Saturday, November 03, 2007

1533 My Big Saturday Night Out

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I got all cleaned up, dressed up, and made up, and went to the auction last night. Trouble is, it's not until next Saturday. I had received the email notice on Tuesday that the online catalog was available, and George never gets the catalog ready until a few days before the auction, so I assumed that meant it was this Saturday. Oh, well.

Just so I wouldn't waste all this pulchritudinosity, I went shopping. I am now the proud owner of two new blouses and three reams of paper. Not purchased in the same store.

1532 Credit, Gutters

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I got a call this morning. I have a Mastercard, joint with Jay, that I have used only once in the past three years - a $25 charge at Macy's in Poughkeepsie last April (two knit tops). There's been a slew of charges over the past week, in England, so the Mastercard fraud department called me.

I don't have the faintest idea how anyone could have gotten the number. I have never used it online, seldom use it anywhere else, and have all the cards in my possession. Mastercard will void the charges.

Although when I answered the phone they asked for ME by name, since Jay is the primary on the card, they wanted to speak to him, too. "Uh, that might be a bit difficult." They're being very nice about it. They're going to reissue the account in my name only.

This is the first time I've had a credit card number stolen, and I'm pleased that it worked out so well. Daughter went to Mexico a few years ago, and afterward there were thousands of dollars charged on her card from multiple places, and it was a mess.

Then I got another call, from Butchie. Yeah, a 40-something-year-old man who refers to himself as Butchie. He cleans my house gutters every fall, and he called to ask when I thought they'd be ready to clean. Usually, it's the first week in November, but last year and this year, my trees are all still fully leaved. No point doing it until all the leaves have fallen, and given that most of my trees are still green, I don't know when that will be. We might even have snow first. (Which reminds me - gotta get the snowthrower serviced.)

There's an antiques auction tonight. I think I'll go to it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

1531 Friday

Friday, November 2, 2007

Date last night. Deep sigh. He's making efforts to please me. He pleases me.

Lunch today with Piper and Vincent.

Nothing else going on.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

1530 Carnelli

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I promised to explain Carnelli, the game I sat in on at the gathering in Chicago. Way back in the late '70s and early '80s I was a member of Washington Metropolitan Mensa (WMW), where the game was invented, and I knew the folks who invented it. I've seen the game played as it was MEANT to be played.

What I saw in Chicago was a watered-down ghost (Ahah! I've got my costume for next year. I'll go as a mixed metaphore!) of the real Carnelli. They allowed only straight word connections. Each player had to use a word from the previous title. That was the only link allowed. What a disappointment. I'm beginning to think that the dumbing-down of America is spreading even into Mensa.

Anyway, Jan and Jim's explanation of the real game is better than anything I could offer. See [Link is broken.  See edit below.]  Please do go look. Print it off. Play it sometime. Even two can play. Heck, even ONE can play! (For a game of solitaire, try writing an interesting chain, like the example at the bottom of the page. Note that the example is a circle - the last title links to the first.)

It's better than Charades, honest.

Much later (02/01/2016) edit:   The MWM (Washington Metropolitan Mensa) link above is kaput.  Washington Mensa in general seems to have gone downhill.  However, Carnelli is now on Wikipedia, and it's pretty much the rules I remember, sick puns and all.  New link:

1529 Deficit - Literally Astronomical?

From Quotes of the Day.

Richard Feynman : "There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

1528 Couple's Costume

Someone in one of the online Mensa groups was asking for ideas for a couple's costume for next year's gathering. A response:

"One of the funniest couples costumes I've seen was two people who weren't together but paired at the costume contest about 10 years ago. It was the hairy godmother (with beard) and the fairy godfather (with a pink tutu, tights, and a violin case)."

1527 Interesting...

What was -

What we have made of it -

1526 Rocket Science

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I received this email from a friend this morning. As he said, you can't make this stuff up. I have his permission to share it:


Yesterday I had the most insane conversation I've had in a long time. A couple of days ago I was putting my laptop bag in the passenger seat and yanked on the Sirius radio unit. It hasn't worked correctly since. I called the shop that installed it, and told them that I already have a Starmate Replay (from when I had my 2nd car) and I wanted to have that one installed into my car, replacing the Sportster that is in it now.

Oh my Gawd! I got three people. The first was a saleman who told me 'we don't sell those anymore, so you couldn't have gotten it here'. What? I guess if every purchase ever made there takes place at the instant the call is made, or at some point in the future, that would make sense. I didn't let that go. I said 'I have a Vikings Starter jacket also. They don't make those anymore.' His immediate response; 'we don't sell jackets here'.

I paused to check my watch. Yep, still the 21st century, and I was obviously sober. I forged ahead.

I asked to speak to someone in installation. I got a perky girl with a voice that made Minnie Mouse sound like Paul Robeson. I recapped the story and she asked 'when did you want to come in ?'. I said, 'today if possible'. She put me on hold and came back 12 minutes later. The next thing I heard was the same voice saying 'thank you for calling Best Buy, how may I help you?'. I told her I just spoke to her and what I'd asked. She said, 'I don't think that you spoke to me'. On the off chance that the good Lord punished two people with that voice, I asked if there was another woman there in that department. She said 'no, just me', then added 'was this about your car radio?'

Hmm. A moment to regroup. I checked behind me to see if Rod Serling was waiting to give a brief monologue. He wasn't.

'Yes, oddly enough it is!', I said. 'I guess working at the car stereo installation department of a huge chain store you don't get many queries about stuff like that, do you? I wanted to be the first.' Silk, it didn't even graze her bangs. Every word went completely over her head. She said, quite seriously, 'no, a lot of people call about that', and added 'almost all'. The next thing she said made me wince. 'What kind of radio are you looking for to buy?' No idea why, but what I saw in my mind was 'what kind of radio are you looking 4-2-bye?', then 'for tube eye', then finally 'for 2 buy'. None made sense, so I said 'excuse me'. She repeated it verbatim!!!

I needed a cigarette here I put her on hold, said a few things in Spanish, ate some pizza, and returned to the call.

'I need a manager.' was the next thing I said to her, hoping it would be the last. 11 minutes later a man answered and said he was the store manager. I explained everything, in detail, and he apologized and asked if I wanted them to install it or to buy a kit and do it myself. Since I am more likely to grow breasts than to wire my car to a Sirius radio successfully, I told him I wanted them to do it. He transferred me back to installation, I got Minnie again, and she told me I could come in on Wednesday at anytime. The cost would be $309 including a one year activation fee. That was it. I'm already activated. I don't want to buy a radio. I only need someone to install the one I already have! I called another Best Buy. $86 from now I'll have the thing done.

My guess is National Testing Day on the 20th [Mensa's annual membership drive] would have been wasted on these folks. I don't know how they even find their way to work in the mornings!

1525 A Merry Mensan Halloween

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'd promised to describe Friday night's costume contest at the gathering.

A merely good costume doesn't make it. It has to be a pun, or some kind of "in joke".

There were more than a hundred people in the contest. Mensans take contests seriously, especially those that involve puns. They lined up, got up on the stage one by one, and either challenged the audience to guess, or explained the pun. Then they visited the judges' table, and bribed them. Bribes are encouraged. The whole process took a long time, but it was never boring.

The costumes I remember (not necessarily the best, and in no particular order):
1. A monk in chains with a number on his back.
2. A sheep with four large bite holes in its body.
3. A man in a t-shirt covering conical protrusions all over him.
4. A woman in a Renaissance serving girl costume, with brown furry ears and a long tail.
5. A man in black hat, side curls, tassels dangling under his shirt, wearing a Nationals team sweatshirt.
6. A group of four, in green makeup and falling-down pants, who rapped threats at the audience.
7. A man in a donkey costume with a happy dog face, with lolling tongue.
8. A cat delivering paper messages.

Take a guess as to what they represented. I'll put the answers in the comments later, so check back.

There were a lot of good ones before I realized I should take notes, so these are not necessarily the best, just the ones that made it to my notes. Some I can't figure out. I wonder what the "Leaf Blower" looked like? Don't remember. I do remember a pirate with dollar bills stuck to his ears, and when I heard what he was I thought "Hey, that's pretty good!", but now I don't remember what the pun was.

Ahah! I just remembered! He was a buccaneer!


Next day - Ok, having been prodded by an impatient Queen, I have provided the answers in the comments. Don't look until you've tried guessing, though.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1524 Mighty Hunter Jasper

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was sitting at the gate at O'Hare, 10 minutes before the plane was supposed to start loading, when I realized I was about to leave Chicago, and I hadn't had pizza! Pizza is not one of my favorite things, except in Chicago. Chicago pizza is like no other pizza. I ran and bought a small plain one, and it was wonderful. It had a "butter crust", and crisp cheese. I was the last person to board the plane.

I about froze at the Albany airport. It had been balmy when I left for Chicago, so I had taken only some lined blazers, and a sweater shawl for just in case. I should have known better. When I stepped out of the terminal into the Albany night, it was a mere two degrees above freezing. I dug a blazer and the shawl out, but had nothing for my hands, and I had to drag two bags, so I couldn't like put my hands in pockets or whatever. Naturally, my car was at the far end of the far extension to the long term lot. No shuttle. By the time I got to Suzie my fingers were numb. Suzie's a good little car. She heated up very quickly.

I pulled into my driveway at exactly midnight. Miss Thunderfoot welcomed me home and tried to sleep on my face.

I picked up Jasper at the vet's this afternoon. They said he's quite the lover. They also said he had tapeworm, so they'd wormed him. He had tapeworms when I first caught him, so I wondered if the first worming hadn't killed them all. The nurse said that he probably caught and ate a small beasty. (Fleas will do it too, but he hasn't had fleas.) I didn't see where he could have got a beasty, since he hasn't been out.

Well, a few minutes ago, he presented me with a mouse (semi-alive, I carried it to the front door by the tail). That explains the sounds I've been hearing in the attic at night. I'd been hoping it was bison. Or ghosts. I haven't had mice in the house for about two years, since I discovered the hole in the garage where they were getting in, and blocked it with steel wool. I guess the steel wool has rusted out. I'll have to fix that tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

1523 Hacking Airwick

Monday, October 29, 2007

This is cool. You know those air fresheners that spritz every few seconds/minutes whether you need it or not, thereby running out of spritz and killing batteries in a very few weeks, necessitating frequent repurchase? See for amusing instructions on how to correct that little problem.

I checked out of the hotel room at 11 am, and am now reading, writing, surfing, eating an apple, drinking iced tea in the hotel lobby until my taxi to O'Hare arrives at 3:45.


Update 12/18/2010 - Triggur moved his blog. The above link no longer works, and his new blog doesn't seem to include old posts. Sorry

Sunday, October 28, 2007

1522 End of Gathering

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Well, yesterday was my 63rd birthday. I've been telling people to ignore it for the past three years because I want to be able to truthfully say, when asked my age, "I was 60 on my last birthday." People ignore my wishes and make birthday noises at me anyway. But I was watching a past episode of Pushing Daisies online this evening, and heard the voiceover describe someone as "44 years 18 months xx days yy hours" old, and I realized I could describe myself as 60 years and 36 months old - and everyone knows that past infancy it's silly to include the months. I've found my solution.

I made it downstairs in time for breakfast this morning, which included quiche, bacon, sausage, all kinds of melon and other fruits, five juices, boiled eggs, bagels, english muffins, sweet muffins, donuts, oatmeal, raw veggies, and the usual caffeines.

I was accosted across the buffet table by, um, The Sex God. He's gorgeous, piercing blue eyes, amazing body, long wavy hair, silky beard, wonderful smooth voice, and (unusual for this bunch) makes a lot of sense when he speaks. I heard someone say "Silk!" and I looked up and it was him. I about fell over. Every healthy female who'd ever attended one of his presentations is hopelessly in love with him. (Too bad I'm aware he believes in "open relationships". That's a deal breaker.) Until you hear him speak, he looks like just another sexy biker dude, what with all the leather and chains and high boots.

He wanted to compliment me on my style, my smile, the way I move, and the dress I'd been wearing the night before. I was flabbergasted, especially since I'd run down to breakfast with no makeup on - after all, who's gonna see me that matters, right? I blushed, laughed, and smiled, and he said "That's it! That's the smile!"

He invited me to join the party sub-group, "Hell's Ms", that he could tell that I was a partier (partyer?). I said no, I'm not a partier at all. He said that depends on how you define party. A party can be two people and a bottle of wine, or fifty people and conversation, and that the main difference between Hell's Ms and other Mensa party groups is that Hell's Ms remember the next morning what happened the night before. I said, oh, ok, that does sound like my kind of party. Then I smiled and walked away.

Well, I was very flattered. I think. I'm not sure. What's with that he "can tell I'm a partier" bit? Like, you wish, Buster! Well, maybe, IF my current romantic interest doesn't work out long term, maybe someday I'll look into Hell's Ms. I understand that they do a lot of volunteer work within Mensa, I might pick up some social skills, and the logo t-shirts are a status symbol. Maybe I'll have to go read their newsletter.

My head is a bit swelled today. Over the past three days, three other men told me I was beautiful, in a quite serious and personal manner, when I got up to leave after we'd been talking a while. I know I'm not beautiful, but it's nice to be told I'm appreciated however they go about expressing it. (Keep in mind these guys are mostly sex-starved geeks. Maybe they just appreciate a woman who flirts with them a little. (I've been told I flirt unconsciously all the time, with everyone. I don't agree. I guess that's the unconscious part. (Should that be subconscious?)))

Which reminds me - we had some folks set up at a table outside the big hospitality room interviewing candidates for Beauty and the Geek, and some past beauties and geeks in a conference room answering questions. (Giggle. After my flattering weekend, I wasn't sure which side I should apply for.)

Programs I attended today: free hospitality breakfast; Science vs Religion - The search for truth; Beauty and the Geek Q&A; Waltzing Australia; an hour by myself in the whirlpool, with a book. (What book, you ask? I'm a Mensan. It was a dictionary - Bryerson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words.)

Programs I did not attend: Non-denominational Worship Service; Presentation of Awards; Swing Dance Lesson; Exertion (talk on strange sports, stunts, and physical activities); Trust Me, I'm a Lawyer (I wanted to go to this, but it overlapped the science vs religion program, which was very good); Stitch & Bitch; Settlers of Catan Tournament; Proctor Training (how to certify to administer the Mensa IQ test); Everything's Digital - Amazing opportunities and some problems; the after-party, known as "The Survivor's Party".

It was all over by 3 pm. The word was passed that all uneaten food in the hospitality rooms would be discarded, so come and get it now. I loaded a plate with meats and cheeses and melon and three bean salad to have for dinner, and scarfed up all the cans of iced tea I could find. Picnic in my room.

Bedtime. Hard traveling tomorrow. Luggage heavier with books (and handout trash that I'll likely throw away as soon as I get home, but right now seems so very important to LIFE!) I haven't the faintest idea how one gets from here to the airport, whether taxis will even come here to take me. I'll figure it out, I guess.