Saturday, March 01, 2008

1711 I Hate ... Something, or Somebody

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We haven't had a lot of snow this winter. It has snowed often, but not a lot all at once. However, I've had a lot more trouble handling the snow this winter, more even than the year that we had several 2'+ storms. I'm starting to hate snow, or forecasts, or forecasters, or something. It's the expectations that have messed me up.

Like, the snow a week ago yesterday. I was away for the weekend. When I got home Sunday evening, I figured I'd have to clear the driveway on Monday. But Monday was warm and sunny, and the snow was melting, the lower part of the drive was partially clear by mid-afternoon, so I decided to let it go. You can't use a snowthrower on wet mushy snow, anyway.

Snow was predicted Tuesday to the north of us, but all the maps, and weathermen, and the government weather radio assured me that we would get none, so I figured it would continue to melt in the sun.

Instead, surprise, we got several inches. That wouldn't have been too bad, except that it didn't warm up, so the slushy weekend snow froze into uneven ridges of schlice where I had driven over it, and then it rained after Tuesday's snow, so I had crusty new snow on top of the schlice. It remained below freezing, in the teens in fact, for the rest of the week.

So last night we were supposed to get 8-12" of fluff. I canceled my plans for the weekend because I knew I'd be spending today throwing fluff. AND, knowing that I wouldn't be able to run the snowthrower through the ridged frozen stuff already there, I paid a man $50 yesterday to plow the frozen stuff off, BEFORE the storm came, so I'd have a fresh surface to clear today.

We got all of 2 or 3".

And by noon it was already getting heavy and wet, AND it was drizzling rain, which tonight has frozen into a crust. Sigh. You ask why I didn't get out there early and throw it? Because (you'd think I'd know better by now) all the maps, and forecasters, and government weather radio reports said this morning that we'll have temperatures in the 40's starting Monday, and then for at least the next six days.

I've about had it. I'd rather we got snow, and then COLD until I can blow the fluff away. This thawing and shushing and crusting is miserable. Like it's toying with me.


My laptop or connection or something is also toying with me. Screens usually load quickly. I click on a link, and in a second or two, I'm on the next screen. Today, it's been 10 or 20 seconds of that slow "loading bar" across the bottom. Something is very wrong.

I have it set up to automatically clear temp files and ...uh... I forget the word, but when it moves pieces of files around on the hard disk so they're all together and easy to access? ... anyway, all that stuff gets done on the fly once a week or so.

I also run virus etc. scans on the fly, and started a scan manually this morning as soon as I noticed the slowdown.



Friday, February 29, 2008

1710 Friday. More snow.

Friday, February 29, 2008

We're expecting 8-12 inches of snow this evening. Daffodils are blooming in Oregon. Disconnect!


I tuned in to "The View" a bit late this morning, so I missed the first part, so I may have it a bit wrong, but they seemed to be talking about some study that said diets and weight maintenance work better if the mental set, the goal, is to "avoid being fat" rather than to "get thin". Some of the women seemed to understand the difference, but Whoopie didn't.

At first, I saw the difference, but then, after I thought about it a while, I didn't.

Then someone (who doesn't have a weight problem) said something that was very significant, but no one pounced on it. She said, "I think I'm thinner than I am. Maybe a bit of body-image distortion."

That may be the difference between "to aviod being fat", and to "get thin". If you think you're thinner than you are, you're more relaxed about the whole thing. Your goal then is to avoid putting it on, not to "be thin".

I think I think I'm thinner than I am. Except for the belly pad and thighs (which in my opinion are more more leftover loose skin than fat), I'm pretty satisfied. I figure I'm about 10 pounds over where I'd like to be, but I'm not fussing over it.

And then I see photographs, and I'm horrified. Take a good look at the behind on the lady over there in the right column. What shows in photos just isn't what I see in the mirror.

The ladies were talking about how if you were overweight as a child, and lost the weight, you continue to think of yourself as overweight even when you're not. I was not thin when I was young, but everything I had was muscle (I had a well-defined six-pack and powerful legs) and lady-stuff (and lots of that). In the same vein, Barbara Walters talked about how she's been bottle blonde for many decades, but she still thinks of herself as a brunette, like when choosing clothing colors that would or would not look good on her.

That's strange to me. I was born platinum, and was blonde until about third grade, when my hair started to darken. From junior high right up until Jay got sick, my hair was medium dark brown with red highlights. I went "pale ash blonde" again during Jay's illness (yeah, it was really fast. I'd had a white spot on the top of my head since high school, and when Jay got sick it expanded exponentially.)

When I had dark hair I looked best in bright jewel colors - emerald green, ruby red - and rust browns. Pastels (except pink) just didn't work on me. I've had less than a decade to get used to the light hair (which, incidentally, I like, and which really does feel natural to me), but I have easily and naturally moved into pastels.

A side benefit - pastels bring out my pale eyes.

Ok, so, my seeing myself as thinner than I am, and my easy adjustment to changed coloring, is that because I was the recommended weight and blonde as a child? Has the child within come out?


I thought today was Sadie Hawkins Day. I sent a note to my friend asking him how fast he can run. Then I looked it up. Sadie Hawkins Day is in November, every year! Today is just leap day. Duh! (Friend replied that he's pretty spry, but I'm allowed to use roller skates.)


Go to . Wait for the lady to appear, then write your first name on the first line, and your last name on the second line. No need to give an email address. Then click VISUALIZAR. Cute, but probably cuter if you're male.


A Mountain Dew commercial presents as fact that the yo-yo was originally invented as a weapon. That's not true. Very annoying. There are some cartoon characters, notably Japanese, who use yo-yos as weapons, but hey, that's CARTOON! Yo-yos were invented as toys a few thousand years ago.

It would be more accurate to say that baseball bats were invented as weapons.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

1709 Thursday

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I started in the graduating class of '66 at my Pennsylvania college, and graduated early, with the class of '65, so most of the people I knew were in those groups. When I registered at the alumni website, I requested notification for classes from '63 to '68, since that would include just about everyone I knew. It was a small college (it's now a medium university), graduating about 200 people each year. I knew everybody who majored in math, and everybody who played pinochle, and between the two, that was probably half the school.

Over the past ten years, there have been announcements on the alumni site of awards, promotions, honors, grandchildren, and, uh, something odd - only once has it been someone I knew. It looks like the math and pinochle folks never did anything, or they just didn't announce it.

Over the past ten months, a disturbing trend has started, and seems to be increasing - black-bordered announcements - and this time it's names I recognize. There have been five so far this year from my graduating class. (If the alumni group was notified of five, how many more have we not heard about? Not all the class is registered online.)

It feels so odd. I feel young and healthy. Nine months ago I walked seven miles in high-heeled boots and didn't even notice. I'm dating a much younger man. I'm still waiting for grandchildren.

They never mention the cause of death. I wish I knew. I'd like to hear that his bungee line broke, or a lion ate her on safari. I don't want to think that they just plain fell apart.


This is funny. I'm not imbedding it because it's Adults Only, and not suitable for work. But if you're over 18, follow the link. Warning - it can turn into an earworm. You may find yourself singing it at work.

Of course I'm going to send it to a few female friends.


On the kitty front, Jasper's probably heading into his first birthday, and he's still a little bird. He is now fascinated by the toilet, stands there peering into it as it flushes. I hope he never figures out how to flush it, like Gizmo here:


He's so curious about the toilet that now he wants to stick his head between my thighs when I'm sitting down, so he can see what's going on in there. Cracks me up. His ears tickle.

Water in general seems to fascinate him. I had been using one of those automatic water containers that consists of a jug upsidedown in a bowl. The jug holds about 2 quarts of water. I had to switch to a small ordinary (unspillable) bowl, because he paws and splashes at water, and was emptying the full 2 quarts all over the floor every other day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1708 Bored on a Nothing Wednesday

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

TV, "NCIS". Cops arrive at the apartment door, guns drawn. Yell, "NCIS! Warrant!", pause one second (I counted), violently kick door open.

That disturbed me a lot. What if they had the wrong door? It happens.... What if innocent little I was on the other side of that door, about to open it, or about to ask, "Who? What? Huh?" I'd get the edge of the door right smack full in the face.

I hope that one second timing was poetic license. Or if they have to go in fast to prevent escape, they should yell "Get away from the door!"


There's a bit about the candidates that could make an enormous difference to me, but it's not information we'll get until it's too late to matter to the election.

I'd love to know who they intend to (or would like to) appoint to cabinet and executive positions. That might tell me a lot about what the next few years with them would be like.

(Some people would like to know who'd be their choice for vice-president in time for primaries, but since I can't vote in primaries, only the general election, by the time that matters to me it's known.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1707 Selling and Settling

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Business meeting followed by lunch in the pub with Piper today. Piper had met my friend on Saturday, when friend and I had passed through the village and stopped for lunch, and we ran into Piper, and I was interested in his reaction. He approves. Says he got "good vibes". That's nice. Piper is a very good judge of people, and he's not going to sugarcoat for me.

My driveway was full of snow when I returned on Sunday, but I didn't clear it yesterday because it was melting nicely. There was a storm predicted today, but ALL the TV maps and all the online maps showed the snow to the north of us. We absolutely weren't supposed to get anything more than a little rain.

When I left the house this morning to meet Piper, it was snowing heavily. After lunch, Piper had to drive south to a meeting in Fishkill, and I was worried about it, so I asked him to call when he got back. He called at 5, and said that as soon as he got out of the village, it turned to rain. No problem. He went on to say that the snow had now stopped in the village. I looked out the window, and it was still coming down thickly here at my house.

There's something strange about this place. I've mentioned before that when I drive north from NJ, I get depressed as soon as I get within three miles of home - because the snow is so much deeper here. It's a three mile radius circle around my house. Even north of here has less snow.

I don't understand.


There's a commercial, I don't know exactly for what brand, but it tells us about a girl in South Africa who is "forced to miss school as much as one week out of four" because she doesn't have sanitary supplies. Buy our product, and we'll contribute (pads or tampons, I forget which) to girls in African villages.

Um, forced?

I went to high school in a very economically depressed area. Very few girls in my high school could afford to buy a commercial product that they'd use once and throw away. That would have been seen as the height of extravagance. Profligacy. Stupidity. They used the same thing their mothers and grandmothers had used - rags. Skillfully folded, pinned or tied, washed, bleached and then boiled, and reused.

Nobody is going to convince me that a girl is FORCED to miss school because she doesn't have access to rags and boiling water. Sorry. I don't buy your sob story. You don't have to have something just because someone is selling it.

Ok, I'm tough. And yes, I have used rags. That's where the expression "on the rag" comes from, you know.


"Settling", for and against, has been all over the blogosphere this past week, after an article written by Lori Gottlieb in The Atlantic. She says that women should settle for “Mr. Good Enough” before it’s too late.

A lot of men don't want to marry these days. They'd rather have serial long term uncommitted relationships. Stay while it's good, get out when it isn't good any more, without all those costly legal entanglements. The number of younger men who have a genuine desire to get married is dropping. Women's clocks are ticking, and men don't have a clock, until they start to fall apart, and then they want to marry a nursemaid. So Ms. Gottlieb's point is that if your standards are too high, you may never find the perfect man, the soul mate, the passion, who will ALSO be willing to marry you, and so you'll have to lower your expectations. Settle.

I haven't heard anyone else say this, so I will: It's women's fault. We have made it too easy for the valuable men to get anything they want without having to make any committment. It's Nature for woman to want home and family, and for man to want woman. But the old expression is "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"? We're giving too much away. We've made it too easy for men. Female sexual freedom came with a price, and now we don't want to pay it.

This has a deeper effect that no one has mentioned (not in what I've read, anyway). If there are children (and even in an uncommitted/temporary relationship, an unmarried woman in her mid to late 30s is hearing the clock ticking), when the man leaves the children will most likely be left to the woman's care. Sure, he'll likely pay support, but it's the woman whose career takes the hit. Raising a child takes more than money. It takes time. She can't put in the overtime, go on the business trips, take evening classes, she has to stay home during measels and mumps and childcare glitches. She becomes professionally undependable. He goes on with his life. His career progresses and hers stalls. He can afford the damn child support! He's getting raises. (Not to mention time for dating.) She is slowed down for the rest of her life.

Damn it ladies, stop giving your lives away! Stop making it so easy. We old feminists worked hard to get you younger ones an equal chance for the good-paying jobs. You're letting the men take it all away! And they're chuckling about it. They know they have you over a barrel.

Make him work to deserve you. Make him share the responsibilities and effects of the fun times.

Stop giving yourselves away!


The "Silken Touch" is turning into a riding crop lately, eh?

Monday, February 25, 2008

1706 The War Between the States, Take Two....

Monday, February 25, 2008

"CSI Miami" just started. Some guy got murdered by a pool, surrounded by other people, and no one noticed because they were all staring at a solar eclipse - with no eye protection, just staring straight up at it. Sheesh! I don't believe it! You'd think somebody on the show would know better!

That's in the same class as the way nobody on TV wears a seat belt.


This is cute. The Georgia legislature has passed a resolution that the border between Georgia and Tennessee should be redrawn 1.1 miles to the north, to allow drought-stricken Georgia access to water from the Tennessee River. (Chris's take on it is at

The rationale is that "Congress in 1796 designated that Tennessee's southern borders should stretch along the 35th parallel, but surveyors in 1818 missed that mark by about 1.1 miles to the south."

They JUST noticed?

Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia would gain land (Mississippi would acquire a piece of Memphis), and Tennessee and North Carolina would lose land.

The Georgia legislature (singing "This Land Is Your Land") is serious, say they'll take it to the Supreme Court if a compromise isn't reached.

These are the people for whom the soup can instructions say "Step 1: Open can".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1705 Warm Weekend

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I had a very nice weekend. I drove south on Friday through the snowstorm, and he drove north through the worst part of the storm, and we met halfway. I learned a few more things about him, and about myself, and I'm more comfortable now than I have been so far. I no longer feel like I don't know what's going on. I am content. Probably just for now, until I get antsy and want reassurance again, but for now, I love, I am loved, I understand more, and I am content.

When I got home this evening, there was snow on the driveway, but I felt courageous, backed up and got a head start, and bulled up the driveway. Actually made it all the way up. Wow!