Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Kingdom of Talossa

The Kingdom of Talossa

The day after Christmas in 1979, a 13-year old high school student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, declared his bedroom to be an independent sovereign state, the Kingdom of Talossa. The kingdom has grown considerably since then and now consists of a 13-square kilometer portion of East Milwaukee. So far, the U.S. government has not disputed Talossa’s claim to this land. In 1985 the country’s founder was elected king, abdicated in 1987, and became king again in 1988. The head of the Progressive Conservative Party is Michael Pope and Chris Gruber is prime minister.

The Kingdom of Talossa has claimed to be descended from North African Berbers and have their own language as well as “Talossan English.” The Talossan government has a foreign affairs policy and in 1980 defeated the Glib Room Empire, which surrendered and signed a peace treaty.

The Kingdom of Talossa has claimed a chunk of Antartica (which they call Pengopats) as a colony because no other nation has ever claimed it. Part of their colony off the coast of Brittany was occupied by French troops and placed under barbed wire. Because of deficiencies in French barbed-wire technology, the Talossan prime minister at the time liberated part of the French-occupied zone and had a picnic.

If you’re really interested in the Kingdom of Talossa, it offers dual citizenship. You can become a Talossan and still retain your U.S. citizenship.`talossa/index.html

Also taken from the book Do Fish Drink Water?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Trivia!

Trivia for blog

If large blocks of ice are stored in well-insulated buildings and covered with sawdust, the ice can last for most of the year without melting.

The [Tootsie Roll] company has done well even when the candy industry has been in a slump. It has paid dividends for 53 years, increased sales each year for the past 19 years, and boosted annual earnings for the past 14 years.

Vampire bats need two tablespoonfuls of blood each day. They land near a sleeping victim and approach on foot to avoid waking the intended prey. The bat uses a heat sensor to determine where the blood is closest to the skin and then makes a small incision (one fifth of an inch long) to extract the blood.

The longest place name in the United States is that of a lake near Webster, Massachusetts. The 2-square mile lake is called Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, which is a Nipmuck Indian word freely translated as “You fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fishes in the middle.”

The longest place name in the world is a hill in New Zealand. The hill is simply called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanataha. It is a Maori word meaning “The brow of the hill where Tamatea who sailed all round the land played his nose flute to his lady love.”

If you count the chirps of a tree cricket for 15 seconds and then add 37, it will be almost exactly the true temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

Poplar trees and both red and silver maple trees are good rain predictors. During a low pressure system before an impending rainstorm, the leaves flip up.

This is taken from the book Do Fish Drink Water by Bill McLain.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What not to put on your application

What not to put on your application:

Have you ever been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony or misdemeanor, other than a minor traffic violation?

1. “Urinating in public because I didn't want to use a toilet nearby full of large, aggressive sissy boys.”

2. “It was my first and only offense. …Minor entering a Tavoron.” (Oh, no, a – a what?)

3. “Wrong place at the wong time, and I’m human I’m not perfect, and I am a much more better man.”

4. “Mistor minor offence.”

Volunteer experience?

“Death and dismemberment clean-up.”

Signature to a cover letter:

take care.
jane doe

What not to do when you turn in your application:

1. Tell the secretary how badly you need a job. Be sure to include bits of personal information about diseases you have had and reassure her that you are not contagious.

2. Tell the secretary how badly you need a job. Be sure to emphasize how difficult it is to get a job when you are old/young/black/white/foreign/not foreign/male/female/etc.

3. Tell the secretary how badly you need a job and then tell her that you are pregnant. When she says she doesn’t need to know about that sort of thing, ask her if she can at least pray for your baby. Then when she goes to lunch, stop her in the middle of a busy four-lane street and ask her how long it will be before you hear anything.

4. Deign to remove the earpiece from your ear while your music blasts at full volume and then grunt to find out where the applications are.

5. Breathe like Darth Vader and occasionally yell out things like, “I told you ghosts not to steal my Kleenex!”

6. Remind the secretary several times that you live a block away. (Like I care.)

7. Ask the secretary where she lives.

8. Ask the secretary to fill out the application for you.

9. Mutter things like, “I know I’m not going to get this job. I’ll just turn this in anyway. I don’t know why I bother.”

10. Be vague. Don’t phrase questions in complete sentences. Say things like, “Applications,” or “Apply?” Act irritated when no one understands you.

What not to do when the Human Resources office is closed:

1. Stop outside the door and read the sign that says the office is closed, then come in anyway and announce that you know the office is closed but you just wanted to turn in an application.

2. Or take the skills test.

3. Or check on your application.

4. Or get an interview.

5. Surprise the staff by sitting in the office on a day the office is closed and the lights are turned off. Complete your application in the dark anyway.

6. Or turn on the lights and make yourself comfortable.

7. Read the sign that says the office is closed. Come in anyway and wander down the hall calling, “Hello? Hello?” When someone comes to find out what’s happening, tell them the sign says the office is closed.

What not to do when you’re frustrated because you haven’t been contacted for an interview:

1. Make an irate phone call to the secretary during which you ask, “What does a person have to do to get a job there, have pictures of someone having sex with animals?”

2. Imply that you are a Very Important Person who is chummy with other Very Important People. Lean in and say something like, “I know the Director.”

3. Or the mayor.

4. Or a board member.

What not to do when called for an interview:

Say, “I’ve never done that kind of work before but I’m sure I can learn.” Then giggle.

Say, “My wife reminded me I have something to do at that time. Can I reschedule? My wife reminded me I have something to do.”

Say, “Ummm… hmm… (pause) I guess I could set up an interview for that.”

What not to do for an interview:

Call that morning and say you can’t make it and need to reschedule, then show up at the time your original appointment was scheduled without any explanation. Say there is no place to park and you don’t have any change for a parking meter. Borrow a quarter from the hiring manager so you can park your car.

Come in for a security officer interview wearing a hot pink t-shirt, tan mini skirt, hot pink flip-flops with feathers on them and your hair in a ponytail on the side of your head.

Get to your interview early and once the interview has started tell them you need to use the restroom. Then wander around the building, get a drink, use the restroom and do some more wandering before going back in for your interview.

Entertain the secretary by telling her stories about how you create computer viruses in your spare time.

Tell the interviewers that you’ve had a lot more jobs than you put on your application because you got fired from them.

Arrive an hour early because you forgot/didn’t know about the daylight savings time change that occurred two weeks ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I did get a cedar chest/coffee table. In case you were worried.


Even though I have created a blog with pictures and a profile and everything, I am still not sure I like this whole blogging thing. I want to create a fake one from the point of view of my dog, but I thought that would be too dark and scary for the younger readers as my dog has anxiety issues, and then I thought about creating one from the point of view of my cat, but that would mostly be, "FEED ME! FEED ME NOW! NOW! FEED ME!" And it would go one like that for pages and pages. Maybe a picture of a mouse. Disemboweled. Which would be too graphic for the younger readers.

Then I considered writing one from the point of view of my former kitty Hollie. Hers would include lots of pictures of herself and would perhaps be a bit like reading something written from the perspective of Paris Hilton, but with less alcohol. "Today I napped until noon, then had a nip from the water dish my human kindly filled this morning. Not exactly Perrier, but bless her heart, she really does try. I think maybe after I take a nap I'll leave a present on her freshly-laundered white comforter (though my white fur is ever so much brighter than that comforter. Really, have you ever heard of bleach, darling?). And then I'll purrrrrrrrrrr. Ooo, that has a nice ring to it! Purrrrrrrrrrrr. Oh, I could do that all day. Purrrrrrrrr."

Tee hee. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Link to a Wish List

I saw in my profile set up a place where I can enter my wish list and create a link to it. Link to a Wish List? Are they kidding? My wish list would crash the Internet! :) But what a good idea... put the wish list on my blog, give people my blog address, wait for presents to roll in. A concept worth pondering! Oh, wait, I need a special occasion to receive gifties? Unfair! My life as a princess, all in shambles!

I am very disappointed in the last cycle of America's Next Top Model and am eager to see the next cycle so Tyra et al can redeem themselves.

I am looking for a new coffee table. I have one that Mandy is loaning me, which replaced a filing cabinet that was laying on its side and covered with a throw - very shabby chic - and I want to get a sort of cedar chest/trunk deal so I can store blankets and puzzles and stuff in it. There was a rattan one at Target I was going to buy after Christmas but when I looked at it a second time it was too small. So I have been everywhere I can think of that might have something in my price range - Big Lots Furniture, JC Penney, Sears, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Value City Furniture, World Market, Lowe's, Menard's, Meijer's - and am not finding anything I really like that fits my budget. So I'm starting to get those dangerous thoughts of, "How difficult can it be to build a cedar chest? Couple slabs of wood, some nails, bit of sanding and staining..." In other words, I need to be stopped! I'm going to try to wait for the spring and our neighborhood garage sales to start, but I don't know if I'm that patient.

That's my update for today! Fare thee well!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My first posting

Well, hello, all. I am really not happy with the formatting of my blog, but I think that's mostly because I don't know what I'm doing yet.

Trivia of the Day:

* Coffee was usually roasted at home up until the 1870s. The coffee beans were put in a frying pan and roasted over a charcoal fire.

* For over 20 years, the Glass Orchestra of Canada has been performing music on custom glass instruments that they designed and made themselves. The orchestra uses 1,000 pounds of glass instruments during its performances.

* Honey bees consume 7 pounds of honey for each pound of [beeswax] they produce. The resultant wax is white, odorless, and tasteless. The so-called natural yellow color and pleasant aroma come not from the wax itself but from the pollen and honey stored in the wax honeycomb.

* Beeswax was not used to make candles until around AD300, when the Catholic Church mandated that for certain rituals candles had to contain at least 51 percent pure beeswax, the rest of the candle being either mineral wax or tallow. Some ritual candles today consist of 56 percent to 100 percent pure beeswax.

* Beeswax candles found in Egyptian tombs are still pliable, even though they are thousands of years old. Beeswax candles salvaged from sunken ships are still in good condition even though they have been underwater for hundreds of years.

* Ancient peoples made candles from a variety of ingredients. Many used tallow, or animal fat. The Japanese used wax from an insect, the Chinese extracted oil from the tallow tree seed, and early American settlers made wax by boiling berries from the wax myrtle tree. In India wax was obtained from cinnamon, and in South America wax was obtained by scraping the leaves of the wax palm. American Indians simply stuck a spear through a candlefish and lit it.

* The first flushing toilet was in use almost 4,000 years ago at the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete.

* Although not well publicized, ice sculpture competition is part of the Olympics Culture and Art Festival. To qualify for the Nagano Winter Olympics, Steve Brice and Kevin Roscoe created a 2.5-ton ice sculpture called Moment of Truth. It depicted a man fighting a lion and included an intricate net made of ice.

* The color of the egg yolk depends on what the hen has been eating. In this country, adding artificial colors is not allowed so some producers add marigold petals to the hen's food to create a more orange yolk.

I got these from the book Do Fish Drink Water? by Bill McLain. Very cool book! You should check it out! :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dad's Art

Some of the art my dad has created.

UPDATE: March 2011

The one on the left is the beginning of a new "dab" painting. Read previous entries below to see what that means. :)

This is one Dad had painted a while back (and is pictured in a previous entry) but he felt it lacked something so he tweaked it a bit by adding pinks to the sky. It really changes the entire picture!

Dad did the same thing to this one.

He gave us the one on the right. :)

And the one on the left here.

Dad had displayed some skinny paintings in a local gallery and bunches of them sold so he has done some more! He places them above the fireplace to dry, and it really makes quite a display. This photo doesn't do it justice.

UPDATE: January 2010

Dad holding one of his paintings.

This is on a mini easel, about 3 inches tall.

These are now in my hallway.

Along with this one!


UPDATE: JUNE 23, 2009

Dad's most recent thing is making the perfect folding table. He's been experimenting with different ways of building the legs and the way the top hinges on. This is one unstained version.


I actually took these in February, but it's taken me a while to load them to the blog.

This was painted many years ago, I think before I was born. It's a little hard to see with the glare from the flash.

These are two wooden shapes my dad pieced together. Each triangle is a separate piece of wood he cut to fit.

Dad made this paintbrush holder. Simple idea for storing lots of brushes!

This is a boat, Puppy Breath, that dad made many years ago when he was in his boat-building phase.

This is a carved wooden dog paw. :)

His newer paintings on display. I bought him some oval canvases for Christmas.

Experimenting with oval shapes.

I like the use of color in this one.


The fireplace in his garage. He built it.

An instrument he built and gave to me. I chose this one because I liked the design and color, but the pegs don't stay in place to tune it. Some of the others he built are playable instruments.

Dad's Starry Night. He doesn't like the way it turned out because it was based on a computer print out of the original instead of the original itself.

Van Gogh's Starry Night

Paintings of various places on my Aunt & Uncle's land in Mongo and on Montgomery's land.

This one is almost cartoony to me. Very simple in detail, lots of color, lots of thick black lines. Dad has been experimenting with different techniques.

Painting of the tipi Dad made. It started out as a tipi and transformed through the years into a little summer cottage with a sun room and windows. No electricity or running water yet, but there is a fireplace inside and a cement floor. :)

Some of the pictures of paintings were taken at odd angles because Dad was looming over me, certain I was going to damage something.

Another painting of the tipi. I think the detail on these are very nice.

Dad showing a painting.

I love this because it's one he painted by cleaning paint off his brush (a "dab" painting). He didn't want to waste paint and overly dirty the water so he dabs the paint onto a fresh canvas and makes it into another painting. Very cool!

Dad showing two paintings and Mom trying to pretend she isn't in the picture. Logan is looking at her trying to figure out what she's doing. :) This was taken in the garage, where he has been doing his painting of late.

Dad did a lot of campfire pictures, trying to capture the look of fire. He said it was very difficult.

I like this one. It's about as abstract as I enjoy viewing. :)

Side view and front view of the same still life. These two are in my upstairs hall.

Something Dad made years ago based on cartoon curse words. :)

I love the detail on the branches here. I wish I had a better photo of this one.

This one also reminds me of a kind of cartoony look, like the original Winnie the Pooh, or maybe Beatrix Potter. Maybe The Little Prince! Is that the name of it?

The detail on this one is very nice. I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but the battery in my camera was about to die so I was trying to hurry.

A 20-sided table Dad made when he was in college. I have it in my living room.

Six Kittens Quilt, one Dad did years ago. I have it in the attic.

Two more of the "dab paintings" Dad made when cleaning off his brushes. These are in my computer room.

This is along the stairs.

This is in the foyer. The flash from my camera adds a bit of a glare. This is also one of my favorites.

These are in my bedroom.

I think this one is spectacular because you really feel like you're looking at a photograph and not a painting. As someone observed, it feels like you could walk right into it.

This is another of my favorites. The texture of the paint is rather hazy, giving it a romantic feel.

Dad made the frame on this one. I think it's kind of fun!

Dad felt this one wasn't finished. Too monochromatic. But that's one of the reasons I like this one.