Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Body Worlds

So we went to see Body Worlds this weekend - I scored a voucher that got us in for $17.50 instead of paying the full price of $22.00 a person. It still wasn't worth it to me.

Everyone is giving rave reviews of the exhibit, but frankly I thought it wasn't all that exciting. I gave it a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I think the Buffalo Museum of Science did a good job of keeping the crowds spread out and I think that everyone at the exhibit was really well-behaved - kids included. The staff there was wonderful... not like the crotchety old biddies at the Albright Knox Art Gallery.

I do believe that the amount of work involved to prepare the bodies for the exhibit is extraordinary, but I guess I didn't find it as fascinating as everyone else. I've been to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia and I thought that was a hundred times better.

In my opinion, Body Worlds needs to work on a better lighting system so that visitors don't always have a spotlight blinding them wherever they are looking and they need to give a bigger picture on a majority of the displays - a slice of a 300-lb person or a slice of a lung just isn't enough for me... I think they could have made it a lot more interesting with a small piece of background. I also think I would have really enjoyed it more if they had a section explaining how they actually did the plastination - then maybe I would have had more of an appreciation for what I was looking at.

I know most people who've seen the exhibit will probably disagree with me, but I guess different strokes for different folks...

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a Small World After All...

I guess my chickens love everybody and everybody loves my chickens... Believe it or not, one of the stupid Garden-Eating-Rabbits is just off camera. I feel like I'm living in Disney World.

Oh! And I got two more eggs today :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I got the first egg from my chickens today!

It's on the small side, but still perfectly shaped and a beautiful dark brown color. It was even laid in one of the nesting boxes. I have such good chickens :)

Because the egg was laid while I was at work I can't be sure which chicken laid it, but I suspect that it was Pumpkin - one of my Red Stars. For the past week or so, she's been very submissive and clingy. She would follow me wherever I went when I was outside - once she tried to follow me back into the house... I could be wrong, but she's the one I suspect.

I knew something was up when I got home from work and saw their pen - there was a ton of wood shavings from the coop out there and evidence of an abnormal amount of scratching on the ground.. And in the coop, I keep my cleaning bucket and scraper hanging on the wall - they were on the ground. It appears to have been an exciting time for all the chickens while the first egg was being laid :) It makes me even more want to find a way to get the Chicken Cam working outside so I can see what the heck they are up to when I am at work.

And the funniest thing is the fact that just today, one of my co-workers was asking me if I had gotten any eggs from my chickens yet. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First :(

We all like to be first in stuff. First prize at the fair. First place in a race. First or top of your class. Well lucky me - I get to live in the county that is first in the annual ranking of highest taxed counties. Oh joy. My money problems are bad enough - I don't need any help.


I record a lot of stuff on TV - usually movies that I want to see eventually. Often, quite a while passes before I actually sit down and watch the show. That was the case with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've never read the book, but loving most things sci-fi, I wanted to see it. The SciFi (now SyFy) channel had it on a while ago (months ago?) and I finally got around to watching it.

I can say that I will probably never read the book - I didn't really like the movie... the whole story/plot was just a bit too weird for me. However, there was one part of the movie that grabbed my imagination: At one point a really cool gun was used - if you were hit by the gun's beam, you would see the point-of-view of the shooter. Wouldn't it be great if something like that existed in real life? Not only to have other people to see my point-of-view, but for me to see theirs as well. Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone had one of those guns? I wonder if it would be better or worse? As much as I would like to say it would make the world a better place, I could see it going either way...

And I knew that the voice of Marvin was Alan Rickman. The IMDb is one the internet's greatest inventions - I use it all the time. I sleep better at night because I don't stay awake wondering about stuff that shouldn't be keeping me awake :)

Monday, September 21, 2009


What a great weekend! The weather was perfect and I spent it doing fun things with fun people :)

Saturday I went geocaching with someone who had never gone before. It was a lot of fun hiking and exploring, but it would have been even better had we found a cache. We looked for three of them, but came up empty handed on all of the them.

I'm worried that the problem might be my GPS. This was the first time I used it for geocaching, and I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't lead us to at least one of the caches. But the clues on the cache pages weren't matching up to where we were looking either, which is what is making me wonder. I don't want to log a DNF saying that the container wasn't there if we weren't even looking in the right place, so I want to go looking for another cache and see what my GPS does there. Either that, or borrow my brother-in-law's GPS and see if they match up on a location. I'm just hoping it was just a bad day of caching and the problem isn't with the GPS.

Again, we had fun hiking - but I was really disappointed that I wasn't able to share the fun of actually finding a cache with someone who was caching for the first time :( Hopefully we will have better luck next time.

Sunday was spent hiking in the Niagara Gorge. We went down at the Devil's Hole entrance, so the only bad part of the day was traversing the 410 steps down and then back up again... It was so totally worth the agony tho' :) It was a picture perfect day - too bad I didn't remember to bring my polarizing filter... too many of the pictures I took were washed out, but I still managed a bunch of decent ones.

It's so much better seeing the beauty of the Niagara River up close, instead of from along the rim of the gorge :)

With no rain the past couple of weeks, the trails were nice and dry!

That being said, I didn't think I would see many of these guys - but they were all over the place. This is a red-banded millipede, which is the largest millipede in our area - they can get up to 4" long.

How can you beat this on a September Sunday afternoon?

I put this together using six separate pictures. It's down by The Whirlpool. I thought it turned out pretty good :) If you double click on the picture, you should get a bigger version.

We hiked from Devil's Hole upstream to a little past the Whirlpool. Next time we are going to start at the Whirlpool entrance and head upstream from there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So when I woke up yesterday morning, the sun was shining and the birds were singing.

Too bad it was because I woke up an hour and a half late. Someone forgot to set her alarm the night before.

Fortunately, I was still able to get the garbage out and get to work on time. Last night I checked the alarm about five times before I went to sleep to make sure I set it. Does that count as OCD?

I'm gearing up for an exciting, action-packed weekend. If everything goes according to plan, it will involve hiking and geocaching both Saturday and Sunday. I haven't gone geocaching since my old GPS died and I bought my new one. I can't believe it's been so long :(

For those of you who like to hike, Parks & Trails New York has a new page on their website - it's a Trail Finder for more than 1,200 miles of multi-use trails in New York. You can search for trails for walking, biking, horseback riding - even snowmobiling. I think that it's a really good resource for people who like to hike and don't know a lot of what's available in the area or state.

I thought this was an interesting video... I'm not too sure about the editing, but it's definitely entertaining and an original idea - What a lot of work!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


My sister gets mad at my brother-in-law because he starts projects and doesn't finish them. I find it really hard to side with her on this - at home I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects. It's actually quite funny tho', because when it comes to work or something that I am doing for someone else, I have a Type A personality. I need to get things done, done fast and done right. I don't think many people have been disappointed in a task I've done for them.

At home it's a whole 'nother story. I'm very well known by my family and friends to take on all kinds of interesting projects which take a long time - if ever - to get done. And as much as I want all my projects to be done and I love the sense of pride when I have finished something, I just can't stop myself from procrastinating.

A case-in-point is my radiant floor heat project. When the furnace in my fixer-upper went into it's death throes, I wanted to try something different. I grew up with forced-air heating at my parent's house and I've had water baseboard heat at my last house. Neither was that fabulous at keeping me warm in the winter. I heard a lot of great things about radiant floor heat and I wanted to give that a go. With a lot of expertise help from my Uncle and a bit of muscle help from Randy, last winter we managed to get most of it installed and running (I still have one room left to go!). I really wanted to get it all insulated before this winter so that not only will my house be toasty, but I can really save on my oil bill. Well here it is September and... well let's just say I have a lot of insulating to do :)

Part of the problem was that I couldn't find a way that I liked to secure the insulation to the basement ceiling. 'Experts' say to use wire hangers or furring strips. I didn't like the furring strip idea - it would cost too much and, I don't know... I just didn't like that idea. I think with all the pipes and wires going on, it would be a trial in logistics to get them to work right. I tried using wire hangers, but that was the biggest pain ever. The wire I had came in a roll, so not only did I have to cut it to length, but I also had to straighten out each piece. Hundreds of these pieces would be needed, and the whole process was just awful. And then securing the wire to the joists was another matter - if they weren't stapled just right, they would slide around. I found that 1/4" staples worked well, but I had to be super-accurate with the staple gun to attach each piece. It took way too much time and way too many staples . It's stuff like this that makes me procrastinate.

Fortunately I came up with a new plan and tried it out today - and it worked marvelously! Don't you just love it when that happens?

I tried using polypropylene strapping. I got a good deal on some on the internet and it finally arrived. This stuff is a dream to work with! I got more done this afternoon than I did in days messing around with the wire. A pair of scissors and my trusty staple gun with 1/2" staples was all I needed. It looks really good and I'm very happy. It will be interesting to see how it holds up. I don't have to worry about rust and the stretch is supposed to be minimal with polypropylene. Plus, if for some reason I ever need to get under the insulation, the strapping will be really easy to remove and replace.

It was hard to get good pictures, but hopefully this will give you an idea of what's going on....

The above picture shows the ceiling of my basement. You can see the aluminum plates attached. Under them is the PEX tubing that carry the hot water from a water heater throughout the floors of the house.

Here you can see that I am putting a sheet of aluminum reflective material between the insulation and the aluminum plating. I want all that heat to reflect UP!

And here you see the finished product. The thin black stripes you see are the pieces of strapping material. In the picture it looks like the insulation is sagging, but that's just the angle - the straps are actually quite tight and the insulation is flush with the joists... it looks great!

I am really excited to see if I can get the whole basement done before the cold weather hits. But for now, I need to do some baking - tomorrow is Grandparent's Day and we are going to make a big deal out of it for my Mom :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bullet Wednesday

  • Don't you hate when someone makes a rule and then someone else doesn't follow it and then the person who made the rule says "That's OK, you can do whatever you want" and then you look stupid because you were trying to follow the rule before you knew it didn't matter?
  • Don't you hate when other people can get away with bad behavior and as much as you want to retaliate, you can't bring yourself to stoop to that level? Why is it that the people who can fix the problem don't seem to see what's going on? I hate being a doormat. But I hate being a crybaby/tattletale even more.
  • Don't you hate that it's getting dark so early now? Or at least it seems to be getting a lot sooner.
  • Look at how many beans I got from one bean plant! And there are still a few more that are growing. Wow! It makes me sad for the plants that never got to grow - I would have had enough beans to feed a small third-world country :)

  • Don't you just love a big campfire on a pleasant September evening? This past week and half has been so pleasant weather-wise... I think I've had more campfires the past two weeks than I have all summer. I wish the whole summer could have been this way!
  • Do you know how hard it is to cut your lawn when your chickens are out and they are not afraid of the lawnmower? Then again, they don't seem to be afraid of much :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

At my old job I hated holidays. Holidays meant working and working longer hours. I am now among the masses that actually gets holidays off. I like holidays now :)

Today I had a nice relaxing afternoon at a picnic. I met some new people and learned more about people I already knew. I've been under a lot of personal stress lately and today did my soul a lot of good. I also learned that a turkey can be cooked in a garbage can! I don't eat meat, but it did smell good and everyone said it was juicy and delicious. I want to see if I can talk my Mom or sister (depending on where Thanksgiving is this year) into trying the same thing.

Tomorrow I have another picnic planned, which I am also looking forward to going to.

This week I managed to get a couple decent pictures of the chickens playing with the Stupid Garden Eating Rabbits (or are the rabbits playing with the chickens?)

OK - is this the weirdest thing or what?

I guess I should be happy that they all get along :)