Friday, August 20, 2010

3061 Bird

Friday, August 20, 2010

Unofficial US motto: "I got mine; screw you!"


This week disappeared quickly, and the to-do list is untouched.

Tuesday (I think it was Tuesday) I called Vic, and he says the minivan is ready, except that I want the Captain to ensure that the electric door and ramp are working smoothly, because if they get stuck, the van won't move.

Tuesday evening into Wednesday I visited with The Man. We're solid for the Great Urban Race on the 28th.

Wednesday Daughter told me that the driveway is in at the new house, and they're grading for the lawn. She said she'd talked with the builder, and he said I should give him a call and come down sometime soon to check the place out and take whatever measurements I need.

Thursday I visited with Piper and his daughter, and reported on how the house is coming along and how the stock selling is going (VERY bad market. Watch things pick up as soon as I've sold everything.) Next will be to get this house in shape to sell, and just watch - the remaining shaky floor under the real estate market will fall as soon as it's ready. I'm not having a lot of luck with this whole venture, but I don't much care.

This morning the Hairless Hunk brought me a young Cedar Waxwing that had hit a window. He's old enough to have the black mask, but young enough that his belly and back still have the juvenile mottling.

At first I thought he had a broken leg, but he's sitting well now, perching on the bar in a bird cage I dug up from the basement and put on the front steps. He doesn't seem to have a problem with his wings, and has drunk some water, and eaten a bug and a few wild cherries I collected for him. The top has been off the cage so he could fly out if he wanted. It's been about 2.5 hours. I don't know why he hasn't attempted to fly yet.

In these photos he's hiding under the cherry branches.

If he hasn't flown by 3 pm (it's 1:30 now), I'm going to assume it's because he's afraid and confused and doesn't know where he is. I'll take him back to where he was downed and put him in a tree. I'm sure his family will be calling for him, and that might give him the confidence to take off.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

3060 A lot of bull

Thursday, August 19, 2010

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.”
-- Nietzche --


If you were wondering why it's so difficult to get your mortgage modified, see this:



Anyone who watches TV news has probably seen the clip of the bull leaping into the stands at a bullring in Spain. 40 people were injured.

When I saw it, my reaction was "Go, Bull! Go!" I have no sympathy for the injured people. They were not exactly innocent. They were there to watch bulls get teased, tortured, and killed. They thought they would be safe in the stands.



That bull was a hero.

(Also apparently part cat.)


There's a woman who has an APR interview show, who does cover interesting topics, but drives me crazy with her delivery. I can't remember her name (I need to write stuff like that down) but if you've ever heard her, you'll know who I mean. She speaks very slowly, in a quavering voice, sounds like she's 110 years old, and most maddening, she pro noun ces ev er y syll a ble sep er ate ly a s i f ea ch syll a ble we re a sep er ate wo rd. (Note that even one syllable words are pronounced as two, with a stop in the middle, hence, "as if" becomes "a s i f".)

Anyway, her show today was about bedbugs. They are spreading everywhere, worldwide, and have become a serious problem. They are found in even the most expensive hotels and the most exclusive resorts. College kids are bringing them home from dorms. Business men are bringing them home from conferences. They climb into suitcases and you never even see them.

I've said before that I see some business opportunities, and I'm surprised no one has yet taken advantage. Given that airlines are now charging not only for checked baggage, but carry-on too (once one airline starts, all the rest will soon follow suit), and now given that you have a fair chance of bringing home bedbugs in your luggage, let's do away with luggage entirely. How about used clothing stores at airports, with rentals of nicer dressier stuff, and disposable paper clothing like we had in the '60s? Maybe a deposit on clothing, a portion of which is refunded when you return it at the end of your stay? (Bedbugs are unlikely to hitch rides in purses, laptop bags, and briefcases because they don't have odors that the bugs associate with the human body.) The stores would also stock mini versions of toiletries.

In most tourist areas, everybody knows you're a tourist anyway, so why not special clothing that says "temporary tourist togs", like scrubs say "hospital person"?

Right now, if your suitcase gets lost, it's usually very expensive to "pick up a few things"

The other business opportunity is more obvious and less risky. I never take a certain necklace with me on trips, much as I'd like to, because I'm not sure it would make it past security. How about a kiosk near the security check that stocks small boxes, tape, and labels, and will pack, weigh, and stamp the banned items for you, and you can drop it in a USPS drop box to mail it to your home - or to your destination if that's convenient? Something like the various shipping centers scattered around town. I think the airport ought to provide the space free or cheaply, as a service to the travelers (yeah, sure).


Mentioning toiletries above reminded me of a Jay story. He'd had a very bad bout of intracranial pressure, and had said nothing rational, but plenty irrational, in several days. His sister and I were in the bedroom talking, and one of us said something about toiletries. We heard his voice from the bed, "Those things are dangerous."

We, "What's dangerous?"

He, "Toiletries."

We, "Why are toiletries dangerous?"

He, "The fruit is really heavy."

Jay was back with us.


Later edit: ACK! The evening news report says bedbugs are showing up in movie theaters! They come out in the dark, so movie theaters are ideal homes, and people are sitting in the dark fully dressed, so they would unknowingly carry them home up a pant leg. Eek!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3059 HOTW - Daniel Dae Kim

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less."
-- Rabbi Julius Gordon --


Honey of the Week: Daniel Dae Kim, from "Lost".

I was never much "into" Lost. It seems to me that the writers were making it up as they went along, with no idea where it was headed. I didn't like being jerked around. But Mr. Kim jerked me back whenever I had nothing better to do.

He's pretty. And his character was strong and yet sensitive. I like looking at him a whole lot.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sometimes you can't really know what someone is saying to you. You hear the words, but sometimes the words carry a meaning different from their dictionary definition. If you have no other basis for interpretation, you interpret from your own base. In an intimate relationship, the only way to fully understand the other person's messages, or lack thereof, is to understand their motivations, how their mind works, what their concerns and priorities are.
If you don't understand that, you don't have an intimate relationship. You're just skimming along the surface.
-- Silk --


Last night, when I went to bed, I turned off the TV in the kitchen, and was struck by how quiet the house was. Usually there's something running - the attic fan, basement dehumidifier, furnace, A/C, refrigerator, freezer, the compressor at the liquor store 1/4 mile away that seems to reverberate off the glass walls - something, but last night it was quiet. Except for a buzzing sound.

There was a buzz like an off-balance fan. Or trapped bees. Or termites chewing the walls.

I wandered around the house trying to find the source, then realized it was coming from outside.

Crickets. And tree frogs. And maybe a cicada or two.

And that pretty well describes my life right now.


I finally gave up and called Vic to ask what's happening with the minivan. He said he'd driven it for 1.5 tanks of gas (about 400 miles), and saw no problem at all. He says the timing is perfect. Killing the battery may have caused the computer to reset itself, and that may have fixed the problem.

He's going to have Captain Vantastic check the electric door and ramp, and then I can have it back.

Then I'll be ready to start moving, and I will become the builder's worst nightmare..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

3057 Cold analysis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects
such as wickerwork picnic baskets.
Imagination without skill gives us modern art."
-- Tom Stoppard --


Z. has suggested that it might be low iron levels causing my feeling cold.

I don't think so. I get a blood panel about once a year (last year it was four in a row, at 1-2 month intervals) and hemoglobin is always very good.

I've been sensitive to cold for at least the past 40 years. When Ex#2 and I went to his parents' NJ farmhouse in the winter, in the 1970s, everyone else was comfortable with the drafts blowing off the windows, but Daughter and I would get chilblains (or or frostbite, or something) on our cheeks and shins. They'd get red and itchy, and then the skin would turn whitish, dry out, crack, and bleed, I suppose because the blood would divert from those areas.

That was one area Jay and I had problems. He liked it cooler, I liked it warmer. To make it worse, the poor guy was 18" taller than I, and since heat rises, it was actually even warmer up there where his head was. We used fans aimed high to keep the air rolling, so some of the heat would get down to me, and some of the cool could get up to him.

It's strange that I seem to have developed an intolerance to cold, because when I lived on the mountain, in high school, winter temperatures were almost constantly in the negative numbers, as low as -30. They would close the school when it got below -25 because they couldn't heat it (on ordinary days we wore coats to class), and my senior year we had ten days off for temperature. You'd hear what sounded like gunshots all around, the sound of trees freezing and exploding. They really do. And yet, I spent all of every weekend outside. I'd go to the woods to avoid my father and siblings and stay out all day, well into the evening. I was ok with the cold then - I guess because I kept moving, and the alternative was not acceptable.

When one passes menopause, the skin gets thinner. I can clearly see the veins in the back of my hands. When I feel cold, my hands get "younger". The veins are not as prominent. This indicates to me that it's not a problem with circulation per se. It's more like my body defensively shuts down blood to the hands and feet (and probably my cheeks and nose) when the cold alarms go off.

That's perfectly normal. What's not normal is that the cold alarms go off at 73 degrees in the summer. Perhaps I acclimate too well.

3056 Cold!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Men don't live like humans. They live like bears with furniture".
-- Rita Rudner --


I'm FREEZING! It's mid-August and I'm freezing.

Last night the thermostat said it was 76 F in the house, but I was freezing. It felt more like 56.

Today it's 72 in the house and 75 outside (at 1 pm), and I'm cold again. Bundling up doesn't help my nose and fingers. I'm wearing jeans, and my thighs are shivering.

I need to move someplace warm. I don't mind warm. I don't mind hot. I don't even mind humidity. I hate cold!

Maybe it's the low-fat diet. Does that mean if I stay in the northeast I get to be uncomfortably fat but comfortably warm, or comfortably slimmer but uncomfortably cold? Are those really my choices?

I need someplace warm.