Category: what is she smoking?

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

So…I ponder weird things in the shower.

Today’s thoughts started with the saw I like to use about whether people from Roseville were Rosevillains. (It’s actually Rosevillians, with the i and a transposed, but that got me thinking.

Why is what we call people from a place so weird? For example, I’m a Californian. People that live in the biggest city in the metro area are Sacramentans, and over in the Bay Area, we have San Franciscans and Oaklanders and Berkelians/Berkeleyites. (And also whatever people from San Jose call themselves, which I haven’t figured out.)

People from New York are New Yorkers, people from LA…well, that’s one of the weird ones, as they’re Angelenos. Philadelphians and Washingtonians. Bostonians and Torontonians. Ohioans and Michiganders. (I think the later’s right…)

Expand out a bit more, and it gets really weird if you think about Europe. Europeans, yes, but you have French and Germans and English and Spaniards, Dutch and Danes and Norse and Swedes and Finns and Poles and Greeks. But you also have Italians and Russians and Hungarians and Romanians.

And Asia. Chinese and Japanese and Vietnamese, but also Indians and Laotians and Indonesians and Cambodians. Afghans and Filipinos, Mongolians and Koreans. Then you have Pakistanis and Iraqis and Israelis, but also Syrians and Lebanese and Egyptians, Kurds and Turks and Turkmen.

Even out a bit farther — Earthlings and Martians. Although I admit, I’m fond of Terran as an alternative to Earthlings.

I think we can work out a few rules from this.

Places that end in -ia, like California and Colombia and Russia get an n shoved on the end, thus Californians and Colombians and Russians.

Places that end in -o tend to end -an, and sometimes, but not always get the o chopped off. Sacramento and San Francisco are Sacramentans and San Franciscans, but Idaho and Ohio are Idahoans and Ohioans.

-ing will sometimes get -er tacked on the end. Same with k.

Places ending with the letter n often, but not always, have an -ian tacked on. (Berlin/Berliner is a notable exception, as is Japan/Japanese.)

And some places are just irregular. I’m looking at you, Europe.

Yeah. All this from a stupid thought in the shower.

What do they call people from where you’re from?

(Sign from this wonderful article celebrating Boring, Oregon’s sister city matchup with Dull, Scotland.)

Bacon Soda!

Bacon Soda!

I promised bacon soda and I will deliver!

So I wandered into BevMo the other night because I know they have an amazing selection of root beers and sarsaparillas, and they’re also about the only place in town that sell birch beer, which I adore. (I want to try spruce beer, but I’m told that’s an East Coast thing and basically impossible to find in California.)

But besides the various root beers and sarsaparillas and birch beers and ginger beers, they have other kinds of soda. And some of them get very weird. Case in point: the featured image for this post. Yes. Bacon Soda. They also had peanut butter and jelly soda, but if I was going to get something I enjoyed (birch beer!), I had to choose between novelties.

So with much trepidation, I took it home. And now it has become yours. So let us take a look at this bottle of bacon soda. It’s made by a company called “Lester’s Fixins”, with a good fifties-era man, somewhat like Colonel Sanders — the original, not the weird thing that’s on TV now.

And look at that. It has bacon on the cover. Also, the slogan “Y’all get yer fixins!”

Let’s see. What’s the ingredients list? Do I get real bacon?

“Spring water, cane sugar, citric acid, caramel color, natural flavors, beet juice.”

Huh, that’s not looking promising. No bacon, and beet juice? Wow…

Maybe if we take a look at the nutritional facts:

Not nutritious, just like bacon.
Not nutritious, just like bacon.

Not nutritious in a different way than bacon, though. No cholesterol or fat, and lots of sugar. But hey, let’s have an advertising shot.

Dubious kat is dubious
Dubious kat is dubious

Yeah, that’s probably not going to be a good advertising campaign, but whatever. The important part. How’s it taste?

Chug a lug!
Chug a lug!
What in all God's creation was that?!?
What in all God’s creation was that?!?

Yeah. The verdict. I’ve had worse things, but those are generally trying to be gross. (Any flavor jelly beans, y’all?) This was nothing more that a sickeningly sweet cola with a very strange aftertaste that does not resemble bacon in any way, shape or form. In some ways, I’m disappointed I saved the bottle to drink for so long, but hey, I got an amusing blog post out of it.

Oil and water do so mix…

Oil and water do so mix…

…at least, when it comes to odd but pretty pictures.

It rained at la casa de katster last night, and as I was getting into my car this morning, I spotted this interesting puddle on the driveway where my dad usually parks. (Yeah, his truck has a minor oil leak.) Of course I had to take a picture as the surface tension and colors caught my attention.

(I suppose turning this into a photoblog would assure people I’m alive…)

the start to the day

the start to the day

image

Oatmeal and ginger beer — the breakfast of champions.

Ode to a Banana

Ode to a Banana

image

See the humble banana.
Bright yellow, with a bit of green at the tip.
As a kid, I would put the sticker on my forehead
And wear it there all day.

I am an adult now;
I must put up my childish ways.
My sticker will go with the peel.

But a banana
Handy fruit in a carrying case
Is good for a mid-morning snack.

A power of two birthday

A power of two birthday

Today, I turned:

100000 (in binary)
200 (in base 4)
40 (in octal)
But only 20 in hexadecimal.

Or, in regular numbers normal people use, today I turned 32.

I’ll have more to say when I’m not typing the post on the phone.

most awesome birthday weekend ever

most awesome birthday weekend ever

So yeah, this weekend went really well. If I had to ring in the start of another lap around the sun, this is about the way I want to do it. Bear with me, for long kat is long.

It started at work Friday, where there was cake. We do this for birthdays at work recently, but one of my co-workers made sure there was cake for me. It was supremely good cake, too.

Saturday started out a bit meh, as I had to go do schoolwork in the morning, but once I was done with that, I headed out to Folsom, stopping along the way to treat myself to In-and-Out for a hamburger as my celebratory birthday weekend. Yum.

Then, at Folsom, we had a party. It was supposedly for those not going to SF the following night to have fun, but they decided to let me come and celebrate my birthday. One of our Wrimos even baked me a cake. This was sweet.

And then to top it off, Saturday was also the 112th Big Game, which I was fairly certain Stanford was going to win. But my Bears somehow came out of nowhere, had the score close at halftime, and then proceeded to first pull away, and then let Stanford back into it before sealing the deal with an interception. It was Cal Cardiac Football at its finest, and so I got a nice surprise gift — an Axe. It was pretty funny because I was so not writing at the party, but listening to my game, and towards the end, the feed started cutting in and out, which made it hard to follow. The feed cut out just as Toby Gerhart tried to win the game for Stanford, and didn’t come back up until I heard the word “INTERCEPTION!” in my headphones and was trying to figure out what had just happened and whether that meant my Bears had won the game.

And then there was Sunday. Oh god, what can I say about Sunday? Besides the fact that San Francisco is probably my most favorite city on the planet and I love any chance I get to visit, the Night of Writing Dangerously was way more fun than I was expecting. It started simply:

It’s about 5:40 in the evening. The scene, a round table in a ballroom high above California Street in San Francisco. Seated there are seven people from Sacramento: myself, Richard, his wife Jennifer, Jenny, Candace, Temperance, and Stephanie. There’s some idle chitchatting about where people are and stuff like that. In front of the room, the bell is introduced — you come ring the bell when you’ve become a winner at NaNoWriMo (that is, hit the 50k mark). And that’s when the following happened:

Temperance: “So, Kat, you going to hit 50k tonight?”
me: “You’re kidding, right? I’m nowhere close.”
Temperance: “You’re in the forties, no?”
me: “Well, yeah, a bit over 43k.”
Temperance: “There you go. You can hit 50k tonight.”
me: “I’m not so sure about this idea.”
Temperance: “Look, how many words do you have?”
me: “About forty-three five.”
Temperance: “That’s about 6500 words. We’ll not count this hour. But six — we’ll not count seven — eight, nine, ten. That’s four hours. You only have to write about 1500 words an hour.”
Rest of table: “Yeah, c’mon, Kat, you can do it.”
me: “Okay, fine, you all. I’ll try.”
me (thought): This is going to be impossible and I’m going to fail and feel rotten at the end of it. Ah well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Table: *cheering*

So I spend most of the evening sitting and writing frantically, although there were several breaks to take advantage of the candy pile and the hosted bar (too bad I don’t drink, but there was plenty of ginger ale and soda) and eat something resembling dinner. Oh yeah, and there were the most crazy donuts I’ve ever had with toppings like Cocoa Puffs and Nilla Wafers and Oreo cookies and Butterfingers and …the list goes on and on. Also, I went and took my author photo.

But most of the time I was writing. It was a write-a-thon after all. And after frantically typing all evening, writing a grand total of 6,481 words — a personal NaNo daily best — this happened.

Later that evening, about 10:15 PM:
Jason (peering over my shoulder): “So did you make it?”
me: “Give me a second, I just put it in the wordcounter.”
NaNo website: *loading*
Everybody: *waits*
NaNo website: katster has 50,182 words.
me: “Wait, what, I made it? I made it!”
Table (and Jason): “Go ring that bell!”
me: “Give me a second to recover and bask in my glory.”
*moment*
me: “Alright, now I’m going to go find Sarah [the coordinator of this glorious event] and let her know that I made it before I ring the bell so she doesn’t have to come frantically running.” [Backstory: People had been ringing the bell all evening, leaving poor Sarah frantically running to the stage. I felt bad, so I wanted to make sure she didn’t have to run.]
*By sheer random coincidence, Sarah walks by at just that moment*
me: “Hey Sarah! Just to warn you, I hit 50k!”

…and so I nicely followed Sarah to the podium where I grasped that bell and rung it just about as hard as anybody had that evening.

And the rest of the night I wore a crown on top of my Cal hat and a manic grin. Kinda like this:

me, after it’s all said and done. Photo by my friend Richard

All in all, the best birthday weekend ever. Thanks to everybody who helped me make it to the Night of Writing Dangerously — cards should go out next week.

And no, I don’t know how I’m going to top this next year.

Why you should never let katster play with her food

Why you should never let katster play with her food

So the neighbors made us cupcakes for Easter. This, of course, ends with me goofing around with cupcakes, microwaves, and the digital camera on my Blackberry…

Our story starts with an innocent Peep on an innocent cupcake, a normal residence of Cupcakelandia, on the fair continent of PlasticaPlate. Obviously, all is right with the world. But little does our peep know that the world is going to get very … interesting. Yeah, that’s the word we want, interesting. It is a tale most foul…

Of course, in Cupcakelandia, sitting on a cupcake without the permission of the monarchs is a crime. So our innocent little peep gets thrown to the wolves and is oppressed by the two Peeps who sit in judgment on the Cupcake Thrones! Help, help, we're being oppressed!Photo by retstak
Oh noes! Our innocent little peep is being oppressed! What is there to be done? Well, it seems the rulers of Cupcakelandia are looking for a peep to be experimented on! And they pick our poor innocent peep! What will become of him or her, as we completely failed to give our peep gender when we started this story!

At the Kenmore Nuclear Test Chamber, our peep is strapped to a gurney and placed inside to be radiated by powerful forces for thirty whole seconds! Will our peep survive such awful treatment? In the wreckage of the test range, we found a journal with the following entry:

Incident at Kenmore Nuclear Test ChamberPhoto by retstak
Subject Y. Peep was accidentally placed in the test chamber for approximately thirty seconds. Subject emerged as a irradiated SuperPeep and stormed off in the direction of the capital muttering something about those bastards on the Cupcake Thrones. I fear the worst.

The scientist who recorded this missive was obviously lying on at least one point, as the irradiation was done quite deliberately and with malice aforethought. Also, I suspect SuperPeep trashed the Kenmore Nuclear Test Chamber before going on his mission to destroy the Peeps on the Cupcake Thrones! This would make sense given his awful treatment at the hands of the scientists at the place. Perhaps our mystery scientist was trying to cover up his role in this plot. We may never know.

Uh oh!Photo by retstak

News photography in Cupcakelandia brought us this last image before we lost all transmissions. It shows an obviously larger SuperPeep behind the thrones, just before SuperPeep ascended the thrones and destroyed them and their rulers. It was a marshmallow bath, folks, and that sort of thing is just not okay for the kiddies to see. I mean, marshmallow all over the place? Are you some kind of pervert or something? It didn’t really matter, though, as our cameras lost power, possibly from SuperPeep’s irradiated hide, shortly thereafter.

(Read: katster got bored with taking pictures and decided to eat peeps instead. Note, microwaved peeps are not as good as normal peeps, as the chewy goodness becomes sugary tasting rubber.)

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