Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Here's one of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

After suffering through a painful 300 mile drive up north (It seems like I may have sciatica), we finally made it up north. We helped the Bride and Groom prepare for the wedding, made sure everything was set up at the reception, and got to hang out with Quentin and Allison.

Hopefully, I have a little more time over the next few days to elaborate, but for now, I'm back. Really sore. Kind of tired. And not looking forward to work tonight.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everybody!

Be safe and have fun, and most of all, HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND.

For me, I'm off to Michigan. Lansing for a Wedding. Congratulations to the soon to be Bride and Groom, Ben & Megan! Then, I'm taking a 3 hour jaunt, up to Alba for some extreme Morel Mushroom hunting.

We even bought the 'Deep Woods' bug spray.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy 42nd Birthday, Kirky!

Well, what a day. My big bro turns 42. If I feel old, I can't even imagine what 42 feels like. But, even though you've been over the hill for quite some time now, we can still take a look back at all the historic events that occurred during you lifetime. Also, as your little brother, its a God Given right for me to be as annoying as I can for as long as I can. So here it goes....

Consider this, the first Superbowl occurred 1967 (the year you were born), which was won, of course, by the Green Bay Packers. 1968 brought the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and RFK. As we know, in 1969, the wheel was invented and the following year, fire was discovered. The seventies brought the Vietnam War, the Munich Olympic Games, Watergate, Pol Pot, the age of Disco, and that hotty, Margaret Thatcher. You would've been about 10 years old when Stars Wars was released. (You were 32 years old when Episode 1, The Phantom Menace was released. Isn't that trippy). In the 80's, you had Pac Man, the Rubics cube, ET. Michael Jackson had "Thriller", we found a hole in the Ozone layer, Chernobyl happened. The 90's had Desert Storm, and the Waco Incident. We captured the unabomber and Tiger Woods won his first masters. Leo sailed on the Titanic. Viagra hit the market. (Speaking of Viagra, it might just be time old man.) And of course, the Y2K bug was going to take down the environment.

That's quite a timeline....

Happy Birthday, and I hope 42 is the best year yet!

The Necktie - The History of a knot

Here's a really quick history of the necktie. In ancient Egypt, a thin cloth was hung down below the neck and tied to show social status. In ancient China, the first Emporer of Qin bears a necktie in every single sculpture currently existing. For the most part, the necktie roots are tied to early Croatian mercenaries (Ain't this a manly factoid!!). From a little research (yep, I took a total of 5 minutes to search 'necktie' in google), I was able to find out that the Croatian word "Hrvati" and the French word "Croates", both terms meaning Croates, combined to create the word "cravat", which in the early name of neckties. We next see a major knot development at The Battle of Steenkerque, which took place in 1692. In this battle, the princes, while hurriedly dressing for battle, just wound these cravats around their necks (Ah,ha The Steinkirk).

Moving on, we see Stocks appear in 1750 and later transform into Macaronis (Think Yankee Doodle) and Incroyables in France. By this time, we have all these types of clothe being swung around the neck of a man with no specific rules of attachment. (Hehehe, what a play on words.) So at this point, in the extravagant history of the necktie, we see the Neckclothitania published. Now, although it doesn't have the most creative name, it serves it purpose and organizes cravats into 14 different ties and how to knot them. This book also uses the term "tie" for the first time. Probably becuase it was wrote by a man, and we get lazy, and its a lot easier to print TIE than CRAVAT. Hell, i'm going to take a break now.

Okay, I'm back. We can now see that there's some organization is the Cravat-Tie-Neckcloth fad. We have a book. We have interest. And we have a lot of different types of cloth in our closets. But guess what happens, people try to be different. We see the popularity grow for white cravats, and the use of scarves, held in place by a ring, appears. It's popular with a lot of the sailors of the time (1850s). I blame this fad on the great ancestors of the Village People.

Finally, the modern necktie appears as the industrial revolution rolls on. Some manly-man, probably an Iron Worker or Coal Foreman, said "Hell with girly scarves, I need a black tie. Something long and thin, and doesn't require a lot of time. I'll even tie it like the reins on my horse carriage." And that's what they did, the four-in hand knot became popular.

Soon every man was wearing one(or at least a form of them such as the bowtie), even Abe Lincoln and Robert E Lee. Braxton Bragg probably didn't, but he sucked as a Civil War General anyways. Poof. Now it's 1920, and Jessee Langsdorf is working on a tie design. Like all great innovators, he figures out how much easier the production of neckties are with just a little tweek. 45 degree angles. And almost every tie since them has been cut this was.

During WW1, we see hand painted ties become popular. WW2 gave us a wild selection of ties. Casually growing wider and wider. In the sixties, like most things, this changes. Designs become more restrained, thinner. This continues through to today.

A few other things. There are 85 ways to knot a tie. By Thomas Fink and Yong Mao, the book "The 85 ways to tie a tie", was published in 1999. According to a review, "The discovery of all possible ways to tie a tie depends on a mathematical formulation of the act of tying a tie. In their papers (which are technical) and book (which is for the layman, apart from an appendix), the authors show that necktie knots are equivalent to persistent random walks on a triangular lattice, with some constraints on how the walks begin and end. Thus enumerating tie knots of n moves is equivalent to enumerating walks of n steps. Imposing the conditions of symmetry and balance reduces the 85 knots to 13 aesthetic ones."

sidenote: Math is the language for lovers. Really dorky lovers that think Pythagorum was cool.

In conclusion, I've decided to wear a Pratt knot today and not a Windsor knot. Woot me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Close to home comic

Nothing like good copy machine hijinks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cat in Suitcase Video

Cats are fun and I like suitcases...woot!

Stella de Oro Daylilies: Linquistic Tragedies

Ah, sticking with the spring theme, let me talk about another plant that has recently became a star in my landscape. About anywhere you go on the Casa de Quasebarth (another linguistic nightmare, but I digress) you'll find these gold, mounding perennials. They have deep green, strap-like leaves and produce a fragrant gold flower in the summer. The thrive in full sun, well-drained areas, but are hardy enough to survive in shaded areas. But did you know....

The name is a very tricky linguistic nightmare. It all starts with the word, "daylily" itself, which has a second legitimate spelling: "day lily."

But matters get worse when we consider the plant's scientific name. Technically, it's Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro.' Which is the name given by the original hybridizer. As you can guess, the original hybridizer of a hybrid enjoys the honor of naming it. In this case, it was the honorable, Walter Jablonski, who proceeded (whether intentionally or not) to carry this "hybrid" thing a bit too far....

You see, "Stella de Oro" literally translates, "star of gold." Superficially, it looks either Spanish or Italian. Problem is, it's neither one -- not in its entirety, at least. "Stella" is "star" in Italian, and "de oro" is "of gold" in Spanish -- but not vice versa. So what we have here, essentially, is a hybridization of language to describe a hybrid plant. It's "Spitalian!"

Not surprisingly, then, this name is commonly mangled in every imaginable way, including as:

  • "Stella d'Oro daylily"
  • "Stella Doro daylily"
  • "Stella d Oro daylily"

"Stella d'Oro daylily" has, in fact, become such a common misspelling that it has virtually taken over as the preferred spelling for the plant. In part, what seems to be happening here is that people are correcting Jablonski's flawed formation. They are rendering the plant name in proper Italian, where "star of gold" would, indeed, be written as stella d'oro.

Tree Planting

Last night, Stacy and I planted a 10 foot Yoshino Flowering Cherry. The Yoshino Cherry, or Japanese Cherry, is a deciduous flowering tree that is so impressive it ranks among the best of the spring flowering trees. In 1912, the Japanese government gave the U.S three thousand Yoshino cherry trees. To this day, the Washington D.C area is famous for cherry blossom season. This tree also inspires the annual cherry blossom festival in Macon Georgia. According to some Japanese lore, there is a believable legend that each spring a fairy maiden hovers low in the warm sky, wakening the sleeping Cherry trees to life with her delicate breath.

The Yoshino Cherry is a native of Japan, Korea and China, yet will perform well in Indiana landscapes. According to Arborday.org, "it often creates a real stir when blooms are as gorgeous and bountiful as they are this spring. The slightly fragrant, white to pink flowers for which the plant is so well known, typically appear in mid-March." The trees flower every year but may not always yield the same quantity of blooms. This relates to the amount of winter cold they receive.

With a smaller yard, the Yashino works well because of its relatively small flowering tree usually only reaching 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. Because of its compact size it will easily fit into most residential landscapes.

Friday, May 8, 2009

To Suzy Q


GOOD CHARLOTTE - "Thank You, Mom!"

I'm sitting here I'm thinking back to a time when I was young...
My memory, is clear as day
I'm listening to the dishes clink, you were downstairs, you would sing
Songs of praise
And all the times we laughed with you, and all the times that you stayed true to us
Now we say...
I said I thank you, I'll always thank you
More than you could know, than I could ever show
And I love you, I'll always love you
There's nothing I won't do, to say these words to you
That you're beautiful forever
You were my mom, you were my dad, the only thing I ever had was you, it's true
And even when the times got hard, you were there to let us know...that we'd get through
You showed me how to be a man, you taught me how to understand the things, people do
You showed me how to love my God, you taught me that not everyone knows the truth
And I thank you, I'll always thank you
More than you could know, than I could ever show
And I love you, I'll always love you
There's nothing I won't do, to say these words to you
That you will live forever
Always, always and forever