Sunday, December 20, 2009
Over the years I have built many pieces and all of them were designed to solve a space problem. Finding a solution was a gratifying part of my woodworking---almost as much fun as building and watching plain pieces of wood transformed into objects of beauty and function.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
*Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one cup and DRINK.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The total hospital bill (not including the surgeon) was over $11,550 (for ambulatory surgery). Included in this bill is the cost for two Tylenols---$13.00, and a "head cover drape"---$72.40. Oh, and let's not forget the "skin scribe marking pen" used to put an X over the eye to be operated on for a price of $3.50. I could go on with comments for each item but that won't alter the costs or make me feel better.
Do I think we need health care reform? I'll let the the $13.00 Tylenol speak for me.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Associated Press reports that a kangaroo tried to drown a dog and when the dog's master tried to rescue him, the kangaroo turned on the man and caused enough injury to put the man in the hospital.
The revolt widens.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Nash and his whimsical offerings are a frequent topic of mine. I use his poems to escape old age, diabetes, and such.
When asked where he lived, his answer was "I could have loved New York, had I not loved Balti-more."
So here's Nash's thoughts that may help anyone out there who is traveling abroad or staying home:
Foreigners are people somewhere else,
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Alfred is "down the road" from us, seven or eight miles away. My brother lives in Alfred and is retired from the university after spending nearly all of his working career there. At the age of sixty, my mother decided she wanted to work in food service at the state college and she retired from there. One of my sisters graduated from ASC, a niece and nephew graduated from AU and a great niece graduated from the college as well.
In one of life's strange coincidences, my sister and brother-in-law were passing by the buildings that burned just as the sirens went off. They were on their way from Pennsylvania to Hornell to pick me up and transport me to a hospital for eye surgery. When they returned home later, they had to detour around Alfred because of the clean-up from the fire.
There has been an outpouring of concern for the students who lost all their belongings and the owners of the businesses that were destroyed or damaged. This is an area of generous and sharing people, so I know that concern will turn into concrete help.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I don't remember any childhood chores with great affection or animosity, but I do remember one chore with curiosity. I remember always volunteering when my mother wanted someone to mix the color in the margarine. How strange does that sound?
I was given a plastic bag that held white margarine with a little button of dye. You broke the button and mixed the dye in by kneading the bag. I recall stretching this job out as long as I could, because when I was doing that, I couldn't wash dishes or sweep the floor.
When this memory arose recently, I wondered why the margarine had to be colored. So Mr. Google and I did a little search and found lots of info on the internet. (The image above is from a site named old-time.com/commercials/1940. I have not been able to create a link.) Basically, the dairy industry fought the sales of margarine as a substitute of butter, and one of the laws enacted forbade the sale of yellowy margarine. All margarine sold was white. If you wanted it to look more like butter, then you had to add the coloring.
Margarine has been around a long time; a Frenchman invented it in 1870 and when it arrived in America, the dairy industry wasted no time in declaring war. The dairy states and the federal government enacted many laws over the years that has lead to the many margarines on store shelves today.
So I take delight in my (limited) participation in the Butter-Margarine Wars. My arthritic fingers take delight in the idea that they don't have to handle those plastic bags anymore.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
That idealistic naiveness has has eroded over the years, and during the past couple of weeks, has disappeared altogether because of the way our local paper has handled a local news event.
To back up, I read of a similar event which occurred in a neighboring community some time ago. That story had nearly daily accounts in our paper of what was happening. Those accounts were significantly featured on the front page and created a storm of letters to the editor that could be read in the paper.
Now a parallel situation has taken place here, in our town, the same town in which the paper is created, printed, and distributed. So the paper is handling the news in the same manner that the neighboring community's news was handled, right? Wrong!
Maybe this is the time to reveal that one of the significant parties in today's news event worked at the newspaper at one time. Maybe I am reading more in the reporting because of that. Regardless, I can now identify ways of slanting the news without the use of words. Yesterday's paper acts as a blueprint for manipulating news.
1) Change the location of the lead story. Put it in a different spot on the page and maybe the readers will miss it.
2) Change the size of the font in the headline. Give a story about conference bikes a bigger headline than the arrest of a city official.
3) Shorten the length of the story. Give more space to area stories, rather than this local story.
4) Fluff out the length of the report by devoting significant space within the lead article to a related story.
5) Be stingy about how many times you report this story.
6) Filter who will be quoted about the event.
7) Filter what will be quoted about the event.
8) Don't include the story on your website.
9) Remove comments from the website if you don't like them.
I can imagine how the newspaper would react to my list. We never slant the news. We must consider the family. A good guy is accused. The situation warrants careful reporting. You are reading too much into the situation. But wouldn't those same reasons apply to any alleged wrongdoing reported?
See how easy it is to subtly manipulate the news. You don't even need the power of words to do it.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Mr. Ed, Keynote Speaker
We have more information for you about the rumored animal revolution. Now a covert convention is planned to discuss The Four-Legged Animal Unification Manifesto. Our sources tell us that some animal world bigwigs are expected to attend, including Lassie, Elsie, Puxitawny Phil, Mr. Ed, J. Fred Muggs, Polly (who says her wings count as feet), Garfield, Snoopy, Woody, Alvin and others.
Mr. Ed, as the keynote speaker, will reveal how Woody chipped away at the first letter of the original order, and as a consequence, humans ended up studying evolution and the animals were free to plan their revolution.
They called it an "aggressive groundhog". But we know what it really was---rodents have now joined the animal revolution.........
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
But I have noticed that they also share another significant characteristic---they are always talking about their luck which is, of course, bad luck in their minds. Their lot in life is caused by bad luck.
I have tried to figure out what role luck has had in my life and the lives of other people I know who have successful lives, whether modest or substantial. About the only example I can come up with is the coffee machine I won by placing an on-line order for coffee. I guess I have to credit my successes to hard work, persistence, education, determination and all those other attributes that earn you a pat on the head from teachers and parents.
Thank goodness I didn't wait for luck. One coffee machine wouldn't pay for a home, a car, insurance and peace of mind.
So back to the aforementioned couples. Has luck caused their problems? Or is that just an excuse?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I love poetry and I love trees. And until I lived under a giant honey locust tree, I believed Joyce Kilmer's declaration that "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." Oh, I grant you that on one level, our honey locust is beautiful. Its canopy of green leaves shelters us from the sun and acts as a landing site for the birds contemplating a visit to our feeders.
But three times a year, this tree produces ugly droppings that I abhor! We are just finishing the first offering of ugly little fuzzy things that stick to man-made surfaces like glue. When I finally clean that mess up, round two showers twig-like creations all over the place. By then it is nearly time for the tiny little leaves to fall from the tree. These leaves have the ability to work their way into places that only smoke can go.
I know that Kilmer was right when he said "Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree." But why did He have to make such a messy one, and park it next to me?
(By the way, ignore the date on the photo. You are not having a Rip Van Winkle moment. The leprechauns were playing with my camera. I actually took the picture tonight.)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I find it difficult to contort my body into the unnatural positions needed to shave my legs. However, since my eyesight isn't what it used to be, I rarely notice.
My hearing isn't as sharp as it used to be. Good thing. I'm less embarrassed by the odd sounds emitted from my body.
I can't walk as far as I once did. Doesn't matter. I've seen it all anyway.
We lose friends and family and no longer need the time spent with them. This gives us time to concentrate on our own frailties.
I finally recognise and accept my character flaws. But it's okay. I can blame them on old age.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
- Ask the unexpected
- Gauge against a baseline
- Look for insincere emotions
- Pay attention to gut reactions
- Watch for microexpressions
- Look for contradictions
- A sense of unease
- Too much detail
- Don't ignore the truth
She adds an extra tip: Be trusting
In general we have a choice about which stance we take in life," says Ekman (Paul Ekman, an expert in lie detection). "It we take a suspicious stance life is not going to be too pleasant, but we won't get misled very often. If we take a trusting stance, life is going to be a lot more pleasant but sometimes we are going to be taken in. As a parent or a friend, you're much better off being trusting rather than looking for lies all the time.
Monday, April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has turned away a challenge from a death row inmate in Texas who claimed his constitutional rights were violated by jurors who consulted a Bible during deliberations.
Jurors reviewed a biblical passage relating that a murderer who used an iron object to kill "shall surely be put to death." They were deciding whether to impose a death sentence on Khristian Oliver for fatally shooting and bludgeoning his victim with the barrel of a gun.
The court previously has said that jurors should base their verdicts only on evidence presented in the courtroom.
The case is Oliver v. Quarterman, 08-833.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
To get rid of some of these parentheses, let me give you some definitions. When I refer to "tunnel vision", I am referring to the state of an individual who has one point of view and all information that individual receives is filtered through that single viewpoint on any issue. Period. End of discussion. Even if there are other viewpoints, it does not matter for the tunnel vision person is always right. Period. End of discussion.
It is this attitude that causes me to conclude that tunnel vision is closely tied to a hearing loss. Oh, the ears are working just fine but the tunnel-visioned individual has no need for them. He already has all the information he needs. Let's not cloud the issue with someone else's thinking.
I started thinking about this connection in regards to the emails I receive with some anonymous person's rants about whatever. One of the latest is a letter from a grandfather to his granddaughter who made the serious crime of voting for Barack Obama. Gramps carefully explains to her that her vote will raise taxes, cause loss of jobs, gifts, food, housing, tires, etc. Gramps goes on to imply that anyone who voted for Obama, did so only to be able to get welfare, etc.
NEVER ONCE DOES GRANDPA MENTION THE $1.2 TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET DEFICIENT RUN UP BY THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION---AN ADMINISTRATION WHICH SPENT AMERICAN DOLLARS BUT DID NOT HAVE THE GUMPTION TO RAISE TAXES TO PAY FOR ITS OUT-OF-CONTROL SPENDING.
And why didn't Gramps mention this? Because his tunnel vision prevented him from seeing it. Apparently, his filter doesn't always let facts through. I call people like Gramps DEAFS (Don't Even Ask For Sensibility).
Now my next question is: What is the connection between tunnel vision, hearing loss and intelligence? Umm.....
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Well, it's the time of year when many people make New Year's Resolutions. I used to until I realized that I was setting myself up for failure.
If I were going to make a resolution, I suppose it would be to improve on my ability to see people as they really are and not some idealized perception that exists only in my mind. My husband has always said that I expect too much from people. It's true and it's because I have given them hefty qualities that don't even exist.
I remember years ago when a friend and I were following an RV from out of state. At each intersection, the driver hesitated longer than my friend thought they should do. She ranted about the social level of people who drove RVs. Another time she asked me if I thought she should continue a friendship with a certain couple. Her concern was that the husband worked for a fast food chain. At the time, I dismissed these incidents (and similar ones) by thinking that she was having a bad day, or that she was in pain, or that I misinterpreted what she said, etc., etc., etc. It took me years to accept the fact that she was a SNOB of the highest degree. Until I faced reality, I mourned the loss of that friendship and assumed that I was solely to blame for the loss. That was because I perceived her to be a kind, understanding, giving person when in reality she pulled those qualities out only when they would benefit her in some way.
I don't mean to blame her and people like her for the pain they cause. They are just being themselves---I am the one who lacks the ability to see who they are and accept them as they are. Over the years, I have become very cautious (oh, all right...cynical) about putting the friendship tag on people I meet.
I don't get hurt as much but I liked the world a whole lot better when I could view it through rose-colored glasses.