Wednesday, May 09, 2012

3529 Color confusion

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.


I read an article about color.  Did you know that there are many primitive peoples who have only a few names for color?  There are cultures in VietNam who use the same word for blue and green.  They consider leaves and sky to be literally the same color group, just different shades.

There are Pacific Islanders who describe all colors as either white or black (everything is divided into light or dark).  If you show them a color and ask what color it is, you get "light" or "dark".  That's the only differentiation.  Other light-dark tribes have added a name for red, so everything is light, dark, or red.  Light green and yellow are in the white group, dark green and purple are in the black group, and then there's red.

I personally have difficulty with the Euro-American classifications of the violet/purple group of colors.  When someone describes something as "purple", I have NO mental image of what color they mean.

In the Wikipedia entry on purple, I don't see Tyrian purple as purple at all.  I see it as reddish brown or "old blood".  I'd definitely put it in the red group, not the purple.  And it's interesting that Tyrian purple was the first purple dye, from shellfish.

"The color heliotrope is a brilliant tone of purple".  Sorry.  I see that as a pink.  I also see "red-violet" as a shade of pink.

I often see colors that I have no idea what to call them, and that's almost always in what others consider the purple group.  To me, they look like some shade of pink or blue.

I guess I draw my dividing line between red and purple, and between blue and purple, a lot closer to the purple side than most people do.  My "purple group" is very small.


Note - before anyone tells me my monitor needs adjusting, I can assure you it doesn't.  I buy enough fabric, notions, yarns, and clothing online that I frequently ensure that my monitor is carefully calibrated against a hardcopy color card.   Besides, I'm not just talking about screen colors.  It's in real life, too.  Jay would come in the house and say something about "those little purple flowers in the side yard", and I'd have no idea what he was talking about, so he'd take me out and show me, and I'd say "They're not purple!  They're clearly obviously BLUE!  (...or PINK!)" and we'd be off on the same old discussion again.

3528 Free Books for Kindle

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The American Way:  Privatize profits, socialize costs.

(Note - "3528" is a post sequence number, not the number of books.)

You can get free books from Amazon for your Kindle, but plowing through the lists on Amazon is ... well ... like cleaning out the den closet at my old house.  There are hundreds of self-published and foreign language and badly translated books cluttering up the lists before you find the occasional classic or possibly decent read.

Go to  They list more reasonable choices.  Not exactly bestsellers, but reasonable possibilities.  Amazon updates free lists frequently, and ctrlq does, too, so check often.  Clicking on a book takes you directly to Amazon, where you can download it to your Kindle in seconds.

Hey!  FREE!

I downloaded In Deep VooDoo to check the process out.


Right now I'm reading Madame Bovary, another free ebook from Amazon, and another classic I'd never read.  I'm only up to chapter 8, but so far it's pleasantly readable.  I might even finish this one (as opposed to my five attempts so far at those seven gables, and the sadly frustrating and depressing Dickens everything).

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

3527 Expect the unexpected

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You can't shake hands with a clenched fist.
-- Indira Gandhi --


Yesterday, Daughter and I took the Nugget  for a walk.  Nugget likes to walk until she gets tired.  She walked to the end of our street and down a steep maintenance road toward the bay.  She saw a rough trail into the woods, so she and Daughter took off down that while I trundled the umbrella stroller on down the maintenance road.  After they came back out onto the road, we cut down a steep rock and sand bank to the seawall, where there's a new smooth cement sidewalk above the edge of the water.

After all that rough walking with no difficulty Nugget took about three steps on the smooth walkway and suddenly pitched forward, landing on her palms and chin.  LOTS of blood, all down the front of her shirt.  Only a little crying, though.  Daughter scooped her up and ran for home.  Washing, ice packs.
The damage, as of today:
You can see the two teeth up top that did the damage to her swollen lower lip.  Her chin looks terrible.  Daughter was worried that bone might have been chipped, but there's no bruising, so I think we escaped with just abrasion.

It doesn't seem to bother Nugget, though.  She still eats crackers happily.


We also heard yesterday that a neighbor's cat had brought home a dead bat.  The neighbor's first impulse was to toss it down into the ravine, but then she called animal control just in case, and it was tested, and yeah, it had rabies.

The animal control people didn't say anything else.

Her cat had been vaccinated, but her children had touched the bat and played with the cat.  Anybody know what the danger might be, if any?


These two issues - the rabid bat and the sudden oops on the walk - helped Daughter to make a decision.  Hercules is changing jobs, and the three of them will be without health insurance for somewhere between one and two months.  Because he's leaving voluntarily, they aren't eligible for COBRA.

Daughter checked into short-term insurance, and the same plan that's $700/month in Pennsylvania is $2000/month in New Jersey.  Ouch.  She can get into a group plan through her professional association for  a lot less, but it's still expensive for one or two lousy months.

Hercules hates insurance companies, and wants to do without until his employer's plan kicks in.

Daughter has asked her friends through Facebook what kind of medical expenses they could expect at Nugget's age, and everyone's all "Ho Hum","occasional colds",  advice like "don't go to a doctor, go to the urgent care center, it's cheaper", and so on.

They've been going 'round and 'round about it.  Me?  I'm freaking out.  I told Daughter that you don't get insurance for expected things.  You get it for the unexpected.  Insurance is a bet you make with the insurance company, a bet you hope to lose and they hope to win.  I advised her to get a catastrophic policy, something with a high out-of-pocket, like $10,000, and then full coverage after that.  "You realize that if something unexpected happens, you could lose your house."  (I didn't tell her, but I was remembering Jay.  Until his first seizure, he was very healthy.  In fact, he had just got off the treadmill when it hit.  After the seizure, it was $400,000 or more a year.  We were very lucky to have an excellent policy.  You never know what could happen.)

Well, until yesterday, Daughter couldn't imagine a catastrophe.  She couldn't even imagine "unexpected". 

Now she can.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

3526 Punished

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Humans are one of the most complicated things we can mass produce through unskilled labor.

(Oddly enough, being more skilled doesn't produce a better product.  Just maybe more of them.)


I went to Rakkasah.  I swore I wouldn't buy anything there - just look at stuff and watch the dancers.  I don't need any clothing, jewelry, or anything else.  Since in the past almost no one there took credit cards, I took a little bit of cash for entrance fee and food, and one credit card for emergencies, and figured I was safe.

I forgot that there's a difference between need and want.  Also that in the past few years venders have acquired fancy devices for internet connection, and therefore can more easily take credit cards.  Two skirts and a blouse later....

But Fate punished me.  Immediately after I had paid for the last purchase, a woman spilled her entire cup of light & sweet coffee smack into my shopping bag and everything in it.  She also got the skirt I was wearing, my stockings and shoes, and onto and into my purse.

I left immediately, drove home, and tossed everything into the washing machine before they dried.  One of the new skirts had little (plastic, sequin-like, bound in embroidery thread) mirrors on beaded strands just above a ruffle at the hem, and I guess they couldn't handle the (gentle!) tumbling in the machine - 24 or more of them came off, the beaded strands suspending them broke, which I didn't discover until I took the skirt out of the dryer.

So now somewhere in the workings of my washer and dryer are a thousand tiny glass beads, and at least two small mirrors.