Saturday, December 09, 2006

1008 Complaints

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Seems like almost everything is messed up lately.

I actually made it to bed by midnight last night, because I wanted to go to the recycle center today. But at 4 am, I was still wide awake and working crossword puzzles. I managed to wake up by 11 am, and made it to the recycle center (it closes at 1), so I cleared the cardboard, newspapers, and a huge bag of plastic and glass out of the kitchen. I can move around in there again. That's the good thing.

Then I went to the grocery store to buy iced tea mix and coffee yogurt. No coffee yogurt, and they didn't have any iced tea (of the 15 choices there) without any sweetener of any kind. Very annoying.

When I got home, I noticed my driver's license on the passenger side floor in the van. The license and one credit card normally live in the inside pocket of my purse. Thursday night the purse fell off the seat, and the license must have fallen out. No problem, except that there's no sign of the credit card. I don't know whether to worry or not.

Daughter has decided that she doesn't want to read this blog, apparently she has emotional reactions to some things I say (for example, if I even mention a male, she immediately hates him), so we've decided to keep in touch by telephone - one or the other will call every evening about 7:30. I hate the telephone. Plus Daughter is famous for moods, and I always seem to call at exactly the wrong moment, and then I manage to say exactly the wrong thing. Half the time I can't figure out what I said wrong.

Last Sunday Daughter mentioned that her father (Ex#2) was in the hospital in Colorado. I thought, "Oh, great. If he gets out of the hospital and needs someone to take care of him for a while, Daughter is going to feel a responsibility to do it, which means missing work, and probably messing up her holidays." So I told her that if he needed care, I'd be willing to go, so she wouldn't have to. Unfortunately, I also added that I'd rather hit myself in the head with a hammer, but for her I would. She took offense. She said she'd rather hit herself in the head with a hammer than go, too, but now I'm going to make her hit me in the head with the hammer, and why should she do that? I said because I'm older and hammers don't hurt so much any more. We both feel the same way about it, but it's simply easier for me to do it.

Anyway, we got through that, and talked again Monday, and I tried to explain better, and I thought everything was ok.

But she hasn't called me since, and when I call I get to leave a message on voice mail. I called her cel today a little after noon, and it went to voice mail again. I left a message that now I was getting worried, so I was going to call SIL to find out what hospital she was in, and I called his cel. He answered. I asked if Daughter was ok, and he said she didn't answer her phone because they were in a restaurant with friends, but when they heard the immediate second call from me, they thought it might be an emergency. I said, ok, as long as you're fine I'll let you go, and I did. It's now 8:30 pm, and she hasn't called. I'm pissed.

Late Wednesday evening I ordered some things from the online Smithsonian catalog (for a total of $35.98). The items I ordered absolutely dare not freeze, and it's been in the 'teens and twenties here lately, so I paid $26.90 for FedEx overnight delivery (from Tennessee), as was recommended. A difficult but necessary decision. Thursday morning I got the notice from Smithsonian that the order had shipped, along with a tracking number.

Friday. No package. I went to the Smithsonian site and asked about the order number, and got the message "order not found", because I hadn't registered (which was optional) when I made the purchase. So then I went to the FedEx site and tried the tracking number, and got the "not found" message again.

Saturday. No package. I called Smithsonian about 5 pm today to ask what happened, and surprise! They screwed up and sent it UPS ground. Delivery next Tuesday. The manager says she noticed the error immediately, but was unable to fix it. Yes, they'll refund a portion of what I paid for shipping, and yes, they'll replace the items if they were damaged by freezing during shipping.

I am extremely annoyed. If they're obviously damaged, and I have to reorder, that means I won't get the replacements until like two days before I need them. They could be damaged but not show it for a few weeks. When the manager noticed the error, Smithsonian really should have notified me.

If I were running the company, I'd have immediately sent out a second set by overnight, and then asked me to not accept or to return the slower order when it finally arrived. I really expected better from them.

The flies are driving me batty! I've killed hundreds of them (yes, I counted!) and they're still around. They're like very small regular houseflies, and they love to land on skin. They especially like to land on my face, get between my glasses and my eye, and try to climb up into my nose. No matter where I am in the house, there are five of them pestering me. They are not helping my mood.

I don't understand where they're breeding. They have to be breeding, because I keep killing them and they keep coming. There's no food out. Thunder's uneaten canned food gets cleared up and they don't seem interested in the dry food. The litter box gets cleaned out and the lumps flushed away everytime Thunder uses it. They can't get into the garbage can. Everything in the pantry is in mouse-proof glass, plastic, or metal containers. So where are they coming from? What are they eating? They can't multiply from nothing, can they?

One of the reasons I hate talking to May on the phone is that she has several cordless phones, and every one of them dies within 10 minutes and she has to switch to another. Roman said it was because she leaves them in the charger all the time, and that kills them, that you shouldn't put a rechargeable battery in the charger until it's low. So when I bought this phone, my first cordless, I was careful not to leave it in the charger all the time. The booklet says that there will be a "battery low" indication on the screen when it needs recharging. What they forgot to tell me is that you can look at it every day, and the screen won't say battery low, even if it is, until you actually try to make a call. THEN it says "battery low". Gee, thanks. That delayed my call to Smithsonian for a few hours.

I must have missed a watering or something, but my 30-year-old curly-leaf variegated Hoya, the one with multiple 15-foot trailers that I've looped over each other, the one that puts out huge balls of scented pink blossoms twice a year, one of the few plants to survive my depression after Jay died, yeah, that one, seems to be really sick. The leaves are crinkled and drying. I really think it's missed waterings. I've traveled some lately, and I guess I got off schedule. I feel really bad about that. It's a rare variety. I feel guilty.

Miss Thunderfoot's dry cat food comes in bags with a zip lock. Lately, they won't zip lock. In fact, everything I've bought lately that's supposed to zip lock won't. Except the "real" zip lock freezer bags. Everything else is folded closed and wearing clothespins.

Miss Thunderfoot and I have been battling every night, and lately it has escalated to all-out war. She wants to sleep next to my shoulder. I don't want her higher than my hip. She's a long-hair fine-fur cat with skin problems, and worse, she scratches herself a lot at night. I don't want her next to my face! I know she knows exactly what I'm trying to tell her, but she seems to think that I am dense, that I don't fully understand what she wants, so she keeps trying to show me.

I push her away and say nasty things when she's above my waist, and I pet her and tell her what a good girl she is when she's below my waist, and she still tries to move up as soon as I stop moving. She settles next to my face with a contented sigh, like "Well, I'm glad she's finally given up for tonight." It's beginning to be a serious problem.

Since our final breakup in July, either I call Roman or he calls me once a week, just to chat. The last two weeks, he made the call. This week, I didn't call and he didn't either. I kept putting it off. I sort of just wondered what would happen, how I would feel, how he might feel, would he call if I didn't call. Wondering if I would miss talking with him. I got an email from him today - his elderly father was taken to the hospital on Friday. Now I feel bad.

I'm fighting with Bloglines. Some of my favorite reads are now flashing multiple bogus alerts every day. I like Saudisphere (in my links on the right), but two or three times a day it claims Saudisphere has 18 to 24 new posts. In reality, there's one new post every few days. When I click to see if there's really a post this time, it takes forever to load all 24 complete entries, because they're full of photos, and then I find nothing's new after all. I may have to remove it from my alert list, which would be a pity.

Saudisphere is the worst offender, but several others, from several different blog hosts, are doing the same thing, off and on. (Note - if you switch from "old" Blogger to "new/beta" Blogger, you get the "24 new posts" alert on Bloglines, but that SHOULD happen only ONCE.)

My browsers have been bouncing badly. Something about "plugins" doing something "illegal". It's so bad I haven't been able to leave comments on other blogs, because with all the restarting added onto the super slow dial up connection, there's no time for optional stuff.

I suspect it has something to do with that "flash" whatsis, because it seems to happen mostly when there're fancy ads on the page, so I suspect it will fix itself when the browsers notice something's wrong and update themselves. I've been through these periods before, but experience makes them no less painful.

It's now 10:40 pm. Daughter called at 10 pm-ish, and we had a very good talk. She didn't realize that so much time had passed, things were pretty busy for her this week, stuff got put off, etc. Apologies.

Ex#2 has been transferred to a rehab facility, and will be there a minimum of two weeks. He's too weak to even roll over in bed, but will eventually recover. Good. That being off Daughter's mind may partially account for our pleasant conversation.

Ah, sweet misery. Necessary for balance.

Friday, December 08, 2006

1007 Photo Test

Over the past week I have loaded more than 500 photos onto, for safekeeping. I've made them all private, so if someone goes wandering around Flickr, they won't find my stuff.

I don't know if I can post one of them here, though. Flickr Help doesn't say if a private photo can be externally linked. So here goes - the test. My looking to see if it shows might not mean anything - Flickr may know it's me looking.

So, please leave a comment. Can you see Jay and me, about 1997ish, in baby sister's boat, in Florida? If you click on the photo, does it it take you to my Flickr account? Can you see any other of my photos there? If so, please describe a few. (When I click on this photo, my whole account is opened, but like I said, that might be because Flickr recognizes me - cookie crumbs and all that..)


1006 Coincidence?

Friday, December 8, 2006

I've started this entry twice now, and both times my browser went down. Is something trying to tell me something? Like "Save frequently, you fool!"

Speaking of "something trying to tell me something", I've had two odd experiences in the past week.

I was talking to someone about not understanding Roman, and what went wrong, and he (the friend) said, "You know, it seems like the very things that attracted him to you are the things he objects to now." I didn't agree, and thought about it all that evening and as I was falling asleep. The next morning, I woke up, walked into the kitchen, and flipped the tv on, right into the middle of a Friends episode. Right into a monologue by Rachael, complaining to Russ that the very things that attracted him to her in the beginning are the things he doesn't like about her now, and that she can't do anything about that, it's her. Eerie. (Rachael and Russ ended up together, by the way. I don't see that part applying.)

Last night Tom said that I should flirt in a "less inaccessible way". I thought about that last evening as I was falling asleep. I don't know what that means. Do I have to hang all over people? I don't think so.... Anyway, this morning I woke up, walked into the kitchen, and flipped the tv on, right into the middle of a Friends episode. Rachael doesn't understand what's so special about the gold bikini in Star Wars, why all the "guys our age" are so fascinated by that scene. Phoebe or Monica, I forget which, explains that it's because that's when Princess Leia "stops being a princess and becomes just a woman".

So, ok, I got the message. Now where do I find my virtual gold bikini?


Jay and I had something very special. It was apparent to everyone around us, and we weren't afraid to be affectionate in public. Not passionate kisses or inappropriate touching, not that kind of thing, just a standing close, an arm around shoulders, my hand on his chest when we talked, the way he would lean down to me when I spoke, the way we looked into each other's eyes and passed silent messages.

Within six weeks of his death, several of his friends called and asked me out. I was extremely offended that they called so soon. Anyway, every one of them rhapsodized about how they wanted to have what Jay had, just once in their lives, to be loved like that. Like they thought it was something I had in a bag and could just hand out samples in exchange for dinner or something.

Roman says he had noticed me way back in the early 80s, before Jay and I got together. But after Roman and I started dating, he said that he remembered Jay and me at a mutual friend's house, that he noticed the intimacy and affection, and that he (he was still married to his ex at the time) wished he could have the same thing.

The first couple months with Roman, we came close to that kind of intimacy, but after I found out he was still involved with the other woman, I told him that I didn't want him to, for example, put his hand on my thigh in public any more. If he couldn't make a committment to me, then he had no right to lay any public claim on me.

I think that was the real beginning of the end.

I want his hand back.


This is a pretty good quiz. It tests knowledge.

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Thank you for scoring highly on this quiz, there is sweet hope for the future. If you did not score high, please join the Volunteer for Human Extinction Movement. Either way, share your results with your friends so they can take this quiz and test their knowledge!

"Do you deserve your high school diploma?" was created by jahnet of theyellowleaf.

1005 Trivia With a Twist

Thursday, December 7, 2006

I went to bar Trivia tonight. There was just Tom and me, and GG, who seems to live there.

The place was full of men of the right age, and I mentioned to Tom that I wished I knew how to flirt, and I got the same reaction from him as from everyone else - that I know how to flirt (said with great emphasis). I said yeah, that's what everyone says, but I seem to do it generally, indiscriminately, I don't know how to direct it. I don't know how to convey "Hey, I find YOU interesting." Even when I concentrate on someone, they don't seem to take me seriously.

And then he said something rather perceptive. He may have put his finger on the problem. He said that maybe I need to flirt a little less inaccessibly. The implication being that I say "I want you to want me, but you can't touch me. You can't really have me."

Yeah, I've heard that before. All those guys in my youth that I had crushes on, and got to be good friends with, and years later they'd say "I liked you, but I never thought you'd ever go out with me." Me, the one who spent Friday and Saturday nights, date nights, alone, year after year. (We're talking the 60s and 70s, back when women NEVER asked a man out - you had to wait for them to ask you out.)

So, Tom suggested that I flirt with him. I turned and studied him for a moment, and laughed. "I don't know how!" He kept saying it's ok, he's safe (he has a girlfriend he's very serious about), and I said that's not what I heard (he has a reputation in Mensa) (and three ex-wives) (and many conquests) (or so I've heard).

Well, shortly after that I ouched and sat up straight. He asked what was wrong, and I said I can't slouch, it hurts my back. So he started massaging my back. I moaned. For the next two hours he massaged my back with his left hand while he worked his keypad with the right. He was good! He found every knot. I missed a few questions because I was zonked on what he was doing. Between sets of trivia questions he used both hands. I took my barrette out and let my hair down and he worked on my neck and scalp.

About an hour in I reached up under my sweater and unhooked my bra so he could get the knots under my shoulder blades. He said "See now? That was a very flirtatious move." There were shoulder leans and hugs and a lot of moaning scattered throughout. At one point he was working on those muscles on the side of my neck and I flinched, and he asked if he was "going in too hard, girls are always telling me I go in too hard", and I answered that I prefer it hard going in, and he roared.

I doubt that any man in that bar that night thinks I'm inaccessible now.

Tell you one thing for sure - Tom can flirt!!!

(Nah, no giggling speculation now - anything more than hugs and massage is highly unlikely. I do believe he is "safe". I think his reputation is undeserved.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1004 Nuttin' Much

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Last evening it was 22 F outside. Today it was a little warmer, but the weather man says that a cold front is coming through, and the high will be in the low 20s for the rest of the week. Hibernation time, I think.

I was reading someone else's blog, an entry about home improvement. I've been living in this house for 12 years now, and I'm a little surprised that, except for getting the woods cleared of undergrowth, we/I have made almost no improvements.

Things we did do:
  1. Jay cut a hole in the laundry room wall for a dog flap, and built an 8'x8' deck with a ramp outside the flap, for the dogs. We had talked about a dog-house kind of foyer arrangement on the deck outside the flap to keep the wind from coming in the hole, but it never happened. Now I have no dogs, but I have a big hole in the wall that the wind comes in. I taped a cover over it.
  2. This spring I had the woods cleared of undergrowth.
  3. About eight years ago we replaced the heating part of the heat pump with an oil furnace.
  4. I had the roof reshingled this year.
And that's about it.

Things we talked about, but never did:
  1. Finish part of the basement for a fourth bedroom, workroom, and family room with woodstove.
  2. Put in a huge fancy whirlpool spa bathroom in the basement.
  3. Replace the deck (20' x 10', no access to ground) with a wider deck with an octagonal piece that wraps around the corner, and "pull up" stairs (to keep wildlife off the deck).
  4. Pop the attic roof and put in windows to recapture the view.
  5. A stone wall at the end of the driveway, to fill in the bank that's so hard to mow.
  6. Fence the backyard so the dogs can run.
  7. Organize the garage.
  8. Paint.
The painting is a real sore point. Every wall in the house is a dull off-white. When I first moved in, I remarked to Jay that it was next to impossible to wash the walls - the paint seemed "soft" somehow. I would love to paint it all in pink/rose/orange/yellow pastel shades of beige, sort of desert-adobe colors. The house was built to Jay and his ex-wife's specifications, and one day when I was going through the files, I found the builder's spec sheets. Under interior walls, it says "primer only - owner will paint". That's just primer on the walls! No wonder it won't wash!

But then I look around at all the furniture, all the things on and against the walls, all the bookcases full of books, the 12' ceilings, the open stairwell to the basement, and the thought of painting is overwhelming.

The carpeting is original, too. (Brown, throughout the house, except in the foyer, kitchen, and bathrooms.) It's 23 years old now. But it must be good carpet - it still looks ok. It would look better if I vacuumed more often.

Things I'd still like to do:
  1. I'd still like to put in the family room with woodstove and fancy spa bathroom downstairs.
  2. I'd like to paint all the walls.
  3. I'd like to put in a patio outside the basement doors, and replace the sliding glass door with french doors.
  4. I'd like to replace all the carpeting with hardwood flooring (if it's done at the same time as the painting, I'd have to move furniture only once).
  5. I'd like to replace all the chandeliers and ceiling lights.
  6. I'd like to put motion-detecting lights outside, on the porch and garage.
I doubt that much of it will actually happen. Not as long as I'm living here alone, anyway.

Things I'm going to have to do soon, like it or not:
  1. Replace the heat pump air conditioning.
  2. Resurface the driveway, and maybe add a loop.
  3. Replace the deck, but I won't get fancy.
  4. Have the siding washed and treated with anti-fungal stuff.
  5. Put in water softener/filtering system.
  6. Replace stove and dishwasher.
  7. Replace/clean out all the plumbing fixtures clogged and corroded by hard water deposits.
  8. Replace washing machine.
Not exactly improvement, more like just maintenance. But the cost of the above sort of eliminates anything fancier.

Why do I feel tired all of a sudden? Maybe Daughter and Hercules should rethink this home-buying idea of theirs. Don't buy your way into slavery! Rent!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

1003 Frustration

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Well, I found another way to avoid the "to do" list. I've been reading through The Dilbert Blog.

Scott Adams, it turns out, is (or was) a Mensan. He writes about his shock when he met Mensans in a group in a November 2006 entry. I'm not going to attempt to find the specific link right now, but if you go to the link above, then to the archives for November, then "find in this page" and search for "Mensa", you can read it if you like.

He uses words like loser, and dress like street people, and incapable of managing their own lives, but then he says that the most amazing and wonderful thing is that "you don't have to explain anything twice".

Yeah. I have to give them that. Most Mensans "get it" the first time. (Except for the occasional speed limit-challenged nuclear physicist, that is. And a few others with very narrow focus.) Not only do they get it, but in general they understand where you're coming from. You can float a preposterous idea just to see where it goes without someone picking the details to pieces. They'll accept that it's preposterous, then play with it anyway, and they'll understand that you don't really believe or espouse this stuff. Or if you do believe it, they'll understand "thinking out loud", as opposed to a fully formed philosophy. You can use examples that don't quite fit, and they'll see what does fit and ignore the details for the sake of argument, or try to come up with a better-fitting example. If you present a proposition at a very high level, they'll stay at the high level before delving into details, understanding that you need to build the scaffold before laying bricks.

In other words, they'll see where you're coming from, understand where you are, and help you to get to where you're going.


That's pretty rare.

I've also been reading the comments in Scott's blog. He gets very philosophical and has some less than popular opinions, and he gets over 400 comments on an average entry. I don't know how he can stand it, unless he simply doesn't read the comments.

As illustrated in Scott's blog's comments, people in general just don't "get it". Many simply miss the point of the exercise. Or they pick one tiny detail and chew it to bits. Or instead of seeing what part of a random example fits, they tear the example apart. They don't seem to understand that it's not the details or the examples that are important, they may or may not fit, it's not the way it's explained, that may or may not be well done, it's the CONCEPT. Look at the CONCEPT, people!

Comments like he gets would frustrate me. I'd want to respond, to try to explain it a different way, to try to get through to people. I can't stand being misunderstood.

When I read his argument against the existence of free will, I understood exactly what he meant - that a person's decisions are determined by physics and chemistry, by existing conditions and states, that we are simply "moist robots" and have no more free will than a programmed electronic robot. I understand and fully agree with his argument. 100%. We do not have entirely free will. At least not as he defines it.

Then I exercised my own free will and decided to go get a cup of tea. I didn't have to, I could have decided not to get a cup of tea. The problem with his argument is not that I may or may not have gone for the tea - it's in the definition of "free will". There are degrees of "free". Most of his commenters missed that distinction. I got very annoyed with all the people who told him he was nuts because "of course" they can make free will decisions. They didn't even think about why a particular decision was made. Idiots.

I am reminded of that housewife at the baby shower in 1976, who declared that she couldn't understand and didn't need "this feminism stuff", because, after all, "My husband lets me do anything I want." It would have been useless to attempt to explain to her what was wrong with that statement.

I guess some people never learn to fly.

1002 Who Is Visiting the Taste Tests? And Why?

I noticed a week or more ago that someone had found my short and simple entry on taste tests through a Google search. Since then, I've had many visits from people in Colorado and California (or at least that's where their ISP is) who go directly to that entry, not from a search or a link.

That means they're not there by accident. And since they don't seem to go anywhere else from that entry, they're not browsing. I conclude that someone is passing the URL around, maybe in an email.

Interesting. I wonder why?

A thought I've had since that entry: Even blindfolded, testers would be likely to choose the familiar taste ("That's what xyz is supposed to taste like!"). Therefore it would be easy to slant the results of a taste test, should you be so inclined, by interviewing the potential tasters, and then choosing mostly those who already are users of your product, or of a product similar in taste to yours.

Moral: Taste tests have no meaning other than "this is more familiar than that". "Better" is neither the question asked nor answered.

1001 Just in Case

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

[Later edit - more info added at bottom, after the dividing line.]

I'm documenting this a) so if it happens again I will be able to date this incident, and b) just in case it "goes west" somehow, someone will know what happened.

A few minutes ago I was reading something and noticed that I couldn't see the letter that preceded the letter I was looking at. I had a pinpoint of not-seeing. The pinpoint expanded into a circle within minutes. It's been going on for about 15 minutes now. The circle is now larger than my handspan at the distance of the monitor, to the left of the focal point. I can "sort of" see within the circle (which is more like a "C" shape now), except that things sort of jump a bit. The edges of the circle are very bright white flashing zig-zag spikes. If I close either eye, it's still there, and the jagged edges are very bright when I close both eyes.

This same thing happened to me about eight years or so ago, while I was helping a friend in New Paltz to move. I picked up a heavy box and there was a popping feeling, and I got these bright flashing zig-zags. I was afraid I had a detached retina, so we got an immediate emergency appointment with a New Paltz opthamologist. She decided it was an "optical migraine". Nothing to worry about. The zig-zags eventually expanded to the periphery and disappeared.

This one seems to be progressing faster than the first. The jagged edges are out to my peripheral vision already (I started this note 18 minutes ago) and I can now see just fine in the middle. It'll be completely gone in a few minutes. The first one lasted over two and a half hours.

Excuse me while I go do some internet research on visual/optical/ocular migraines. Maybe the zig-zags themselves are not dangerous, but maybe the "why" of them is.


It's now an hour and a half later. I've read a bunch of stuff like the Wikipedia entry on migraine (including the contributors' comments), and a forum description that sounds exactly like my thingy, and other bits here and there. There's lots of descriptions of what it is, but nothing conclusive on why.

It's interesting that the forum poster says that the eyeball feels swollen, but doesn't look swollen. I've got that too! My right eyeball feels swollen. I've also got a tender feeling around the right eyesocket, cheek, and temple. And a very slight (maybe just suggestion-induced) headache above my right ear. No big deal.

My initial fear was, of course, that it was a transient ischemic attack (TIA, sort of like a mini-stroke). Of my maternal ancestors, on the Welsh side, everyone who didn't get hit by a car or something died of a stroke, or a series of small strokes. Not the clot-type stroke that aspirin helps, but a non-aneurysm brain-bleed. I'm more afraid of having a stroke when I'm so alone here than of cancer or anything else.

That side of the family also has a general bleeding problem. I used to think it was one of the many forms of clotting factor defect that affects both males and females. My next-younger sister bruises if you just look at her hard, and requires a few gallons of blood when she gives birth. Youngest brother and I bruise fairly easily too, but I've noticed that it's not so much a clotting problem (a cut will stop bleeding in a reasonable time) as a "breaking" problem. I think we have fragile blood vessels, that break and leak easily. That could also account for the fact that we all tend to have extremely low blood pressure, too. (At least until we get old, sedentary, and fat....)

So, according to what I read, it was an optical migraine, and optical migraines are not dangerous.

(Although migraine suffers are nine times more likely to suffer an eventual stroke than non-suffers. Gee, thanks for that comforting news, folks. Not dangerous?)

Monday, December 04, 2006

1000 Batting a Thousand!

Monday, December 4, 2006

I posted #999 also on the local Mensa Group Board, and now I'm waiting for all the self-appointed experts to volunteer themselves. Snort!

I am reminded of a member who wanted to volunteer the services of the organization to the local governments. He figured that we would be able to run things better and that the legislatures and town councils would appreciate our input and would do what we say. He couldn't understand why that wasn't a good idea.

He also commented one time that there are "only 210 very intelligent people in this area". We asked him where he got that number, and he said it was the Mensa membership. We pointed out that not all smart people join, in fact the smartest people don't, and the qualifying test doesn't measure all types of intelligence anyway, but he wouldn't accept that. Finally I asked him how long he had been a member, and "before you joined, when you were not a member, were you stupid?" That confused him.

This is the same guy who couldn't understand how NJ got a speeding ticket. She said, "Duh, the speed limit was 45 mph and I was doing 55." He said that was impossible, that it was physically impossible to exceed a speed limit, that's the very definition of a speed limit, that it's the fastest you can possibly go. He was not joking. He was serious. This is absolutely true.

The directions to a dinner said that "heading north on 9W after the bridge, the restaurant will be on the left about a quarter mile after the first stop light". Bad choice of words. The light happened to be green when he went through it. He drove 30 miles, and through four more green lights, before he found a red light, and no restaurant.

He was a nuclear physicist.

That better be a good magic wand. Otherwise, he'd be the first volunteer and the first one shot in the "War of the Experts".

999 A Single Simple Solution

Monday, December 4, 2006

Scott Adams, in his blog "Dilbert.Com" ( asks "What one simple problem could you eliminate – let’s say using magic – that would fix virtually every other problem in the world?" He points out that eliminating poverty or hunger wouldn't work, because there would still be other things to fight over. He came up with a solution that might actually work (if it were possible, of course). The individual entry is at "The One Problem with the World", but there are over 440 comments on the entry, and it might take a while to load, so I recommend just going to the blog's main page (typepad link above) and scrolling down to "The One Problem with the World". (If you scroll rather than "find", you might find other topics of interest on the way.)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

998 Tattoos and Other Stuff

Sunday, December 3, 2006

I forgot to mention that I did ask my sister about her tattooed eyeliner over Thanksgiving. I didn't get to actually see it because I didn't see her without makeup. She said that she wasn't all that happy with it. She said it didn't hurt, but it tickled so much when the woman was doing it that it almost drove her crazy, "You can't move, you know".

And then you don't know what it's actually going to look like for a few days. It's normal (she said) for the color and thickness to be a bit uneven after the first pass. She had to go back in to get it touched up, and she said that when she thought about the tickle, she almost didn't.

After two sessions, it was done, but it doesn't last long. The color isn't very deep (eyelids being thin and delicate), so it fades fairly quickly. And - the bad part - it may not fade evenly.

So she still wears eyeliner when she goes out.

I had been thinking about eyebrows, so maybe the tickling and fading won't be as much of a consideration. My big thing would be color. I'm having a devil of a time finding the right color pencil, let alone ink. Most "blonde" pencils are too dark. My hair will (I hope) get lighter as I lose the last of the brown mixed in, so any shade I get now might not be good in a few years.

On other fronts, Daughter reports that Ex#2, her father, is in the hospital in Colorado. He has a stomach/intestinal bug of some kind, and had "treated it" for more than a week by eating nothing but Jello. He was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, but has made no effort to change his high-sugar diet. He frustrates Daughter. I'm past caring. Caring about him is a exercise in self-abuse. After a while you learn to just nod and look away.

Piper wonders why I'm keeping life insurance on Ex#2. I was going to drop it when Daughter graduated from college (that's what it was for, but I don't know why, because he never contributed to her education anyway), but the odds were too good for the mathematician in me. He wouldn't pay for college, so maybe he'll provide her house downpayment.

Today I did some laundry, and I didn't flood the pantry.