Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3517 Filthy floors

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stories are simple sequences of events, plots are about causes,
motivation ..., what stories mean. ...life is all stories, and fiction is all plots.....
-- Peter Ho Davies --


Well, I am only a little stiff today. A little bit of pain down the left hip and thigh. I put the brace on anyway, just to make sure. So far, so good.


My floors are gross. I haven't swept or vacuumed in ages, and there are crushed leaves, dirt, and cat hair everywhere. I passionately hate vacuuming. The weight. The dragging and controlling of the cord. I purposely rejected carpeting in the new house so it would be easier to keep the floors and stairs clean, but, uh, I hate sweeping, too. The bits escaping, the dust flying, the trying to corral it all. The moving of things in the way.

I bought two vacuum cleaners for this house so I wouldn't have to carry any up and down stairs. But the flipping things are heavy to use. I prefer canisters, because the weight stays on the floor and the head is light, but good canisters are next to impossible to find these days. So I got bagless uprights. I hate them. Being short, I hold the handle lower than most people, which puts the entire weight of the mechanism on my arm, and then moving it out and back strains my lower back. Hate, hate, hate!

So I got the Roombas, one for each floor. But there are a lot of table and chair legs the Roomba can't get between, and the floor is cluttered with cat and toddler toys that I have to pick up first, plus the cat's food tray, and curtains that touch the floor, and shoes under the bed with shoelaces that the Roombas like to eat, and, and, and, and it's a LOT of work for not such a great job (Roomba's exhaust tends to blow dirt, especially cat hair, sideways onto tracks it's already cleaned). I haven't turned them loose in months.


I hate it all.

I looked at the floors today and thought, "I've GOT to do something, now!"

So, I bought (online) a rechargeable vacuum stick. It's lightweight, no cord. We used to call them electric brooms. It's a Eureka, so it should be adequate. With its ten inch wide head it should be easy to maneuver around stuff. No bag.

I don't know how long it will take to get here, but nothing will be done with the floors until it arrives.

Temporary reprieve.

Monday, April 16, 2012

3516 A Monday in April

Monday, April 16, 2012

Alan Greenspan, to Congress: I know you believe you understand
what you think I said,
but I am not sure you realize that what you heard
is not what I meant.


It got into the low 80s F today. I don't know what to think of that.


The following is lifted from Field (http://field-negro.blogspot.com/2012/04/mole.html). He always has interesting observations, and tidbits I find nowhere else. He's worth a visit (but, as per my previous post, don't read past the first one or two comments. He gets some insane trolls, which is unfortunate, because buried in the dross are some real insights. I wish he'd monitor comments, but, I guess he has a life....)
Finally, I have to have a last word about Flipper and this mommygate controversy.

“I wanted to increase the work requirement,” Romney said. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that's heartless,' and I said ‘No, no, I'm willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It'll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’” [Source]

So, in essence, what he is saying is that there is no "dignity" in being a stay at home mother.
Well, actually Romney was talking about welfare mothers, and I think he's implying that there is more dignity in supporting your children yourself than in allowing the government to do it. But the statement was ripe for the same misinterpretation as last week's "never worked a day", but it didn't happen. Nobody from the opposition said anything about his implication that there's no dignity in raising children.


I don't understand.

By the way, he's accused of "flipping". Why is that bad? I actually prefer people who are willing to change their position based on changing circumstances and new information. I wouldn't want someone in power who is so bullheaded and so convinced that he's right, and so afraid of looking wishy-washy, that he refuses to listen to arguments, won't change his mind.


I make my oatmeal with water. I don't use any milk with it because mostly I don't have milk in the house because I don't use it up fast enough. But I like milk with oatmeal.

This morning I was eying the instant Irish oatmeal and the low-fat plain yogurt, wondering which to have for breakfast, and I had this great idea!



The taste and smell is indescribable, having nothing of either oatmeal nor yogurt. Gag-worthy.


The Nugget is now walking (well, running). No more crawling. Talking is a bit slower. She occasionally says something quite clearly, but one is never quite sure, because she's talking to herself.

She has had a relationship with music since birth. She has lots of toys that play music, and she always dances when she hears music. As an infant, dancing was kicking and waving arms in rhythm. Then it was rocking on her hands and knees, or bouncing while sitting. Now she bounces standing. It's amazing. Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" is a favorite, and when her toy cell phone played it today, when it was over, she very clearly said "Eee-iii-eee-iii-ooo".

She'll be a year old next week.


I went to the first session of a dance class this evening. I have no flexibility left anywhere! Nothing was working except my wrists. I'm afraid I may have exceeded my capacity - won't know until tomorrow. I took aspirin as soon as I got home to head off swelling around my lower back. We'll see.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

3515 Furthering goals

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"You may throw away what is in the hand, but you cannot throw away what is in the heart."
-- Ovimbuntu proverb --


How come anyone can be ruthless, but only some people are Ruth?

Actually, the biblical Ruth is considered the model of loving kindness, who acts in a way to promote the well-being of others, so to be ruthless is to have nothing of Ruth. I think it's interesting that there is no Ruth-rooted word for being "ruthful". Seems like it would be a useful word.


I spend a lot of time thrashing. I read a lot of stuff on the internet, I follow links, then more links. I figure that reading only one version of a story isn't the whole story, so I'll search out other versions of a news item. And then the story takes over my mind. I'm not getting other more important stuff done.

When I read an interesting article somewhere, I then read the comments. I've learned that there are some sites where one should not read the comments. The degree of misinformation, stupidity, meanness, poor writing, poor grammar, sheer nastiness etc. is discouraging, will overwhelm me and will destroy the rest of the day. Don't read the comments on Yahoo news items. Don't read comments on YouTube videos, even quite serious and newsworthy videos. Don't read comments on popular news blogs. Don't read comments on the Huffington site. And if you value your intellect, never read comments on any of the Cheezburger sites.

It is safe to read comments on blogs and articles that attract only a smaller and more aware and educated subset of the public, like Lifehacker, the Wall Street Journal, the WSJ law blog, political news sites outside the US, and some others.


I commented on one of the smaller opinion blogs recently, that I couldn't understand why Zimmerman was charged with 2nd degree murder, since that requires a much higher standard of proof than manslaughter, and that I suspected that it was a political move.

I got a response from an anonymous commenter from Texas, who 'sounded' like an attorney, who said I was very perceptive. He/she also suspected that it was a political move. Charging him with murder 2 got the press and mobs off the backs of the state, prosecutor's office, and the police. No matter what happens now, the pressure is on the courts and, if it gets that far, on the jury, and there's virtually nothing the courts or jury can do that will satisfy everyone.

The "very perceptive" felt nice.


I came across something the other day that is one of those things we know deep inside, instinctively, but need to see in words before it comes to the forefront of our minds. It was in an article on how to succeed in whatever you are doing, and really, the whole secret nets out to one very simple directive (found at the very end of the article, of course):

Don't do anything that doesn't further your goals.

Wow. I hadn't noticed I'd been trapped in a pattern of reading and following trails of ideas, which, although interesting, had nothing to do with my current goals of getting out of the upriver house and settled in this house. I had forgotten my goals. (Note that this is related to but not the same as setting priorities.)

In general, it means that if you have a goal, and you find yourself spending time trapped in activities that do not further that goal, fix it. Examples range from busywork in the office or work that does not move you along your career path, to practicing scales and unchallenging pieces on the piano for hours when your goal is to succeed at challenging pieces.

So, new pattern of activity.