Grimm Layout

Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:23 PM | Filed under

I'm at my aunt's house in Bellingham; I'm staying here for almost a week for New Year's. Everyone here is either asleep or watching CSI reruns, so I decided to make myself a sandwich and read the comics in the newspaper. None of today's were particularly funny, but something about Mother Goose & Grimm caught my attention.

The main joke isn't really all that funny, nor is it very timely (the incident at the University of Florida was more than three months ago).

It seems in panel one that Grimmy has walked up to Ralph's front door to ask why he is holding the imprisoned fly high up in the air at arm's length. In panel two, Ralph is for some reason now to the left of Grimmy. And in panel three, he has returned to standing on his doorstep.

At first, I was a little confused about why the characters had swapped places. Then I thought that the author, whose name I can't make out from the illegible scribble he left, must have done this in order to get the dialogue to flow in the correct order without having to cross the speech bubbles. The picture we see in the second panel must have been drawn as seen from the other side of the characters. It's confusing to have the characters flipping back and forth like this, though. Personally, I would have left the characters in their original positions, and simply put the cat's speech bubble above the dog's; the reader would read the bubbles correctly this way. Switching their dialogue doesn't seem to upset the comic too much, either:

Also, why didn't Ralph rescue any of those other flies in the background? There's about twenty flies hovering around the bug zapper, seconds away from flying into instant death. He rescued only one.

Clichéd Error

Saturday, December 22, 2007 at 11:34 PM | Filed under ,

The family is going to my aunt's house in Bellingham for Christmas, so we opened most of our presents early this year. Something I got for my sister was a pair of Magnetic Poetry Kits. I got her the Clichés and Pick Up Lines sets, which I thought would be fun to mix up. Part of my gift was to separate the words from each other and place them on the fridge. That's when I noticed an error on one of the magnets:

"by it's cover"
Wrong! You wouldn't say, "Don't judge a book by it is cover." The only time you're allowed to use "it's" is in the "it is" contraction—this magnet should have had "its" instead. It's insane how I found such a clichéd spelling error in the Clichés set.

I think I can fix this, though. All I have to do is get scissors and cut up the magnet such that each word belongs to its own magnet. Then I can use a correct "its" magnet instead of the "it's" one. Oh, it looks like there aren't any "its" magnets in these sets. That's okay—I'll use an "it" magnet with an "s" magnet. This is starting to sound complicated.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Filed under

The squirrel that's been visiting our porch the last few days must have told some friends about our food, because this afternoon, we had more squirrels visiting than ever! At one point, there were three squirrels on the porch. Garth was thrilled, as you will see in the video.

Since I last wrote about the squirrel that was here last Friday, we bought some squirrel snacks at Safeway and put them in a terra cotta pot. They've knocked the pot over three times, so there's a lot of corn, nuts, and seeds spilled all over the porch.

Time Zone Conundrum

at 11:06 AM | Filed under , ,

It's a little after 11 o'clock in the morning, and I'm here to post something slightly disturbing I just saw on the Game Show Network. (I've also noticed this on QVC.)

Password Plus is next, but note what time it's scheduled for: 2:00 PM. Obviously, they mean Eastern Time. They also mention that it airs at 1:00 Central Time. Notice, however, that Pacific Time is not mentioned at all. What gives?! Why aren't they listing the airtime for our time zone? Since when is Central Time given more priority than Pacific Time (and Mountain too, I guess)?

Gift Stacking

Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 1:58 AM | Filed under ,

I think I'm going crazy. I spent a lot of time obsessing about stacking up presents on the table behind the couch. It's difficult work—you can't put heavy presents on top of presents that are light and flimsy, and you can't put anything on top of a present that has a bow on top (lest you would crush a bow). And now I have spent fifteen minutes taking a picture, editing that picture, typing this description, uploading the picture, and posting it for you to read here. Also, it's two in the morning.

Desire for Fresh Squirrel Meat

Friday, December 14, 2007 at 1:23 PM | Filed under

A squirrel has been hanging out on the bird feeder in our back yard. The bird feeder is suspended from the eves of the house, so the squirrel has to jump to it from the porch railing, but it doesn't seem to have any trouble doing that. The squirrel is eating the suet we leave out for the birds.

Garth has been really excited to see the squirrel up close through the window. I imagine that he wants to eat it. He gets excited seeing birds, too.

Ah, the beauty of nature.

Repetitive Pledge Ads

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 2:10 PM | Filed under ,

My cousin must have thought that I would like the episode of Monk that aired on Friday. He sent me an e-mail with a link to the USA Network's website where I could watch the entire show online.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode (it was about everyone hating Monk for shooting Santa Claus), and the best part was that I was able to watch it for free! Except I had to sit through an occasional, uninterruptable advertisement. This would be fine, because it's something I should normally have to do while watching TV anyway, but the problem with watching it online was that I was presented the same commercial repeatedly. I saw the same ad for Pledge lemon-scented cleaning spray at least six times.

We have a problem when it comes to viewing content online. Advertisers lose out on lots of impressions when viewers go online to watch shows instead of watching them on TV, but the "beauty" of advertising online means that you can present certain ads to different groups of people—something that can't easily be done when you're broadcasting one feed to televisions everywhere. With the Internet, specific ads can be targeted to relevant people. The problem here is that this just isn't happening. I saw six ads for Lemon Pledge—don't tell me that I'm the kind of person who is most likely to buy Pledge. I don't see it happening. Why aren't they designing these sites to present relevant ads to me?

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess cleaning supplies might not be too far off topic if you're a fan of Monk. The character is afflicted by obsessive-compulsive disorder and a phobia of germs, among many others.

I'm not a huge fan of advertising, and I know that right now, it's basically the only big thing anyone in the entertainment business gets any money from, and therefore the only reason we don't have to subscribe and pay money to watch anything on TV. But when will be the day when I don't see the same ad twice?

Word Notes

Saturday, December 8, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Filed under

For some reason, I seem to know a lot about English language usage, and I notice all the time when someone misuses a word or something, so I thought I might use this blog to occasionally teach you how to use English correctly, and today, I have a small handful of words that you are probably using incorrectly.

I see this one misused all the time. To electrocute somebody means to kill them, using electricity. It's not merely a mild shock, or even a painful one—it's one that kills you. (It can also be an accidental one.) Just remember that "electrocute" has the "-cute" suffix, just like "execute" does. If you get shocked playing with the toaster and live to tell about it, you'd better not say you were electrocuted.

If you're on a ship, and it's rocking side to side, and you notice that you feel like you're going to vomit, you aren't nauseous. You are nauseated. To be nauseous means that you cause people to be sick. Something nauseous might cause someone to become nauseated. If you tell someone, "I'm nauseous," they may as well say, "That's right; you make me sick."

If you know that the thing floating around in the atmosphere is an alien spaceship, then don't call it a UFO. "UFO" stands for "unidentified flying object"; since you've already identified it as being a spaceship, it can't be a UFO.

Well, that's all I want to discuss for now. I'd better not catch you misusing these words in the future!

Flooded Garage

Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:15 PM | Filed under

The weekend snow diversion was quickly washed away by the rainstorm we had today. It rained so much that the reading on my rain gauge is off the charts!

Our driveway slopes down toward the house, and a puddle of such magnitude has grown that water trickled in under the garage doors and left a little layer of water on the floor. I don't think anything of extreme important has been damaged, but boy oh boy, is the weather rainy!

Now the rain's started up again, and it's as heavy as ever! And the worst part: I just busted my umbrella!


Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Filed under , , ,

This isn't the first snow of the season (it snowed a little while earlier this week), but this is the first time the snow is sticking to the ground, so the neighbor kids asked me to come outside to help them make a snowman. Of course, any time I tried to do anything to the snowman, they told me to stop it because I would ruin the snowman. Of course, they themselves knocked the thing over three times while trying to build it. Jesse, Jeanina, and Patrick kept arguing over what to do about the snowman, and every time they began to disagree, one of them would hit the snowman and knock out a big chunk of it or tip the whole thing over.

An argument over whether to use tree needles as hair resulted in the snowman wearing a baseball cap. He has a baby carrot for a nose because nobody has any regular carrots, and he has rocks for eyes because Jeanina didn't feel like running inside to get buttons. I suggested we use tree branches for arms, but Jesse declared that to be a stupid idea, so he ran and got some thin wooden slats, which I personally think look hilariously out of place. He has a twig for a mouth, and instead of having a corncob pipe, he is... sucking on a straw? I'm not sure what the straw is there for.

On a separate note, I'm not sure that my rain gauge will work very well for measuring how much snowfall we get.