Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en

Yesterday was All Saints Day, so today is All Hallowed Eve, when (so the tale goes) the dead can return. In ancient days (isn't that a nice, all-purpose generic term for any past time where there isn't an actual date?) people went inside before dark and didn't open the door for any reason until dawn. Sigh. It would be OK with me if we all skipped the whole trick-or-treat thing. And yes, I went when I was a kid (for HOURS, too, with a pillowcase that got so heavy you had to sling it over your shoulder like Santa) and my kids went too. When they were very small, I told them it was for Big Kids, and when they got older I told them it was for Little Kids, but this was not a successful ploy and for several years I was forced to endure the tagging along as they raced from house to house. I told them if they forgot to say "thank you" after they got the candy, then I got the candy, so they made a game of always saying thanks very loudly. When my son got to be 11 or 12, he was six feet tall, and I told him (correctly) that people resent teenagers (or kids who look like teenagers) going door to door, because it's a night for the kids. He was disappointed, and I said, is it just the candy you'll miss? And he said, Duh, yeah. So I said, no problem, I'll buy all the candy and more than you would have collected, and he was "cool" with that. But one thing about those days is that I didn't have to pass out the candy, because I went with the kids, and now this is my lot in life. This is a corollary of Murphy's Law, that says any job you do twice in a row is yours forever. Because we have inside cats, and dancing with the open front door all evening is a great way to have the incomparable task of Hunting for Cats By Flashlight, I drag a chair out on the front deck, and sit in the cold for an hour WITH an entire bowl of CHOCOLATE sitting in my lap. My only problem was, what to do with all the candy wrappers? Coat pockets...

And of course, it's going to rain tonight, so the number of kids will be down, I'm sure, which makes for long stretches of sheer boredom. One of the neighbors decorates extensively for the day, and puts stereo speakeres out and plays sound effects like screams, clanking chains, etc. etc. The problem for me is, the clanking/booming sounds like a horse cast in its stall (that's when a horse lies down too close to the wall, with feet toward the wall, and can't get back up, just thrashes and thrashes) and the screams sound like panic-y neighs, so I flinch the entire time and go out to the barn several times to make sure all is well. If you're interested, the way you get the horse up when cast is to go in the stall, and carefully tie a rope to the fetlock of the hind leg on the bottom, back up, stand well clear, and PULL until you flip the horse completely over so his back is to the wall and then he can get his feet under him to stand. It's a great was to get kicked, if you ever need a little more pain in your life.

On another note, this marks (+ or - a few days) the two year anniversary of this blog. When I read back over the blog, here and there, I'm pretty pleased with it. The writing is OK and it has served its purpose for me, to have a place where I can mentally wander over different subjects, and express myself. It's nice to have readers, of course, and comments are always welcome, but in general it's having my thoughts (micro sized ones) clarified by writing them down that results in a post, not the desire for the ever-elusive readers. But to all twelve of you who read this regularly, much thanks. Your kind words or just seeing the meter click upwards gives me a kick, and I do go to each of your sites to read your thoughts too, inspiring me to post more frequently and helping me think of topics. If my stuff is occasionally boring as hell to you, that's OK too, it's not like I'm looking to win a prize, and it's not like you're paying for a sub-standard product.....

"Chocolate isn't the answer to everything. Chocolate is the question. The answer is "yes".

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


ME me me me me....oh.

1) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.

"The techniques described below, however, give the analyst tools to explore many of these effects on paper, at a cost much lower than detailed field testing and laboratory analysis and far less than is incurred after an incinerator furnace has been installed and fails to operate satisfactorily."

2) Stretch your left arm out as far as you can and see what you touch.

An HP laserJet 4000. Ow.

3) What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Law and Order

4) Without looking, guess what time it is.

5) Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?

6) With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
A fan, and a paper shredder.

7) When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
About an hour ago, on my way to the ladies'. And it's cold outside, too.

8) Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
A series of blogs.

9) What are you wearing?
Green turtleneck, green jeans, clogs (such a fashionista).

10) Did you dream last night?
Yeah, something about crashing my car. Or maybe it was the computer. Noisy, whichever.

11) When did you last laugh?
Reading the blog You Had Me at Idiot Check it out.

12) What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Posters "What I need to know I learned from computers" and "Maybe we are building a new world" and "Fabulous frogs".

13) Seen anything weird lately?
In West Virginia? No, do you think?

14) What do you think of this quiz?
It's an easy way to create a new post....

15) What is the last film you saw?
X-Men III the last stand. Let's hear it for Hugh Jackman, rowwwl.

16) If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
I'd hire a full-time housekeeper. No, a cook. No, a chauffer. An accountant?

17) Tell us something about you that we don't know.
I'm really lazy (example: the meme)

18) If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
I'd have all the world leaders meet and thrash out their conflicts mano-a-mano, with dull butter knives.

19) Do you like to dance?
Not at all. Two left feet. Maybe more.

20) George Bush
I think he deserves a fair trial.

21) Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
22) Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Apeteryx (a wingless bird with hairy feathers).

23) Would you ever consider living abroad?
Nope. West Virginia is about as "other worldly" as I can manage.

24) What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
"You look great for your age!"

Friday, October 13, 2006

Feeling old...

Yesterday several of us at work were involved in lab inspections. I knelt down next to our cart to get something off the bottom shelf, and I couldn't get back up. My knees just refused; there was nothing to pull on or to push against, there in the middle of the hall. Finally the professor helped me up. So embarrassing! I am determined to work on this, it is a terrifying feeling to not be able to get up. When my aunt was in her 80s she fell in the hallway of her home, and had crawl to her bedroom to pull herself up on the bed. I remember thinking, I'll never let myself get to that point ho ho famous last words. I have even lost 40 pounds over the last year, and still going, I'd like to lose another 30 at least, but the knees are way slow in noticing how much less flab they have to shuffle along. What exercises would I do to specifically work on 'getting up' moves? Is it stomach muscles, back, thighs, what? So very disheartening to lose this weight and yet feel clumsier than before.

I have packed up and taken home all but the bare minimum at work, because there are now three of us sharing this small office--bum to bum boop-de-boop. Of course the boxes are just sitting there in the bedroom floor, whie I try to figure out what I am going to do with all that crap. When you've lived in the same house for 25 years, even the odd nooks and crannies have a waiting list for occupancy. This morning the youngest cat ventured into the walk-in closet ( a well known venue for entering the Twilight Zone) when I went to get my coat, so to lure her out quickly I produced the peacock feather. Oh gods, she was so funny. After watching her race in ever-smaller circles for a while, I whisked the feather back on top the bookcase out of sight (becuase she'll EAT it given a chance). And then the bean kept following my feet, looking up and wailing for the feather, staring at my hands to see if it would magically appear again. I'll have to get it out tonight for her to chase again, she sounded so bereft. Come to think of it, maybe if I chased around for a while, I'd do better at getting up off the floor?? Food for thought.....