Friday, May 29, 2009

New Camera

Well, I did it.  I broke down and bought a new little camera to replace the one that disappeared.  I know that one of the rules of life states that as soon as I popped for a new one, the other one would turn up.  I told hubby that the purchase was certainly worth it if only to know where the other one has been.  So far, though, we haven't seen it.

I read the reviews to see if I maybe should switch to a Nikon Cool Pix, but this camera won me over.  With some little cameras you could get 12 megapixels, but who needs that?  I don't plan to make posters.  And some reviewers say because of the difficulty of squeezing in that many pixels, some of the pictures are "noisier."  This little camera is a lot like the one I lost, with a few new features.  I am taking VERY good care of this one.  When my other one shows up, I'll tell you where it has been hiding.
Finally, it was less money than I paid for my older one, and from the Costco pack I also got a leather case and a bonus 2 GB SD card.  Pretty cool. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A new collection of vanity plates

I had 13 recordings on my phone of new personalized license plates I've seen.  I'm not sure why they are also called vanity plates, although there are a few that lend themselves to that way of thinking:  A silver sedan was BUILDT; a black BMW coupe was SO SEXY; and a big, black Sierra truck was NICE HUH.  But there is the difficulty of whether the plate is referring to the vehicle or its owner.  The occupants are much harder to read.

Then, on the other hand: a big, red Dodge truck was OLD DUDE, but the old dude's wife was driving.  And I wasn't sure about the charcoal-gray Dodge truck that was DIRT DR.  Can just anyone be a soil physician?  Exactly what does that entail?  Is there much study involved?

Some plates convey an attitude like the white Honda sedan that said HOME (too much time in the car?), or the PT Cruiser convertible that was COZZEE.  Another PT Cruiser (black this time) was TUMCHFN, and a pretty blue Jaguar was LOCAL (but I don't remember whether or not it was a Utah plate).  Maybe the Jag is comfortable anywhere.  I'm guessing a Jaguar owner can afford to be.  

Somewhere I saw ITHAPNS.  I made the recording standing outside in the wind and I couldn't tell what I said the vehicle was.  It would have been very clever on an older car with dents and paint problems.  BUBBSY was on a red coupe, and I am assuming that it was an endearing nickname; a gray Honda said ANT HIL.  That could mean a lovely aunt named Hilary or Hilda, or a home for 6-legged insects--maybe both.

My favorite, though, was on a cute yellow convertible Thunderbird.  It's a favorite quote from a movie my family has watched multiple times: ASUWISH.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's in a name?

A columnist in my newspaper really made a good point, and I want to share part of his column.  I know that every child is unique, and every parent wants to make sure we all recognize that individuality.  But, pleeaase, have a heart.  Any of us who have spent time in large groups of children (from preschool up) know that names can be a source of great amusement.  You young parents to be need to be aware of the difficulties when names are too odd, spelled in unusual ways, or require constant repeating.  

The columnist is Doug Robinson: 

 Apparently, my recent column  on weird people names struck a nerve. There are strong feelings about alternate  spellings — Soozy, Mychal, Stefanee, Arika — and “made-up” names— Diggery, Moon Unit, Lea (I’ll explain later) and so forth.

  One reader wrote:  At my job, I take appointments, and I’m required to write down the person’s name with correct spelling. The strangest spelling I’ve ever seen is the name “Susie”— spelled “Siouxzy.”

That poor girl would automatically have to spell her name every time!  He continues:

  From a reader named Jo Ellen:  Two true stories from a niece who worked as a nurse in a St. Louis, Mo., hospital: A baby named “Le-a.” Want to try to guess the pronunciation? “Ladash-  a.” (Note: This name was reported by several readers, as was Da-Da or “DaDashda”).  There was also a baby boy named Marco. Want to try to guess the pronunciation? “D-marco.”

   To quote the mother,  “The d is invisible.” 

Invisible letters...quite a trick.  Besides, Le-a should really be pronounced Lahyphena, but maybe I shouldn't give anyone ideas.

He has some general guidelines he thinks parents should follow.  I think they are pretty darn sensible.

1. If you can’t walk into a truck stop or gift shop and find a key chain or a coffee cup with that name or the same spelling, then try something else. 2. You must be able to determine  the gender of the child when you hear/see the name.

  No more girls named Stevie, Mychal, Jordan, Chase, Devon, Drew, Kyle or, for all we know, Harold and Arthur.

There are lots of unisex names: Morgan, Tyler (yes), Tracy, Kelly, Kris (Chris), etc.

  3. You must be able to say it when you see it. Use of punctuation  doesn’t even come up for consideration. Le-a is out. If you plan to name your next kid “& Smith” or “* Johnson” and expect anyone to call him/her “Asterisk” or “Ampersand,” think again.

  4. You should be able to spell the name when you hear it — for the most part, people should not have to ask. Let’s nationalize the spelling of some names and move on — is it Shayne, Shane, Shain, LeShane? Attention,  future parents, if you have doubts about the spelling  of a name, ask for help.

Different can be good, but it can also be a real pain.  He has more general rules.

 5. Please, enough already with using last names for first names — Taylor, Kennedy, Madison, Johnson, Anderson, Lincoln.

  6. No naming kids after weather phenomena— Misty, Dusty, Smoky, Winter, Autumn (Autymn), Spring, Stormy (Stormee), Windy (Windee), Nimbus, Precipitation,  Humidity (Humiditee) and so forth. Those are pony names, not human names.

  7. It must be a name for people, not for objects, etc.  “Apple,” doesn’t cut it, and neither does Avocado nor Celery nor any other fruit or vegetable.

  8. If you get too cute with the name, you’re probably trying  too hard. A reader named Derek (Darrick?) reports that a co-worker gathered these names from his Facebook account: Jermagesty, Tequila, Bacardi, Champagne, Abcde (pronounced like “rhapsody”).

I heard a young mother in a store, calling to her runaway toddler, "McCartney, come back."  Obviously, I'm not sure of the spelling, although I thought immediately of Paul--must be my age.

His last bit of wisdom was about using great characters, like from the Bible, for names.  Lots of pressure for Abrahams, Isaacs, and Jacobs.

Mom and I have talked about this too and we agree that if a child is exceptionally bright, friendly, and beautiful, he/she can survive a weird name.  But, woe be to a child who has any weaknesses.  

As I have many young nieces and nephews who are planning parenthood, I hope they read his last thought: “A man’s name is not like a mantle which merely hangs about him, and which one perchance may safely twitch and pull, but a perfectly fitting  garment, which, like the skin, has grown over and over him, at which one cannot rake and scrape without injuring the man himself.”  

He ended by signing, Duhg Robynson, but he could have used another y.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Newspaper Corrections silliness

Just a quick thought before I go to exercise this morning: I need some language help again.  I've posted before about the strangeness of newspaper corrections, and I'm still confused.

My newspaper printed a couple of corrections today because a man accused of a crime was "incorrectly identified" in the paper yesterday.  Does that mean the wrong man was identified yesterday?  The picture is the same.  Shouldn't he have been identified yesterday?  Was the middle name they used yesterday not his?  

Even more confusing: a city was "misidentified."  Just how does that happen?  Is the city in the correction accurately identified?  Was a different city in the paper before?  Did someone spell something wrong?  

I hope my city isn't misidentified, unless it's for something bad, then maybe it is okay, but what if it is incorrectly identified?  Is that different?  Is it better to be incorrectly identified or misidentified?  I'm so baffled.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lost forever?

I'm having trouble with a real mystery.  I have a Canon EOS Rebel camera that I got quite a few years ago.  It is a lovely camera, but when planning our trip to Italy last year I wanted something smaller.  So, I bought a little Canon ELPH.  It was so convenient and easy to carry, and the menus were much like my other Canon so there was little to learn.  It took good pictures and because it was so small, I carried it around all the time.

I can't find it!  I used it for the SkyWatch posting on April 23, and I took it when hubby and I went to visit our parents a couple of days later.  That's where my memory ends.  I don't remember getting it out at either place (and our parents don't remember seeing it).  I drove back to the city early the next week and made sure to pack the battery charger, but don't recall packing the camera.  We have looked everywhere!  

This really bugs me because I don't normally lose things.  Hubby has been known to misplace stuff from time to time, but I usually know where things are.  Until now.  This is soooo frustrating.  I've checked in the logical places, the weird places, and the bizarre places.  Where could it be?

Hubby's solution is that we'll buy me another one before our cruise in June.  You know what will happen?  As soon as I have a new one, the lost one will turn up.  But that's not possible, I've looked everywhere.  There must be a hole in the space/time continuum.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The last one?

Maybe this is the final installment.  There are some real truths underneath the humor.

I'd better go now and check my Facebook page to see if anyone wants to be my "friend."  Then I think I'll go out and actually converse with people for a while.  Moderation in all things.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

I guess Brian Crane is thinking about the technological world in sort of the same way I have been, only he's funnier and a much better artist.
I'll be interested to see what's in tomorrow's newspaper.  In the meantime, I'll try and figure out something to post that actually belongs to me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Follow up

Here's the next Pickles about blogging.  I thought I'd share. 

Of course, I don't advocate violence....but it is a comic strip and it made me chuckle.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blogging sounds bad?

Don't have much time for a thoughtful, considered post today.  I have to do a couple of things then be ready when hubby finishes his work week.  We are in the city and he will drive our 300 miles home with me this time.  But, this comic was in my newspaper this morning and I thought others may enjoy it too.  

My youngest son tells me I need a FaceBook page and although I'm considering that, I refuse to Twitter.  I'm not sure anyone needs to know--or cares--that much about what I'm doing.   Are young people forgetting how to socialize and speak to each other in person?  I hope not.