asher553: (Default)
The fitness center in my apartment complex is maybe 100 or 200 yards from my door. It's a short and usually uneventful walk across the manicured grounds - though a bit dark at night, as one of the lamps is out. I made this trek a few minutes ago, dressed comfortably and with my customary black beret perched atop my head.

About halfway across the green, out of nowhere, I felt a sudden swoosh, and my hat was suddenly gone. I looked around in the dark to see if a freak gust of wind had somehow knocked it to the ground - implausible, since the weather was calm - and then peered around warily for some human prankster. But there wasn't a soul in sight.

I went back to my apartment, put a knit cap on my head, and proceeded to the gym for a little exercise. This time I brought a flashlight with me. On the way back - again without warning - whoosh! and my cap was gone.

With the aid of the flashlight, I identified the likely culprit as a big owl, now sitting defiantly in the tree and staring back at me with a distinct look of "Yeah, it was me. What ya gonna do about it?"

So that is my obligatory Halloween story. I was relieved of my hat, not once but twice, by an audacious owl, and I guess I'm lucky that's all the critter took, or I might be wandering the trails of Hillsdale like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
asher553: (asher63)
Via the indispensable Friends-of-Friends page, a 1971 whiskey ad. Words fail me.
asher553: (Default)
Pakistan Jails Doctor Who
[read the rest of the headline at the link]
Not to make light of a very serious and sad situation - but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who did that double-take. (HT ithildyn.)

Spam goes steampunk. (HT mosellegreen.)
See previous:


Feel it.
asher553: (Default)

Dumt & Farligt have way more fun than Mythbusters. This is the "Don't try this at home" video to end all don't-try-this-at-home videos.

Zounds! Lolcats!

Previews of the "Hereville 2" cover, by my friend Barry Deutsch.

Don't judge me.

T-Mobil girl gets a makeover.  Will she end up like Erin?
asher553: (Default)
How do you figure that it brightens my day to learn that "5 connections changed jobs so far"?

Also, I know it actually says "titles", but I first misread the message as "Click here to view their new titties." Please be careful with the Comic Sans.
asher553: (Default)
I found myself pondering the subject of unisex or androgynous names - I'm talking about fairly common or traditional names that are, or have been, given to both boys and girls. (Of course, nicknames like "Chris" that are short for names with separate feminine and masculine forms don't count.) After a little brainstorming, I wrote down a few and checked them out on Name Voyager.

Leslie tops the list.
Looks like there've always been a few girls named Leslie, but it went from predominantly masculine to predominantly feminine in the 1950s. Now it's almost exclusively a girls' name.

Kelly was about evenly split for boys and girls in the 1950s, but again, the girls took over after that.
In our preschool co-op, though, there's a mom named Kelly and a dad named Kelly.

People have always been naming boys Taylor, but around the 1970s it caught on big - and was an even bigger hit for girls.

Lynn: same story, but earlier.

A steady trickle of boy Ashleys was suddenly engulfed in a tidal wave of girl Ashleys in the seventies.
I had it in my head that Ashley was fairly common for men in bygone days - perhaps because of the references to Miss Emily's mythical beau Ashley Longworth in "The Waltons". But apparently it only ranked 693 in the 1890s.

"You can't call a boy Winnie" but you can call him Robin (with or without the Christopher).
You can call a girl Robin too, and from the 1940s on, lots of people did.

Ethel isn't exactly the hippest name these days, but up until about 1900 it was quite the rage for girls - and there were a few boy Ethels too.

The craze for naming girls Lindsay hit in the 1970s.

Dylan really caught on for boys in the 1980s, and brought in a few girls after the 90s. For some reason I expected to see more girl Dylans, but no, that one is still mainly boys' territory.

Despite ending in an A, the name Asa (after the King of Judah) doesn't seem to have ever been popular as a girls' name. It's pretty obscure as a boys' name too, but seems to be on its way back after falling off the chart completely in the mid-20th century. Asa was very big in the 19th century though. Every Stumptowner knows the name Asa Lovejoy, who founded Portland, Oregon, but missed out on the chance to name it Boston after losing that famous coin toss to Pettygrove.

ETA: And of course there's Shirley (see below). And Madison and Morgan, and Courtney and Whitney, and Lee and Dee. Kerry is about evenly split.
asher553: (Default)
For those who celebrate. And especially for those who don't.

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