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Tri-fold Paper Wallet with 5 Pockets September 26, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in DIY, how to, index cards, lifehack, Origami, Other.
9 comments

This is just a variation on the other five-pocket index card wallet I designed a few months ago.  I made one because I was traveling out west this hot southwest summer, and decided that I wanted something smaller than 3 x 5 inches to carry around, something that would fit in the pocket of a pair of shorts.  It just needed to be big enough to carry credit card, ID, a couple fo business cards, and some slips of paper to write on.  I find myself continuing with it because I have found that, given my lifestyle and profession, I am rarely far from a larger piece of paper.

Perhaps the best part of this one is that it folds neatly from a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, the US standard.  For the most durable results, use vellum.  One of these lasted me all summer, touring the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Mesa Verde, and the harsh environs and lifestyles encountered visiting Casa Flounder in Colorado.  The example below uses Southworth 100% cotton, 32# paper, which has been printed on one side with design elements of Persian rugs.

Make some marks 1 3/16 inches in from the two short sides, with the side you want showing up.  Make two other marks 1 3/8 inches up from what will become the bottom of the wallet.  (Click pictures to enlarge.)

wallp1.jpg

Fold the short sides at the 1 3/16 marks and crease.

wallp2.jpg

Fold the long side at the 1 3/8 marks and crease.

wallp3.jpg

Fold the other long side into the crease you made at the 1 3/8 marks and crease. Then tuck this part into the slot made by the short sides.

wallp4.jpg

 Here’s a side-view of that.

wallpside.jpg

And then fold into three more-or-less equal sides, et voila!

wallp6.jpg

Business cards fit, with easy access.  Credit cards can go in the side you fold in, for maximum security.  And you can either cut 3 x 5 cards in half, for note-taking, or you can purchase them that way.  Somebody makes them now, and I’ve bought them at Office Max.

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Making Money September 21, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Books, Discworld, Economics, Other.
4 comments

Back at the beginning of the summer I pre-ordered Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld book.  And Amazon sent me an email earlier in the week telling me that it was on its way.  It could even be here today.  If so, I’m going to set aside the two other books I’m reading and start right in on it. 

I’m particularly excited about this one for two reasons.  First, I loved Going Postal, which featured the same protagonist as the new one.  Second, I majored in economics in college, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Pratchett’s Discworld analogues to Earth’s monetary systems.  What does Gresham’s Law look like on the Disc?  Will Ankh-Morpork have some sort of Bretton Woods? 

51prp2w2djl.jpgI

I’ll let you know.

100 Books Meme – Tag Mirrored September 19, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Books, fiction, folksonomies, librarything, literature, Other, tagging.
1 comment so far

While I was putting up my own LibraryThing Tag Mirror yesterday I was also puzzling about the list of books comprising the 100 Books Meme.   Then, suddenly, and somewhat painfully, ineinsbildung!  [When backed into a corner, exclaim something in German.  Even fewer people (one of whom is this blogger) know German than know Latin.]  

It occurred to me that I should give the same treatment to the idiosyncratic list that is the 100 Books Meme.  So I created a LibraryThing account comprised just of those books read by half or more of the bloggers who did the meme.

What sort of tags do those books have?  Well, these (click to enlarge):

100bookstagmirror.jpg

And here is the tag mirror for the entire list of 100: (click to enlarge):

100bookstagmirror1k.jpg

What does this tag cloud say about the composer of the list? I’ve got to get to work, so I’ll leave the rest as an exercise for the student, posting about it later only if I can make some sense of it.

Click here to examine the 100 Books LibraryThing tags individually or perhaps here would be even better.

Librarything Tag Mirror September 18, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Books, folksonomies, librarything, Other, tagging.
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I got this from Cavan.  I have been very lazy about updatain my LT account.  Originally, I had what I thought was an interesting way of tagging my books, but beyond a hundred or so I stopped tagging them altogether.  Librarything recently unveiled a new feature for showing your library via tags put in but people who are less lazy–the tag mirror. 

The tag mirror shows my library, as if it was tagged by the more-responsible librarians there.  There are several different options for the number of tags.  Here’s 150 tags, the lowest setting (click to enlarge):

tagmirror150.jpg

And here’s my library with 300 tags (click to enlarge):

tagmirror.jpg

I think there’s an option for 1000, too. but I couldn’t figure out how to actually display it.  If you click here, you can see it.

Nineteen Things Meme September 17, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in memes, Other.
8 comments

Cerebraljetsam tagged me with this one.  I am lazy and coming down with a cold, so I thought I’d do it, but it is taking me more time than the post I had intended to do today would have.  Anyway,

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.  I have this scar on my thumb, near the palm of my hand.  I got it from opening a large (one gallon) plastic pickle jar at a restaurant when I was 19 years old.  I opened it with a bread knife (both the jar and the thumb.)  It took about five stitches.  I remember looking at the bone and all the cut tissue briefly before the blood welled up and spoilt the view.

2. What does your phone look like? List your reasons to buy it?  I have posted a picture of my current cell phone here.  My land-line at home looks like an old-fashioned rotary-dial phone, but is actually new, from Pottery Barn, I think.  It is easy to cradle between your head and shoulder while you are talking, so you have your hands free.  It makes a ringing noise just like the phones in those old black and white movies.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom? There are a few paintings, one of them a diptych of the Palouse (click here to see a photo of the Palouse taken by vsz) painted by my wife. There is also a painting that her grandmother did of crashing surf (Northern California).  There is a Renoir print on the other wall.  And there is a mirror.  This blog’s current header image is actually a photo of the top of that mirror, which has a bunch of origami West Highland White Terriers marching across it.  The Westies are folded from samples of different shades of white paint (Oyster White, Petticoat White, Navaho White, Country Stove White, Crescent Moon, Dover White, Tackroom White, and endless etc) in recognition that the real thing, our dog Maggie, is never a true white. 

4. What is your current desktop picture? It’s a tesselation I drew a couple of years ago.  It looks like this:

sqtessemb.jpg

I moved the folders because I have maybe a hundred of them and they would make the tesselation difficult to see.

5. Do you believe in gay marriage? Not quite sure how to answer this one.  I believe that gays should have the right to marry.  I believe that all marriages should be, to some extent, gay.  I’d probably draw the line at requiring gays to be married, as well as requiring marriages to be gay.  Hope that covers the bases.

6. What do you want more than anything right now? I want to go to sleep, ’cause I don’t feel well, but I’d like somebody else to do my work for me first.  I don’t want to have to wake up and still have to finish this proposal I’m supposed to be writing.

7 . What time were you born? This is one fact that never seems to stick in my head.  I remember that my son was born in the morning, ’cause I had to drive to the hospital at some ungodly hour on a cold November morning, and I was worried.  A little help, Mom?

8. Are your parents still together?  Oh, yeah.  Their anniversary is coming up in October, I am almost certain of that.  It will be number 45 for them.  They set quite an example.  So my brother and I are both still on our first wives.

9. Last person who made you cry? Me, if I remember correctly, but I was telling my wife about one of my employees when the tears leaked out.  Could have been talking to her about my son.  I don’t remember which was more recent.

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne? I realize that these things have names, and that some people wear them.  My nose isn’t very good, though, so I suspect that it is only the cheap, unpleasant ones that I actually notice.

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex? Blonde hair, blue eyes.  Nothing else comes close, although many very attractive people have neither. I wish they all could be California girls, I guess.

12. What are you listening to? Why? I’m interpreting this as a question about music. I recently bought an acoustic bass guitar (Ibanez acoustic-electric).  So I’ve been noticing bass parts more than usual, and seeking them out.  I find myself listening to Elvis Costello albums where he plays with The Imposters (Like The Deliveryman).  That bassist is un-freaking-real. I’m listening to Diana Krall and some other jazz, again for the bass.  This weekend I listened to Supertramp’s Breakfast in America album.  Some of the song’s have a tuba instead of a bass, like a polka band or Dixieland jazz band might.  Very cool.  In the car I am listening to either National Public Radio or a radio station out of Boston WMKK 93.7 FM (Mike FM), which claims to play “everything.”  I don’t know how they could possibly have time to play everything when they play Men at Work’s “Down Under,” and “Who Can It Be Now” several times each day.  But they play a lot of music that I like but do not own.

13. Do you get scared of the dark? I’ve never been scared of the dark, so far as I can remember.  Things are usually quieter in the dark, less busy.  So it’s kinda nice. I think that the things that are going to hurt you are the ones that you see every day, the things and people that are so obvious and ubiquitous that you don’t even notice them until they get you.  Those are the things you should fear.  Darkness makes you careful–it is your friend.

14. Do you like painkillers? I do.  Like the darkness, painkillers let me focus a little better, because my nerves don’t distract me so much.  Unfortunately, the over-the-counter stuff doesn’t really work for me.  The good stuff, unfortunately, is something I only get when I am really hurting. 

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?  No, but when I did it was always terrifying and nerve-wracking.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?  Something frightfully spicy, I guess, to clear out my head.  But I’m not all that hungry.  Maybe a fish taco (cod, so long as we’re dreaming here) with some fresh, sliced jalapeño in it.

17. Who was the last person who made you mad?  My boss.  Big surprise, right? 

18. List one habit you have that has the potential to annoy people?  I’ve said before in this space that I am not consistent enough to really have habits, as such.  I do lots of things that annoy other people, of course, but I suspect that these things are not very predictable. 

19. Who was the last person who made you smile? Me.  But I was thinking about my son, who told me seven times during dinner last night how much he enjoyed riding mountain bikes through the forest yesterday afternoon.

I’ll tag prairieflounder, who has yet to interview me, even though he said he would, writinggb, and anyone else who wants to play along.

K.F. Gallagher Writing Contest Deadline Today September 14, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in fiction, writing.
2 comments

I meant to put up a post about this earlier this week, but got swamped with work and a ton of other things I seem to be in the middle of.  Sorry, Kaitlyn. 

I don’t think I’ll have time to participate in her cool contest, which is to start a story with the line “I am sister to the serious octopus.”  Click here for rules.  Participate.  Have fun.  I must write stupid stuff for somebody else today and prepare for a ridiculous-yet high-stakes meeting scheduled for this afternoon.  Good luck!

100 Books Meme – Summary Statistics September 13, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in blogs, Blogs and Blogging, Books, COMBS, literature, memes, Other.
3 comments

The 100Books meme has made the rounds of the blogosphere for some time now, and I have examined the responses of 200 blogs, but haven’t yet decided what it all means.  Partially, this has to do with the eccentricity of the list itself.  Respondents are predominently within a demographic that I can only describe as “literate knitters.”  Hard to generalize from it, is what I mean to say.  I’ve got a plan to remedy that, which I’ll get to later.  First, here are the boring summary statistics as a pdf

The blogger in the sample who read the fewest read only four of these books.  One blogger claimed to have read 90 of them. And the average blogger claimed to have read 39 of them.  [I would have read 39 of them, too, if I had read all of the books I was supposed to read in school.  But I charted my own course, which explains my disappointing grades.]

I haven’t had much chance to look at the cross-tabulations yet, but I did notice a couple of oddities:

  1. Eleven people read Tolkien’s Return of the King without having read The Fellowship of the Ring.  What, if any, is the deal with that?
  2. Ten people read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but did not read Harry Potter and the Sourceror’s Stone (AKA HP and the Philosopher’s Stone).  Similarly, WTF?

More to come.

100 Books Meme–my list September 11, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Books, memes, Other.
12 comments

This is a book meme that bounced around the blogosphere for a while.  I compiled statistics from a sample of 200 bloggers who have done it.  I’ll be posting some of the results later this week, but I thought I’d do the meme myself first.  It’s only fair.  It’s easy.  Just copy the list, bold the ones you have read, and post the results.  Don’t feel bad if you didn’t read a lot of them.  It is an odd list.

My results are kinda pathetic, in some spots, and I only read 35 percent of them (assuming I counted correctly.)  Found myself thinking that I am not reall all that well-read after all.  Some of the stuff in the list I don’t even recognize.  Some of it is trash, of course.  But there are a few that I really meant to get to.  Some of the ones I meant to read are also trash, I suspect.  Anyway, here’s my list.

1.   The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.   Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.   To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4.   Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5.   The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6.   The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7.   The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8.   Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9.   Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.  A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.  Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14.  A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15.  Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
17.  Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18   The Stand (Stephen King)
19.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20.  Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21.  The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22.  The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23.  Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24.  The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25.  Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27.  Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29.  East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30.  Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31.  Dune (Frank Herbert)
32.  The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33.  Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34.  1984 (Orwell)
35.  The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36.  The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37.  The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38.  I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39.  The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40.  The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41.  The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42.  The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43.  Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44.  The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45.  The Bible
46.  Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47.  The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48.  Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49.  The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50.  She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51.  The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52.  A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53.  Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.  Great Expectations (Dickens)
55.  The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56.  The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58.  The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59.  The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60.  The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61.  Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62.  The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63.  War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64.  Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65.  Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66.  One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67.  The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68.  Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69.  Les Miserables (Hugo)
70.  The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71.  Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72.  Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73.  Shogun (James Clavell)
74.  The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75.  The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76.  The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78.  The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79.  The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80.  Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81.  Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82.  Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83.  Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84.  Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85.  Emma (Jane Austen)
86.  Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87.  Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88.  The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89.  Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90.  Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91.  In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92.  Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93.  The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94.  The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95.  The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96.  The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97.  White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98.  A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99.  The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Let me know if you want to participate in the study, and I’ll be sure to get your list in.

Sticky-note Page Corner Bookmark Redux September 8, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Books, how to, lifehack, Origami, Other.
6 comments

Back in December of last year I posted instructions to making a sticky-note page corner, but somebody who calls himself DyNama, King of Post-its commented today about the sticky part touching the pages of the book, which is not something that I would want to happen to anybody.  So, naturally, I had to check it out.  Unfortunately, my original instructions were a little hard to follow.  It took me a while to reproduce what I did in December.  So I’m going to try to clarify a little.  Just doing my bit for Royalty.

Take a square sticky-note and put it face down with the sticky part down and on the side farthest away from you like this:

09080714381.jpg

Fold the side closest to you so that it meets the side farthest away from you and crease it like this:

09080714391.jpg

Then unfold, so it looks like this:

 0908071439a.jpg

Then fold it in half left side to right, like this:

 0908071440.jpg

And unfold that, so it looks like this:

 0908071440a.jpg

Now flip it over so the sticky part now faces up, but it is still on the side away from you, like this:

 0908071441.jpg

Then fold the Bottom Right corner to the top left like this:

 0908071441a.jpg

And unfold that, so it looks like this:

0908071441b.jpg 

And fold the bottom left corner to the upper right corner like this:

 0908071441c.jpg

And unfold that. I have marked the folds that have sticky stuff on them with numbers 1-4, so that it looks like this:

 09080714431.jpg

If you fold corners one to corner two, and corner three to corner four, you will get a thing that looks like this:

 0908071444.jpg

Then you can fold the stuck together corners into an arrow-like thing like this:

 0908071444a.jpg

Then put it in a book like this:

0908071445.jpg

And there you go.  Is that any better, DyNama, King of Post-its?  Or is the sticky part still connecting with the book?  That didn’t happen when I tried this again, so I’m hoping that my instructions were so unclear the first time that they just misled you.  If so, I’m terribly sorry.

Creative Blogger Award #1 September 7, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in blogger, blogging, blogs, Blogs and Blogging, Other.
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As a distinguished receipient of the Creative Blogger Award, I have to give out five of them myself, but I am going to space them out a little bit.  I never seem to have a big block of time to post stuff. 

The first Creative Blogger Award goes to Sky Fishing, the brainchild of Prairie Flounder.  According to its originator, the Creative Blogger is for

those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo’s, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd.

PF is inventive, artsy, and a rebel.  But his site, Sky Fishing, has some other things that keep me coming back.  There are lots of creative and interesting blogs out there.  But I lose interest in most of them fairly quickly.  It is only the blogs that are constantly changing and growing, the ones that take on a variety of different subject areas, that are responsive and playful, and that seem to have a real person behind the scenes, only these sorts can really hold my interest for long.  These, like Sky Fishing, are the sorts of blogs that are going to get this award from me in the next few days.

So, here is your award, PF:

 cbablack.jpg

Wear it proudly.  Now you have to spread the wealth to five other blogs, following the tedious instructions here, or at least I have to ask you to.