Thursday, August 26, 2010

3066 HOTW - Morgan Freeman

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him."
-- Russell Baker --


Honey of the week - Morgan Freeman. He ain't pretty, but he's slam-dunk sexy! I think it's the way he uses his eyes and the way he moves, his obvious intelligence, his voice:

I was relieved to find that I'm not the only woman with that reaction to him. On a situation comedy one evening, one woman asked another what would make her feel better, and she answered, "Morgan Freeman in silk pajamas."


3065 Recall

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point
than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
-- George Bernard Shaw --


Well, Hal, who edged out other cars in the running partially on the basis of superior engineering and reliability - Hal, who in the first four weeks revealed a pinched speaker wire in his door and a not-yet-fixed bug in his computer which randomly turns the "service engine now" light on, - Hal, who was rear ended in his sixth week, because another driver was too impressed with him - Hal, yeah, that Hal - has received his first recall.

It seems that for the past three years of Hal's model, the insulation near the seat belt thingy that grabs it in an accident (I forget what it's called) might catch fire if the thingy grabs in an accident. So I am to ignore the "service engine now" light, and, um, don't have an accident until I can take him in for repair.

Thirty years ago, my psychiatrist said I had feelings of omnipotence - that everything that went wrong was my fault. Well, notice that the stock market was heading back up UNTIL I decided to sell a load of stock to buy a house. Notice that the housing market was beginning to recover UNTIL I decided to put this house on the market. Notice that BMW used to have a good reputation UNTIL I bought one.

Maybe I had those feelings for a reason.

On the good side, Captain Vantastic called today. The minivan, Fred, is all checked out and ready to go. I am impressed. He'd been sitting in the driveway, dead to the world, for almost three years. He needed his brake lines replaced, one tire stem replaced, his A/C recharged, and an oil change and lube, and Vic says he's in great health now. His timing is more than perfect. The Captain checked out his electric door and wheelchair ramp, and they work fine. The only thing that doesn't work is that he doesn't kneel anymore, but that's ok, I never used the kneel (he'd kneel on the side with the ramp so that the ramp slope was lower) anyway. I never trusted it.

So, I'm ready to start moving! And I was prepared to spend more than $1,000 to get Fred back on the road, but it's coming out to just about $600. Incredible. Also, two people have already called wanting to buy him. He's a very handsome fellow, in great demand.


I've noticed that there are a lot of people these days who don't allow street shoes in their house. A lot of younger people seem to think that's only proper, the way it always has been.

I sorta thought it was sorta stupid. And awkward. And inconvenient for guests.

Well, I've found out why. I may have to ban shoes in my new house, or at least black rubber soles and spike heels.

Way back when, when I was a young'un, hardwood floors were hardwood. Hard wood. Hard. Wood. Solid, with some thickness. You could sand a quarter inch off to refinish them if necessary. Look at the 150-year-old houses with original floors. (This house is carpeted and tiled, no hardwood, but all my previous houses had real hardwood.)

The new house has parquet. I wasn't too happy with that because I was thinking of the squares. I don't like the squares. There's nothing wrong with them, Daughter has them, but it's just a personal dislike. Possibly because that's what our house had when I was in high school, and square parquet carries bad memories. Whatever. But it turns out the parquet in my new house is the long boards, so I'm ok with that.

I've been reading up on how to care for them, and, ta rah, high narrow heels can dent them. Dent? And they're not easy to refinish or sand out scratches, marks, or dents. It's cheaper and easier to replace the flooring.

So ok, now I understand the no shoes rule. Most new houses probably have parquet these days. But I still don't like the idea of making people take their shoes off. Do I have to provide slippers?

But, but, but, oh dear, does this mean I can't wear my stripper spikes in my bedroom? Bummer.


Today I went to the county fair - a very short trip just to get the freakin' french fries. That's the only thing I would regret if I didn't go. I'll write a bit on that later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

3064 Bottles and books

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"The reason why so few good books are written
is that so few people who can write know anything."
-- Walter Bagehot --


A friend told me about, where you can buy used books cheaply, with no shipping fees, and a portion of their profits go to encourage world literacy. (They don't say exactly how they encourage world literacy, but, ok.)

They also buy used books.

Given that I have to offload a few thousand books, I went to check them out, see what they'd pay. I put in the ISBN of several of my books, and got the message that they are "not accepting that book at this time" for each of them. They don't say what they'd pay if they were accepting them. Phooey. Bust.

But then I checked out their bargain section, and ended up buying four MORE hardcover books, at $3.98 each, no tax, free shipping.

Aaaagh! This is not helping!


New York state is now requiring $.05 deposit and return on water bottles. I hadn't been involved in bottle return because I almost never buy or drink carbonated stuff or beer, but I do drink a lot of bottled water because my house water is so, uh, unknown mineral rich, so now I have to return bottles.

The local grocery store has a machine outside for returning bottles, but every time I've tried to use it, it was full and I had to take the bottles inside.

Yesterday I found out why it's always full. There was a man and woman with a pickup truck with one of those cap covers on the back, and the truck was chock full of bags of bottles, which they were feeding into the machine, until they filled it. They must go from store to store filling machines.

Monday, August 23, 2010

3063 The dire state of education is here to stay.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Silence is the virtue of fools."
-- Sir Francis Bacon --


"Everybody" natters about improving education. 'Tain't gonna happen, folks.

The forces that rule the world like stupidity.

Stupidity makes the masses easy to control, since, if they are not capable of independent critical thought, they can be easily influenced and controlled. They'll believe any lies you tell them.

A few educated people are necessary to do the actual work, but somewhere along the line, someone figured out that "educated" is not really necessary. "Trained" will do. Colleges no longer educate people. They train them to do particular types of work.

The next step is to stamp out outbreaks of uncontrolled critical thought wherever it occurs. This can be accomplished by making displays of intelligence socially unacceptable.

Um, have you seen any of that lately?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3062 Kill the Bush!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget;
the naive forgive and forget;
the wise forgive but do not forget."
-- Thomas Szasz --


Yesterday I met up with seven other people (one was a small child) at Bushkill Falls in Pennsylvania. I had to leave the house by 8 am, so I had set the alarm for 6:30, and naturally didn't sleep well all night - "Is it time yet? No." "Is it time now? No." "Did I oversleep? No." - all night long. When I woke to check at 6 am, I decided if I went back to sleep I wouldn't hear the alarm, so I gave up and got up.

Bushkill Falls has a network of groomed trails, much of which is wooden walkways attached to the sides of cliffs, and staircases up and down the steep drop of the creek. Six of our group decided to take the shorter, less strenuous, yellow trail. One of the guys and I decided to take the much longer steeper red, which was lined with warning signs: "For serious hikers only!" I don't know why. It wasn't bad at all, but after I saw all the other tourists wandering around in flip-flops and with babies and toddlers, I guess that's why.

The trail itself was not rough, but I swear we must have climbed at least 18 floors worth of staircases over the two miles, probably more. I didn't have any trouble with the going, but my knees and thighs complained mightily on the stairs. Some of the risers were much higher than was comfortable for my short legs. No pain today, so I guess it wasn't too bad.

All the pain is in my heels. My shoes had a rough patch at the top of the heel, and it ate my skin. Later in the evening I realized I could turn the heel down and wear the shoes like a scuff. That worked fine. I wish I had thought of it on the trail. I was limping from the pain of the heels rubbing, and that made the stairs even harder.

Late lunch at a ritzy resort, then to one of the women's homes for a board game and pizza. Got home just before 11 pm. A lot of driving.

What's really odd is that I wasn't tired at all. I watched the news, checked email, watched "Nightline", and then worked some crosswords in bed. I was up at 7 this morning.