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Laurel Krahn's weblog since August 1998.

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Laurel/Female/31-35. Lives in United States/Minnesota/Minneapolis/Minnetonka, speaks English. And likes television/pop culture.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2001

book searches

isbn.nu is a fabulous place to search for books and to do price comparisons. I'd almost forgotten about it (bad on me). [via Lake Effect]. And alibris.com is a good place to search for used books.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *



The previous evening Boisjoly and Ebeling had spent six hours in teleconference with Nasa managers arguing that the Challenger launch should be delayed. The two men had been told that the temperature in Florida was plummeting to below freezing and had been instantly concerned about whether their rockets would perform properly in such conditions.

They appeared to be winning the argument - until their own managers turned against them and gave Nasa the recommendation they appeared to want: to launch.

Boisjoly was persuaded by Ebeling to watch the TV that fateful morning of January 28 1986. He sat on the floor in front of the screen resting his back against the legs of the older man. When the clock reached T minus five seconds the two engineers held hands and braced themselves for an explosion. But to their immense relief Challenger cleared the launch pad. "I turned to Bob and said 'we've just dodged a bullet,' because it was our expectation it would blow up on the pad."

The two men began to relax. But then, at 73 seconds, the heart-stopping plume of white smoke suddenly filled the screen. "There was silence for the longest time," says Boisjoly. "Then I went to my office, sat facing the wall and tried to hold back my emotions."

[via Lake Effect where Dan offers insightful thoughts on why this is important for a great many reasons].

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

lone gunguys

The Lone Gunmen webpage is now online (more or less). I was kindof looking forward to the series, but the commercials worry me because they seem too silly. I just keep reminding myself that Vince Gilligan is an executive producer and hope the series turns out okay.

I still fear that X-philes are gonna be cranky about the show, regardless, since it'll air six (!) times in March in The X-Files timeslot, when fans were left on a pretty steep cliffhanger this week. Sigh. Maybe most fans are weary and don't care.

I've all sorts of thoughts about why this season of The X-Files has received such mixed reviews, I'm gonna write up an essay for tvpicks.net one of these days.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

new imacs

I emailed my coworker Pat about the new iMacs last week, he responded with:
They're going for that rich-11-year-old-girl-with-their-own-VISA-card market; they'll sell 37 of them.

And now this from an article in MacWeek:

Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner doesn't get it either. "We are concerned that these bold new patterns will appeal to a limited audience at a time when Apple needs to broaden its appeal.

That "limited audience" of 8 to 17 year-olds, perhaps heavily female, just happens to be the future. And the future of the PC is what Apple seems to be wisely staying focused on.

Pat thinks he should be an analyst.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

wooden sea

New York Times review of Jonathan Carroll's The Wooden Sea [via Ethel the Blog]. Though be warned that the review contains spoilers and I know some Carroll fans (like myself) like to read his books without knowing *anything* about it ahead of time.

I read the whole book in less than 24 hours, as usually happens with Carroll's work. It's good, it may be easier to follow than some of his previous books. I don't think I recognized anyone in this book from other Carroll books.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

o brother, do you remember when . . . ?

Longtime readers may remember that I used to occasionally nag them to see certain movies. Ahem. Was I a pest about The Iron Giant? Yeah, I was.

So just consider this a friendly reminder that you really should see O Brother, Where Art Thou? if you haven't yet. It's extremely funny. And cool. I liked it better than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon even-- so there! (Though I like both movies).

Every time I see the box office returns and notice how little money the movie has made, I get cranky.

And oh yeah-- in case you don't read my tv picks-- Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Alison Krauss will perform a song (or two) from the movie's soundtrack tonight on The Late Show w/ David Letterman.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


NBC will air Homicide: The Movie again as their "NBC Movie of the Week" on Sunday, March 25th [thanks to Tom Heald for the heads up]. It's already aired a few times on Court TV, but it's kinda cool that NBC will air it again a little more than a year after it premiered.

Doubt we'll watch The Movie at the Midwest Homicide Party, but we're still plotting so you never know.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

county stadium

County Stadium is no more. I never got to a game there, darnit. Though I've watched many games played there on TV, listened to many more on radio [via the downlow].

Lots of the new stadiums are really cool and plenty of them have been good for baseball. It's still really hard to see the old ones get torn down, though. Because there are so many memories there-- whether you've been there in person or not. And I guess it's weird for me because I'd always planned to visit more stadiums and I never managed to get to a lot of them that are no more. Yet another lesson in how one needs to do stuff while one can, rather than put things off.

Yes, I'll even mourn the Metrodome when and if it goes away. I really want a new baseball stadium in Minnesota (I know I'm in the minority here, sigh). But I've spent so many hours in the Metrodome and I've witnessed history there (Game 7, 1991 World Series. 'nuff said). It's an awful stadium, but I love it anyway.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

when rituals collide

Each year I look forward to St. Patrick's Day. It's not because I'm irish (I ain't), but because I've been going to Boiled in Lead's annual show at First Avenue for years and years. I've lost track of how many shows I've seen (and how many I've had to miss, darnit). But this will be the 18th St. Patrick's Day show for BiL. The Tim Malloys will open for 'em, the Minnesota Pipes & Drums will do their thing (as always), and I will dance and dance and dance (or at least bounce in place a lot).

Each year I also look forward to the Minnesota Science Fiction Society Pool Party. It's an annual gathering of science fiction fans, where we basically hang out. Eat, drink, and be merry. And play music. I'm told some people actually go into the hotel pool or hottub, but I'm usually too busy catching up with friends. Or listening to other friends play music 'til the wee hours of the morning.

This year, the Pool Party is on St. Patrick's Day, which is a little maddening because I can't be two places at once and so will miss part of the party. But I think it'll all work out for the best-- I'll go to the BiL show, and then hit the Pool Party for a music party 'til the wee hours. And some of my friends will be at both events, of course. And folks who are coming from out of town will be able to do both on the same weekend, too.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

awwww: congrats

Yay! Hearty congratulations to Steve and Lynn on their plans to get married.

Now This and Medley are two of my favorite weblogs and I've always enjoyed corresponding with Steve and Lynn (even though sometimes I'm lousy at responding to email!) and have appreciated their many kind words about my little weblog over the years.

P.J. flattered me by listing Windowseat as his inspiration, and by listing Windowseat alongside Now This and Medley. I hadn't realized where it would lead . . . I'm feeling a little left out! ;-p

I've done the online relationship thing-- heck, I've been doing it since before there were webpages, back when most of my friends were folks I met online via BBSes (or Q-link or Compuserve). I've done the long distance net.relationship thing and I've seen it work amazingly well and not-so-well (for myself and for others).

It's a strange world. Some of my friends are amused when I've joked that I don't know how the non-online world works as far as dating is concerned. I'm used to knowing someone *before* I meet them, so I've already got opinions of them long before appearance becomes part of the equation. It's hard for me to grok how people would use appearance as a deciding factor on whether to get to know someone. If that makes sense. Yeah, I grew up online. Does it show?

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

oh to be anonymous

I was talking to a good friend the other day and I was being silly (as often happens) and joking about all the things that I sometimes want to post here, but then don't post for fear that things will be taken the wrong way. Or that a family member or coworker or someone might stumble on them and be a bit shocked or offended.

I was bemoaning the fact that my webpages seem pretty blah to me, very dull. My journal entries tend to be way more serious than I am in Real Life. And I tend to err on the side of caution more often than not, fearing that I suck at conveying my brand of humor here. I can write reasonably well, but I'm much better at sarcasm in person, for instance.

Lately I've been wondering if I shouldn't register another domain, or simply start up another website somewhere else. Use a pen name, just be as Out There as I want to be without worrying about any ties to the real Laurel.

But on the other hand, I've built something here that I'm at least slightly proud of. And I don't really need any other projects pulling me away from it. Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about what other folks might think. (Not that I worry *that* much, but once in a while it does stop me from posting certain remarks or links. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, February 26, 2001


This is a fabulous introduction to the work of Howard Waldrop, it's also a truly fine read if you're already a fan of Waldrop's work [via Anita's LOL].

A character in O Brother, Where Art Thou? was named for Waldrop (well, sortof).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Saturday, February 24, 2001

oh the weather outside is frightful

So it started snowing in the Twin Cities metro area last night around 7:30pm. I haven't been outside yet this morning to check, but we were supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow overnight.

And here's what greeted me in my mailbox this A.M.:



"Mixed precipitation" is code for rain and freezing rain and sleet, I guess. Lovely.

(Is it spring yet?)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, February 23, 2001

they call me 'gadget girl'

(because it makes much more sense than calling me Mr. Tibbs).

Friends don't let friends visit GadgetUniverse.com. Okay, evil friends send gadget girls that URL.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

heinlein chair

The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland is taking applications for the first Robert A. Heinlein Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering [via rec.arts.sf.fandom]. Cool.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

now *that's* a 404 message

Marvin lives or at least his spirit does, in this fabulous 404 message [found at metafilter].

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

more john leonard reviews available

(always a good thing).

I'm very fond of John Leonard's work and was happy to hear (via whump/more like this) that a number of his short reviews for CBS are available online.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


(Can you tell I hate coming up with subject lines for these entries?)

Maybe everyone already knows about this site, but I just discovered CartoonBank.com today. Searchable database of New Yorker cartoons! And you can have just about any cartoon put on a t-shirt! Wow, cool, great gift idea.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

board game geek

Board Game Geek is a nifty site for (obviously) people who like board games [via Pop Culture Junk Mail].

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

and yet: we like it here

You might've noticed that Minnesota is a strange place.

Where some school systems are trying to outlaw hugging and the legislature is working to ban the sale of pop in schools (non-Minnesotans may refer to "pop" as "soda" or "coke." Whatever).

[But it's okay, hugging is okay in school as long as it doesn't interfere with students getting to class on time . . . ]

And then there's our wacky Governor, who is insisting that members of the press wear credentials that feature a picture of the Guv and proclaim them 'Official Jackal's. And now he's calling reporters who won't wear the jackal badges "crybabies."

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

google rocks! really! obviously!

I love Google and I'm thrilled beyond belief that they bought the deja.com usenet archives.

So I've been really shocked whenever I've heard tell of the crazy people who are upset with Google. It makes no sense whatsoever to me.

Rafe's rant on the subject rocks (and are my sentiments exactly):

The continued bitching about Google's purchase of the Deja archive frankly amazes me. I don't know whether any of the whiners have noticed, but deja.com is gone. So it looks like the site was going to be taken over by Google or by nobody. There's no question that Google's search interface needs to get better, but if it doesn't, what right have they to complain? It's not like they're paying Google for the service. And the demands that Google turn over the source code to Deja's site or the archive itself to a public body are completely laughable. All the ongoing ranting about how the Usenet archive should be a public resource is moronic. Yeah, maybe it should be, and it would be if anyone had bothered to get off their ass and archive all of the postings over the past 5 years or so. Nobody did, though, did they? And in fact, Usenet was used for an awfully long time without anyone archiving any of it. It's only since Deja started doing it that Usenet users even expected to have such an archive. So, if you're one of the complainers, get over your sense of entitlement and move on.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

yay! mac opera! yay!

Opera has been my browser of choice on my PC for years, I only ever use Netscape or IE for the testing of webpages.

But Opera hasn't been available for the Mac and I use Macs at work and the application I've missed most desperately from my PC life is Opera.

But there's *finally* a "technology preview" release of Opera for the Mac available for download. It'll work until March 30th. And of course it's not complete yet, but I'll take what I can get! It's a sign of progress at least. *Excellent*.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

flower powered machines

The new iMacs are kindof cool. Well, the jury is still out on the patterns. I'll have to see 'em in person to decide whether I like 'em or not. Though I keep thinking they should've done clouds instead of dots on the "blue dalmation" pattern . . .

I'm in the market for a new computer at home since the one I have is dying. I'm so very torn on the PC vs. Mac question because I've learned to really love Apple stuff. But I can't imagine not having a PC at home, too. And then there's the desktop vs. portable question. I've never had a laptop computer and I think it'd be swell. But it all comes back to $ and so of course I'm leaning towards buying a new desktop PC since I can get more bang for my buck there. PonderPonderPonder.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

galactic exploring is where it's at

Here's an online quiz that's worth taking (well, if you're a GEEK like me): Intergalactic Explorer Personality Type Test. Like Myers-Briggs, but different. Swiped from the generally pretty wonderful Weblog Wannabe.

(I'm a "QEMR - Scientist," I guess. Which doesn't seem quite accurate, but then on a lot of questions I could've gone either way. I tend to end up on the fence in most personality-type quizzes.)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

big trouble baybee

It's not too soon to pre-order the special edition DVD of Big Trouble in Little China. With commentary track by John Carpenter & Kurt Russell! An alternate ending! Deleted scenes! A "Making of" bit. Rare photos and promotional materials!

I'm psyched.

Alas, it's not out until April 18th . . . but it sounds like it's well worth the wait.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

can't wait

Patrick Stewart and Mercedes Reuhl are starring in a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Guthrie Theater. I'm going to the play, but probably not for another couple of weeks.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, February 22, 2001

winnipeg folk festival

Early bird tickets are now available for the Winnipeg Folk Festival (woohoo!).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

homicidal party

I've decided to postpone the Homicide: Life on the Street party . . . it's gonna be on Saturday, March 10th instead of on Saturday, February 24th as originally planned. Why? Just to give us some more time to plan things.

Interested in attending? Email me!

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

little spikes

Don't forget to order a Spike action figure, available exclusively at FandomShop.com, I guess. Well if you like action figures and Spike like I do. I mean, not everyone does, I'm sure. The other new Buffy figures (of the Buffster, Oz, and Giles) are now out in stores and available online, of course.

And if you like Spike, you may like that James Marsters guy who plays him. This is a cool fan site and this is the official site.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

all your base . . . well, you know

I'm behind, I haven't been hitting as many sites as usual for the last week or so.

So it's only today I read about this All Your Base Are Belong To Us stuff.

And I mention it solely so I can mention this fabulous column from Jon Carroll which you should go read, darnit.

And so I can quote jrc:

And that, dearly beloved, really is the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the captains are brave, all the cats are laughing, and all the children really are waaay above average.

'Cuz it makes me inordinately happy, darnit. But then I've always been fond of laughing cats.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

how lame am i?

Whenever I hear about more layoffs in ye olde tech biz, I just roll my eyes. Whatever.

I'm not so coldhearted that I don't empathize with friends and acquaintances who are experiencing it, it's not fun.

But I guess after experiencing three layoffs in a row from .com's a few years ago, I'm jaded. Been there, done that, it's old news.

I was just ahead of my time, I guess.

It's also why I'm pretty jaded about all things workplace.

(I like where I work now, but I still can't shake residual paranoia because of what I've been through).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

strangely true

I like strange brew a lot. This bit cracks me up:

linen closet ('li-n&n ∑ 'klš-z&t): a cabinet or recess in which geeks store old hard drives, extra RAM and empty boxes for webcams, digicams, CD-RW drives, DVD drives
and stereo equipment.

Not that it sounds familiar or anything.

I also like her remarks about wanting people to appear glowy or colored so you can tell if they have webpages, etc.

I often wonder if people I see have webpages, but I'm generally too shy to make conversations with total strangers. I do have "www.windowseat.org" printed on my checks, above my signature line. Sometimes I'll pay by check at a store or restaurant instead of credit card if I think there's a chance the person I'm paying is geeky enough to notice a URL on a check. I doubt anyone has yet, but you never know. I'm probably too subtle for my own good (in this regard, that is).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


An article about the creator of Demeter fragrances. Cool.

Demeter scents I've owned and used? Creme Brulee and Sugar Cookie.

Ones I want to try? Geez, too many to list . . . but unfortunately most stores seem to only keep a few scents at a time in stock.

Anyway. These make me so very happy because I'm the type o' gal who has never much liked most perfumes. But I love good scents and lots of the Demeter ones are good ones that make me happy.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


As noted in my journal, I'm feeling a bit under the weather lately. And I've been busy. Thus fewer updates here.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, February 19, 2001

leyla and things x

Working Stiffs' tribute to Leyla Harrison.

The "Per Manum" episode of The X-Files (from last night) moved me and so I paid a visit to The Haven for the FBI's Most Unwanted for the first time in a good long while.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

ain't that the truth

From the Mighty Big TV recap of The X-Files episode "Medusa" (you know, the one in the subway?):

As they trudge down the darkened tunnel, Lyle makes some comment about how they're suffering just so that all of Boston can "get home to watch Survivor II," and if the folks at 1013 have done away with the date stamps in order to keep the chronology of this season hazy, then I suggest they also try to read the scripts, because that just totally gave away when this episode takes place. Survivor II debuted after the Super Bowl, January 28. If Scully was pregnant the night after Mulder was abducted, which, as we learned last week, was in May, then she is eight months pregnant. At least. I know Chris Carter thinks he's smarter than the rest of us, but, dude. We can count to eight. Jesus.

All I have to say is: Word.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Saturday, February 17, 2001

good deal it is

Get your very own Interactive Yoda Furby-type creature for a mere $9.95 (they were originally $30-40 or more).

Boy do I feel silly, I just bought one on sale at my local Toys R Us for $19.95, of course I didn't have to pay shipping as I would via the online store. (I haven't played with it yet, so can't comment on whether it's worth the $).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, February 16, 2001

i love a good rant

I may be beyond feeling the need to write my own rants re valentine's day, but apparently I'm not beyond being amused by other people's rants. This one cracked me up, it did. And yeah, there's a lot of truth in it.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, February 15, 2001


This weblog, two years ago (back when I quoted stuff a lot) and last year (where I seemed a bit preoccupied with one thing).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


BlogFinder seems pretty cool (I've only messed with it a little bit thus far).

And no, it's not a search engine for finding drink recipes.

(I still hate the use of the term "blog" for weblogs since the blog I know is a beverage and weblog isn't that hard to say in the first place, but whatever. That battle was lost before it began).

(Other ways/places to search a bunch of weblogs? Blogger's search page, and the search engine at weblogs.com)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


Two packages for me today, one from cartoon network, one from anthropologie.

- My Space Ghost figure was missing from my shipment! argh!

- So I called customer service for the Cartoon Network store and was amused that the opening recording is from Space Ghost. Heh. It's more pleasant listening to your options ("press 1 for . . . ") from Space Ghost. 'Course it makes the experience of talking to a mere mortal representative lack luster. But they promised to send my figure along shortly (yay!).

- Willow was wearing one of the sweaters I ordered from anthropologie on Buffy this week. Really! Except hers was a tan cardigan with dogs on it, mine is red (with dogs).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

ahhh, ebay

You too could bid on this handmade Minnesota snowball w/ COA. Excellent. [via Neil Rest on the Minn-stf natter email list]

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

the gift of feedback

I recently received something from my amazon wishlist from a friend/reader. Thanks! That's the second time I've received something from my wishlist out of the blue and it's so very cool and unexpected. Thanks to you both. Makes me wanna spread the joy by running around and buying other people stuff from their wishlists. Maybe I should try to do that once every month or so, finances permitting. Send someone a little something.

After yesterday's news re Leyla Harrison, I feel like it's more important than ever that I make time to send feedback to folks whose work I read online, whose words mean something to me.

At first I felt a bit silly putting the links in the sidebar here and at my tv picks page, suggesting that folks reward me if they like my work with some feedback or a gift or a donation. But the thing is . . . feedback (and that other stuff) keeps me going. I spend money and a lot of time putting these pages together and while I enjoy it a lot of the time, it's really hearing from readers that makes it all worthwhile, that keeps me going.

And I know I need to be better at taking the time to respond to the sites (and the people) I like who are out there, and I appreciate it when they do have email links, wish list links, paypal links, so that maybe I can give 'em a little something back.

I need to do more of that. Not let myself rush along and not find time. Not talk myself out of it because I figure they already get tons of email (you'd be surprised) or because what I say wouldn't matter. All positive feedback matters.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


So I forgot, until I arrived at work, that today is Valentine's Day. And I'm feeling a little goofy because I'm actually wearing a *pink* shirt today. And I don't often wear pink . . . and would probably not opt to wear it on this particular holiday if I thought about it! D'oh. Not that there's anything wrong with it, of course.

Anyway. I recommend visiting the V-Day website today, if you haven't visited this past week. It's about stopping violence against women.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

oscar nominations

Geez, usually I post this kindof thing right away. You've probably already seen the list of Oscar nominations, but I post 'em anyway for my own reference (and in case you haven't seen 'em yet).

It's really peculiar how few films overall are represented this year, or at least it seems that way. I know everyone thinks this was a lackluster year for film overall, but geez. I'm also bummed that O Brother, Where Art Thou? didn't get more nominations, but I'm not surprised (I'm still croggled by how poorly it's doing at the box office). I'm not gonna say yet who I'm rooting for in the major categories 'cuz I still haven't seen a lot of the films in question (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Almost Famous, Gladiator, Castaway, Chocolat, etc). Time for me to get out to the theater (or video rental place).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, February 13, 2001

sad news

So I just heard that someone whose work I'd read a lot of, whose webpages I enjoyed, who from all accounts was a fab person, just passed away recently of cancer. :(

The online world is weird, you can feel you know people and see them and their work around a lot, and then later on they can disappear and unless someone else online knows them a bit better, knows them offline a bit . . . you might never know where they went or what happened.

Leyla Harrison passed away this week of cancer. Anyone who's read X-Files fanfic has probably read at least a couple of her stories (many of which are considered classics), I've read many more than that. She wrote great stuff, I always enjoyed visiting her website (and recommend you visit it before it disappears). . . she'll be missed, she's gone far too soon.

The Primal Screamers pay Leyla tribute. I haven't found many webpages with news, yet.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

more cool stuff to read

There's a new issue of News for the OBSSEd online new, which is a fun read if you're a fan of The X-Files and particularly Dana Scully (and Gillian Anderson).

I laugh out loud every time I read this bit:

What's the use? Mulder's gone, Spender's dead, Samantha's turned into starlight. "The X-Files" has gone to Hell in a creaking cart. And we're worried about Scully's unbuttoned shirts? People, GET A CLUE! The world has ended! Butt genies roam the land!!

The February edition of the 11th Hour is also online now, too. It's darn cool.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

great big cd!

I love Great Big Sea, they're a fabulous Canadian band that plays folk rock stuff, a lot of traditional tunes and some originals. They're a blast live, but I also like their studio albums.

I'd heard a while back that they were going to release a live album and I was excited about that, but then I forgot to pay attention to when it actually came out.

Yesterday I went to their webpage and saw that yes, indeed, their live album road rage is out. Since I love Great Big Sea and I love live albums, it shouldn't surprise you that I stopped at Best Buy on my way home from work and picked it up.

And I'm listening to it now and it's really good. And it's a great album to start with if you've never heard 'em before (or have only heard a little).

(I'm guessin' you'd like Great Big Sea if you like the Oyster Band or any number of folks. If you like singing along with raucous folk songs, this is the band for you).

Right now I'm trying mighty hard *not* to sing along with "The Night Pat Murphy Died," because my officemate probably doesn't need to hear me warbling.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

well at least i like the first pets . . .

My parents mentioned to me the fact that our new president has a new pet-- a scottie dog-- but I hadn't yet read anything about it. So today I did a search and found some pictures . . . sure, enough. The Governor of New Jersey gifted the first family with a scottie named Barney and he's darn cute.

Here's a picture of him playing with the other first dog-- a springer spaniel. And another and another. And one of the first lady w/ Barney.

I mean, Barney is no Fala, but I'm happy there's a Scottie in the white house, dangit (pity the Scottie's not running the country, that'd certainly be interesting . . . ).

(The Bushes also have a cat named India and the springer spaniel that's one of Millie's kids).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

pushover for dogs?

So I was browsing the sale items at anthropologie and yeah, I ordered stuff. Geez, I've been on an online shopping kick lately.

But they've got a red 100% cashmere cardigan that's embroidered with dogs on it marked down to $35! And a groovy retro Scottie dog rug marked down to $25! Plus a Scottie dog pin and other cool stuff. (Have I mentioned I grew up with Scottie dogs? And that I collect some Scottie stuff? Not a lot, just the stuff I really like 'cuz there's too much stuff out there to collect in earnest).

Meanwhile, as I sit here I've got a box sitting behind my desk that's full of clearance going-out-of-business sale merch from etoys. Including a stuffed Kipper dog that speaks when you squeeze his paw. And then there's the lightsaber and the talking PsyDuck . . .

As if my coworkers already didn't wonder about me 'cuz I have Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys action figures on a shelf next to Star Wars pez dispensers and a Daffy Duck Fiestaware mug (okay, they wonder about me for a lot of other reasons, too).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

no, thank you

You know . . . after receiving about 50 different unsolicited emails offering me a "FREE 2-way Motorola email pager," I've decided I really don't want one.

Consider that this is coming from a geek girl who generally really wants every conceivable gadget. And regardless of whether Motorola is responsible for this junk email about pagers that's been coming in steadily from a variety of sources for the last month or two, I can't help but think ill of them because their company name is generally in the subject line of these messages.

Probably not the kind of branding they want.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, February 12, 2001

oh great, another virus

As if I didn't have about 50 spams to deal with this morning . . . *and* spamcop was really slow this a.m. Now there's a new email virus out there wreaking havoc.

Fortunately, I'm email administrator at a workplace that uses Macs almost exclusively, so we've had minimal problems. I've just had to send out an email explaining what's going on and reminding people that it's never a good idea to open file attachments that you weren't expecting.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, February 9, 2001

space ghost merch

If you like Space Ghost (and heck, who doesn't?), you may want to check out the Space Ghost stuff at the Cartoon Network store. Most of it is marked way down, some t-shirts and sweatshirts are selling for $4.99. And the way-cool Space Ghost action figure is selling for $12.99 (instead of $19.99).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

dvd bargains and forthcoming releases

CD Universe has the DVDs of Election and The Thin Red Line both on sale for $10.99. Wow! Click on ye olde "Bargain Bin" icon to find 'em. [via bargainflix.com]

In other DVD news, a release date has been set for a DVD set of the Superman movies . . . it comes out on May 1, 2001. You can also order Superman, Superman II, Superman III, and/or Superman IV separately. All are 30% off if you pre-order 'em at amazon.com, FWIW.

The DVD set of third season episodes of The X-Files is due to be released on May 8, 2001.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

wrapped in plastic

I've had 5 stories posted at plastic.com. How exciting! Okay, not really, but I'm always surprised somehow and amused by how the Vidiots refer to me. Ever-vigilant? Well, as far as The A-Team is concerned, you bet your sweet something I am.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


A package arrived for me today from Lush! Whee! Now, as I predicted a while back, I want to leave work early and go home and take a bath.

I don't remember when or how I first discovered Lush, but they're this cool company with stores in England and Canada. I've never actually been to a store, I've always received their products via mail order. Or from kind friends who were going to a store and who'd pick me up stuff.

They're famous for being the first place to make the fancy bath bomb thingies. And their bath products are mostly (all?) made with natural ingredients and as little preservatives as possible. They make bath bombs and melts, lotions, soap, massage bars, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, etc. etc. etc.

I enjoy reading their catalogs (the print one is a lot of fun, worth requesting from the website) and I'm hooked on some of their products. I actually don't often splurge on bath bombs or melts because it seems kinda ridiculous to spend $3 or $4 or more on something you use for just one bath (even if it's Canadian money!). But I like their bubble bath bars and love their lotions and have tried far too many of their products.

(So if you do find yourself looking at their online catalog and wondering about a certain product, you can ask me about it, if you'd like . . . I may very well have tried it).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, February 8, 2001

bet you didn't know . . .

. . . that when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. My parents (and my brother and I, since we were kids and tagged along) were active in the Iris Society of Minnesota and the American Iris Society. We were also founding members of the Hemerocallis (Daylily) Society of Minnesota. And so I spent countless hours at plant digs, plant sales, flower shows, flower auctions, and parties. Explained the different varieties of iris and how to grow them to many, many strangers.

My brother hated this stuff, but I actually enjoyed a lot of it. I learned to arrange flowers and won awards for it. I hybridized some iris (alas, none turned out very good). My brother and I learned our way around all the back hallways and trails at the Arboretum. And I got to hang out with a lot of cool adults and go out to eat at a lot of restaurants with 'em.

Anyway, this article about flower clubs reminded me of my distant past.

They're just like any group, with politics and gossip and silliness, really. With their own jargon and in-jokes and history.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


It's still snowing, dangit. Supposed to get another 5 inches of snow tonight. Maybe some more flurries tomorrow. And temperatures are dropping, darnit. Bleah.

If you like to keep a close eye on the weather, you may want to try out My-Cast Weather Intelligence. It gives more personalization than most weather pages.

It's from meteorologist Paul Douglas' company Digital Cyclone.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

robert smith retires

No, not the guy from The Cure.

The runningback for the Vikings. I agree with Barreiro's assessment of Smith. And I always liked the guy (still do). Even though I've not followed the Vikings very much in recent years (mostly because I loathe Dennis Green).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


A few years ago at some science fiction convention or another, someone did a signage and sticker campaign that posed the excellent question: "What Would Chow-Yun Fat Do?"

(It was later determined after extensive research that he would a) look cool and b) have a gun in each hand).

He's now on stamps and I want 'em.

[tipoff re the stamps via The Other Side]

I forget if I mentioned that I finally saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I did and I liked it a lot. It wasn't as great as I'd expected given what I'd heard, but I still liked it quite a bit. But then how could I not like something that featured Chow Yun Fat *and* Michelle Yeoh and which had such amazing fight scenes?

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


Bruce Schneier is speaking at the University of Minnesota on Monday, February 12th, in case any of you are in the area and want to hear him talk (Bruce gives good talks). It's free and open to the public. Topic is "Natural Laws of Digital Content: The Folly of Copy Protection on the Internet." Here's the flyer and here's some more information.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

with friends like these . . .

So this past weekend I was at a party and I was trying to explain to some friends why I thought they'd like O Brother, Where Art Thou? and I said something like "I knew I'd like the movie from the opening scene . . . which featured a chain gang in the south and then they played the original 'Big Rock Candy Mountain.' "

To which someone said "'cuz Laurel is all about sweaty men in chains."

(i laughed and laughed. and no, i'm not!).

Meanwhile, another friend is trying to spread the rumor that I collect cardboard standups of celebrities.

And well, I find this pretty funny, too. I mean . . . talk about an inconvenient collection! And how weird would it be if people did start giving me standups?

I have one-- of Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi from Babylon 5, but that was a gift. And one does not a collection make. Really! And no, he's not standing at the foot of my bed! (He's in the back of a closet, actually, at the moment).

To retaliate against this particular friend, I'm trying to spread the rumor that he collects standups, too-- of The Women of the WB.

And in a scary bit of synchronicity, a recent company party featured standups as decorations (but I missed the party). And now there's a Fabio standup that keeps moving around the building, showing up in the oddest places. And let me tell you . . . Fabio is creepy (but you knew that).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

glowy blinkie stuff

Noveltoyz has some cool glowstick and blinkie stuff, but zannah is right about the design of the website being, well, awful.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

enough already

If I get one more email from an online retailer telling me about the great gift ideas they have for Valentine's Day, I shall scream. Or maybe hunt whoever is in charge of their marketing department down and make them eat a ton of those little candy hearts.

I hadn't realized Valentine's Day had been elevated to almost-Christmas levels as far as retailers are concerned . . . it seems like I'm hearing from them as often as I did right before Xmas, if not more so.

And no, I'm not just bitter 'cuz I'm not seeing anyone romantically at the moment. Even if I were, I'd be weary of these offers.

I should get off some more lists, but I do actually like hearing about clearance sales and such at some online stores, I just wish they didn't contact me quite so often.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, February 7, 2001

snow days (i wish)

It's been snowing all day. Lots and lots of snow on the ground.

For the last ten weeks I've had a class (for work) to attend on Wednesdays which meant leaving work at Noon or 12:30 and heading to class from 1-4pm. And 'cuz I made a deal with my boss, I didn't have to return to work after class (even though my workplace is on my way home from where the class is held, even though normally I work 'til 6pm).

So today I drove to work in the snow, then to class in the snow, then home in the snow. Normally I've been going to movies after class, but today I'm home and trying to clean up the apartment.

Which is, of course, why I'm typing this scintillating entry . . . to avoid cleaning up the apartment. But if you could see my office/guest room where I am now, you'd know I really *need* to clean the apartment. This is the room that is Stuffed Full of Stuff that I need to sort or get rid of or find room for elsewhere.

It sounds like it's just gonna keep snowing and snowing, maybe all day tomorrow, too. Yikes. It's pretty to look at, but not fun to drive in. I want a snow day, darnit.

And I want to curl up with a book or watch a DVD, maybe light a fire in the fireplace, too.

But instead I'm about to crank up my CD player in the living room and try to clean the kitchen and living room and maybe get some CDs and videotapes out of boxes on the floor and into new racks. Well, once I make some room for the racks in the hallway.

Oh the life of a pop culture obsessed geek . . . it means lots of sorting and schlepping and trying to find space for tapes and CDs and books (and action figures. Um). And a constant search for good shelves.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

what went before

Wow, I've been at this for a while, haven't I?

Here's what I was saying in this weblog two years ago. Wow, there were still new episodes of Homicide airing then and my TV Picks were still part of the weblog. And I hadn't seen Rushmore yet! And Crusade hadn't yet aired on TNT and I was actually kinda liking that new Providence show and there were the usual links to Lileks and Jon Carroll and talk of so much stuff. I updated a lot more frequently then, didn't I? I must've been either unemployed or still bored silly at the strib.

And here's what I was talking about a year ago. Wow. I'm amused that I linked to a sample chapter for The Last Hot Time way back then and the book just came out in December. I was also all a flutter about the Homicide reunion movie and the party I was hosting. And I was raving about John Crowley (which I just did again not long ago) and talkinging about The X-Files.

Huh. Some things remain the same, that's for sure . . .

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

spam begone!

So I'm finally using Spam Cop regularly after several months of just trashing whatever spam I get and not reporting the wrongdoers.

I'm so very sick of junk email.

I deal with it personally, of course, but also as part of my job (as a sysadmin). Sick of it, sick of it, sick of it.

But at least there's something satisfying about using SpamCop to make the reports. I just wish I didn't have to do so much of it.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

must. go. to. bookstore.

Yay! Jonathan Carroll's new book is out. I've had The Wooden Sea on my wishlist for ages, but somehow hadn't paid attention enough to notice that it's, like, out now. You can even read the first chapter online, but you better be sure you're near a bookstore when you do it!

Carroll is one of those rare writers whose work I have to get the minute it comes out. I can't stand to wait. I devour his books if I don't make a conscious effort to slow myself down and savor them.

'Course I haven't found time to read lately, I've been so busy with other things. But when I've got Mike Ford's latest book in my to read queue and a new Jonathan Carroll book waiting in the wings, it's time to shove everything else out of the way and read.

Now if my sinus headache would just go away . . .

If you haven't read any of Carroll's stuff before, I'm not sure how to describe it. Dark. Magical. It's a whole universe, yet it's still somehow our universe . . . kindof. Um. Visit the official website, read what Neil Gaiman says about him.

One of Carroll's first books-- The Land of Laughs -- is also just out in new paperback edition.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, February 5, 2001


I've probably mentioned DVD Tracker before, but it's really a way-cool way to keep track of your DVDs. If you do sign up and you heard about it from me, tell 'em laurel@windowseat.org sent you.

You can view my DVD collection if you'd like.

So far bargainflix.com is the only site I visit regularly to check DVD prices or hear about bargains-- if you've got other DVD sites to recommend, I'd love to hear about 'em.

(Now if I could just find more time to actually, you know-- watch the DVDs I have).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, February 2, 2001

i've got mail!

I love getting packages in the mail. Whee!

These days I have things shipped to the shipping department where I work, since it's much easier for me to get things at work than it is to try and stop by my apartment complex's office during their business hours.

'Course the dangerous part comes into play when I receive the Glory special edition DVD and the When Harry Met Sally DVD in the mail in the morning at work, 'cuz then all I want to do is rush home and check them out.

One of these days I'll get my shipment from Lush and then I'll just want to run home and take a bath (can't wait, can't wait, can't wait). (If anyone ever wants recommendations on Lush products, just ask . . . by now I've tried far too many of the things in their catalog).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

calendar girl

So I put together calendars for February and March and hope to keep doing them for other months, too. Basically a place to list events that I might want to attend or otherwise be aware of.

I mention it because some of you might also find it useful. And no, not just for stalking me. ;-p

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

for love of the game

randomwalks links to this fine article about the 1991 World Series, which makes a case for it being the best World Series ever.

Have I ever mentioned that I was at that World Series? Well, not for all of the games. But I was there for the first or second game (I can't believe I've forgotten already-- I'll have to look at the box scores to remind myself which one). And I was there for Game 7.

I had a chance to go to Game 6, but I opted to hold out for Game 7, counting on the Twins to win Game 6 so there would be a Game 7. Was a tough choice. The night I spent home alone watching Game 6 was one of the longest of my life-- but we won-- Kirby won-- the Twins won . . . ("we'll see you tomorrow night!") and while part of me wishes I could've been at *that* game, I'm thrilled beyond measure that I was at Game 7. The most intense sporting event I've ever witnessed/experienced. An amazing game, an amazing night.

Speaking of the Twins, I may go to TwinsFest for a little while this weekend. Mostly I want to get Al Newman to autograph the warmup jersey of his that I bought at a sale a while back. That'd be cool.

And if you haven't yet listened to Kirby's press conference or the one he did with Winfield, they're fabulous.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

really? could it be?

I've lost track of how long TV Ultra has been gone, always promising relaunches and never quite returning. Boy do I sympathize. But it looks like they're back as of Feb 1 (it's too soon to tell how long this'll last).

It's no easy thing. But hey, they only pick one show each day, whereas I'm freakish and sometimes pick 4 or 5 or a dozen things each day that I feel are worth mentioning (if not watching).

Anyway. Glad to see TV Ultra is back, finally! 'Cuz I like their style and their picks and links.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

motivational gadgetry

So I'd heard about this Sport Brain gadget, but kept forgetting to visit the website. Finally checked it out today . . . wow. Looks really cool. Or at least it's the kind of thing that would motivate me. I'm sorely tempted to get one . . . (anyone out there have one? know someone that does? Or know of other cool gadgets or programs for PDAs that are worth a try? )

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, February 1, 2001

wither blogger?

Blogger can't be dead, exactly.

But according to this story on plastic (which cites evhead.com), ev has had to lay off everyone at Blogger so it's just a one person operation now.

Here's a metafilter thread on the subject, too.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

RIP Gordon R. Dickson

Sad news: legendary science fiction writer Gordon R. Dickson passed away yesterday. There are obituaries up at the SFWA site and at Locus magazine. Folks have been posting tributes in a thread in rec.arts.sf.fandom, too. Here's a not quite up-to-date bibliography.

Here's an obituary from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

I've heard Gordy speak many times at conventions over the years, he was a regular guest at Minicon and other area conventions, even when he struggled with health problems. Sadly I wasn't going to cons back when he used to play music and hang out in the consuites, when he was in his prime. But I've heard the stories. And I've heard him.

He'll be missed. It's hard to imagine a world without Gordy.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

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