Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Edible Lava Lamp and Other Curiosities

Edible Lava Lamp

Edible Lava Lamp

Our local Winn-Dixie no longer sells the quart-sized bottles of Texas Pete hot sauce, so I've turned instead to WD's home brand, Thrifty Maid. Its bottles aren't quart-sized, but for now they seem the most economical choice in the neighborhood.

One difference between Texas Pete and Thrifty Maid is in their suspension qualities. The Thrifty Maid needs to be shaken.

Here Mary has emptied the last drops of an old bottle into a new one, and the unsettled addition has formed a plume.

More curiosities ahead....

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer. No, the Other Way!

Thanks to Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes for her reference to the dancer below:

This Right Brain vs. Left Brain Test comes courtesy of Australia's Herald Sun -- click on the link for the full text. Says the article: "If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it."

Mary and I were having all sorts of fun with this. At first I watched the dancer passively, where she began by turning in a clockwise direction and then switched to counter-clockwise, then back to clockwise. By de-focusing I could eventually instigate a switch in direction. In Mary's case, the dancer began by turning in a counterclockwise direction, but Mary got her to switch back and forth before she'd even completed a rotation.

Candle Holder in the Wind (keeping to the Elton John theme here)

Rescued Candle Holder

This candle holder sat on the ground next to a dumpster yesterday. I retrieved it and sent our community theater an e-mail with these photos and the specs: 6 inches high and 8 inches at its broadest point across. It felt like iron and I estimate it weighed 1-2 pounds.

This morning I heard back from one of our directors, who wrote, "This looks like something I could use in my upcoming play. Thanks for finding and rescuing it."

The candle holder goes to its new home on Thursday.

How Green Was My Cockroach

How Green Was My Cockroach

This critter really brings home the fact that cockroaches and praying mantises are in the same Order (Dictyoptera). I'm pretty sure it's a Green Banana Cockroach (Panchlora nivea, Family Blaberidae, also called a Cuban Cockroach because it's native to Cuba), but it's got a decidedly mantid-like head. Mary wondered at first if it was a kind of katydid, but the body type looked wrong for that. The body type looked roach to me. The head looked mantid.

The two main ways it differed from the usual roach I encounter was: (a) it was green, and (b) it was slow, as roaches go. On my ick scale, that made it almost likeable. (For more on my roach philosophy, see "A Night With Max.")

Then I discovered on Bugguide.Net that people buy these things -- for $25 a dozen, to be exact ("popular as a pet ... due to its bright green color and because it is not an invasive indoor species"). I captured mine and freed it in the hedge before my V-8 moment: I could'a made $2.08 plus shipping & handling!

Theoretically, that is, according to this price list.

Right now, locally, I'm selling copies of Covenant at the same, special pre-release discount that Aisling is offering. I figured out that minus sales tax and what I paid for the books at author discount, that leaves me with a pre-income-tax profit of $2.39 per book, not counting royalties or tax on the royalties or associated business deductions (truly, we're talking Klein Bottle Economics here).

***Raises fist in triumph***
My book generates more income than the roach!
***Wipes brow, calms down***

As you were.

Deviations: Covenant can be pre-ordered from Aisling Press and also can be ordered from AbeBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's Books, and Target. The Deviations page has additional details.


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