Friday, August 28, 2015

4097 Choices

Friday, August 28, 2015

Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
-- Plato --


I'm at the country house, drove up yesterday evening.  I watched TV last night and went to bed after the 11 o'clock news.  I had forgotten how quiet it is here, and how comfortable the bed is.  It was noon before I awoke.

I had also forgotten how much I love this house.

This week is the Dutchess County Fair.  It's been years since I've been to the fair, so I'm very tempted to say fooey on working here and just go to the fair.

I also love this area.

I hate the choices one is forced to make when one gets old.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

4096 Splish-splash.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

There is no “i” in “team”, but there's a “u” in “people who don't understand
the difference between orthography and meaning.”


I had mentioned that I had a problem with Jasper splashing and dumping his water all over the floor.  It's been about six weeks since I found the solution, and it does seem to be working.  (Photo from, "Greedy Pup-Best Slow Eating Bowl on The Market", by Greedy Pup.
It's meant to slow down dogs who eat too fast.  For Jasper, I fill it with water to the tops of the bumps.  It's a hair over 9 inches wide and heavy, so he can't tip it, drag it, or pick it up.  The bumps prevent his making tidal waves, but still allow him to make satisfying splish-splash noises, and there's enough room between the bumps that he can drink easily.  The sides are not quite high enough to bother his cyst. 

It wasn't his splashing that bothered me, it was his emptying the water all over the floor, so this seems to be a good compromise.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

4095 Bugs

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ignorance: the root of all evil.”
-- Plato--


Another cricket arrived in the kitchen Monday evening, living in the same general area as the last one.  There must be some opening of some kind in the foundation slab there that allows them in, under the cabinets in that corner.  That area is also the entrance for teeny tiny ants, and very cold drafts in the winter.  It's probably where the A/C hoses come in.  This cricket sings.  Jasper didn't discover it until last night.

I was watering the potted tomato plant just below the front porch this afternoon, and as I bent over, my robe (yeah, I wasn't dressed yet, wanna make somehin' of it?) open a bit, and I saw a tick walking up my leg!  I hate ticks!  That's the first I've seen in this area, and I can't believe I picked him up just on my porch!  I've been funny about ticks ever since I was in about third grade, and one got embedded in my scalp right in the top of my head, not just attached, embedded, the scalp had swollen up over the tick, and my mother totally freaked and dug it out! in pieces!  using a huge pair of sewing shears.  Not like a knife, big heavy scissors blades!  Without anesthesia!  Digging and scraping.  I hate ticks!

I don't usually wear robes any more.  I'll throw on a caftan to pot around in until I'm ready to get dressed (and that usually doesn't happen until I'm ready to leave the house).  But this morning I had slept in and was awakened by the doorbell.  I looked out the bedroom window and saw the mail delivery lady leaving the porch, so I called down to ask if she needed me to sign for something (yes).  Yesterday's caftan was in the laundry, so I grabbed a robe.  Feels weird.  Caftans are much more like clothes, you know?  And you don't have to worry about them falling open and flashing the neighborhood.  But if I'd had a caftan on, I'd never have seen the tick.  Piece of luck.

Of course now I itch all over, thinking about all the caftan-covered ticks I haven't seen over the past days.  Ick.

Monday, August 24, 2015

4094 Stock Market

Monday, August 24, 2015

There's more money to be had in pandering to ignorance than in explaining it away.


Yeah, how 'bout that stock market, eh? 

I talked with Piper last week, and told him yes, I'd heard, no, I'm not worried, and I told him strongly, in no uncertain terms, he is not to attempt to "play" the market with my account.  No selling off anything, no buying anything in an attempt to find bargains, no nothing.  Stand pat with my account.  Let it ride.  He seemed to be ok with that, which surprised me.  I'm sure he's freaking out today, but he's got other accounts he can play with besides mine.

The market has crashed before, and it always recovers eventually, and then goes higher.  We just need to be in nice solid boring stuff that will recover, and I have plenty of patience.  It was a bit too high, too optimistic given the state of Europe and China, and with no nice stimulating wars on the horizon it had to drop to a more reasonable level.  This huge drop is because people are in a panic.  It will stabilize when everyone calms down.

I told Piper at the end of last year to get me out of the far east, primary and secondary --- it was obvious that China was headed for the same housing-lending-banking train wreck that the US had not so long ago.  Yep.


The green quote above, by the way, is absolutely random.  Not that it applies, anyway, except that it mentions money.

4093 Pumpkin plant

Monday, August 24, 2015

If the answer has to be now, it has to be no.


I have another volunteer pumpkin in front of my porch.  I put the old Halloween pumpkins (painted by the Nugget, not cut) near the mailbox every fall so the squirrels can eat it, and ONE seed (why only one?) sprouts.

We've had a lot of very strong sun and little actual soaking rain, and I am amused at the way the pumpkin vine has adapted.  This is the way the first leaves looked - large and flat:
Every morning by mid-morning they were wilted and folding from too much sun.  That struck me as odd at first, since they are field plants and made for sun, but I guess in the field they shade and humidify each other.

This is what the second growth of leaves look like.  The photo looks more green than they actually are.  In life, they look mostly white with scatterings of green.
Apparently the plant decided that wasn't quite working, either.

The third set of leaves look like this, more leathery with deeper cuts in the lobes.  (Notice the white one to the right.  That's a better representation of set #2.)

I guess the plant decided, "Hey, we've got an idea here!", because the fourth and final iteration of leaf style looks like this.  Lots of wrinkles, very deep cuts between the lobes, ideal for the full hot sun and scant water conditions.
Congratulations, pumpkin!  It looks like an entirely different plant.

Now, if only it could similarly adjust the blossom situation.  Pumpkins will put out separate male blossoms and female blossoms, both on the same plant.  However, to ensure healthy cross-pollination, a particular plant will put out only all male or all female flowers on any particular day, and the blossoms last only through the morning.  So it's very difficult for a plant to self pollinate.  In a field of pumpkins, this isn't a problem, since they can pollinate each other.  For one lonely plant, it's celibacy.

Last year I checked every morning, and a few times I found like one female, or one male, in the midst of a sea of the opposite sex, and I played bumblebee myself.  I think we had two pumpkins out of it.  So far this year, the segregation has been strict.  In fact, so far it's been almost entirely male.


I had mentioned Jasper hunting the cricket.  The cricket has disappeared, but Jasper is ever vigilant, in case it comes back.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

4092 Ramblings

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Every time we impose our will on another, it is an act of violence.


What's with all the baseball caps?  It seems like every male I see in this area wears one, all the time!  Walking down the street.  Shopping in the hardware store.  Working in the yard.  Watching TV in their living rooms.  Sitting at a table in a decent restaurant!  Do they ever take them off?  Do they sleep in them?

There's a guy a few doors up who wears a suit to work.  He doesn't wear a baseball cap to work, although everyone else seems to.  Hercules wears nice shirts and slacks to work, and he doesn't wear a baseball cap either.  For yard work and ramming around he wears what looks like a floppy Australian campaign hat.  Otherwise, it's all baseball caps all the time around here.  I hate it!


I told The Man I had eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant.  He asked if there was anything on the plate.


Some senator wants to get really tough about mental health tracking, for strengthening gun control background checking.

Yeah, ok, I see where that's coming from, but I suspect it would only make things worse.  When I was young, men wouldn't even consider any kind of counseling for anything, not even if they were seeing little green men who were telling them to do stuff.  It was considered unmanly to admit that they might need some help handling issues.  Over the decades that attitude has relaxed a little, but not so much in the very population that wants guns.  A "permanent record" of seeking help that might prevent one's getting a gun will, among that population, absolutely shut down any possibility of help, any admission of weakness even to the people closest to them.  The "nuts with guns" will go further underground than they are already.

Bad idea, but I have nothing better to offer.


Latest tooth-grinder:  the Rhinebeck town blog/newsletter (at the country house) sent out an alert that the Linden Avenue bridge failed inspection, and has been closed until it can be replaced.  Estimates as to how long that will take will depend on efforts to obtain the "right-a-way" for the replacement.  "Right-a-way" was used several times in the article, and my stomach clenched every time.  Another example of "of" being misused, and another example of someone saying something with no idea whatsoever as to what they are saying. 


My hair has passed the bra strap and is now three fingers from my waist in the back.  It doesn't appear so long in the front, though, I guess because it's cut in a curve.  I'm still shedding a LOT - there are long hairs everywhere, in everything.  They compete with Jasper fur in the dust bunnies.  But I'm growing new hair at a good pace, too, so it's still thick (thickish - my hair is too fine to ever look thick) as it goes up toward the scalp.  In the least bit of humidity all the new hairs make a curly corona of fuzz around my head.  It makes me look frazzled.  I probably should start smoothing it with some kind of dressing --- but I really don't want to.  It seems happy frizzing.


I own a bazillion pairs of earrings (clip, I'm not pierced), including some I've been wearing since the '70s.  I love wearing earrings; they draw attention away from my face.  However, I haven't been wearing any kind of makeup in several years now, and for some reason I had this idea that I couldn't wear earrings unless I was made-up.  Not that I'd thought about it at all, just that with no makeup I didn't think of earrings.

I recently realized I really miss them.  I'm wearing them again, makeup be damned.