Twisted Spinster


So long, and thanks for all the sushi

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 11:59 pm

Update, October 6, 2009: Hi there! This is just a little announcement for anyone who has wandered over here and is confused as to why there is no new content. I closed this blog on December 31, 2004, and opened a new one for 2005. See the original post content below. But if you want my latest web ramblings, please go to the main page for all the links to all my sites, or head straight over to my current blog, The Spleenville HQ Chronicles. What does this mean in the great scheme of things? Well, for one thing, it means NO, I DON’T WANT TO ADD ANY ADVERTISEMENTS TO THIS SITE. (Yes, I periodically get spammed from my old sites for this purpose. Stop it. It is irritating, and is not making your business any more attractive.) Now everyone, change your links to either for the main site, or for just the blog.


See you next year. [Update 2006: I forgot to change the link on this. Now it is changed.]

PS: I’ve closed all comments to all posts here except for this one, which I will leave open for a little while longer. But the site is closed, I’m serious. I have, as they say, moved on.

Displeasures of the night

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 11:03 pm

Fireworks. Next door. And the screaming child that is clearly audible now that my windows are open.

Pop goes the uhh

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 11:03 pm

Okay, I already opened the asti spumatne… spumanet… the bubbly. Hey, it’s already New Year’s somewhere.

Off to watch the culturally edifying spectacle of Comedy Channel’s South Park New Year’s Eve special.

Heat of the Night

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 9:24 pm

Yeah, the air conditioner is definitely blowing out non-cooled air. So I have both ceiling fans going and the windows are open. I left a message on the maintenance voice mail – it’s not the emergency line, as it’s 65 degrees outside. Not especially cold, but they don’t consider a broken a/c an emergency until the outside temperature is above 84. Right now things are comfortable. What I am concerned with is the humidity. It has to be kept below 74 degrees inside the apartment to retard mold growth. Right now (according to the Weather Channel) the humidity is at 81%. And it’s going to be in the high 70s tomorrow. If I don’t see anyone over here by noon tomorrow I will call the emergency number.

Upcoming Site Change

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 7:57 pm

Okay, I’m doing it differently this year: I’m going to warn you all ahead of time that I am changing blogs again. I like to do that – new year, new blog. That way I keep up this “dear diary” pretense. Anyway, it’s on a new site so when it’s ready I’ll post the url. I’ve been having a bitch of a time configuring it, so the new blog won’t be all pretty and stuff. Oh – and it will be registration-only as well as monitored.

Did I leave the freaking heat on in here? (Goes to check.)

Weird. I did have the thermostat set at about seventy-five, but the air coming out of the vents feels awfully warm. It would be my luck that the a/c breaks down on New Year’s Eve. Not that it will be especially warm tonight, but the problem with the apartment is that it never gets really cold. Okay, I guess that’s not that much of a problem, but I can’t stand being too warm, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing to leave the a/c running when it’s in the fifties outside, even if the inside is near 80 degrees. The problem actually isn’t so much the heat, it’s the humidity; this apartment gets humid fast, probably because I don’t have the windows on opposite sides or the big sliding glass doors like I did in the other apartment; just a five-by-five window in the living room and the bedroom, both facing the same direction, as the apartment is in the middle of the building with another set of apartments on the other side. If the air doesn’t cool down in the next few minutes (I set it to under 70 degrees) I guess I’ll bother the maintenance guy.

Anyway, enough digression. I will continue to post on this site until midnight as is my tradition (or until I pass out – I was able to afford a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante this year) and the last post will guide you, my three or four faithful readers, to my new home.

Be a Psychic Friend

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 6:21 pm

Over at Blair’s, where it’s already 2005, predictions are being made. Go drop in one of your own. Do it for the Children™, somewhere.


Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 2:25 pm

Right on cue, some lowdown, pimple-assed, shrunkendicked spammer attempted to leave umpteen poe-cur spams in the comment sections of old posts. Of course, since all comments go into a moderation cue*, the spams were immediately sent to internet oblivion, so the scrotumlicking asspickers have just wasted their time. What I want to know is, what sort of nimrods are enticed enough by garbage like this ("Oh goody, naked grandmas playing card games!") to click on the links, and where can we find them and grind them up for fertilizer? Lord knows there are a lot of poverty-stricken third world countries who could put their computers to better use.

*That should be “queue,” but I am leaving it so you can see why I am going to blame the typo on the third word of my post. ;)


Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 11:34 am

It’s a truism that disasters, natural and otherwise, bring out the best in humanity. A more exact observation is that events such as last week’s massive tsunami cause the dropping of masks, where human beings and their organisations display their true natures. Sometimes those natures are revealed as good; but many display evidence of another kind of nature; witness these actions:

German publication Der Spiegel mocks up an entirely bogus aid-based “rivalry” between the Unites States and the United Nations; and Britain’s Clare Short joins in. (The latter link via Tim Blair.)

Political activists take advantage of the destruction in Indonesia’s Aceh province. (Via Instapundit.)

Some busybody from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation named Leigh Sales used dead South Asians as a platform to bitch about rich Americans, which seems to be a common theme of his. Two days ago he was miffed because my fellow citizens, not being psychic, had no way of knowing there’d be a devastating natural disaster the day after Christmas, so we had gone selfishly present-shopping. Because God knows every time a child in Iowa gets a new Barbie a Sri Lankan tot dies. There you have it: Christmas presents are deadlier than tidal waves. (First link also via Tim.)

I’m sure there are more of these, but I’d like to leave the old year on an up note, so I’ll work on that instead.

Update: oh okay, just a few more. Pez dispensers?

The Myth of the Stingy American

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 10:22 am

The leftards and dictator-remoras of the world have been spreading the story that Americans are stingy for some time now. It is, of course, a lie – which anyone can see by reading this post. Of course, there are those who prefer to believe lies rather than truth: it makes them feel powerful and absolves them of ever having to account for their own actions, and gives the illusion that they Really Care about whatever disaster or group of victims they claim Americans are leaving in the lurch. In the universe these persons inhabit, words, gesture, and appearance have as much weight, if not more, than actions.

Lust of the Eyes

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 10:07 am

I want one. Even though I have a perfectly fine Hoover in the closet. Which I force myself to drag out maybe every two months.

(Via Florida Cracker.)

Update: via David Foster, an interview with the co-creator of the Roomba. Synopsis: one day we’ll all have our very own Rosie! (But will we have the flying cars? I still wait for those.)


Where’s the Buddy Christ when you need Him?

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 6:03 pm

I’ve been reading a lot of posts and comments on blogs that wax (or seek to) profound on the devastation wrought by last week’s tsunami and what it says about the nature of the Supreme Being. The verdict so far seems to resemble the consternation of women who, after marrying their sweethearts, discover that those “neat” and “orderly” habits (such as arranging canned goods in the cabinets in mathematically-exact rows by size and brand) that were so admirable in a boyfriend are the methods of an obsessive-compulsive tyrant in a husband. I hear, not so faintly, “God’s not fun anymore!” along with much posturing about the superiority of unbelief in treacherous and capricious fantasies, ostentatious displays of spiritual (since the only salt water involved here seems to be the product of the writers’ lachrymal glands) wounds, and best of all, self-righteous slams against survivors who dare thank their deity or deities for their current state of non-death.

I must say, this all bores me. The above-mentioned Job-wannabes are mostly sitting pretty in the Anglosphere, are well-fed, within ready access to medical care, not just sheltered but living in the sort of comfort medieval kings couldn’t even imagine existed, and in general more protected against most of nature’s slings and arrows than any other population in the entire history of the earth, and it’s not enough. Everything that happens everywhere has to be pretty for us. The victims aren’t even to be allowed the comfort of their religious beliefs. Well I tell you all what: you get on planes, and go to the some site of the disaster, and tell the survivors your conclusions. Tell them they shouldn’t believe in heaven or reincarnation or whatever; that their dead kids and parents and other relatives are just cold, rotting meat; that there is no god or else the god that exists hates them or is indifferent to mankind; and make sure you tell them how you wept real tears for their plight and wrote a bunch of stuff on a computer that cost more than the per capita income of everyone in their vanished village. I’m sure they’ll be ever so grateful.

Bores, all of you.

Update, now that I have had some wine: ah yes, the calming effects of alcohol. I am now in a somewhat mellower mood (which has about another ten minutes of shelf life before the sulfite-induced sinus headache kicks in) and am feeling a bit kinder towards the God-moaners. Or whatever they are. Let me just say – it is barely possible that the afore-linked bloggers (who I did not mean to single out particularly, but I had no inclination to seek out all the random blogs I had been wandering through because, well, I am a lazy sod and so these poor fellows must suffer in part for the sins of others not just their own) – anyway, as I was starting to say, it is barely possible in the best of all possible worlds that they didn’t mean to be quite so ungracious and mean-spirited, but were simply experiencing a low ebb in their confidence in the niceness of the world. Of course, that doesn’t mean I still don’t think they are being buttheads – just a tad – in the posts I linked to, nor that I am letting other well-meaning but pointless spiritual musers off the hook. Because I Care. Actually no I don’t. Eh – put it all down to “I’m so fecking tired of hearing this same old thing.” You know, every time something bad happens someone drags out the old Mean Deity/Nice Deity back-and-forth, and I just couldn’t care less.

It’s like this: I was never really into that whole “the Suffering! of the World! Is Too! Too! Horrible to ever allow for a Benevolent™ Deity!” thing. I’m not sure why – maybe because I was an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer fan. The thing is: everything that is organic dies and rots. Everything that is not organic crumbles into ever-smaller bits. Eventually suns expand, swallow up their planetary bodies, and become nebular clouds of dust that eventually coalesce into new systems. I am not so worried about dying, since that’s the one thing everyone does eventually. Since I am not a psychopath I don’t like suffering, personal or not, any more than anyone else does, but I figure that if even the greatest brains of humanity haven’t been able to alleviate this problem without positing a transformation of the human race into soulless robots then maybe there really is a place for it in the Great Scheme of Things. Maybe God, if He does exist, doesn’t want a race of happy little dolls who adore him because they’ve never known anything but happiness, but friends who can complain and yell at him and point out to him flaws in his creation, or at least entertain him. Think of it as the Ultimate Movie and you are the star. There’s only one shot, though. So don’t flub it.


Site change notes

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 7:37 pm

I’ve made a few changes to the sidebar. Note the new Amazon paybox: this does not go to my account, but to an American Red Cross fund for the victims of the recent tsunami. For those who don’t care to donate to the Red Cross for whatever reason there are also links to a few other charitable organizations.

I’ve also widened both columns and made a few minor cosmetic changes. My own personal Paypal link is now at the bottom of the side menu for those who want to drop me some change. I’m not really the one who’s in severe need at the moment hence the moving of the link.

Update: as of this moment (6:38pm EST) the Amazon link had collected $2,803,788.41.


If an essayist dies in a forest

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 7:18 pm

Oh, so that’s the “essayist dies” that the pretentious creampuffs on NPR were talking about today. The accents of the announcers on that station are so clotted with orotund self-regard that I can barely understand them on my desk radio’s tinny little speaker. This is a good thing when they are opinionating, but frustrating when I am trying to hear the name of the composer of the symphony that had just finished playing.


Tsunami blog

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 8:30 pm

A blog dedicated to news about the South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami is available.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

Update: Scott Ott has a post on disaster relief up that has a link for Paypal donations, for people who, like me, have a depleted regular bank account but happen to have money sitting in their Paypal accounts.

Important post!

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 12:05 am

Oh my god, it’s after 11pm. Where did the time go? Discuss.


Gaia is not your friend

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 10:20 pm

By the way, I first found out about this when I turned on the tv this morning to the international news channel that I get on my cable tv. (That’s the latest post – all the posts are on this page.) They were running a Canadian news story about the devastation. I flipped channels to CNN and Fox, and they were reporting it too. It’s pretty bad. Let me amend that – it’s really bad. The countries affected didn’t even have a warning system; put me next to the island chain that had Krakatoa and I’d want warning devices for every single burp and twitch the earth makes planted every five feet on my country’s shores but that’s just me.

By the way, is this what some people mean when they say they want “global blogging"? Because I’ve been told I don’t understand what that means, so I want to make sure.

And now a little “parochialism” (or is this “connecting my experience to that of others across the globe?” – I get so confused): I also look at things like this to see what Florida will look like if something like this happens. Hurricanes are nothing – there is little to no high ground in my entire state until you get near the Georgia border; if a tidal wave as big as this one hits we’re pretty screwed. We’re also close to the Caribbean, where they have live volcanoes. I think we should change our state theme song to “The Doom Song.”

(Via that Tim guy who lives in some foreign place – Australia, that’s it.)

Update: Sean in Japan has more on “provincialism” in the news media. I imagine this could apply to blogs as well. Right? (Refer to this, if you were wondering what I am on about.)

Eat me

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 9:54 pm

This is for IR, who is frustrated by so many Americans posting about their own tiny lives and concerns on their own blogs:


Coffee – served with two spoons of brown sugar (I prefer to use brown sugar) and half-and-half, which is what we call half-milk/half-cream in America. I don’t know what inhabitants of the tiny islands of Britain call it, though I am sure that these people would be glad to tell me.

Eggs: two, to be precise, scrambled, firm and not runny.

Two strips of American-style bacon (that’s long and thin-sliced – I must say I prefer the meatier, thicker version they eat on the Tiny Island Nation of Britain).

The remainder of a Honey Tangerine, two slices of which had been used in the mulled wine.

Two pieces of toast – honey-wheat bread, toasted medium, sliced into triangles and two triangles spread with seedless blackberry jam, two spread with orange marmalade.

One glass unfiltered apple cider.

And yes it was delicious.

Santa never brought me that pony either

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 12:02 am

“Where,” asks concerned newsfan George Miller, “is the blogger who blogs about the things in the news that I’ve noticed?” Okay, maybe that’s paraphrased just a teensy bit. But this isn’t:

Perhaps I misunderstand what blogging is.

Ya think?

(Via Tim.)


Merry Christmas everyone!

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 3:40 pm

I’ll be over at friends’ for the rest of the evening and most of tomorrow so this will be my last post until Sunday. So have a Merry Non-Specific Seasonal Holiday if you feel like it!

Robot Xmas

Look what Santa brought

Filed under: — Andrea Harris @ 3:01 pm

Charles is posting like a maniac. Just start at the top.

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