Thursday, February 25, 2016

5060b Repeats from 2006

Thursday, February 25, 2016

"If the human mind was simple enough to understand,
we'd be too simple to understand it."
-- Emerson Pugh --


Repeating an old post, from March, 2006:

#607 Billion

The next time you hear someone in the government use the word "billion" casually, think about it.
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend.
One advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into perspective in one of its releases:

A billion seconds ago it was 1959. [Edit, since that was 10 years ago, make that 1969.]

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on two feet on earth.

And a billion dollars lasts 8 hours and 20 minutes at the rate our government spends it...
Scares the living daylights out of you, doesn't it?  


Repeating an old post from  April, 2006

#633 Natural Highs

Got this off a Mensa site. Now I know why I'm generally happy. I get most of these things often, and I appreciate every one.

Natural Highs

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach.
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke.
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38. Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.


When I originally posted the above, in 2006, I did in fact experience a lot of that frequently.  Not so much these days, though. Just memories.  If it weren't for the Nugget, I'd have a lot less to celebrate.

5060 It could be worse

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nescience is not understanding something you have no way of understanding; 
ignorance is not understanding something you should understand; 
stupidity is not having the ability or desire to understand.


It has been raining here for days.  Yesterday was a downpour most of the day, and last night Mother Nature got nasty.  We had thunder and lightning and heavy rain with wind that blew it sideways and brought down branches. The power went out for three brief periods arond 7:30 pm, and then went out for about a half hour or more at about 7:50-ish.  I'm not sure how long it was out, because I gave up and went to bed.  It's raining today.

Can you imagine what we'd be dealing with if it had been cold enough to snow?

It's been a very strange winter....


Oh, by the way, lots of people are remarking that they'd never heard of lightning in February.  Bull.  I've often experienced thunder and lightning during snowstorms.  It's really not that unusual.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5059 The Great Chair Search

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

You can't convince a believer of anything, for their belief is not based on evidence;
it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. 
-- Carl Sagan --


The folks across the street and up one have put out two metal chairs for garbage pickup, the kind of chairs you'd use with a patio set.  They didn't get picked up yesterday.  I think they might have to make a special call to have them picked up.  In the meantime, I'm surprised they're still there.  I've been looking at them (not close up), and mildly tempted.

That got me thinking about the marble and metal table in my breakfast area.  I want chairs to use with that, but they must meet certain requirements.  They should be visually small, and physically small; there's not a lot of room there.  I'd like black, I'd much prefer metal, to match the table base.  The base is curvy and swirly, so I don't want seats with straight, stout legs.  I don't want the chairs to overpower the table.

I started out actually looking for stools, as being the least intrusive, but couldn't find anything right at a decent price.  I considered going an entirely different direction - using African and mid-eastern drums.  Turn them upside down, the heads on the floor (that wouldn't hurt them at all), and putting cushioned wooden  seats on the "bottoms" - but none of them are exactly the right height for seats.  I spent hours searching for something a long time ago, and finally gave up.

Now, the Nugget is outgrowing the kiddy table in the kitchen, and I'd really like to start using the marble table.  I need to find something, now.

Today I realized what would be perfect!  The old iron wire ice cream parlor chairs!  Small, visually and physically light, curvy, perfect!

I spent hours today searching online.  Apparently they are no longer being made.  Any out there are from the '50s, considered antique or at least vintage, and at least $100 each.  (They're all over Etsy and eBay, for example, but no one will ship them, even if they were affordable.)  Plus, I wanted three or four.  I don't much care about the appearance, since they can be sanded and painted and re-seated.  I finally found a few on Craigslist (my last choice of sources).  There were only a few, mostly in New York and Pennsylvania.  Nothing much in NJ, except for four (two pairs of different styles, but that's ok) only about a half hour away, for $119. 

I sent a note to those folks asking if they were still available.   ---And then I expanded the search area, and found five matching!  For $100!  Near the country house!  Where I intended to go this weekend anyway!  So I sent them a note, too.  These five are in much worse condition, but they can still be painted. 

Flash!  While I was typing the above, I got a response concerning the first set of four.  They are still available, and I'll be picking them up tomorrow at noon.


5058 More Bits

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."
-- Arthur C. Clarke --


Back in June, 2012, I mentioned in post 3542 that I'd visited, on street view, the house I had lived in 40 years ago (I'll put the address in a comment) in the St. Louis area and was shocked to find that not only all the trees, flowering shrubs, and window boxes I had lovingly planted were gone, but the bare lawn now had a 20' totem pole smack in the middle of the front lawn.

I visited again this morning.

Now the totem pole is gone.  There's a stump-looking thing where it had been.  What trim had once been painted red or white is now a putty-tan-gray, and the shutters on the living room and upstairs windows are gone.  

The house looks so cold and bare.  I feel sorry for it.  Poor little thing. 


Daughter came home from school one day, 2nd grade I think, and asked, "Mommy, what's a spanking?"  I asked her where she'd heard about spanking, and she said one of her friends had said she couldn't do something or "she'd get a spanking.  So, what's a spanking?"  

So I turned her over my knee and swatted her bottom twice.

She gave me a look that said "What the #$%^&??!!"  
Me: "That's a spanking, but it's usually harder and a lot more swats.  Remember when you were little, and I told you that if you ever ran out onto the road, you wouldn't sit down for a week?"
She: "Yeah?"
Me:  "Well, that's what I was talking about."
She: "Oh.  I thought you meant you'd take my chair away." 

So I asked the Nugget (she'll be 5 in two months) the other day if she knew what a spanking was, and she said yes, and described it exactly.  I asked her if she'd ever had a spanking, and she said no.  I asked how she knew about spankings, and she just shrugged and said everyone does.   I told her that I wouldn't ever spank her, except for one thing.  If she ever ran out into the road when a car was coming, I'd give her a spanking.  "And do you know why?"  She said no, so I explained that a spanking would hurt a lot less than getting hit by a car, but she'd be alive, and she'd remember it long enough that she'd always think of it before running out onto the road again.

So, yeah, I'd spank.  But not in anger.  It's more like assessing a huge fine on an adult who breaks the law.  You let them know that doing that thing carries huge costs they don't want to pay, so they are less likely to do that again.  Monetary fines don't work with little kids, and taking cherished things away from them, or withholding love and approval, banishment, causes longer psychological pain which I don't see as being any better than a few swats on a covered bottom, that they knew ahead of time was the exact price of that act.

Nugget thought about that a while.  Sometimes (well, actually often) when she wants to do something that I know her mother would not approve or might be dangerous, I'll say no, we can't, because if your mother finds out she'll be mad at me, or if you get hurt, she'll kill me.  (Usually these are things that are just fine with me, like sharing a root beer float after Daughter had said "No sugar.  She's had enough already today.")  So somehow Nugget decided that I'd spank her if she ran in front of a car because I was afraid of her mother.  She struck a deal, "Tell you what.  If I run in front of a car, I won't tell Mommy, then you don't have to spank me.  Ok?"

Our final deal was that she'd try extra hard not to run in front of cars.  We shook on it.


The pregnant mares are back, at  If you go to that link, you'll get a photo of a pinto for a few seconds while the cameras load, and then you get real time video of four mares in stalls.  The little lady currently in stall 4 is overdue.  I noticed they've wrapped her tail, which means she's showing all the signs, so it could be any time now.  If you're lucky, you might see the delivery.

These are miniature horses, not ponies.  They're about knee-high to an average person.
They sleep a lot, so if they're not moving, check the ears.
If nothing is moving the feed might have dropped.  Just reload the site.
The stalls are cleaned often, so if there's no mares visible, just wait.  They'll be back.