August 29, 2007

Dog days updated

I went for my workout this afternoon with my trainer and asked him if he knew the meaning of 'the dog days of summer'. Instantly he rattled of a complicated meaning. Here's the gist:

"Well, the dog star is actually Sirius which is the brightest star in the night sky and it does rise and set with the Sun at some times during the year - when it does this it is said to be in conjunction with the Sun.
Since Sirius is the brightest star that we can see in the sky, it might be thought reasonable to guess that it adds some heat to the Earth when it is in the sky, although that amount is now known to be insignificant.
The name "dog star" came from the ancient Egyptians who called Sirius the dog star after their god Osirus, whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog. In Egypt, and in ancient Rome, Sirius was in conjunction with the Sun in the summer (ie. it was up in the sky at the same time as the Sun) and ancient Egyptians and Romans argued that it was responsible for the summer heat by adding its heat to the heat from the Sun.
The called the period of time from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction "the dog days of summer" because it coincidentally fell at the time of year when it was very hot.
The exact time of conjunction changes with the precession of the equinoxes so that now the conjunction of Sirius with the Sun is a little earlier in the northern summer than it was during Roman times, and as time passes it will move out of the summer season altogether (note: the conjunction is in the southern winter (both now and in Roman times), so ancient civilizations in the southern hemisphere could not have come up with this myth). "
August 2002, Jagadheep D. Pandian (more by Jagadheep D. Pandian), Karen Masters (more by Karen Masters)

I've read some gruesome stories about brown dogs being sacrificed to the dog star. Downright evil. If you have a brown dog, hide him until mid September.

Dog days of summer

So here I sit in the air conditioned comfort of my home and watch the temperature rising on the Google sidebar. So far it's up to 30 and it's not even 2:00 pm. It's actually been a good summer - very little rain and very little humidity. Nonetheless my hair continues to frizz despite low humidity readings. Either the meteorologists are all lying or I've undergone yet another signal of change of life.

Time has rushed forward. How does that happen... The older you get the faster the days turn over. And what are "the dog days of summer"? Are dogs tired from the heat? Do they start to shed their coats as the days get shorter? What for? That shedding business doesn't seem to make sense since they should actually grow a thicker coat to cope with the cold weather.
What about cat owners. Do they have days worth commenting on? The cat days of summer ? Now mine have certainly started shedding. After scooting around with my Dustbuster sucking up the thousand clumps of fur scattered all over the floor, within 5 minutes I have even more of them rolling around. They seem to shed at the beginning of every season. This doesn't seem fair to me who is still holding out for an honorary doctorate in vacuuming. If the girls do a good job licking, I then have to clean up the barf. There's no winning.

August 16, 2007

Computer Illiterate?

I've decided to open a shop on Etsy to feature and sell some of the art projects I've been working on. Ask me how many hours I spent just trying to put up a banner. Thousands, I'm sure. Even with coaching I failed. I have about 3 photo software programs to use and each of them had the required information missing. What the hell do they want? So I finally downloaded Photo Elements 5 and managed to find a language that Etsy likes and so it's been uploaded. I don't even like it but it's a start. This morning I started puttin a few things up and I've made spelling mistakes and missed crucial boxes. This I started at 10:00 and it's now after 1:00. Must go for my walk before I gain another 10 lbs from sitting in front of the computer. Not sure if I'll be able to make a link but I'll try.

August 7, 2007

Where have all the birds gone?

There have been no visitations to the bird seed cup in a week now. Are they sick of the menu? Have I killed them off by changing their diet? Have they been threatened by their flockmates? I'm deeply distressed by there absence.

On a brighter note, I had today the most delightful coffee meeting with Colette. She's such a darling and so easy to talk to. You can tell that she is sensitive and has a wonderful way of expressing herself in the written word. Go see her blog (linked in the sidebar). She has given me invaluable advice on how to set up an Etsy shop and I will let you know when I'm in the groove. Does any one know what Etsy stands for?