Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In which - Zephyr

"Once blind and innocent, you took the narrow road
With your hope and your faith all neatly in a row....

But on that great dividing line between love and what you wished to find
You stumble and you fall....

Look to where the colors flow, it's a fluid space where spirits grow
Unimagined on a hill...."

Lyrics are from "Angelic" by Satellite Paradiso. I'd love this album even if John Ashton had nothing to do with it, but the fact that he does makes it even better.

Okay, yeah, and Maddy was getting all fancy and stuff with Photoshop Elements 13.

Monday, December 29, 2014

In which - Satellites and lost planes.....

Stupid computer....

"Maddy! Why isn't this stupid thing showing the song titles?"

She looked. "It has to be in their database to pick up the album info. I don't think it is - yet."

"Shouldn't it be in there if it's been released?"

"I think it's been released but not like "officially" officially released. Like it isn't available on say. Amazon or anything." She isn't sure how this whole Pledgemusic thing works any more than I am. It's a long (and presumably better) way from the days when Big Record controlled  - well, just about everything. But long story short, the long-awaited Satellite Paradiso CD arrived on the eve of Christmas eve - one heck of an awesome little Christmas surprise. (Of course, if Maddy ever bothered to actually CHECK her Gmail from time to time, she would have known it was on the way!)

And as for why we're using the computer to play it in the first place - well, we can't find the remote control for the CD player - Maddy *thinks* she might have accidentally packed it up with the air conditioner, because we found the remote for the air conditioner on top of the CD player - and in a cruel twist of modern fate, the CD player is inoperable without the remote. Oops.

All that aside, it really is one heck of an awesome album. We've actually been listening to a secret, pledge-only MP3 version we downloaded in May, but we never burned a CD copy - and it ended up marooned on the failed hard drive in Maddy's old computer. I think that's what they call first-world problems - although they're still not a whole lot of fun when you're having them.

"I like this one," Scaramouche said.

"It's called "Super Anti-Hero," I told her.

"It sounds kind of like the Alarm - like it could have been on Declaration," she said. "I'm glad to see him back, I always did like him."

"John Ashton?" I swear, this deva knows everyone....

"Yeah. I was up in Beasrville when they were recording Forever Now. They were a freaking trip. I just loved hanging around them. Somewhere there's a picture of John and my pet salamander at the time, Charlotte."

"I think they were worried toward the end that the whole pledge thing wouldn't come through." I was worried. I think Maddy was, but she kept saying she wasn't.

"I would have gone up there, but all that was right about the time the plane vanished."

"Why did they ask you to help?" I never was clear on that.

"The Ondines - ocean devas - don't have much experience dealing with humans, so they wanted me to act as an intermediary. They thought they might be able to help find the plane. Some of the whales had reported hearing what they thought was that pinger everyone kept talking about, and if they had - well, someone had to lead the humans to the right spot. That was where I would have come in."

"But mot humans don't even know what devas are - or would even believe in you if they did. How were you going to do that?"

"I have my ways. I've worked so much with humans. and I can speak just about any language. It's what I do." She shrugged. "But I wanted to help. I wanted to try to find out what happened. But even the Ondines and the whales and - well, everybody else - couldn't find the plane. Anywhere. Like the humans, we couldn't even find anyone who could definitely say they'd seen it. One Ondine thinks - thinks - she saw it turn back over the Malay Peninsula, But she isn't sure it was really MH 370." She shook her head. "Trust me. The humans aren't dumb. None of us could find any trace of it, either. And when a whale can't find it, you know it's lost."

I'll have to take her word for that one.....

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In which - Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

*Looks at top of tank*

Crap. How did THAT get in the photo?

I hope Santa brings someone in this house some actual photo composition skills for Christmas. Because none of us seem to have any....

Sunday, December 21, 2014

In which - Happy Yule!

We'd like to wish our readers in the northern hemisphere a happy first day of winter (is that an oxymoron?) our readers in the southern hemisphere a happy first day of summer (no oxymoron there!) and everyone else a very happy Yule!

(And that tank is NOT as scuzzy as it looks. It's just algae on the front - again. It was cleaned about five days ago.)

By the way, this is what we woke up to this morning. it snowed off an on most of the day. Just a coating, but enough to make it what Aura calls a totally dreich day.

Bonus pic. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

In which it's stormy - inside....

"That's weird. I thought I heard - thunder?!" Much like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects a supercell thunderstorm - at least, not in the dining room. "Tempest, what are you doing?"

"Okay, please don't let that thing rain on my sewing machine...." Maddy added, coming in.

"Don't worry. It's under control. I haven't let a storm get away from me yet," Tempest said. "But could you open the back door for a moment, please? Just the glass. We need some cooler air in here for this to work."

She did. "For what to work?"

"This," Tempest said. "Okay now, Zephyr, we've got some cold air for the rear-flank downdraft. Pull that into the circulation...."

"Little bit more...."

"And perfect!" She looked apologetic. "It's far too cold to raise one outside. I needed warm air."

"That's what I tried to do back in El Reno." Zephyr looked sad. "But it didn't help. I thought it would do what it did here. Isn't that how you break a vortex?"

"It is - provided you have any cool air to work with," Tempest said. "Which you didn't. You can't work with what you don't have."

Just for the record....

That tornado exploded to just over two and a half miles wide in about thirty seconds. Radar-estimated winds at the base were 296 mph. Right at that moment, it was the strongest force on the planet - and Zephyr was trying to make it play nice and not go across the interstate.

"That's it," she said. "Even I couldn't quite see the outer circulation. The other devas had made it transparent. And it was going so fast. I thought I could dissipate it or turn it or something, but then it was on us - and I saw the truck get picked up. I tried to stop it, but it still rolled. And it was so big. I wasn't close enough to the other car..."

"And you saved everybody in the Yukon," Tempest pointed out. "That was very quick thinking."

(I think Tempest is happy to have a wind deva to work with who thinks the same way she does.)

Bonus pic:

Christmas dresses!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In which - Happy Birthday, John Ashton!

A very, very happy birthday to our favorite Psychedelic Fur/space cadet, John Ashton!

We were going to make cupcakes to celebrate.....

And will, if Maddy ever finds the muffin pan,

One would think it was in the obvious place, but nope,,,,,

Or the other obvious place....

And no, the dishwasher actually isn't used for washing dishes. It's merely for storage at this point. Maddy isn't even sure it's still hooked up to the water lines.

But cupcakes or no, we hope your birthday's a great one!

So, is THIS the year I get to spank the birthday boy?


At least she wasn't drinking anything this year...

Speaking of Maddy, she was planning to do a new dress tutorial to celebrate my Woodstock fella's birthday again this year, but - well, she kind of didn't realize that November 30th was, in fact, THIS Sunday. So she's hoping to put up a belated birthday dress tutorial sometime soon....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In which - Happy (snowy?!) Thanksgiving!

From everyone here - Happy Thanksgiving! And if it's not Thanksgiving where you are - Happy Thursday!

As for the snowy part - well, this was the back deck before Maddy cleared it.

The railing is going to have to stand in for the ubiquitous "ZOMG LOOK HOW MUCH SNOW IS ON MY PATIO FURNITURE LOL!!!!!!!" shot.

It's not a s pretty as it looks - it's heavy and wet and caused a lot of power outages. Ours threatened to go out a couple of times, but so good, so far, it hasn't. Right now it's just cloudy, but the sun is trying to work its way out.

Someone on the Weather Channel compared the consistency of the snow to mashed potatoes. Not to sure if I'd want to try mashed potatoes in that case......

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving (and Thursday!) is warm and snow-free!

Bonus pic:

Tempest  - taken before Winter Storm Cato decided to go all gangster on us.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

In which it's Support the BJD Artists Day

No recasts!

For those not familiar with the BJD world, recasts are bootleg copies of BJDs.

For one thing, it's wrong. It's stealing. Period.

For another thing, it's not cool. Who wants a copy when you can have an original?

Besides, you don't want Scaramouche to actually USE this thing, do you? I should warn you that she does indeed know how to use it.


Friday, November 14, 2014

In which my nemesis and I meet again.....

And so it begins......

Away, thy foul white demon! Away with thy polluting filth, thy wint'ry perversion....

Or, to quote Scaramouche: "What the #$&%!, Tempest!"

Tempest pointed out that this one wasn't her doing She isn't responsible for what happens when a storm deva in the Pacific decides it's time for a super typhoon and whoops! There goes that polar vortex again.

Yes, this outbreak was indeed triggered by a super typhoon in the Pacific wrecking havoc with the jetstream. And there's always a polar vortex. It's just when Polar doesn't keep its Vortex to itself that we have problems

Kira hasn't seen this before. She said she wasn't sure she liked it. Where she comes from, they don't see snow, Just rain in the winter.

Hmmm. Wonder if Maddy would consider a move to the Land Down Under?

Tempest, however, is used to it - although she insists that this isn't where Snowdonia, Wales got the name from. (It's from Lord Snowdon, she said,)

All I can say is it better melt or else I'm getting John-John's nuclear-powered jet-engine turbo-charged blowdryer and taking matters into my own hands.......

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In which Zephyr tells her story.....

And another happy customer. John-John has worked some serious makeover magic on Zephyr, I must say. When he said he had a new look in mind for her, I didn't think it would be this new.

And as for what she's doing here, well - as they say, it's a long story....

"I was brought into existence in what your human friend calls Oklahoma." she said. "I left  about a year and a half ago because - of the other storm devas."

"They weren't picking on you or anything?" I said. I'd always had the impression that devas mostly got along.

"No...." Zephyr admitted. "It was because of what they did. They liked to make things really bad for everyone. Like they knew how unstable the atmosphere was this one day last spring. but instead of leaving things alone, they decided to see who could call up the biggest tornado. There were several, but the biggest one went out of control and went through that town and killed a lot of humans. It also destroyed most of the town. The worst part was that the deva who did it was bragging that she'd done it before, years ago. She was really proud of herself."

It took me a minute. "You mean Moore, Oklahoma? That one?" That really big one. I remember it going from zero to wedge in about ten seconds flat.

She nodded. "And that wasn't all."

"What was?" Tempest had come over. "See, this is why I don't like the older storm devas. Some of them forget that there are other creatures - not just humans - affected by what they do."

Zephyr looked even more ashamed. "A couple of weeks later in human time, they did it again. Same place, same atmospheric setup. Only this time they decided it would be funny to run a tornado across the big interstate road just as the truck from the weather station was coming. They wanted to see if they could hit it. I tried to stop it, I really did. I tried to turn the wind back against the storm, but I couldn't do it. It was just too big and they had it right in the jetstream. All I could do was make the car land right side up. I didn't see it hit the other car until it was too late."

"The El Reno storm...." Tempest said slowly, realizing it just as we did. "Listen. Don't blame yourself for what they did. It's almost impossible to stop one of those supercells, as the humans call them, once you let it get out of control. I only managed it once, and even then it took some help from another deva who had experience managing hurricanes. And we couldn't turn it around all the way. All we could do was force it though an unoccupied part of the town. It still wrecked half the town, but didn't kill anyone."

"That was you?" Zephyr looked amazed. "I heard about that. The other devas were so mad. They'd been aiming for the town."

"I know that. Bloody old-school idiots." Tempest couldn't hide a smirk. "So I made them mad, did I? Good."

"I know there have to be storms, but still..."

"You can do what you need to do without harming anyone. Since when did letting a storm get out of control become a good thing?" Tempest shook her head.

"Could you teach me how to turn a storm?"

"Girl, I can teach you everything you need to know," Tempest said. "And using the wind to stop that big old Yukon from rolling? That took skill. I wondered why it ended up upright."

So here she is - the reason we have Mike Bettes around to totally OWN Bill Belichick: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2255688-the-weather-channel-calls-out-bill-belichick-for-attack-on-meteorologists

I don't know about you, but I like this girl.

Bonus shot:

"Stop that. No exterminating in the house!"

Friday, October 31, 2014

In which - just some random photos

In a straw maze. Did I mention that my hair seems to be a magnet for straw?


Actually, this guy only looked scary. Rats are, in fact, pretty cool.

"There's a ship......the Black Freighter....."

If you haven't Nina Simone singing "Pirate Jenny" then go check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7awW5nrDHk

The Pumpkin Queen.

Just a seriously cute sparrow, presumably not named Jack.

Why taking photos under the gerbil cage is a bad idea.

On the other hand, Spike should kick for the NFL.

A deva and her spider.

"That's not a carrot, mate. THIS is a carrot!"

The paring knife is as long as Aura is tall, so yeah, that's a whole lotta carrot.

Daisy with the perfect Christmas tree, courtesy of Norm's Dollhouse. Yes, that is the dollhouse from downstairs. It's upstairs now and in the process of being renovated. More on this to come...

And finally - Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 3, 2014

In which - some autumn pics.

We drive by Fahnstock State Park all the time, but haven't really ever had time to stop there.

So we decided to make a point of driving over there today.


Looks like this is the way to the great views....

Okay, turned out it really wasn't. It was the way to the picnic shelter, which was reserved.

Maybe the other way?

Uh - make that the OTHER other way. This pic doesn't capture the sheer steepness of the trail. Yes, it is a trail, but I think rappelling gear would be essential.

 Here we go. Much more like it.

 This is the picnic area by the lake.

Not too bad.

 Autumn would not be a bad season, really....

If it went right back into spring, that is.

Okay, okay, we can have one month of winter. ONE. Uno. That's it. Winter does have a way of wearing out a welcome pretty quickly.

 Then we could have a whole lot more of this.

I did suggest it to the devas. Paisley said she'd talk to Aura about it, but not to get my hopes up. I think she might have been humoring me. Oh well....

Daisy in some new threads from Spampy Stuff.


I do have some pics from our drive over to Cold Spring yesterday, but I'll save them for another entry.