Friday, September 10, 2010

Mike The Headless Chicken

Yes, that's right, this isn't just another Friday in September, today is September 10th, and that means it is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the beheading of Mike the chicken. I thought it was enough to mark the day with a headless hencake, but apparently there is an actual festival in Mike's honor: "Attending this fun, family event is a No Brainer!"

At first I was kind of appalled about the whole festival thing, but now I am starting to wonder about next year. I shouldn't judge without checking it out at least. Oh, but of course we have Maker Faire to think of. It's a shame when opportunities on the social calendar conflict.

Making something of very little is a specialty of mine, so it's not too surprising that I got up to make pancakes on a busy school morning.

Nota buena: I was updating the calendar to reflect all the different school holidays, and I made a happy discovery: William and Alex will have Groundhog Eve off, so they can help me prepare for next year's Groundhog Day observations. It is these holidays and traditions that make our lives richer, worthwhile. Life is beautiful.

And more! Good news abounds. Peace is restored!
Ferris and Benjamin are loving tolerating each other. I caught them napping side by side on the ironing board. Of course they sat up when I dragged my camera out.

Look at Benji's sweet face. He is the very picture of brotherly love.

Ferris eats anything. Just saying. Watermelon. Cheese, he loves cheese. And this morning he was macking-out on a piece of asparagus. He was eating it so enthusiastically, and with such satisfaction, that I thought: "No one loves asparagus that much. I don't love asparagus that much." And I do love asparagus, but Ferris ate the whole piece and looked euphoric, like a foodie. No one loves asparagus like our kitty. Steamed, no butter... he probably would have loved it even better with cheese.

Thank you.

You did not have to read to the end of this post.

You were probably a bit turned off right from the start. Headless chcken CHICKEN pancake and all.

And now you are at the end, and maybe thinking, "What was that all about?"

Thank you for reading Chcikenblog, for commenting. I cannot help myself, and I love your company.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Staging. Have you heard of it? Real estate agents bring in fake decorator details, and polish a home's look, in hopes of increasing its visual appeal, and value. It can get overboard, and a bit too Gary and Elaine Living, too fake, too polished to be believed. I am very well versed in the seductive evils of this dark craft. I have been to an I've-lost-count number of open houses, seen plenty of model homes, and logged an hour or twenty watching HGTV. Honestly, I can appreciate staging on some level... after all, it feels good to show our best side, to accentuate the merits and nicest qualities of whatever we are sharing. I just get nauseated when the "best side" being shown is hiding ugly truths, or when the nicer qualities are not real, not genuine, not part of the package.

So... it occurs to me that staging is not limited to the realm of realtors, and sales floor smoothies.

It occurs to me that on some level... I am guilty too. A little bit.

See the lovely garden pumpkins, sun ripened tomatoes, a quaint basket... and
a huge lunch bag, probably with a half eaten and stale sandwich,
some dirty dishes stacked on a chipped and dingy thrift shop table?

School papers,
fake, organic dairy spread,
an egg,
and tools, parts, gizmos, a coffee cup, glasses, an old dinner roll, crayons, and a slab of granite.

Blogging is interesting stuff... a balance between sharing, and staging, between recording life's details, and sweeping some things under a rug. I have to remind myself of this sometimes, because I can get both inspired and discouraged by all the beautiful lives I see in other blogs.

I must remember that some pictures and stories, do not complete the tale. I do not talk about every hardship, every obstacle, and I do not linger too long in our dirty laundry. My favorite blogs are open, honest, able to share the ups and downs of real life. The honesty is what makes me feel connected, and like less of a failure when trying to cope with our own issues. I really love to read that someone else has messy pets, or burned a dinner... not because I enjoy other people's setbacks, but because I recognize the truth... even a messy truth is more appealing and satisfying than staged and fabricated catalog living. And yes, sometimes I really just want to zero in on a pretty bowl, clean and shiny, keep the focus bright.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

One Fun Bun

Remember These? Troll dolls?

I had some. Or one. My point is... I loved messing with its hair. Was there anything else to do with them? All those silly styles, from mild to wild, sleek and coiffed, then shaken.

Well, I discovered something... even more fun...

Professor Moriarty, aka Troll Bun.
I don't think he was offended. He sat quietly on my lap, and endured my evening amusement. He certainly is one fun bun.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Little Big Planet 2

November 16th. It is coming!

I believe in gaming, and the benefits of play. I believe Little Big Planet is a phenomenal tool that leads passive entertainment into a fantastic realm of cognitive processing, three dimensional thinking, and interactive engagement with media. Plus it is totally fun.

I believe this will call for a Big Screen Party!

Yay! Thank you for commenting Laura Jane. I was afraid I finally scared everyone off!

I meet a lot of people that completely dismiss video games, mostly as time wasters or promoters of violence. Video games can be both time wasters and senselessly violent, but I think a lot entertainment-hobbies can be guilty of that. What amuses me is that so many people fail to see that video games are not going away, and they are not mindless or insignificant...

Little Big Planet really is amazing. The game is a tool, that gives the players the resources to create other games within the game, to design levels, characters, and to engineer inventions that behave and respond with real physics.

And it is SteamPunk friendly, because it is about creating with materials on hand, and seeing the possibilities in those materials... making something new, something useful, simply beautiful, or all three. It takes strategy, and it challenges the gamer to think ahead and visualize how things fit together, and what components will do when they are put together.

My children have created robots, puzzles, locks, vehicles, mechanical mazes... and every part of their creations are so intricate and purposefully designed, because they have to be to work, and because the game allows for elaborate design. The game developers celebrate the contributions of the gamers and allow for their play to become a part of the game. It is unique and exciting, and I think it is something like a window peeking in to the next generation of media entertainment.

In the preview... all those images, the levels, characters, and activities... they are fan made, gamer contributions, player creations. They are shared, and expanded, and included in the game. Imagine the possibilities.

Monday, September 06, 2010

From The Stash :: What Do You Think?

For The Record: Chango loves our bed just as it is. He is not particular. Geoff, likely, is also not particular.

Back Story: In 2001 I bought the first bed covering for our bed since the comforter Grandma Nancy gave us as a wedding gift. The wedding comforter is still around, but somebody should take mercy on it and give it a proper burial. The quilt I bought almost eleven years ago is still beautiful, but its days are numbered... it is fraying all over. I put the quilt in the closet for summer, since it is heavy, and also to prolong its life.

Very recently I spent big money (29$) at Target and brought home a summer weight bed cover. It has two tones of aqua blue and a simple egg-shaped quilted pattern. I love it. It doesn't really go with anything else on the bed, or in the room, but that is typical of everything in the room and on the bed, so there you go.

Chango is resting against the thrift shop shams, and across the thrift shop duvet. Love the duvet, which is really too small for our bed, but is too cheery to resist. The sheets are not my best buy. They are almost too dark, too serious. I settled for them in desperation, and hoped they would make me sophisticated. I am not sure anything will ever make me "sophisticated."

Ready for the Pity Party portion of this post?

Only two weeks old, and the bed cover came out of the washing machine seriously damaged. Seriously: What in the world goes on in that washer? And why am I still using the darn thing?

Big rip, right?
I was so sad when I saw this.
But also, I was super calm and mature. No F bombs were uttered, or teeth gnashed during this pitiable occurrence. Hey, maybe I am a little bit sophisticated. However, when you see my solution, my idea for salvaging the not-really-very pricey bed cover, then my sophistication rating might drop again...

Could I-Should I patch it?

Okay, maybe it won't be classy enough for a bed, but it would preserve it for picnics, camping, spreading on the lawn activities. And honestly, I would still put it on my bed, I think. It could look good.

What do you think?

This I am prepared to veto outright, but it's there for general contemplation.

In real life the blues are not quite a match, but overall it's a pleasant combination. I like keeping it cool.

Cool, yes, but maybe too blue?

Now, this is the best color match, working with what I have on hand, but it's kind of eh. Or maybe, not? I often admire subtle and yes, sophisticated, but I usually fail to achieve the look of subtle and sophisticated... S&S Oh, but wait I am talking about patching a cheap bed cover, so I think I have already tossed out all hope of S&S.

So, moving away from subtle, I thought: Color!

But. Hmmmm...

I love this print. Is love a good enough reason to execute a plan? Either I go subtle and sort of be on the down low about patching the hole, or I declare it boldly: This is a patch. Bright and beautiful. Isn't it interesting?

Yeah, not sure which way I am going.

Possibilities. I have enough to make a pillow, maybe a throw quilt.

Chango, what do you think?

Oh dear. I guess I cannot expect everyone to find this as interesting a debate as I do.

Like I said: I am not concerned with "matching" anything in the room. Our budget style has always been Ethnic-American Eclectic... very cutting edge. It has taken me four years to post this picture of the green bed. Either the color and super sheen have calmed over time, or my senses have deadened.

Do I have something here?
I mean something pretty?
Should I bother?

I was going to say our look is Mix-n-Match, but I think it's more like: Mix and Mix and Mix, and maybe something good will come of it.