Friday, September 08, 2006

872 Personality Test

Another silly test, and again I'm surprised how accurate it seems to be (mostly, but not completely). I have added my own comments where I disagree.

My Personality

Openness To Experience

Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Codes by Pulseware Survey Software

This report compares you to other women who are 61 or older in United States. It analyses you based on each of the five broad personality domains of the Five-Factor Model (Goldberg, L R. 1999), and the six sub domains at each level.

You are generally calm and composed, reacting moderately well to situations that most people would describe as stressful. You are generally calm, although some situations can make you feel anxious or tense. You rarely get angry and it takes a lot to make you angry. You very rarely feel depressed and are usually in a good frame of mind. You are sensitive about what others think of you. Your concern about rejection and ridicule cause you to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. [I am shy around others, but not for that reason.] You are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. [Nope.] Your fears that others will criticize or make fun of you are exaggerated and unrealistic [That is not a worry.], but your awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. [My real problem is that I don't know how to "chit-chat". Without a specific topic, I get lost. I can't think of anything to say. That makes me awkward and uncomfortable.] You often resist any cravings or urges that you have, but sometimes you give in. You are poised, confident, and clear-thinking when stressed.

You are introverted, reserved, and quiet with a preference for solitude and solitary activities. Your socializing tends to be restricted to a few close friends. People generally perceive you as distant and reserved, and you do not usually reach out to others. You tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. You often need privacy and time for yourself. You tend not to talk much and prefer to let others control the activities of groups. You lead a moderately paced life. You like some energetic activities, but also like to relax and take it easy. You love bright lights and hustle and bustle. You are likely to take risks and seek thrills. You have a generally cheerful disposition.

Openness To Experience
Novelty, variety, and change spice up your life and make you a curious, imaginative, and creative person. You are a moderately imaginative person who enjoys a good balance between the real world and fantasy. You love beauty, both in art and in nature. Sometimes you become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. You tend not to express your emotions openly [No - I do. Sometimes too much so.] and are sometimes not even aware of your own feelings. You are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. You find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different. [Wow! How'd you know that?!] As a person who is open-minded to new and unusual ideas, you love to play with and think about ideas. You also like to debate intellectual issues and often enjoy riddles, puzzles and brain teasers. Often you exhibit a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values. Sometimes you feel a certain degree of hostility toward rules [No - I'm known as a rule-follower and a rule enforcer. I believe that you follow even a stupid rule until you get it changed.] and perhaps even enjoy ambiguity.

People see you as tough, critical, and uncompromising and you have less concern with others' needs than with your own. [Um - no. I've historically hurt myself trying to make others happy.] You naturally assume that most people are fair, honest, and have good intentions. There are times when you believe that a certain amount of deception in social relationships is necessary, however you are mostly candid, frank and sincere. People find it moderately easy to relate to you. You do not particularly like helping other people. Requests for help feel like an imposition on your time. You do not enjoy confrontation, but you will stand up for yourself or push your point if you feel it is important. You feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. You are not affected strongly by human suffering, priding yourself on making objective judgments based on reason. You are more concerned with truth and impartial justice than with mercy.

You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled. You are moderately confident that you can achieve the goals you set yourself. You are a reasonably organized person and like to have a certain amount of routine in your life. You have a strong sense of duty and obligation, and feel a moral obligation to do the right thing. Mostly you work towards achieving your best, although in some areas you are content just to get the job done. You have a reasonable amount of will-power and are able to follow through on tasks that you feel you need to complete. You can be distracted however and have been known to procrastinate. [No kidding....] You take your time when making decisions and will deliberate on all the possible consequences and alternatives.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

871 Shafted Again. Sob.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The group that I get volunteer assignments through had their annual banquet to thank the volunteers while I was in Florida.

I just got the invitation today to a Hudson River cruise to thank the Maritime Museum volunteers. It's scheduled for the same day as Daughter's reception.

I'm beginning to think they check my calendar before scheduling these things.

870 Geography Test

This came in an email from Dirty Dave. He wrote:

"Since the Middle East has been in the news for a long time it occurred to me how little we really knew about it. So here is a test. It is only a geography test. However It's amazing how little we truly know about the area that has been in the headlines for very so long...

I liked this test. It involves moving the names of countries to their correct position on a map. When you are right or wrong, you know immediatedly. It's very well done. (Except I ended up with one country left over. Was that supposed to happen?)

Later: Ok. Figured it out. Bahrain was the one I had left over, and if you know where it is, you'll know why I missed it. And I shouldn't have missed it because I knew generally where it was. (But do the test first.)

869 Secret Visitor?

Thursday, September 7, 2006

This journal had a secret visitor last night. Someone used a "third party forwarding" site to visit me. (What these sites do is disguise the originating system information, actually it just gets overlaid with their own, so applications like SiteMeter can't determine where the visitor is actually from.) Whoever visited either was innocently checking out how it works, or actively didn't want me to know they were here. Whoever it was knows the URL for this journal, because they came directly.

That's interesting.... Anybody know anything about it?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

868 Reviews

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

[Later edit - fixed the "Rebecca" link.]

I sat down at the computer at 8 pm, and flipped on the TV. "Bones" was on. I'd never seen the show, but I'd heard that it was pretty good, so I left it on. It sure was "wowie gee", but it annoyed me because some of the stuff they were finding might be technically possible, but a) it was way too far-fetched, and b) I can't see any police department in the world actually doing that stuff.

For example, the victim had been stabbed while on the ground, and the knife went through and picked up some dirt, which was then embedded in the bones on the next stab. (Which I don't accept. It would have been scraped off on soft tissue on the upstroke, but ok, we'll let that one go.) They analyzed the dirt. Then, from the composition of the dirt, they were able to pinpoint the location of the murder to a spot near a creek in rural New Jersey. So close that they found the victim's clothing buried there. Note that it wasn't "she could have been murdered here, here, or here, and the analysis says here". Uh uh. They had no candidate spots, and found the spot directly from the soil composition.

Sorry, I cannot possibly buy that. Even if the soil composition were unique, it wouldn't get them to that exact spot unless there's a database somewhere containing the composition of the soil in every 100 sq ft plot on the east coast. Suspension of disbelief is ok. Flat out impossibility is not.

Then "Justice" came on. I lasted there only 15 minutes before I switched to "Scrubs". The "Justice" writing was bad, the acting was bad, and the cameraman was drunk. Or something. I was getting seasick from the wavering. Today's professional hand-held cameras have gyroscopic steadying mechanisms, so there's no excuse for it. If it's supposed to give you a "you are there" feeling, a) if you were standing there, you wouldn't be wavering, and b) you wouldn't be switching viewpoint every 1.5 seconds.

Sob. I want "Southern Exposure", and "Boston Legal", and ... other well done shows ... back.


Rebecca left a comment on my earlier post on financial fussing, about buying a suit at Marshall's. It reminded me how much I miss the "old" Marshall's around here.

There was a Marshall's across the street from The Company's Kingston plant. They well knew who their potential customers were, and they stocked accordingly. The sister of one of our secretaries was a buyer for that Marshall's, and when a new shipment of women's suits came in, the secretary would alert all of us.

They had beautiful stuff, designer suits that would sell for hundreds of dollars elsewhere. We snapped them up for $30 to $50 dollars (this was the '80s and '90s). A shipment would be gone within two days.

(Incidentally, on the pricing of clothing, note that even at $40, nobody lost any money on those sales.)

Since The Company closed their Kingston plant, that Marshall's is gone. I miss it. There's still one across from the Poughkeepsie plant, but The Company dress code has deteriorated, so either they're not stocking for that market any more, or I'm hitting it on the wrong days. They've still got some extraordinary stuff, but you have to shop harder to find it.


Bits and Pieces I Found Here and There:

From a online dating profile: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

I forget where I got this: "If the Islamists laid down their arms, there would be peace in the Middle East. If Israel laid down its arms, soon there would be no Jews, Christians, or any other 'infidels' left alive in the world."

Professor Hill, "The Music Man": "Oh, my dear little librarian, you pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering."

867 Maritime Morrow

Tuesday, September 5, 2006 (late night)

I'll be working in the office at the Maritime Museum tomorrow. When the coordinator called and asked if I could come in, I said that if there's no rain, I have a lot of work to do outside. She said good, it's supposed to rain tomorrow. I said fine, then I can come in.

All the weather reports now say it will be nice tomorrow.

I'm annoyed.


There was a program on TV yesterday about a woman who has been in prison in California for 26 years, having been convicted of 2nd degree murder because she didn't stop her boyfriend from beating her baby daughter to death. He also regularly beat her. She has been approved for parole something like seven times, but every time, her parole is vetoed by the state governor.

A complication is that the man wouldn't allow her to take the baby to the hospital until she promised she'd tell the authorities that she herself had beaten the baby. She was initially charged with 1st degree murder. I think part of the reason she was charged with 2nd was that the state was pissed at her for lying.

When this all happened with her, "spousal abuse" was not even a term. The general attitude was that a man had a God-given right to beat his women and children. I speak from experience. No one would help a battered woman or child. I don't see where she can be blamed for not calling the police, because I can testify that they would not have come. I've fought that battle in my own head as regards my mother, whether she was to blame, and I forgave her (for her inaction, but not yet for her inattention). My bigger problem with this case is that people say that prison is not for punishment or vengeance - that it is to protect society.

Bull poopy.

By keeping that woman in prison, who are they protecting? Does the governor really think she will go out and find another batterer, somehow acquire another baby, and then arrange things so that he will beat the baby? Duh? Protecting? Or punishing? Run that by me again?


I was looking at a mug shot today, and the subject looked a little walleyed. I thought "He must be looking very far away", and then realized that even with the farthest gaze, the pupils should still be centered. They get closer together when you focus on something close, and farther apart when you look far, but not outside center.

That led me to think about how fine that determination is, and how sensitive we are to it. Someone can be on the other side of a large room, but if you can see their eyes at all you know when their eyes are focused on you, and when they're looking past you, and the difference is a mere few millimeters change in position of the pupils. But you can detect that difference. Over all that distance. That's pretty remarkable.


We-all gonna have some fun soon. In an attempt to be efficient, I packed up all my warm clothes when summer came. Shoes and boots, too. I put them somewhere. I haven't the faintest idea where. Basement? Attic? One of the extra closets? Buried under the stack of storage containers in the bedroom?

It would help if I could remember what I packed the stuff in.... Boxes? Plastic containers? Sigh. I may be forced to move to Hawaii, where I need only one season's clothes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

866 Financial Fussing

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Piper called this morning while I was out, left a message that he was going to be out of town off and on over most of the next two weeks, so if I need anything, I'd have to catch him today or tomorrow. Since I'm going to have to ask for more money to pay the estimated taxes on the 15th, and it takes a week for the check to arrive, I guess I'm going to have to figure out today how much I need. This is embarrassing. The check I got last month when I bought the car was supposed to be enough to cover the taxes, too.

I've been trying this year to live on just the Company retirement check and the SS widow's pension, to see if I could do it, to see how much I really need. I guess I need more than those two. Piper says I'm doing fine, that I haven't withdrawn any principal, it's all interest, and that I should consider the roof replacement as an unusual expense, but really, when you own a house, stuff like that has to be figured into the budget. Next year it'll be replacing the air conditioning and the deck, and landscaping of the woods, and eventually I won't be able to ignore the driveway any longer. It's frustrating.

Ok, now I feel guilty for fussing over money. There are people who live paycheck to paycheck, and if they lose their job they're in big trouble. Daughter might point out that if I'm really so concerned, I didn't REALLY have to fly first class to Florida. I didn't even really have to go to Florida. "It's false fussing. It's unbecoming. Shut up."

Yeah, I've got enough that I don't have to worry about anything. And now enough of it is in safe investments that I don't have to worry about it disappearing. But fussing like this is precisely why I have it in the first place!

Some of the clothes in my closet are over 30 years old, and I still wear them. I've never paid more than $30 for a pair of shoes. I've never paid more than $15 for a watch. I buy a lot of my clothes at Wal-Mart or on eBay. I don't understand nail salons - they have created a market where no need exists. I'm smart enough to not pay a small fortune for fads and show and competition, stuff that loses value. I'll pay for real value. I'll pay for comfort and convenience. I won't pay to impress someone else, or for flash. And I'll especially pay for investment (that explains wearing an estate-auction diamond ring with Salvation Army resale clothes). I've never understood why a middle class woman would spend more than $20 for a purse. That makes no absolutely no sense to me. I hear about someone paying $350 for a purse (a purse!), and my immediate thought is that she should have paid $20 and invested the other $330 in a decent blue chip stock.

So, I fuss.

Piper has seen the house (outside). He's all excited about the location, layout, and grounds. He says he can tell me where I can invest $30,000, and it will increase the value of the house by $100,000 or more. (For some strange reason, he wants me to replace the siding.) I asked him why would I want to increase the value? All that will do is increase the taxes, and that makes absolutely no sense. I can't see any reason to increase the value if I'm not planning to sell, and I don't plan to sell. So all that would do is cost me $30,000, plus an additional $7,000 a year in taxes every year thereafter, all to impress the neighbors? No thanks. (This from my money manager? Sheesh! I'm glad he's good at picking bonds and mutual funds.)

Maybe it's my blood heritage.

Monday, September 04, 2006

865 Monday Lunch With Gadget

Monday, September 04, 2006

I had lunch today with a new friend - I think I'll call him Gadget. He lives in Wappingers, which is pretty far away, but his business takes him all over the area. I was 20 minutes late, and I'm sure he thought he was being stood up. I'm grateful he waited.

Perhaps he was just happy to see me, perhaps he was relieved that I "met expectations", or maybe it's his normal mode, but next time I see him (assuming there is a next time) I'm going to have to be firm about where hands go and where they don't go. When you hug someone goodbye after a first meeting, you really shouldn't slide a hand down their back, over their waist and onto the top of the hips. Huh! I pulled away before he got to the bottom, if he was headed there. I was wearing an ankle-length sleeveless knit dress, rather loose and drapey. Maybe he wondered if what he saw hints of under the dress was real, and couldn't resist checking. (Or maybe he's used to a different class of woman. Yeah, that's it....)

On the other hand, he's smart and amusing and furry. About the right height and age. Owns his own business. Coincidentally, I think maybe his eyes are the same color as mine.

Well, we'll see what happens next.

Speaking of the right age, there's a 38 year-old guy in Schenectady who keeps hitting on me through one of the online sites (his photo is that of a very good-looking guy, and his profile text is amusing and slightly naughty without being off-putting). Today was the third time in the past four months. I don't know if he just broadcasts his mash notes hoping someone will bite, and he therefore doesn't remember that I've turned him down twice already, the second time with a wrist-slap, or whether he's looking for a mommy, or a sugar-mommy. But if the profile really represents him, then I don't understand why he doesn't want or can't find a girl closer to his own age.

I'll just ignore him this time. I hate to do that, but enough is enough.

Ok, now somebody is going to remind me about my theory of "how it ought to be", where old men pair with young women, and old women with young men. There are all kinds of advantages to that pairing, from financial to family planning to furthering careers, to sharing wisdom and life lessons and skills, to late life care, to ... lots more. Circles within circles. I think it's a pretty neat theory. Well, at 38, he's both 18 years too young for me and 18 years too old!

I always respond when someone contacts me, usually to say "Thank you, I'm flattered...blah blah ... too young/far/great difference in lifestyle/values/religion ... Good luck". The only other person I've ignored was a guy in Wappingers who got rather bitchy on about our fourth email exchange. I didn't know how to respond, so I kept putting off responding, and eventually decided that was probably the best course.


I don't like to blog news, except as it affects me directly (this journal being ME ME ME!), but I do have to mention the death of Steve Irwin.

I saw the headlines three times this morning as I was wandering the net, and every time I thought "That can't be true. There has to be a mistake. Or it's a bad joke." Then driving to Poughkeepsie I heard the full story on the radio.

The man had dangerous playmates, but he always knew exactly what he was doing. It's so hard to believe he was killed by something so docile. It was absolutely a freak accident. Almost like there has to be some purpose to his death. "Crikey!"

I liked him because he was so boyishly enthusiastic, so obviously nice, and so very real.

If anyone wants to send a card or thought, his family zoo is:

(Remember, a domestic 38 cent stamp won't work.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

864 My Tuition Dollars Went for What?

I just came across this little gem at

"A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a computer system that uses positioning lasers, micro-current air measurements, radar speed sensors, and other instruments to measure 27 different variables when a coin is flipped in the air. It can correctly call heads-or-tails nearly 50 percent of the time."

So can my cat.

863 Rainy Sunday

Sunday, September 3, 2006

[Later edit - I accidentally filed this before it was finished. So I finished it.]

In an earlier entry, about the museum concert, I mentioned Ashokan Farewell. If anyone reading this gets any New York TV channels (Daughter?), you may have seen the public service piece about "... if you live in [various places in NY] ... make a difference ... vote". The gentle music during that spot, fiddle up front and guitar behind, is Ashokan Farewell. It is very beautiful. There's a 30-second clip here. Click on "The Catskill Collection".

The use of it on that ad is ironic. Jay Ungar wrote the music after a fiddle and dance workshop at the State University of New York's Ashokan field campus, when he feared they may not be able to go back. The Ashokan field campus is a beautiful spot in the woods near the Ashokan reservoir. There are bunkhouses, a meeting hall, a pond and creek, trails through the woods, and a small animal farm. SUNY leases it out to groups, and it's where the local Mensa group hosts its annual regional gathering. (It has a special meaning for me, because it's the place where Roman first went public with feelings for me.)

This year we couldn't hold the gathering, because due to the state legislature's budget cuts plus an attractive purchase offer from a group that wanted to buy it for a children's camp, SUNY decided to sell it. As it turned out, the deal fell through. It may still have to be sold, if they can find a buyer. I find it amusing that Ashokan Farewell is being used to urge people to vote. I wonder if I am the only one to see the irony. (I wonder if it was on purpose. Doubtful. Not many people are aware of the field campus. But I'll bet Jay Ungar is aware.)

In that previous entry I mentioned the Sloop Clearwater. Friday night they were signing up people for 3-hour cruises on the Clearwater, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. I've always wanted to sail the Hudson on the Clearwater. You don't get to just sit and enjoy - the Clearwater has (I've heard) the largest mainsail on any sloop, and guests on board are expected to help raise and lower it, and do everything else that needs doing. Clearwater plys the Hudson all summer from NYC to Albany, spending weekends and spreading ecological messages in towns along the way, so the opportunity to sail with her is rare.

I couldn't sign up for a Sunday sail because there was a good chance I'd be meeting a new friend in Sturbridge on Sunday. I mentioned to one of the other volunteers that I was thinking about a Saturday sail, and she said that Saturday was going to be very windy, with heavy rain from the remnants of the hurricane, so the boat probably wouldn't go out at all. Everybody was saying Saturday would be bad. So I didn't sign up at all.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. Cloudy, but otherwise fine. The Clearwater went out. I didn't.

Today is rainy, so there's no point in going to Sturbridge.

Mother is not happy.


On another other front, the cute calves are back.

There's a "gentleman's farm" down the road. Huge, beautiful. It would be heavily taxed if it's not a "working" farm, so the owner leases out fields to others who want to pasture cattle or horses. Right now one of the large fields is full of mother cows and their calves.

The mothers are so calm. They just stand around with their heads down, munching grass. The calves are fun to watch. They sleep in little mounds, and then one of the calves wakes up, and gambols around waking the others. When they're all awake, they gather in a tight circle, facing in. It looks just like a sports huddle. They seem to commune for a few minutes, heaven only knows about what, and then suddenly one of them will jump straight up into the air, like she's been shot, and run away at top speed. All the other calves give chase, and they tear around, weaving in and out of their mothers, until they tire of the game. Then they butt heads a little, and stand around in groups of two and three looking for all the world like they're gossiping. The mothers don't even look up. The tired calves taste a little grass, sip a little milk, pile up for a little nap, and pretty soon it starts all over again.

I refer to these calves as "she", even though I'm not sure, because they're dairy cows. The boy calves have likely already been separated out, and are being raised without the opportunity to gambol. They can't be allowed to toughen their muscles.

That's why I don't eat veal. The poor little guys never had a chance to have fun. (Even beef cattle calves have a chance to play.)