spiderplanet: (Default)
2017-01-08 07:52 pm

Metal Earth - Millennium Falcon

I have finished a Millennium Falcon!

The package says that this is a "museum quality" model. Assuming it's a sort of crappy museum, sure. I enjoyed it, but will be looking for easier models in the future.

It is the Sexy Millennium Falcon, or Sexy M. F. for short.

cut tag for those of you indifferent to metal models )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-12-21 08:06 pm

Metal Earth model pictures

I post these to prove that they can be done. The TARDIS is the easiest. The Dalek looks easy, but those little eyebulbs on the top probably took about a quarter of the total time. Overall, they're more relaxing than frustrating, so it's enjoyable on balance.







spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-11-29 04:39 pm

Texas trip recap

We had a pleasant trip to Texas to visit [profile] vanaabegra's family. Vanaabegra was able to pay for the flight, the hotel and the car rental on points because he has to travel so much for work.

Texas rental

This is the car he got, even though there's nothing wrong with his penis. It was really nifty to have for a weekend, and to be able to ride around with the top down in November, but it's not a comfortable enough car for every day. It was easy to look for a bright orange convertible in a sea of black or white trucks and SUVs, that part was cool too.

V's sister and her husband made a great traditional Thanksgiving meal in her new home. Their parents were happy to not have to prepare the meal.

On Black Friday, we went to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, named after *that* Perot. It's interesting to see how different Science Museums appeal to their local audience. This one tried super-extra-hard to explain basic concepts of evolution. "Here are similarities between animal cells and plant cells! See? This is how we define what a 'cell' is. Have you ever noticed that animal bones are similar in shape and layout across many different species? Can you see how species that are more closely related by evolution have more noticeable similarities?"

At Perot museum

Despite valiant efforts, the museum included a group of three teens doing a "school" project. The quote marks around "school" are not superfluous. Their objective was to prove why evolution is a false theory by answering five essay questions on a single piece of paper.

This next photo is an example that the children found to prove that paleontologists don't really know anything about dinosaurs. See, they didn't have all the bones from this one, so they just made the rest up.

Totes fake!

I tried so hard to get away from these kids. "Well, I'll just go over to this next thing... Wait... now THAT'S the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard in a science museum, and the second dumbest was only a minute ago. OH SWEET MERCY, THEY'RE FOLLOWING ME." Little shits.

The museum also had a special exhibit on Birds of Paradise, which included a display of Birds of Paradise in marketing. It was quieter in the special exhibit, which was very nice.

2016-11-29_03-09-56

OMG WTF BBQ coffee.

The coffee bag says "I'll pluck your cherry if you'll grind my bean." Since the plumage of Birds of Paradise is for sexual appeal, it is apropos. I looked on Etsy for a purse made from this coffee bag, it is not available. So sad for me.

On Saturday, we flew back. Before the airport, we took a nice walk in this park.

Trail park.

Unsurprisingly, Cactus exists in Texas

Cactus

The furnace was not working when we got home. Kali was grumpy until the heating pad was turned on, and then things were better after about an hour, but fuck you anyway. She is the sweetest little "fuck you," and I was happy to see her and Dusty, even though Dusty had no swears for me.

Centerpoint Service Plus came out and saved the day, and even brought the right part with them. It's time to replace the furnace, but that will be a project for another time. It's working again for now.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-08-28 02:34 pm

Leaving Kansas City

I'm going to the Minnesota State Fair tomorrow, and I'll take lots of pictures, so I should wrap up on all the KC pictures that I want to post.

I enjoyed Kansas City for the most part. I could have spent another two days in their museum and I will be sure to plan for more time in the museum if I ever get back there. The convention was fun, and I love spending time with people from this community, even if a few individuals drive me a bit bonkers.

On Monday after the convention, we had planned to take in more tourism. Turns out everything touristy is closed on Mondays, which is true in most major American cities, but it's something I hadn't needed to notice before. We did outdoorsy stuff, visited parks and played Pokemon Go.

There were more fountains, of course.



We also went to Case Park, in the Quality Hill neighborhood, the same neighborhood that we stayed in. The Quality Hill neighborhood was once the swankiest of swanky neighborhoods in Kansas City. It was a significant spot in the "Corps of Discovery Expedition," formerly known as the "Lewis and Clark" expedition until it needed to be recognized that there were many contributors who were not Lewis or Clark, including three other people in the expedition. Even the dog was a major contributor as a guard and a scout.

In the 1970s, the Quality Hill neighborhood became poorer, and many of the old mansions were bought up by an investor/arsonist named Arnold Garfinkle. The historic homes are no longer standing, the neighborhood is now a mix of public housing and expensive condos.

On the site where Meriweather Lewis journaled that the location would be a "commanding situation for a fort," there is a statue which clearly shows Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea. All three of those figures are easy to see in the sun. Sacajeawea carries Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.



York faces the shadows, along with Seaman, the dog. This picture sucks, but after seeing in person how the work was placed, I think maybe the sculptor meant for people to have trouble seeing York.



York was a slave, owned by Clark, and a major contributor to the expedition. Little is known about his life. Years after the expedition, Clark was asked about the whereabouts of York. Clark lied and said that York had been freed, but had died trying to return to slavery because he was a failure at life on his own (Profoundly unlikely for someone who did all the dangerous human work in an expedition party, ranking only above the dog in status).

I hadn't heard of York before seeing this sculpture, and I'm glad to know a small bit of his part in American history. History that ignores the messy bits isn't history, it's a Munchausen's tale.

We did lots of walking that day, and finally ended up back at the apartment to pack up and get back to Minneapolis. This sculpture commemorates the Garment District. It was outside the apartment, and it's a Poke-stop.



On the return trip, we stopped about halfway back. We got gasoline and lunch, and looked at the ducks and geese. These geese may look Canadian, but they're Iowan. To be more specific, they're Des Moinesian.

spiderplanet: (Crypt Howler)
2016-08-26 11:00 pm

In and around the KC Convention Center

I still have more museum pictures, but for now let's get back to some pictures in and around the convention center. I have very few pictures of the actual convention, because convention pictures are often boring, or I'm too interested in what's going on to stop to take a picture.

There was a giant inflatable astronaut.



There could have been at least 50 actual astronauts inside that astronaut, and no one would have known.

Here's some trivia about Kansas City. Rome, Italy has more fountains than any other city. Kansas City, MO has more *working* fountains than any other city. Here is a picture of a fountain that is functioning as it was meant to.



In Kansas City, there is a Municipal Hall attached by skyway to the convention center. On the outside, there are some designs that show that the building was put up before 1939.



Thank you in advance for pedantics. Yes, they rotate left. They're windows. They would have rotated right when viewed from the inside, which is now covered.

This says "Commerce has made all winds her messengers, all climes her tributaries, all people her servents.  Yet from the land she draws her sustenance and her strength.



It can be interpreted two ways.  "Look at all we have accomplished and built!"  or "Capitalism sucks the life from everything, and is never sated."

Considering that the building went up ten years after the German Nazi Party had officially adopted the swastika as their logo, and considering that American anti-communists cheered the Nazi party for "saving" Germany from communism, and considering that this phrase seems to celebrate the glory of capitalism from the perspective of Capital, I'm going to just lie to myself and pretend it's a "Capitalism sucks" phrase because it's a happier thought.

That's probably what they meant. Nobody would have kept the building like that if they meant anything awful. I like ice cream.

After several months in my purse, and back in the convention center, Ninja needed a bath.



Now she's all clean and encased. Cleanliness is next to noisiness.



Gryff collected ribbons!



After more conventiony stuff on Saturday night, we went to the Hugos.

Saint Paul resident [personal profile] naomikritzer won a Hugo for "Best Short Story," for her work Cat Pictures Please.

Immediately after the awards, and all through the weekend spilling into the middle of the week, Minnesotans on Facebook went apeshit with Cat Pictures of celebration.

I hereby add my own cat pictures!





After the Hugos, there were parties. As skeptical as I was before seeing how it turned out, I liked the parties set up this year. The parties were in sectioned areas of the convention center, with big open access next to the common space tables, and there was air conditioning that could keep up with the crowded space, and there was air movement. No swimming through a sea of bodies in a narrow hallway to get to the next room, or just to get away from the crowd for a bit. "Away from the crowd" was a thirty second walk. The room parties were more friendly to people with accessibility needs, and they were just more friendly.

Parties had to pay a professional bartender for the hours they were serving drinks. It appeared the alcohol was convention provided, and any mix-ins were provided by the party. I'm curious to know the cost of the bartender, and how many hours that covered. If it was $400, sign me the fuck up permanently, I'll organize the fundraiser myself.

And then, back to the apartment for some rest.

Kansas City appears to be struggling with their identity. They're known for barbecue, but now that regional cuisine is becoming less of a "thing," they seem to be trying to re-brand themselves. The "City of Fountains" would probably work if they stuck with it. They have one of Rodin's Thinker sculptures in their sculpture garden, so that's scattered about here and there.

As an attempt to cast The Thinker as their mascot, here's a pinwheel version of Rodin's Thinker on a parking ramp.



Here it is at night



We passed this every night on our way back to the apartment. Right below the Pinwheel Thinker is a working fountain. How much more municipal pride can one parking ramp have?

One shuttlecock, that's how much.
spiderplanet: (Crypt Howler)
2016-08-25 08:39 pm

More museum pictures

Next, we go inside the museum! These are out of order from when we saw them, but it's okay.

another cut )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-08-24 09:00 pm

Pictures from KC Sculpture Garden

There's nothing about Worldcon in these photos, other than that it was part of the trip. This is a post of pictures from the Kansas City sculpture garden. I was really impressed at the museum overall, and was a bit amazed that Kansas City had such a treasure.

cut for length, but maybe not too bad. )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-08-24 11:43 am

On the nature of shuttlecocks and spoonbridges.

This post contains pictures from the internet of related sites. Links are included.

Thanks to a Google search prompted by [personal profile] jiawen, I've found out that Kansas City's Shuttlecocks are by the same artists who did Minneapolis' "Spoonbridge and Cherry." The artists are Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, the Spoonbridge and Cherry was completed in 1988, and then Kansas City wanted a vaguely sexually suggestive sculpture, too, so the Shuttlecocks were installed in 1992.

I say that the Spoonbridge and Cherry was completed in 1988, though it was first installed in 1985. Immediately after it was installed, people had sex on it. Then, a moat was dug around the bowl of the spoon in 1986. People climbed over the handle of the spoon and continued to use the spoon for illicit purposes. Finally, in 1988, the sculpture was completed to it's current state - the cherry was modified to be a fountain, and spurt cold (tap water temperature in Minneapolis) water onto the bowl of the spoon. After that, it was a perfectly non-sexual sculpture of a long shaft with a giant cherry on the end that spurts.



As far as I know, the Shuttlecocks never had to be modified in order to keep park goers from having sex on them, so they must have learned from the experience. I don't know if the theistic reference in the background helps or hinders that effort.

spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-08-23 08:59 pm

I have not yet given up on posting photos, but Kansas City has given up on subtlety.

Once again, I am attempting to make photo posts. This time, I'm trying Flickr.

We got home from Kansas City today, where there was a Worldcon. It was, overall, a wonderful time. While we were there, we visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which prominently features their GIANT SHUTTLECOCKS!

They also happen to have a current exhibit that might be the finest examples of Rodin sculptures currently in North America. Did I mention the SHUTTLECOCKS!

Here's a sculpture from their sculpture garden that is not a GIANT SHUTTLECOCK.

It's obviously Steve from Minecraft. He's dancing.



Can you see a picture?

Here's a GIANT SHUTTLECOCK!



Here is Rodin's Thinker pondering the nature of GIANT SHUTTLECOCKS!



Here's another photo of our trip. It's of the Convention Center. SHUTTLECOCK.



Do you see the Shuttlecock? It's possibly less subtle than our own Cherry Spoon Bridge, but only because it has the word "cock" in it.

If you don't see any photos, I may have to burn all of the whole internet in frustration.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2016-07-24 10:41 pm

(no subject)

We got back from a weekend trip to Duluth today.

Because we're going to KC next month, we decided not to do the normal week long camping trip. We stayed at a hotel in the city of Duluth and got to see the beautiful lake, and see the city where Aaron lived for a few years while he was in college.

He has fond memories of the place, because people usually have fond memories of that era of their lives, but when he lived there it was economically depressed and he was broke. It was nice to see the mix of "nostalgia/not-nostalgia" that is "It's nice to see this place again, and it sucks so much less now."

Here is a picture of a bird that I took from about 20' away. I couldn't tell when I took the picture, but this bird has recently found a delicious bug.

Bird.JPG

Part of why Duluth is still not in as good economic shape as it probably should be is because Wisconsin is a terrible place, and the city of Superior, WI is a ten minute drive from downtown Duluth. There are good jobs in manufacturing and industries related to mining in Duluth, many of them are filled by people who don't pay taxes to support Minnesota's infrastructure that created those jobs. I see that a few of my photos have a "Fuck Wisconsin" theme, I only mean to explain in advance that I lack love for the state where a majority of the residents voted for Governor Scott Walker, and then those same people drive across a short bridge to work somewhere with a less shitty economic climate.
So, now that the caveat is out of the way... There are two canals to get into Superior Bay. One of those canals is a natural canal, one is man-made. The natural canal is between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the man-made canal is in Minnesota.

MNWI_Canals.jpg

Earlier today, we visited the Great Lakes Aquarium and learned some history of the man-made canal.

Canal_Building1.JPG

Canal_Building2.JPG

I do not believe that a person who loved Wisconsin wrote "Superior residents howled in protest!" and I approve.

The best thing about the aquarium was in line with the trend I've seen at other science related attractions - Evolution exists. No "some scientists think...," no "scientists believe..." It's now just "Thing happened." The second best thing was "Fuck Wisconsin." So, pretty much the greatest tourist attraction ever.
More pictures tomorrow. Must sleep now.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2014-07-20 07:34 pm

Three photos from Minnehaha Park

Here's what Minneapolis is like in the Summer, or at least this is how I think of it when I'm feeling cheerful.



Here are three friends who can identify themselves in facebook comments if they so choose.



The dog can't identify herself because she's a dog. Here is Ripley enjoying the wading area of Minnehaha creek.

spiderplanet: (Default)
2014-06-30 11:01 pm

Some pictures

I bought a camera at Costco back in January. I couldn't figure out how to get the flash to fire, and I finally figured out that it didn't work and sent it in for repair. In the meantime, the smaller camera fits in my purse better and I've happened to have it a few times.

Here's what was recorded in May and June.

We went to a Twins game in May, which was lots of fun. TC Bear shot at the crowd with a cannon, because the only thing more American than Baseball is T-shirts dispensed via projectile weapon.



more pictures via clicking )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2014-01-26 05:10 pm

Minicon 49 Beer Information

Today! We are doing the making of the Fish Ale, which does not include fish, but is named for a friend.

A few weeks ago, we met with the Head of the Minicon 49 Bar, and other people who had offered to make homebrewed beer for M49. The two other brewers have more experience than us, and much more elaborate brewing systems, so they're making larger quantities than we typically have the means to make.

With the brunt of the brewing off us, we are making our two most popular developed recipes, Dry Hard Apple Cider (Gluten Free because it's the same amount of effort to make it that way or not) and Fish Ale (Gluten Free Pale Ale). Last time, with the knowledge that Sorgum tends to have a citrusy flavor, we complemented that by using Cascade hops (Floral, citrus and grapefruity), and whatever the hell we had left in the freezer that was also in the citrusy/floral range. This time we are using Cascade, Perle (Slightly spicy and floral) and New Zeland Motueka (Lemon, lime, tropical fruit).

As for the other brewers - Kathleen will be making a Stout, a Trappist, and a Nut Brown Ale; Scott is making a Wheat & Rye, and an ESB. There will also be a commercial keg of sweet Apple cider.

There will be a fine selection of beverages this year at Minicon 49. You should all be very excited.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-12-11 06:07 pm

Being responsibly irresponsible

"Unconscious woman suffered severe frostbite to hands and feet and may lose at least one of them."

Duluth student suffers severe frostbite, but survives frigid night on porch

Minnesota can be a very unforgiving place. Here are some thoughts on surviving, and being prepared to be irresponsible.

1. When a person is dropped off, wait until that person gets into the house. Always. A key can break off in the door or someone could slip on the ice. I'm sure the driver that dropped the UMD student off feels awful, so I don't want to dwell on this one too much.

2. If a person has been drinking, be prepared to help them from the car to the couch. Take care of people who are drunk, even if you're drunk yourself. Three people with half their wits about them equals 1.5 wits, probably enough to prevent three cases of hypothermia.

3. Wear your hat and mittens, even if you're just running from the car to the door. I'm sorry to say that this is one I break a lot. I think I'm going to put a string through my jacket to keep my mittens with me.

4. Think about risk assessment when your head is clear. What would you do if you were trapped outside in the cold? Bang on every door on the block? Break into a garage for shelter? Please, go ahead and break into my garage if you need to. I'll be pissed in the morning, and I'll want you to pay to fix the window, and there will be hassle and inconvenience. Fuck it, your fingers and toes are worth $200 and some hassle. The absolute worst case would be if I called the cops, and you made no plea agreement at all, you'd then be guilty of a misdemeanor. Your fingers and toes are worth $200, some hassle, and a few hours of community service. Eventually, we'll both have a colorful story, and all of our fingers and toes.

5. A cellphone is not enough of a contingency plan. Batteries are shit in the cold, something dropped in the snow in the dark is nearly impossible to find, and you may not have a good enough signal, even outdoors.

6. Keep emergency blankets in your car or your purse. Here are some for less than 70 cents each. They're very reflective and easily seen, and they're great insulation from radiant heat loss. If you need to use a blanket, try to get some insulation between the blanket and the ground if you can, the blankets are not good at retaining heat lost to conduction. Dollar Tree often stocks them, and they take up very little space. If they're in your car, there should be one per seat (a five passenger vehicle should have five blankets).

What are some other good rules for being prepared to be irresponsible?
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-10-13 06:56 pm
Entry tags:

St. Croix State Park Pictures

Yesterday, while many Minneapolitians were busy pondering the nature of drunken zombies, [profile] vanaabegra, Ninja and I went to St. Croix State Park.  We walked about five miles.  It was very pretty and serene.

Here's a close-up of some mushrooms.



here are more photos )

If a person was interested, here's where to find a report of peak fall colors in Minnesota.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-09-15 07:54 pm

A photo



[profile] vanaabegra and Goldy Gopher.
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-08-25 09:19 pm

... who can spin his head around 360 degrees...

Yesterday, [personal profile] caffeine and I went to the Minnesota State Fair. I took 224 snapshots, around ten percent of which are probably okay, and about five percent of which will be posted.

Who's the Minnesota Prairie animal third from the left, on the bottom row? Yay!

spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-06-24 09:39 pm

Photos from last weekend's storm

WE HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AGAIN.  It might be out again tomorrow, though.  It's been spotty since the storm.

The big tree in our back yard suffered no damage at all - It only lost branches the next day when [profile] vanaabegra decided to trim it.

The ground is so very saturated with water that several trees in our neighborhood just flopped right over.  No horrible damage to anyone or any property, just lots and lots of chainsawing for the last several days.  Is it wrong if I take the firewood laying in someone else's front yard?  Would they have moved it to the back yard by now if they wanted it?  I don't want to steal anyone's perfectly good refuse, nor do I want all that valuable firewood to go to waste when our fire pit goes hungry most every night.

Oh, the angst of living in a suburb where the neighbors don't like to bother each other.

Look! Photos! )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-05-25 12:18 pm

Weekend Camping photos May 17-18

This is a repost of some Livejournal content.

Back in January, Squeaky, Caffeine, and I got back from an emotionally exhausting trip to Texas. It was more so for Caffeine than me, because I got beer that one time during the trip. I still recall that beer as one of the ten most needed beers in beer history.

We made a plan to find time for a trip of just relaxing.

This last weekend, Squeaky, Caffeine, and I went camping at Great River Bluffs State Park. Here are photos.

Wow... That's a lot of birds )
spiderplanet: (Default)
2013-04-28 12:05 pm

(Hopefully) the last of the snow.

For the non Minnesotans, it may be interesting to know that part of the infrastructure in MN includes creating places to put snow in the winter. Giant piles of snow build up in years of especially heavy snow fall. Sometimes the enormous piles take until June to melt.

This year has been lots of snow followed by warm, followed by snow, followed by warm... ad nauseam, so not many piles lasted long. The dirt that's in the snow is pretty concentrated, and that's a thing to see all of a season's worth of filth collected in one spot.

It's going to be close to 80F / 25C today, so most of it will be gone. I'm sure that there are bigger snow piles down under the freeway near downtown, but here is the last of one of this year's pile, taken with a phone camera.