Saturday, August 07, 2010

3046 Rosetta

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."
-- Robert Frost --

(I don't agree with that, but it sounds good. Actually,
it sounds more like infatuation, a "crush".)


I got up at a decent hour this morning, and got some stuff done! I dried the last of last night's laundry, and put everything away. I sorted the stack of newspapers, pulled out the crossword puzzles to do later. I took a load of paper, glass, and plastics to the recycle center. I took deposit bottles and a load of plastic bags to the grocery store for recycling. I bought some groceries. My back had gone out before I finished planting all the new flowers, but it's feeling better now, so I got some more done on that. And a few other little things I can't remember now.

I'm proud of me.


Chinese circus acrobats and Swan Lake:


I had to watch it twice to catch all the details, like how he picked her up when she was lying on the floor at about 1:18ish. I wonder how on earth he avoids bruises on his shoulders. How did she start spinning when she was on his head?


Having shown something fabulous from China, I figure now I can get away with this (I hope it's clear, not too fuzzy to read. If it is too fuzzy, the original is at

By the way, I have actually touched the Rosetta stone! It's behind glass now, but when Jay and I saw it (in perhaps 1995? 1996?),it was just in a velvet rope square, and not very far behind the ropes, because my arms aren't all that long. I touched one side surface with one finger.

Friday, August 06, 2010

3045 Bits, bugs, and spiders

Friday, August 6, 2010

"God created Man in his own image and Man, being a generous sort,
returned the favor."
-- Mark Twain --


We'd had rain predictions almost every day, but we've had very little actual rain. Clouds, little sprinkles, then nothing. I have to water the new flowers every morning, or they promptly dry up.

That's quite a contrast to last year. We had so much rain that the woods stank of rot. Most people don't remember that.


I saw the movie "The Kids Are All Right" Wednesday evening. It was ok, I guess. The promos had led me to believe it would be amusing, if not funny, but it wasn't. It was quite serious.


The last several movies I've seen have me wondering. Adults have sex, yeah, and it's often a part of the story, but I don't understand why it's necessary to show HOW they do it. If you want to say the guy'd been with a prostitute, all you really need to show is a woman tucking her blouse into her skirt and the guy giving her money. We don't really need to know in what position they did it.

I'm getting annoyed at all the gratuitous sex I'm being asked to watch.


This is an interesting article on what may be the most dangerous road in the world:


Cicadas in your yard? Eat them! Recipes:


Last night I had dinner with 12 other Mensa folks on the deck over the water at a lakeside restaurant deep in Hasidic summer camp country. It was so backwoods that the Garmin GPS didn't recognize the town at all, and Google Mapquest recognized the town and street, but got the last turn of the directions wrong.

The food was fancy and good, and the waiter was attentive. We didn't get separate checks, and when the money was all gathered, we were almost $100 short on a $500+ tab. Consternation. Roman added it up quickly, and decided that the waiter had made an error, so we asked that it be checked. We were good. Something that should have been $9 had been entered as $90.

There was a canopy over the deck, and as the sun went down, the mosquitoes came out - and the spiders. The entire ceiling of the canopy was dotted with black spiders in a range of sizes. They looked exactly like Black Widow spiders, but without the red hourglass. One after another they'd drop down on a strand almost to the table, or someone's head, and then climb rapidly back up. We spent the last 45 minutes there dodging spider bombs.

I spent several hours this evening trying to identify the spiders. They were black, smooth, not hairy, and shaped like the black widow, but without the red on the abdomen (not that I turned one over and looked). I searched the spider identification charts on the internet, and consulted my Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, and the only thing close that's not a widow is the American house spider.

BUT, the house spider gets up to 1/4 inch. A few of the spiders last night were at least a half inch. And the house spider is brown or grey, and mottled. Last night's spiders were black and solidly colored. They did act like house spiders, what with the dropping almost to a person's head before getting startled and climbing back up. (That's a house spider in the picture, photo from Patrick0Moran at en.wikipedia.)


I went to the laundromat this evening. Five loads. I brought them home wet, to dry here.

Nothing much else happening.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

3044 HOTW - Shemar Moore

Wednesday, August 4

"We'll export democracy so flipping far we'll have to leave the country to find it."
-- Jen White --


Honey of the Week - Shemar Moore, of "Criminal Minds":


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

3043 Tiring movie

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties."
-- Doug Larson --


I saw the Swedish version of "The Girl Who Played With Fire" this evening at Upstate in Rhinebeck. Warning to anyone who might want to see it, it is absolutely necessary that you see the first part, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" before the second part, or you will be completely lost. (Maybe you won't realize you're lost, but you are.)

Second warning, it's a very tiring movie. You'll be drained when you leave the theater, and not because of the 2-hour length. It's just plain wrenching.

Third warning, XXX rated. Also pretty bloody.


We in the northern states are supposed to (maybe) be able to see northern lights late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Look to the north.

And don't go to see a tiring movie if you plan to stay up late or get up early.


Later: Sadness. Deep cloud cover. No lights tonight.

Monday, August 02, 2010

3042 Nonreunion

Monday, August 2, 2010

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."
-- Abraham Lincoln --


Yesterday I was supposed to go to an "Old Home Day" in the park in the mountain village where I went to high school. It's always the first Sunday in August, and every year I've wanted to go, hoping I'll see some old high school folks**, every year I've intended to go, but every year something happens to keep me from going. This year I was determined, because soon I'll be moving another two hours further away. I thought I was looking forward to it. Even if there was no one there I remembered, the area itself is special to me. It would be a nice drive, 3 hours there, 3 hours back.

I didn't go.

I'm not even sure why I didn't go. I checked the weather prediction, and it was 40% chance of thunder showers there. I hadn't heard that anyone I might know would be there. I was ok, not sick or tired or anything. I don't know why, after so much anticipation, I just couldn't get up the enthusiasm to go. I guess because if it was raining, the one backup joy, the beauty of the drive, wouldn't be.

So I didn't go.


I don't understand why everyone says Hal is beautiful. Many people enthuse over him, over how beautiful he is. That's the word they use, "beautiful", with an occasional "classy" thrown in.

He isn't beautiful. He may be a lot of good things, but beautiful isn't one of them.

He's not sporty looking, not sexy, not sleek. Sexy sporty cars have low profiles, tilted forward for an illusion of speed even when they're still. His sides are high and straight. He looks thick. His corners are rounded. He's a bit stogy looking, like a British butler, or an old fashioned deep bathtub, with wheels instead of claw feet.

There are lots of truly beautiful cars on the road. Hal's not really one of them.

I think people are way too influenced by that round propeller emblem scattered all over the front, wheels, and rear. It's very hard to miss it.


** Back in the mid-'70s I managed to locate most of the 27 still-living people in my high school graduating class (two had died), scattered all over the northeast. It was fairly easy because most of their parents were still living on the mountain. I wanted to drum up some enthusiasm for a 15-year reunion in 1977. Nobody was interested, because, it being a very small sparsely populated area, everybody was related by marriage to everybody else. I was the only "outsider". So they got to see each other in various combinations at weddings, family gatherings, and all together at "Old Home Day". A class reunion would be redundant.