Archive for the ‘scents’ Category

Colin Powell

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I shook Colin Powell’s hand today. Then I washed my hands because of “swine influenza.”

Both cats smell like cats. Something might be wrong.

Never Spore

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

You’ll probably never see my Spore away message set again. I finished the game several weeks ago. Finished, yes. After reaching the center of the universe, I returned to my home planet to turn in the quest and found that all my quest lines had been reset – apparently by the recent, mandatory patch.

F U EA Games. F U Maxis. Never again.

Ciaran smells like Shelly. Shelly smells like Ciaran. My nose imploded.

Torg is my Hero

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Dear Pete Abrams,

I’ve identified with Torg for years and years with but one reservation until today.  At last, you’ve made it okay for nerdboys to kick ass.  I can’t wait to tell all my friends how awesome I am. Thank you!

Your loyal Sluggite,


P.S. Shelly smells like maple syrup. Ciaran smells like a squirmy kitty who doesn’t want to be snuffled today.

Why I like Ann Coulter

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Because she’s funny.  If you like any comedian who bitches about conservative beliefs, say Bill Maher or that Daily Show guy, you have an inkling already of what I see in Coulter.  Here’s an article in Intellectual Conservative that expresses my sentiment in 5,000 words.  When she makes me laugh so hard that I wonder if her story can possibly be true, she’s thoughtfully provided a citation at which I can laugh in outrage all over again.

Except today.

To my conservative friends:  I’ve said for a long, long time that if we hear the same memes often enough we’ll being to believe them in spite of our better judgement.  Supposedly that’s a known phenomenon called cultural para-stimuli discovered by Victor Ransome Starling, a Nobel Laureate by virtue of discovering the syndrom in cats.  Read all about it in the forward to Tom Wolfe’s novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Wait, what?  This seems wrong doesn’t it?  I checked the Nobel Prize Nomination Database for the names Starling, Victor Starling, Ransome Starling, Ransome.  The guy doesn’t exist, or at least he was never nominated for a Nobel Prize.  You can verify that he wasn’t awarded a Nobel Prize even more easily at  In fact, the only authoritative-ish place I found informaiton about him was in a book review in the Washington Post.  Why have I even heard of this guy?  Because Rush Limbaugh made a big deal about him a couple of days ago and now the meme has spread around the blogosphere.  The idea rings true to people because we do observe the effects of a similar process.  The spread of theVictor Starling meme is a limited example.  The spread of the Bush Air National Guard meme is a similarly trivial example perpetrated with considerably more pomp and bluster.

I discovered the meme via a link on  The link is to an article on the BigHollywood blog.  While I agree with the grist of the article, the reliance upon this fictional scientific result discomforts me.  The spread of memes is a better model on which to base the author’s conclusions.  To be sure, I can’t cite scientific studies of the meme phenomenon, but I’ll assert that no citation is better than citing bogus science.  My dear, conservative brethren: please stop spreading the cultural para-stimuli meme.

Shelly smells like griddle-browned sausage and flapjacks smothered in maple syrup.  Ciaran smells like deep woods soil just before the first frost.


Sunday, April 20th, 2008

It was finally warm enough this weekend to begin cultivating a sourdough starter.  I put two cups of filtered water – at 120° F – and two cups of bread flour, by volume – because it doesn’t matter, in a Pyrex bowl.  That went on a dinner tray on my balcony covered with a paper plate punched full of holes.  It sat out there for six hours – after which time it was bubbling just a little, then came inside and sat in the sink overnight.  Now it’s rising like crazy and bubbling and fermenting.  I can definitely smell the yeast and attendant bacteria; the thing smells like sourdough and pretty good sourdough at that.

It’ll be a day or too before I know whether I picked up any nasty bugs that’ll make the sponge inedible. So far it looks like a success.  My house kind of stinks, now, though.  That’s a typical, temporary side effect of growing a starter; it’ll stop stinking in a day or two.  That’s pretty much the same time that I either throw the stuff away or pour it into jars and tuck it in the fridge.

Good times!

Fluffy, Beautiful, Airy Bread

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

You can’t see it, though, because my camera is broken.  This time I made every mistake I know, but the bread blew up beautifully and tastes wonderful.  I have an idea that I made a couple of my classic mistakes more intelligently than usual.  I don’t care to elaborate right now (I ended up doing long rises in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature – oops, elaboration), but I’ll come back with more thoughts after my next loaf, which should be made this weekend, since I’m probably taking the rest of this one to work.

Shelly smells like maple and sausage – so that’s normal. Ciaran smells like a memory of cappuccino.

Also, Ciaran’s tail is broken or bruised or something.  It’s healing up very well and he still has feeling/mobility to the length of it.  There’s a crook in it, now, about four inches from the base.  That was hurting him earlier in the week, but it seems to be a non-issue, now.  He doesn’t complain when I touch it, and it’s moving more or less like a tail – go figure.  My big indicators are he still grooms it all the way to the end, it’s warm, and the end waves like grass in a gentle breeze.  Any of that stops and I’ll worry.

Fresh Bread

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

These two are fresh from the oven. The smell in my apartment is intoxicating. (more…)

Where’s My Snow?

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

How come Mississippi and Tennessee got snow, but I didn’t?  That’s not fair.  Stupid lake effect.

I met a nifty woman on OkCupid. Finally.  I’ve had an active profile on that site since 1998 when it launched.  I search it weekly.  In ten years, I have now met one woman I really want to meet.  Granted, I met a half dozen wonderful women out in the real world in that same time frame.  I’m just blessed all around, I guess.

I can’t tell what the cats smell like because my apartment smells like baking bread.

I’m sad and I’m gonna blog about it

Monday, February 18th, 2008

I got stood up on a blind date tonight.  It was arranged through an OkCupid spin-off called  It’s kind of a neat idea, and I’ll do it again.  That’s the second bunko date they’ve arranged, though, so I’ll be out of patience soon.

I baked a third loaf of bread today.  It was too big for the loaf pan, but it mostly grew straight up because of the way I slashed it.  Came out looking like a lopsided mushroom cloud.  You know I liked it.

Shelly smells like maple syrup again.

Ciaran smells like recess.

Fire Alarm and Cross County Biking

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Someone pulled the building’s fire alarm at 12:30 this morning. I was still awake, of course. There was no fire; it was probably those punk kids who keep pounding on my door in the middle of the night. I practiced getting the cats into their carrier and outside, so it was a productive interruption.

I went biking this morning for several hours. A guy from work and I went to the Wakefield park to try out their trails. We started out on a mountain-bike trail that was uphill both ways. Crazy, right? My bike was not built for that kind of riding. Neither am I; I’m way too wussy to power through banked switch-backs. Maybe someday… We finished off on the Fairfax County Cross Country Trail. Rode a couple of miles down that to a small lake and back. The CCT connects a bunch of parks in Fairfax and also connects to a network of trails that will take you hundreds of miles all over northern VA. Pretty neat stuff. I’ll be biking more of it while the weather holds up.

Cat smells: They smell pretty much the same as after I bathed them: clean and a little musky. Ciaran’s ears are cold. They remind me of artichoke leaves.