleep at night. I'm just a night owl, plain and simple. Maybe part of it is my inherent antisocial tendencies; nobody talks to me late at night. I feel truly, completely ALONE, and I like it. Call me weird; I'd agree with you. I'd make a great hermit. Just make sure I have a high-speed internet connection, and that's all I need.

Okay, yeah, I'd miss my kids. So maybe I could be a hermit for, like, one week out of the year. Is that too much to ask?

When I'm 64 54!!



H
appy Birthday!!

Dad's 54 today, so we're all celebrating around here. Funny how the whole world gets together and has a huge party on his birthday; isn't that nice of them?

The Beltway Bunny

How does George W. Rabbit celebrate the stringup of Saddam?



Treats!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Today's English lesson


From EnglishPlus:

Nothing Special Here...


Titles with No Punctuation

Do not underline, italicize, or place in quotation marks the name of the Bible, its books, divisions, or version, or other religious Scriptures and their divisions or versions.

Example: In I Corinthians the Bible says that the greatest eternal value is love.
(The Bible and its book take no special punctuation.)

Example: The Talmud's tractate Sanhedrin discusses the laws and history of Jewish religious leadership.
(The scriptural Talmud and its division, Sanhedrin, take no special punctuation.)

Do not underline, italicize, or place in quotation marks the title of any government document including charters, treaties, acts, statutes, or reports.

Examples: The Declaration of Independence

The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 or the FWPCA

Today's fortune cookie

Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday humor

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


Self-Emphasis




Underlining or Italicizing Items Which Name Themselves

Underline or italicize numbers, symbols, letters, and words which name themselves (or which are used as the figure or word).

Incorrect: "Give me a C!" the cheerleader shouted.
(The letter is used as a letter, it names itself.)

Correct: "Give me a C!" the cheerleader shouted.

Incorrect: His 2's look like 7's.
(The numbers are being referred to as figures; they are not numbering anything.)

Correct: His 2's look like 7's.

Incorrect: How do you spell shepherd?
(The sentence is not about shepherds but about the word shepherd.)

Correct: How do you spell shepherd?

Today's fortune cookie

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our family is expanding!

Meet George.
George W. Rabbit.


The "W" stands for Wood, since that's our last name.
George is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit with Himalayan-style markings. Of course, he wasn't actually born in the Netherlands; he's a red-blooded American rabbit, through and through. He was born in the heartland -- Oklahoma City, in fact.
He's a handsome lil' fellow, isn't he?


Hunting for terrorist cats, George keeps an ever-watchful eye on the neighborhood.


George keeps healthy by eating fresh greens and exercising in his PVC obstacle course. For amusement, he tosses around an empty 7up can. It's a good idea to stay in shape when you have so many responsibilities, you know.


George never fails to say his prayers to God to help him dispatch those wretched cats who seek to destroy all of humanity and rabbitity in their quest for world domination. God bless you, George W. Rabbit, and may God bless America.

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


EmPHATic


Underlining or Italicizing Words for Emphasis

Underline or italicize words which you want to emphasize. In printing and on many computers this may also be accomplished by bolder print.

The emphasis either is because of special information the writer to wants to call to the reader's attention or because the word or words are meant be stressed in speech.

Examples: He insists that two men saw him.
(Information the writer wants to call attention to)

You said what to Mr. Blank?
(Word meant to be stressed in speech)

Today's fortune cookie

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

According to Doctor Who

"Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another."

Jail stinks

One more reason on my list of reasons why I never want to have to go to jail:

Farting cellmate
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Brian Bruggeman caused a stink at the Lincoln County Jail earlier this month and will now have to answer for it in court. Another inmate, Jesse Dorris, alleges that Bruggeman's flatulence, passed in close proximity to Dorris, sparked a Dec. 14 fight between the two at the jail.
I've always thought it would be akin to torture (for me, at least) to have to live that close to anyone else. I'm not exactly the prime candidate for a jail sentence, but if I did manage to land myself in the Greybar Hotel, I'd probably find some way to get myself locked in solitary. Gag.

The Exploding Toads (not a punk band) (yet) (that I know of)

I posted way back in April 2005 about the mysterious German exploding toads. Well, I now have an update for you. Apparently, the mystery has been solved. From the Register:
We're going to conclude by noting that if you tried to make this up, your friends would probably advise you to seek professional help.
No doubt they'd be right to do so.

Time Waster

Winterbells

Soooo cute! Not as simple to do on a touchpad, but do-able nonetheless. Have fun!

Movie review

I don't always find it necessary to share my movie viewing here... more often than not, it's because I don't actually watch that many movies. I rarely have time. But I made time for this one, and I am so glad I did.

I put "Spirited Away" on my Netflix queue, and because the past month has been so busy, I haven't even gotten around to watching it until tonight.

WOW.

"Spirited Away" is an animated feature film by renowned Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki that came out in the US in 2001. It was exquisitely beautiful, full of fine detail not often found in common anime fare. Miyazaki seems to understand the mind of a child in ways that lend poignant realism to two-dimensional cartoon characters. You're sucked in fairly quickly, and you can't take your eyes off it. In many ways, Chihiro reminds me of the immortal Alice, moving through a dreamlike place where things are not as they seem and where normalcy is turned on its head.

This pure fantasy is worth your time, if not just for the fantastical and original storyline, for the artistic merit alone. Every cel must be a work of art all its own.

Kids will get it, as will adults. It's not so removed from our culture that it doesn't make sense (a problem seen in some Asian imports); it weaves a seamless fabric of Asian themes built into universal conflicts and resolutions.

This one gets all my thumbs pointing upwards, and any other way of indicating my hearty approval. Go watch it if you haven't yet.

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:

It's All Foreign To Me


Underlining or Italicizing Foreign Words or Abbreviations


Underline or italicize foreign words or abbreviations unless they are regularly used in English.

Because the English language is very flexible, it may sometimes be hard to tell whether some words are widely used. Check any word or phrase you have a question about in a dictionary.

Clearly words like champagne or chimpanzee or an abbreviation like etc. are not native English words, but they are widely used so underlining words like them is not necessary.

Incorrect: That was a pro bono legal brief.

Correct: That was a pro bono legal brief.
(Legal term from Latin, used by lawyers but otherwise not common.)

Today's fortune cookie



Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What kids hear vs. what adults say

This is my son with my uncle Randy. I had wanted a picture of Randy with Isaac, so I stood Isaac on a chair. My aunt Patti was behind me and said, "Y'all put your cheeks together," intending for them to smoosh their faces next to one another. Isaac reached up and physically tried to push his two cheeks together. We all laughed so much that we decided to get a photo of them both doing that.

A Gathering of Martins


Okay, so there was an entire branch of the tree missing, and several sub-branches of the ones present... but this was the gathering of Martin progeny that assembled in Ada, Oklahoma this noon. I like my whole family; it's fun to hang with them.

NOTE TO FAMILY: If you want a higher resolution version of this photo to print out for your fridge or something, just click on the picture itself and a new page should come up with the high-res version.

The Grand-Dogs

JoeMama (my mom, Sue) with all the dogs: on top, Bijou (my toy poodle); in the middle, Tessa (her white Schnauzer); and Lady (my sister's Pomerachshund diva-dog). You might not believe it, but all the dogs get along quite nicely.

A few Christmas pix

From the left: Brian (my brother-in-law), Beth (my beautiful sister), Rick (my other half), Martha (my beautiful eldest kid)



These are my esteemed and saintly grandparents, Don and Martha Martin. They're 82 and 80.



JoeMama and Alice, my beautiful middle daughter



My Pop and my handsome son Isaac



Eldest daughter Martha with Granddad

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


Emphasis
on the Name



Underlining or Italicizing Names

Underline the specific name of individual air, sea, space, and land craft.

Examples:

Challenger (space)

Captain Bligh commanded the Bounty (sea)

He called the Chevy Greased Lightning. (land)

If an italicized or underlined name appears in the title of a work or some other writing which is otherwise italicized or underlined, the writer has a choice:

1. Normally the specific item reverts to standard type. This is always done in bibliographies and formal references.

Example: Mutiny on the Bounty by Nordhoff and Hall
(Book title contains name of ship)

2. Or you may italicize or underline the title or otherwise italicized or underlined writing without regard to the further italicized words. This may be necessary to avoid confusion.

Example: The Mutiny on the Bounty film starred Marlon Brando.
(Using the style of #1 for this would be more likely to confuse the reader.)

Today's fortune cookie


And where there's an apostrophe, there's a couple of extra spaces, I suppose.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Spiffy!!!

One of the COOLEST presents I got this year was a pair of socks KNITTED BY HAND by my pal RedFish. Isn't she just amazing?!? They fit absolutely perfectly... as if they were made for my feet... oh yeah, THEY WERE! Big smooches to you, my dear friend, and a very Merry Christmas to the whole Purple Fish Guts family. I... no, WE... miss you all terribly.

Merry Christmas

"Nativity"
4' x 6' Acrylic on Canvas
by Lalo Garcia


May you experience the love of Christ and the salvation that He brought to us that very first Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas at the mall

I went to the mall with my sister and her husband to do some last-minute shopping stuff. Here are a few of my observations:






I think this poor fellow had had enough...

Choo-choo

A ubiquitous part of life here in North Ruralville:

Did you take your Bird Control Pill today?

Seen at the southwest corner entrance to Vista Ridge mall in Lewisville, Texas:



That's my adorable little sister, by the way. We thought the sign was quite humorous.

OCD: Overachieving Christmas Decorators

See, even here in North Ruralville, Texas, we have some rather fetching holiday displays every night.




Yes, I'm pretty sure those are pie pans with colored bulbs in them next to the inflatable snowglobe...

Just Say No!!

Caught in the act of perusing the holiday sweaters at Wal-Mart...


Why do women check their brains at the door on the day after Thanksgiving and start wearing these ridiculous rags? Not only that, but considering purchasing NEW ones? This isn't 1985 anymore, people.

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


Emphasis Added



Underlining and Italicizing

Underlining words and Italicizing words in standard written English mean the same thing.

Handwriting and typing normally show underlining. Typesetting for print usually uses italics. Most computers can go either way.

Whichever way is chosen, be consistent and keep the same style throughout.

Today's fortune cookie

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


Single
Quotation
Marks


Use single quotation marks for a quotation or title using quotation marks inside another quotation or title which uses quotation marks.

Incorrect: She asked, "How many of you have read "The Lady of Shalott"?"
("The Lady of Shalott" is a poem. Same kind of quotation mark confuses reader.)

Correct: She asked, "How many of you have read 'The Lady of Shalott'?"

For titles or quotations within quotations within quotations (and so ad infinitum), alternate double and single quotation marks.

Example: Helen said,"She asked us,'How many of you have read "The Lady of Shalott"?' I had."

(The most this author has seen is five levels of quotations in Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Metamorphoses by Ovid.)

Note: In the British Isles the use of the single and double quotation marks is reversed from the way they are used in the United States. There the normal quotations and short titles are within single quotation marks. Double quotation marks are used for titles or quotations within quotation marks.

Today's fortune cookie

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Things I Can't Explain

Isaac asked me the other day why God made mosquitoes. The only answer I had was, "I don't know, but I hope that once I get to heaven, I'll find out. Surely there was a good reason."

And then there are some of the signs on churches around here. There are three churches on every block, practically, and sometimes they have very... odd... signs. One I've seen declares itself to be "The Church You've Been Looking For" with big reflective stickers tacked by hand onto a large sheet of warped plywood. Um, yeah, that's what I'm looking for in a church...

This one has continued to puzzle me:


What could that possibly mean?

Is it a church that puts an equal number of tongues-speakers on either side of the aisle? Or one that caters specifically to gymnasts by placing balance-beams at the front? Perhaps their slogan is a euphemism for "we sing half old-timey hymns and half newer music in our worship services." Maybe they teach their members to "straddle fences in every area of life -- don't come down on either side of an issue, find a way to embrace both or eschew both."

If I had to venture a semi-educated guess, I'd say that this sign was a reaction to some sort of church split, that this was a splinter group of folks from some other church who'd had enough of some unnamed something-or-other, and that they were going to quit leaning so far towards whatever extremity the original group had been involved in. Who knows what it might've been... in this area, that could've been anything from "women in ministry vs. men-only leadership" to "old music vs. new music" or even "hymnals vs. projector." Might've been "charismatic vs. ... well, non-charismatic" or "fundamentalist vs. progressivist."

All this is pretty ridiculous to me. I'm sure it's triply so to an un-churched individual. I wish that church leadership would be more careful to consider their appearance to unbelievers, since that's really who we're trying to communicate the message of Jesus to. I don't mean a watered-down gospel of appeasement and appeal; that's not the gospel message at all. But at the very least, a church shouldn't confuse people by the spoken and unspoken messages it delivers.

It grieves me, in a way, because this church sign is obviously reactionary. They're declaring themselves to be "balanced." As opposed to -- what? It's obviously opposed to something, which puts everyone else on an immediate defense position. I'm not a member there, so obviously they think I'm UNbalanced. This is not the kind of place I'm going to visit if I'm desperate for answers and in need of kindness and love. And kindness and love is what should set us apart from the Muslims and the Hindus and the Whosits and Whatsits... our Savior doesn't want to strike them dead with a bolt of lightning, he loved them so much that he died in their stead. Crucial difference, here... "There is, therefore, now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Someday I think I'll look up this church's phone number, call them, and ask them what it actually means. Of course, knowing how much I loathe calling strangers on the telephone, it's unlikely to be anytime soon.

can't... breathe... laughing... too... hard...

This might be the funniest online greeting card I have EVER seen in my LIFE.

(hat tip to my pal Susan)

Boomer Sooner Bird

This bird would be worth a million bucks in THIS family.



Dedicated to my Dad

Something about this, Dad, just makes me think of you.



Today's English lesson

From EnglishPlus:


Definitions in
Quotation Marks


Explicit definitions of words or terms are put in quotation marks.

Such definitions may or may not be direct quotations from a dictionary or similar source.

Definitions that follow such expressions as means, defines, or is defined as are normally put in quotation marks. This highlights or emphasizes the definition.

Definitions that follow the verb to be normally are not put in quotation marks since such definitions are seen as the same as a predicate nominative.


Examples:
A kiltie is a fringed leather flap found on some shoes.
(The verb to be is used.)

Kiltie means "a fringed leather flap found on some shoes."

Kiltie is defined as "a fringed leather flap found on some shoes."

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