You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘cute’ tag.

Remembering a time when going to a Pizza Hut was an experience.

Race, power, and money: The art of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

New AI can guess whether you’re gay or straight from a photograph.

A first-hand account about how the lives of tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley aren’t as glamorous as they are made out to be.

Harvey and Irma, married for 75 years, marvel at the two back-to-back hurricanes bearing their names.

The best U.S. cities to spend a weekend in without going broke.

Three centuries ago, that garden gnome in your yard would’ve been an actual human being.

A look at people who are planting flowers in potholes worldwide as a form of a creative protest.

Dirt to Shirt movement hopes to regrow local textile industry.

This panda bear-shaped solar farm sets a new bar for cute creativity.

The future of photography: Thoughts on the impact of free photos.

Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLa Roe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis.

A free tutorial on how to cast your own body double dress form.

Six ways America is like a Third World country.

Automation is a real threat. How can we slow down the march of the cyborgs?

Donald Trump’s Twitter following might include more than 4 million bots.

10+ reasons not to trust photos you see on social media.

Former CIA director says that one way of securing U.S. elections is through open source voting machines.

Here are the craziest parts from the worst Craigslist job ad ever.

Thousands of digitized vintage 78 RPM records are now available for free streaming online.

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Ramadan

For all the times I’ve been to Dupont Circle, I’ve never went there during DC Pride Weekend, even though I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for years. The only reason why I went this year was because Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was held at the Bier Baron that day. I originally planned on writing one post until I looked through the pictures and realized that I had taken so many that it really warranted writing two separate blog posts about my one day in Dupont Circle during DC Pride Weekend. This post will focus on the photographs I took that day while the Dr. Sketchy’s post will have to wait until the next one.

DC Pride Weekend had a big parade and party that took place in Dupont Circle the previous day. I wasn’t able to make it because of tight finances (the Metro system is not only getting more expensive but yet another fare increase is set to take place by the end of this month) and this heatwave has settled in the area so the temperature reached a high of around 95 degrees F.

The following day it was still very hot and humid with highs reaching 95 once again. At least the Metro trains are air conditioned and I spent as much time in the various air conditioned stores as possible. While Saturday was the big party and parade in Dupont Circle, Sunday was slated as a day of protest on the Mall. I wasn’t able to make it to that protest mainly because I attended church in the morning and Dr. Sketchy’s started at 3 p.m. so there was literally no way I could squeeze going to the National Mall in between (especially given Metro’s flaky weekend schedule where you could wait anywhere from 15 minutes to a half-an-hour or even longer depending on which stop you’re at and if Metro is doing any kind of maintenance work on a certain line at a certain station). I saw this couple who were clearly on their way to the Mall march.

I arrived at the Dupont Circle Metro station, which was definitely decorative for the occasion by having its list of scheduled trains arranged like the rainbow flag.

It was also fitting that the same station had this banner ad for Cher’s upcoming concert at the MGM casino in nearby National Harbor.

I didn’t mind missing the big march on the Mall, especially when I stepped outside and felt the high heat and high humidity smack me in the face. There were people milling around in Dupont Circle but I suspect that there were far more people protesting at the Mall. The first thing I did was head over to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe where I saw these LGBTQ-friendly signs.

There was also this excellent sign that made fun of Donald Trump’s notorious “covfefe” tweet by announcing a new Covfefe cocktail featuring White Russian while providing quotes from former FBI director James Comey’s recent testimony that introduced the phrase “honest loyalty” into the English language.

I browsed among the books at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe while noticing this prominent shelf towards the front of the store featuring LGBTQ books.

I also saw rainbow flags and store patrons who were all decked out in rainbow and/or LGBTQ-themed attire .

After Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe I walked along the streets of Dupont Circle where I noticed rainbow flags everywhere and people dressed in rainbows. I took the bulk of these pictures before and after Dr. Sketchy’s. (Hooray for longer daylight hours!)

I eventually made my way to the Bier Baron, where Dr. Sketchy’s took place. Even that place was decked out in rainbows.

I even got into the rainbow festivities by taking pictures of my colored pencils all lined up in a loose Roy G Biv rainbow pattern (which also included colors one usually don’t see in a rainbow like brown and white) before Dr. Sketchy’s began.

Like I wrote earlier, I’ll devote my next post to what I drew at Dr. Sketchy’s.

While there were rainbow colored palettes everywhere in Dupont Circle, I found this one interesting non-rainbow thing that I photographed. This is a tiny statue (which reaches no higher than my calf) of a baby sleeping on top of a baby elephant. How cute!

I ended my time at the fountain that’s located right in the middle of Dupont Circle. There were a few people chilling out even though it was dinnertime and the temperature was very hot and humid. Strangely the fountain was turned off that day plus the basin had no water in it. (I honestly don’t know what is going on with that fountain.)

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for my next post on attending Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Bier Baron during DC Pride Weekend. 🙂

It’s been two years since I last went to this annual event, which traditionally closes the weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. The last time I was there, the Sakura Matsuri was held on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the Old Post Office Building (which was then undergoing renovation into the Trump International Hotel—you can see those giant blue TRUMP signs in the background of some of the photos I took during that event).

Since that time the event has been relocated. It is now held at the Navy Yards near Nationals Park. I don’t know if Donald Trump have had a hand in that festival’s relocation or not but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have to see those Trump International Hotel signs.

Like previous Sakura Matsuri festivals, this one was a celebration of all aspects of Japanese culture including anime, J-pop, J-rock, kendo, and traditional Japanese crafts. There were also a lot of cosplayers walking around. Here are the photos I took of the Sakura Matsuri.

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One day after the most decisive election in recent memory has been held, I feel that posting these photos of a very cute dog will serve as a perfect palate cleanser to the all of the outrageous vitriol that has been spewed for all these months.

Last month I went to a board games meetup that was held in someone’s home located in my neighborhood. I had a good time as I met new people and played some board games I’ve never played before, including one whose gameplay was contingent on downloading this smartphone app. (I’ll admit that playing board games with an associated smartphone app is a new one for me. I grew up playing technology-free board games like Candyland, Uncle Wiggly, Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and The Game of Life.)

The event hostess had a small dog who was very cute and very friendly. At one point this dog wanted me to hold her in my lap. Here are a few pictures I shot of this dog while she was sitting in my lap.

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After sitting in my lap for a while the dog indicated that she wanted down so I put her down. At the end of the evening, when I was getting my purse that I left on a sofa, the dog was lying next to my purse. She took one look at me and she rolled over on her back exposing her belly and indicated that she wanted a belly rub from me. That’s a sign that this dog trusted me enough to roll over on her back in the first place.

I recently checked out the grand opening of a new place in College Park, Maryland called SCETA Japan Center and, as part of the festivities, they held a Little Japan Festival. Okay, I’ll admit that it’s a far cry from a massive anime convention like Otakon but it was still a pretty nice occasion (and the fact that the weather was pleasantly sunny with low humidity helped). Here are my photos from that event, starting with the building itself.

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

There were all kinds of Japanese language books on display, including this one on hedgehogs (which brought back memories of the time when I once had a pet hedgehog named Spike).

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

Here are a few miscellaneous cute items I found throughout the building.

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

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This next photo shows a backdrop that was set up for anyone to take pictures.

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

Someone saw me take that last picture and told me what it was. She then offered to take my picture with my own smartphone and I obliged despite my one skinned knee (which I obtained the day before when I fell as I was leaving the Hon Fest in Baltimore).

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

There was also a special Japanese Arts and Crafts Edition of the board game Monopoly that was written in both English and Japanese on display.

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

The last photo shows the free stickers and buttons I received that that event.

SCETA Japan Center Opening, College Park, Maryland

SCETA Japan Center is dedicated to teach Japanese as well as providing information about Japanese culture and tradition. Check out the website for more information.

Ramadan

Ever since I got my first smartphone in 2011 (just a few months before my husband abruptly walked out on me) I’ve been increasingly using its GPS feature to help guide me around in unfamiliar places instead of using paper maps or doing a Google search followed by printing the directions out on paper. It’s just way easier for me to just type an address into the smartphone and have its GPS device guide me around. The biggest hassle is that I have to leave the phone on the seat while listening to the directions orally. Every now and then I would pick up the phone to glance at the map to make sure that I’m going in the right direction while trying not to focus my eyes too much on that map because I’m driving.

It eventually became obvious that having a holder that would hold my phone at eye-level while I’m driving would be the perfect solution. I’ve held off on getting such a holder because of money woes and such. Last year I walked into a Five Below store where I saw a plastic holder for a smartphone that cost only $5 (which is the maximum price the store sells anything of its stock). Basically the holder had a suction cup that you use to put on the windshield then you put the phone in the holder whenever you need to use it as a GPS device so you can see the map without having to hold the phone in your hand.

Unfortunately that plastic holder was a short-lived thing. First I had trouble with getting that suction cup to stick to the windshield. It would stick for a while then it would suddenly fall to the floor, which is not what I needed if I was using the smartphone as a navigation device. During one of its falls it broke in half and I couldn’t fix it. I now knew why that thing was priced at only $5.

So I went back to the old way of having to periodically pick up the phone with my hand and glancing at the map. But then I walked into a Five Below store a few weeks ago and I found another solution that worked way better.

Remember Ty? Maybe that company’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell but its most famous signature product will: Beanie Babies. Those are the animal-shaped bean bags that created a media frenzy and some sort of bizarre speculative bubble where people were buying those Beanie Babies in bulk whenever a store got a new shipment and reselling them on the Internet for up to $100 or more. (The Beanie Babies themselves were originally priced between $4-6.) I remember when a website known as BeanieMom.com was among the most visited websites and Mary Beth’s Beanie World was a very popular print magazine among Beanie Baby collectors. That speculative bubble eventually burst and people discovered that all those bean bags that they spent a ton of money on were back down to their original retail price of between $4-6.

Since that time Beanie Babies can now be easily found at their original retail price in a variety of stores with new ones being released all the time. (I saw a few Beanies based on the hit cartoon show My Little Pony a few months ago.) They’ve been joined by these big-eyed plushies known as Beanie Boos along with round-shaped plushes known as Beanie Ballz and other similar products like Beanie Buddies and Lil Ones.

I recently found a Ty product line at Five Below that I felt could be useful as a smartphone holder. They are known as the Peek-A-Boos and these are plush animals that are especially designed to hold a smartphone or any other mobile device. They were priced at $5 and I found them to be very cute. After much deliberation I chose the panda bear.

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Like the Beanie Babies, each Peek-A-Boos has a hang tag that includes the name of the animal and a brief poem about that critter. This panda is named Poo (not to be confused with a bear named Winnie the Pooh).

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As the first photo shows, the panda was holding a mobile-sized sign announcing that it was a Peek-A-Boos while proclaiming “I hold your phone! + clean your screen”. When I removed the sign after I brought it home, I found that there’s a list on the other side showing all of the Peek-A-Boos currently available while implying that one needed to collect them all. If I owned more than one smartphone I would buy more Peek-A-Boos but, seriously, most adults don’t really need more than one smartphone. I admit that the Peek-A-Boos are cute but I feel that one is enough for me.

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Here is Poo the Panda when he’s not holding anything. His green eyes are very large and sparkly and he’s got such a cute expression on his face.

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Here is Poo the Panda holding a mobile device (which is an iPod Touch in these photos mainly because I was using my smartphone as a camera at the time). As you can see it looks like he’s peeking over the mobile device as he’s holding it, which is a cute touch.

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This little critter is supposed to clean my screen as well but there are no indication anywhere as to which part serves as the screen cleaner. I saw that the inside of his front paws are made from a flat suede material so I tried cleaning the screen with them. It worked somewhat even though his paws are pretty small.

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I also saw that his butt is also made from the same flat suede material so I tried that and I found that I got better results. I think the paws are meant to simply hold the mobile device while his butt is supposed to be used to clean the screen.

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I was able to perch Poo the Panda holding the mobile device on the dashboard of my car. I actually tried it a few times when I needed to use my smartphone’s GPS device and I found that it worked wonderfully. I was able to glance at the screen at times without having to hold the phone in my hand. This is an excellent invention and it’s also so cute.

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I even found a use for other than the car. Every now and then I tend to misplace my smartphone, which results in me doing an intense search of my home until I find it. These days I have Poo the Panda hold the smartphone at home when I’m not using it and I put that panda bear in a place where I can usually find him. The only time I take Poo to the car is when I need to use the GPS. When he’s not sitting on the dashboard holding my smartphone so I can look at the map, he’s at home holding my smartphone.

I have to admit that this is probably the best product that Ty has ever released (and I’m including those overhyped Beanie Babies). These Peek-A-Boos are not only cute but they have a utilitarian value as well. This has got to be the best $5 I’ve ever spent on a smartphone accessory and I don’t regret it at all.

I even recorded a video version of this review so you can see me actually use Poo the Panda to clean my iPod Touch screen.

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