Saturday, September 19, 2015

5011 An embarrassing story

Saturday, September 19, 2015

"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman."
-- Virginia Woolf --


I was thinking about whether or not I wanted to put the cover on my fluffy down comforter before putting it on the bed for the coming winter. I keep buying duvet covers, and then I don't use them, because I like a top sheet, and then I put another sheet on the very top of the bed to protect everything from cat fur, so a duvet cover seems like overkill. Skin and kitty never touch the comforter anyway. I think it's time to give up on that idea for good.

That reminded me of an embarrassing story.

Back in the dark ages, oh, about 1987, duvets and duvet covers were a European thing that hadn't yet arrived in the US. Not among us unenlightened people, anyway. Daughter and I were wandering around England and Wales, and it seemed like the only places to stay outside the cities was in B&Bs. No hotels or motels, and few inns with unreserved rooms for drop-ins. I intensely dislike B&Bs, because I always feel like I'm imposing on a family, and it's just too "social" for me.  Plus I can't set my own schedule.  That was my first trip to England, and so very many things were very different from what I'm used to - like a spoon for tea was tiny, like those souvenir spoons, and spoons for dinner were what we'd call a tablespoon. There was nothing like what we'd call a teaspoon. A lot of things were confusing, like when I was looking for a drug store in a tiny village, and people snarled at me, "We don't do that here!" I should have asked for a chemist.

Anyway, Daughter and I arrived one afternoon at a family home and were shown to the daughter's room which they were letting out while the daughter was away at college. We unpacked, did a little sightseeing, had a little dinner, and then went back to the house about 9pm (it's impossible to get a restaurant dinner before 8pm), and were embarrassed to find that the family goes to bed at 9, and had been waiting up for us.

Back in our room, we washed, got ready for bed, and then....
we couldn't figure out how we were supposed to sleep in the bed.

There was a nice fluffy comforter, but when I turned it back there was no top sheet. Not what I expected for a top sheet, anyway. It looked like a quilted mattress cover. The comforter was enclosed in a sort of sheeting envelope, with buttons closing it along the top. Daughter said it looked like a sleeping bag. The family had long since retired and I was reluctant to disturb them.

So, uh, we shrugged and opened the buttons and slept in the "sleeping bag".

In the morning we rebuttoned the top, thus accidentally avoiding immediate discovery of our faux pas.

Several years later I learned about duvet covers, and was retroactively very embarrassed.

Oh, well.

Friday, September 18, 2015

5010 More rambles.

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth."
-- Lillian Hellman --


A township truck came through last night spraying for mosquitoes.  I haven't seen that since the '50s.  There have been a lot of dead crows, evidence that some nasty disease (I forget) is getting spread.  They've found it in captured mosquitoes.

I forgot to cover my tomato plant, so I'll have to remember to wash the tomatoes well before eating them.  I don't know what they sprayed with, but the crickets don't seem to be affected, they were still singing loudly two hours later.  I also doubt that the spray penetrated as far as back yards.  It looked like it just came straight out of the spray pipe and fell on the road.  I'm sure it got nowhere near the pond out back, and I'm absolutely positive it didn't hit the marshy/swampy area two streets over.  Well, at least the township can claim they tried.

I personally won't notice any difference, because mosquitoes don't bite me.  They hover around me like they're looking for skin, then they give up and leave.  Those tiny black bitey bugs that form clouds around your head don't like me, either.  Pretty much nothing does except ticks.


 I don't have an ad-blocker, so I get a lot of pop-up junk on the screen,  Even with an ad-blocker, I visit a lot of sites that would like me to subscribe or register, and they put up pop-up requests.  I used to not mind them, just closed them without reading them.

Remember when the "X" to close those little windows was always in the upper right corner?  Not any more.  Now you have to search for the darn things.  Some of the "X"s don't show up until you pass over them with the cursor, so it's a physical search.  Piss me off!  And there's one ad company out there that covers the text on the screen and doesn't even provide the "X".  The ad sits there covering text until it decides to leave. uses that ad company, and I go to Snopes several times a day.

Even worse are the videos that start up with no encouragement.  I'll have five tabs open when suddenly sound starts up, and I have to scroll up and down through five tabs to find out where it's coming from.

I give up.  I guess I'm going to have to install an ad-blocker.  Any recommendations?


A study has found that the higher your education level, the better your chances of recovering from brain injury with no disability.  (  Interesting article.

One theory is that the more mental exercise you get, the stronger your brain is.  The other, of course, is that the higher your educational level, the better able you will be to afford top-notch care.  Heh.


Speaking of brains, back when Jay was getting all those MRIs, I always asked to look at them with the doctors, and they were always happy to accommodate me.  One day we were looking at one, and I observed, "You know, it's no wonder people think about sex so much.  There's a naked woman climbing right into the center of the brain."    The doctor looked at me, "What?  Where?"  I pointed to the structure in the middle, the thalamus is her head, the midbrain is her upper back, the pons is her rear end, and the medulla olongata is her right leg.  Her left leg is bent high up, stepping into the brain and raising and rounding her left haunch, her left arm reaches out to the left side.  He suddenly saw it clearly --- and here's the surprising part, he'd never noticed that before.  Turns out none of Jay's doctors had.  

This is a random scan from the internet, not Jay's.  See if you also see the lady.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

5009 Rambling

xxxday, September 1x, 2015

...electricity is a myth. Everything actually runs off smoke. We know this
because once you let the smoke out of something, it doesn't work any more.
-- "SteveM", in a comment in

----------------------------[the link may not work any more]---------------------------

Regular gas is less than $2 now!  Something like $1.95.  When did that happen?  Why?  I don't understand.


I had long ago noticed that every time I wash my hair, it's longer than before I washed it.  It's especially noticeable now that it's so long that I can get away with washing it once a week, so the increase in length is almost 2 inches.

After all these years, I think I've figured out why.

My hair isn't curly -- it's crinkly.  So over a week, the individual hairs crinkle up, making the whole look shorter without showing obvious curl.  Then when it gets washed, it straightens out.



Are crickets more populous in the late summer and fall?  They're all over outside now.  Inside, I'm finding, um, pieces of crickets everywhere, upstairs and down.  When Jasper's not sleeping or begging, he's hunting.  He doesn't eat them, he just takes them apart and then looks disappointed when they can't hop anymore.


A hitherto unconsidered benefit of retirement:
I took Hal in for his annual service.  Well, Hal's records report that since purchase, I have driven him an average of 67 miles per week.  No wonder I hadn't noticed that the cost of gasoline had gone down.  In the past 4.5 years, he has had four oil changes.  ...Almost balances out the six (or more? I've lost count) new tires.

I should report that mileage to the insurance company - they might lower my premium.


I don't know why anyone puts "THIS SIDE UP" and arrows on boxes.  I do almost all my shopping online, so I get about four boxes dropped on my porch per month, and I have never yet seen even one box with the arrows pointing up.  (UPS, are you listening?)


I want to buy Nugget some toys I loved when I was a child, and Daughter also had.  I'm going slightly crazy because I can't find the right things new anywhere online.

I want a pump-type spinning top, you know, the big one that sings, and flaps open inside a clear plastic top showing spinning colored panels that blend as it spins to make changing colors.  All I can find are solid metal with stuff painted on top.  They sing, but nothing else interesting happens.  I did find one on Amazon that almost fits the bill, but Amazon has "temporarily" suspended sale of that item due to some kind of shipping problem.

I want a nice kaleidoscope.  The case doesn't matter, but it must have translucent random-shaped colorful bits in the turning part.  No, I don't want opaque beads.  Duh?  Opaque?  Beads?  I don't want paper clips and other metal bits.  I don't want a solid lead-set stained glass wheel that doesn't give an ever-changing pattern.  I don't want a tube that gets pushed through the viewing chamber.  I don't want one so small that there is little in the chamber.  I also don't want to pay over $30 - I'm not looking for artwork here.  Remember the ones with odd-shaped bits of glass that shifted into view as you turned the end, and made glowing blossoms that never repeated?  Good interesting ones don't seem to exist anymore, not new ones, anyway.  I don't know - maybe kids were taking them apart and getting cut by the shifty bits or something.  I ended up buying a "vintage '50s" one on eBay.  

Still looking for the top.