Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who turned out the lights?

After a very eventful weekend, it’s been a pretty slow week. Work, work, work, work, work. I’m not sure how one is supposed to keep up a lively and entertaining blog with daily posts when there’s not too much going on – certainly nothing to compare to the GREAT LIZARD HUNT!

But, we are supposed to go to the beach this weekend, so perhaps by Sunday or Monday I’ll have an entry about the 2008 “sand crab” season in Laguna. Beat THAT for excitement, “Deadliest Catch,” I dare you!

(How awesome is that show, by the way? I Tivo this show every week. Captain Sig = yummy!)

Okay, splashed some cold water on my face and I’ll be fine now.

Let’s see what else happened this week? Oh, right, there’s the completely enthralling saga of the “lightbulbs that cannot be changed” that’s going on at my house right now. Y’see, there are only two lights that light up my staircase. Both of them have burned out bulbs right now. This means that the staircase must be traversed in the dark (or with a flashlight). Now, normally, one wouldn’t think this would be a big deal because I’m a grown woman who quit being afraid of the dark a long time ago, right?



If you’ve read my book reviews and any of the books they refer to, then you’ll have noticed I read a lot of stuff about things that go bump in the dark. Scary, monstery things. Scary, monstery things that might not be visible when you look right at them, but who sorta kinda make the skin of the back of your neck crawl when you have to walk up the stairs in the dark, alone, at night, because you NEVER KNOW…there MIGHT be something there if you just turned around fast enough you’d see it. Except you don’t want to see it, but if you don’t look it might get you so you run really fast up the stairs except you are a natural klutz and this often results in falling and injuries of the painful kind.

And that’s just me.

Then add the 5 year old – who really IS still afraid of the dark – to the mix and you begin to see my problem.

So, I can see you screaming at the screen “why don’t you just change the lightbulbs, dumbass?”

And you make a good point.

Except that to change them, I’d have to be able to REACH them. Which I can’t. Because the brainiacs who designed my house decided to put one of these lights in the section of ceiling that is what they call “cathedral.” This is just a fancy word for REALLY EFFING HIGH CEILING which means that, at 5’5” tall, I can’t reach the lightbulb. I can’t even reach it by standing on a chair. I can’t reach it by standing on the ladder that I have.

The other bulb is at the top of the stairs, and is not quite as high, but it’s not over the landing where you could actually PUT a ladder and have it be stable. No, it’s over the stairs so there’s no way to set the ladder up.


After two weeks of the kidlet and I racing each other up the stairs in the dark (because, y’know, slowest one gets eaten by the possibly imaginary but possibly not, monster), I’d had enough. I determined to tackle this challenge head on by going to Lowe’s for help.


See, women (fair warning – I’m about to set the feminist movement back about 50 years) do not belong at Lowe’s (or Home Depot or any other store of that ilk). It’s like a guy barging into a women’s restroom. It’s just not a good thing.

Especially not a woman like me. I mean, if you’ve read the blog, you’ve seen what kind of shoes I like to wear. Now really, do shoes like that belong in a Lowe’s?

I say no.

Or at least I say that now after my experience there because it was really fun watching the saleperson try to smother his guffaws of laughter as I asked for “some kind of extender thingy to change really high up lightbulbs.”

Hey – that’s technical language right there, I tell you! I am nothing if not accurate in my communication skills.

Anyway, turns out they do, indeed, have such a thingamajig so I bought it and took it home. Whereupon the boyfriend ever so helpfully pointed out that it wouldn’t fit around the bulbs – not enough space between them and surrounding socket – and therefore wouldn’t be of any use. I got out my telescope, squinted up at the lightbulb stationed oh-so-many miles above my head, and decided that he was probably right, but that I could see a teeny tiny bit of space around the bulb (possibly a hallucination on my part?) and that it was therefore worth trying.

And so I had my dad try it for me the next day.

See, the boyfriend was GOING to help with it, but his method involved some muttered comment about me in a short skirt on a really tall ladder while he volunteered to stay on the ground and keep the ladder steady for me. I didn’t see this process ending with any lightbulbs actually getting changed so that idea got vetoed.

Sadly, however, his initial observation about the device not fitting around the lightbulbs has proven to be true. So, I’m now the proud owner of a useless extender thingamajig, my boyfriend is bummed out about me not getting on the ladder in a skirt, I still don’t have any light on my stairway and am still in danger of being attacked (and possibly eaten?) by scary monsters in the dark.

The kidlet is not happy either and he wants to buy his own flashlight.

Some days, you just can’t win.

But you CAN make jewelry. Here are a couple of pairs of earrings I whipped up on my lunch hour the other day:

More of those pretty, hand-painted ceramic beads paired with Swarovski crystals

Perhaps I can find some kind of glow-in-the-dark, light reflective beads and then make some kind of tiara or headlight construct out of them to wear on the stairs at night? Because, y'know, beads really CAN solve any problem.


Music: “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fair thee well

So, every year for the past six or seven years I’ve thought to myself “gee, I should enter something in the Orange County Fair.” Then, every year in July, I’m surprised when the Fair opens and once again, I missed out on entering anything.

Well, not THIS year, goshdarnit! I finally got ahead of the curve and put a reminder on my Outlook WAAYYYY back in January to remind me to check the Fair website for the entry deadline this spring. Now, my only problem is deciding what to enter.

Which is where you come in (if there are any actual humans reading this blog which I sometimes doubt…or aliens…aliens are okay…I’m an equal opportunity blogger). Anywho, I thought I’d post a few pictures and start a poll (see up there on the right hand side of the blog) for people to vote for which design they think I ought to enter. The ones pictured below are my personal top contenders, but I’m open to write-in votes for anything pictured on the website (with the exception of the items in the Gallery Pages as those things have been sold and are looooong gone).

So, without further ado, here are the contestants:

Lavender Lace:
Pendant - Dichroic glass cabochon with bead embroidered edging
Necklace - Vintage glass beads and seed beads
Clasp - Bali silver "S" clasp set with amethyst

Nights in Black Onyx:
Pendant - Black onyx cabochon with bead embroidered edging
Necklace - Faceted black onyx coins, Bali silver beads and hematite rondelles
Clasp - Sterling silver box clasp set with onyx

Antique Smoke (and yes, I'm aware that A. the scan totally sucks on this and B. so does the name so if you want to leave suggestions in the comment section, I'm open)
Pendant: Agate cabochon surrounded by bead embroidered edging
Necklace: Vintage Czech crystals and gold Swarovski pearls
Clasp: Sterling silver box clasp set with smoky quartz

and last, but not least, Frosted Fantasy:

Pendant: Dichroic glass cabochon surrounded by bead embroidered edging
Necklace: Vintage frosted glass rounds, Bali silver spacers, faceted Czech crystal rondelles and seed beads
Clasp: Sterling silver box clasp set with peridot

Let the voting begin!


P.S. Here's a couple of other little goodies I finished this week - not up for the vote, but thought I'd post them just for fun:

Waimea Bay earrings - Swarovski crystals, sterling silver rounds and freshwater pearls wire-wrapped to sterling silver chain and hanging from sterling silver leverback earring tops.

Spring Garden earrings - Handcrafted porcelain disk beads on 14k gold fill headpins with Swarovski and Czech crystals hanging from 14 gold fill leverback tops.

Music: "Bring Me Some Water" by Melissa Etheridge

"Lay on, MacDuff!"

Did pretty well on this - guess that public school education wasn't a total loss after all. I got 8 out of 10.

But then, I always did love me some Shakespeare ;-)


Music: "Freedom '90" by George Michael

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Great Lizard Hunt

For 10 years, I’ve lived across the street from one of the largest, most well-known series of mountain biking trails in south Orange County. For 10 years, I’ve heard stories of beautiful scenery to be found on the trails and the great wildlife encounters that people have there. For 10 years, I’ve wanted to go exploring back there, but never got around to it.

Then I had a kid. Who turned out to be a boy. Who turned out to like lizards


And catching lizards? The world’s newest sports craze, apparently, and my kid is its most ardent disciple.

Add all those ingredients together and what do you get? THE GREAT LIZARD HUNT OF 2008.

So, there I was, hiking up a narrow, rocky trail called “Lynx” (for good reason as we found out later) to the top of the Laguna Canyon ridge while carrying a hand-crafted “lizard snare” made out of foxtail grass (did I forget to mention that my boyfriend is the king of all things outdoorsy and boy scout-like which, apparently, includes the ability to make the perfect lizard snare out of foxtail grass? I did forget? Well, let me mention it now.) and diligently searching for any sign of small, reptilian life.

The lizards, alas, were not very cooperative with our goals, but we did come across quite a bit of other wildlife. Scrub jays, turkey buzzards and rabbits were plentiful. We saw a whole family of what looked like a type of quail, but I’ll have to do some research (yep, they’re quail all right) to be sure. And last, but certainly not least, a bobcat (which I thought was the same as a lynx, but apparently is not, according to this website even though its scientific name is lynx rufus) sauntered right across the trail not 25 feet from where we were. It was obviously quite used to humans (lots of mountain bikers on these trails, remember?) and seemed to totally ignore our presence.

Other excitement (of the negative kind) during the day was provided by the news that a mountain biker had fallen and, as a result, had lost a finger (somehow got tangled in his disc break and got cut off) and the subsequent arrival of a hoard of emergency vehicles, park rangers and paramedics.

Finally, as we were leaving the wilder areas and heading to the end of the main trail, the elusive lizard finally made an appearance. My boyfriend quickly deployed his hand-made snare and voila! We were suddenly the proud (?) owners of a “blue belly” lizard. I have no idea if that is the official name, but he did have iridescent blue patches on his throat and belly.

He rode home quietly and politely in my hands (hey, I may love fancy shoes and make-up, but I’m no pansy when it comes to lizard-wrangling) and we let him go under the bushes in our front yard. I saw him sitting in the sun on the driveway several times the next day so he seems to be adjusting just fine to his new environment. We’re hoping he’s going to do a lot of bug-eating and help cut down on the local insect population a bit so they won’t keep trying to find their way inside my house because while I have no problem at all holding lizards or snakes, bugs are a whole ‘nother story ;-)

All of this “encountering with wilderness” left us all starving so it was back home to see if the backyard barbecue, which has been in hibernation since the divorce (having been primarily the domain of the male who previously occupied the residence), could be resurrected. After sufficient investigation (and major cleaning), it was determined that it could, indeed, be revived and heck, there was even still propane in the tank.

After the obligatory huzzahs and back-slapping, we proceeded to barbecue up some great steaks and burgers. I whipped up a green salad and some French fries (to make the kid happy) and we had quite a feast.

That was all on Saturday. On Sunday, I managed to sneak in some jewelry-making. But more about that later ;-)


Music: “Don’tcha” by the Pussycat Dolls (hey, couldn’t find any “bobcat” music – this was as close as I could get)

Friday, April 18, 2008

One woman's eye candy...

In the spirit of clearing the decks for the weekend, I realized that in addition to being behind (WAAAYYY behind) on the book review thing, I’m also way behind on the bead/jewelry picture posting thing.

So, here’s some eye candy to get you through until Monday. Well, at least *I* think it’s eye candy – if it looks like eye vomit to you, well, sorry (oh, and don’t tell me, okay? I prefer to live in denial on anything having to do with vomit).

My mind does tend to wander down the most interesting paths, doesn’t it? I’ve perhaps had a little too much Diet Coke this afternoon (due to a night of not much sleep last night). Okay, then, back to the beads before someone calls the men in white coats to take me away.

We’ll start things off with a few goodies I purchased at a Bead Show back in February.

Pretty simple stuff here – just some interesting Czech glass beads I thought would make nice filler if I mixed them with stones or some of the ceramic beads I bought back at Christmas time.

Speaking of ceramic beads, I’m still on a bit of kick with those as evidenced by these two cute pendants. Mixed in with the ceramics are some unusual enamel (melted glass on metal) pendants and, of all things, TOGGLE CLASPS! I just thought they were so unique – haven’t seen any clasps done with enamel before so of course they had to come home with me. They’re pretty enough to become focal points of necklaces all on their own.

I also picked up a few strands of copper beads and these cute chandelier earring findings. At the same booth, I picked up a whole bunch of copper round beads, clasps, headpins, jump rings and other findings to round out my copper collection. Now I have enough of a copper supply to begin making some things. Oh, except chain. I need copper chain.

Lastly, I thought I was done at this show, but managed to get waylaid by the last booth outside the building where I found all of these stunning Boulder Opal cabs. I liked both the more traditional opal look (especially the big oval cab) as well as the dark brown cabs that are mostly matrix but have some small areas of deep blue opal “flash.” I’m picturing them with minimal bead edging and strung on leather cords for my first attempt at “guy jewelry.” We’ll see if I can force…er…persuade my boyfriend to wear one when it’s finished.

Then, just last weekend, I hit the traveling Rings and Things wholesale show when it came to town and picked up some great bargains. If you have a chance to go to this show when it comes to your area, I highly recommend it. Not only can you get 50% + 15% off everything, but it’s so much more fun to pick up the beads, handle them and peruse them in real life than it is to try to buy from a website (not that I’m not a big web bead shopper, but you can’t beat that real life experience)

Most of the items I picked up at this show are not things I would typically go for, but I was trying to match some of my finished beaded cabs so I can finally get them strung onto necklaces and, hopefully, entered into the Orange County Fair this summer. I’ve got this whole pile of finished cabs just sitting there not getting turned into final pieces and I’m determined to do something about that!
I have one cab finished that's all done in earthy shades of brown, gold and hematite so I picked up these nice strands of tiger eye, a strand of faceted hematite and some Swarovski pearls:

Another pendant that's almost finished (just have to weave in the last thread tail and make the bail) features a sodalite cab and white, blue and silver beaded edging so I grabbed these strands of sodalite beads as well as some faceted white cat's eye beads in two sizes. Another cab features dichroic glass in shades of iridescent white, lime green and dark blue and these twisted foil glass leaves and dark blue Swarovski pearls may go well with that piece:

Then, of course, I needed more copper and I don't have any keshi pearls in my stash and these were a "can't be beat" price:

They also came in pink and gold and I almost bought two strands in each of those colors, but then I came across this gorgeous strand of snakeskin jasper that reminded me of mint chocolate chip ice cream:

And really, who can resist mint chocolate chip ice cream? Well, maybe you can, but one look at the size of my ass will tell you I never met a bowl of this stuff that I didn't love and obviously, beads in that color scheme have the same effect on me. I have no specific plans for these babies...I just had to have them. But then, the best bead purchases usually start out that way in my experience.

And just to prove that I am, indeed, finishing some things, here's the first cab I managed to get strung this weekend:

The pendant has a dichroic cab in the center surrounded by bead embroidery in shades of blue, lavender and purple (scanned colors are NOT true to life, sadly). The necklace features the bluey-purple iridescent seed beads from the cab and some vintage lavender glass rounds. The clasp is a Bali silver "S" clasp set with an amethyst. The whole thing is really more in the purple/lavender shades than it looks here - the scanning process seems to have really picked up the blue (despite my valiant attempts to fix this).

Hopefully, if I can get some of these other things finished this weekend, I'll be able to put up a contest for helping me choose what to enter at the fair sometime next week.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Music: "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer (because I'm so au courant)

Caveat Lector

Remember that “write more blog entries/book reviews” resolution I made back in January? Yeah, doing really well with that so far.


But, in the spirit of “it’s never too late to quit being a slacker,” I bring you the first book review of 2008.

(insert annoying trumpet fanfare here)

In my never-ending quest to try to find a decent replacement for the early days of the Anita Blake books, I decided to check out the Anna Strong series by Jeanne C. Stein. There are three books available in the series thus far: “The Becoming”, “The Watcher”, and “Blood Drive.” And overall I have to say: “not bad.” Although I found that here and there the plot advances by way of the character doing something stupid (you know, that moment where you scream at the book “are you STUPID????” and then, in a few more sentences, realize that yes, the character really is having a brain fart moment), the books are mostly enjoyable. The author has her own take on vampirism and its “rules” which makes her universe (vamp-i-verse?) stand out from the scads of other vamp books out there. I have a bit of an objection to the way Anna is “turned” initially because it’s pretty offensive to me, but then it does make sense and is consistent with the rules the author has set up so I’m not sure how else it could’ve been handled. Best of all, these books are out in paperback so no having to shell out for the pricey hardback versions here (at least for the time being).

Then I tried Vicki Petersson’s “Sign of the Zodiac” series which, thus far, consists of “Scent of Shadows” and “The Taste of Night.” A third installment, “The Touch of Twilight,” comes out on May 27, 2008. Again, I give these books an overall “not bad” rating. The pluses: unique, interesting universe and characters along with more-than-coincidental nod to the comic book hero genre of the past complete with secret identities and an internally tortured heroine. The minuses: the main character’s tendency to blaze ahead with no forethought or planning (giving rise to the whole “stupid moment” issue again) and a plot (especially in the first volume) that tends to meander around a bit before getting to the point. The rape element rears its ugly head in these books as well and while it’s handled well and definitely makes sense in terms of the character’s background, I completely understand now why Marion Zimmer Bradley banned any and all “rape and revenge” submissions to her short story anthologies. It’s just become an overused device. Surely strong female characters can be motivated by SOMETHING other than having a rape in their pasts?

Then, I moved on to try the “Morganville Vampires” series by Rachel Caine. Ms. Caine writes one of my other favorite series, “Weather Wardens,” so I thought I’d give her new venture a go. I bought the books without realizing that they are actually written for a teen audience, but I’m going to review them anyway because, guess what? They were not “dumbed down” and I really enjoyed them. They can certainly hold their own against a lot of the other vampire schlock that’s hitting the shelves in the regular sci-fi/fantasy section. And, if you happen to have a teenager (especially a teenage girl) who’s into sci-fi/fantasy, you’ll hit a slam dunk getting these books for her. There are three installments out so far: “Glass Houses”, “The Dead Girls’ Dance”, and “Midnight Alley.” A fourth book, “Feast of Fools,” comes out on June 3, 2008. Again, all are in paperback which means not such a massive tireprint left on the old wallet.

Then, it was off to another visit with John Taylor and the fabulous world of “The Nightside” in Simon R. Green’s latest book, “The Unnatural Inquirer.” I don’t think I’ll ever get truly tired of this series, but I have thought that the more recent installments (those occurring in the wake of the Lilith War) have just not been quite up to snuff. As in the previous book, John Taylor’s major power, his “private eye,” gets switched off by some unrevealed force and he once again wanders the Nightside doing his detective work the hard way. Not that he ever learns anything helpful while doing this (which bugs me). However, I did like his temporary partner in this book – the cute little demon reporter girl from the Nightside’s very own tabloid rag. It certainly seems like she’d be a healthier choice for a girlfriend than his strange, but poignant, romance with Shotgun Suzie. While I still enjoy these books, I think they’ve hit the point where it’s worth waiting for them to come out in paperback. Oh, and a note to the author, PLEASE bring back Razor Eddy!!

And last, but certainly not least, is the latest installment in Jim Butcher’s “Codex Alera” series: “Captain’s Fury.” I have to eat major crow about this series. I read the first book and, while I didn’t hate it, I was a bit disappointed in it. I thought it was slow and took too long to get going and Butcher definitely gives new meaning to the whole “ridiculously overwhelming odds” idea (a theme which continues to recur and get worse throughout the rest of the books but everything else is so good you just sort of have to let that point go and enjoy the ride). Every book since then has gotten better and better and this one is no exception. Plus, readers FINALLY get the satisfaction of finding out what the $)*#)@& is up with Tavi’s furycrafting powers! Thank heavens – I don’t think I could’ve gone too many more books without knowing what the deal was with that.

Whew! Okay, that catches up my reading list to about, oh, February or so, but I’ll save the others for future installments.

Now, I’m off to get a head start on my weekend with a trip to the nail salon and preparations for the “Great Lizard Hunt of 2008” (more about this in a future entry – because, trust me, at my house, we are now ALL ABOUT THE LIZARDS) scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

Happy Friday, everyone!


Music: “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra (and how much does this song totally kick ass, by the way?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vacation, continued...

Whew! Now, the meeting is over and it’s time for my vacation to begin. I thought the best way to kick it off would be to go on a tour of the Scottsdale area bead stores. Then I came back to reality and figured out that I could maybe hit two of them before I had to head to the airport, turn in the rental car, get through security and catch my flight to Palm Springs.

I started off at Bead World. A very nice store, but for someone like me who’s been doing this for almost 10 years and has a very large stash of beads in place already, they didn’t offer any “wow” factor (i.e. nothing that I’d not seen before). Still, clean, bright and well-organized with a great stock of Czech glass, Swarovski crystals and gemstone beads. I would definitely recommend it if you need basic supplies.

If you’re looking for the “out of the ordinary”, though, I’d recommend the next store I visited (and my real reason for going on this mini-tour to begin with): Scottsdale Bead Supply. I’ve been in love with Kelly Charveaux’s gorgeous, handmade clasps ever since one of her silver toggles was featured in a necklace on the cover of “Bead and Button” magazine a few years ago. In fact, I have that exact clasp (a friend who lived in Phoenix at the time picked it up for me) and it’s still in my stash because I haven’t come up with a cool enough design to use it with.

Since then, Kelly’s work has expanded far beyond mere sterling silver – although she still makes some beautiful silver pieces. The store’s inventory now boasts a dizzying array of clasps and beads with stunning inlay work on them. There’s so much to choose from that I had a hard time knowing I only had an hour at the store before I needed to take off for the airport. Budget limitations were a problem also (aren’t they always) because her work is not cheap, but it’s my opinion that using high-level materials like this really elevate one’s work to the next level and that makes them worth the price.

I wanted to take pictures of the entire store, but when I asked, the staff was not keen on that idea – I guess free publicity doesn’t go as far as it used to. Still, the allowed me to photograph the exterior and I did because I thought it was so unique for a bead store:

Here are some close-ups of the patio area and the fun little fountain that makes it such a wonderful oasis for beaders.

I can imagine sitting at the table and oohing and ahhing with friends over what you’ve just purchased or even doing some beadwork while enjoying a nice, cool drink.

And while you’re sitting there enjoying the shade and the fountain and your iced tea, here’s a picture of what I bought at the store:

One is a square toggle clasp inlaid with mother-of-pearl and the other is a toggle set with black dichroic glass. I had to leave so many beautiful things behind. Half of the store is dedicated to gemstones and there were some really gorgeous things that I’m now kicking myself for not bringing home.

After my bead interlude, it was off to the airport and then to Palm Springs where my dad picked me up and I joined my family at our time share condo at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert. We’ve gone there for a week in the spring every year for the past eight or nine years and it’s a wonderful break for all of us. The lakes on the golf course are stocked with black swans and flamingoes and they also attract other visitors and their families:

This mama duck had somewhere around 10 babies (not sure all are in the picture), but the kid and I ran across another duck whose eggs had JUST hatched and she had either 14 or 15…I could never get an exact count.

I can barely handle one kid. But, he has a fantastic time in the pool all day every day while we’re out there and there’s a lot to do over at the main resort including boat rides and live parrots to look at.

The finale of our trip was an amazing dinner at The Falls Prime Steakhouse in La Quinta with my boyfriend, my brother and sister-in-law. This restaurant is famous for its amazing steaks and “smokin’ martinis.” They put dry ice in the martinis and serve them in VERY TALL martini glasses. There are about 20 or so different flavors you can choose from – I had a Blue Falls martini which is their version of a “Blue Hawaii” (one of my favorite drinks).

Then, sadly, it was back to reality. And laundry. And unpacking. And work.



Music: “Do You Wanna Hit It” by The Donnas

Monday, April 07, 2008

I could get used to this...

...staying at expensive resorts, eating at fabulous restaurants and, best of all, having an expense account. I spent the last week on a combination business trip (the first few days) and then off to a different destination on vacation and had a great time.

Well, okay, the business part was kinda stressful, but at least it was in a beautiful location: the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ.

Don't believe me? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's the view from my balcony at the hotel:

And one more (just to make my point):

I didn't take pictures of the restaurant where we held our dinner, but suffice to say, it's where Tom Brady and Jerry Jones (among others) ate dinner a few nights before the Super Bowl.

And the wine was REALLY REALLY good. 'Nuff said about that.

Of course, no trip to Scottsdale could be complete without a visit to the local bead stores, but more about that tomorrow ;-)


music: "Rock Me" by Liz Phair

Final Four - but no further

And so the dream dies...

Aw well. There's always football season.

Oh, wait.

KJ - back from vacation and still not unpacked.

music: just the clicking of the keyboard keys.