December 19th, 2005

little blue dog

snow, wrappin, xmas shtuff

Last call! Leave your screened contact info HERE for a timely holiday cards from the House of the Blue Dog!

Thanks Adam for this:



From eluid.org, by way of </a></b></a>adam_s.

In other news, for those NOT in Oregon, or friends with anyone from Oregon, or on the f-list of anyone from Oregon, it snowed here yesterday afternoon.

The Hang and I spent the early part of the day shopping like a SWAT team. Example: total time from the freeway to negotiate the gridlocked parking lot at Jantzen Beach, find parking, hit three stores (including Target), and make it back to the freeway -- 70 minutes. Snow started about 2, so we holed up at my place and started wrapping, and I introduced her to the holiday love that is hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, mmmmm.

So to be honest, this is really the first Christmas in my adult life that I've had someone helping me wrap presents, and it was pointed out to me last night how anal particular I am about the practice. I can't really help it; I'm all about presentation, so each gift really should be wrapped correctly, and this requires observance of several Rules, such as
- minimize tape use; three pieces is optimum
- with folds, achieve visual symmetry whenever possible
- the motif on the wrap should be proportional to the size of the package
- always fold the edge of a piece of gift-wrap under, if it will be visible
- when using a wrap with a stripe motif, align the pattern at the seam when possible (bonus points for perfect alignment of a motif)
- place bow, tag, and other ornamentation to achieve visual balance with wrap motif

Of course, while I certainly understand that other people employ different Rules, or (gasp!) no Rules at all, my idiosyncracies in this practice help explain how The Hang was able to wrap about five times as many presents as I was. :)

We took a walk a little later, about dusk, after the snow had stopped. My absolute favorite thing about snow is the silence it effects.

By this morning it's mostly been rained into semi-frozen slush in the lower elevations, but it's still pretty slippery in the hills and in east county.

The local LJ Portland coms are now full of helpful snow posts, ranging from "this is nothin'!" to "you idiots can't drive!" Ahhhhh. :)
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edog think

shift

A conversation with Tori the other day, as such conversations usually do, got me to thinking, in this case about the shifting meanings of certain terms, or more particularly the shifting social interpretation of certain terms.

Some examples include the words "Negro," "Oriental," "retarded," and so forth. Each of these were coined originally to describe a category, or a trait or characteristic that members of a group of people have in common. So far as I'm able to tell, none were really used in a perjorative sense; all were pretty neutral according to the dominant social usage paradigm ofthe time.

For example, "negro" (and "Negro") was considered the proper designator for black Africans during the time of slavery, regardless of the status of the person (free, slave, freed slave, etc.). Now, of course, the term has fallen into disfavor, being interpreted almost universally as connoting racist sentiment.

All that is background, though, to my current line of inquiry, so suffice it to say that there are plenty of terms that were once "ok" but are now "not-ok," at least according to the current dominant social usage paradigm. So my current inquiry is how businesses and entities that have used these terms in their names have adjusted to the paradigm shift.

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