Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Please Use Straw Hole

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 7:20 am

Please Use Straw Hole by Laura Moncur 05-01-06Why does Tropicana care how I drink their orange juice? I don’t want to use the straw. I just want to open the carton and drink. Why is it so important to them that they not only have to waste a fourth of their carton to tell me how to use a straw AND print “Please Use Straw Hole” at the point where I want to open the carton?

I wonder what went wrong at Tropicana that caused them to print the phrase, “Please Use Straw Hole” on their cartons…

“It looks like the subjects in Marketing Research just opened up the cartons instead of using the straws again.”

“Even with the ‘Click and Sip’ explanation printed on the side?”


“What else can we do to make them use the straw? They’re supposed to use the straw, because it’s like, you know… it’s like you stuck a straw into an orange and just started drinking. That’s our logo.”

“Yeah… about that… have you ever tried doing that?”

“Yeah. It tasted horrible. Our orange juice is way better than that.”

“That’s what I thought.”

“Maybe if we put a warning on the carton right where they would open it up, then they’d use the straw…”


Back Home

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:03 pm

We got home Saturday evening. We went to California and went to amusement parks for five days straight. That’s too long. I thought three days at Disneyland might be too much, but after we added Sea World and Universal Studios, we were exhausted. I’ve spent the last three days just resting.

It’s good to be home. I forgot how comforting and enjoyable a purring cat on my chest can be. I forgot how fun an excited dog that loves me is. After spending so much time in artificial reality, it was nice to come home to a kitty litter box and dirty dishes.


Spring Sunrise

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 6:21 am

Spring Sunrise by Laura Moncur 05-03-06

The sun is coming in the window. It now comes up between Madison’s house and Rob & Mindy’s house. When I opened the blinds, I thought to myself, “Who put the sun there?” It has been so long since I’ve sat at this desk while the sun came up that the sun is in an entirely different position now. It’s all high in the sky instead of slinking toward the southern horizon. I’m not used to seeing it there.

Spring has taken me by surprise.


Go Dark

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 8:13 pm

I’ve been writing all day, trying to get all caught up so that I can go camping this weekend. I don’t like to let the weblogs “go dark.” I think of them as plays or performances sometimes. The shows in Las Vegas will say Dark Tuesdays. That means that on Tuesday, they don’t perform. The stage is dark.

I don’t like any of the weblogs to go dark, so I keep on writing. I write enough in one day to cover the rest of the week and the entire weekend, even for the weblogs that have only a few hundred readers a day.


PostSecret: SuperMan

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:32 am

PostSecret: Superman

I found this postcard on PostSecret.

I noticed. And by the way, it DOES make me love you more. Every day. You ARE my SuperMan!

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


What I Found In My Backyard

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 8:01 am


Sid’s a Good Dog

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click here to see the video

He always comes when I call him unless he knows he’s in trouble.


Happy Mother’s Day

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 4:52 am

Mom's Mother's Day Card by Laura Moncur 05-14-06

Carol and Lorna's Mother's Day Card by Laura Moncur 05-14-06

This year, we made our own Mother’s Day cards. I have such a trouble finding anything that even speaks to me for Mother’s Day cards. They try, but is a card that says, “You’re not really my mother, but…” as loving as I want to express? I like the creative aspect of it and I like to show off my artwork to my mommy.

I just want them all to be proud of me.


I’m Going To Vloggercon

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I\'m Going To VloggerconIt took me a while to decide whether I was going or not, but my tickets are paid for and I’m driving to San Francisco to attend Vloggercon.

Ever since I attended the How To Add Video To Your Blog panel at SXSW, I have been actively filming and adding videos. The panel was helpful in an inspirational way more than a technical way. I knew nothing about adding video to my weblog before and I was using YouTube.

Now, I can add video easily to my weblogs and it’s all because of the guys at that SXSW panel. I’m excited to mix with other people who are doing this regularly.

I’m going to Vloggercon!

P.S. A special thank you to my friend, Kathleen Bennett, for letting me crash at her place while I’m attending the convention.


100 X 100

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

When I talked about living in a small home (873 square feet), I talked about how such a small house can feel so roomy. Now, I feel like I live in a mansion. 100 homes, each 100 square feet, all photographed for your enjoyment.

Almost every home uses a bunkbed, either for extra storage, a couch on the bottom bunk or some of these units house two people. Another commonality is a fan. The rooms must get hot. After looking at all of these photos, I realize that I am living in the lap of luxury in my 873 square foot home with a huge yard in the back for Sid to run.

It’s amazing to me the different storage ideas that people use in these homes. Some units feel roomy and comfortable. Some feel claustrophobic and depressing. Others seem filled with hope. I loved looking at all the homes in the slideshow.

These are my favorites:

Click to see full size image

Click to see full size image

Click to see full size image

Via: kottke.org


whitney music box var. 12 – chromatic – prime numbers only

Filed under: Note To Self — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Digital HarmonicsI am strangely happy with these musical balls. I love the Chromatic Prime Numbers Only variation.

The explanation for it is here:

This is one of those situations where it seems that someone has thought a lot more about an author’s work than the author himself. John Whitney was an experimental filmmaker, but Jim has taken John’s experiments one step further by making the visual harmonics affiliated with musical notes. He has created something entirely new.

Via: Rocketboom


Toronto Ad Company Screws Over Coke

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Man, I don’t know what to think about this. Some group of kids did some crazy stuff in Toronto and made a homemade DVD about it. The kids were passing it around to everyone they knew. Suspiciously, an ad company in Toronto made a similar ad campaign for Coca-Cola.

You can see the comparisons there.

The kids went to a lawyer who was so convinced of the similarities that the firm took the case pro bono.

Me, I don’t know what to think anymore. There are several similarities between the videos, but can you defend a copyright on the “be yourself” feel-good mentality that has been shoved down our throats since kindergarten?

Considering the publicity, this might be the best thing that ever happened to those kids. Isn’t that why they were handing out DVDs of their exploits to everyone they knew?

Via: videoblogging : Message: Re: [videoblogging] Current Contradiction


Socially Conscious Liberal

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big DifferenceMalcolm Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point and Blink. They are non-fiction books that I found incredibly entertaining. Lee Siegel has decided that it is his mission to crusade against Malcolm Gladwell.

Now, I have some problems with Gladwell. He’s not actually a scientist, but he quotes their findings all the time. It’s kind of like getting your medical advice from an actor who plays a doctor on television. If you want good science, you really need to read the abstracts quoted by Malcolm Gladwell. If you want entertainment, you read Malcolm’s books. He’s bringing an introduction of behavioral science to the masses. It’s not perfect, but it brings the basics to a larger audience.

Lee Siegel can have his little crusade, but the strangeness that I noticed was this sentence:

“But the really sneaky thing about Gladwell is the way he constantly contrives to present himself as a socially conscious liberal, rather than the capitalist tool in journalist’s clothing that he is.”

I find it strange that he believes that a “socially conscious liberal” to be mutally exclusive of a “capitalist.” It’s possible to be socially conscious, liberal AND a capitalist. There is overlap. Not all liberals think that we should be communists. That might have been true back in 1963 (which apparently is the time from which Mr. Siegel has formulated his opinions), but it’s not true now.

That sort of thinking sets up a sort of simplistic rivalry where anyone who believes gays should have the right to marry, anyone should be allowed to immigrate to our country and women should have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies are automatically labeled as commies. Capitalism and Communism deal with the economy, not our social construct. The two influence each other, but they are both different views of the world.

It’s possible to be a liberal AND a capitalist.

Just thought Mr. Siegel might want to know that the world is a little bigger than his view of it.

Via: kottke.org


Jello Pudding Cups

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:18 pm

Sid knows that when I finish eating a Jello pudding cup, he gets to lick the disposable plastic cup clean. We both get a treat. I watch his long pink tongue clean the cup so well that I’m able to throw it away in the recycle bin instead of the trash can.

Little moments like these bring me more joy than an entire week at Disneyland.


Teaching Your Cat To Use The Toilet

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 7:21 am

I got the laugh of the day today at Momentshowing. Jay and Raynne are teaching their cat to use the toilet. Unfortunately, she has also learned how to use the toilet paper.

Click here to see the video

The amazing part of this video is that Jay isn’t laughing his head off behind the camera. I can hear him breathing, but I wouldn’t have been able to keep quiet. Good work!


Real Estate Activity

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:17 am

“Maddy sold her house for $235,000!”

Our neighbors across the street give us the low-down on Madison’s house. She put up a For Sale By Owner sign and flyers. Mike and I looked at the flyer and were shocked to see that she was asking $250K for it. Now, we’re even more shocked that she got $235. Three more houses have sold on our small block: another FSBO and two with Coldwell Banker.

Maybe to big wigs in California or New York, $235,000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a 1000 square-foot house, but in Sugarhouse, this is a definite jump in prices. Just last year, Rick sold his place next door for $150,000. Is Maddy’s house that much better than Rick’s or have prices gone up without me noticing?

Why do I care?

Mike and I are renting the house we live in. We love it and fantasize about buying it, but house prices in the area really have nothing to do with the amount of rent we pay. Why do I care? I don’t know. I guess the old real estate agent in me likes to keep tabs on the neighborhood.

The guy who bought the house from the motorcycle-riding hippie is going to use it as a rental. There is a team of two men taking shingles off the roof as I type this. The new landlord drives a silver Prius and parks it in front of the house for a few hours each week. The purple irises remained uncut until they died on the vine. I was tempted to go over there and cut a bunch for myself, but Mike wouldn’t let me trespass. I don’t think the new landlord would have cared. He has no renters and he’s not cutting them for himself.

All of this real estate activity makes the neighborhood feel like it’s changing. Are there new people in the house yet? No? When will they come. What about the people who paid so much money for Maddy’s house? I haven’t noticed yet. All I know is that our neighbors from across the street are coming over for dinner tomorrow. They are staying here until the end of the week, at least, so there is some semblance of stability in my life.


Bush/Cheney What A Car Wreck!

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Mike and I were driving home from Mt. Hood, Oregon. At the Utah/Idaho border, we saw this SUV being towed. It had obviously been in a fantastic wreck.

Bush/Cheney What A Car Wreck!

Close-up of the Bush/Cheney Car WreckI thought it was ironic that affixed to the left side of its bumper was a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker. All I could do is watch the Jeep be towed away.

How fitting…

The presidency has been such a car wreck that all we can do is crane our necks to watch…


Self Portrait Tuesday: My Vitamin Bottles

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

My Vitamin Bottles by Laura Moncur 05-17-06

Every day I brush my teeth. My eyes wander as I perform this mundane task and they inevitably fall to these vitamin bottles. Every day I notice that my vitamins are “expired.” In reality they’re not. Those bottles are OLD, but the vitamins within them are from the huge bottle that I bought at Costco only a month or so ago. The vitamins aren’t expired; the bottles are.

Still, my mind panics every time I see that expiration date on the multi-vitamins. In a couple of months, even the calcium will be “expired.” Every day I will have a tiny jolt of worry while I brush my teeth.

I should take a Sharpie and mark out the expiration dates…


Maggie Round

Filed under: Art and Photography,Maggie,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Maggie Round by Laura Moncur 05-28-06

It was cold in the house the other night. Maggie had rolled herself into a perfectly round ball. I was able to get a quick picture of her.

The interesting moments of our lives are so fleeting that it’s difficult to record them with anything but our memories.

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