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Dead Fly on the Wall January 26, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Art.
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I was scrambling to finish my final five report cards when my friend Nancy emailed me pictures of  “dead fly art.”  According to the email all you need to do is get a dead fly (or moth), let it sit for an hour, and then let your imagination run wild.  Hey, I’m good at that.

Those who know me know I’ve got a thing for bugs, even dead ones, so of course I put the report cards on hold and googled “dead fly art.”  I found lots of links, most which featured really annoying ads.  (And you thought I was going to say ads that “bug me,” but I’m not THAT obvious!) The “dead fly art” has been featured on several sites in the UK. Some of the original photos have what looks like German Swedish writing on them.  Who is the genius behind these?  (I’ve since learned it’s Swedish photographer Magnus Mohr.)  I’m now thinking of a really cool art project for Open House.  After all, our current unit is Imagination, and Picasso is so old school.  I hope the parents have a sense of humor.  Now, back to those report cards.

To see more “Dead Fly Art,”  go to The Chive Photo Blog.

Cool Photo January 14, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Home Front.
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All the teachers were complaining about the rain this morning.  You have to understand that rainy weather means rainy day recess.  Herding squirrelly students into the auditorium.  Shortened lunches.  Recess INSIDE. The misery.  So when my friend Bev in England forwarded me a link to this satellite photo of the UK under a blanket of snow, it put it all in perspective. (To see the full-sized image, click on BBC.)  Come to think of it, I did pick up over a hundred limes that had fallen off our Mexican lime tree yesterday. OMG it was freezing – like 65 degrees!  Oh, never mind.  Like much of life, it’s all how you look at it. Sending warm thoughts to all my friends who are snowbound. (Bev pointed out that if you look closely, there’s still a small patch of green on the Emerald Isle.)

My Keyboard is Toast January 10, 2010

Posted by alwaysjan in Worth Knowing.
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The last time I tried to clean my computer keyboard, I popped off a few keys only to realize that they didn’t snap back on like Legos.  Oops!  My husband Richard aka Tech Support wasn’t amused. He ordered a new keyboard for my trusty Mac Powerbook on eBay, but when it arrived the keys moved in slow motion.  Richard cleaned it with canned air and discovered the problem. The keyboard was filled with cat hair.  Achoo!  But it worked.

My husband upgraded his Mac not long ago, which means I got his hand-me-down.  I’m not complaining.  Macs are like Volvos.  You can get a lot of mileage out of one.  My old new computer arrived with a letter to me from the computer itself.  The computer asked that I take good care of it – no toast crumbs or spilled Coke on the keyboard from my breakfast.  (See Coke for Breakfast.)  I thought this was thoughtful on the computer’s part and fully intended to clean up my act.  I even started putting my toast on a plate before I ate it (visualize crumbs spewing) over the keyboard.

Today the “m” key started sticking.  I called Tech Support, currently camped in the Silicon Valley. I got The Lecture.   “Just tell me what to do!” I pleaded.

I had to shut down my computer and turn it on its side. I gave it a couple of good shakes (sort of like burping a baby). Then I got the can of compressed air and shot it under the keys until the can was too cold to hold.  A lot of grit came out that did bear a passing resemblance to toast crumbs. But what I noticed most was the amount of hair.  There were a few long strands of red hair (mine), but the rest of it was dog fur, more precisely, fur from our dog Petey.  I’ve often likened his shedding to a snow blower, but really!

Curious, I googled “how to clean a laptop keyboard.”  I stumbled upon the site Howtocleanstuff.net, where you can find how to get rid of blood stains (one person swears you can get rid of menstrual stains on underwear using meat tenderizer!), how to clean Barbie hair, and even how to clean bronzed baby shoes.  You can find out how to clean old cat poop from carpet (the person who sold us that keyboard could probably use that one).  There was even a woman whose husband had begun working at a dairy farm and wanted to know how to remove that “farm smell” from her man.  If your man’s scent is “Moo,” you’ll definitely want to check this out!