Thursday, February 13, 2014

3820 Snow

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My quarterly real estate tax was due on February 1st.  I missed it, didn't notice it was due until I was paying some other bills on the 11th, last Tuesday.  (Somehow I have it set in my mind that quarterly stuff is due in March, June, etc.)  By the time I realized the payment was late, it was 2 pm, and the town offices close at like 2:30, so I figured I'd pay it yesterday.

I went to the town offices yesterday and found everything closed.  Lincoln's birthday.  Duh?

Today we woke up to 8" of heavy wet snow, followed by ice pellets, followed by rain, and a "code red" call from the township saying that all town offices and functions were closed.

I probably won't get out to pay tomorrow, either, since we are supposed to get more snow overnight and all day tomorrow.

In the meantime, penalties accrue.

I hate snow.

The neighbor up the street says the Garden State Parkway and the Throughway, and many of the major local roads, are closed because of jackknifed  trailers all over the roads.  I got a code red email from the country house township saying that the highways are closed to commercial traffic for the same reason.

I really hate snow.  At least plain cold one can dress for, but snow can leave us defenseless.

At least we still have power.  Maybe that's one good thing Sandy did for us - all the weak trees and branches are already down.


I am worried about my neighbor George.  He's got to be in at least his mid-eighties.  He gets out there shoveling.  He throws five shovelfuls, then stops and rests on the shovel handle for a while, kind of bent over the handle, then throws five more.

His late-teen great-grandson mows my lawn.  His granddaughter lives on the next street over, and some sons and daughters live in the area.  I can't help wondering why no one shows up to help him.  They all come for holiday dinners, so it's not like they're estranged.

I've got a delicate back and currently something wrong with my shoulder (rotator cuff?) so my daughter shovels for me if my little electric thrower can't handle it (note that's Daughter, not SIL Hercules), or scares up a kid to do it.  If I were capable, I'd help George.

Maybe I should review CPR procedures.


I doubt that mankind in general is any smarter now than, say, 200 years ago.  200 years isn't much in evolutionary terms, but I do believe that on average we are already demonstrably more stupid.  We know more "stuff", but we are in general, overall,  less logical, less understanding, less interested in understanding, and less capable than we used to be.  It's like thinking is evolving out of us.  Like we don't need it any more.

Science fiction illustrators often depict humans of the far future as having huge heads, enormous brains.  I don't know why they think brains would get larger.  I think it's more likely we'll have tiny braincases.  As computers do the work of remembering for us, we won't need to remember anything much.  We won't need to calculate anything - the machine will tell us.

We already see evidence of brain atrophy....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

3819 I'm so sorry. Forgive me?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This is so cute.  The cat on the left seems to be trying to apologize.  I couldn't resist posting it.


In theory it's only 25 seconds, but be prepared to watch it five or six times.

Monday, February 10, 2014

3818 Mystery water

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jasper has been fussing about his water dish.  He doesn't like the water.  He doesn't want to drink it.  He splashes in it, as if he's trying to catch a fish in the bottom.  He hooks the side and drags the dish.  Since the dish is on a tray, when it crosses the side of the tray it spills all over the floor.  He'd been doing it for the past two or three weeks.

I mentioned it to Daughter, and she said two of her cats have been doing the same thing.

A mystery.

Then one day (Saturday, I think) I had left a glass of water on the counter when I went to bed, and absentmindedly drank it the next morning -- and spat it out!  It smelled and tasted strongly of iodine.

Water processing plants add iodine to the water when there's a problem with bacteria.  We've had several water main breaks this winter, one about three weeks ago just up the road, so it makes sense they may be worried about contamination.  I don't know why the iodine smell and taste gets so bad when the water isn't fresh out of the tap, but there it is....

Mystery solved.

So now I have to make sure his water is changed a few times a day.


Speaking of water, the Thames is flooding.  Parts of England are flooded for the first time in a few hundred years.  Weird.

3817 Silk Shoes

Monday, February 10, 2014

As usual at this time of year, I'm hibernating.  I resist leaving the house.   Most days I don't even get dressed, spend the whole day in a nightshirt and robe.  I also do nothing except wandering around the internet, reading books, watching video clips.  Except for Big Bang Theory on Thursday evenings, I can't even muster the energy to watch TV.  It's so bad my last "grocery shopping" was via PeaPod.

I discovered I can watch movies for free with Amazon Prime.  Not all titles are available for free instant viewing, but there are enough classics and lower-budget movies to keep me occupied for a while. 

Today I watched "Silk Shoes".  Found it by accident.  It's a Korean movie.  Independent.  English subtitles.  It was charming, glad I found it.  If you have Amazon Prime, I recommend it.

A lot of reviewers loved it too, but were disappointed by the ending.  Let down.  Confused.  I was confused because I didn't understand how the silk shoes were significant.

I did a little light research (with the help of this guy, who has provided an excellent review, synopsis, trailer clip, and link to the lyrics) and I figured it out.  The problem is that the subtitles didn't give us the lyrics of the song at the beginning and end of the movie.  So those of us unfamiliar with the song didn't know about the shoes.  It also explains why the old woman at the end asks Grandfather about his brother, which had confused me.

Well,  now you know, so go watch it if you have Prime.