Friday, November 10, 2006

970 No More Online Dating

Friday, November 10, 2006

I've had it with the online dating crap. Yeah, Daughter and son-in-law found each other online, and I'm sure there have been other success stories, but it just isn't working for me.

It's beginning to seem like all these guys are lying about their age, and their photos are at least 10 years old. Most of the ones I've met in my age group are badly damaged, either emotionally or physically. The good healthy** happy ones get social as soon as they are available, and don't go online. Pickings may be better for the younger folks, but not in this age group (57-65).

What's really discouraging is that (and I've heard this from other women, it's not just my experience) guys who are relatively local, say within 40 miles or so, don't want to meet local women. Are they afraid of meeting some woman who will then camp on their doorstep? Afraid they can't get rid of someone local if it doesn't work out? 80% of the contacts I've been getting are from at least 100 miles away. I get a lot of guys sniffing around who live in New York City, eastern Pennsylvania, western Massachusetts. Now, hey, I'm sure there are plenty of women local to them. Why are they looking at me? Because I'm a safe 100 miles away?

A male friend has suggested that the men might be afraid that all a local woman wants is an escort, a steady date, until he pushes too hard for sex, and then she's off to the next (next what?), whereas a long distance connection is more likely to be looking for something permanent. She'd be investing more in it. Not to mention that a long distance meeting is likely to involve weekend visits, which could quickly get interesting.

Which is exactly why I don't want long distance. It puts too much pressure on. I would want to explore "us", a friendship, a growing together, before getting intimate.

I guess the crisis came when I realized that there's a guy in New Haven with whom I had been trading emails for a month, and whom I had promised to call - two weeks ago - and I haven't called him. Haven't emailed since that promise, either. He sounds really good. Looks really good. But New Haven? That's like 140 miles. As good as he sounds, I really don't want to get into that.

So I thought about it a bit, and decided I really didn't want to get into any of it.

I guess I'll just have to continue going to movies alone, and continue celibate. Online wasn't fixing those problems, anyway.

If I want a local man, the way to do it is to get out and meet local men, locally. Once they get to know me, they'll think I'm wonderful, well worth the risk. All I have to do is figure out where intelligent single men in their late 50s and early 60s hang out, go there, and exude availability. And somehow learn how to flirt. And do "small talk". Yup, that's all I have to do. That's all. All. Sigh.

I also have to clean up the house. I am fully aware that I've let the house go because I wanted isolation. I wanted to not be able to invite anyone in because I didn't want anyone in, in any way. Ok. Let's clear clutter. Opening up the house might open me up.

Got me some work to do.

Any suggestions? (Sorry - church groups are out. That would be starting off with a lie.)


**"Healthy" is relative. I don't mind his having had bypass surgery, or some extra weight. I do want him to at least be able to keep up with me mentally and physically, and not fall asleep during dinner. That's not too much to ask. If he falls apart after a few years, that's ok (there's no guarantee I won't fall apart in a few years), but I want those few years.

969 Shame! Only Shame.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I am ashamed of myself. Another of my peeves is misplacement of "only".

Today I left a comment on another's blog, which ended with "It only hurts for a little while." As soon as I posted it I wanted to fix it.

"I only eat fish" does not mean the same as "I eat only fish."

I should have said "It hurts for only a little while."


Thursday, November 09, 2006

968 Funnywright

I can't write funny, but I can find funny. Check out for a sweetly funny post from Anna. You'll never again think of staplers without smiling.

I should probably point out that this post immediately followed a post in which she complained of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), brought on by gray skies, low sun, the advent of winter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

967 More Things I Don't Understand

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Bath Towels

The Orlando hotel I stayed in had big thick fluffy soft towels.

I don't understand why people think big thick fluffy soft towels are best - the bigger, the thicker, the softer, the better?

Smaller towels are easier to use, to handle. Thinner towels actually dry your skin better. Too thick and fluffy doesn't get into the crevices so well. Soft is nice, but not-so-soft leaves your skin feeling cleaner, like it's been burnished.

So what's the fuss over big thick fluffy towels? Is it all just show? Give me a small thin towel, followed by a big thick fluffy soft robe, and I'm happy.

Name Pronunciation

I'd always been told that you are allowed to pronounce your own name any way you want, and you can insist that others pronounce it your way. You can spell it "Smith" and pronounce it "Jones" if you want. (But you shouldn't be surprised if others think you're crazy.) I can understand that, within reason. It's YOUR name.

I don't understand why a public figure would insist bucking the current. If you are a public figure, such that most of the people who come into contact with your name are not personal acquaintances who have the opportunity to learn your preference, and especially if your name is a common name, then it seems like you should bow to the common pronunciation, at least with your public. What's got me going is a newswoman named Bang-Jensen, who wants it pronounced "Bong-Yensen", as in Denmark.

Yes, "Bong-Yensen" is technically ancestrally "correct", but the average Joe America on the street already has a pronunciation for "bang" and for "Jensen", and that ain't it. Why disconcert people?

Car Insurance

Lets say you have one car, and you have two drivers. You drive the car 1000 miles a month. The insurance company's risk of a claim is x. Your insurance premiums are, say, $1000 a year. Then you buy a second car (of approximately the same value) and put it on the same policy. Your premiums go to, say, $1500 a year.

I can understand this, because with two drivers, it is probable that the total per month mileage will go up, and it's possible that both cars will be on the road at the same time, and therefore the risk of a claim goes up, possibly even doubles.

I don't understand why if I am one driver only, and I buy a second car and put it on the policy, the premiums go up by about the same amount as with two drivers. This makes no sense to me.

The mileage won't go up, both cars will not be on the road at the same time, and the risk of a claim will not go up. Everything actually stays the same. Do they really think I can drive two cars at once? So why should the premiums go up?

I think I'll call my insurance company and ask. Especially since the second car I just put on the policy is worth half as much as the minivan. The risk has not gone up, but the amount of possible collision claims has gone down. They should REDUCE my premiums!


I don't understand why no one uses "faze" anymore. Instead, they misuse "phase".

"Phase" is a noun. It means a period or stage in a chain of events.

"Faze" is a verb. It means to disconcert or upset.

I was reading an 18-page glossy brochure in the auto service garage this morning (oh, yeah, the minivan's power steering is now fixed) on how to set up and run a de-icing operation adjunct to your winter plowing business. It went into what chemicals to use, when and how, how to generate customers, how to figure costs, and so on. I was very impressed with it until I got to the penultimate paragraph, where it said "... but don't let that phase you", and the whole effect was ruined.

Faze, folks! Faze!

[Later edit] While we're on the topic. "peek", "peak", and "pique" do NOT all mean the same thing. Your interest is "piqued". "Site", "cite", and "sight" are not the same word. "Lose" and "loose" are even pronounced differently, and they don't have the same meaning. Sheesh.

I went to school in the days when you got an automatic "F" if you confused homonyms, especially "to" and "too", in any paper. Don't people learn stuff like this in elementary school anymore? I blame the teachers more than the students. You won't know something you've never had the opportunity to learn.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

966 How to "Get" Someone

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Used to be if you were vindictive the easiest way to get back at someone was to anonymously claim that they had large quantities of drugs in their home. Or if they had children or animals, to call child protective services or an animal welfare league on them. Or if they had income, to report them to the IRS as having cheated on their taxes.

You've got a new one in your arsenal, and this one sounds like more fun.

Someone made an anonymous call to the police in a city up the river from here, claiming that there was a murdered person buried in the back yard of a certain house.

The police are digging up the back yard. We're talking heavy machinery and 10 foot piles of dirt. They haven't found anything but a few animal bones so far, but they're not giving up. They've expanded the search to a vacant lot next door. A police spokesman has admitted that they have no idea who the victim might be, or any idea who the perp might be, or, really, any reason to believe there is an actual body, but "we're treating this as an active murder investigation".

Hmmm. Might be a good way to get the yard dug up for a new septic system, for free.

Monday, November 06, 2006

965 'Nother Photo

My sister just sent this one, Nephew in turnout gear. I had seen it on a shelf in her living room and asked her to scan it and send me a copy.

964 Nephew - Friday Funeral

Monday, November 6, 2006

The funeral was Friday morning. My sister picked me up at 10 am, and we went to the Presbyterian Church in downtown Orlando. Big church, several buildings taking up the whole block.

We had some difficulty finding parking, even though there were several multi-story garages in the immediate area. Sister's daughters were joining us, so there was a lot of cell phone coordinating ("There's a spot on XYZ street, near the ABC Bank, want me to stand in it and hold it for you? Do you have any idea where A---- is?")

What did we do before cell phones?

There were fifty (!!!) identical police motorcycles neatly parked side by side at the curb in front of the church, and several fire and rescue trucks.

Inside the church, the first four or five rows were all uniformed fire fighters and police.

The service was familiar, with
Call to Worship, including 1 Peter 1:3- and John 11:25-26
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Hymn - "Morning Has Broken"
Memories and Reflections, eulogies by the fire chief, other fire fighters, Nephew's mother and adoptive father, and friends.
Solo - "I Can Only Imagine"
Scripture Reading - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and II Corinthians 4:16-5:1
Pastoral Prayer and The Lord's Prayer
Hymn - "Angels We Have Heard on High"
The Testimony of Faith - Psalm 23
Pipes and Drum - "Amazing Grace"

They asked that only the uniformed officers and fire fighters leave first. Next, all those who plan to proceed to the cemetery should leave, and line up on any of the streets around the church with your headlights and flashers on, and the officers will direct you into the cortege. That's when we left.

When we got outside, the motorcycles were all gone. (I found out later where they went.) Sister went to get the car, and I waited for her on the corner near the church, so I had a good view of what was going on. Traffic was totally stopped in both directions for several blocks around the church. It was all cars just sitting there with headlights and flashers on, and an occasional bewildered driver stuck in the middle with no idea what was going on. Pedestrians came up to me to ask if the church was on fire, or if a county official had died.

It was probably 25 minutes or more before things got moving. The police wrapped cars around the blocks, feeding them into the intersection nearest the church and then all in one line out one street, led by flashing fire trucks, then the hearse, then the family limousine. When Sister came past the corner, I hopped in.

So far, nothing had surprised me. I knew Nephew was well loved, had a lot of friends, so the crowds didn't surprise me. After 15 years in one fire district, he had transferred to another and had been there three years (I think), so there were two districts represented. He was also an EMT, and EMTs often have working relationships with the police, so their heavy presence surprised me only a little.

But --- what happened next totally blew me away.

Route 4 is the main highway ( 6 to 8 lanes limited access) going into and through Orlando. The cortege went through a few blocks of downtown Orlando, then onto Route 4 for about 10 miles, then through residential areas of Altamonte and Casselberry. About 16 miles altogether.

Every intersection and on-ramp, every U-turn, every shopping center and mall exit, for the entire distance, from start to finish, had a motorcycle cop or a fire truck blocking traffic. No other cars were allowed on "Nephew's road".

It was so strange on Route 4. We proceeded at a stately pace of about 30 mph in the second lane from the right, in a long straight line, and there were no other cars on our side of the road, the whole way. Florida is flat, so when we went over a high overpass, we could see the procession ahead of and behind us, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it must have been at least three miles long, possibly four, since we occasionally caught glimpses of the lead fire truck, but never did see the end behind us. The officers must have held traffic for quite a while after we passed, or formed a blockade after the last car, because no traffic caught up to us from behind.

I wondered what the people on the other side of the road were thinking. After a few miles on Route 4, passing on-ramp after ramp with cars jammed up, the other side of Route 4 started to slow down and finally stop. Maybe gawkers, maybe cars couldn't exit because the side streets were at a standstill, maybe they realized what was going on and wanted to show respect - maybe a combination.

Nephew was the definition of nice guy. One of the eulogists had said that if a neighbor asked to borrow a tool, they'd get the tool and Nephew too. (The same eulogist also said that Nephew's parties were best not mentioned.) So seeing all the traffic stopped, all the people who were going to be late, inconvenienced, I said to Sister "For someone who was so nice and helpful all his life, he's pissing off a few hundred thousand people today! Making up for it, I guess."

We passed through several fire districts on the way, and they all had at least one truck parked on the side of the road (or across an intersection) with a row of fire fighters at attention. The hearse was too far ahead for us to see, but I'm certain they'd have saluted as Nephew passed.

There was another ceremony at the cemetery, bagpipes, taps, flag folding and presentation, a hymn, ringing of a bell, presentation of Nephew's turnout helmets, more bagpipes, and the "Last Alarm". I'm not going to describe the last alarm, because in words it sounds so flat, but anyone who wasn't already in tears broke down then. I'm teary now remembering it. It was broadcast over a loudspeaker on one of the fire trucks, similar in format to an alarm for a fire or MVA, only this one was for Nephew.

After that we went to a fire hall for a reception and early buffet dinner. I had to smile - it was obvious this part of the day had been planned by men. They had roasted chicken, sliced turkey, baked ham, and meatloaf. They had mashed potatoes, kernel corn, and baked beans. They had cookies and (huge) chocolate brownies. There was an open bar. Notice there was nothing green. They had enough plastic plates and utensils for 200 people, and had to send teams out to buy more plates and forks, and several buckets of KFC. Everything was delicious, though (especially the roasted chicken!)

Later, Sister and I went shopping (I bought a warm fake fur hat, which I was glad for when I got off the plane in Albany the next day to 33 degrees F.), and then to her house, where we talked about life and love and men and forgot about time. I got back to the hotel at something like 4 am.

We should have watched the late news to see what was said about the traffic tie-ups that noontime, but we didn't think of it.

Oh, I forgot - at the church, at the very end, starting during the bagpipes I think, they had a slide show on huge screens on either side of the front, of photos from Nephew's childhood right up to recent, and then again at the fire hall. And yes, they did do organ donation.

963 Frontloader Backhoe Fun

Monday, November 6, 2006

I had some fun this afternoon. The Hairless Hunk was outside with his favorite toy, a huge beast with a frontloader on the front and a backhoe on the back, using the backhoe (looks a lot like a steamshovel) to dig up rocks and roots and stumps in the cleared woods.

We were talking, and he asked me if I'd like to learn how to use it. I said yeah, of course.

So now I know how to put it in gear and drive it, switch the seat to the other direction, put the stabilizers and front bucket down to raise the wheels off the ground and lock it in place, raise and lower and aim the arm with the backhoe bucket, scoop under the rock or root and pull it out, and everything! By my sixth rock, I was using both hands on the arm/bucket controls and swinging that thing all over the place, with some semblance of precision.

HH took some pictures of me pulling some roots. I'll post them sometime soon.

I took some pictures of him, too, but unfortunately he's wearing a shirt. You won't get the full effect. Sorry....

Sunday, November 05, 2006

962 Nephew - Thursday Viewing

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I arrived in Orlando at about 2:30 pm on Thursday. Sister picked me up at the airport and took me to my hotel. We talked while I unpacked, and then she left.

The viewing (I hate to call it that, I don't like the connotation) was 6 to 8 pm, so she said she'd come by at about 6:30. At 6:30 I was waiting outside the hotel lobby doors, when a man walked up to me and called me by name, and started conversing. I didn't know what to think. Then it dawned on him that I didn't recognize him - it was Sister's ex-husband.

Niece arrived with a friend of hers, and then Sister arrived.

Shuffling of cars, thence to the funeral home - a beautiful building on a lake that reflected the lights of the city around it. The parking lot was full. The chapel was packed.

Sister smiled at me when I checked to ensure that the flowers I ordered were there and as described. They were, and the arrangement was huge. It embarrassed me a little, I didn't realize how big it would be - ostentatious - but at least it was red carnations and white daisies and stuff, not roses.

Nephew had apparently been on heavy steroids or something during the coma, because his face and hands (all that was visible - he was in full fire fighter dress uniform, including hat) were extremely swollen. Sister kissed him, but I didn't. It would have felt forced. I'd always liked him, but we hadn't had actual direct contact since 1990.

There was an honor guard of two firefighters in dress uniform slightly in front of and at either end of the coffin, standing at attention and facing each other. Every 10 minutes or so, three more firefighters came in, moved slowly up the aisle to the center front, where the five saluted Nephew (v-e-r-r-r-r-y slowly) and performed a choreographed changing of the guard. Every time they changed the guard, I started sniffling at the salute. The respect was palpable.

At first I wondered why they changed the guard so often, it wasn't such a strain to stand there for ten minutes, but then I realized that it was so that everyone from his company could have an opportunity to attend him. That made me sniffle more.

We stayed perhaps an hour.

I spoke to Nephew's mother and was surprised that I didn't embarrass myself or screw it up. (Except that I inadvertently upset his girlfriend. Oh well, I tried.) I am absolutely no good at stuff like that. I hate "receiving lines", and try to avoid them even at weddings.

My brother, Nephew's birth father, did put in an appearance, but he had left before we got there. I wonder if that was planned, coordinated somehow. Sister and I both have serious issues with him, but I'm not as forgiving as Sister. There may have been some concern about a nasty incident if we met, although nobody except he, I, and possibly Sister knows about it. Maybe it was coordinated not by people, but by Nephew's new friends.

I have no idea how he is reacting to Nephew's death.

Then Sister, her Ex, Niece (their mid-20s daughter), her female friend, and I all went to dinner at an upscale place, the kind where the menu price is huge and the serving is tiny (but good), and then back to my hotel.

Sleep was immediate.

I'll write about the funeral tomorrow. It was incredible. I'm still reeling.

961 Anniversary

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I'm kind of sad today. It's the one-year anniversary of Roman's breaking my heart. Time to take the cast off and throw the crutches away.

960 Memes....

Your Love Style is Agape

You are a caring, kind, and selfless partner.
Unsurprisingly, your love style is the most rare.
You are willing to sacrfice your world for your sweetie.
Except it doesn't really feel like sacrifice to you.
For you, nothing feels better than giving to the one you love.

You May Be a Bit Antisocial...

Antisocial? That may be a bit of an understatement.
But people love you anyway... you've got a boatload of charm.

You Are 62% Indie

You're a very indie person, and admit it, you look down a little on people who strive to be normal.
You'll indulge in a little mainstream pop culture every now and then. But for you, anything not indie is a guilty pleasure!

You Are 20% Sociopath

You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective.
In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!

Brainy Kid

In high school, you were acing AP classes or hanging out in the computer lab.

You may have been a bit of a geek back then, but now you're a total success!

You Are 68% Brutally Honest

Most of the time, you tell it like it is. Even if it's hard for people to hear.
Sometimes you hold back though, because you never want your honesty to be hurtful.

You Are 20% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Never Date a Cancer

Clingy, emotional, and very private - it's hard to escape a Cancer's clutches.
And while Cancer will want to know everything about you, they're anything but open in return.
[Note - Roman's a Cancer.]

Instead try dating: Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, or Aquarius

Your Linguistic Profile:
45% General American English
25% Yankee
20% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

You Are 40% Intuitive

You're definitely an intuitive person, but you never go on your gut alone.
You tend to be more analytical than intuitive - possibly because your intuition has failed you in the past.
When you don't have enough facts to make a decision, you don't mind listening to your gut to figure out what to do.

You Belong in 1962

If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

[Very interesting - I graduated from high school in 1962!]

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

I've made smarter things than you by eating fiber

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible. [Well, yeah, except there's no attempt to make it entertaining.]

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 8 out of 10 correct!
[Fooey! I was confident of all 10 answers. At least tell me which ones I got wrong!]

Your Brain is 53% Female, 47% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Your Career Type: Investigative

You are precise, scientific, and intellectual.
Your talents lie in understanding and solving math and science problems.

You would make an excellent:

Architect - Biologist - Chemist
Dentist - Electrical Technician - Mathematician
Medical Technician - Meteorologist - Pharmacist
Physician - Surveyor - Veterinarian

The worst career options for your are enterprising careers, like lawyer or real estate agent.
[I disagree. I think I'd make a very good lawyer, and a very bad architect.]

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Your Observation Skills Get A C-

You tend to notice the big things in life...
But the details aren't exactly your forte.

[Man, this one was HARD!!!]

Your Dosha is Kapha

Calm and grounded, you are not prone to mood swings or anger.
However, once you do get angry, it takes a lot to cool you down.
You tend to think a little slower than most people, but your logic is astounding.
Overall, you very loyal and trustworthy. You're not scared of being who you really are.

With friends: You enjoy their company, but often listen more than talk

In love: You crave connection and affection. It's hard for you to be single.

To achieve more balance: Exercise vigorously (especially in the sun) and let go of attachments.

959 How Readable Is Your Blog?

(Can you tell I'm catching up on three days worth of blog reading?) Via Roba:

Go to to find out how your blog scores on readability. This journal scores
7.95 on the Gunning Fog Index (about par with Readers' Digest or popular novels)
75.55 on the Flesch Reading Ease scale (out of 100, which I assume would be Dick and Jane)
4.48 on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade (a fifth-grader won't find it difficult)

So I guess I meet my criteria - although there's a lot I don't understand, I don't confuse anyone else.

958 Name Frame

On Flickr
s I L EC k1

Go to to create your own.

(Maybe you'll know enough HTML to make it fit better.)