Monday, August 3, 2015

Odd Thoughts

Which reminds me - I am reading the "Odd Thomas" series of books by Dean Koontz.  Actually reading is not quite the right word; flipping through would be a better description. I don't recall ever reading a Dean Koontz book before but boy-oh-boy does this man have a lock on purple prose! The books run about 400 pages of which perhaps 100 pages are actually 'story', hence the flipping through.

While writing the above paragraph I had cause to check on the definition of purple prose:
In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the extensive use of adjectives, adverbs, zombie nouns, and metaphors.
What jumped out at me was the term "zombie nouns" - that's a new one on me. So I had to look up that term and found a delightful article from the NYT on the subject. You can click the link if you are curious, or just move on.

Back to my original first odd thought.

I do the NYT crossword puzzle every day. Supposedly they get more difficult as the week progresses. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - you can do the puzzles in your head - no pen or paper needed. Lately the Thursday puzzles have been REALLY hard and the Friday puzzle less so. That kind of goes against pattern. Saturday puzzles vary in their difficulty. Sunday puzzles, oddly enough, are usually quite easy. I know, they should be the most difficult, instead they are just the largest puzzles and I often get bored filling in the squares; they just go on and on.

What makes me a little crazy about crossword puzzles is when they mock me. I start in the upper left hand corner, do the first across and then do the down clues - once that corner is done I then do all the down clues. I know, I know most people probably do the across clues first but then I read the ends of books first. Well not precisely 'first' - I read the first few chapters, then the end, then the middle. I can't enjoy the trip if I don't know where I'm going.

So there I am whipping through a crossword puzzle and then I hit a wall. Can't get the answers and often I don't even understand the clues! It's like the puzzle is saying to me "Ha- Thought this was an easy one, eh. Suckha!"

An odd thought I have every Monday and Friday, which are laundry days. One of the compromises I made when we bought this condo was no in-unit washer/dryer. That was a BIG compromise for me. Huge. I still, and always will, regret it. And it is a compromise I will never, ever make again.

There are 2 laundry rooms on each floor and we are situated quite close to one. Mondays and Fridays I get up at the crack of dawn to get into the laundry room before anyone else but when all is done and I am folding the clothes I experience a wave of delight. My clothes are so nice and bright - the whites are SO white, the colors SO bright. It just makes me happy.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Caturday Art

(If you click to biggify you can see the details of his eyes better - and you know how much I love cat's eyes)

Join the Caturday Blog Hop over at Athena and Marie's

Friday, July 31, 2015

W

I've always been at a loss to describe how NY'ers pronounce certain words, or at least how I, as a NY'er, pronounce certain words.

We all know coffee is cawfee, right?  But I could never figure out how to describe how I pronounce 'floor'.  Until today.

I said to Miss Frankie "Are you eating something off the flaw?"

There it is! I heard myself say it!

Flaw for floor.

So what is it with W's?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I always say I am not creative

but I am. Most often in a practical way. I am very creative when it comes re-purposing things (for lack of a better term and I know there is another term I just can't think of it). A MacGyver-ish sort of creativity.

I recently combined two cat toys that were of no interest to my kitties into one perfect wand toy for Frankie - just like the one she had for years and for which I could never find a replacement.  I also recently discovered that I could cut a too-wide stall shower curtain (which always got nasty and moldy very quickly) in half and get 2 shower curtains for the price of one - AND  - because the shower curtain isn't all bunched up now it stays clean longer and works much better at keeping water in the shower and off the floor. Brilliant - why didn't I think of that sooner.

If I don't have what I need, or want,  I can usually find something that, with a little tinkering, or with a little imagination, or with a little thinking outside the box, will work just as well, if not better. 

And that's a form of creativity.

But I am also good with color. My basic framing rules are that the mat should pick up a color from the center of the art work and the frame should be a darker shade of the mat.  I've done all my art work that way.

My latest acquisition is a digital print (signed and numbered, thank you very much) of an original watercolor. It is a giclee print on watercolor paper; the artist is M. Ambrose Perry.  The name of the print is "Yellow Cat" and I came across it quite by accident - which is a whole other long story, ask Sharla.

I decided to break my rule with this piece because it is so colorful. Originally I planned on a simple muted white mat and thin unobtrusive gold frame. But running amok in the frame shop I did this instead:


The mat is 'cotton white' and the frame is a red that is almost identical to the red in the picture.  It is smashing, even against my yellow walls. It is a large piece, framed it is 24x18 and I have it in the hallway between the living room and the bedrooms.

While I may not have an original creative bone in my body, and I so envy people who do,  I console myself with these small talents.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Technical hint if you have Comcast internet

Ii you have a Comcast Wireless Gateway device (which is not available in all markets) and your own wireless router and private network you need to hear this.

This is the device I am talking about. If you are not sure you have this, go look and I'll wait.

Okay, if you don't have a device that looks like this then you don't have to read any further. Also if you are still not sure, check your Comcast bill. Under 'Additional XFinity Internet Service' it will note if you have a "Wireless Gateway Device" and that you are paying +/- $10 a month for it.

If you do have this device then read on.

Now suppose you have a wireless router that is connected to this machine and that you have set up a private network (ie: password protected) for your home.  If the light next to the Wifi designation on the Comcast device is lit (see picture above - it is E) then you are confusing the hell out of all of your wi-fi connected devices as well as jeopardizing your internet security.

Because if the WiFi light on the Comcast device is lit and you have an operational wireless router connected to it, even if you are signed into YOUR private network your devices may try to connect to the Comcast device. Which means you are not getting the full benefit of your wireless router - the strength of the signal is being diluted.

How to fix this? Call Comcast and ask that they turn off the Gateway WiFi signal and switch the device to BRIDGE MODE.  You will see the light go out on the Gateway Device and you should also see an increase in your internet speed.  (BRIDGE MODE - important that you use that term.)

Just for the fun of it - test your internet speed first, then have Comcast put your Gateway device into bridge mode, then test your speed again. You should see a positive change in speed once the Gateway WiFi is turned off.

If you would like more information about how this Gateway device works - you can find it here.