21 Oct

The height of 1901 style

Today I visited the Stimson-Green Mansion on First Hill, since I am researching it for a paper. Here are some photos I took. The house was built in 1901. It is strongly influenced by English Arts and Crafts, but is an Eclectic style — several rooms are Tudor, one is Empire style, one is a sort of Moorish style. All of it is incredibly well-crafted, and well-preserved. It’s amazing that the gilded burlap wall covering in the entry hall, for example, was not removed over the years. The painted design on it has been retouched, but it is otherwise original.

Mostly these are pictures of details within the house. The big pictures of the rooms and hallways, and the exterior, are easily found online and in books, but the details are harder to find, so I photographed those. Unfortunately I ran out of photo battery power so I didn’t get as many photos as I had hoped to get.

You can see other pictures and info about the house (including exterior shots and lots of stuff I didn’t get to photograph) at:


18 Oct

“Timberland, have you met Infiniti and her sister L’Oreal?”

“A good working knowledge of the liquor aisle and car lot” was what psychology professor Cleveland Evans needed to analyze the names of US babies, in search of oddities. He found a certain amount of children given brand names. Like DelMonte. Or Celica. Or Courvoisier. Or Skyy — “the spelling a tip-off to an apparently inspirational relationship with vodka.” Though Evans has some concern that parents are “giving the message that children are possessions,” he does see the positive side of this.

“At least they tend to name them things with a positive image … you don’t see them naming their child Yugo.”

Of course, the Social Security statistics only include names that appeared more than five times. So there could still be four little Yugos out there.

17 Oct

“I believe… in The Curse.”

At 6:00 pm last night a guy made a post on Metafilter that started “As the Boston Red Sox are poised to head to the 2003 World Series…”, and gave a great recap of the Red Sox “Curse.” Well, we know what happened next.

The recap is pretty good, though, so if you are wondering what all of this “Curse” fuss is about, read the first couple of posts at the top of the page. The followup posts are tragically entertaining as well.

I guess I won’t bother watching the Series this year. You know, for the last week people around here have actually been paying attention to the playoffs, even though the M’s aren’t there. People cared about baseball again. We saw people watching the games in stores, in bars, etc., and uniformly cheering for the Red Sox and the Cubs. Bet they won’t pay attention to the Series in the same way. Ho hum, the (%#!#@ing) Yankees, and some team from Florida no one cares about.

Yes, I am bitter! (I’m a Seattle baseball fan; it comes with the territory.) Just one season, one, I would like to be happy with the way it ends. It doesn’t even have to be the Mariners winning. There are lots of other teams I’d love to see in the postseason. The Yankees and Marlins aren’t included in that list.

16 Oct

Asylum in Florida

Goldurnit, the Cubs lost. No Cubs/Red Sox World Series this year. But on the good side, Hell won’t be freezing over anytime soon.

Anyway, the guy in Chicago who went for a foul ball he probably shouldn’t have has been offered asylum in Florida. Floridians are feeling generous, and who can blame them?

I just hope the Yankees lose tonight, because a Marlins/Yankees Series is the most boring and depressing thing I can imagine.

13 Oct

Doll diversity

The Seattle P-I has an interesting article in the October 13 issue about a new Muslim fashion doll, a reaction to the rather non-Muslim fashion sense of Barbie dolls. The Razanne doll wears hijab, celebrates Eid Mubarak, and participates in Muslim Scouts. (It’s unfortunate that the doll itself is not very appealing; it looks like those cheap pseudo-Barbies you see at dollar stores. But some of the outfits are nice.) Other Islamic alternatives to Ken and Barbie are Dara and Sara, from Iran. Muslims aren’t the only ones who want more modest dolls, though. Monica Garcia, an Orthodox Jew, founded Ms. Modesty to sell modest clothing for fashion dolls. All the Ms. Modesty outfits cover the knees, elbows and collarbones. They may not sell as fast as Bratz dolls or whatever pink car Barbie currently drives, but there’s certainly a market to be served here.

12 Oct

More random iBlog comments

More on iBlog: apparently there are some security issues involving the private blog feature on iBlog. If you aren’t publishing a private blog, however, this won’t affect you.

Another issue I have with iBlog, that I forgot to put in the previous entry, is that the interface could use some improvements in consistency. For example: some visual aspects of the site are controlled within iBlog>Preferences>General. Others are controlled in Resources>Manage Stylesheets. (And let me add here that I really like the ability to manage stylesheets this way — for those who don’t know CSS or want to deal with code, it’s lovely.) This is confusing; the editing of the blog’s visual styles should be done in one place.

The way my brain works, I expect to see the Navigation Editor in the same menu as Manage Stylesheets and Manage Templates. They seem related. But that might just be me.

There is something odd about the RSS feed as displayed in LiveJournal’s syndication (this blog is syndicated there as slumberland_org). There are weird line breaks that aren’t in the original content (here’s an example). I have noticed that the line breaks will specifically appear next to italic text, but that is not the only time they pop up. When they appear, they also appear wherever there is a line break in the code — which is interesting, of course, since HTML ignores line breaks. Also — it doesn’t happen on every single entry, only for some of them. I have looked in the RSS file sometimes and didn’t see the cause for this (but currently none of the posts in the RSS feed show this behavior, so I can’t check it now) so the problem may be on LiveJournal’s side. I don’t know. It’s awfully strange.

The Preview pane in Preferences is odd — I don’t understand why that section is called Preview. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the act of previewing. The choices made there specifically affect the configuration of the blog and there’s no reason why that pane should be called Preview.

(Comment deleted here because I was confused and criticized something that doesn’t actually happen.)

More comments when I think of them. I may get a whole list together to submit to iBlog’s author.

10 Oct

Geek cake

I made Jason this cake for his birthday. (Could you tell he uses Linux?) I have done a better job decorating cakes in the past but I guess it turned out OK. At least Tux is recognizable. See more pics here.

We weren’t able to celebrate his birthday on the actual date (last Saturday) because I had a class reunion to attend, so this week he is the birthday boy. Happy birthday, Jason!

08 Oct

The original Seattle sound

Wow — I didn’t realize that a couple of years ago, an album was released with a bunch of tracks by my uncle’s band, the Frantics. The Frantics were one of the most popular bands in the Northwest in the late 50s-early 60s, and according to some, were the first band in the NW to cover “Louie Louie.” There are a couple of reviews online as well, here and here.

I’m glad to see the band getting some recognition now, because they’ve become sort of obscure, unlike some of the other popular bands of the day such as the Wailers. But I kind of wonder where the royalties are going. I bet they aren’t going to the surviving band members, and I know for sure they aren’t going to my uncle’s estate…

08 Oct

Lots of Seattle pop culture

While looking for more Frantics stuff I found this great list of Seattle pop icons — I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it before, maybe even linked it here, but it’s still neat. Check out this quote:

“While the rest of the country was listening to total pap such as Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell, kids in the Northwest were listening to the original hard-rocking ‘garage band’ sound. Apparently the Northwest Sound was also a hit in England, where some guys named John, Paul, and George picked up on many of its riffs (with Ringo mostly just grooving along for the ride).”

I like to imagine the Fab Four listening to scratchy 45s of my uncle playing drums. (You can hear some unscratchy mp3s at http://pnwbands.com/frantics.html, if you are curious.)

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