Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Dip in Temps

Yesterday was the only slight dip (mid-90s) in an otherwise triple-digit week, so my body responded by getting out and Doing Stuff.

I stayed home for a call from Eargo--my second--to find out if I am having any problems with my hearing aids.  I'm not.  But it's nice to know they care.

At noon, Polly had a vet appointment for an annual exam and to get her rabies updated so we can license her for another year. 

Leaving for the vet was not without drama.  Lizzie was determined to get out of the house.  Normally that's not a problem, but she saw Polly was on a leash and she was going to go out or die trying.  Despite all my attempts to block her or grab her or pull her back by the tail, yet she persisted and in seconds was half a block away.

I can't chase the damn dog down the driveway, so trying to chase her down the block was out of the question.  I got Polly in the car and tied to the brake handle so she couldn't jump out after me and I drove to where Lizzie was sniffing around a neighbor's yard.

Lizzie was just thrilled to see me and eagerly got into the car without a problem.  I drove her back home and got her in the house.  We had been asked to get to the office 5 minutes early, but what with chasing Lizzie we were exactly on time. 

Polly weighs about 11-1/2 lbs.  When Caroline was here (a veterinarian resident), she always called Polly a "sausage," and said that she needed to diet, but the vet had no comment on her weight.  But after taking her to the back to do the exam, she is reported to be in good health and able to live a long life.

They did recommend a dental appointment and said they would give me an "estimate."  She said a couple of her front teeth is a little loose and she might need an extraction.  Well, her check-up was $90 and her estimated dental appointment was anywhere from $350 to $650...but the estimate is only good for 3 months, as prices will go up after that (and I had to sign an agreement that I was aware of that).  I suspect we will not get the dental appointment!

We went to Jack in the Box for a quick lunch, which made me angry because my standard order is a plain cheeseburger (bun, patty, cheese), only when I parked to eat the burger, I discovered they had not included cheese, which just made it a dry burger.  I had 3/4 of it and gave the other 1/4 to Polly (who was thrilled).

They had given me a web site to fill out a satisfaction survey, so I came home, dropped Polly off and immediately filled out the survey.  Maybe I'll get a free burger out of it.  But not so far.
I knew if I sat down for a few minutes, I would never get up, so I headed over to Atria while I was still in "doing stuff" mode.  I noticed on the way over that gas prices have already started to reflect Hurricane Harvey's effects.

My mother greeted me as if I hadn't been there in a year and she was amazed that I was coming to see her (it had been 3 days since I'd been there).  We went to her apartment and talked for an hour.  They had given me some papers of her latest assessment that they wanted me to read over and sign.
When I left the apartment, I went to the office to drop the form off and they told me she has been acting "mean" and has been locking her roommate out of their apartment (Marge is not really a likeable person and my mother has told me on more than one occasion that she doesn't like her, but I didn't realize she was being mean).  They suggest I get her a urinalysis because they suspect she has a urinary tract infection, so that's on the docket for next week.

I went off to the supermarket.  I don't think I'd been there in a month and we were out of everything, including two critical things I went there specifically to get and then forgot to pick them up (flour and yeast).

By the time I got home, my back was killing me and so I rushed through putting refrigerated things away and leaving all the packaged things until later  Walt had been at work and came home with a bad back as well, so we both took Aleve and settled in to watch Master Chef's 2 hour special and let our backs rest

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Oh the Humanity

I had planned to write this about the unimaginable tragedy that is unfolding in Texas, but first I need to address the near tragedy that started my morning here at home.

When I first got up, I came to the computer to check e-mail.  That went just fine.  Then I tried to send a happy anniversary message to Jeri and Phil and wanted to include a photo but the computer stalled.  I decided to do a reboot.

I recalled what happened a couple of weeks ago.  First I got the "rebooting" message for about 45 minutes.  I was going to turn it off, but decided to leave it be and then I finally got the dell logo which sat there for a long time.

Miraculously, after a very long time the log-in screen popped up and I was able to log onto the desktop.  Whew.  Problem solved.  Oops.  No.

When I went to call up yesterday's entry so I could write today's, the computer didn't see the external hard drive on which I save all these entries!  When I brought it home from the guru last week, it wouldn't recognize the second external hard drive that I have, but I've been able to work around that.  Now it didn't recognize either of them.

I put in an SOS call to the guru, who managed to fix the problem by suggesting that one of the external drives was toast and he was right, when we disconnected the one which hadn't come back on line and just connected the one I use all the time, it saw it again.  so I'm back in business.  Sort of.

The problem is first Steve can't understand why I need two external hard drives, and second, he assumes that I handle external hard drives the way a computer person does.  In truth, I saved things to drives willy nilly.  The F drive holds all of Funny the World, the E drive holds all of the database files and lots of other stuff that I can't remember, but it does include all The Funny the World files from Day #1.  I did this because I was paranoid that the main computer would break down and I wanted to be sure I was covered, so now the regular stuff is NO on the main computer, but on the drive that broke down.

Thank GOD at some point around June I decided that maybe I should have a back-up back-up, and so the main database files were copied onto the F Drive, so I only have two months of FTW entries to add. I have now copied THOSE files on to the C drive, since the E drive is toast.  I don't do system backups like I should do, I just limp along and the more Steve tries to explain to me what he thinks I have been doing the more confused I get.  But anyway, thanks to a phone call I am back in business today and over the next couple of days I will be copying things in various spots so I don't lose them again.  I may put FTW on flash drives as well as hard drives!

However, I have sad first world, dry world problems  It is cool today (mid 90s) with 100s predicted for the rest of the week.  I have no reason to complain when I watch those poor people in Texas.  I actually sat here in tears this morning watching day #3 of people saving people, people walking in chest-high water, carrying babies and/or dogs.  Flotillae of boats from wherever they could come to reach people who needed saving.

And then the centers housing thousands of flood refugees which started to flood and the attempt to move 5,000 people to some other shelter on roads that are washed out.

There have to be thousands of stories that will come out of all of this.  And I hope that if nothing else, POTUS, who has requested reduced funding and staffing to FEMA has now realized that maybe that's not such a good idea.  (But at least he got good crowd for his appearance. "What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said from atop this fire truck, addressing hurricane victims.)

AND he can honestly say this was the GREATEST flood in the history of the country.  Would have been nice if he had something comforting to say to the victims and to the first responders, but I guess you can't hope for everything.  He does get brownie points for GOING to the flood area. 

I've been watching the pleas for donations.  Those poor victims need everything.  I hadn't thought about it until they said they needed diapers that those thousands and thousands of people have no bathrooms.  I can't even imagine.

I have been to Houston a few times, when our friends Mike and Bill were still alive and my friend Lynn still lived there in her "magic cottage" along one of the levees.  I enjoyed the city, even with the humidity.  I also had a teeny taste of how it can flood there, when friends took me to Cirque de Soleil and it was raining so hard, we were drenched just running from the car to the theater.

It saddens me to think that the famous beer can house is probably gone.

I was just listening to an interview with a woman who is trying to get on a list for help and who says that POTUS has not yet declared this a disaster area (a technicality, I'm sure!).  I have a feeling that as this tragedy is, the hardest part lies ahead of the thousands of affected victims -- dealing with the bureaucracy as they try to rebuild their lives.

At least the DOJ has decided NOT to round up illegals in shelters.  Probably only because there is no place to PUT them.

My heart hurts for all of the victims and for the beautiful city I remember so fondly.

[dumb things overworked reporters say after the third day:  "I hope that man's house gets better soon."]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Touch of Narcolepsy

My Weather app said that it was 109 in Davis today, a fact confirmed by a friend who actually went outside this afternoon.  Walt says it wasn't that hot here, only 105, I believe, but it still was hot.

While I was blissfully unaware of the ravages of the sun outside, as I had my computer and my book to read and those fans I spoke of a couple of days ago, somehow my body knew that it was damn hot--and what do logical people do when it's too hot to do anything else?  They sleep!

I absolutely could not stay awake today.  I felt like a newborn.  I just woke up long enough to eat and to go to the bathroom, then within minutes I was back asleep again.  I had all sorts of plans for things I was going to do with the fans blowing on me, but I never did any of them.

Monday is NCIS rerun day and though the TV was on, I slept through most of every episode that I watched.  I am reading a new book, which is very interesting, but would fall asleep after a couple of pages (this is another reason why I have a Kindle...when the book falls out of your hands, you don't lose your place).

I did manage to drag myself up and into the kitchen to cook dinner.  We were having tacos and I was eager to try my new taco holders.

They worked great and the pork tacos from Home Chef were delicious too, but when I was finished I sat back in the recliner and within not much more than an hour I was fighting sleep again.

I was trying to find the medical name for the opposite of insomnia (which is my usual problem) and it took me forever to finally find "narcolepsy."  But in the process, I went on an interesting Google adventure.  That's the beauty of Google.  You put in a simple question and amazing things pop up.
I found the translation of the word "insomnia" in nearly 100 different languages.  Languages I'd never heard of, like Cebuano, Cichewa, Gujarati, Hausa, Marathi, Sesoto, Xhosa, etc.  And there were also languages which surprised me that they would need a word for insomnia.  Like Zulu and Samoan.  Apparently there are people all over the world who are having problems staying asleep, but very few who are having problems staying awake.

Naturally, I had to check out some of these translations.

The Frisian translation of insomnia, for example, is sliepeleazens.  The Luxumbourgish word for it is "insomnia."  (I think I can remember that one)  The Yoruba word is "airorunsun," which is kind of interesting if you think about it!  Zulu has two words for insomnia, nokuqwasha and ukungatholi ubuthongo (that might keep me awake right there!).  The Maltese suffer from nuqqas ta'rqad while the Irish word is neamchodladh, but it in Scotland it is also "insomnia."

I find it fascinating that this is such a common problem that nearly everyone has a word for it.
That didn't make for much of an exciting day, but it was just what happened.

Polly drove me crazy in  the evening.  She did her usual 'stand outside and bark until they call me in and give me a treat' routine.  She always settles down after that and I don't hear from her again until it's time to get up.

But tonight she was VERY upset that I would not let her outside again.  She kept running into me here and put her paws on my lap and whine.  I wasn't going to let her outside just so she could bark, so I ignored her for abut 15 minutes, but she kept whining and whining and whining so I finally let her out.  She was out that door like a shot, but whatever was making her want to be outside must not have been there any more because she was outside for about 10 minutes before she barked a little and when I called her in, she ran right in, barked for a treat (which I did not give her) and then gave up and settled down finally.

Now it is 11 p.m. and I have to decide if I'm going t try to go to sleep or not.  I can't believe that I actually feel sleepy, but I have a strong feeling that if I go to sleep now, in two hours, I'll be having to deal with ukungatholi ubuthongo again.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Please Let This Be the Last Gasp

The weather has been downright pleasant the past couple of weeks.  In the low to mid 80s, with occasional spikes to the high 80s or maybe as hot as 92.  I was so happy to see that finally summer was beginning to slip away and hoped that soon we would be seeing the leaves change color and enjoying the occasional cool breeze.

Yesterday it was 104 and today was predicted to be 107 today.  Triple digits are predicted for the rest of the week.  Groan.

I thought that was OK because we were getting out of town later this morning on a busman's holiday, down to meet Char and go to the Lamplighters' latest production of Yeomen of the Guard  What does a theater critic do on her day off?  Go to the theater, of course.

This production was being put on in Livermore, which is on the east side of the bay from San Francisco.  I thought I'd see what temps to expect in Livermore.  As I said it was 104 here yesterday and at the same time it was 103 in Livermore, so I didn't take a jacket with me.


Autumn, you are toying with my feelings!  Hurry up and rid me of this cursed summer we have been not enjoying.

I don't really know why I'm complaining about the weather.  We have an air conditioned house, I have a water cooler that dispenses chilled water 24/7, there is a big fan in the family room to complement the air conditioning, and I even have a small fan next to my chair that I can turn on if the larger fan doesn't provide enough cool air.

If it had not been for going to Atria yesterday, I would not have had a clue what the temperatures were outside.

I started reading a Tess Gerritsen novel ("I Know a Secret"), figuring I would take my usual two hours of reading time before doing anything else.  Only the big problems with Tess Gerritsen is that you can't just put the book down in 2 hours and come back to it.  In fact, I had to force myself to put it down in order to go to Atria for an hour and as soon as I got home, I was back in the book again.  I almost forgot to cook dinner, but did tear myself away from the book to get some food on the table before returning to finish the last few chapters of the book.

This is book #11 in the Rizzoli and Isles series, the books on which the TV show of the same name is loosely based.  I say "loosely" because Jane Rizzoli is nothing like the character in the early books (who always struck me as more like Rhea Pearlman, than Angie Harmon).

The book Rizzoli was short, pugnacious, and eventually married.  Harmon is tall, gorgeous, and dating.  (And does a detective really wear spike heels to an investigation?)  I have come to suspend disbelief and enjoy Angie Harmon in the role but when I read the books, I still see Rhea Pearlman.
But Gerritsen really knows how to craft a story that will hold your interest.  I can't think of any of her books that I have dawdled over.

The visit with my mother went well.  I ran into her roommate Marge's daughter in the hall.  I had not met her before.  She was holding a bracelet in her hand and said that her mother had been "shopping" again and she was on her way to return to bracelet to the office so they could find out which resident she had taken it from.  I'm sure she has taken things from my mother's apartment.  Fortunately my mother doesn't miss them and she has nothing of any real value in there anyway, so it's just easier not to make an issue of it.

She was in good spirits.  Her arm seems to be healing nicely.  She complains of pain, but does not shriek as she did the last time I saw her, so it's doing much better.  At 100+ degrees, I am not going to take her for a doctor follow-up to have the doctor say it's doing fine and come back if there are problems.  It's hard enough getting her outside when the weather is reasonable.

Her main concern today is that she is getting old.  We spent the better part of an hour speaking on that theme until I decided it was time to get home and back to the blood gore of my book.

The show this afternoon was wonderful, of course.  Char brought her friend Connie, who has been to Lamplighters shows before, but was not familiar with Yeomen so it was a voyage of discovery for her.  Is there anything more impressive than a bunch of yeomen, in costume, singing their hearts out?

I have a soft spot in my heart for this show, and mixed feelings since Gilbert died during a run of Yeomen.  He was not performing, of course (one of his best roles was that of Jack Point in this show) but was conducting the orchestra.

I am particular about my Jack Points and Lawrence Ewing, who did the role today, nailed it.  Oboist Kathy Connor was telling us that he ends up crying at the end of every show, and you could just see that he embodied Jack Point's pain as he is scorned by the lady he has loved for so many years.

W.S. Gilbert's stage notes say that Point "falls insensible" and never lets the audience know definitively if the character lives or dies.  Lawrence says that for him, there is no question but that Point dies and his death is very touching -- no matter how many times I have seen this show (and I have seen it dozens of times), it still brings me to tears.

Walt with Kathy Connor after the show

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Stealing

This is a quiz I picked up a long time ago and my notes say that it was stolen from "Master of Art History Asks," but I can't find a trace of that blog today.  But the questions were interesting (a couple downright relevant!)

1. Do you look forward to the spring?
I LOVE spring.  In this area the whole town bursts into blossom and in the country area just outside of town are many orchards that are all in bloom.  The only thing I hate about spring is that it is followed by summer, my least favorite season (we will be in triple digits again all week next week....please, let this be the last gasp)

2. Which area of the sciences do you enjoy the most?
When I was a kid I thought of "science" as biology and chemistry, both of which I hated, but I love ecology and especially learning about the life of all sorts of living beings.  I am a National Geographic fanatic!

3. If you could own a classical statue in the form of any figure from myth, religion, or even modern fiction, who would you choose?
Mercury would be kind of fun--and could also double as a hat rack.

4. Do you have a good relationship with your mother?
Very.  I miss the old relationship I had with her pre-Alzheimers, but we get along well now, though it is very sad for me.

5. What is your favorite mythological story?
I don't know a lot of mythological stories, but after watching Black Orpheus, I am familiar with the Orpheus-Eurydice story in its many versions.

6. If you put on a big feast, what would you serve?
The biggest feast I ever put on was a Christmas dinner for 24 and the turkey was delicious. for more than 24 it would have to be something like lasagne or some other pasta dish.

7. How do you have fun? (What is your favorite 'Earthly Delight'?)
I have lately taken to turning off media and reading for a couple of hours each day.  I have always been a reader, but sometimes don't take the time to do it to the exception of everything else. A recliner, a book and a tall glass of ice water at my elbow.  

8. Do you often look for hidden messages and meanings?
Not often, but I do smile when I see certain things.  My friend Gilbert died on July 14 and every time I see a license plate with 714 on it, I smile and think of him.  Ironically, our license plate now is 7xxx014

9. Have you ever received an award or special position?
I got an Elly award (award for local community theaters...a huge big deal) for best original play, but never felt I deserved it because I was more the "muse" than the author.

10. If a revolution was about to happen in your country, would you be part of it?
Well, if you mean pick up musket and fife, no.  I can't even do protest marches any more, but I can write letters and sign petitions and once in awhile donate $3, which, according to every organization in the country that writes to me, will make all the difference in the world.

11. Have you ever planned an act of revenge?
Oh, I have on occasion planned beautiful acts of revenge, none of which I have ever followed through on.  Well, I take that back.  I did follow through on one.  Let me just say that if you are going to royally piss off someone, make sure it's not someone who will one day write a book.  History is written by the survivors and you can write something 100% true and have it reveal unpleasant things, or you can concentrate on the good and forget the bad. The trick is to be very accurate...and very subtle.

12. What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done?
Probably taken off by myself to go to Australia for 6 weeks.  It was my first time traveling internationally alone without Walt, but I survived.

13. Do you care about your weight?
I care about it.  Do I do anything about it?  No.

14. Is your life moving too slowly or too fast?
The younger you are, the slower life moves.  The older you get the faster it moves.  It is July before I am comfortable with the new year and then it's almost over.  Just last week, for example, my oldest son was a toddler and yesterday he turned 50.  How did that happen?

15. Do you prefer to stay in the shade?
Very definitely.  I am not a sun person.  Never have been.

16. If you could have any mural on your ceiling, what would it look like?
Something by Hieronymus Bosch--you'd always have something interesting to look at.

Garden of Earthly Delights
17. Do you enjoy the countryside?
It's a nice place to visit.  I guess after being a city girl for the first half of my life I have grown into preferring the suburbs.

18. Are you a romantic?
I read Outlander.  Does that answer your question?

19. What is your favorite historic subject?
I have gone through various periods of interest.  I have read a lot about the days of Henry VIII, for example, and have read a lot about the Holocaust.  In the 60s I was fascinated by Hawaiian history.  Right now while I'm trying to absorb the music of Hamilton, and recently read a book about Washington and slavery, I'm interested in 18th century America and learning more about slavery.

20. Do you prefer landscape paintings?
Some are meh, some are spectacular.  The paintings of Albert Bierstadt are always spectacular

21. Are you interested in social issues?
Very definitely.  In this day and age, particularly, you ignore social issues at your peril (and the peril of everyone and everything around you!)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Living, Breathing Journal

I look down at my shirt and can trace what I've done in the last 24 hours.

There are bits of melted chocolate, which fell off of my Hagen Daaz bar last night, which I didn't notice at the time.

There's a little smear from the egg salad sandwich I had for lunch.

There is a spot where I spilled juice from the container of mandarin oranges I had in the middle of the afternoon.

There are lots of stains from the sauce I dipped my pieces of tempura in at the Japanese restaurant where we took Ned to celebrate his birthday

And there are a few drips from the ice cream that Ned served back at his house as we settled in to be the first people to see his Magnum Opus, All In, a film about which I will talk in more detail when it has had its real premiere, which I gather is not to be until next month, when the whole cast and crew can get together outside of school activities.

Polly used to come and "graze" on my shirt each night, to check if there was anything edible, but she has stopped doing that now.  I will toss this shirt into the laundry soon, but I wanted to keep it on long enough to do an assessment of the treasures that it held.

I have become one of  those fat old people who sit around all day, eating, spilling on themselves, and, since nobody is likely to see them, just leaving it until time to change into night clothes.  Ohmygawd...I've become my father!

It was a more or less quiet day.  I had plans to go to visit my mother, whom I have not seen since Tuesday, but I had email from my editor at the Davis Enterprise telling me about the nominations for the local community theater awards, the Ellys, and asking me to write a bit about the local nominees.
Theaters judged for these prestigious awards come from something like 20 miles west of here and maybe the same distance (or more) east.  There are lots and lots and lots of awards, and now that they have added youth theater groups, even more awards.  (The spreadsheet is 12 pages long!)

I actually hate doing this annual article because there are so few nominations for theaters I review and when the awards are handed out, I'm lucky if 3 people win awards, despite numerous nominations.  But I dutifully do it, year after year, and will be writing the article today, after having made my own spreadsheet of just local people who have been nominated.

So, making the spreadsheet took so long, I didn't get over to Atria after all, but that is on the schedule for today.  I fear that with my mother's increasing dementia, her inability to tell one day from another, and the fact that we rarely have anything to talk about, I am letting more days pass without seeing her....and she doesn't seem to notice.  When I arrive, she doesn't know if I was there yesterday or last month, but is always thrilled to see me.

So I worked on getting ready to write the article and then around 6, we got in the car to drive to Sacramento, where we were taking Ned to dinner.  Marta had some work to do, so she didn't join us.
We went to a Japanese restaurant and had wonderful tempura and teriyaki.  We drank a toast to Ned turning 50

I reminded Ned and Walt that when Walt turned 50 is when we had the huge celebration at the local theater, with about 100 people, and a roast that went on for about 2 hours....and I retired from party planning because I knew I could not possible top that one!

I told Ned it was his fault for not having any kids to plan a huge birthday party for him!

We were honored to be the first people (after Marta) to see the movie All In, which Ned made at the "Movie Camp" he held over the better part of a week at Lake Tahoe.  The movie is 25 minutes long and I was very impressed.  Ned is a good movie-maker to begin with and has great ideas and is able to get them to film, but this movie also included a number of special effects that showed how much he has learned of the movie making program he uses.

He wants me to interview him and write a story about Movie Camp, which I will probably post here, and also on Facebook before the movie comes out so people will hop over to You Tube to watch it.  Given the kids involved in making this movie, all of whom are children of now-adults who grew up in Davis and whose parents still live here, I can probably get the article in the newspaper as well.

It will surely be more fun to write than the Elly Nominations article!

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25 through the years

1967:  Our son was born this afternoon.  What a relief to have it over with and how proud we are of our Ned.  Walt is beaming like a Cheshire cat and I'm pretty happy myself.  Labor was long (about 11 hours) and harder  than I remember with Jeri, but once things really got underway, they went very quickly.  I've only seen Ned for a few minutes but he has a head full of hair, dark eyes, and such a tiny face!  He wasn't as blue as Jeri was. 

I miss my little punkin so much tonight.  I'm anxious to get back home and introduce her to her brother.

1968:  When Ned opened his xylophone, he lost all interest in other boxes and left the opening to more capable hands, while he played with his new toy.

Ned is certainly a music lover.  If no record is playing and the TV is off, he runs over, pointing to the record cabinet and when he catches my attention, points to record player and starts bouncing up and down.  He's very good about not hauling records out any more and seems interested in the record cabinet only as a source of music.

1969:  Today Ned is 2 years old.  My little 2-year old is a chubby, talkative, willful, loving, daring little guy.  We had to drive Walt to work this morning and Ned spent the whole ride with his arm around Paul, leaning down now and then to kiss the top of Paul's head.

1970:  Ned's 3rd birthday is now history.  The party was from 11-1.  The kids arrived and took paintbrushes and poster paints out to the back yard to paint the back fence.  The fence turned out to be sort of a monochrome.  When they finished and began body painting I ran a pool full of water to wash them off.  

(note from 2017:  We thought it was a great way to have a party, only we didn't realize that poster paint would soak into wood and when we moved to Davis, 3 years later, the fence still had vestiges of the blue paint!)

1971:  Ned's party was a great success.  We started picking everyone up and giving them all firemen's helmets  Then we visited the local fire station, where everybody got to climb all over the equipment.  Next, we drove up to Tilden for a ride on the train, rode through Berkeley to Shakey's pizza parlor for dinner, back home for cake and presents.  At Shakey's everybody went to the bathroom together.  Ned was in tears because Steven Jones had flushed and he should have been able to flush because he was the birthday boy.

1972:  Ned's 5th birthday is now history.  Saturday was the kids' party at Tiny Tots.  All the kids donned pirate bandanas, made swords and eye patches, hunted for "buried treasure" (foil wrapped chocolate coins), had cake and juice and just played until time to go home.  Ned received a Chinese checkers set and I let him stay up extra late and had a game with him, which made him feel really pleased.

1974:  Ned's party was really fun.  The boys arrived at 2 and immediately Ned opened his presents--a long, drawn-out procedure lasting all of 5 seconds.  Then we had a Superman cake, which took another, oh, say 10 minutes.  Then while I got myself together, the kids played with the new toys a bit and we left for the pool ... I was immediately jumped by almost everyone and spent the better part of the next hour and a half underwater.  It was rally fun wrestling with the kids in the water.

1975:  There were few guests--jut Matt, Scotty and Alex.  The boys first opened Ned's presents, then we played "Pin the S on Superman" and then had a treasure hunt.  Finally we had a "Spidey stunt" where the kids had an obstacle course to run on the gym set and dome.  Ned was by far the fastest at that game.  I made ribbons for all the boys, blanket binding cut into 6" lengths with "1st place, Spidey Stunt" etc on it.  After the games were over the boys put together Ned's new "Six Million Dollar Man" model and then we had the Spiderman cake I baked at Ned's request.

1976:  Ned is 9...and the last of his parties is over.  Three of his friends came at noon today --the other four kids he invited couldn't come.  Ned opened gifts and then we went to Straw Hat for lunch.  The boys were really nice, watched the movie, devoured 3 pizzas and each played a electronic game, Trapshoot.  Then it was back home for one relay race (for which each won a game of cards) and cake --  I made a frog cake, which turned out really cute.

1977 was the last year that I kept a journal until I started Funny the World in 2000, but poor Ned's birthday was not the best.  I made a big cake to take to the pool, since three kids on the diving team had birthdays, but while we were getting ready to go, our dog Mutt collapsed and had to be rushed to the vet.  He had a slipped disc and eventually had to be put to sleep.  Happy birthday, Ned--we're going to kill your dog.

Today is Ned's 50th birthday and we are going to take him out to dinner and then watch the new 25-minute movie he made with some of his friends' kids at Tahoe this summer.  I'm anxious to see it!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ten Little Indians

here were 11 kids in my mother's family, but one died at age 4 long before my mother was born, so we always just talk about there being 10 kids.  My mother is #8.  At some point, as the siblings began to die off, my aunt Barb started a poem for which she would add a verse whenever someone died.  It occurs to me that sooner or later, I will be writing the last verse.  I want to remember where I put this, so this is "The Tribe"
"Big Chief"
Stuart C. Scott
Born: Waterloo, Iowa, 1877
Died: Inverness, California,  1958

Little "No. 1" Squaw
Lucy Grace Kirkpatrick
Born: Santa Rosa, California, 1879
Died: San Rafael, California, 1960

Ten Little Indians
All Doing Fine
"Sam" lost her head
And then there were nine
Melva Marion Scott
Born: Crockett, CA, 1900
Died: Placerville, CA, 1969
Brain Tumor
Nine Little Indians
Out on a date
Jim couldn't breathe
And then there were eight
James Stuart Scott
Born: Stockton, CA, 1905
Died: Reno, Nevada, 1976
Eight Little Indians
searching for Heaven
Marge found it first
And then there were seven
Marjorie Olivia Scott
Born: Stockton, CA, 1917
Died: Carmichael, CA, 1980
Lung Cancer
Seven Little Indians
one in a fix
Betsy couldn't eat
And then there were six
Elizabeth Grace Scott
Born: Stockton, CA, 1915
Died: Santa Rosa, CA, 1981
Esophageal Cancer
Six Little Indians
well and alive
Jean drifted off
And then there were five
Jeanette Clara Scott
Born: Brentwood, CA, 1901
Died: Oroville, CA, 1984
Five Little Indians
Adding up the score
Paul got subtracted
And then there were four
Paul Allen Scott
Born: Valley Springs, CA 1921
Died: Richmond, CA, 1985
Liver Cancer
Four Little Indians
Up in a tree
Scotty flew away
And then there were three
Roger Lovell Scott
Born: Stockton, CA, 1914
Died:  Portland, OR, 1993
Lung Cancer
Three Little Indians
wondering what to do
color Marie gone
And then there were two
Marie Lorraine Scott
Born:  Stockton, CA 1910
Died:  Oroville, CA 1999
Two Little Indians
tanning in the sun
Barb said, "I'm burned"
And then there was one
Barbara Beverly Scott
Born: Valley Springs, CA, 1923
Died: Sacramento, CA, 2008
One Little Indian
not having any fun
Wait for me, cried _____
And then there were none
Written by Barbara O'Donnell

the last two Indians, before Barb was moved
to an Alzheimers facility

I will someday have to fill in that blank, but not yet.

I'm glad my cousin was able to find this for me.  I would hate to lose it.

The only photo ever taken of the WHOLE family

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ear Ya Go

I've been saying for more than a year that I thought I needed hearing aids.  In fact, I had a hearing test done about 4 years ago and was told that there was hearing loss and I could probably benefit from hearing aids.

But, being me, I didn't do anything about it.  I had my hearing retested a few months ago and there was a slight deterioration from my previous test and, again, I didn't do anything about it.
Part of it was learning how expensive they are.  People told me the best place to get hearing aids at a decent price was Costco and I kept meaning to go and be tested there and get information, but it was one of those things I put off.

But I've been increasingly frustrated with how much everyone mumbles and how no actor knows how to project any more because even sitting in the front row, I lose lots of dialog.  I was tired of driving to and from the theaters in Sacramento and never understanding what my colleague was talking about from the back seat because he mumbled so badly.  I'm always angry with Walt because he mumbles so badly when he, of all people knows how much difficulty I have hearing.

It finally occurred to me that maybe the problem was with me and not everyone around me.

Char told me about a new company, Eargo, that came to "the home" where she lives and gave a talk abut their new hearing aids, supposed to be the top of the line, innovative, and won awards or some such thing.  Sounded intriguing. 

I eventually called them and they offered to send me a sample so I could see what they would feel like inside my ear.  They are weird little new-agey looking things.

The little brushes keep the electronics balanced in your ear and help remove ear wax. The string hanging down is how you remove it.  It's actually quite small.

They sent the samples (2 sizes, so I could see which fit better.  So nice to know that in SOMETHING, even if it is just ear canal, I am "regular" and not "large.")  The salesman said he would call in a week to see what I thought.  He didn't.  It was more like a month before I finally heard from him.  By that time I had given up on the idea of getting them and was back on figuring out when I could get to Costco.

But when he finally called, I made an impulse purchase.  I bought my Eargo.  (Before that, I had heard a Costco ad which talked about how pleased someone was with their hearing aids and the prices was comparable, if not a bit more, than the Eargo, so the cost was starting to be a little less intimidating.)

A couple of days ago, I wrote about the package being delivered while we were at the funeral last week and my trying to go to the UPS desk at the local supermarket to pick it up, as directed, only to find it wasn't there.  I was told they would deliver it to me on Monday, but by 4 p.m., I had not heard anything, so I drove out and there it was.

I opened the package and started to familiarize myself with my new hearing aids  They come in this neat package, which is also the charger (which reminds me of a frog face when opened!)

I put them in my ears and didn't notice a remarkable difference, though Walt pointed out that the TV volume was quite a bit lower than I usually have it.  I spent some time at night watching all the training videos for getting you accustomed to your near Eargo devices.

Today I visited with my mother and didn't have to ask her to repeat anything once, but maybe we didn't talk all that much.  I still wasn't sure that these were what I needed.  We drove to the theater in Sacramento and I understood everything my colleague was saying from the back seat, even over the sound of the tires on the rough patches of the Causeway, and he wasn't mumbling at all.

But the real clincher for me was when I took them out of my ears and back into the charger and noticed that the first thing I needed to do was to raise the volume on the TV again.

So I think I'm going to like them.  And I think I need them more than I thought I did.  This morning a rep from the company is going to all me to see if I have any questions and to help me get all settled with them (nice thing about a start-up company; they still care about customer service!).  I have 45 days to decide whether or not I want to return them.

But, if today is any indication, I think I will keep them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

So Now What?

This may be my favorite picture from the eclipse

It's Char's daughter, Tavie who, as I mentioned in yesterday's entry, has been waiting for this day for 25 years.  I absolutely love the look of joy on her face.  My prayer for her and Char was that the experience would be all that they hoped it would be, and report from Char after the eclipse is that it was.  "Better than I dreamed," she said.

We were a bit more low tech here.

Walt was out in the back yard trying to check progress with pinhole cards.  They didn't work well, but we were able to check the progress by looking at the shadow of the leaves on our driveway.

Of course  there were people who were better than the rest of us and didn't need those cheap-looking eclipse glasses.

Oh how I wish he'd burned his retina, but I'm sure he's better than the rest of us and has the strongest retina in the world and doesn't need the help that the rest of us do.

So we can all put away our paraphernalia and relax for another 40 years.  It's come and gone and life goes on....

Monday, August 21, 2017

Today's the Day

I don't have eclipse glasses so I may not be outside at 10:16, when the eclipse is to be at its fullest here.  Char and daughter Tavie are in Oregon. I just love what Tavie wrote on her Facebook timeline before they left.
I have been teaching Astronomy for the last 25+ years. Every year when I teach about eclipses, I show the students a map of the US with the path of totality for the Aug. 21, 2017 eclipse, and I point out the where I plan on being to view the eclipse. After all this time the day has arrived. When I started teaching, Aug. 21 was during summer break, now school has started but I will not miss this opportunity. I have a great lesson plan for the kids, and I will share all my adventures with them on Tuesday.
I am excited for her, after waiting 25 years!  I sure hope that it's all she hopes it will be.

I remember the last eclipse we had here, maybe 40 years ago?  I was here alone and I probably had a pinhole camera.  Like this year, we didn't get totality, but enough that there was a decided diminishing of light for a few minutes.  But it wasn't that it was just darker ... it was different in a way I can't describe. I've never experienced anything like it before and hope to be outside again in the morning to see if I experience it again.  It will be the last chance I will have in this lifetime to experience this phenomenon.

I'm not a big astronomy buff, but I can recognize the Big Dipper (that's the only constellation I know\). I also remember one time seeing a meteor shower.  I don't know if it was Perseids or Leonids, but we were in Yosemite Park with a group of friends from the Newman club at UC Berkeley. We were high up in the mountains where you could see a gazillion stars and it was magic sitting there watching shooting stars for awhile.

As a matter of fact, I didn't know that was a meteor shower until many years later when I was telling young Jeri about the experience and she kept asking me to take her to the "shooting star place," and somehow I found out it had been a meteor shower.

So one meteor shower, one eclipse and maybe another today.  Thus ends my travel through the cosmos.

It was a quiet Sunday.  The day before I tried to pick up my hearing aids.  They were being delivered, and sure enough were delivered while we were at the funeral.  I have to sign for them, so there was a note saying where I could pick them up at a UPS office.  I set out to do that on Saturday.  The address was 1260 Lake Blvd, and I drove up and down Lake Blvd without finding that number.  I finally found a teeny number in a dark corner of this strip mall.

I drove around the mall three times and saw no sign of UPS.  I even stopped someone getting out of a car, who said that there was no UPS office there and that the UPS office was downtown.  I parked and got out to ask a clerk in a store who told me "go to the deli counter at the supermarket."  (Did I have to say "Joe sent me?")  I went to the supermarket and sure enough there was an 11x14 sign at the bottom of the front door, right where you can't see it if there is a car parked anywhere!   I went to the deli counter but there was no one there.  I finally found someone who had no key for the UPS storage area.  He went around the store looking for someone who did have a key and eventually came back, opened the door and there was no package for me.  He said I could come back on Sunday and see if it was there then, but the delivery slip said they would try to deliver  it again on Monday, so I decided I'd just stay home and wait for it. 

I was hoping to have a report on my hearing aid experiment, but...not yet.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Death, Resurrection, and Saturday 9

The day started with a call from the guru.  I was supposed to go to his shop at 9:30 to get the computer, but he found a few other things he wanted to fix.  I told him we would be at a funeral later in the morning and he said to call him when we were coming home.

Then off to the funeral.  This was for our friend who died a couple of weeks ago.  His was the third memorial service we have attended within a month (not necessarily a calendar month).  Funerals are weird things.  It's where you meet all your old friends that you haven't seen since...well, since the last one.  It gives you a chance to see how everyone is holding up, who has assisted movement devices, who's gone grey or bald, who has gained or lost weight.  Very weird thing

It was a nice service, but it made me more sympathetic to Walt's work colleague who attended our wedding 52 years ago. I was a member of the Newman Hall choir at the time and as a gift they performed a Mozart mass, complete with instruments.   It was glorious.  Only Al was totally deaf and had never been to a Catholic mass before and his only comment after was "it sure was long."

Walt and I shared a printed program but with the combination of my needing-new-glasses vision and his slight essential tremor (and the tiny print size) I could hardly read anything plus, it was one of those days when my voice was only going two or three notes and then would freeze, so I couldn't sing anyway.  And because my new hearing aids had not yet arrived (I get them tomorrow), I couldn't make out 90% of what was said, so at the end, all I felt like was "it sure was long" !!

When it was over we went to the family home for a reception and got a chance to visit with people we didn't visit with at the church.

Then I called the guru, who said that the computer was ready to go, so we went to Woodland to get it.  It had been resurrected!

I wanted Walt to come with me because I thought he should have the experience of Guru on his home turf.  Trust me, it's an experience.

(Doesn't everyone have a storm trooper standing by their desk?)

He took me back to his work area and showed me what he had done to the computer.  He also told me what to ask for on Amazon if I want to replace this keyboard with one with more defined keys!

We came home, Walt fixed the computer up again, and I am once again back in business, including moving all the Airy Persiflage entries into Funny the World.  Life feels normal again.

Then I was able to check Saturday 9 and post my answers.
This week its Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, because Joy recommended it.
 1) The Beatles recorded this after they had taken a three-month hiatus from working together as a band. Do you find you're sharp after taking time off? Or does it take you a while to get back into the swing of things in your day-to-day life?
Well, I haven't been on a vacation in awhile now, but I think I pretty much get right back into the swing of things, other than needing a nap after an international trip (but I need a nap most days anyway!)

2) During those three months off, John Lennon made a movie called How I Won the War. What's the last movie you watched? Did you view it at a theater, on TV, or from a device like a computer or tablet?
The last movie I saw was Beauty and the Beast, which we saw in a theater when Caroline, our friend from England, was spending time with us.

3) Paul McCartney and George Harrison both used their time off to make new and different music. Paul composed instrumentals for a movie soundtrack while George studied sitar with Ravi Shankar. Ringo Starr spent those three months with his wife and their two little boys. If you had three months to spend doing anything you wanted, and money was no object, would you try something new (like Paul and George) or just kick back and relax (like Ringo)?
I'm too old to try something new.  I'd kick back and relax and either eat out or order in for dinner every night.

4) Paul recalls what fun it was to dress up in Edwardian-era costumes for the album cover. When did you last attend a costume party? What did you wear?
The last costume party I remember going to was back in the late 1960s and I went dressed as a Ukrainian friend of ours.

5) Paul says he came up with the name "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" when Beatle friend Mal Evans told him about this great San Francisco band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul hadn't heard their music yet, but he loved the sound of their six-word band name. Soon everyone would hear of Big Brother. Do you know who Big Brother's famous lead singer was?

6) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band appeared on the Billboard charts for 175 weeks. Is this album in your collection?
I am not sure.  We have a few Beatles records (remember records?) and may have that one, but I don't know.

7) The Beatles are among the top-selling artists of all time in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Would you like to visit Africa?
If I were younger and in better shape, in a heartbeat.  I have always wanted to go on a photo safari and I also have 14 kids I either sponsor or write to in different countries in Africa and I would love to meet some of them.

8) 50 years ago, when Sgt. Pepper was first released, the average price for gas was 33¢/gallon. When did you last fill up your gas tank? Do you remember how much it cost?

Walt filled it this afternoon.  I think $2.99.

9) Random question: Are most of your married friends happily married?
Let me say this:  a lot of my friends are married, most appear to be happily so, but you never know what is going on behind closed doors, so I don't really know.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Full Day

The computer (fixed--yay!) will be back today, but I was too busy to pick it up yesterday.

The day started at midnight with insomnia. I had gone to sleep early for me--10 p.m. And was wide awake at midnight and could not get back to sleep.  The last thing I remember was about 4:45.  The phone woke me up shortly after 5. It was Atria saying my mother was in great pain in her right arm and they could not calm her down. I was at Atria by 5:30.

She was miserable and periodically screaming out in pain. She had a blood bruise on her arm and i said i would call Kaiser, which I did. They couldn't see her until 2 but we had an appointment with the social worker for her long term care insurance at 3 and she needed to see the doctor in the morning.

There was a lot of discussion and ultimately i took her to the emergency room.  Making a very long story short, the doctor found a tiny hairline fracture which they put a splint on. This only took ~3 hrs. I was going to take her to breakfast but she wouldn't be able to use utensils so I just stopped at Starbucks for coffee and a muffin.

We got back to Atria and I left her and came home to sleep a little. I was totally exhausted. I woke up a couple of hours later when my guru called to let me know the computer was fixed, but I knew I didn't have time to get it.

Back to Atria. She was asleep and no sign of her splint which she had removed. I let her sleep until the insurance rep arrived.  I found her splint and put it back on her but she doesn't know what it's for and i'm sure she finally took it off again as soon as I left.

The exam took two hours and if there was any question of the company about her Alzheimers there is no longer any question!  The woman could not have been nicer and it was heartbreaking to watch her trying to answer questions like "what is your name?"

When it was over, I came home and collapsed. Walt, bless his heart, suggested we go out to dinner, which we did. A delicious new to us Japanese place which had the best miso soup I've ever tasted.

So i had a decent (for me) night of sleep and am ready to face another busy day which will begin with getting the computer and then going to a memorial service.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Still no news

i stayed close to my phone all day today hoping for a call from my guru, but nothing. I'm becoming "zen" about it.  Worst case scenario--the computer is dead and somehow when it died it took my external drive with it and that's why my laptop won't "see" it. I'm trying to be ok with losing everything. Look on the bright side--no files to clean up...but let's hope it's not the worst case scenario.

I used my day to do some more cleaning up my office, and that was useful. Not time wasted by any means.

I also read a lot. I'm reading a fascinating book called "Never Caught," which is the story of a young enslaved woman, who was one of the "favorite" slaves of George and Martha Washington. They spparently spent years searching for her after her escape and she was never found, but lived life as a free black, i think raising a family in the process. I don't know the details because i haven't read that far yet, but I realize as I read this that I know essentually nothing about George Washington. It's absolutely fascinating, especially reading it in conjunction with "learning" the score to Hamilton.

And of course this is all enhanced by all the chatter on TV about Charlottesville, especially comparing Washington with Lee (#45 apparently can't understand why one is bad and the other forgivable, I guess)

A bit of excitement is that I had a call from Eargo, the hearing aid people and I ordered a pair, to be delivered on Friday. A new adventure awaits. Oh, and i had a call from a nurse who is coming to do a mental health evaluation on my mother.

Heck, who needs a computer?

BUT at 7:30 Walt got the external hard drive to work (it helps when you plug it in) and i feel 50% better.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Not your normal night

If this were a normal night, I would be in my office creating this on my desktop, but my desktop is in a shop somewhere and I'm not sure what the diagnosis will be...or when it will come.

It has not beem a great day. After i realized the computer was not going to fix itself, I fired up the laptop. I was happy that all my important info was stored on an external hard drive so i could finish that review I was writing and write Funny the World without too much problem.

Problem #1--the laptop won't connect to our network. I've tried everything. So no internet access on the laptop. I have to do everything on the iPad

Problem #2--the laptop won't recognize my external hard drive so all those carefully saved files are still locked away

I took the computer to my guru but haven't heard if it's fixable or not. Even Gilbert failed me as not one but TWO parking slots directly in front of the shop were taken while I waited for a light to change.

After leaving the computer, i came home, where there was nothing left to do but watch Trump's bizarre press conference. As I had forgotten to take my meds, I was without my antidepressant so it was even more depressing.

I don't know what tomorrow holds. Keeping my fingers crossed (and it's really hard to type on an iPad like that.

Hold the good thought.

Finally, i realized this is almost exactly what I wrote yesterday. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dead in the water again

my desktop computer has died again. Trying to find a work around to publish Funny the World. Hold the good thought.

Laptop won't recognize our network.

It also won't recognize the external hard drive on which ALL of my files are stored.

I forgot to take my meds this morning (including antidepressant).

And Trump gave that horrible press conference.

I may have to have a drink tonight!

I hope Funny the World readers have figured out that they should check here. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Sound of Silence

In the wake of the terrible attack at Charlottesville, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been falling all over themselves condemning the those who were responsible for the death of one woman and the wounding of some 30 or so more.

John McCain:  White supremacists aren't patriots, they're traitors- Americans must unite against hatred & bigotry

Bill Clinton:  Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy.

Paul Ryan:  The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe:  "We need to call it out for what it is. For the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to our beautiful state yesterday, there is no place for you here."

Hillary Clinton:  "The incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets.  Every minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace, & corrosive to our values."

President Obama quoted Nelson Mandela.  It seems the only person not offering a stern rebuke and a message for the nation is the president. who offered this weak comment:   “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."

While his minions were all over the television today explaining that of COURSE he meant to include the KKK, the neo-Nazis and other white supremacists by name, there were a few who were happy with his comments.  This from the Daily Stormer, the neo-Nazi web site:

People all over the country are speaking out against hate groups.  But the man who was after Obama for literally YEARS for not using the term "radical Islamic terrorism" refuses to use the name of any of the hate groups who backed him during his campaign and when asked about them, turns his back and leaves the room.  The man who doesn't hesitate to call out publicly just about everybody in his cabinet, whether they deserve it or not, but who thanks Putin for expelling >700 US employees and who still thinks that despite confession by his own son, the whole "Russian thing" is simply made up by the Democrats remains essentially silent on the domestic terrorists in Charlottesville.

During the rally itself, David Duke, former head of the KKK said this, when interviewed: "the marchers were going to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”  I guess Trump is continuing to help.  I hope we are not seeing the new direction the country is headed in.

Other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln...I've been drooling for weeks over Red Lobster's ads for its current Crab Fest.  I mentioned to Walt that I really wanted to go, and so we went there for dinner last night.  The menu alone was beautiful enough to eat.

I chose the "dueling crab legs," snow crab and Dungeness crab.  Big fat legs bursting with huge chunks of crab meat to dunk in melted butter.  It was great...and I didn't give Walt half of mine, as I usually do at dinner!

What a great way to end a day that started out pretty depressing.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Cheers to all of us thieves!

These questions were on a site by Debbie Hodge, which apparently once had more blog content, but now seems to be mostly devoted to scrapbooks -- content, supplies, etc.
The artwork is by Picasso.
When I chose these, they looked easy.  Answering them today, however, is more difficult than I expected!

1.  What is the favorite piece of art you own.
This papier mache figure of actor Gilbert Russak in one of his signature roles as Jack Point in Yeomen of the Guard.  After Gilbert died, his family let me take this for myself (there was a second such figure of Gilbert in The Mikado, which his niece took).

2.  The most expensive bill you paid last month.
I help support several children through Compassion, Int'l and that takes just about all of my Social Security check each month (household expenses come out of our joint account; these come out of my personal account)

3.  What’s the last thing you apologized for?
I am constantly apologizing to the dogs for making them get out of my chair when it's my turn to sit in it!

4.  If you could do today over, would you change anything?
I would use my magic powers to close Charlottesville (and anywhere else) to white supremacists.

5.  What is the largest TV screen in your house?
I'm not sure.  36"?  We can't get a HUGE screen because it won't fit, but this is pretty darn big.

6.  What did you buy today?
A Spiralizer (for turning vegetables into curliques).  The Pioneer Woman was using one.  I'd wanted one for some time and I was inspired to buy it.

7.  I wish I had ____
a green thumb.  At this time of year, those home grown tomatoes and basil in the Barefoot Contessa's garden sure look good!

8.  How many photos did you take today?
Just the one of the figurine above.

9.  Last thing you wanted and didn’t get.
A quiet afternoon with my grandkids.  Should never try that after 3 days of frantic activity, especially with Uncle Ned.  I tried, but gave up eventually.  The girls needed to be alone.

10.  What was the last new thing you tried?
A 3-generation, multi-media book club, led by my 9 year old granddaughter, with participation by Jeri on Facetime from Boston.  It was great.

11.  Who is your hero?
A lot of my heroes. like Jane Goodall, work with animals, but since this is World Elephant Day, I'm choosing Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who rescues orphan elephants in Kenya and raises at them at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust until they are able to return to the wild.

12.  Today I feel really secure knowing ____
That we have a competent person running the government (you may stop laughing now -- yes, I'm kidding).  I'm secure knowing that I'm as old as I am and hopefully I'll be dead and gone before he blows up the planet (though that might be this month, so maybe not)

13.  Whose life did you make a difference in today?
I don't know how much difference it makes, but it makes me feel good whenever I write to one of the 20 kids I sponsor.  I'd like to think it makes a difference, at least temporarily.

14.  What would have made today perfect?
There is no way to make a day when there is so much violence in this country perfect, but if the president had called out the white suprememists instead of putting the violence on everyone equally it might have been better.  Instead it was left to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to address the nation.  After thanking civilians that helped serve and protect earlier today, he then turned to address what he called out by name as “the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. ” His simple and plain message was “go home.” He then went on to savage members of this hate group in a very strong and confident manner, saying: You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who brought our country together. Think about the patriots today, the young men and women, who with wearing the cloth of our country.

Somewhere around the globe they are putting their life in danger. They are patriots. You are not. You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people. My message is clear, we are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.

No.  Today was not perfect.
[quote from Mediaite]
15.  Did you thank anybody today?
I thanked my mother's step-son when he told me that he was going to visit her and that I could take the day off.

Bonus: If you were a Muppet, which would you be?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday 9

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Saturday 9: Start Me Up (1981) ... because Kwizgiver recommended The Rolling Stones

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here
1) That's a goat wearing a high heel. What's on your feet as you answer these questions? Fuzzy socks.  I always wear fuzzy socks when at home.  The dogs know I'm going out somewhere when I put on shoes.  Because I wear them all the time, I go through the socks quickly and I'm glad that the Dollar Store always has a nice selection.

2) More fashion: In the video for this song, Mick is wearing white pants with an elastic waistband. Are you wearing a belt as you answer these questions? No.  I'm wearing shorts with an elastic waistband.  I can't think of anything I wear a belt with.  I don't even know if I own a belt.
3) In this song, Mick pleads, "Don't make a grown man cry." When is the last time you shed a tear? Oh, Lord, I cry so easily.  This afternoon I was reading a wonderful article about Frasier that made me cry several times.  I probably cry more about sentimental things than I do about sad things

4) Keith Richard has said this is a song he could play "forever and ever." 

What in your life doesn't get old, no matter how often you do it?

Writing Funny the World!

5) While The Rolling Stones enjoy performing songs, like this one, from Tattoo You, Mick Jagger has dismissed the songs from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request as "rubbish." Do you have a favorite Rolling Stones song?

I am not now and never have been a Rolling Stones fan, so am not familiar with their songs.  I probably know some, but don't know that they are Rolling Stones.

6) This recording of "Start Me Up" features a cowbell. Do you remember which Saturday Night Live host made, "More cowbell!" a catchphrase?

No, I don't, but it became such a catch phrase around here that when I made the wedding cake for my daughter and her husband-to-be, I decorated it with cowbells. 

7) Bassist Bill Wyman once said he thought he should have been a archivist because he loved to make lists. Do you have a to-do list?
No.  I have a calendar that I keep on my desk so I can check it each day, but I don't make lists.

8) Mick finds it hard to stand still when he sings, not only on stage but also in the studio. The engineer for this song reports that Mick would have to run across the room to get back to the microphone for his vocal. Are you more fidgety, or still?
If I'm standing, fidgety.  My body doesn't like to just stand.

9) Random question: Do you believe men are inherently more sensible than women?
I don't think it's a gender thing.  Some people are more sensible than others, but I wouldn't say it had anything to do with their gender.