Random Thursday: Faulty Memories, Weird Truths, and Good GNUs

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Hey, you writer people out there—check out last Tuesday’s post!


When my BP drops, I have a latte.

Coffee Type

Actually, mine is Coffee Positive.


I Hope So . . .

Mediation Remediation

I’d suggest adding a little blood to our caffeine streams,
but that’s just crazy talk.


Let’s Take a Vote!

At first, this seems like an awesome live-action  memory game . . . but it isn’t.

It’s better.

Don’t bother clicking—I’ve posted the solution at the end.

No peeking!

GNUs for Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

“You know they’ll never really die while the Trunk is alive[…] It lives while the code is shifted, and they live with it, always Going Home.”

— Lipwig von Moist, Going Postal, Chapter 13

I was first introduced to Terry Pratchett’s imagination when I chose The Colour of Magic as one of the twelve books I bought for a penny way back when Book of the Month Clubs were a Big Thing and my mother wasn’t watching.

For that story alone it was the best scam I ever fell for—I read everything Terry Pratchett ever wrote and have been a devotee of the magical Discworld and its different sort of sanity ever since.

So when I learned last week that he had passed away, I told myself that his characters and worlds and sharp wit were so loved that somewhere, it has all become real.

This didn’t help as much as I’d hoped.

But then my husband, who is as big a fan as I, showed me an article that did.

In Going Postal, readers are introduced to “the clacks”, a series of semaphore towers that stand in for the telegraph for the Discworld, which has no electricity. The towers that make up “the Trunk”, can send messages “at the speed of light” using standardized codes.

In the book, three of these codes are central to the plot:

G: send the message on
N: do not log the message
U: turn the message around at the end of the line and send it back again

The people who operate the Towers—half coders, half mechanics, half crazy—have a special way of honoring those who died in service:  The names of the dead are sent in code from Tower to Tower, never logged and never ending, always remembered while the towers still stand.

And now, some Reddit fans of Sir Terry have created a way to send him name through our world’s version of the clacks—the Internet—in the form of a code called the XClacksOverhead, which sets a header reading “GNU Terry Pratchett” in the coding of one’s website or blog.

If you’re interested in honoring Terry Pratchett in this way, or are interested in passing this idea on to fans who are technologically savvy enough to do this, the various codes and instructions are here.

No one will be able to see his name unless they look for it in the coding, but it will be there, sent on and ever circling, and always Going Home.


The Battle-Cry of my Demographic

Memory Stump


The Verdict?

It’s totally doable, as long as you can get 100 people to follow the same, simple process.

So, no.  Never take this bet.

Instead, we should run the bet, and make a boatload of cash of those 100 people.

Who’s with me?


Random Thursday: Purple Skies, Baby Owls, and Lady Chatterly’s Leprechaun

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

Got felled with one of my blinding (and I mean that literally) migraines yesterday, and so spent the day in a nice quiet room sleeping off my meds and sipping nice, hot mugs of caffeine.

Possibly at the same time.  I don’t really remember.

But I’m feeling better today—a little dizzy, but that’s nothing new—and also very thankful for friends who have sent me so much stuff this month that I already had this post pretty much pre-assembled by the time I could bear to look at a screen again.

Thanks, guys!



Remember my Purple Elephant rant from a couple years ago?

Looks like I may have to break out the %&#$ double-pointed needles again.


This (these?) are Boo.

Boo’s pattern is on sale at the Mochimochi Land shop.

I don’t want to wrestle with a handful of small sticks for three hours
just trying to cast on, no matter how adoraboo
he/she/they is/are.

Maybe I should send the pattern to my friend Grace instead,
as a sort of self-serving holiday gift?

Gold Box

(Don’t tell her, Cha—let it be a surprise!)


A Short Physics Poem

Roses are red.
Chromaticity’s wavy.
That’s why the sky isn’t purple:
It’s gravy.



This is a good visual metaphor for how I’m piecemeal writing my Nanonovel this week . . .


 . . . except with plot elements and werewolves and swanmanes instead of kitties.

And some of the blocks would be hissing at each other and/or pointing guns.

Or threatening to take each other’s P.I. licenses away.

Or scent marking the lower levels.

Never mind.

(Thanks again, caitlin!)


Because Baby Owl

To misquote Robert A. Heinlein,

“Baby owls, like butterflies, need no excuse.”

Baby Owl

He actually said “little girls” instead of owls,
but in my experience, little girls seem to need a lot of excuses,
and tend to deliver them even before you’ve asked.

(Stolen from Paula’s FB feed—thanks, Paula!)


Troll of the D’urbervilles

My friend Siobhan sent me the link to this video, with the subject heading:

“Guess I can’t give you any more crap about the wereduck thing.”

No, Vannie. No, you can’t.

Random Thursday: Dubious Accomplishments, Librarianisms, and Fuzzy Eyeballs

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I had Labor Day off Monday, so Tuesday was Monday with a T, and then I was home sick yesterday (and probably should be today, guh) so today is sort of the new Wednesday, except isn’t raining cats and dogs and salamanders and lungfish out there and I have back-to-back meeting all day, so it’s actually Monday with a W.

Or a Th?

I’ve lost track . . .


Oh, $#!%—Someone Noticed

Library Gangs

I don’t know whether to laugh at the grammar
or be annoyed that the sign maker wasn’t severely hushed
before s/he let the cat out of the bag.

(Thanks to Watson, for bringing this to our attention . . . )


 Inspiration Is Where You Find it

I was going to share a fantastic video my husband found,
featuring a 74-year old woman playing blues guitar
in a way that would make Albert “Ice Man” Collins sit up and notice.

But in the end, I had to go with my artistic integrity
and personal knowledge
about what kinds of accomplishments
truly inspire me:



Prehistoric Googling

Tuesday, I was covering the Reference desk
when our system software went down
and we lost the online catalog for a hectic forty minutes.

I would now like to officially apologize to Dr. Linh
on behalf of my cataloging class
for all the nasty things we called him
when he forced us to memorize the general classification schedules
for both the Dewey and LC systems.

But I think we all stand by what we called him after the final.


(I can’t remember who sent me this—Watson? Caitlin?—but thanks!)



Did you know that the 30th Anniversary edition of  Tetris®
(remember Tetris®?)
is currently being offered as a free Android app
at the Google Play store?

It’s true!

All it’ll cost you is most of your time
and a significant chunk of your sanity.

Trust me on this.


Fuzzy Logic

Those little silver squiggles have been circling my vision again, so I’ve decided to lighten up on caffeine, find some work to do at the library that doesn’t require me to stare at pixels for hours at a time, and also give myself two days without contacts to give the ol’ eyeballs some fresh air.

Since my unenhanced vision is perfectly adequate at distances of up to five inches, I’ll naturally be wearing my glasses, the lenses of which are exactly as thick and heavy as you might imagine they would be for anyone with five inches worth of distance vision.

This means that once or twice during my work day, I’m going to have to remove my black plastic nerd glasses—if they’re good enough for Clark Kent and Adam Savage, they’re good enough for me—for a while to rub some feeling back into my nose.

The problem, of course, is that when I take off my glasses, I’ll either have to stop reading, or bring the pages within five inches of my eyes, which will interfere with effective nose rubbing.

Luckily, MinutePhysics is here to save the day!


Random Thursday: Like Lambs to the Random

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

My whole attitude this week can be summed up in one word:  Baaaaaah.

So I went with it.


Hipster Sheeple or Sheepish Hipster?

Hurts so good.

Hipster Sheeple

True story:

One day, during my brief sojourn as a music major, I was studying in my dorm room to Pachelbel’s Canon—actually, I was studying the Canon itself, for Theory class.

I wasn’t wearing headphones, and the door was open.

My RA stuck her head into the room in passing and asked me why on earth I was playing the GE Soft Light commercial over and over.

When I told her the original music had been composed around 1693,
she looked at me like I’d just won the trophy for Champion Freshman Idiot and said,
“Oh, please. Lightbulbs weren’t even invented back then.”

She wasn’t wrong.  Entirely.

(Thanks, Tina—I’d forgotten!)


Rocking the Oxymoron

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Others, I give to you the song “No Stress”,
as sung by a musician named Wolf
to images from Shaun the Sheep.

Feel the awesome.

(Not that I didn’t appreciate the . . . effort . . . it must have take to create that other sheep vid you sent, me, Kev, but I like this one better)


The Bathgate Conspiracy

According to Reddit, a sheepherder in Bathgate, Scotland, (safely) had been dying his sheep in bright colors for several years in order to entertain passing motorists.

This is the pretty picture that usually accompanies this announcement.

Dyed Sheep

But if you look at the comments, a resident of Bathgate (Mayor_Goldie_Wilson) says that this isn’t quite right

The image s/he offers of the Real Bathgate Sheep™ is a bit less . . . Easter best.

Real Dyed Sheep

But dark purple sheep?  Are still totally cool, y’all.

(I can’t remember who first shared the above image on Facebook, as nearly everyone did, but thanks! )


A Small Amount of Sheep is Not Zero

And that is exactly what this video provides.

So there.

And remember, at any given time, you are never more than 12,750 km away from a sheep.

I find this oddly comforting in a really disturbing way.

Random Thursday: Random Ways to Avoid Writing

It’s Thursday!  It’s Random!  It’s Random Thursday.

C’mon people—that time won’t waste itself!


Watch this again


And maybe again.

Frame by frame. Line by quotable line.

Just to see if it’s possible to pick up any clues about Coulson’s mysterious revival,
other than its obvious lack of Tahiti.

Or what exactly Fitz and Simmons  are actually saying.

Or where and when J. August Richards got those shoulders?

Or to invent a new drinking game involving the SHIELD symbol, which is on a surprising number of items,
considering it belongs to a top secret organization.

Discuss.  At length.


Get a New Tattoo

This is sort of writing,
’cause I tried it with a Sharpie yesterday.

Hand Trampoline

Works in boring staff meetings, too—or so I imagine.



Get Your MARVELous Nails Done

Hard to write with wet nails . . .  Or  while holding your hands together like that . . .


Or watching the how-to video . . .

Or deploring/defending/contemplating one’s levels of sheer geekiness . . .


Take a Nap


Or as we like to call it, “refilling the well.”


Do a Little Housewo—Clean the—Pick up the—

No, no, sorry . . . can’t even type it with a straight face.

Never mind.


Search for ‘braaaanes

Or at least the ones in which you’ve already written your book.

And it’s good.