Wednesday, December 07, 2011

3415 A-Caroling We Shall Go

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why aren't southern schools teaching the difference between "when" and "whenever"? "Ever" and "every"? How do people understand each other?


My sister sent me this link. Go to

Type in the name of a carol, and the puppets chins? will sing the first few lines for you.

After you've tried a few old standards, try Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman, Joy to the World, and Ring Christmas Bells (a.k.a. The Carol of the Bells). They get a bit funky with those.

The Carol of the Friendly Beasts gets you The Carol of the Bells, which is sad because Friendly Beasts is one of my favorites.

Let me know if you find others that are fun. (BTW, they don't know Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.)

3414 Lost & Found & Lost

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Howard A. Brown, letter to US News & World Reports, 12/27/99, paraphrased:
It's easier to make a smart gun than a smart person.


I just had a strange experience with coincidence.

I had briefly dated a guy 25 years ago, shortly before moving from Washington to New York. His birthday was the same day as mine, but he was a year or two older. Met him in Washington Mensa. Strong squared face, dark eyes, dark hair hanging over his forehead, bronze skin. Smoothly but well muscled. Half Cherokee, originally from North Carolina. Deep voice with a hint of southern soft. Pretty damn gorgeous.

The first time he invited me to his apartment, he said he'd cook me dinner, and then we could sit in front of the fire and sip wine.

Well, I had been to his apartment for a Mensa party or two. I said, "Fire? But you don't have a fireplace." He answered, "There's a corner of the dining room I'm not using."

Well, he uses an unusual shortened form of his first name, and I had forgotten his last name. It's also a little unusual, you don't hear it often. This morning I came across the last name in a book I'm reading and of course I immediately thought of him. He's the type who would be on Facebook, so I went looking for him.

I found seven men by that name. The first one on the list had a photo that looked about the right age, AND the right nickname and last name, AND his profile said he was retired from working for Montgomery County (that's the county we'd lived in, just north of DC!), AND it said he spoke English AND Cherokee! Hey! What're the chances? Name, age, location, and Cherokee? Gotta be him, right?

I looked more carefully at the photo, and thought, yeah, we've all aged, but time has not treated him well. Doesn't look like the mid-thirties him at all. Pretty sad, really. Life must have treated him badly the past few decades. I actually felt sorry for him.

Then I read a little further, and the "Montgomery County" he had worked for is in Ohio! Ohio? Not Maryland?

It's not him!

Wow. That's weird.

(Probably not a brother, not with the same first name. And if they are related somehow, it's still weird about the counties.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

3413 Swimming to Australia

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's impossible to learn what you think you already know.


I think I was depressed for the past month or two. It happens occasionally. I never recognize it until it's passing. Not a clinical depression, if you know what I mean - a situational depression. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. Even the grocery store. Didn't want to get dressed. When I ran out of stuff I'd stand at the pantry and wonder what I could eat instead. I haven't yet stowed away any of the latest load of clothing and trinkets I'd brought back from the old house.

I finally recognized it a day or two ago, when I noticed I'd been living almost exclusively in the internet. Reading long articles that don't really matter. Looking stuff up that has no meaning. Following Wikipedia links into the hinterlands. It really hit home when I realized my internet shopping was out of control. I do that when I'm unhappy - I buy myself gifts. They have to arrive in the mail, like a surprise, to be a gift.

The slide all started the first week in October, when Hercules was in Ireland, and Daughter's back went out, and I had to rush back from the old house to care for her. I took over the Nugget for a few days, and then when Daughter was able to lift Nugget again, my back went out from lifting Nugget, and being older, mine took longer to get happy again.

Then Daughter got that cold that was going around, the one with the sore throat and copious nasal and sinus congestion, and general raggedness. Nugget was sick, too. So for several days I had Nugget during the day so Daughter could nap, because Nugget was worse at night, so Daughter had been sleeping on the floor in Nugget's room and up and down with her all night.

Nugget and Daughter got better, but then I came down with the snots. It's bad only maybe two days, but my sinuses are scarred from an epic infection in the early '80s, and the sinus reaction goes on and on for weeks after a cold. No infection, just irritation that produces glop that requires horrendous snorts to clear when it thickens and catches on the soft palate, and it constantly sloughs down the back of my throat and makes me cough. And nobody can cough like I can. My coughs wrack my body. Every cough produces a mouthful of glop.

Naturally, my back went out from the coughing.

The Man has been working out of state, but would be in NJ during that time that Daughter was sick. He wanted to get together. When I mentioned the colds, he decided not, saying he catches everything that comes down the pike - which was just as well because the day he would have arrived, I was starting the sore throat and sniffling.

So, right now my back is still delicate. I can finally sit comfortably. No pain, but I feel that warning twinge every time I move. The coughing and snorting has lessened. And now I recognize how depressed I'd been.

I haven't been to the old house since early October. Winter is coming. There's so very much to do. Until I can get it on the market and actually sell it, it's costing me $1,500/month or more in taxes, utilities, and insurance. I can't go when I'm sick or when my back is out. It's so upsetting it has been causing nightmares and insomnia from a churning mind.

And I haven't seen The Man in ages.

I look at photos of me from just 12 months ago and compare them to now, and I have aged a lot. My weight is also creeping up.

Yesterday I sort of woke up a little. I actually did a few things around here.

We'll see....

3412 Joke 2

Monday, December 5, 20011

He who votes does not have power. He who counts the votes has power.
-- Stalin ---


How to Identify Where a Driver is From:

* One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: Chicago

* One hand on wheel, one finger out window: New York

* One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: Boston

* One hand on wheel, cradling cell phone, brick on accelerator: California. With gun in lap: L.A.

* Both hands on wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror: Ohio, but driving in California.

* Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat: Italy

* One hand on lap, one knee on wheel, cradling cell phone, foot on brake, mind on game: Seattle

* One hand on wheel, one hand on hunting rifle, alternating between both feet being on the accelerator and both on the brake, throwing a McDonalds bag out the window: Texas city male

* One hand on wheel, one hand hanging out the window, keeping speed steadily at 70mph, driving down the center of the road unless coming around a blind curve, in which case they are on the left side of the road: Texas country male

* One hand constantly refocusing the rear-view mirror to show different angles of the BIG hair, one hand going between mousse, brush, and rat-tail to keep the helmet hair going, both feet on the accelerator, poodle steering the car, chrome .38 revolver with mother-of-pearl inlaid handle in the glove compartment: Texas female

* Four wheel drive pickup truck, shotgun mounted in rear window, beer cans on floor, squirrel tails attached to antenna: West Virginia

* Two hands gripping wheel, blue hair barely visible above window level, driving 35 on the interstate in the left lane with the left blinker on: Florida


Challenge to readers: Add one for your state in the comments.