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That's an odd title, isn't it? Why oddments? Oddments is a word that means remnants, leftovers, odds and ends, hodgepodge, etc. You get the idea. So... why oddments? What I'm posting today is little bits of stuff, none of which would make a real blog post, but they're things just too good not to share! Mainly it's stuff that I've received or found that has something to do with previous posts on my blog. I'll put a link to the various posts that the oddments are related to. And some of it is simply interesting little oddments I'd like to share, not related to much of anything. Emphasis, I guess, on odd....

A while back I had a post called 10,000 words - 10 really crazy pictures, each worth 1,000 words. I have since learned that one of the pictures actually could/should have been part of a later blog post dangerous hike and freebies. Here's the picture...

outhouse on the Mt. Huashan hike

Here's another outhouse that could have been part of the post nice bathroom humor

double decker outhouse

That's something we could all keep in mind as we go into the elections this fall!

Here's a picture that could have been part of the post sign language The picture is of a martial arts school.

martial arts school signs

I ran across a neat picture that I think could make a great header picture for my blog (if it weren't the wrong size and proportion, let alone all the potential copyright issues). Just think, instead of having an ancient gargoyle looking over the skyline of Paris, I could have Ratatouille looking at it from a different angle....

Ratatouille looking over Paris

My wife found a great recipe online for the ratatouille that Ratatouille made in that animated film. We love this dish and have declared it her recipe find of 2008! If you'd like to try it out, you can find it at http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/rat-a-too-ee-for-you-ee

I tried something new in the garden this year - Thai Red-Seeded Long Beans. They're like the green beans we've eaten in China and like the ones in many Chinese buffets here in the USA. The name "long beans" is not an exaggeration! Here's a picture of me measuring several against a yardstick. I don't know if you can make it out in the picture, but the longer of the two beans measures 30 inches - 6 inches longer than they're supposed to be! Just a couple of beans is enough for a meal for the two of us!

30 inch long beans

Recently I've found a couple of neat "toys" online. Anyone who reads my blog finds out pretty quickly that I am a word person. I love puns and other forms of wordplay. Well, here are several visual forms of wordplay. In both them them you can tweak the font and colors to your liking.

The first one is called Wordle. You can create your own "wordle" in several ways - either by pasting in "a bunch of text" (as they say) or by entering a URL. I chose the second, entering the URL of my most recent blog post last Thursday. Here's the wordle of that post...

wordle of my post called English must be difficult

Another word toy I ran across is a text animator called textanim. Here's my little creation from that site...

animated text of ivman's blague

Several weeks ago I had a post called t-shirt slogans. Someone sent me a great video clip on how to fold a t-shirt in seconds. It's in Japanese (I think), but if you watch it a few times, you should be able to do it too. My wife has mastered the technique and says, "This has revolutionized my recreational laundry!" Click in the square below to start the video.

Now I think you'll agree that my calling this blog post "oddments" (with a heavy emphasis on odd) was appropriate. I'm looking forward to some really odd comments now. πŸ˜€


"Most problems in our lives go back to a false idea of who God is." - Dr. Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=

If you tell a joke in the forest, but nobody laughs, was it a joke?

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23 Comments on “Oddments”

  1. #1 Jeremy Patterson
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Great Japanese video! I appreciated that and will now try to do it just like she did. You have to hand it to the Japanese for innovation.

  2. #2 Dave
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Never before have I been so excited to get home and fold a t-shirt.

    Have you tried to fold your t-shirt like that? Did it work?

  3. #3 Rob
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Jeremy and Dave, it’s great to see guys weighing in on the t-shirt folding. In our division of labor at home, my dear wife handles most of the laundry-related tasks. She has delighted in showing me and others how easy it is to fold t-shirts in that manner.

    It was hilarious this morning at IT HelpDesk to watch a crowd of techs trying this out on a clean t-shirt that one guy had with him! They were able to do it finally, amidst cheers from the onlookers!

  4. #4 Carrie
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Wow! That is so neat! My kids were properly awed too. “Incredible” is the word they keep using. :o)

  5. #5 Michael
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    O to have been at IT this morning to watch that! Someone should have videotaped it and posted it on YouTube so that lots of people in Japan would laugh hysterically. Perhaps the next Olympic sport? I mean they’re ditching softball and baseball for some “odd” reason.

    I try to occasionally help out my wife with folding clothes. Needless to say, she’s much better at it than I am. One way in which I feel quite inferior is in the area of folding t-shirts. Perhaps this will be key to raising my laundry self-esteem.

    And, as for the picture of the martial arts school, what does it say about the quality of instruction inside if no one has gotten out?

  6. #6 Rob
    on Aug 12th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    O, Michael, to have had a camera this morning!!! The event could have been Olympic – it was definitely an aerobic workout with a competitive component to it! Too bad you weren’t here. You’ve gotta know when to fold, I guess.

    That’s a good point about the martial arts school. Maybe it was before they had accepted their first student?

  7. #7 Stephanie
    on Aug 13th, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Thanks for including the Wordle site! I work with our church youth group and needed a new poster idea–Wordle worked wonders! Just what I was looking for.

  8. #8 Rob
    on Aug 13th, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Stephanie, I’m glad to hear you were able to put Wordle to a good use. I’ve seen Bible passages done in Wordle. It’s really neat because it makes key words stand out.

  9. #9 Bonnijean
    on Aug 13th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I sent the martial arts photo to the owners of the school where I take TaeKwonDo and suggested that they think of remodeling to match that look. They showed the photo to everyone at the school yesterday. All the students thought it was a cool picture. You’ll probably have several new subscribers.

    Can’t wait to try out the t-shirt folding.

  10. #10 Sarah
    on Aug 13th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    That Wordle thing is really neat! I printed out a bunch of Bible passages on that and posted it around the printshop at church. The only problem is that it doesn’t recognize common words in King James English — Psalm 119 ends up with ‘thy’ as a key word almost 2 inches tall! πŸ˜€

  11. #11 Chris
    on Aug 13th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks for the Wordle tip. I absolutely love the effect. Speaking of things you can do with words, have you ever checked out the Internet Anagram Server? Might make for a fun ivman sometime… Try http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

  12. #12 Rob
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Bonnijean, I didn’t know you were taking TaeKwonDo! I’m just trying to imagine that in my mind’s eye … mild-mannered compositor doing martial arts. I bet this will keep your kids in line. πŸ™‚

    Sarah and Chris, glad you enjoyed Wordle and found it useful. Maybe Wordle isn’t as intuitive as I thought it was, Sarah. πŸ™ Thanks for the anagram link, Chris. Amazing … and kind of scary!

  13. #13 Dave
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I DID IT!!! I folded the tshirt successfully!

    Was it pretty? Not at all, but it definitely resembled a neatly folded tshirt.

  14. #14 Rob
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Bravo, David! My wife taught the method to my son and me the other evening when he popped by for a few minutes. It is fun to do!

  15. #15 Bonnijean
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I imagine it is pretty funny to see me trying to do the kicks. I’m doing it for the structured exercise. And 2 of my girls outrank me, so my TKD skills are no help in keeping them in line.

  16. #16 Rob
    on Aug 14th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Bonnijean! Yikes!

  17. #17 Zina
    on Aug 15th, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Amazing…the T shirt thing…I can’t wait to try!!

  18. #18 Becky Hein
    on Aug 15th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    At first I wasn’t able to get the T-shirt foldling video to come through. Then I tried it again. I told my husband I wanted him to look at it and help me figure it out. He said “I don’t really want to” But I showed it to him anyway and then he said “that is pretty cool.” So now I’ve done it, pretty cool.

  19. #19 Rob
    on Aug 15th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Zina, I hope you find it as cool as everyone else has.

    Becky, is Bob going to try it too … now that he sees it’s “pretty cool”? πŸ™‚

  20. #20 Jean
    on Aug 19th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    After reading how much you liked the rattatouille recipe I decided to try it. Now, my family, all males, are not especially fond of vegetables. Well, it was a hit and definitely a recipe I will make again. My husband wanted seconds, and he definitely does not like vegetables, esp., eggplant. My husband’s comment was you can’t go wrong with tomato sauce with garlic and onions and then goat cheese on top. I think it’s because you couldn’t really taste the veggies that they liked it so much. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  21. #21 Rob
    on Aug 20th, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Jean, my wife and I loved your comment. It was neat to hear that something that we enjoy so much was a hit with you and your family too — especially since your menfolk are not overly fond of veggies! My wife has a great recipe for a dish containing spinach that a friend who didn’t care for spinach even liked!

  22. #22 Ginny Layman
    on Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I enjoy the phrase, If a man goes deep into a forest and makes a statement, is he still wrong?

  23. #23 Rob
    on Sep 25th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    @Ginny – That seems like a rhetorical question…. πŸ™‚