Monday, September 27, 2010

Moe-SKI-Toe--I've Got Me Under Your Skin

YouTube playlist for this article, playlist compilation article

Over the weekend, I attended an event at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, music provided by the Austin Community College Jazz Band. One song they presented was "I've Got You Under My Skin", composed by Cole Porter.
Cole Porter wrote I've Got You Under My Skin in 1936, as part of the score for the movie "Born to Dance", which fans of Jimmy Stewart may remember as starring Eleanor Powell. (Trivia tidbit: Virginia Bruce actually performed the song in the movie.) The song was such a hit that it was nominated for an Oscar (and Academy Award). Then, the cover versions began appearing.
Frank Sinatra was probably the most celebrated singer to record the song. Shortly after RW (the event singer) sang it, I mused to myself that it could be a mosquito song, titled "I've Got Me Under Your Skin". After a few more songs, the band finished up, and RW came over to put away his trumpet and other items. (Yes! An accomplished trumpet player as well as gifted vocalist!) I told him my thought about the mosquito idea, which he responded to favorably. This positive reaction got me to thinking of writing a parody, which I have included farther down.

During my research about mosquitoes, I encountered several websites about them I found enlightening, entertaining, and amusing. I did a Google image search because I wanted to include an eye catcher in this article. Much of the content appealed to me as well. In the following list, I ranked for content. Underneath each URL, I listed the link for the image with my image ranking. The image at the top is one of many images that the website encourages downloading. As for the other images, I omitted displaying them because of copyright concerns. (They're worthwhile looking at!!!!)

1. Coloring page mosquito bite
1. http://www.edupics.com/mosquito-bite-t11826.jpg
2. Mosquito Coloring Pages (a site for downloading mosquito ringtones and coloring images)
6. http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/coloring/mosquito8-thumb.gif
3. Facts: The Mechanics of a Mosquito
3. http://www.homelanddefensecorp.com/images/mosquito-anatomy.gif
4. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/insects/mosquito/Mosquito.shtml
2. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/mgifs/Mosquito_bw.GIF (Very detailed diagram!)
5. 14 things you didn't know about mosquitoes (a Sameh Fahmy blog article)
5. http://www.illustrators.net/gothard/images/mosquito.jpg (Run away! Run away!)
6. Kids’ information Mosquitoes
7. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/education/stowawayskidspages/images/mosquito.jpg
7. Healing Tips
4. http://www.healing-tips.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/mosquito-parts.gif
For ease of navigating to the images, I've relisted them by my ranking:
  1. http://www.edupics.com/mosquito-bite-t11826.jpg
  2. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/mgifs/Mosquito_bw.GIF (Very detailed diagram!)
  3. http://www.homelanddefensecorp.com/images/mosquito-anatomy.gif
  4. http://www.healing-tips.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/mosquito-parts.gif
  5. http://www.illustrators.net/gothard/images/mosquito.jpg (Run away! Run away!)
  6. http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/mosquito-coloring/
  7. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/education/stowawayskidspages/images/mosquito.jpg
********************
I've Got Me Under Your Skin

I've got me under your skin.
I've got you deep en-do-der-er-mis.
So deep in your blood where I stuck in my pro-bos-cis.
I've got me under your skin.

I’ve tried to land so light-ly.
I’ve said to myself what a feast! It’s a gonna be so swell!
Your arms, your legs, and your knees. Especially want your neck!
Yes, I want me under your skin.

I'd sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of having you near.
In spite of a warn- ing swat, your sweep-ing hand
Tha-at came so close to my ear.

Don't you know, you fool, you never can win.
You know I’m a teeny bug going after your blood.
By the time you itch, I already hit.
You’re the top. I’m lovin’ it.

Because I got me under your skin.

[musical interlude]

I'd sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of having you near.
In spite of a warn- ing swat, your sweep-ing hand
Tha-at came so close to my ear.

Don't you know, you fool, you never can win.
You know I’m a teeny bug going after your blood.
By the time you itch, I already hit.
You’re the top. I’m lovin’ it.

Because I got me under your skin.
And I like me under your skin.
********************
My primary links about "I've Got You Under my Skin"
Other YouTube links for "I've Got You Under My Skin"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inventions Running Around the Blockhead

This article is about some inventions I've thought about lately—ones that are real, and ones I'd like to see become real. Maybe other people can think of inventions they'd like to see in the marketplace, or ones they'd like to create themselves.

I'm impressed with
the miniaturization of computer text. Electronic text displays have come a long way from movie and billboard marquees to very compact displays on phones and name tags. In between those sizes and times, one of my former co-workers came up with a handheld communicator. The intended user, someone incapable of speech (mute), could type text and show it to others. At that time, it seemed a big breakthrough to replace the-paper-and-pencil method I've seen in numerous movies and TV shows over the years. (The most recent instance I saw was a character in a VERY POPULAR TV SERIES communicating by writing down text in English. She had temporarily reverted to speaking in Korean only as a result of her head knock.)

One device I've not seen many of is the programmable scrolling-text name tag, although I've seen lots of ads for them. The links that have most caught my eye are at http://tinyurl.com/AmazonScrollingMsgBadge, http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/7c54/, and http://www.usbgeek.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=0598.

One name tag owner I know has had her tag for over a year, and she says she still gets lots of comments. Another person I know has created her own, using spare parts. She says she's gotten lots of comments also. These devices are good for conversation icebreakers. They're novel, not that common. People react to motion; vision edge detectors provide information about relative locations over time. (Companies that target children take full advantage of kids' attraction to motion in addition to using colors and shapes.)

Devices I've appreciated
pertain to grocery stores. Two of them are the self-service checkout station and the techy produce scale.

  • The self-service checkout station, found in some stores and in one big box home improvement store, is convenient when I have few items. I consider using the station much speedier than an express line.
  • The techy produce scale doesn't just weigh something. I provide the code for the item and print out the price ticket. It's a good way to verify the item name, unit price, and total price.

Would like
a computerized merchandise mapper. When I go to the store looking for something I don't get frequently, the hunt is often a challenge. When it comes to drugstores, home improvement stores, or department stores, I dislike the hunt even more. For me, I feel I waste a certain amount of time hunting for things because

  • I have no idea where the item might be.
  • I have only a faint idea where the item might be.
  • The store moves the item or the category, whether it's down the aisle or over an aisle or two.
  • I don't know if the store carries the item.
  • I don't know if the store has discontinued the item.

Using a store computer, a customer would select a search term, drill down to more specifics if desired, then have the screen display a map of the store with a customer "You are here" icon and a "It is here" icon. The map might even include a dashed line to suggest a pace route. Think Google walking route map on a smaller scale.

Would like
a dental-mirror-size dual-mirror device wearable for backstroke swimming. I don't like getting my face in the water, so I prefer to do the frogkick backstroke. The downside is not being able to see where I'm going. The logical way to cope is to note reference objects above and slow down or stop accordingly before hitting the the pool wall. Some enterprising soul could come up with such a head-hugging device that has multiple, adjustable, even telescoping positions. The positions would make the device adaptable for different views, even for wearing on a walk to avoid fast approaching, uh, objects.

Would like
a lightweight, transparent, sandwichboard clipboard with broad base for holding papers vertically--useable for paper sheets and recipe cards, and other similar media.

Magnetic or spring-clip holders with concave surfaces are ok, but the curvedness, which I assume exists to help with holding the paper upright, is a small detraction. Flipping pages requires repeated motions if I'm working with manual-size documents. Rotating the device results in convex text, not quite as easy to read as concave text.

I've also tried using large, approximately 2" wide, square, clip magnets. Because the edges are straight, they don't help keep the piece of paper rigid. Adding a piece of thin cardboard, curved slightly backward, helps some, but the non-transparency makes it necessary to flip the paper over. I also tried folding over a piece of transparent mylar to try using it like a sandwich configuration with the paper in the middle. No good. The "sandwich" flops over from the high center of gravity, pulling the clip(s) over.

For a few days, I've laid down a 2" clip with a piece of paper in the jaws. An existing water jug serves as a back wall so the paper rests against it and the text faces me.

Would like
a hybrid hand-buzzer and audible noisemaker. My primary application inspiration is notifying when a small-department meeting or the speaker is running overtime. The hand-buzzer aspect would be the size, shape, and main trigger, pressed by the owner. I suppose a keychain fob would also work, although similarities between devices could result in visual confusion. The noisemaker aspect would be a device that emits variable noises and volumes. I'm not talking about radios, although engineering overdesign might include that feature also.

The noise types could be limitless--short ding chime for gentle notification, loud and long raspberry or body noise for demonstrative disapproval notification. Another application would be use as a hand-held alarm. Sure, I know there are pocket alarms, but they seem pretty feature-limited. Of course, now that I'm talking about variations in noise and volume, the device would require more controls than just a dead man's switch.

For added versatility, the noisemaker could include a bright LED for use as a flashlight. How about muscling it up by also adding a laser pointer for use in meetings? Problem might be that an annoyed meeting attendee might use the lights to harass others. Another feature to consider adding is a sound sampler/player. How cool to record and play back sounds or voice clips of your choosing! The imagination runs amok! Uh, oh, the mischievous self is periscopically poking just above the surface.

One device is more of a curiosity for me rather than something I consider life-changing. I wonder why brass mouthpieces are round instead of lip-shaped. Lips aren't shaped like brass-instrument mouthpieces; brass mouthpieces aren't shaped like lips. ??

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rearview Mirroring TX Towns

Texas has 254 counties and about 1030 school districts. In googling for the exact number of districts, I ran across different totals. Every 10 years, school district boundaries require verification. Texas Education Agency (TEA) is in charge of delineating the borders. The project is harder than it might sound. School districts expand, contract, consolidate, disagree with other districts over where the borders are, use natural borders that change because of nature, etc.

Back in the early 90s, TEA hired me as a contract "mapping technician", a title much more impressive sounding than the reality. I, along with other co-workers, needed to verify Texas school districts' borders according to legal definitions. (School district superintendents mailed back a TEA-sent letter.) Also, we needed to read descriptions that might be subject to different interpretations. One task was taping narrow red tape (!) on paper maps to delineate the boundaries.

During my time at TEA, I logged the names of many cities and towns—160, to be exact—because they caught my eye. I recently ran across my hardcopy file while reorganizing my workspace. Because I couldn't find Broom City in my computer, I knew I'd need to re-key the list before I could write a decent article about the places. As I re-keyed, I could see certain commonalities gel—lots of food, bodies of water, communities, money, gaps and related, wordplay (homophonic), a few names that could either try peoples' spelling or induce residents to learn spelling quickly, comforting words, a few peoples' or celebrities' names, shooter's paradise, ...

I've listed my best theme categories and cities/towns, a subset of the group I logged originally. I omitted county names so they won't dilute the collective impact of the names. A file with the names of all 160 municipalities and their counties is available in a table-formatted file. An asterisk below (*) denotes a municipality that I put into more than one category (asterisked in its first category appearance).

Food (one of my favorite subjects)
Oatmeal, Pancake, Sunny Side Community*, Coffee City, Teacup Community*, Honey Island*, Pecan Gap, Atwater Prairie Chicken (national wildlife refuge), Turkey, Birds Nest [soup], Krum* (okay, not the most appetizing, not normal spelling), Plum, Punkin Center (ok, another not normal spelling), Crabb (phonetic anyway), Hungerford (not food, but related), Bootleg Community*

Water bodies and related
Runaway Bay, Lake Run-A-Muck*, Hide-A-Way Lake*, Lake O' The Pines*, Possom Kingdom Lake, Bland Lake, Lake JB Thomas, Newgulf (24 miles from Old Ocean), Old Ocean (24 miles from Newgulf), Canyon Lake, Canyon Lake Acres, Canyon Lake Forest, Canyon Lake Mobile Home Estates, Canyon Lake Shores, Canyon Lake Village, Canyon Lake Village West, Honey Island (42 miles inland), Rock Island (80 miles inland)

Communities
Bootleg Community, Teacup Community, Sunny Side Community, Tobacco Patch Community, Type Community, Profitt Community*, Ding Dong Community (in Bell County), Eulogy Community*, Welfare Community, Old Bowling Community

Structures
Structure, Sweet Home*, Fosters Store*, Guys Store*, Carls Corner*, Pearsons* Chapel

Words of comfort
Comfort, Point Comfort, Sweet Home, Blanket, Cool, Sublime, Happy, Smiley*, Sunny Side Community, Eulogy Community

Money
Cost, Dinero, Cheapside, Nickel, Dime Box, Jerry's Quarters*, Lohn*

Gaps and related
Cranfills Gap, Indian Gap, Buffalo Gap, Notrees, Nada

Names and celebrities
Bumstead, Kermit, Bigfoot*, Bebe, Panna Maria (Virgin Mary, not bread), Big Sandy, Jerry's Quarters

Shooter's paradise
Gun Barrel City, Cut and Shoot, Bangs*, Point Blank, Trophy Club

Body parts or features
Cheek, Wink, Smiley, Shiner, Bald Hill, Bangs, Whispering Wings, Bigfoot

Hyphenations and apostrophications
Jot-Em-Down, Lake Run-A-Muck, Hide-A-Way Lake, Lake O' The Pines, Hell's Half Acre, Jerry's Quarters

Apostrophe deficiency
Fosters Store, Guys Store, Carls Corner, Pearsons Chapel

Wordplay (mostly homophonic)
Lohn, Hoop and Holler, Priddy, Inadale, Arp, Tye, Blewett, Pyote, Rhome, Profitt Community, Krum, Dew

Other special names
Loves Lookout, Barwise, Pelican Spit Military Airport (Reservation), Tool

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...