Thursday, March 31, 2005


Did I even spell miscellany right? I am too lazy to spell check it, so let me know if its wrong. It looks right though...


I didn't post anything yesterday because I was downtown at the Radisson for The Association for Recorded Sound Collections Pre-Conference Workshop on The Assessment, Preservation, and Access of Audio Collections in the Digital Age: an Archival Case Study. Sound exciting? Actually it was pretty neat. There were about fifty people there, probably 70% librarian/archivist-types, 35% geek squad sound engineer types (well, the hyperbolic equalization meter was set at 2.334 instead of 2.335 and it changed the frequency of the......blah blah blah), plus an unexpected 5% rocker quotient (dudes that looked like they came to Austin for SXSW and forgot to go home, so decided to attend an ARSC conference instead). Not to get down on the rockers. Maybe they were rockin librarians or rockin sound engineers.

Most of the presentations focused on the University of MIssouri at Kansas City Voices from World War II: Experiences from the Front and at Home project. The website has some very neat sound clips on it, and it was interesting to hear how they organized it, put it all together, and then assigned metadata so that people could actually find the stuff.


Two days ago I finished reading Complete Crumb Volume Four: Mr. Sixties, the fourth volume of R. Crumb's collected comics. Josh and I brought this home along with a small stack of other gems from the giant boxes of comics that his dad found in their old basement when he was moving. I am working my way through this stash, which includes several issues of American Splendour, old western and romance comics from the 60s, strange comic book versions of rock star stories (I just read the Nirvana one last week, although it was published before the suicide, so I didn't get to see any drawings of that), and a bunch of others. Josh was pretty sure this Crumb one was his, but if it was his brother's instead, we totally borrowed your Crumb book, Nick.

And, of course, it is very awesome, although I like slightly older Crumb a little better than the sixties stuff. Still an interesting read.

My favorite line from the collection:

"I've been called an evil genius by cities of assholes..." (from "Definitely a Case of Derangement," Zap 1)

There are more asshole cities around than you might expect. Be on the lookout.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cart who?

I can't really get my mind around the concept of the Kartoo search engine well enough to really use it for any research, but it does provide a fun new spin on the never-tiring game of googling yourself and your loved ones.

Kartoo is a meta-searchengine that compiles the results of several other search engines when you make a query. It has pretty advanced querying options, as well as a natural language component. It then generates these nifty flash maps of your search, using differently colored and sized little document and folder icons to indicate site type and relevance, as well as little connecting lines to show relationships between the sites. There are several ways to move yourself around once you are in the map, and that is what I haven't quite mastered. Its a neat idea, and a nice change of pace from the linear list of most search engines. Plus I don't think Kartoo takes money from advertisers to list their sites up at the top. Also nice.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Martini Madness

If you are in Lincoln, and want to see some awesome photographs, head down to the lamely named Zen's - The Art of Martini Maintenance and check out the show currently up on the walls -- three of the photos are by my youngest sister.


In reading news, I just finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [thanks again to A., the source of my Harry Potter fix.] It was just as fun as I expected it to be, although I wished there had been more Hermione in it. I like that know-it-all gal.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


A brief photo-essay of my father-in-law's wedding in Western Nebraska last weekend:

Self portrait in Baptist church. Posted by Hello

My favorite picture of the wedding -- bride and groom heading out to their truck with accompanying streamers. Posted by Hello

Some dudes outside the church. Posted by Hello

I really like this tiny dog. Her name is Sassy, and she is totally old. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005


Were you aware that we, as a population, spend about $80 million on Peeps each year?

I don't know if this is a good or bad sign.


I haven't read a book in awhile because I've been catching up on my giant pile of magazines. I love to subscribe to things, primarily because I love to get mail. I realized this morning that I keep a running list of all the books I've read, but I never list the magazines. In honor of subscription lovers everywhere, these are the magazines to which I subscribe:

Cooking Light (most of the articles appear to be written for middle-aged women, but the recipes are awesome)

Everyday Food (Martha Stewart's more casual food magazine. The pictures make you want to cook everything)

Granta (a book-sized quarterly of fiction, essays, and photos. AWESOME)

Harpers (my longest continuous subscription -- ever since my junior year of high school)

Interview (its only like 10 bucks a year and I like the pictures)

Jane (girly mag)

National Geographic (on and off)

Oxford American (went out of business for almost two years, and is now back. southern lit and articles. nice photo essays)

Smithsonian (inexpensive, nice pictures, fun to read on the bus)

Sun (kind of new agey and a little spiritual for me, but usually has good fiction. was a gift subscription – ended recently)

Texas Journey (free magazine with AAA, I read this on the toilet.)

I really feel like I'm forgetting something, but I'm not sure what... Although, its pretty awesome to forget you subscribe to something and then have it come in the mail.

So, what magazines do you subscribe to? I bet I get more than anybody. Lets have a contest!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

360 degrees of fun

Are you tired of boring old digital pictures that just sit there? Are you always saying, sure, I can see what was in front of the camera, but what was behind it? Of course you are. Now go see World Wide Panorama and enjoy the view.

[I've seen other collections of panoramic photos like this, but this is the first one that really loads quickly, and lets you pan around the image smoothly]


Oh man, I love Achewood.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Catch a whif of my boyish aroma

Check it, dudes, I totally bought a new car the other weekend.

I'm in love with my car. Although I prefer it if other people drive me around in it, as I am still not in love with driving.

(And the title of this post comes from Josh's misinterpretation of the lyrics from Queen's song "I'm in Love with my Car". For bonus points, guess which line was reinterpreted).

Happy cats

There is nothing sadder, and yet more awesome, than a cat dressed up in human clothes. Really. Click here if you don't believe me.

Friday, March 18, 2005

One Enchanted Rock

In which we briefly explore the sights and sounds of Enchanted Rock, a giant pink rock formation west of Austin, Texas.

At Enchanted Rock you will find lots of rocks, and a few trees. The rocks are winning the war, but the trees are putting up a fight. Check it out, this tree's roots are totally naked! Posted by Hello

All over the rock, you will find lichens and molds in a variety of otherworldly colors. Posted by Hello

At the top of Enchanted Rock, you will find this Enchanted Tree. Do NOT touch the tree. It will totally enchant you. Posted by Hello

You may also find awesomely green pools of grass at the top of the rock. Your dad may or may not be taking a picture of them. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Creepy Awesome Success!

Thanks to Carrie, I have re-found the link to the Unfortunate Animal of the Month Club [scroll way down to the price section to see what awesomeness awaits someone with a full subscription]. When my husband is re-employed, I think I might have to budget in $40 for at least one of these dudes. Oh if only I were independently wealthy, I would have a lifetime subscription.

I could, of course, chip in at the $5 level and just get some strange limbs or leftover eyeballs every month...

Archives Powers, Activate!

I don't know much about Bionicles, except that they are kind of like little robots and the Lego company makes them. What I learned yesterday (from the Archives and Archivists listserv) is that at least two of the little guys are archivists! Their names are Tehutti and Toa Whenua. I think you have to have the encyclopediac brain of a 10 year old to really understand the super complicated story surrounding these dudes, but I like that archives are apparantly really important to the little guys and that Tehutti doesn't feel that all his hard archives work is being appreciated. He's just a little archives worker bee. The other guy is some kind of archivist turned super-hero/king/leader. He also has X-ray vision and two Earthshock Drills that can blast through anything. Those are not standard archival tools. We stick with bone folders and microspatulas...

[p.s. to those of you who check in regularly - I'll be out of town for a few days for my father-in-law's wedding....]

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wacky Wizadry

I recently blasted my way through Book Two in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (Thanks to A.). When I say blasted my way through, I mean I read the first 200 pages between dinner and when my parents and sister arrived for a weekend visit about three hours later. Then I finished the book the next day. Blasted through. I've also been loaned the third book in the series, which I plan to attack after I catch up on some magazine reading. If you have even the slightest bit of love for children's lit in your heart, you should totally check out these books. Don't be put off by the fact that they are so popular and that kids and adutls are rabid to read them -- there is a reason that JK Rowling is like Elvis for the 9-12 crowd. The books rock.

Also, I haven't seen any of the movies yet, but I think I want to. Have any of you seen them? Are they good?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Something fun

If you live in Austin and you want something free and fun to do, go see this. I just took my parents and my sister through it and it was a truly nice diversion. Plus its free. Also, if you are lucky the LBJ robot will be turned on and will tell you jokes, although he wasn't on today and I was very dissapointed.

I love that dam robot...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Come on down to Reading Town!

Last night I finished reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. I’d had several people tell me it was good, but I really resisted reading it because 1) it was so popular, 2) the movie based on the book looked really bad, and 3) the idea of reinterpreting the story of King Lear on a Midwestern family farm in the late seventies sounded a little too clever. A couple years ago I read Moo by Smiley, which I really enjoyed. Then I bought this and had it sit around on my bookshelf for a while. Last week I picked it up and I could hardly put it down.

Really good. Really.

Maybe I’m predisposed to it because it is a story of three sisters, told by the oldest, and I am the oldest of three sisters. Actually, I love stories and movies about three sisters, and there are a ton of them. Like Cries and Whispers, Happiness, Hannah and her Sisters, Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella (even though they are evil step-sisters), ummm…. King Lear, ummm….. Three Sisters by Chekov. Okay, I know there are probably some really obvious ones that I’m missing, but you get the idea. There was actually an interesting article on the three sisters motif in art that I read sometime and now I can’t remember where. It talked about how the oldest, middle and youngest always have certain traits based on their birth order in these stories, and that there are usually coalitions (oldest two vs. youngest, youngest two vs. oldest) that sometimes change during the story. It was very intriguing, because there really is this myth of three sisters where the oldest is all responsible, the middle is all wild, and the youngest is super independent. And in some ways, that myth is a little bit true, which makes it all the more interesting when it pops up in books and movies and you happen to be the responsible oldest of three sisters.

So, back to A Thousand Acres: this is the story of King Lear, but told by the oldest daughter. In Shakespeare’s story, you mostly get the point of view of the youngest daughter and the King. Also, it uses King Lear as a guide, but goes beyond that so it isn’t just a cutesy gimmick. It does have a lot of tragedy in it (since King Lear isn’t exactly a musical comedy), but its hopeful at the end without being cheesy or “happily ever after.” This is actually one of the best books I’ve read in awhile.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Kristy is a Geek

I am. Because I love outer space. And where do I get my daily space fix? Here.

[If you like your geeky science to be more earth bound, check out the Earth Science Picture of the Day instead.]

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Where in the World

I am currently in love with this site. For example, here is an aerial view of Bridgeport, Nebraska, my husband's hometown. Care to know what the average commute time is in Bridgeport? The census information link can give that to you easily.

This is my parent's house in Lincoln. And this is a topographical map of my neighborhood in Austin.

As you can see, this site is basically awesome. Now I'm off to look up other familiar neighborhoods.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


If you know me, you know that I am really not very crafty at all. I'm lucky if I can lick an envelope without papercutting my tongue or walk across the room without slipping on something. [Okay, I'll admit I did have a brief period of craftyness when Josh was working nights during a special session last summer. I embroidered two t-shirts and a kitchen towel, and also did some watercolors. It was very out of character.] Anyway, my point is that while I am not very crafty, I love to see the handwork of those who are. One intriguing venue for such handywork is A Month of Softies. On this site, the moderator gives out a topic, all the craft-dudes work away at it, and then post their creations at the end of the month for all to see. The most recent theme was Alice in Wonderland, which might be my favorite so far. Many are kind of cheesy or sappy, but there are plenty of creepy-awesome (in the way that a creepy stuffed animal is awesome), strange, and unique creations on there too.

[Also, I had a link to this site that was like a creepy stuffed animal of the month thing -- you could buy a one, three, or six month subscription and each month you'd get something like a rabbit with five arms and two heads, or a chicken with a real skull, or something equally weird. Plus, the dolls would be all wrapped up in fur or leather bundles, and would also include little messages written from the animal to you. And it was a lot cooler than I'm making it sound. That's what I really wanted to write about today and I can't find the damn link anywhere. Anyone know what this site is?]

Monday, March 07, 2005

Found in the Archives: Folder Titles that Should Really be Band Names

Infrared Catastrophe

Electrodynamic Prototype

Black Hole Evaporation

The Splash Zone

From today's UT Campus Watch:

"Public Intoxication (2 Counts):  A UT student and a non-UT subject were found near a bus stop bench.  The non-UT subject was found leaning over the back of the bench while exhibiting a severe involuntary physical reaction to the over consumption of alcoholic beverages.  At that time, the student was lying on his back behind the bench in what could only be called the splash zone.   The student was also exhibiting an extreme involuntary physical reaction to the over consumption of an alcoholic beverage.  Both subjects were found to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the point they were both a physical endangerment to themselves.  Occurred on 3-5-05 at 3:10 AM."


When I somehow came across the link for the Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment (HOPE) website (particularly their series on the Oscars), it immediately made me think of Josh's post on the cult of celebrity that is most violently exhibited at these big awards shows. And while crashing celebrity parties to report on the inane banter of A-listers and agents, walking past the E entertainment live feed with "This is News?" signs, and getting your picture taken with a variety of happily posing celebs while holding an "I am Horrified" sign might not actually change the celebrity system, it is rather fun to read about.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Reading List

I finished reading Side Effects by Woody Allen last night. Honestly, I have no memory of purchasing this book. I don't think I bought it in Austin (although maybe I did), so I must have moved it with me from Lincoln. I didn't have any real pressing interest in reading it, but I'd had it so long that I thought I'd give it a chance. This is Allen's third (and last) collection of essays/short stories. If you like lots of one liners (many of which made me giggle a little) strung into paragraphs in story-like form, mixed in with tons of references to existentialism, peppered with the names of philosophers you never read, and containing a healthy dose of everyone's favorite neurotic New York Jew making it with tall, beautiful, intelligent women, only to become dissatisfied with them and obsessed with a slightly different tall, beautiful, intelligent woman... Well, my God, if you wanted a book with all that stuff, I can't believe you haven't read this already.

There is one really good story in it, "Kugelmass Episode," where the main character wants to have an affair with no consequences and finds a guy who can magically put him into any book, wherein he can have an affair with a fictional character. He picks Madame Bovary, with hilarious results.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Saturday Morning Feet, Part I

Looking through my digital pictures I've noticed that I, like a lot of people, have a tendency to take pictures of my own feet. Please enjoy the premiere edition of this presumably reoccurring feature.

My feet and a gravestone in the Austin City Cemetery. I didn't kick this little guy over -- he was like that when I got there. Really.Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

My tools are made of light!

I am not rich/hip/together enough to own any kind of wireless devices where this would come in handy, but I still think its freakin awesome.


So, I started playing around with this site yesterday. Its run by the Computer Science department at the University of Minnesota, where they study algorithms, collaborative filtering, and all kinds of other high-tech mumbo jumbo. Basically, you get a log in, then it gives you a list movies to either rate or tell it you haven't seen -- it keeps giving them to you until you have rated fifteen of them. After that it starts recommending movies that you might like, based on your ratings. You then continue to rate movies, and the more you rate (theoretically) the better its recommendations will be. I still don't know how useful it really is, but it is interesting. Plus its kind of fun to go through and rate movies.

One nice thing about it is that the more people that participate, the more accurate and useful their research will be. I like that it isn't a commercial thing. Its also entertaining to check out the "most rated movies" link, once you get into the program.

These are the movies it gave me to rate at the very beginning before it made any other recommendations. If you try this out, let me know if it gave you the same movies, or different ones. I wonder if these movies are like the litmus test of all movie recommendations, or if it just picked the films at random...

City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)
Die Hard 2 (1990)
French Kiss (1995)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
North by Northwest (1959)
Postino, Il (The Postman) (1994)
Ransom (1996)
Rob Roy (1995)
Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
Scream (1996)
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Election (1999)
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
Nell (1994)
Rear Window (1954)
Sling Blade (1996)
Specialist, The (1994)
Superman (1978)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Chicken Run (2000)
Chinatown (1974)
Crying Game, The (1992)
Desperado (1995)
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
MASH (M*A*S*H) (1970)
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Nine Months (1995)
Romancing the Stone (1984)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

P & P

Have you ever browsed around on the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs page? Do it. Right now. You can search all the collections, or hone in on one specific collection. In most cases, you can not only view a thumbnail of the image, but you can also download a high-quality JPG or even an archival quality TIFF file. In case it isn't readily apparant, this is really really awesome.

Every collection is pretty neat, but I particularly like the Bain Collection, the Carpenter Collection, Historic American Buildings Survey, National Photo Company Collection, Photochrom Prints (which I love because of the awesome colors, and because you hardly ever see color photos from this time period), and Popular Graphic Arts. I could go on, but my fingers are tired of typing.

[Sometimes it can be hard to guess at what search terms are available in a collection, so I think its easiest to go to Browse: Subject headings, and just start looking around from there.]

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sorensens in Macy

Check out my sister's recent article on News Net Nebraska. I saw her full version of this story, and its too bad they couldn't print all her photos -- she really got some great ones. The one with the baby and the respirator is one of my favorites, though.

Just read

Last night I finished reading Hardboiled: An Anthology of American Crime Fiction. If you like pulpy kind of noiry mystery stuff, this is the book for you. The editors pick stories from the 1930s through the 1990s, and give a little bio/context before each author's selection that is actually interesting and helpful and not lame. I'd already read the stories by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet in this one, but they were worth reading again, and I found several new authors that I really want to pursue. Josh has had this book for as long as we've been together, and for some reason I never thought to pick it up until last week. What a fool I have been...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Patent, my ass!

This site is an excellent time waster. Although it is obviously a joke patent, my curent favorite is the "User-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks". I would love to wallpaper my house with images from the patent database. I make ample use of the Quick Search field at the top of the site -- there are a lot of boring patents for chemicals and machinery, but it is worth it to browse through and find the hilarious and/or unusual ones. Note: if you use the right search terms, this is not hard.