12.30.2005

Our Messiah Sing-in

We just finished our annual Messiah Sing-in, held at our house. It was quite fun and everyone had a good time. We even had some really good cake, after eating the venison stew!

I put all of the Messiah on my iPod for easy reference so that we could sing along to it.

Our Sing-in is extremely informal, the point is the food, getting back together, and mainly having fun. We never sing professionally or anything, it's mainly just hollering through the Hallelujah Chorus that we end up doing. The kids, the adults, and the pets all have fun on this day.

If you are one of my friends and are interested in doing this next year, don't forget to call me about it just after Christmas! Come to our house and scream your lungs out, eat wonderful food, talk, and have a great time!

12.28.2005

My Flickr Photostream

Check out my new photostream on flickr!

The Putta Butta

12.10.2005

JingleRadio Advertisement

this is an audio post - click to play

This is a short advertisement for JingleRadio, the quirky little tracks that my sister and I have made that resemble radio broadcasts.

Enjoy!

High speed internet recommended, but anyone can listen if they are patient.

12.09.2005

MISC > PLAY

This is a video that I made which is very strange. I put it on Google Video for all to watch. It has clips of my house in it and music I made with Garageband on my computer.

PLAY

High speed internet is basically required.

MISC > Wallace and Gromit Video

Here's an interesting video on Google Video that I liked:

Wallace and Gromit's Cracking Contraptions

High speed internet is basically required.

10.08.2005

Musings > Rain


Why don't we like rain? we say,

Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day.

But why? Rain is good for us. Without it we could not live. I always love rainstorms (perhaps it's just because I was born in a thunderstorm), but why do people complain? Getting wet seems fun to me, and it's just water. It feels good too, in my opinion.

And anyway, what about those nights where you can't sleep and then suddenly you realize that it's raining lightly, and it lulls you to sleep?

And what about those times when it's raining, and you have the lights on, playing a game of Boggle together? Rain strengthens family relationships, and gives you a feeling of cozyness, inside.

Lastly, we all need something that we don't like. Why? It would be boring without rain.

8.28.2005

Suggestions > Become a Member of the Sierra Club

Joining the Sierra Club is a very great thing to do. They fight against pollution, save wildlife spaces, and more. Go to this website for ways to join or donate money to them:

www.sierraclub.org/membership

Here's an excerpt from the page:

When you join or give to the Sierra Club you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to preserve irreplaceable wildlands, save endangered and threatened wildlife, and protect this fragile environment we call home.

So go ahead. It's only a small amount of money. Plus, with the membership you get:

  • A free Sierra Club Expedition Pack (limited time only)
  • One-year subscription to Sierra magazine
  • Members-only ecotravel opportunities
  • Automatic membership in your local Chapter
  • Discounts on Sierra Club calendars, books, and other merchandise

Sierra magazine is a wonderful thing to receive every other month. Below are an excerpt and a quote, as well as a photo, from it.

SIERRA CLUB BULLETIN

Five Ways to Take the Initiative
BY JENNIFER HATTAM

Imagine a country free from pollution, where communities are healthy, wildlands are protected, and every citizen has the power to help keep things that way. If that sounds implausible in today's political climate, don't worry. Visionary ideas often do. But this greener future is achievable if everyone works together.

Since the 2004 election, Sierra Club leaders have been doing some soul-searching. While close to 70 percent of Americans agree with most of the Club's values, only 20 percent identify as strong environmentalists. That's a disappointing fact, but it also presents an opportunity. If we are able to explain what the Club stands for without resorting to technical terms or eco-speak, we can build an unstoppable force for conservation. That doesn't mean abandoning the causes we've worked hard on for so many years, but restating them in terms of goals a majority of Americans can share:

GET THE POISONS OUT of our water and air by enforcing existing pollution laws and making polluters clean up after themselves and reduce dangerous emissions; CHOOSE CLEAN ENERGY for our homes and cars by encouraging use of renewable electricity and the raising of fuel-economy standards; BUILD BETTER COMMUNITIES that are safer for cyclists and pedestrians by keeping public-transit systems strong and sprawl at bay; PROTECT NATURE for the next generation by designating public lands as parks and wilderness areas, restoring native species, and creating open spaces for people to enjoy; and EXERCISE DEMOCRACY by speaking out in our communities to improve the environment in all these ways and more.

These ideas tap into basic American values of fairness, opportunity, and progress. No matter where we live, we all want safe and healthy neighborhoods. We all want nature close by and a say in how our communities grow. And we all want neighbors who will work with us to protect what we love. So let's get started.

>ON THE WEB Find out how you can get involved at sierraclub.org/vision.

~~~~~

LAST
WORDS


Furry forerunner: The loss of their sea-ice habitat to global warming could drive polar bears to extinction by the end of the century.


It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.
--Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Climate of Man," New Yorker, May 9

~~~~~

You can visit the Sierra Club's website HERE.

8.25.2005

Musings > Another Putta Butta Update!

I found this on Wikipedia:

[in Italian,] the word putta is short for puttana, slut.

Elsewhere in Wikipedia, I found this:
[in Japanese,] "Buta" [with one t] means pig.

So now we know! "Putta Butta" can be roughly translated from Italian and Japanese as, "Slut Pig!" Hooray!

8.24.2005

Reviews > Web Sites > The Zoomquilt

Check out this collaborative art project!

This is how it works:

  1. You wait for it to load (be patient--it's worth it).
  2. You click with the mouse and drag up or down.
  3. The picture zooms in or zooms out--and it keeps going!!
Just try it out. It's fun!

Click HERE to start.

Here's my rating:

Reviews > Web Sites > hestekor.swf

I'm not going to tell you what this is, you have to find out for yourself (if I said what it was, it would spoil it). Just click HERE. Don't worry, there's no bad words or bad content or anything.

Here's my rating:

8.20.2005

MISC > Accepted Into Blogwise

Just so you know, The Putta Butta has been accepted into Blogwise, the blog directory. You can view it HERE.

8.18.2005

Suggestions > Try NRDC

If you're like me, you want to protect the environment. So you should. Just go to
www.savebiogems.org
and write e-mails to the government and to companies to stop things like:

  • Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Logging in various rainforests
  • Mining around the Everglades
  • And more!
E-mail-writing is free, and they even give you a pre-written note to send that you can change or keep the same. They also accept donations.

After clicking HERE or above, just pick a 'biogem' to save and sign up! They even give you 'action credits' for taking action and you can get cool stuff like wallpaper, a screen saver, and a start page.

MISC > My First Movie

I have finally created my first motion picture (okay, okay, my brother helped me and it's just a short film).

It's called Lucy in the Sky with Aliens (silly title, right?) and it's about an astral body that borrows the body of a dog (played by my dog, Lucy) to check out Earth. If you are someone to whom I have given my e-mail address, e-mail me and I will find a way to give you a copy!

I'm working on another movie with my sister's friend (she wrote it and I'm filming/editing it for her), and we'll see how that goes.

MISC > My New Computer

I just got a new computer and I love it! It's an eMac, which is related to my old 1st-gen iMac. It's a G4 with 1.25 GHz and has a 32MB graphics card.

It has a bigger screen (1280 x 960) than my old Mac (1024 x 768), and is much faster.

Plus, it has a DVD burner (I haven't yet got it to work), and a CD burner.

My parents gave the computer to our family for my birthday, a kind of strange thing to do, but it works.

My computer comes with iLife '05, too!

Now my dad and I can play X-plane (flight-simulation software which our old computer never came close to running) and Sim City 4, which is arriving in the mail within 2 business days at our house. Also, all of the 3D games that I have are no longer jerky, something that I took for granted on my old G3 iMac.

7.25.2005

Reviews > Books > The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a great read. It has a bit of romance, and a lot of mystery.

It's about a man who saves aristocrats from the French Revolution, and from being killed by the guillotine. He is placed in grave danger, but as yet he has slipped through the web that the people of the Revolution have made for him, using many different disguises! Can he outwit the French this time?

You probably wonder: Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel anyway? You'll have to read the book to find that out!

Go to amazon.com and take a look at what people say about this book by clicking HERE! You'll find other reviews and descriptions.

My Rating:
(out of 6)

7.23.2005

Reviews > Web Sites > eigelb.at


Do you want to draw a picture like the one above? Then go to eigelb.at!

This picture is something I made in a few seconds with a Java applet that's on eigelb.at. You just hold your cursor on the screen and the lines are attracted to it They orbit it in circles.

Eigelb.at is an Austrian website, but there are some english descriptions on it.

If you want to have a little fun, go to this site.

Click HERE for the specific applet pictured above.

Click HERE to go to eigelb.at.

My Rating
(out of 6)

7.08.2005

MISC > About

This is a section for things that don't fit into any other sections!

Reviews > How the Starred Ratings Work

I am now including starred ratings with my reviews! Each starred rating is out of six stars.

Look for the stars at the bottom of every review. They will look like this:

My rating:
(out of 6)
The bright stars are the ratings, and the dimmed stars are the stars not included (the example above is a 5-star rating).

7.07.2005

Musings > Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies are interesting things. I have at least three strange stories about them.

Here are the ones I remember:

I went into a chinese food place with my dad. He said something like, "I've been having the same thing over and over again. I think it's time I tried something new."

After he'd eaten his food (something he hadn't had before), his fortune read:

Now is the time to try something new.

Once my fortune read:
It is a nice day.
Some fortune!


I had eaten chinese food earlier, and as I rummaged through my pocket, I came across three dollars that I had forgotten were there. Underneath them was my fortune from before:
Great wealth is in store for you.


Sometimes I wonder if the people who serve you chinese food see you and choose from a list of different fortunes depending on how you look, but that wouldn't explain the 'great wealth' fortune because I got it during my music camp and chose it from a bag of a whole bunch. The guy never even saw me, either!

7.05.2005

Reviews > Web Sites > Photoshop Contest

A great website, and a great idea, too!

Photoshop Contest gives you a picture that's boring. It's then your task to make it into a more interesting picture--using Adobe Photoshop!

Easy to use, and very fun! It's free, too!

Check it out HERE!

KidsNews > About

KidsNews is the newsletter that I edit for my community. It is posted here for the members of the community to view.

My Violin > About

This is where I post things that have to do with me playing my violin.

Stories > About

This is where I post stories which I've written. Mostly Science Fiction.

Please tell me what you think about them!

Rants > About

This section is where I reveal my strong opinions for or against things.

Feel free to agree or disagree with any of the things I talk about--just comment!

Suggestions > About

The Suggestions section is for things that I would recommend you to do. Of course you don't have to do any of these things, but they may be beneficial to you.

If you disagree with anything, just post a comment!

Musings > About

The Musings Section is just for things that I happen to be thinking about, other random things, or whatever.

This is where I think about things. You can join me in thinking by writing comments (see the link below each post).

Reviews > About

The Reviews Section is for reviews of all types of things, such as software, games, books, products and the like.

All of these reviews are not sponsored and reflect my opinion about the product that I review.

7.01.2005

Reviews > Radio > A Prairie Home Companion

What a wonderful show for liberals! Funny jokes, good music, skits, sound effects, and special guests!

Airing on NPR on Saturdays from 6 to 8 (eastern time), this show is nothing but fun, with host Garrison Keillor!

Check out their website HERE and find out your local station airing the show HERE!

Garrison (left) and guest ReneƩ Fleming performing
Guy Noir (a 'radioacting' play)

My rating:
(out of 6)

Reviews > Web Sites > HubbleSite

You should go to the Wallpaper gallery of HubbleSite. They have many pictures taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, like this one:


What's really cool is that you can set each one as your computer's wallpaper! They have 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, and 1280 x 1024 resolutions for each image.

Now, how to set the wallpaper:

  • Click on the link of the resolution you want
  • Wait for the image to load on the web page
Now, on Windows:
  • Right click the image
  • From the popup menu select "Set as Wallpaper" or "Set as Background"
On a Macintosh with Mac OS X:
  • Ctrl-click the image
  • From the popup menu select "Save Image As..."
  • Choose a folder for the image
  • Open the Desktop menu in System Preferences
  • Choose the folder
  • Click the image you want for wallpaper
(for older mac os's just select help and search for it)

See, it's simple. No signing up. No ads. And beautiful pictures, too!

See the Wallpaper Gallery HERE!



My rating:
(out of 6)

Musings > Random > Ampersands

Ampersands ( & ) are very interesting. They mean 'and,' of course, but according to Wikipedia, and my correct guess, they evolved from the Latin Et(which means and). You can see this by looking at this picture:
On the left the & is stylized, but on the right, it's easily recognizable as Et.

6.30.2005

Suggestions > Turn Off Your TV

TV is really not that interesting. Yes, some channels are informative and really entertaining, but most of it is just trash.

Think of all of the things you could be doing instead of TV! Here's just a small list:

  • Talking
  • Going for a walk
  • Biking
  • Rollerskating
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Other sports
  • Playing an athletic game outside
  • Playing a board or card game
  • Playing music and singing
  • Writing a story
  • Writing a poem
  • Pondering deep thoughts
...and on and on it goes. There are so many things one can do instead of watching TV, and most of the time they are all more fun anyway.

Now, why not to watch TV:
  • Studies have shown that kids who watch too much TV are more likely to have ADD
  • It's bad for the eyes
  • It discourages imagination
  • Commercials on TV manipulate viewers
  • The content on TV is not worth watching
  • Kids who watch violence on TV are more likely to be violent when they are adults
...etc.

So, instead of sitting down for a four-hour TV viewing, turn it off and have some real fun! I barely ever watch TV nowadays, and you can too!

6.29.2005

Rants > Ads/Commercials

You know what I hate? I hate ads and commercials. They control your mind. They make you buy things. And they also give the rich advantages.

I know, I know, it makes money, but still, it's too much!

You can protest ads by simply turning off the TV or radio when they come on. I always do this. You should try it some time. It's really a relief. And you can talk to the people that are next to you if they are.

Ads are nothing but marketing, so why in the world would anyone listen to them?

6.28.2005

Stories > SF > Alliance -- Book I: Discovery

Prologue

A lonely woman stands on a mountain path, an alien of the planet. She is stranded here. Her wild hair blows in the cold night wind as she looks down at a town nestled in the valley of four mountains. She sees a medley of houses, a few with lights, welcoming her. But will the people inside be welcoming? This is the question she needs to know the answer to.

She has no choice but to descend down from the mountains, to the civilization she knows nothing of. She is hungry, and needs lodging. She follows a path not traversed by many.


Late one autumn night Ernie Fleisher was watching a Sunday night movie with his wife. “Oh look, this is my favorite part!” he exclaimed, pointing to a lady on the TV who seemed very frightened indeed.

The doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” Ernie sighed when his wife, who was a beautiful but very lazy woman, made no motion to get up. He strode towards the door, grumbling.

When he opened the door, he saw a frightening woman with tangled hair and outlandish dress.

“What do you want?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

The woman, in a shaky, desperate voice, said, “Has le malen an has’ena deten-ende. Ene haner lah-ten has?”

“And what, may I ask, is that supposed to mean?” He growled. “Get off of my property now or I’ll call the police!” He slammed the door and went back to the TV.

“Sometimes those tourists can be really strange, you know? Barging onto my doorstep with that costume on and talking nonsense! And in the middle of the night! How outrageous can you get? And look,” he said, pointing to the screen again, “I missed the best part!”


The woman looks up at a sky dotted with stars in a pattern unfamiliar to her. It isn’t working. She must persist, however, or else she will starve.

She reaches the third door, and says, to a man with curiosity on his face, once more, “Je’le malen an jel’ena deten-ende! Ene jen lahen jel?” She is not acknowledged.

She sighs a bitter sigh, and as a last effort, tries using her hands to explain her plight. But she is so tired that she faints. The man catches her fall and brings her inside.

• • •

The woman has no choice but to stay. Where else would she go? She tells the man her story, making signs with her hands, pointing to things, and drawing pictures. They like each other, but eventually, this friendship turns into love. Then, the man proposes, and the woman has to be explained the concept of earth-marriage. When she understands she says yes, and they do get married, in a small ceremony with just a few guests.

Some months pass, and the woman bears a child. At the hospital, the woman speaks. She has learned the English language a little bit after living with the man. She says, “I have a name for him....”


This is just the prologue of the very long novel I am trying to write. Please comment about it.

Reviews > Web Sites > Play Free Online Games

Great, easy to use web site. Browse their large selection of online games quickly and easily, even with dialup (the site is simple with no more than two images per page).

Many of the games listed here are good games, considering they're free.

Check it out HERE.

My rating
(out of 6)

Reviews > Software > Mozilla Firefox

What an excellent web browser! Firefox includes features to block spyware and pop-up ads, comes with an integrated search bar which allows you to search many different sites (including Google, Yahoo, and Amazon.com), and lets you download different Themes to change its look. It also lets you install Extensions such as Forcastfox, StumbleUpon, and Adblock. These Extensions appear on the toolbars of the browser and let you see and do various things.

Of the extensions I downloaded, I liked Adblock and StumbleUpon the most. Adblock lets you get rid of annoying ads on various web pages by simply right-clicking (you hold the mouse button down or Ctrl-click on a Mac) on it and choosing "Adblock Image" from the pop-up menu. The ad simply disappears and never reappears with the same link again (you can also Adblock iframes). If the ad is a Flash movie, the pop-up menu doesn't work and instead you click on a small tab above or below the movie to block it. You can also block entire sites from sending ads (such as ad.doubleclick.net) so that you never get ads from them.

StumbleUpon is like channel-surfing for the web. You click a button and it sends you to a site that, based on your interests, you should like. Most of the time you do like it, and, if so, you click "I like it" on the toolbar (if you don't like it you click "Not-for-me"). You can also write comments on the site.

The ONLY thing I didn't like about Firefox was that when viewing java applets it often froze, but this may just be my computer acting up.

Firefox, as well as all of the Extensions and Themes, are FREE. Firefox is available for download HERE.

My rating:
(out of 6)

6.27.2005

My Violin > Music Camp > First Day

The pieces I'm playing at music camp are the following:

  • Fughetta by J. S. Bach
  • Molto Allegro from W. A. Mozart's Quartet in D Major
  • Bachinanas Brasilieras No. 5 ARIA by Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • Concertino for Small Hands by Koh-Ichi Hattori
I have to learn these in the two weeks before the concert.

Today was my first day, and it was very tiring! First I went to singing class (I still don't know what I'm singing yet), then practiced Fughetta for an hour, then Molto Allegro. Then after lunch two very good ping-pong players came in and showed us how to really do ping-pong. They were on one volley for two whole minutes without stopping!

Then came the string orchestra class, lasting for two hours, where we practiced the last two pieces.

And I'm going to do this every day. Boy!

Reviews > Software > Taco HTML Edit

(glshorts.net does not exist)

This is a great HTML-editing program. You can add tags by using the menu, and the tags are color-coded by type. It also has Preview and Live Preview modes.

Preview opens the default browser with the html you wrote (saved or unsaved) and Live Preview opens a new window with both the source code and what the web page actually looks like, and as you type the code above the text appears below (you can't edit the web page section directly, only the code, although you can use the text for the clipboard.

It also includes a handy color selector that automatically adds the color code into the html code (so you don't have to memorize things like "75c075" to get THIS color, etc.

As an added bonus, it's available for FREE download HERE!

6.26.2005

My Violin > Music Camp

Tomorrow I'm going to music camp. It's quite fun, but it's also a workout. All you do the whole day is music, music, then lunch, then an activity, then more music. And it's every day for two whole weeks not counting the weekends!

But I like playing the violin, and so it's fun for me. More about music camp later.

Musings > Putta Buttas

So, what is a putta butta, you wonder. Well, I don't really know myself. It all started in school, you see.

My friend and I just coined it one school day, saying "You little putta butta!" That's how it started. Pretty random, eh? Weird, too? Well, weird is what I am, and that's just the way it is.

You can also just call it a "thing of annoyance."

Whatever!

KidsNews > Vol 2 Num 1 -- March 2005

The Origin of the Easter Egg

Of all the symbols associated with Easter, the egg, the symbol of fertility and new life, is the most identifiable. The customs and traditions of using eggs have been associated with Easter for centuries.

Originally, Easter eggs were painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring and were used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts. Later, they were colored and etched with various designs. The eggs were exchanged by lovers and romantic admirers, much the same as valentines. In medieval times eggs were traditionally given at Easter to the servants. In Germany eggs were given to children, along with other Easter gifts.

Different cultures have developed their own ways of decorating Easter eggs. Crimson eggs, to honor the blood of Christ, are exchanged in Greece. In parts of Germany and Austria, green eggs are used on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday). Slavic peoples decorate their eggs in special patterns of gold and silver.

Austrian artists design patterns by fastening ferns and tiny plants around the eggs, which are then boiled. The plants are then removed revealing a striking white pattern. The Poles and Ukrainians decorate eggs with simple designs and colors. A number of eggs are made in the distinctive manner called pysanki (to design, to write). Pysanki eggs are a masterpiece of skill and workmanship. Melted beeswax is applied to the fresh white egg. It is then dipped in successive baths of dye. After each dip, wax is painted over the area where the preceding color is to remain. Eventually a complex pattern of lines and colors emerges into a work of art.

In Germany and other countries, eggs used for cooking were not broken, but the contents were removed by piercing the end of each egg with a needle and blowing the contents into a bowl. The hollow eggs were then dyed, and hung from shrubs and trees during the Easter Week. The Armenians would decorate hollow eggs with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious designs.

>From www.holidays.net/easter/eggs.htm

Favorite Web Sites

Free online games: www.playfreeonlinegames.co.uk

History: www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html

To be continued...

Pet Corner

Bella-- dog
Age: 1
Eye color: Brown
Hair: Long, wavy, white-and-black
Personality: Playful
Loves to: Play, and look out the window

The Big Escape -- by Elizabeth, Owner

Bella loves to play in our yard, running back and forth until she’s exhausted. Well, one day she found an opening in the backyard and ran out. Mom and I were trying to catch her, but she was having way too much fun, free at last! Finally, I said the magic words: “You want a little something?” Bella stopped in her tracks and ran right to the door.

Thank goodness for treats!

What is KidsNews?

KidsNews is a free newsletter that I publish for my community. This post is here for the members the community to view.