sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Yule)
I'm borrowing a picture from one of my Second Life friends, because it is worth the thousand words:

Sacramento Bee solstice photo

May whatever you're celebrating be happy and meaningful to you, from Humanlight through 12th Night.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Litha)
Happy Yule to the Antipodeans, despite the lack of icon.

I saw an interesting reply to why, despite this being the astronomical centre of summer (Midsummer's Day, etc.), it's regarded as the beginning of summer. It's because of the oceans, really; they hold over the temperature for about six weeks, so the actual heat of summer peaks around Lammas (variable according to location, of course).

(There's a note from NASA included in this article about Google's version of a solstice celebration; National Geographic's is here.)

I thought that as a commemoration of summer, I'd mention one of the great modern traditions - blockbuster action movies. Yes, I have actually seen movies, in a cinema and everything, lately!

First, Debbie treated me to X-Men: First Class which had very strong character writing, beautiful periodicity and an amazing cast. It's also like a 2-hour+ resumé for Michael Fassbender, and might do for him what the first X-Movie did for Hugh Jackman off Broadway - now that the teeming masses have seen him, they'll likely want more. Kevin Bacon makes for a magnificent psychopathic villain (and his German and Russian sounded quite polished to my ear). I was amused to see Georgia standing in for Miami, but at least they had mangroves nearby. For all that it plays fast and loose with Mystique's background, and adds a canon-recent mutation to the White Queen all the way back in '62, the story and relationships are the stars here, not the SFX and the superpowers.

Speaking of the SFX, there's some surprising in-camera flying going on - it's usually all composite and digital now - and a familiar bit of BAMF. I looked it up and yes, that's his father. Howard Tayler has it currently at his personal #3 position. I like Howard's standards.

I went to see Thor alone as Debbie had already seen it. I really hope will be nominated for an Academy Award for Art Direction and/or Costuming. It was Jack Kirby as reinterpreted through Streamline Moderne all in a golden palette. It managed to be grand without ever being gaudy. The Kirby elements were not as prominent as I might have hoped, but Loki's horned helmet was Perfectly Kirby.

For all that I'm not a Marvelite, I realise that they changed some basic relationships and such for the sake of the story - never mind the whole 'Donald Blake' part - but especially for stories which will extend past the one movie, there's some cosmic aspects that won't play easily when you've got to be quick on your symbolic feet. Debbie agreed with me that the writers did a fairly brilliant re-synthesis of mythology and science, making one fit with the other like two sides of a well-designed coin.

It's not a generally funny movie, but does have a few laugh-out-loud moments (wait for the SHIELD MiBs on the roof), a very nice character arc where the hero actually learns quickly and does not get passed the Idiot Ball, and an entirely complex villain who isn't really a bad guy for the most part.

This is Howard's #9, partly because he had sub-optimal viewing conditions. I'm avoiding 3D myself, since I can; I hate wearing glasses over glasses, and it makes things too dark for too little return.

Most recently, I got to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which is Howard's #1 movie so far. (See, you don't have to read just my opinion here.) Yes, it's loosely based on Tim Power's novel of the same (sub)title but don't try to compare the two. It was more of a structural borrowing than anything like an adaptation, from what I've read.

I had fun - familiar characters, less emphasis on the whole romance subplot (while it remains a gracenote), far subtler SFX than the massive spectacle of At the World's End. Mind you, the SFX there were appropriate for the story, just as the less obvious work here is appropriate for this one. The mermaids are beautiful without being fanboy bait, and have a nicely creepy touch added; good revamp. Angelica is brave and bold, and has her own sidekick. Could we be lucky enough for a female pirate movie? And... c'mon, Ian McShane. He needs no modifiers.

I didn't get to see Green Lantern yet. Ryan Reynolds really did well at ComiCon with the oath, and my friends (and Howard) have said generally good things about it. I'm jazzed over Tomar Re being RENDERED ABSOLUTELY CORRECTLY SQUEEE, as well as other faces like Kilowog showing up completely recognisably. Hopefully Saturday!

(Oh, incidentally - look at this. It has nothing to do with either the solstice or movies. It's just really pretty.)

Have a blessed holy-day, however you might celebrate it.
sff_corgi_lj: (WUB!)
I was feeling absent-minded on the first, and lousy yesterday, so I apologise for neglecting to post this:

A very happy and warm-hearted Mothers' Day from a dogmother to all you other dog-, cat-, girl-, boy-, horse-, idea- and other-mothers out there. Fertility can also be of the mind and heart; compassion always comes from the soul, not the loins.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Ostara)
Very. I owe you all a post on D'Argo's condition, but haven't had the time/energy to put in everything - he's still here, but very skinny. Stupid hypercalcæ More eventually, honest.

I also missed posting on the Vernal Equinox, so belated Happy Eostre/Ostara. I've got a Geochron-like gadget on my iGoogle homepage, and couldn't miss those straight, straight, up-and-down terminator markings, but never got to LJ.

Also missed Ada Lovelace Day, for which I should make icons. It's been designated a day to celebrate all women in the sciences, and of course Sydney Padua is all over that. Blog-holidays are a great way to share information on special subjects (surviving zombie attacks, for instance) and Women In Science definitely deserve more celebration.
sff_corgi_lj: (Dyfed map)
Hapus Dydd Dewi Sant! It's the Welsh patron saint's day, and we're to wear leeks or daffodils in our hats. Well, those who feel like playing along. You wear shamrocks on the 17th, right? [looks around, sees The Patricia glaring at her, ducks]

Ahem. Anyway, it's also Dogstar Academy's Sirius and Medeni's anniversary - goodness, how many years now?

And it's Robert Conrad's birthday. He is, OMG, 80 and still mostly in one piece. He helped bring the first steampunk to American television, possibly set the standard for the best fully-choreographed and professional stunt fights on TV, and pretty much set my standard for masculine beauty.

I bet I'm forgetting something else for today, too.

Anyway, I just found this on one of [livejournal.com profile] xianghua's websites, so for those who are YouTubeable, I leave you with the link to a song.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Brighid)
In the name of Bride, I bring you... words about music, genius and inspiration. Quite appropriate, even a day or so late.
sff_corgi_lj: (Food!)
I'm going to have to say EGGNOG SEASON frequently, because aside from the fact that it does not Google, the first person to answer the Farm Stores customer service number mumbled something about 'the next couple of weeks'. Um... it's mid-November. People are revving their engines, waiting for this stuff. You think I'm kidding? Google '"Farm Stores" eggnog' and see how often the word 'best' comes up.

Farm Stores was founded in 1935 in Miami Beach, Florida, as Land O' Sun Dairies, Inc.- a manufacturing operation producing high quality dairy products for the South Florida market.

In 1957, Farm Stores drive-thru outlets were created as direct full-service retail outlets for the dairy operation. In the late sixties, the company moved to its present location near Miami International Airport. Farm Stores, a recognized institution in Florida, is highly regarded in the marketplace as a provider of high quality dairy and grocery products.

In 2001, management launched various strategic initiatives, including the newly expanded grocery merchandising strategy as well as online grocery shopping with pick-up at Farm Stores drive thru locations. Currently, Farm Stores Grocery focuses exclusively on its patented double drive-thru, full-service markets with over 100 stores throughout Florida that serviced over 20 million customer visits in 2000.

Farm Stores is shaping a bright future by taking advantage of the market need of time starved grocery shoppers for a fast, well priced and convenient grocery service (i.e. customers can shop for groceries without getting out of their cars), as well as, soon offering the added time savings benefit of online ordering combined with drive-thru only pick-up at www.FarmStores.com.
And now, the dietary information for EGGNOG SEASON!

Farm Stores Eggnog Nutrition Facts (mostly for Blade, who can't do the corn thang):

Nutrition label behind the cut! )

ingredients: milk, corn syrup, cream, high fructose corn syrup, non fat milk solids, water, sugared egg yolks, stabilizer (guar gum, carrageenen in dextrose), turmeric (Color)


(No vanilla? Really?!)

...drat, Blade! :( No EGGNOG SEASON for you, at least not from Farm Stores.

Possible stand-ins for the Real Thing (different locales): ...and just to toss in a recipe that is being frequently repeated in Google results: Luscious Eggnog

Oh - EGGNOG SEASON actually started around three weeks ago. Maybe right after Halloween? Corporate are idiots.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Samhain)
I don't really have the energy to play with secular Halloween any more. Nobody to do it with, nobody around here that would really appreciate it... but as Herself reminds us, it's the turning of the year and a day of rememberance, not just an excuse for a party.

My parents decided to prove they're real Celts. My Da died the day before Halloween... oh, ages ago now. My mother, who one might think had a slow-acting death wish considering how badly she abused her system, waited until me and my heroic measures were well out of reach, and died either Halloween night or early All Saint's Day. Can you imagine anything more appropriate?

A blesséd Samain to you and yours.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Mabon)
(It's the Fall Equinox holiday.)

Other than that... goodness, I don't really have anything to add today.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Brighid)
Happy belated Brighid! (Or Imbolc, pick your preferred.)

In the spirit of the flame of knowledge and enlightenment:
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Yule)
But this time for better reasons (busy celebrating the solstice, mostly) than usual.

Happy Yule, all, and to all a wonderful winter holiday of choice!

This is actually not a bad point to show you a couple of prime, witty icons I've run across, for your collective amusement:
From the journal of [livejournal.com profile] ardaearthsong:


...well. It seems this one's disappeared. Annoying - but it was an image of a lion (from Narnia, to be specific) and a well-timed play-of-words on Aslan's nature and 'get in the car'.

From the journal of [livejournal.com profile] triestine:
sff_corgi_lj: (Pensive)
Might you wear a poppy today?

ETA: http://punditkitchen.com/2008/11/11/political-pictures-veterans-thank-you/ (from Selene)

[Note to Yvonne: It's a memorial to U.S. military service dogs.]
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Samhain)
(No, that's the Welsh spelling, ta.)

A most meaningful and joyous thinning of the Veil to you all.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Mabon)
Belated Happy Mabon, to everyone - naturally, I missed the equinox by a couple of days, 'tis my habit.

And as long as we're on astronomical phenomena, I quote from The RASC Calgary Centre - The Solar System:
Including the 8 "major planets" and the 3 "dwarf planets" (Ceres, Pluto and Eris) we now have 11 "planets".

One old way to remember the names of the planets from the Sun outwards was to use the mnemonic phrase "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" - for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Now that there are 11 a new mnemonic phrase was needed - and now we have one.

In 2007, the National Geographic books-for-kids division sponsored a contest for kids (14 and under) to come up with a nifty way to recall Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris in order.

And - here is the winner: "My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants".







Oi! What about Sedna?!
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Litha)
Good, now maybe it'll start getting cooler sooner...? [inserts laugh track] Temperature in these parts lags the astronomical event by 6 weeks. Six weeks after this summer solstice will be the hottest time of the year, pretty much (and for here that's saying a lot).

Interview on Monday. Cross your fingers.
sff_corgi_lj: (Holidays - Brighid)
Other than OMGoddess, actually being on time for a holiday for once, I don't have much to say. Other than the yard's looking much better of late.

Might have soon, though.

Well... I do have this: Somewhat appropriate to a holiday celebrating the dawning light of the year and the flame of knowledge, if anyone else is inflicted with being awake at dawn (like the song says, 'It's a great way to end a day'), Venus and Jupiter are doing a most spectacular minuet in the east. Jupiter was below Venus in the sky the past two days at eyecatching angles, and is now above by two degrees. In two days, it might be worth getting up early to see the two shiniest planets with a barely-there crescent moon all in very close proximity. (Pluto's in the shot too, not that anybody can see him without extreme effort.) On the 16th, according to my software here, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will form a pretty line across the lower sky. I always have a problem seeing Mercury around here - horizon's are too messed up. Either it's all trees or all clouds, and no way to climb above either. OK, one last set - March 5th, when the moon again, Venus, Mercury and Neptune will be in a tight clump just as the sun's rising - erm, rising at my latitude and such. Your sun may vary. Neptune, of course, is barely visible from here without extreme measures (optics, decent darkness) and Mercury might be washed out already by the time of the closest approach... but they'll all be there.

Don't forget the total lunar eclipse on the morning of the 21st - very good for North American East Coast and Steelhead City early birds.

And that it's Kellie's birthday. :D

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