Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Following Instructions

Thanks to Banjo Player and her husband for this jpeg.  The original person who posted it said people can repost it, so I am.  BP's hubby thinks this might be a Charles Ives piece, that they sometimes have instructions like this, but since it seems to be the modus operandi of many singers no matter what piece they are doing, I couldn't resist putting it on my blog!

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Tropical Ancestral Bunny

I have always found it a bit puzzling that rabbits, which are supposedly temperate climate creatures, love tropical fruit so much. Their favorite flavors seem to be banana, papaya, and pineapple. I was saying to Toque McToque that this is very strange, since bunnies and bananas did not evolve together… unless rabbits are truly tropical creatures that somehow found themselves in cold, snowy climes and this is why they are now so bitter. You know, like humans. So my goal is to visit Hawaii to search for the elusive ancestor of today’s lagomorphs. Surely there are still two or three hopping around on the islands, right? I have read many strange theories, but so far as I know, this one is original to me, so I am hoping to get a government grant to fund this science research.

Another bonus: if I lived in Hawaii, I would have easy access to tropical fruit in order to create the line of rabbit treats that will make me a millionaire. Today’s treats come in flavors like carrot and apple, which are OK with my rabbits, but they really prefer the tropical flavors. Judging by what Cashmere loves to eat, I would also have a lot of success making rabbit treats in flavors like Phone Book, Electrical Wire, and Yoga Mat. I’m sure there is a vast, untapped market out there for Yoga Mat Yums, and I am just the one to tap it. And you, my half-dozen (give or take one-fifth of a reader) readers, can say you knew me when!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Layers!

The rest of the city is running off to see Obama, but for you, my faithful readers, I am preparing more layers.  Of course you remember my mood depiction I call "Trapped":

Which I then added to my masterpiece "Wanna Sail," about wanting to sail, not getting to, and having to watch others sail from my office window:

I then had "Wanna Sail" as a painting hanging on the wall of this lovely living room:

So then I put the living room into a castle, with a bedroom above it:

And then I put the castle into a fish bowl.  Maybe you see where this is going....

And here we are, full circle with another picture I had done previously!  Now the bad day is in the painting of sailboats on the wall of the living room in the castle in the fish bowl in my office.

Famous Hat

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Continuing Sad Saga of Aquinas

In hilariously tragic news today, the guy who owns the Segway company died when he drove his Segway off a cliff. Really. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Saturday Jilly Moose and I went to Cornish Fest. It was a Celtic paradise! We ate pasties, toured historic Cornish houses, and spent way too much money. So don’t ask to borrow any for the next month, got it? I have been getting my Celt on the last few days, wearing my new scarf, shirts, and jewelry prominently emblazoned with Celtic knot designs. Why should they be co-opted by weird New Agey Neo-Pagans? I am reclaiming them on behalf of my ancestors (Celtic but not Cornish so far as I know) who have been Catholic since St. Patrick converted them.

The sad saga of Aquinas the Computer continues. As you may remember from a previous episode, it had been given some apple juice by Richard Bonomo and did not appreciate it. Rich took my 2x5” packet of Do Not Eat and put it in the oven to rejuvenate it, but he left it too long and the paper packet dissolved, leaving a bunch of little Do Not Eat beads. They did seem to do the trick, however, and Aquinas is now partially functional. However, its screen is not backlit so you can’t really see anything, and so Rich hooked it up to another monitor. I was transcribing a song from early notation into modern notation using the software on Aquinas, but the apple juice incident had shorted out its audio capabilities, so I was unable to listen to my work and see if it sounded good. (On several lines, I was not just transcribing but transposing from archaic clefs.) Kathbert had brought her own computer Praetorius, another MacBook Pro, and she said maybe I could listen to my work on that.

“But you have to put it into a program Praetorius can understand,” she informed me. “Praetorius can only read early music notation.”

“I am not transcribing it back into early notation,” I said.

I still have the bottom two lines to transcribe tonight, but late last night Rich informed me that Aquinas’s audio is working again. I always thought computers were like cars, and the damage you did was what you ended up with: it never got better or worse, unless you repaired it. But Aquinas appears to be convalescing like a human, slowly getting better as time goes on. Should we be frightened by this??

Famous Hat

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bonus Friday Post: Layers

So I was discussing with Toque McToque how many layers I could put into a picture.  For example, you may remember my depiction of having a bad day at work:

Note how I cleverly incorporated this picture into my picture of other people sailing while I only got to watch:

So then Toque and I wondered how much further I could take it.  Here is a living room with the picture of the sailboats as a painting on the wall, and of course now you can barely see the tiny depiction of my bad day:

And what if this living room were part of a dollhouse?  Then the picture of sailboats on the wall would be tiny, and the "bad day" picture would be completely obscured by its tiny size, but it is still there:

Check back later to see if I add another layer (or two, or three...) to these pictures.

Famous Hat

Friday Not-Sailing Blues

I was hoping to get to sail this afternoon, since it is very quiet here at work, but everyone else is on vacation or at a meeting, so I was told I must man (lady?) the office.  To add insult to injury, I can see the sailboat from my window.  Richard Bonomo and Mr. Why's parents are on it, but I am not.  Here is a depiction:

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Scanned Images: Rings

It's been awhile since I scanned anything and posted it on this blog, and since I have run out of things to say about Iowa (no matter how endlessly fascinating a topic it may be), I scanned some rings for your viewing pleasure.  The one on the left is an Australian opal I bought in Mexico, and the one on the right is a mood ring I bought for $5 at a cheap jewelry sale they had here at work.  It really does change colors all the time, like right now it is sort of pink and turquoise swirls, and sometimes it is dark blue when I am feeling calm, or all turquoise if I am laughing.  However, there does not seem to be any connection between the colors it turns and the handy little guide they gave me with it.  Unfortunately the swirls are along the side, so you can't really see them, nor can you see much of the Australian opal.  You'll just have to take my word for it that they are very attractive rings.  And when have I ever lied to you?

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True Story: Iowa Police Log

As we discussed yesterday on this blog, Iowa is an advantageous state in at least one way, in that it is one of the least litigious states in the nation. Also, in my personal experience, the moment you cross the border, you are greeted by the governor. However, our banjo player told me a story last night that makes me think of what we used to say Iowa stood for back in Minnesota: I Owe the World an Apology. (Or, if an Iowegian is driving in front of you, Idiot On Wheels Ahead.) Here is the gist of the story:

Banjo Player’s son is just starting his freshman year at a college in Iowa City, and he is taking an astronomy class with a lab. The lab (which is led by a teaching assistant) meets on the roof of a building on campus once a week to do some stargazing, and this week the TA decided for some reason to provide the students with laser pointers. As you can imagine, laser pointers and teenage boys are a potent combination, and two of the students (not including Banjo Player’s son) started pointing them at random people passing by.

If you guessed this would trigger a visit from the cops, would you have known that it would be considered a weapons offense? That’s right, apparently laser pointers are now weapons. After all, some of them can do some serious eye damage, although my guess is the TA was handing out cheap laser pointers that were more for effect than anything. The cops were all mad and said if the two boys involved didn’t fess up, they would get all the students expelled. Banjo Player thinks the professor might have been able to de-fuse the situation more successfully than the TA, but as far as she knows, her son is not currently in danger of being expelled. She did show me the entry in the police activity log, under “Weapons Offense.” Looks like Light Bright may not be on her honeymoon after all; perhaps she has a new job as a dispatcher for the Iowa City Police! Check out this actual entry:


That’s right, it was poss(ibly) a “lazer” (is that a more lazy?) pointer from a gun. The fact that it was just a couple of college freshmen with cheap laser pointers should have been the end of the incident. I will let you know if there are any updates in the Case of the Iowa Lazers.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today's Fun Fact

They say you should learn something new every day, and I sure did today, courtesy of an ad for our trainees. I love how these ads try to make unglamorous places sound fabulous so that trainees will actually ponder moving there, but this one included an important fact:

Iowa is one of the least litigious states in the nation.

Did you know that? Are you in danger of being sued? If so, you might want to consider moving to the lovely metropolis of Des Moines, which is a French spelling of a Lakota phrase meaning "No Lawyers Allowed."

Famous Hat

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do Not Eat This Apple

Sorry for the lack of blogging this weekend, but I really do have a good excuse this time, and this is it: Rich gave Aquinas some apple juice to drink. As you may remember, Aquinas is a MacBook Pro, and what better way to fry an Apple than with apple juice, right? The exquisite irony of it almost makes up for the fact that I could not blog about it until I got back to work, and a working computer.

Here, in Rich’s own words (and a vaguely apple juice-colored font), are what happened next in this ongoing sad saga:

“I stopped by DoIT this AM with my tale of woe. The guy behind the desk immediately spotted the irony of having spilled *Apple* juice into my computer.

He is and they are assuming that my power management circuit on the logic board is fried, and that there is nothing they can do. He also indicated that there are moisture sensors in the Mac which, if tripped, automatically void the warranty.

He thinks that I would have to send it in to Apple for repair at my own expense (which would preserve the rest of the warranty), but that it would probably cost over $1000.00.

Well, at this point, I think I am going to open the thing up and try cleaning and desiccating the thing myself. At this point, there is little to lose by trying.

I guess I know what I am probably doing later tonight!”

I offered Rich a hair dryer and any Do Not Eat he needed, but so far he has not responded. Being a female, of course I own several hair dryers (although I actually only own one head), and I have a habit of saving the desiccant from bottles of vitamin pills, etc. In grad school I had a roommate from Indonesia who called the desiccant Do Not Eat, which is of course how it is always prominently labeled, and so I got into the habit myself. I even have a very big packet of Do Not Eat that I found on the floor here at work, not that I was likely to eat a random packet of stuff lying around on the floor. It always struck me as funny that the desiccant in packages containing electronics is also labeled “Do Not Eat,” since what sane person would expect to find something edible in a box of electronics? “Bonus – they sent me some sugar with my new computer!”

Hopefully Rich does not need to get a new computer! Remember, Rich, if you need it, I do have this 2” square packet of Do Not Eat that is just sitting around drying the air in my desk drawer at work.

Famous Hat

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Quotable McToque

It was another crazy day, and I had no time to even think of the clever thing I am planning to write about someday, so I will just share some of Toque McToque's quotes with you (plus how often do I get to put so many Q's in one sentence?):

On children: Kids these days. Don’t know how to turn on a typewriter, but can program the space shuttle.

On hUBIE: Soon he will not stand in the way of getting actual work done.

On Light Bright: Even a ten-watt bulb gives off some light.

On a coworker we both like: He is exceptionally smart for a doctor.

There are others but for those you will have to read our book, which we will someday publish. (Meaning when I no longer work here.)

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wish This Were the View from My Window

I have nothing to say today, but one of the fiddlers from our band sent us this beautiful photo today. She is on vacation in Norway, and this is the view from the dining room at their hostel in Solvorn. She sent it to us to enjoy, and now I am sharing it with all 3.8 of you. (Hardingfele already got this photo, but she hasn't read this blog in weeks anyway.)

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Famous Hat's Guide to Research Terms

If you spend too much time around doctors (too much = any at all), then you may have encountered some of their bewildering vocabulary. The problem is just compounded when they do research. For example, here are some common research terms, which I have defined for your convenience:

Adverse event: having a bad day
Double-blind study: both the subjects and the researchers have their eyes removed; see also
Rex, Oedipus
Grand Rounds: filet mignon
Knockout mouse: a fabulously attractive rodent
M&M Conference: discussion of colorful little candies that had REALLY bad days
Placebo: fake tobacco made of plastic

I have compiled the above terms in a brief synopsis so that you can see how they are used by those in the know:

In a recent triple-blind study, three blind mice could not tell which mouse was the knockout mouse, so each one assumed it was and strutted about accordingly. They had to attend a conference, but how would they find their way? Easy – follow their noses! The aroma of the Grand Rounds led them to the right room. The next conference was the M&M one, where they discussed a small green candy that had smoked some placebo and experienced an adverse event.

And here is a jungle cake done by my former coworker, who is a doctor but a good one. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo; I had to "steal" it from a website that wanted me to order prints using the printscreen function and Paint.

Jungle Cake

Famous Hat

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gloating Post (hUBIE SUX!!)

I asked Toque McToque if blogging about the following would be construed as gloating, and she was of the opinion that I deserved a little gloating time. Here's the deal: now everyone knows that hUBIE sux! He is being, well, not sure if demoted is the right word, but he will not be doing his current job for much longer. Gee, I wonder why not? Could it be because it only took them 3% of my average lifespan to realize what many of us always knew? (Good thing that palm reader told me years ago that I was going to live to be 105 so maybe it was more like 2% of my life wasted having to clean up after someone and take the blame for his disasters.) It makes me want to do my little happy dance, which of course is to the rhythm of guaguanco.

Famous Hat

Monday, September 13, 2010

Romance at the Triathlon

Sorry for the sporadic blogging lately, I have been somewhat under the weather. Hardingfele sent me yet another piece of employment spam that is so wonderfully specific that how could I resist applying for the job? She received this email at 4:39 am with no subject line:

I have set aside 30% for your time and service. Please reply me with honesty

Wow! 30% for my time and service? You are too generous, Mr. Arab-Sounding-Name with an All-American-Name-for-Your-Email-Address!!

But what I really wanted to share today was this awesome "Missed Connections" ad Toque McToque found on Craigslist. Who says romance is dead?

Re: Ironman Triathlon
You: White male, about 6'2'' and 45 yrs old, brown hair, wearing expensive looking spandex and sperm-shaped helmet, walking west on W. Wilson
Me: White t-shirt, tan cut-offs, and small boobs, walking a reddish colored lab/chow mix, heading east on W. Wilson

It was around 9:30pm, and it appeared as though you had just finished the race and secured your spot at Kona. As you and your friends approached me four abreast on the sidewalk, my heart began to flutter. As I tried to move further to the right to avoid your somewhat muscular, somewhat doughy, large frame, the bushes brushed tenderly against my calf. I attempted to make eye contact, as I did not want my small, slender frame to damage your $8000 bicycle. That's when you noticed me, and those warm, gentle words flowed from your Gatorade and Power Bar stained lips.

"Excuse you", you said to me, as you pushed your expensive bicycle forward with an iron-manly thrust. And then just as quickly, you were swallowed into the enormous sea of other white, spandex and sperm helmet clad men, pushing their expensive bicycles down the sidewalk. I was lost for words at the moment our paths crossed, but have since had many thoughts I'd like to share with you.

If you think this is you, please respond to this post as soon as you return to your luxury condo in the suburbs. Maybe we could meet at a Panera or Starbucks in a mini-mall near your place and chat? I promise I'll park my Shwinn in back.

This woman is my hero(ine). Maybe I will write a Craigslist ad like this the next time someone is totally obnoxious. He will probably never read it, but she must have loved writing it!

Famous Hat

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Famous Hat (Davison) Wants YOUR Vote!!!! NOW!!!

Because I want to be relevant here at the Famous Hat blog, and election season is upon us, what could be better than spoofing an election speech? Particularly the infamous one of Phil Davison asking for the Republican Party's nomination for treasurer of Stark County. Enjoy. (Thanks to Hardingfele for showing me the original clip and for filming this.)

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spamtacular New Career Opportunity!

As my 5.8 faithful readers know, I am currently looking for another job. Just when it seemed that, due to the crappy economy, nothing is out there, Toque McToque's inbox comes to the rescue with the following piece of spam:


You can easily make $300-$1200 or more in a week by working for us as Sub-contractor in your geographical location,you will be in charge of collecting payment/commission on behalf of our organization thus Totally Legit International Cotton Plantation here in Republic Du benin. Does it sounds like your dream job?

Any job that does not involve M. Deities sounds like my dream job!

Note that no form of financial investment is needed from you.

Glad to hear it.

Your tasks are as follows:
1. Receive payment/commission from Customers.
2. Deduct 10% which will be your Commission/pay on Payment processed and remit our office here in Cotonou.

Wait... I'm seeing a potential problem... isn't 10% of 0 still 0?

If you are interested, please provide this information as requested below or in the application form attached with this email and send back to us as this assures our partnership.

I don't know about you, but it has always been my dream job to work in collections for a cotton plantation in Benin. Their application form is very simple too:

FIRST NAME.............Famous
LAST NAME...................Hat
ADDRESS.......................prefer Miz to Ma'am
CITY..............................yes, but I prefer the term "urban"
STATE............................clinically insane
ZIP CODE........................sorry, only know Morse code
COUNTRY...........................definitely not!
PHONE NUMBER................KX-TG5480 is the model, 5.8 is the gigarange
MARITAL STATUS..............short
AGE............. ....................none of your d**n business
NATIONALITY..................not sure any nation will claim me!
OCCUPATION.................wasting time, I prefer snail mail

Famous Hat

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trikin' on the Lake

Two Fridays ago I was at a fish fry with Anna Banana II, A-Joz, OK Cap, the Fabulous Jackie O, and Richard Bonomo, and several of us got huckleberry cosmos. They are very girlie drinks, bright pink and fruity, but are they ever potent! Kathbert called Rich, and he tried to get her to join us, but she refused. He thought I might have more luck convincing her, but I wasn't sure I could dial her number after [censored]. Let's just say that after half a huckleberry cosmo, the phrase "half of a huckleberry cosmo" is quite a tongue twister.

Here is a maple sapling growing outside of Rich's house. I thought it was so funny-looking because it has no branches, just one thin, tall trunk with leaves growing off of it.

Here are some cool retro pictures that Rich put up in his new house. I have no idea where they came from, since they were not up at his old place, but I like them.

Saturday Tiffy, Rich, Kathbert, and I met at the boat place, but it was cold and windy so we decided the trike should wait until Sunday. We took a walk along the creek and I took some photos.

This is a robot someone painted on the road in front of Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety. I have no idea what it means, but it was so fascinating that I had to take a picture.

This picture did not turn out that well, but I had to try to take it. You know how people are always seeing Jesus in a potato chip or Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich? Somehow the way the light was reflecting off of the dregs of milk in Rich's glass, it looked kind of like a baby so I said it was Baby Jesus. Rich said why couldn't it be Baby Smith, but how exciting is that? Every time I took a photo, the flash ruined the effect, and I wasn't sure how to turn it off so I covered it with my finger and got this odd red effect. However, you can kind of see Baby Jesus in the milk. His head faces right and his arms stretch out on either side.

Sunday the four of us went to the zoo. I loved this sign and had to take a picture.

I was hoping to get some footage of the flamingos dancing or the black swan saying "hello," but they were not cooperating. Instead, I took some photos of other animals.



I love the tapir! It's like a panda pig.

Pig (just kidding, this is a piece of artwork)

There were lots of other animals that were hard to photograph, like the seals. Kathbert overheard a redneck telling his little son that the seals were fish and could only breathe water so they would die in the air. Is he really that ignorant? Or does he think his son was old enough to understand sarcasm? I heard a mother tell a girl who looked all of three to stop climbing on the animal statues, couldn't she read the signs? All I could think was, if that kid can read those signs, she must be some kind of child prodigy.

It was much warmer yesterday but still windy, so the boat rental people were reluctant to let us take out the tricycle pedal boat. I begged and pleaded and promised to stay near the shore, so they finally relented. Here is a photo of the boat on land.

And here is the promised footage of Rich and me riding on the boat as Tiffy made a movie of us. Check out the details like my Big Fat Greek Water Park retinal-damaging green water shoes and the huge blue heron flying past in the distance. I made a loop of the sound of the water swishing over the trike wheels in Garage Band, since Kathbert really liked that sound but our conversation was kind of inane. (Samples: "Stay this way so the wind blows you back!" "Are you filming? Awesome!" "Hey, I can get that.... bird." "Do you want to try it?") Tiffy thought we needed banjo music in the background so I shamelessly stole the soundtrack from a YouTube video of a guy named Brad Sondahl playing "Pig Ankle Rag." (The original video is here.) So without further ado, I present "Lake Trikin.'"

Famous Hat

Friday, September 3, 2010

That Kind of Office

Here, for Hardingfele, is a depiction of my office, since she mistook my mood painting from yesterday for an office schematic. It actually looks just like this. Exactly like this.

Have an excellent holiday weekend, everybody! I hope to post footage of the Water Trike sometime this weekend; Tiffy and I have big plans for taking it out tomorrow or Sunday.

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 2, 2010

That Kind of Day

My day today can most easily be summed up by this drawing which I did in Paint two seconds ago:

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Employee Memo

To: Famous Hat
From: Management
Date: September 1, 2010
Re: Why are you still here??

You were informed back on August 9, or something or other, maybe it was the 5th but we're pretty sure it was a Thursday, that we wanted you out of here. Of course we cannot termite you since you have that stupid Union backing you up, but we can always fantasize. At the meeting on the above date, you informed us that you were in agreement with this plan, and yet as of today you are still working here, or at least you are still sitting at your desk. (Since as we all know, you never actually do any work.) Let's go over this one more time.

1. We don't want any of you autists working here. You saw how we got rid of those two trainees who were "autistic" instead of trying to work with them. So even though you haven't tried to pull any of that ADA stuff and get accommodations etc., we don't have the time to waste on people who aren't perfect. So get lost.

B. We don't care for your kind, and you know what kind we mean: the kind with XX in their karyotype. (We don't know what moonshine has to do with singing along with pop songs in bars, but we have to sound all scientifical, being M.Deities.) You have seen how many female faculty we have forced out of here since you started, and even if you are a lowly peon, you know stuff we don't understand like about "even temperament" in music and we even heard you quote Shakespeare the other day, and that's not how ladies are supposed to act. So quit it, and quit this job while you're at it.

iii. You do not act in a professional manner; for example, you wear brightly-colored clothes, and you have plants in your office (including the one in the fish bowl), and you even went on a cruise. That, frankly, is not what we are looking for in an employee. So don't get with the program, just get out.

As the following, or we mean above, five points demonstrate, you are far from an ideal employee. So when are you going to get another job, already? As long as you are still here to cover when Light Bright takes her vacation in two weeks, we mean.


The Management