Monthly Archives: September 2003

Homesteading Spiders!


Living in SoCal also means living with lots of spiders. If you have arachnophobia, it can be a problem or you get used to screaming and using Raid. I happen to not mind spiders, esp. if they will do their job and eat insects.
My general attitude towards spiders is as follows:
1) Only Daddy Long Legs allowed in the house. All others must exit or face death.
2) All Daddy Long Legs must homestead their 144 sq. inches properly. To prove their claim, they must catch and eat at least 4 insects per week, preferrabley of the flying variety or the ant variety. If there are more than 3 homesteaders per room or if they go beyond their allowed 144sq. inches (one foot by one foot), they and their webs will get vacuumed up.
3) All other spiders must live in the great outdoors. If you are a black widow, do not make a nest or hidey hole in my gardening gloves, as I will stamp on you thoroughly before I put them on.
In the summer, there is a certain species of spider (see pics) that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide/thick that makes very beautiful, intricate and large webs in between trees or across walkways. These spiders tend to do it at night and I usually walk right into the web and have a good scream as I scrape the web off and hope the spider is not on me.


The she spider, featured in these photos I took today, decided about four weeks ago or so to take up residence and thus nesting & laying of her two egg sacs on the front of the regular trash bin (as opposed to the recycling bin or green bin). I am sure she thought she was being smart, no humans or pets walking through her web, ruining her next or hurting her eggs. But every Tuesday for the last four weeks, she and her egg sacs have gotten to trundle down the driveway, sit out on the curb for 12+ hours, get picked up by the trash truck automatic lever, lifted in the air, all contents (except what is attached to the web) dumped upside down in to the trash truck, set down by the lever not so lovingly and then trundled back up the bumpy driveway.
Out of pure, shear fascination, I have not swept the spider, her web or egg sacks away, because I am very curious how many weeks of the Tuesday Trash Adventure she is will to endure before she realizes that the trash can is a bad place to homestead.

Ephemera, Kernals, and Short Stories

Meg and I have been having an ongoing conversation about creative writing, the web, and is blogging a new venue for writing or a new form of literature.

Short stories are naturals for electronic distribution. For starters, they’re short. Durr. More important is that they’re ephemeral. Short fiction is the cutting edge of the field, but the stories themselves usually vanish along with the current ish of the magazines in which they appear. That’s depressing as hell, but it’s also infopocalypic. I learned a lot of my form by reading and dissecting stories, and by writing them, iterating through different experiments quickly. Those stories are gone — might as well be gone forever.

The Mirror Project


I have been attempting to take a series of decent self-portraits in hopes of coming up with a fun image to send to the Mirror Project. Instead, I keep coming up with some fairly deranged photos… must be my state of mind peeping out.

Excitement in the Neighborhood…


Over the course of the last few weeks the City of Orange has been repaving the streets in my neighborhood. Before the Street Fair/Labor Day weekend, they had paved/slurried most of the North-South running streets, but had not yet hit the East-West streets in the southwest quadrant of Old Town.
The day after Labor Day tall orange traffic stands with notices went up on my street announcing that there could be no parking 7am – 4pm on Thurs., 9/4. I made sure my car was parked on the nearest non-about-to-be-paved street, put my camera within reach, and listened intently for the paving crew.
I had hoped for BIG GIGANTIC tar bleching, 100 yard long, machinery setting down new tarmac. But I was disppointed to find one smallish slurry machine and three guys laying down a thin, new layer of tar. Slightly sad, but the freshly laid slurry was steamy and glisteny, so I suppose it was still cool.


John Kerry to run for President in 2004

Here is an exerpt from John Kerry’s Announcement speech:

But the threats today don’t just come from gun barrels; they also come from oil barrels. The dollars we spend at the pump can too easily fund the terrorists who seek to destroy us. America will only be stronger if we never have to send our sons and daughters into battle for oil half a world away.

We have to disarm that danger by making America independent of Mideast oil within the next ten years. I know that the auto industry has political muscle. But we’re in a time of war, and everyone should contribute to the cause. In World War II, Detroit was the arsenal of democracy. Today they need to raise their gas mileage and build the vehicles of the future that use clean, renewable energy like ethanol. I also know there are some in our own party who resist this because they fear it will cost jobs. But it’s right for America — and energy independence will create 500,000 new high-paying jobs right here in this country.

I am glad to hear someone running for President say these words. Mr. Bush and his Puppet Masters ought to have said something to this effect two years ago. Now hopefully a leader in our country will actually follow through with the above!
We Americans are Oil Junkies. We need to go to rehab and then change our ways. Or are we going to continue our crude in a syringe habit all the while we terrorize ourselves and others for our habit?

The Political Compass

The Political Compass has been around and linked all over the place for a couple of years now. I have taken the quiz a couple of times now over the last two years, and each time, I end up a wee bit more to the left. The Compass places me in the Left Libertarian quadrant, which is where I would have place myself, but I did not expect how much to the left I would be.
Ms. Jen’s political compass
Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.74
I grew up in a conservative Republican family, the main part of the family has remained Republican, while myself, my mom, and my dad have consistently gotten more liberal as the years have gone by. My mom and I joke about it saying that she is a Republican in Recovery and has had 2 years of sobriety. I have had 10 years of political sobriety, as I first registered Independent in 1993.
Last night at the 2nd Annual Labor Day BBQ in my backyard, one end of the table got talking about politics and I asked if people had taken the Politcal Compass quiz, and they had not. Take it, and let us know how you do.

Christians for Biblical Equality

Thanks to a link in a post at Rebecca’s Pocket, I was lead to this article on the Christian Science Monitor’s website, All Equal Under God, But Submission For Women?:

Roles in the church should be based on the God-given gifts of individuals, which are without regard to gender, class, or race, they say, pointing to Gal. 3:28: “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I am glad to see a ground swell of Christians who are standing up against the instituition of fundementalism in American protestantism, of which the Christians for Biblical Equalityis leading the charge.