Saturday, September 05, 2009

2574 Oh, by the way ....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Henry Ford: "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."


I ran into Vinnie and Piper in the village yesterday. Vinnie says the driver in the accident Tuesday walked away. No injuries. I still had the photos on my camera and showed Vinnie. Hard to believe, when you see the truck, the pole, the signs, the ditch.

The theory is that he was texting and went straight through the slight curve. I'd worried that it was a heart attack or something.

2573 Advertising education required

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Napoleon Bonaparte: “Never interrupt your enemy
when he is making a mistake.”


I browse real estate listings when I'm bored. I like looking at houses. There are some beautiful houses relatively cheap in upstate NY, but California is still grossly overpriced.

One thing I will never understand is why some homeowners or realtors take pictures that seem to show nothing more than the furniture. The furniture doesn't come with the house, so why?

Like this one:

What am I supposed to glean about the house from that photograph? I can't tell if it's a breakfast nook or dining room. It gives me no sense of the size or layout of the room or house, of light sources for the room. Nothing. All it tells me is that I hope it's part of an eat-in kitchen, because I don't care for that floor in a dining room. This photo would be appropriate only if one is selling the furniture. The house listing is here. If you go there, note that the living room photo is also furniture-oriented, leaving me wondering where and how large the windows are, and where doorways are.

Friday, September 04, 2009

2572 Flames

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jerald Bevens, in a letter to "Newsweek": “We need our heroes, but soon there will be no more. Our world will not grow men with the credentials necessary to survive scrutiny.”


Yesterday I had lunch with Piper and a blogger from NJ, who showed me some of her in-process needlework. She has a great sense of color. She and I then went to Olana, and toured the house, where there was also a great sense of color.

I am color-deprived and color-challenged.

I went clothing shopping locally this afternoon for the first time in ages. I happened to hit a sale, and bought eight tank tops for $24 (yeah, that's $3 each). At that price, I had to get one in every color.

After leaving the store, I was stopped at a light, and noticed a wisp of smoke rising from low shrubs in the median between the entrance and exit of a large grocery store. Within seconds there were flames, and in another few seconds it had spread and was shooting flames 10 feet high.

With as much rain we've had lately, I was surprised live greenery burned so fast.

When the light turned, I pulled into a restaurant parking lot across the street to call 911, but by then I could hear the sirens down the road, and I saw three store employees running across the parking lot with fire extinguishers, so I just sat and watched.

I am always amazed at the number of drivers who don't stop or pull over for emergency vehicles. One woman waiting to exit the lot just as the fire truck arrived actually pulled out when her light changed, right in front of the fire truck, making it wait to pull in until she was through the intersection.


This evening I'm going to dinner in Troy, with a bunch of strangers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2571 Heading out

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kenneth W. Sollitt: That which one man receives without working for,
another man works for without receiving.


I'm going to a movie in Albany tonight. "Adam". Asperger syndrome. Review here:

Should be interesting. Jay was an Aspie.

2570 The Baa-Studs

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses:
"When there is great suffering, ... everyone suffers the same.
But when there is peace, no one wants to be the same.
The rich no longer share. The less rich envy and steal. ...
[E]veryone is seeking luxuries, pleasures...."


Extreme sheep herding:


Who in their right mind would have thought of this?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

2569 Complications

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marge Simpson: We can't afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy.


I was supposed to go to dinner and bar trivia in Albany tonight, but circumstances conspired to prevent it.

I had a few errands to run - take a box of rejected Nutrisystem food to UPS for return, bank to get cash, gas station to fill up, heating oil office to ask about the budget program for this winter, post office to pick up a box of photos of Jay that his sister sent, drop some papers off at Piper's office, grocery store, and a few other things.

While I was in Piper's office, several police cars screamed past heading up the road, followed by the fire department heavy rescue vehicle (that says it's an auto accident) and the ambulance. About an hour later I headed home, after filling the back seat of my car with about $50 worth of frozen food. I had just enough time to wash and dress and make it to Albany.

I found out where the accident was. On the corner of my street and the highway.

The highway and my street were closed. The flagman let me through to park at a farm stand just down from my street, where the car (and frozen food) sat for the next hour and a half. I walked down to check out the damage.

A truck had gone off the road at a slight curve (a VERY slight curve) and took out a telephone pole near the intersection. I mean TOOK OUT. Flat on the ground, cut right at the base. The pole happened to have a transformer, which had exploded. There were downed wires all over the place, and across the intersection.

The red vehicle in the following photo is a tow truck, pulling out the demolished vehicle. It's across the end of my street. You can't see the street until you're right on top of it, and it looks like we lost the "reduced speed" limit sign and the street sign, too, so this could be fun for a while. Note all the wires down, and the pole butt on the right.

By the time I got there, the police and fire department had left, and it was all electric company people, and they didn't know if there had been any injuries. I noticed that there were no skid marks on the road - the guy must have hit the pole at full speed. There was some confusion as to whether the transformer had exploded before or after the accident.

Cutting up the dead pole, and preparing to plant a new one (on the right, on the truck):

The truck that hit the pole:
I was a bit relieved to see so little damage to the windshield and roof of the cab - that bodes well for the driver - but was a bit amused to see all the damage to the rear of the truck. It looked like the pole "vaulted" over the cab, and then landed on the van section in the back, ripping off the roof and flattening the sides.

Of course when I was finally allowed through the intersection, I had no electricity at home for several hours. That also meant no water or land line phone.


I haven't mentioned the diet in a while. There's nothing to report. I'm still sitting at 12 pounds down, on less than 900 calories, over six meals a day. My tummy is a little smaller, and my waist is a little better defined, and my bras are emptying (whoa!), and my underpants are drooping, so something's happening. But not much. I still can't comfortably wear 2007's clothes.

As to the returned Nutrisystem food, as I explained to them, when someone orders certain selections on their first order, and then even fewer selections on their second order, it usually means they don't like! the stuff they didn't order, and especially didn't like the stuff they didn't REorder. So it is the height of stupidity to select the 28 bonus meals from items the customer has obviously already rejected! That isn't much of a bonus.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

2568 The green quotes

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lewis Grizzard: We ought to keep the rich as rich as possible,
because nobody poor was ever able to afford
to give anybody else a job.


A commenter has asked where I get the green quotes I've been including lately (which rarely have anything to do with the subject of the post, by the way).

I've been saving them for probably 40 years or more. Any time I'd hear or see or read something that strikes me as succinct, or oh-so-true, or makes me think, makes me wonder, I'd jot it down or tear it out, and tuck it away.

Sometimes I don't agree with the sentiment at all, but I still admire the way it was phrased, or the way it made me think. Into the box it went.

When computers came along, that was one of my first tasks - to gather up many years of scraps of paper, and put them all in one neat file.

Now I'm pulling them out, one at a time. Randomly.


I also get feeds from "Quotes of the Day", but I don't often use any of them. Most of them are too "New Yorker"ish for me to fully appreciate them. They often have a pretentiousness, a false sophistication, that annoys me. (Like "The New Yorker" itself. I can't appreciate a magazine with cartoons that aren't funny or are just too too sneeringly precious. Don't much care for abstract art, either. Or those who pretend to "interpret" it. Pardon my blue collar. I don't like quotes with undercurrents of sneer.)

Many "Quotes of the Day" that I do like I already have. I end up collecting maybe one a month or fewer from that source.


The particular quote that the commenter liked is a favorite of mine not as much for its content as its source.

I spent a week in 1980-ish at a retreat with Trudy Bell (editor for Scientific American magazine(1971-78), founding senior editor for Omni magazine (1978-79), a senior editor for IEEE Spectrum magazine (1983-97)), Isadore* Adler (worked in extraterrestrial geosciences, utilizing remote imaging from satellites, played a major role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager missions, consultant on the VLA project), and Isaac Asimov (who doesn’t already know Isaac? BTW - science fiction is a minor part of his CV.), and about 19 other people. We worked on a "project for the feds", between fun activities.

Isaac autographed a book for me, “To the top banana with the great pear.” The book is packed away in the basement at the moment, so I can’t check whether he spelled it “pear” or “pair”, but the meaning was unmistakable. That was my Dolly Parton phase, before Mae West moved in.

I got that quote straight from the horse's mouth.

[*I've also seen it spelled "Isidore". Not sure....]

2567 Life in Sand

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jay, on surveys taken on college campuses:
College is not "real world". In fact,
you can't even see it from there.


This is Kseniya Simonova, who won with this performance on "Ukraine’s Got Talent", with her "Journey of Man" in sand and light. The video is about 10 minutes long, but it's worth every second. If you don't have time for it now, bookmark it and come back later. (Don't forget to turn the music off - pink box over there on the left.)

Clicking twice on the video or once on the link below it will take you to YouTube, where you'll find more of her work in the "related videos" on the right.


(Did you think of fingerpaints?)

2566 Perfect Day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jay: I may be wrong, but I am never in doubt.


The weather is absolutely perfect today! It rained before dawn (the perfect time for rain every day) so the road is still wet where it's shaded by trees. The sun is bright and warms your face or back. There's an occasional brief soft breeze. The sky is blue with a few puffy white clouds hanging in place. The temperature is 73 F.

I want to find a place where it's like this every day, all year. I'd give up almost all my possessions and live out of a suitcase to move there. Really.


Later edit - Asheville, NC. Even has mountains.