Saturday, October 06, 2007

1498 Kitty Update

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Jasper is still growing. He's the first lap cat I've had in a lifetime of cats, and he's getting too big for my lap!

Miss Thunderfoot is still snarling, but she knows attacking makes me unhappy, so there's a little less of that. Yesterday, I was sitting on the side of the bed with Thunder asleep beside me, when Jasper jumped up onto the bed. Thunder woke and hissed, but I turned her around so she wasn't facing him, and petted her until she calmed down and went back to sleep. Jasper had enough sense to stay on the other side of the bed.


For all of her ten years, Thunder has had a whippy tail. Doesn't matter whether she's happy or angry, interested or asleep, her tail flicks constantly. So there the two cats are on the bed, Thunder asleep and no longer snarling, Jasper stretching out and exploring the possibilities of a bed, and then he saw the flicking tail, and couldn't resist.

Idiot cat.

If I hadn't moved fast and grabbed Thunder around the hips as she lunged, Jasper'd be sporting one fewer ears today.

1497 Bits

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cornell University researcher Robb Willer has concluded that men whose masculinity is challenged become more inclined to support war or buy an SUV.

"I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," Willer said. "There were no increases [in desire] for other types of cars."

Those who had their masculinity threatened also said they felt more ashamed, guilty, upset and hostile than those whose masculinity was confirmed, he said.

I believe it. Don't know why it took a study to confirm it.

It leaves me wondering what effect the movement toward equality of the sexes over the past 50 years has had on male actions and reactions, having far reaching effects on energy economy and peace initiatives.

Ladies, confirm your man's masculinity. The world needs it.


Psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California and colleagues from the University of New Mexico have found that in general, men have nearly 6.5 times the amount of gray matter related to general intelligence compared with women, whereas women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men.

"These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," said Haier, adding that, "by pinpointing these gender-based intelligence areas, the study has the potential to aid research on dementia and other cognitive-impairment diseases in the brain."

In human brains, gray matter represents information processing centers, whereas white matter works to network these processing centers.

Hmmmm. Men, nearly 6.5 times the gray. Women, nearly 10 times the white. And he concludes that this is a design for "equally intelligent behavior". Uh huh. Would that be the same conclusion if it were reversed? Isn't a chief indicator of intelligence the ability to pull together disparate bits of information?


Last year I inventoried shoes in my closet. I had more than a hundred pair, some 30 years old, many unwearable, lots of high heels I've refused to wear since retiring. I cleaned out.

Last night I went after bras. There are five that I wear over and over, mainly because they're always on the top of the heap. I found I had 47 altogether, and none of them are more than four years old. My weight and style of dress have changed drastically over the past six years, up and then down, and I've had to keep buying to keep up.

I tried them all on. Seven are too large. They'll go out. Nine are too small. I'll keep them in hopes for the future. Four are suitable for sleeping in. The remaining 27 fit, sort of.

Some of the 27 are flat-out uncomfortable. Whatever possessed a manufacturer to use that stiff nylon thread in seams? No matter how you snip, or match-melt, or sew a scrap of fabric over, somewhere a thread end works loose and stabs all day. And even though they're sexier, I simply cannot abide a narrow strap. They cut my shoulders. A few have straps too far apart, and they fall off my shoulders. Those will each get one full day of "test wearing", and then live or die based on how happy I am to take them off in the evening.

Several flatten or round me rather than lift and shape, but I bought them and will keep them because they have adjustable straps, or plunging fronts, which is useful with some clothing.

I keep buying strapless bras, searching for a good one, and failing. Seems like they all have stiff or padded cups, and in my size the cups are pointed! Agh! I look like I'm wearing missile nosecones. They fit, but they don't work. They embarrass. I'll keep the least pointy, but the rest may as well go.

So when I work it down to fit, comfort, and shape, for daily wearing, I end up with (ta rah) five (not including the "specialty" ones).

What is really interesting is that size seems to have very little to do with fit. The one I'm wearing right now, that fits perfectly, is the same size as all the ones that are way too large, and a few of the too small ones are the same size. Of those that fit, they are three different sizes.

What is really annoying is that when I find a bra that's perfect, it seems like I must have bought the last of a discontinued style. I can never find it again, in stores or online. That's sorta how I ended up with so many. A never-ending, frustrating, search for perfection.

Friday, October 05, 2007

1496 Hot

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's well into October, and it's 85 degrees out there. Weird. I switched from A/C to heat several weeks ago (a major pain), and I've been suffering. I know that if I switch back, it'll get cold immediately.


Another kind of heat wave has passed through. A friend has expressed surprise that at my age and experience level, I am completely unfamiliar with sexy lingerie. I don't own any. All I have is functional and utilitarian underwear.

I'm wondering if it could be interesting. So I've been wandering around Victoria's Secret and Frederick's online shopping sites, and I'm very confused. (Also a bit embarrassed. I really can't imagine ME in any of that stuff!)

Where's the line between slutty and sexy? Is there one? A friend says no, not in the bedroom. If you wear it outside, then you get slutty, but in private, nothing is slutty. I also can't figure out when one would wear it. So she educated me. Hmmmm. Doesn't sound like you'd get anything else done of an evening....

That led me to wondering why it never entered my mind or experience before.

Ex#1 spent most of our marriage in Germany, in the army, and when he finally got out, I wasn't interested in encouraging him. Ex#2 wasn't interested period, and would have been annoyed at any expression of interest on my part. Jay thought the sexiest thing was panties and a tight white T-shirt, and that was my usual sleeping attire, so he was happy as a pig in mud. On other fronts (and there were many in my twenties and early thirties) men were happy just to finally get me out of my clothes.

A lot of men I've "known" best, would quite frankly have been turned off by many of the things I've seen on Frederick's. Sort of an "Eeek! What the heck is that!" reaction.

So, I'm gathering opinions. Suggestions, please, as to what works and when, and how. Male and female, please. Anonymous, if you like. I'm really at sea here. Maybe even leave links to suggestions. (BTW - thongs are out. I find them irritating, painful, and extremely annoying, no matter what size I've tried.)


(P.S. I bought this, in black, 'cause I sorta liked it, and some "c-less" panties ('cause they were on sale), and a merry widow ('cause that I can use anyway), so I'm sorta on my way. Tip-toeing lightly.)

1495 Look-alikes

At, you can give them a photo, and they use face recognition techniques to find celebrities you look like. Ahem.

The first photo I used was so bad I'm not allowing anyone else to see it, but it's me unadorned. This is what I got:

So then I tried a photo I like better, and got this:

What's with all the men?! Unfortunately, I can see the Jesse Jackson, but please explain how I can have a 49% intersection with Iman, AND 51% with Alan Greenspan! Well, we all have two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, I guess.

Third try:

Oh Good Grief! All men! And two full beards! I give up.


A little later, having returned from licking my wounds, I decided to try my mother's high school picture:

I guess it's not the system. It's me. I wonder how people know I'm female? The perfume, I guess.

1494 Loan

Me: Can you lend me twenty dollars?
He: Yeah, sure, ok.
Me: But give me only ten of it.
He: Only ten? Why only ten?
Me: Because then you owe me ten, and I owe you ten, and we're even.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

1493 Rebellion

Thursday, October 4, 2007

If there's a problem that we're aware of, and we know what we should do, but it seems like whatever we do won't be enough to make any real difference, instead of doing the right thing anyway, or doing nothing, the human tendency is to do exactly the opposite of what we know we should do.

Like if we know we're overweight, and our attempts to lose weight don't seem very effective, we give up and eat MORE than we know we should.

Or if someone tells us our SUV wastes gas and contributes to global warming, we're likely to buy a Hummer.

Or if someone is riding us at work, we'll leave early.

I wonder why.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

1492 Long Lunch

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Piper and I had agreed last week that we would go over my account and have lunch sometime this week, but Monday and Tuesday were taken up with museum business, and I want to keep Thursday and Friday open for higher priority socializing, just in case, so that left today.

I had so much I wanted to do today. I need to make some medical and veterinarian appointments, do some laundry, shovel out the kitchen, and get the recycle out. I should have known better.

Nothing but lunch got done.

Tomorrow is another day.

1491 Sunshine

You've heard the newsreaders' reports and our government's assessments of the conditions in Iraq. Sunshine, a 15-year-old blogger in Iraq, has a different view. Her blog is "Days of My life". I highly recommend it.

Some quotes from her most recent post:

The terrorists are like cancer everyday they increase in size and yet no one can vanquish them. they kill innocents in the name of a sect or religion while they don't belong to any. they are only pretenders who don't have ethics, believes, nor humanity .they try to disperse us, and make us live in fear & danger, they want us to be hopeless, everyday many explosions happen, many innocents get killed and many Iraqis get kidnapped, there are more than 5 millions orphans in Iraq, and so many widows, my friend and I counted 12 car bombs in 48 hours, in one of the sides of the city, we didn't count the mines, nor how many times we heard shooting (they are so many to number).Many times I say the terrorists won't succeed, evil don't win, but I sometimes feel they are achieving their goal.

"My mom's aunt live in the most dangerous part in Baghdad, she said 'when the militias threaten the Sunnis, we hide in our Shiites neighbors' houses, and when the militias threaten the Shiites they come and hide in our houses.'"

A different view of the Sunni/Shiite relationship, eh?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1490 Museum Guests

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I had my keychain camera at the Maritime Museum, so I took some pictures of visitors.

This one is a catamaran:

This is a big tour boat:

The gondolas did arrive, but I didn't get any pictures. I missed seeing them coming up the Rondout. By the time I noticed them they were moored.

1489 Museum Done!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I went back to the museum today, and the new guy came in, and we processed a few payments that had come in, and sent out membership cards for them, AND sent out renewal reminders for October renewals. So now he has gone through the complete cycle once. I told him to call me when he's ready to do the next batch, and I'll sit in.

He did worry me at one point. He was supposed to be creating a new member record, and I glanced over, and instead of filling in a blank record, he was overwriting an existing record. Huh? It worries me that he didn't seem to see anything wrong with that, that he didn't recognize that there was a problem.

The really surprising part is that I'm not worried about it. Not so very long ago I'd be afraid that he'd screw up the data base, that records will go missing or be duplicated, I'd be riding him to understand every aspect so he'd anticipate the ramifications of his actions, and eventually I might go to the powers and say "Um, I don't think he can handle it...".

Not now. I'm very surprised at how little I care. I really don't care. I have been telling those folks that the data base is a mess and should be redesigned, and I even contributed a significant amount of money last year earmarked for hiring a DB expert, and nothing has been done. And now I'm just happy to be out of it.

After we update the database, we do a backup onto a floppy disk (yeah, floppy). So if he does screw it up, it can be repaired. Well, today, he did the backup following the instructions. It was interesting that the system went through the whole process, including where it says that there are already copies, should it overwrite? and we answer yes and then it says backup complete.

However, he had forgotten to put the floppy in the drive. There was NO floppy in the drive.

So, uh, where did the backup copy go? Hard drive? The same hard drive the original is on? Not wise.

Given the new guy's propensity to destroy records, maybe I should follow up on that. Alert Russ that either there IS NO backup, or the backup is somewhere other than the floppy everybody thinks it's on.

Monday, October 01, 2007

1488 Museum Sigh

Monday, October 1, 2007

Last Wednesday the new guy and I had agreed to meet today at the Maritime Museum to continue the transfer of the membership responsibilities.

I got there on time. He never showed up, and did not answer his phone.

So I finished up the September payments myself, and printed and mailed the membership cards. Sigh. I thought I'd be finished with this part today. Since he didn't get to do the membership cards, that means I have to babysit with him the next time cards have to be done. There are so many tiny "if-then" details that you just can't document, and so many things you have to SEE done to understand it. Wasted opportunity today.

Renewal reminder letters for October have to go out to people by the end of this week, and I'll be very annoyed if he can't make it in for that. Doing things myself gets them done, but doesn't get it transferred to him.

Oh, well. Maybe it's not all bad....

There are some real Venetian gondolas, with singing gondoliers, traveling down the Hudson River, headed for NYC. They started from Albany this morning, will be staying overnight up the river (Athens, I think), are expected to arrive at the Maritime Museum docks by 4 pm tomorrow, and will be camping overnight on the museum grounds tomorrow night. If I have to go in tomorrow, maybe I'll get to meet them and visit the gondolas.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

1487 Who is Robert Devaren?

I get maybe four spam emails a day on my AOL id, and six on the Yahoo id, which is pretty good, I guess. Almost all of it goes directly into the spam folder, so I don't even see it unless I open that folder.

Other people report more. I have to wonder what web sites they visit.

Most of what I get are offers for drugs. When Jay was sick and I couldn't get out to the store, I bought a lot of sickroom supplies online, like bed pads, hospital gowns, swabs, adult diapers, and so on, so I guess I'm on those lists. And I visit a lot of investment advice sites, so that accounts for all the new stock offers.

On AOL I'm still using Jay's userid, which is decidedly male, so that might account for the penis enlargement and Viagra ads, and the "come see my explicit video" offers.

Altogether I have ten or more email ids, on four different services, and they are all very different from one another.

But now there's a new twist.

On about half the spam the past two weeks or so on ALL of my email ids the subject line is personally addressed to somebody named "Robert Devaren". Like: "ATTN: Robert Devaren You are eligible for...", or "Robert Devaren it's time to renew your subscription".

Always "Robert Devaren", never any other name.

I Googled "Robert Devaren", and there is a guy by that name who bowls at Burnt Hill Lanes, in Burnt Hills, NY, which is near Schenectady, just up the road about an hour.

Isn't this odd? A friend says that spam generators will sometimes chose a name that seems close to the email id to make it look more like they "know" you, but "Robert Devaren" is nowhere NEAR either my real name or Jay's, and nothing like any of my ids.

It doesn't make any sense.

1486 What Breed of Puppy am I?

You Are a Chihuahua Puppy

Small, high strung, and loyal.
You do best in the city with adults - young kids could crush you!
Oh, my! How did they know? Well, the small and loyal parts are right, but I'm not high strung, and I'm ok in the city, but prefer country. Kids? I dunno. Could be....

1485 Catching Up

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Let's see, where did I leave off? Wednesday? Today's Saturday. Late.

Thursday I met a friend (the long distance one) in Newburgh. Dinner, then we watched a movie DVD on his laptop, then a bar with music, a late snack, lots of talking. And stuff.

Friday I got home about 2-ish, returned a bunch of phone calls, potted around on the internet, some other busywork.

Today I went to the Rhinebeck craft fair with a friend. He picked me up here. The fall fair isn't as big as the spring one, but there was still lots of good stuff. He bought some venison (craft?), and some dip mixes in the foods building, and I bought a pen and watercolor rendering of the Mohonk Mountain House and some pickled eggs. I do love pickled eggs.

Then we went to dinner (it took three restaurants to find one with less than a 45 minute wait, I was about ready to suggest venison and pickled eggs for dinner), and then to his driveway where I transferred to my minivan (his car having been repaired, he didn't need my van any more), then home.

One thing about this friend - he argues with me about everything. It's goodnatured arguing, mainly that he insists on precision in everything, and I'm more relaxed, and none of it's important. Anyway, today we were looking at some sketches of the downtown Kingston area, and I said something about the Rondout area, and I pronounced it "ron dout". He said that although it is spelled Rondout, it's pronounced "round out", that he always thought, and still thinks, "ron dout" is correct, but everytime he pronounced it that way, people corrected him and said it's "round out". I said that the only people who pronounce it "round out" are people who don't know how to pronounce it, and probably don't know how to spell it. They're wrong. The people at the museum on the Rondout pronounce it "ron dout" and they should know. He said he agreed with me, and then ...

... and then ...

... he proceeded to attempt to convince me that I should pronounce it "round out"!

I flipped. I punched him and said "Damn it all anyway! Here I am telling you YOU'RE RIGHT, and you're STILL ARGUING WITH ME?"

Bedtime. I'm really tired.