Monday, October 31, 2011

I Am Such An Engineer, Part II.

Him: "Well, the original composite bows were made of heartwood, and yew* wood."

Me: "Really? How did they get the two woods to stay together back in medieval days? Glue? Had nails been invented?"

Him: (Smiling, because he is cute.) "No, it grows that way."

Me: "..."

Me: "...Oooooooooohhhhhhhh. Because it's...a tree."

Him: "Yes!"

*Note: it has come to my attention that this post is totally, and completely, inaccurate, and it's not because of the source. It's because I misremembered it and wrote it quickly. The Yew is the kind of tree. Bows were made from heartwood and SAP wood, which is true no matter what kind of tree you make it out of. Here's what Wikipedia says:

"One of the simpler longbow designs is known as the self bow. By definition, a self bow is made from a single piece of wood. Truly traditional English longbows are self bows, made from yew wood. The bowstave is cut from the radius of the tree so that the sapwood (on the outside of the tree) becomes the back two thirds and the belly, the remaining one third, is heartwood. Yew sapwood is good only in tension, while the heartwood is good in compression."

The point of using the yew tree (hopefully, not to shoot ewes) is that the yew sapwood can take much, much, more energy in tension (when you draw the bow back) than other timbers, so more of the energy goes into the arrow, meaning you can kill someone from farther away, always a plus.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Minor Differences. (Hat tip to The Oatmeal.)

When my roommate cooks, it is a well-choreographed ballet. When I cook, it is a chicken running around the kitchen with its head cut off, if said chicken also swore a lot and made general comments about the chastity of the recipe author's mother. This is why my roommate does most of the cooking.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to the best mother in the world. I love you.

And Happy Birthday to MY LITTLE! I'm coming back to NYC soon, honey. <3.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Guess She Does Notice A Few Things About Me

I had a recent conversation with my mother in the car, always a good place for a productive one on one session, even if you're yelling at each other. (We haven't done that in a long time, though.)

(I think my father and I recently solved all the world's problems on a sunny drive out to Cle Elum and back.)

Back to my mother. Right. I had been contemplating sharing something about my dating life--always a trepidatious thing to do with your MOTHER--and finally I said it.

"I've noticed a theme with the guys I'm dating," I said.

"Oh, really?"

"Well, two themes, really. The first is substantial, the second is totally superficial."


"Superficially, and I don't know what this means, but it appears to be common thread more often than not: they're a) not clotheshorses, b) they have often asked me to influence their clothing choices. I mean, I revamped the entire wardrobes of two serious boyfriends (at their request), and more recently I went shopping for suits with T.C. Like on our fifth or sixth date."

Mom: "Hmmm. That's interesting." (Because she is my mother, she has to say this, even if it's not.)

Me: "I just thought that was worth mentioning."

Author's note: I've since realized that anyone I date more casually, as in, not in relationship mode, actually IS kind of a clotheshorse. There's four five, wait, SIX men I could name off the top of my head that I've dated who are better dressers than I am. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Ahem.

Anyway.  Back to my poor mother, who has to listen to this.

"More substantially, there IS a common theme that binds almost every man I've been romantically interested in, throughout my whole life, almost to a man: romantic interest has shaken off the blueprint of his home life to become something completely different than his parents. Mostly he still has a cordial, and even close, relationship with his family, but he has still purposely looked at his parents' lifestyle, said, 'No thanks, I think I'll create my own', and run with it."

My mother actually was listening, I realized, because she responded, at neutrino speed, with: "REALLY! I can't imagine why YOU'D find that attractive in someone! I'm just flabbergasted!"

Humph. Everyone's a comedian. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Am Such An Engineer, Part 1

Me: recently describing to Entrepreneur in lurid detail the recent visit I got to make to Insitu, which makes some of the best, if not THE best, UAVs in the world.


Him: "Hmm. I wonder if you could train raptors to spot and attack those drones, if they fly at such low altitude?"

Me: "...Raptors?" Thinking: Does he mean the F-22? Is this a UAV I don't know? There is one called Predator. Is he about to make a velociraptor joke?*

Him: "Well, there's a long history of falconry in the Middle East."

Me: "..."

Me: "...Oh, my God. You mean, RAPTORS. Like, birds of prey."

Him: "Yes!"

Me: "You mean, those commandable, maneuverable, low-profile, low-altitude, high-resolution-vision, silent, flying, things."

Him: (Smiling.) "Yes."

Me: "The ORIGINAL flying drones. Wow."

Me: "Well, if you thought of it, I can only hope they don't."

* (In a conversation between two people who read xkcd, this is always a possibility.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Supporting the World I Want To Live in, or Justifying Spending Money, OR, See Title Of This Blog. Part III.

I found The Thing That Will Be Teh Awesome, or at least I hope it will. The thing that will convert heels or flats into boots. I may never need to buy another pair of boots again. Maybe.

If it doesn't work, it will be a rather expensive experiment, but oh well. This is how we learn, yes?

I can't share the details yet; my mother would have a heart attack, and anyway I bought the item on Etsy, so it's no longer available for public view.

What can I do instead? I promised an update. Hmmm. I will share other ways in which I changed my own personal world:

My new, absolutely favorite, artist:

Ronald Jenkees, everyone.

Need more?

Diplo. Oh, hell yes.

A Magazine that I can feel proud supporting: Anthology.

A blog that represents my design aesthetic very closely: The Steampunk Home.

In related news, I need to make more money. Thanks and good night.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Supporting the World I Want To Live in, or Justifying Spending Money, OR, See Title Of This Blog. Part II.

His reply, and then MY reply to his reply. (Author's note: his responses, and my responses, are inline to my original questions, and the things that look like links are, indeed, links. All SFW except when noted.)

Can you also give me the following?

1. Hooks on strapless dresses that attach to the supporting bustier. Obviously, the hooks (on both garments) will need to be standard widths apart, so that all garments work together.

2. Pants that have hems that can be risen or lowered, depending on heel length, so that a woman isn't forced to choose, roll up hems (never works), or buy two pairs of the same damn pants.

He said: "this might work for numbers one and two ."
I replied: "I've had bad experiences with fashion tape of any kind, but I did find these, which I think may solve a number of my problems, including possibly problem 1. (Or maybe clear plastic snaps?) I might even start tailoring my work pants with them. I mean, seriously. The possibilities are endless."

3. Some sort of neoprene-with-support bustier? Probably not neoprene, but something like it. I love my traditional corsets, but there is a material out there SOMEWHERE that will lift, support, and be somewhat flexible. Somewhere. (Out there.)

He said: "somewhere to start ." (Slightly NSFW if you work at a church, or a place where the word "corset" offends.)

4. Shoes with retractable heels would be great, too. God, I wish women designed more things.

He said: "you mean like this?"

I replied: "Okay, I actually BOUGHT those, they were so exactly what I needed. (Phooey on the 4-6 week wait, but whatever.) Also I discovered these. Apparently they sell them in downtown Seattle? Your next challenge here: convert these shoes into boots when necessary. And then I'll be able to carry every kind of shoe I need in one bag."

5. And finally, some kind of small bag item that carries a few things that is wearable, and not nerdy. In a really perfect world, I'd own this:

But something much simpler would be fine, too. Sigh.

He had no response to this. (HA! Stumped him!)
But then...I did a little more looking and bought this and this, the second one in black and with a zipper closure.

6. While we're talking about bags, I also want a larger bag that is convertible from backpack to messenger to cross-body to cross-back. I wouldn't need to own so many things if I could make them do what I wanted them to do.

He said: "ok, I'm done procrastinating.."

I replied: "This is the only failure--it's close, but not great. I already bought a second laptop bag of the one that I love, that I'm going to convert myself." (Have I told everyone on this blog that I've bought the nearly-perfect work backpack? The only way it could be better is if it was handmade by 100% Genuine American Grandmothers, but for the same price.)

Actually, I would totally pay three or four times this price for an identical backpack handmade by 100% Genuine American Grandmothers. (Speaking of, anyone remember this movie? Turns out it's based on a short story by Ray Bradbury.)

And FOR MY NEXT TRICK...coming tomorrow!