Category Archives: fun

History of a tissue box thief

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My son is a tissue box thief. I decided I should share this sorted tale of woe, in case others may find themselves without a tissue box of their own.

It started innocently enough. Dan was lazy and didn’t want to go all the way down stairs to get another box. He opted to take mine instead. I discovered the theft, and took it back. It disappeared soon after. I took it back from his room, I’d find an empty box on my desk.

This was an act of war!

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I thought, at this point, I might be triumphant. But again, I found a missing tissue box from the sanctity of my desk. I needed a new plan.

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Surely this would make it obvious that he is not to take my tissue box for his evil intentions. He must learn to take the arduous path of going downstairs and getting his own damn box!

 

 

Alas, my plan was again thwarted by his deviousness.I knew I had to up the stakes.

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Okay….there. I made it clear, right? That means I’m serious and mean business. Then I did this-

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Aha! I knew I had him then! I listened for his return where I heard him huff in disbelief. “Wha-? Who?” Mwhahahaha

Then this happened:

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And then, I found this on my desk. Hm, how curious. Who could it be? Could it be Daniel? The Cat?

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The tissue box war continues…..

Adventures in 3D and D.C.

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Oh spring, how I’ve missed you! We finally see warm weather, even being warmed by the sun. The Crocus blooms in the back yard, and my dog decided it’s a great time to shed. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the snow and ice gone.

Updates to my life include self-learning Blender, playing around with movie making apps, changes with Score, and a few new things.

blenderBlender, (free) if you don’t know already, is a 3D modeling and animation program. There’s something of a learning curve to master everything it can do, including adding special effects to movies, but it’s a field I’d like to stretch my creativity and see what I can make. So far, I’ve worked with animation an ocean, but texturing is a bit difficult. I’ll share when I get something to show off.

I hope to make things like animated text, film introductions, and special effects in film.

tinkercadAnother program I found was Tinkercad, (free)and what makes this 3d modeling program so neat is that models you create can be saved as OBJ (which can be used in Blender or DazStudio, but also can be used with the 3D printing services. This works on smart phones too.

There is a 3D print factory in Hagerstown, MD, by the way. And you can use 3D print-on-demand with  Shapeways. There are other 3D printing on demand, but you’ll have to compare and check file expectations.

The Windows Lumia 830 phone I upgraded to offers some lovely quality for photos and videos, but I find the Windows still lacks in the way of entertaining apps for video editing. Since I have apps for the iPhone 4S, and I still have it, I figured I’d explore the movie editing and special effect features.

Here’s a sample of GunMovieFX for the iPhone, which adds bullets or lasers to your movies. I can also add blood splatters and even sound effects to scenes.

 

WP_20150328_11_36_10_ProWe took a trip with the Boy Scouts to the Air and Space museum in D.C. Omg, it was so cold that day- near freezing. People wore jackets, and I reminded them how long the waits can be when you wait for the Metro train.

Danny was shivering at one point, where I did the old ‘told-you-so’. Maybe he will listen to his mom from now on! Um…not likely.

We saw rockets, planes, and the World War II exhibits, as well as a section on light. It was fun.

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We also visited the Natural History museum, but by then the crowds were getting insane, and my feet were killing me. I got to touch a piece of mars rock, though.

Some exhibits I didn’t’ want to stand around to wait to see. I wanted to see the butterflies (real ones) but the line went on forever. And anything that required standing deterred me from looking at too much. I hope to be in better shape the next time we go- build up my standing tolerance.

The planes in the Air and Space.

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My handsome boys, who never seem keen on my taking photos Dave plays along, but Daniel often glares at me. I insist he’ll thank me later as I am keeping the memories of his childhood alive.

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David took my photo as I took my adventures to my (imaginary) sky. This was an exhibit on balloon flight.

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I thought I would also add that although I entitled this blog with the word adventure, my own thoughts on what that means basically is that I go outside my comfort zone. Since doing that more, I’m meeting so many people, having experiences, and having a better attitude in Life.

On to the adventures…!

Halloween 2014 and blog posts

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I ended up not dressing up this year. I tried to work on a costume but got so frustrated with the number of mistakes and mishaps, I figured I’d just be me (which is scary enough).

Daniel, meanwhile, selected to make a candy dispenser. He did this before, but this version is updated to be larger. Kids loved it- parents were impressed, and Daniel seemed to enjoy the attention.

Next year, we’ll add lights, glow-in-the-dark paint, and glow sticks or something.

David dressed up as a zombie. I didn’t see him most of the evening, as he walked through town (to scare kids).

Halloween was cold. At least this year, it didn’t rain.

For a scout Halloween party, Daniel made another costume where he wore a sign that was labeled WEATHER. When asked what he was, he’d reply “I’m under the weather”.

009David picked a costume easy to make and easy to wear. I made it with the Silhouette Portrait die cut machine and the material you iron onto clothes.

I bought two 3 lb bags of candy, which was gone half an hour before Trick-or-treating ended. I guess next year, we’ll need to get more.

In this town, Halloween is a big celebration. We live close to ‘downtown’, and they seal off a block to have a party there. Meanwhile, folks from all over the county visit and enjoy the festivities. Its so much fun.

I invited folks to attend a party but pretty much only family joined. That was fine. It was fun to get together for a holiday. I suspect many people may not be able to make it on such short notice.

The writer’s group Horror Anthology: 2014 took most of my attention, but it got published. We picked ‘horror’ for the genre, so not as many authors joined in this year. I was okay with that- it was still enough to have a printed book so we went with Createspace to publish.

Createspace.com lets you self-publish with print-on-demand and kindle, at no cost.

The cover design is mine- its my cat, Max, who enjoys joining the writer’s meetings. So far, he was the popular choice.

I seriously need to add more stuff to this blog. I keep forgetting to post, to update general things.

I should also post the posts from my other blogs-

Samhain: Honoring the dead

NaNoWriMo and Published Anthology

My Zazzle Design Store

Pumpkin Spice Season is Here!

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While shopping today, I noticed this at the store- Jif Whips, pumpkin spice flavored. I like peanut butter, and the whipped stuff is a weird texture, but still good, but pumpkin spice? Really? Is this a good idea?

And I didn’t buy it- darn it. It might be good, and if not, I can give it to my sister, Allison who tires freaky food all the time. Consider payback for the Turkey flavored soda she made me drink one year, or the Pickle Juice popsicle she insisted was lemonade.

But this Pumpkin Spice is spreading, like an infection….

I found Pumpkin Spice pop tarts, which intrigues me. At least its pie, right?

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s? Hmm. That might be tasty too.

Pumpkin Spice Kisses…

But in all seriousness, I do like Pumpkin Spice. And if you use canned pumpkin, it adds not just flavor but healthy Vitamin A. I’ve made Pumpkin Spice muffins before which was so easy and tasty- just cake mix and a can of pumpkin. So tasty.

My husband tells me he’s planted cooking pumpkins in the garden, so this Fall we’ll have organic, fresh, grown with love pumpkin spice ….whatever we want. Winking smile

SecondLife- Space and science adventure

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My son and I visiting the International Spaceflight Museum in Secondlife as a lesson with homeschool. He sits on his laptop in my office, while I sit behind him, and we visit the ‘sims’ (known as areas or lands) of Secondlife.
This was one of my favorite places so far in the program. There were lots of things to do, but more importantly offered some 3D, interactive ways of learning about space exploration.
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This was a 3D model of the Ares Mars Airplane designed by NASA. ARES stands for:
Aerial
Regional-scale
Environmental
Survey of Mars
Anspace astroidd you get to ride on it in Secondlife. I doubt its allowed on Mars.
Daniel meanwhile, continued with his habit of sitting on things. This time, he found an animated asteroid that spun him around in circles.
And naturally, as his mother, I had to take a picture (screenshot) and laughed at his expense..

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You can view lots of 3D models of probes, space flight vehicles, and more, and each one offered an exhibit with information on each one.
Here I’m reading about the Mars Curiosity Rover. Behind it, they include photos the Rover took when it first landed on Mars. Daniel and I stayed up until 1 am in the morning to watch the live landing, and it was so exciting and thrilling to see it landed successfully.
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This was part of the exhibit showing the ‘bubblewrap’ that let the Mars Pathfinder Rover, which was airbags to protect its crash. This model literally rolls down a hill to illustrate the landing. In my case, it caught me off guard and rolled over me.
We then saw three huge, animated ‘dust devil’ fly through, illustrating the dust devils Mars has from time to time.
Snapshot_035This screenshot shows a map of Cape Canaveral. It illustrates things you can click on to tell what each spot is from a visitor center to where rockets took off.
Snapshot_033  I’m showing only a fraction of what they have there. Its a ‘sim’ well the visit, more than once.
In this photo, Daniel sits on the planet earth. In the background, you can see models of actual rockets. They are labeled.
They include over there the Space Shuttle as well.
Very cool sim.

Secondlife- Watching a movie in a virtual theater

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I’ve been revisiting SecondLife on the Internet. Its a huge 3D chat and social world where you can do so many things, meeting tons of people, join in groups, and use Secondlife as a game, exploring Sim, or a social network.
You will need the SecondLife program. This means, its possible your computer might not handle the graphics, or will lag or stagger. Check the settings and the program’s requirments before joining.
Membership is also free, but paying members get the added benefits of more places and they can buy land. You see, Secondlife also bears a workable economy. Their money is called ‘simoleons’, and you can earn and spend just like real money because it is real money in a sense. There is an exchange, and although you can find TONS of free things, the nice stuff requires some money.
I’ll post the areas (they call them sims) when I visit them and take photos.
Today I went to a cinema in Secondlife.
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Yes, that’s right. I can sit and watch a full length movie in this theater, with other people. They show four different movies. I viewed The Hobbit.
You can pick from pillows, chairs, or even balcony seats. And when you click on the seat you’ve chosen, you can select up to ten different ways to sit.
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So I figured I’d sit ‘like a boss’. Oh and you can view the movie in First Person or in Third Person as well. You ‘chat’ with others by typing but there is a feature where you can ‘talk’ with a microfone. I’m sure others in the theater would get upset if you talked out loud in the theater.
You can chat to others near you, or chat directly to the friend(s) with you.
movie_006 Getting snacks. They are virtual, but it can be fun to get a virtual drink like a Pepsi or beer.
I bought a Breeze, and it included an animation that let me ‘drink’.
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Second Cinema is located at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Odie/155/237/1505 which should open the Secondlife program and take your directly there. You can also use the search and find it. There are more theaters, some showing old videos, to modern, and so forth.
If you join Secondlife, let me know in the comments. 😉

Tracking the Sharonsaurus

We’ve had so much snow (too much by Maryland standards), but its fun to do silly things;
Here I made footprints of the dreaded Sharonsaurus, the terror of the Triassic Era. Known to prey on chocolate and the occasional marshmallow Peep, the Sharonsaurus can be quite placid until provoked.
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What makes the Sharonsaurus so unusual is the obvious treads in the tracks left in her wake. This is known to give her extra gripping speed when chasing down her prey.
Where is her habitat? Anywhere she damn well pleases!