Thursday, April 30, 2009

how to fail at google searches

So I took a look at my blog stats today, and noticed I had a couple Google searches that actually showed me the phrase searched. Usually, it'll show "Google Search," but no search terms.

Well, the two that have been searched this week (that I know of) are "fail" (twice!!) and "sharpie dog how long do they live for." Pretty cool, eh? A Google search of FAIL directs people to this blog.


But while you're here, have an iTunes fail:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

true love conquers the dog pound

About a month or two ago, a little hungry stray lab waltzed into our yard, tail wagging like the sun shined just for her. Our big, white Great Pyrenees (pronounced PIH-rih-knees) was ecstatic over the idea that a new girl (or a girl, at all), was on his block, and yeah, pretty soon they were husband and wife.

We toyed with some names for her - Cake? my suggestion. Buttercup? little sister's suggestion - until finally, after a week and a half, someone said "Daisy," and it fit just perfectly. She seemed to like it too.

A little later, we learned that she wasn't actually a stray, but the dog of someone the next street over. They didn't want her - they had a new dog now - and she certainly wasn't being taken care of with them. We assumed that since they didn't want her, she was ours, but one morning Animal Control showed up at our house, Daisy in the cage.

To clarify one thing: we live in the semi-country. Everyone on the street has two acres apiece, and the dogs generally run around as they please, though technically there is a leash law.

So when the Animal Control drove into our driveway, our dog was not pleased. He was even less pleased when he saw Daisy in the back, so the officer wisely decided to stay in his vehicle and talk to me through the window.

"The people down the other street called us in about this dog they wanted us to pick up," he said, indicated the confined Daisy. "And they said that your dog is loose and runs around, too. I'm gonna write you a warning, just make sure he stays tied up."

So he wrote the warning. I tied up the dog. He drove away with Daisy.
We were pretty sure we weren't going to see her again.

But this isn't a sad story!!

This morning, pulling my truck out of the driveway, I saw a little yellow wriggling animal. Even though I was late for class, I parked, got out, and petted Daisy, incredulous. She was muddy from nose to tail. "HOW did you get back??" I asked her. It would have been nice to get an answer.

But it's nice enough that she's back. We've been speculating as to how she could have come back... We're doubting it was the people who called the cops on her, and who else would it have been? The only thing we're left to assume is that she pulled a Homeward Bound and managed a prison break, trekking through the rain and mud to get back to us. Isn't that sweet?

And of course, our dog is pretty happy to have her back. We'll be getting little fluffy babies any time now. :D

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

lists of 7: internet browsers (part 2)

Last time, I talked about SeaMonkey, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Flock. SO, to continue, on to numero tres!

3. Apple Safari. Let's get one thing out in the open: Safari is a lot like Chrome. Not saying that anyone copy-catted or anything, it just has the same simple design and basic layout. I'm sure Safari has its advantages... somehow... but some of you already know how I feel about Apple, so this is slightly biased. I wasn't impressed, either way.

Who should use it: Mac-lovers, liberal-arts students, people without a job - oh wait, I already said that, people who like fast browsing.

2. FirefoxI've been using Firefox for five kazillion years, even before all the cool kids were using it. I'm not really sure that Firefox has any cons whatsoever. Add-ons galore (and if you make it cluttered, that's your problem), quick surfing, and lots of add-ons, also. I mention it twice, because anything that Firefox can't do itself, it has an add-on that will. Syncing bookmarks? Try Xmarks. Firefox. Does. Everything. 

Who should use it: Everyone, unless you like foolishness like IE. Safe, fast, and fun = Firefox. Get it. 

1. Opera. When I first downloaded Opera with all the other browsers, I had the attitude of "Meh, that one can be tested later." Silly me. While at first the replacement of add-ons to widgets annoyed me, I got over it pretty quickly. It has a really great New Tab default called Speed Dial that let's you choose your nine favorite sites for easy clicking or keyboard short-cutting (Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, etc). The address bar shows not only a visual progress bar, but also the number of elements left to load (e.g. "Elements 2/7"). There are built-in mail and IRC clients, but I haven't used them since I dislike both. Also, one may change the skins of Opera - I'm currently using the Chinese Opera skin.

Who should use it: Everyone, even IF you like IE nonsense. With all the widgets you can get floating around the desktop, I'm sure you'll feel right at home. 

Yep, that was long. For the record, I'm using Opera. But don't worry Firefox, you still have my loyalties.

Monday, April 27, 2009

lists of 7: internet browsers (part 1)

I was originally just going to make a "Firefox vs. Internet Explorer" post. Then I felt bad for leaving Google Chrome out. A quick Google search introduced me to Mozilla-powered Flock. Then I realized I've never used Safari. Then... you get the picture.

Let's start with the one I didn't like at all. Counting backwards...

7. SeaMonkey. This was mostly a filler thing. I needed a seventh browser, and hey look, SeaMonkey is a Mozilla project, so why not? Unfortunately, I didn't like anything about it. The design was obnoxious, and it didn't really have much to offer. Remember how IE 6 looked? It sorta looked like that.

Who should use it: No one, really. Its "features" as an IRC client and HTML editing browser is not impressive, seeing as other (better) browsers do the same thing.

6. Internet Explorer. Well. I have on my computer a little icon called "Global Warming." It's IE 7, and I try to touch it as little as possible. While IE has definitely progressed to be more safe and less cluttered-looking than previously, that's not saying much. 

Who should use it: People who like getting adware and pop-ups, people who still use AOL for their mail provider, and people who like foolishness.

5. FlockAlso a Mozilla-powered project, Flock focuses on the social networking part of internet browsing. It has various sidebars for media (like YouTube and Flickr), people (Facebook, Twitter), and it's own RSS feeds and blog uploader. What's extra great about it is that it runs pretty much exactly like Firefox. Add-ons, about:config tweaking: just like Firefox. 

Who should use it: Social networking zombies who like sharp design and can deal with a few flaws here and there.

4. Google Chrome. I love Google. So when I heard Google had a browser out, I jumped for it. But after using it, I found it's pretty plain Jane. Which is great if you want a fast-paced, sleek browsing experience (look at their search engine; they've got that down pat), but I personally like the bells and whistles that browsers like Firefox offer. 

Who should use it: No-nonsense webbies who prefer fewer features and faster results, encased in a minimalistic browser. And classic Google sass.

This is very long. Let's take a break, shall we? Continuation tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the eggs have eyes

It was one of those days: not enough caffeine, not enough sleep the night before, and it was food time. If I'm supposed to be in the kitchen eating, what's the best way to procrastinate? By decorating the food, of course. So I ran upstairs to grab a Sharpie, poured some dye into a glass and began.

Unfortunately, our family is all Organic and stuff, and we only had THREE white eggs. Brown eggs look silly when you try to color them. Doesn't work at all. But the three white eggs I found were promptly dunked into blue and orange-ish-pink stuff, and the others were drawn upon. Results as follows:

Egg isn't the best medium for showing off any drawing or typography skills I may have. That was an excuse for the mistakes, by the way.

My hope is that tomorrow morning, when someone goes to make eggs for their breakfast, they'll open the container and just shake their head. Maybe they'll save the pink flower for last, cause she's uber cute.

Friday, April 24, 2009

this spider is happy to see you

Known as the Theridion grallator, this Hawaiian spider uses it's weird markings to confuse predators. And amuse humans.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

explanations, please

"Gimme the fish," the baby bear says.

(via Bg11)

lists of 7: ways to procrastinate

After a while, the Facebook/Myspace/news/Google Reader routine gets old. Everyone goes to sleep, no one posts any blogs, and you've read all the interesting news. And the non-interesting news, too. This leaves the procrastinators among us searching desperately for things to do.

And, according to some chick with a blog about um.. habits? I think? says there are two kinds of procrastination: active and passive. "Active means you go out and find a thing and then you do that thing in order to avoid DOING THE THING. Passive is when you let a thing fill your time/space/mind so you can avoid DOING THE THING." Reading Sharpie Chronicles is obviously active.

Luckily for all of you, I am, in fact, a master procrastinator. Let me share my wisdom with you.

Internet procrastination:
The best kind, duh.

1. Stumbleupon. This is #1 for a reason. Stumbleupon is like a news and image and other things dump, brought to your browser based on your interests with a click of a button. It's so. So. Addicting. You should download the toolbar, just to, you know, check it out. Research purposes.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Game. It's a text-based game, which means it requires thinking, so you really can classify this as active procrastination! (Sorta.) It takes forever. And if you mess up, you have to start over. I used the hints and cheats, but Sh, don't tell anyone!

3. Plinky. They say they're a creativity site (or something) to give people ideas to post on their blogs. I've used it once or twice, but there's a lot of silliness and random stuff to make goofy answers too. Reading everyone else's answers is something else, too.

Non-internet procrastination!
'Cause the computer rots your brain, and you need to have some left for that essay.

4. Drink copious amounts of caffeine. You will not be able to focus on anything. Foosh's caffeine mints are my personal favorite. Then, get out Sharpies, tape, and white paper, tape them all together to cover your floor and make boxes and diagrams for where everything should go. Once that's done, go to your kitchen and label things like "Sink." "Fridge." "Light switch." In case people forget. You'll be doing your housemates a service.

5. Collect all the pens and pencils in the house and test each and every one of them. Have a funeral for the deceased ones, and hide the rest. Or you can sell them to your family and/or roommates if they want them back.

6. Update your blog template, if you have one. Either write your own (it takes soooo long), or do endless searches to find just the right one, then tweak it to look how you want it to look without ruining the entire template. If you are lame not lame and have Wordpress, um... create a Blogger blog or something.

7. Make a List of 7.
Of anything. Then trackback it here so I can read it and be proud.

photo "too much caffeine" courtesy of Saul Zackson

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

goodnight and go

I have a new layout.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

fresh fruit = healthy, right?

I get in trouble a lot for the amount of carbs I eat. Not necessarily 'cause I need to watch my weight, but because, my mother says, it's unhealthy and I need protein. It doesn't help that I don't particularly care for red meat.

One of my favorite forms of delicious carbohydrates is a French country loaf from Whole Foods. They're 99 cents, so I buy two every week. Whole Foods may be over-priced and overboard with the Green thing, but they know how to make some bread.

A couple months ago, after making desserts for a get-together we were having, I popped a slice into the toaster for a quick snack. And then I noticed it: leftover strawberry frosting. Do you know what strawberry frosting and warm toasted bread is? THE BEST THING... SINCE SLICED BREAD.

It is made with fresh strawberries. Therefore it is good for you.

The frosting was for (I'm sure) equally good strawberry cupcakes, but the frosting was the only recipe we kept. I made some the other week especially for my bread.

RECIPE TIME! (edited, slightly)

With electric mixer, make 1 cup of softened butter all floofy. If you are using unsalted butter, add a dish dash of salt. Slowly pour in 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (as opposed to 3 cups of powdered sugar because the other 1/2 cup blew in your face when it hits the mixer). A 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (not extract, if at all possible. The real vanilla is so much better) and 4-5 Tablespoons of pureed strawberry. That's about five or six strawberries I think. Please take the little green hats off first.

Toast bread, spread on, and tell yourself that the frosting is good for you because it has real strawberries. Don't think about the 5 trillion grams of sugar you're eating.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

procrastination alert

I've known about this research paper since the beginning of the month. The beginning of the term, really, but the teacher kindly reminded us all about it around April 3rd or so. I've even looked at the three-sentence description of the paper in the syllabus, qualifying that as figuring out my topic.

What I'm trying to say is, I should have had this done yesterday.

But since it's not done, naturally I need snacks, right? So then I ask myself: Would my family begrudge me popping popcorn with an air popper at eleven o'clock at night? Yeah. Yeah they would.

I didn't want popcorn anyway. It would make my keyboard greasy with the excess amounts of butter I top it with.

The problem with snacks, I realize as I pilfer through the pantry, is that you can eat it all. There are no limitless supplies of energy vitamin water/beef jerky/Watermelon Sour Patch. It's a serious issue, one I am sure people are trying to fix as I speak. Type. (Why is it that when I Google search "Watermelon Sour Patch," a result pops up that offers me "huge selection and variety"? There is no such thing. Stop lying.)

Hey cool, I just opened a package of beef jerky that is covered in mold. No joke.

Time for replacement snack. And research paper.

Oh oh, also? I found this amazing site in my bookmarks (I should look through those more often) and found Bedtime Tunes, a nice ambient/soft music site absolutely brilliant for studying/writing research papers. So happy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Remember those goals back during Spring Break? I had two (for those of you who don't remember): learn Pachelbel's Canon in D, and make a video of some sort. Guess what? I didn't do either. And it's what, three weeks after Spring Break? Four? Yeah. Fail.

Randomly remembered it. That is all.

lists of 7: have you heard...?

Confession: I don't have the best of memories. I get distracted way to easily for that. I remembered yesterday, though, that I've failed to blog about some pretty important (or notsoimportant) things that are happening right now.

1. I have a baby brother. His name is Richard Jacob Caleb, and he's now a week and three days old.

2. I went to Scotland last week. You should all know that. I just thought I'd throw it in there because I need to make it to seven.

3. I quit my job yesterday. My last day is next Wednesday. I'll go semi-jobless for the next month or so until we go on family vacation, and then get a job somewhere else.

4. I entered an essay contest. It was this past Tuesday, and I won't know the outcome until the end of the week. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much; we'll see what happens.

5. Yesterday was tax day, and I managed to get my extension form in on time. The IRS website is extremely annoying and complicatedly stupid.

6. The classic Jolly Ranchers are my new favorite candy. I'm planning on buying a bag on my way home from school tomorrow.

7. This is the end of this post. Expect more Lists of 7 in the future as well; hopefully ones slightly better written than this one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

conversations: Josiah

So I was having a conversation with my two year-old brother Josiah today and I happened to ask him how old he is.

"Two. EIGHT!" he told me.

"Two?" I asked.


"You're eight?"

"Yes," he said confidently. "Eight."

When pressed further about birthdays and when he actually turned eight, he changed the subject.

Later, while discussing the merits of a lighter and how he couldn't turn one on, he told me he wanted the fire.

"What do you need the fire for?" I asked him. "What are you going to set on fire?"

He thought about this. Then, apparently pleased with himself, he said, "The table!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

lists of 7: [current] favorite things

My [current] 7 favorite [favourite!] things that are in my room at this moment.

Random, I know. You should be used to it by now.

laptop. Does this really need an explanation?

bed. It's soft, it's warm, it's great for sleeping on.

cell phone. Even though it's not a Smartphone, I like to pretend like it is and use it for email and internet when I'm out of the house.

Converse (shoes). Definitely my favorite shoes. Might be for a while, too. :D

colored (or is it coloured?!) pencils. I recently (as in a few weeks ago) acquired a nice set of colo[u]red pencils, and they're so lovely to draw with.

fish socks. I bought some short socks with yellow fishes all over them especially for my trip to Scotland. <3

Beyond Paradise Blue. It's a perfume my mom gave me a couple months ago, but I still love the way it smells.

P.S. Alternate spellings are for the touchy Brits. :D

Friday, April 10, 2009

very, very long flight

I am finally home.

Would anyone like to book me a ticket back? :D

The last couple days turned out to be the most stressful. We took an hour and a half flight to Amsterdam, and from there we flew to the United States. Most of the people were Dutch (since we were in Holland; surprise, surprise). Thankfully, we sat behind some nice kids on the ten-hour flight to the good ol' US of A, and they made me happy.
At one point, I ripped them out a page of my monster stickers and gave it to them. The little boy turned around at his mother's request and told me "Danke schön!" I smiled back and said "You're welcome!"

At that, his eyes got big (he was maybe 6 or 7) and he said, "Wow!! Dutch people can speak English?!"

He and his sister (they could have been twins, but I'm not sure) were the most well-behaved children I have ever seen on a flight. They had to be asked to settle down a couple times, but they stayed in their seats and talked nicely to each other. When the pilot announced that we were landing in Houston, they both got so excited and clapped, and told each other what they were going to do when they got there: Papa was surely going to pick them up from the airport (their granddad), and they would have SO MUCH FUN in Houston, because it was the best. So they said.

Then the boy turned back to talk to me. "Are you going to Houston?" he asked. "Yep," I replied. "I live in Houston." "Wow. I am going to Houston, but I do not live at Houston. I live at Switzerland!"

When we started descending low enough to see buildings and roads, his sister sang "Hello Houston!" And when everyone stood up to stand in the queue, the boy put his face in between the seats to whisper to me, "I'm leaving, maybe I will see you in the airport!"

Kids are so cute.

I'm back now. Exhausted, tired, and wanting to go back already.

Monday, April 6, 2009

profound thoughts from the minds of Tiph and Nome

I would just attach the image to the blog post, but you need to be able to zoom it to read the words. This work of brilliance was done on a magnetic board at the Kelvin Grove Art Museum in Glasgow by me and Nome, and should be respected for the obvious amazingness it is.

one fish, two fish; red fish, blue fish

Edit: this is not the Dr. Seuss story. Sorry. But if you came here because you searched for that... here, wouldn't you like to know things to do with Venus, or eggs that have been drawn on. Just wondering. That's all.

Here's a funny story:

After evening service this past Sunday we were invited to the reverend's house with some other people. The subject turned to the differences I've seen or noticed while I'm here, and I mentioned the conversation between Sam and I in which he warned me, "The faucets are very strange here!"

There was a general confusion after this, and someone said "What?" and I said the last bit again. And the minister asked his wife, "Eh, who are the Faucets?"

It was brilliant: she had to explain they were taps, not faucets, and everyone had a good laugh. Then it died off, and one of the guys says, "Wait, what's wrong with our taps?!"


I went to Kelvin Grove Art Gallery today, which was free, for my tourist activity of the week. We took the train most of the way there, and Glasgow Central Station is amazing and beautiful. I totally forgot to take a picture of it until we were gone, and I figured Oh well, I can take a picture on the way home. But nope. We took a different way home.

But! I found a picture ON TEH INTERWEBZ and, while it's not quite as amazing as the real thing, is good enough. It looks much more dim and steam-punkish when you see it for real. And there are all these random people standing in strange places (like the middle of the way) waiting for their train, instead of, say, near the train area.

Have I mentioned anything about all the tea the people drink over here? I can't remember. Well, we drink a lot of tea.

Also: the title of this post has nothing to do with anything.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tiph-sized post

What you are seeing here, is, in fact, a mansized tissue. As opposed to a woman-sized tissue, or even an elephant-sized tissue. Because, obviously, men need their own sizes in tissues. It is important.

They get their own size of couch, too.
That was a lie.

Friday, April 3, 2009

first day in glasgow

I'm in a little cafe off a really really big bus stop right now, sitting at a window bar watching everyone walk past.

The weather is beautiful.
The cars are hilarious.
The fashion is much better.
I forgot to bring my adaptor with me to the cafe. I'm stupid.

So I flew for maybe ten hours to Amsterdam (where they spoke DUTCH), and then for an hour and a half more to Glasgow. I slept maybe two hours (max) throughout the flights, so I'm feeling kinda delirious right now. I'm more fortunate than Nat and Josh and John, though, cause they slept a total of fifteen minutes (and that was all Nat).

They have lifts, not elevators; "give way"s, not "yield"s; prams, not strollers, ETC.

Everything is almost twice as expensive, and I'm hungry and starving. STARVING, I say. I want to hoard my money, so I think I'll just starve (just kidding).

Time to use my battery power elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

and counting

I'm practically counting down the hours now [I say "practically" because I don't know how to count]. Tomorrow at 3:30p I will be on a plane heading to a faraway land - and what awaits me there, nobody knows.

Translation: I'm going to Scotland. They speak English; that's a definite plus.

In the next few hours, I get to decide whether or not to take my watercolors (what if I just need them sometime during the trip??), find my camera (okay, I concede: I lost it), print a bunch of necessary paperwork, and fit everything into my suitcase.

Now that I think about it, I should start now.

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.


Woo! You reached the End of the Page! You rock. Bored yet? If not, click the handy-dandy next button up there (it's there, right?), but otherwise, visit my Flickr page or my Etsy shop. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog before you go!

About a third of the credit for this template goes to The rest of that fraction goes to Tiph's incessant tinkering and exploding the CSS 'til it worked.

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