Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Twitter Log: 2009-12-02

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am
  • RT @SeagullFountain: Why is it so much easier/more appealing to make a To Do list than to do anything on it? #
  • Dear El Pollo Loco: I'm sick of driving to Orem for my food. Please build one in SLC. (@ El Pollo Loco – Lehi in Lehi) http://bit.ly/735pyO #

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Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer Update

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Kansas Pacific Railway by LauraMoncur from FlickrToday, the fifth installment of Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer has posted on Steampunk Stories.

I hope you enjoy this story. It’s different than The Dowager Moncur’s Spectacles and I love how it turned out.


Twitter Log: 2009-12-03

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Play Dead

Filed under: Our Pets,Sid — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this video from LOLCats:

Mike and I taught Sid this trick. He doesn’t do it quite as well as this cat, however. I’ll have to see if we can get him on film.


Christmas Decorating The RIGHT Way

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

If you’re thinking of decorating for Christmas, take a hint from this photo from Fail Blog:


Mike and I have actually considered decorating the house for Christmas this year, but we haven’t touched the lights yet. Maybe we should just put up the tree and call it good there. Does the whole world really need to know that we celebrate Christmas?

Via: Your Weekly Treats « Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger?


Twitter Log: 2009-12-05

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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You Had Me At Chocolate Covered Bacon…

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

You had me at chocolate covered bacon…

Chocolate Covered Bacon: click to embiggen

The monster truck crushing a racing car was just icing on the cake!



Twitter Log: 2009-12-06

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am
  • At Aunt Vickie's wedding reception party. (@ Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City) http://bit.ly/4DLAWN #

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The Coolest Christmas Playlist Evar

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Christmas MusicIn honor of my friend, Braidwood at Authentic Threads, I’ve decided to create a Cool Christmas Playlist. Since some of the songs were recommended by her last year, she might not have much use for it, but there might be a song or two there for her.

I generally don’t like Christmas music. There are only so many times I can hear We Wish You A Merry Christmas in a month before I start to get homicidal. I love unique Christmas songs, so I’m creating the coolest Christmas playlist EVAR.

Note: I’ve tried to link to Amazon.com MP3s for any that I could. If I couldn’t find them there, I’ve linked to iTunes (with a warning). If I couldn’t find it in either places, I’ve linked to an album at Amazon. Oh, and if you buy a song, I get a commission from Amazon or Apple.

I have lots more in my Cool Christmas playlist, but this list is already a little daunting. Hope you like it!


Twitter Log: 2009-12-08

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer Update

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Telegraph by LauraMoncur from FlickrToday, the final installment of Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer has posted on Steampunk Stories.

I hope you enjoy this story. It’s different than The Dowager Moncur’s Spectacles and I love how it turned out.


Twitter Log: 2009-12-10

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Waiting For Santa Claus in 1903

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 12:53 pm

I love this photo from 1903:

Click to see Waiting for Santa Claus 1903

It was part of this full page spread from the New York Tribune: Christmas tide is come again and Santa Claus holds the centre of the stage by The Library of Congress from Flickr


Twitter Log: 2009-12-12

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Christmas Entertainment

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 3:06 pm

I love these retro 1950’s illustrations brought to modern life in this commercial:

The best part is that there are a couple of different commercials for each drawing, so by the time the helium balloon sucking rendition of Deck the Halls came around, I was laughing out loud.

Via: Schweppes uses 1950s illustrations to create a funny, new TV campaign – Found in Mom’s Basement


Twitter Log: 2009-12-14

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Man, The Eighties Were Bright

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

No wonder I have been scared of primary colors for the last twenty years…

Vivid Detergent

Doesn’t the little girl on the right look like Punky Brewster?! I SO wanted to be Punky Brewster…

Ad via: 1989 ad for Vivid laundry detergent – Found in Mom’s Basement


Building A House In Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Jenny Bauman had a house built in Daybreak. It is the same design as the house Mike and I live in, so it feels like a video of OUR house being built.

Our House Being Built from Jenny Bauman on Vimeo.

Our house is the brown color the house was before the painting, so for a bit, it REALLY feels like our house.

Via: Facebook | Daybreak Status


2010 Calendar Gift Box

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this little gift box papercraft from Blackpio:

I printed it on an 8 1/2″ X 11″ piece of normal paper, which makes a small box, which is only three inches high. It really should be printed on cardstock so the handle is sturdy enough to handle the act of closing the box. I’m sure this would be a great box if it were printed on a larger piece of paper, but my printer only prints on 8 1/2″ X 11″.

So, I altered the pattern provided by Blackpio so that it could be printed on two sheets of paper and put together. Here’s what it looks like when it’s assembled.

You can download the altered pattern here:

This box is big enough to fit the lollipops that Mike and I make every year, so I think this is what we’ll use for our neighbor gifts this year!

Via: Blackpio 2010 Calendar Box Papercraft | Papercraft Paradise | PaperCrafts | Paper Models | Card Models


Twitter Log: 2009-12-17

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer: The Truth and Fiction – Steampunk Stories

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Perambulator by LauraMoncur from FlickrI have written a recap of the truth and fiction from my story, Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer. You can read it here:

Frank McDonough Jr.’s Odometer was born in the Denver Museum of Art. Last September, Mike, Stacey, Dan and I all visited Denver. While the three of them attended the iPhone Developers Conference, I toured the museums of Denver. I took in the exhibits alone, which is a surprising treat that I’m not accustomed to. I was able to stay as long or as little as I wanted at each showing. If they had been with me, I would have been rushed past the small odometer hiding in the back display cabinet and this story would have never been written.

I haven’t written another entry for Steampunk Stories, but I have a great one in mind, so I better get crackin’!


Twitter Log: 2009-12-18

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Christmas Cheer from Three Frames

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

The wonderful three frames blog is celebrating Christmas with three-frame tidbits from a wide array of movies. This one, from White Christmas, is my favorite.

White Christmas from three frames

I love the look on Danny Kaye‘s face. So adorable! This three frame tidbit is taken from this Minstrel Number, which isn’t very Christmasy at all, despite the lovely costumes. Scroll to the 3:22 mark to see the three frames moment.

I’ve had a crush on Danny Kaye since he was on The Muppet Show and sang the song, Inch Worm.

He’s MUCH cuter in White Christmas…


Merry Christmas from CBS in 1966

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 7:19 pm

I love this little commercial for CBS from 1966.

My stomach turned when I saw the forest man with the saw approach the tree. Such a wonderful short!

Via: vintage_ads: Merry Christmas from CBS 1966


Busy Christmas From Ozzy and Harriet

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here’s a fun thing from the Internet Archive: Internet Archive: Free Download: Busy Christmas

It’s fun to see the way Christmas was viewed in the past. The idea of waiting until Christmas Eve until they get the tree is surprising to me. My family always put up the tree on Thanksgiving. Of course, ours was an artificial tree, so it wouldn’t get all dry and fire hazardy over the month.

It was hard for me to watch the whole episode because Ozzy keeps getting Christmas obligations piled on him. I’m the kind of raunchy grump who would scare away too much responsibilities or just say no outright, so it was hard for me to watch Ozzy be such a push-over.


Gorgeous Snow Photographs from Jere Keys

Filed under: Art and Photography,General — Laura Moncur @ 11:40 am

My old friend Jere is going to law school in New York right now, so he was there for the huge snow storm that hit the East coast this week. This is my absolute favorite photo from his collection:

Snowpocalypse 2009 Central Park by atp_tyreseus from Flickr

Click on it to see it full size. It’s just gorgeous!

You can see all the photos here:


Steampunk Mrs. Claus

Filed under: Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this costume made by Twin Roses Designs:

Steampunk Mrs. Claus

This prototype is actually for sale and you can buy it here:

After a Steampunk Halloween, I am almost tempted to have a Steampunk Christmas!


Twitter Log: 2009-12-23

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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A New Drinking Game

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I know this billboard is trying to teach parents about the dangers of underage drinking, but DAMN doesn’t that look like a fun new drinking game?!

A New Drinking Game by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Where can I get a human-sized Elizabethan collar?!!


Twitter Log: 2009-12-24

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Weird Al Christmas Cheer

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

If this Christmas season has been a little much for you, here’s a Christmas song to cheer you up.

The Night Santa Went Crazy by Weird Al Yankovic

If that wasn’t good enough for you, how about this one?

Christmas At Ground Zero by Weird Al Yankovic

I love Christmas songs that are just a little different. I’ve been listening to Christmas at Ground Zero every year for about twenty years now. It’s a classic to me.


Twitter Log: 2009-12-25

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am
  • I just got a score of 373K on Bejeweled Blitz. My work here is done. #

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A Christmas Memory

Filed under: Christmas,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This happened before my parents got divorced, so I was younger than ten years old. I grew up Jehovah’s Witness from the time I was four years old, so Christmas wasn’t a holiday that we celebrated. I had no memories of those few Christmas holidays that we did celebrate and even my last birthday party (held in secret so my father wouldn’t find out), was fading.

My mom, Stacey and I were at a party on Christmas Eve. A friend from my mom’s work was throwing the party and Mom wanted to drop by quickly to say hi to her. We were only going to stay a moment. I remember being worried that we might get “demonized” if we went to a Christmas party, but my mom said it was okay. We weren’t participating in it, so we would be safe.

We walked into the friend’s house from the cold and the noise knocked us over. There were tons of kids there, playing loudly. My mom said we were only going in for a minute, so don’t bother taking off your coat. Grownups always forget how long it takes to talk to somebody, however. I remember standing in the warm room with my coat on waiting for them to finish talking.

How come grownups can talk SO MUCH?!

It’s like they LIKE talking. I contemplated the idea that talking might not be as boring to grownups as it was to me when the mayhem started.

Unwrapped!!! by bigbrowneyez from FlickrWhile I was sweltering in my winter coat next to the heat of a wood stove, the kids had all arranged themselves on the floor of the living room. Each child had a present in front of them. An adult counted down and all the kids immediately started ripping open their respective packages. Paper was flying with noisy disrespect for the beautiful wrapping. I watched in awe as the kids went from present to present, opening in a frenzy. They didn’t even stop to play with each toy. They just opened and opened and opened.

I felt like I was going to throw up.

You might think that I felt left out. All these children were opening gifts and I didn’t have anything. There are many times in my life that I felt left out because I was a Jehovah’s Witness, but this wasn’t one of those times.

I was disgusted (and probably a little overheated from the wood stove and my winter coat).

After the divorce, when we were able to have our own Christmas celebrations, our gift unwrapping was very different from that night. No matter how excited I got by all of my presents, I never let myself get into that frenzied mayhem of present unwrapping, partially out of disgust for what I saw that Christmas Eve, but mostly out of gratitude for all of those Christmases I missed.


Winter Greetings

Filed under: Art and Photography,Christmas — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Now that Christmas is over, I need to change the greeting on my front door. Here is what I put up:

Click to download full size: Winter Greetings

I don’t care for scrapbooking since I do all of that memory stuff digitally, but I do like playing with GIMP and making pretty things. This is about as ambitious as I get, though.

Feel free to download this and put it on your own door if you want!


Glad I’m Not Driving In This

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:15 am

The snow wasn’t so bad in South Jordan, but the closer we get to Salt Lake, the worse the snow gets. I’m sure I’ll be wishing for the car when the bus drops me off, but for now, I’m happy to let someone else drive.

Snowy Bus Day

Update 9:06 am: For the record, I DIDN’T wish for my car once I got off the bus. The roads are so bad in the city that cars were slipping all over the place! The walk to BetaLoft was cold, but barely any further than my parking place would have been. Public Transportation For The Win!!!


Twitter Log: 2009-12-31

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am
  • OMG! The snow was so bad! Glad I took the bus! (@ BetaLoft) http://4sq.com/6q3Ieg #
  • The happiest dog! OMG SupaCUTE! http://twitpic.com/vk58k (via @CincySW) #
  • TED talk about dragonflies who cross the OCEAN!! AWESOME! http://tinyurl.com/yfggsdp #
  • One of the creators of Bejeweled talks about puzzles. http://tinyurl.com/yjzkuvb #
  • Left BetaLoft early, but miscalculation has me waiting an hour for my bus. Got 343K on Bejeweled in the first 5 mins. Now what do I do?! #
  • So cold! Can't believe I still have thirty mins left! Freezing fingers can barely tweet. #
  • On the bus. Delicious warmth! #

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Our Buggy Moral Code

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This is an absolutely brilliant video from the TED conference by Dan Ariely. It is nearly 17 minutes long, but it is SO interesting!

Dan Ariely was burned over 70% of his body and the nurses insisted that pulling off the bandages quickly was the best way to treat him. They were wrong.

When Dan realized that we have many irrational things in our lives, he started looking at cheating, in particular, the Enron stock market fiasco. What he found was revolutionary.

His intuition about cheating was also very wrong. Rather than being affected by the amount you can benefit or the risk of being caught, it turns out that cheating is MUCH more complicated than we ever thought.

Here are the crib notes from the video:

  • A lot of people cheat, but they only cheat by a little bit.
  • When we remind people of their morality (either with the Ten Commandments or Honor Codes), they cheat less.
  • When we get a larger distance from cheating (i.e. stealing a pencil VS. stealing a dime from petty cash), people cheat more.
  • When we see cheating around us, particularly if it is done by someone in our immediate social group, we cheat more.

Because stocks and mortgage backed securities are so removed from money and “everyone” is doing it, it is very easy for financial disasters like Enron and the most recent banking crisis to happen.

Here is the best quote from the video:

It is very hard to believe that your intuition is wrong. We have very strong intuitions about all kinds of things, but unless we start testing those intuitions, we’re not going to do better. Just think how everything would be better if we just start doing more systematic experimentation of our intuitions.

The best seventeen minutes you’ll spend today will be watching this video from TED. Take the time to hear Dan Ariely out.

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