Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh Geeze! I'm Mechanically Challenged

Saturday morning about 4 a.m. I heard this chirping noise: about one chirp per minute. The only time I'd heard anything similar was from my smoke alarm. I tried vacuuming the the dust out of the thing. I even disconnected it. Still the horrible chirping. Could it be the carbon-monoxide detector that I'd bought last year in response to a new Mass. law? I unplugged it. Still the slow, maddening chirping continued. I went to the Firex web site. Replace the battery when warned by chirping, it said. O.K. Since it was hard-wired I'd assumed there was no battery, but maybe there was. I took the thing down, but couldn't get it open. I took it to a hardware store. The clerk couldn't get it open. Then an elderly hardware employee looked at it and said, this is the hard-wired type of smoke detector. It doesn't have a battery. Could it be your carbon-monoxide detector? No, I unplugged that. I went back home and called the local electrician, who was able to come about 3 hours later. I told him my story and said it must be the heat detector. But no, it was the carbon-monoxide detector that does chirp, even when unplugged, because it uses the waning power of the battery to produce the chirps.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Unarius Academy Missed.

It was just about one year ago that I visited Chuck 'n' Jerry. We contemplated a visit to the Unarius Academy HQ, but since we couldn't get them via phone, we feared they may have dispersed after the death of Ruth Norman. But today I found their up-to-date web site. Apparently they offer regular classes in Mexico and Nigeria. I keep wondering what happened to all of Ruth Norman's weird gowns. You can see one of them at Douglas Curran's web site. His book In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space is one of my faves. Here's another I found on the web:

Further Reading:

California space goddess : the mystagogue in a flying saucer cult. By: Kirkpatrick, R George; Tumminia, Diana. Source: Twentieth-century world religious movements in neo-Weberian perspective, p 299-311. Lewiston, NY : Edwin Mellen Pr, 1992 Publication Type: Essay

Unarius : emergent aspects of an American flying saucer group. By: Tumminia, Diana; Kirkpatrick, R George. Source: Gods have landed, p 85-104. Albany : State Univ of New York Pr, 1995 Publication Type: Essay

When the archangel died: from revelation to routinisation of charisma in Unarius By: Tumminia, Diana. Source: UFO religions, p 62-82. London ; New York : Routledge, 2003 Publication Type: Essay

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Beautiful Future

This lovely picture is courtesy of Retrofuture, a guy who posts on Flickr. Was he involved in I don't know. But I do know I want to follow his example in dredging up old, ridiculous visions of the future, scan them, and post them for the benefit of all humankind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I (Finally) Finished my Self Portrait

If I look a bit grim, it's because I had to wipe off my work and do it over several times. Thank goodness oil paint is so forgiving. When this sucker dries, I'll bring it to work for a showing in my cubicle.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Look at this picture I took. It looks like all the gravestones are about to slide down to the left, but they're not. I ramped up the color saturation. Few things, photographically speaking, are more satisfying than ramping up the color saturation. It's easy to go overboard, and I do.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

S.O.S. (Same Old Stuff)

I got myself a Flickr page (in the links list). But damn, there are so many awesome photos out there. I'm taking a Photoshop class in June. Maybe I can come up with some wild stuff. In the meantime, amuse yourself with this short movie.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Future is History

Well, it looks like Retrofuture, one of my favorite sites, is gone. The link has been dead at least a couple of days. The creator compiled old predictions of our wonderful science-blessed future. You know, flying cars, jet packs, robot maids. A month ago I sent the guy an article about robots we could marry by the year 2000 (see my February 10 post). I was nettled when he didn't respond. And now he and his site have been swallowed up into the abyss.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ye Olde-Tymers' Lunch

Chris, Arthur, and Lynn were all at Lamont in the 80s with me.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Par-tay at Julie and Dave's

Dave and Julie relax.

Sue finds something funny.

Lynn meditates on the perfection of chocolate.

Stanley has a white mustache, which you can't really see here.

The camera often makes cats' eyes turquoise. This is Cliff.

Sue, back of Julie, Lynn.

Appreciation for the cook.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nonprofit is not Necessarily Not Profitable

As I read of one financial disaster after another, it's comforting to know that my employer is doing just fine. Though not much trickles down into my paycheck, at least its wealth assures me that America's oldest corporation will be around to pay my pension.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

April is the Cruelest Month...

But not for me, because I finished my taxes. This year Mass. introduced a tax on items bought out-of-state for in-state use. Of course I buy all kinds of stuff on the internet. Fortunately, Mass. gave us the option of paying a flat fee based on your income, if you didn't want to keep even more receipts. Did you know that you must even pay taxes on ill-gotten gains? So even if the feds can't prove you robbed the bank, they can nab you for not paying taxes on the take. Pay your taxes today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh Canada.

Hooray, I will be spending 5 days in July-August at this place with two old college buddies.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Others Bowl





Friday, March 07, 2008

I Bowl

Dave posted an old video of me bowling on Youtube. I made a strike that night, but nobody got a picture of it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A New Transformer for the Neighborhood

These guys are replacing the transformer that lives off my condo ass.'s parking lot. The old transformer "blew up" some years ago, but they just fixed it. (When it "blew up" it did not fly apart, as the phrase "blew up" implies; it merely made a loud bang and stopped working.) Now we are getting a new, improved model!