For Sale

(M the Elder’s truck. October 30, 2006)

Yesterday, when the weather was good, M the Elder came home early from work to get his truck ready to be sold. As you can see, it’s not a bad truck. It’s been around the block more than a few times and the winters here in the Bogs haven’t been kind to it, but it’s reliable and does its job.

I’m not sure what he’s asking for it, but I don’t think it will be too terribly much. Make an offer. Maybe we can work something out.

Today’s weather is rather damp and gloomy, not particularly good for trick-or-treating. I’m not sure that matters since I think most of the towns around here had their trick-or-treat nights over the weekend, and not at night but in the afternoon. Halloween just isn’t what it used to be, that’s for sure.

Emma has a ladybug costume this year. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures. (If you’re out there reading, C, that’s a big fat hint!)

I wonder if trick-or-treating will still be around by the time Emma is old enough to go. I hope so.

Those seemingly interminable dark walks between houses, long before street-lit safety became an issue, were more adrenalizing than the mountains of candy filling the sack. Sadly Halloween, with our good-natured attempts to protect the little ones, from the increasingly dangerous traffic and increasingly sick adults, has become an utter bore. ~Lauren Springer

This Week’s Random Links & Stuff

(Wind in the tree. October 29, 2006.)

Currently reading: Still reading Helen of Troy by Margaret George. It’s a big book, man (624 pages). It could take a while.

Currently coveting: Mediterranean Grains and Greens: A Book of Savory, Sun-Drenched Recipes (I seem to have a thing for cookbooks lately.)

Recently watched: Cold Mountain. It was a good movie. Very intense in spots and certainly not a happily-ever-after kind of film. The Mexican. I’m guessing that Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts want to forget they ever made this movie. It’s stupid. And way too long for all that stupidity.

Current pet peeve: The neverending negativity of the political ads. Enough already!

Current favorite word: Bonnyclabber. (Look it up if you don’t know what it means: Merriam-Webster Online) I don’t expect I’ll get much use of it, but I like the sound of it.

New (to me) internet find: How to write a novel in 100 days or less. I don’t have any immediate plans to write a novel, but you never know. This just might come in handy someday.

Something you should see: NaBloPoMo. You might have noticed the logo for that over there to the left under the photo of the robin. I’ve decided to join the ranks of bloggers who are going to blog every day for the month of November. Click on the link if you want to know more about it. I’m an almost everyday blogger, anyhow. This shouldn’t be so difficult to do (she thinks).

A blog is an unending book in which the author keeps writing the first page for readers constantly waiting for the last. — Nick Piombino

For centuries, philosophers, scholars, lawyers, doctors, theologians, artists, poets and others have taken the time to write down the memorable thoughts and words of others — or kept records of their own personal musings — and collected them in a journal or book form. These compilations, known as ‘commonplace books,’ have preserved over time a wide array of information, such as famous quotations, anecdotes, maxims, jokes, verses, magical spells, astrological predictions, medicinal and culinary recipes, devotional texts and mathematical tables, among other subjects. — Yale Bulletin and Calendar

Another sick day

Here I am, at home, slacking again. I called off sick from work. Never let it be said that I don’t plan ahead. I arranged this last week after I flunked PT. The boss has coverage for me today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. The Evil Empire’s new attendance policy ought to have me fired by sometime next week. M the Elder keeps saying “they can’t fire you for being sick!” Little does he know. How could he know? He’s spent too many years in the ivory tower. With tenure. There is no such thing as tenure when you work for the Evil Empire. We are all expendable (as in Merriam-Webster’s definition b. of the word: more easily or economically replaced than rescued, salvaged, or protected).

(Note: I know that M knows better. I’m exercising my right to sarcasm here this morning.)

What will save me is the fact that this is only black mark #2 (or, in official Evil Empire language, incident #2) on my record. I can have up to 4 incidents before the firing squad starts waving around the pink slips. Taking off 3 days in a row counts as 1 incident. Wooo-hooo! I can stay home all week. And next week, too.

I had planned on giving my two weeks notice today. M the Elder, ever the optimist, is against this idea. His reply when I mentioned this plan was, “But what if you start feeling better and want to work that last week or two before we move?” Want to work? Hehehe. He’s silly. I do see where he’s coming from, though. He wants me to be well enough to work. We could also use what ever extra money we can bring home between now and the start of his sabbatical. The trouble is, I think my boss took me seriously when in the grips of great pain last week I told her that I think it’s time for me to give my two weeks notice. She may have already started the process that will help me achieve that goal.

I’ll call her today and see what’s up. If she has started the process, I’m going to let it happen. I don’t gain much by screwing things up at this point (maybe a week or two of pay and let me tell ya, that’s really not much). The main thing I’m trying to avoid is the burning of the bridge that leads to employment with the Evil Empire. As much as I’m going to enjoy leaving, and even though I entertain thoughts and fantasies of never ever being an Evil Empire minion again, I don’t think it would be wise to cut myself off completely. Just in case. In case of what, you ask? I don’t know. It’s one of those all-encompassing just in case’s. Who knows what will happen in the future? I might even want to work for Wally World again someday. Hah.

Moving right along…

When we bought the property here at Breezy Acres there were several large barn stones laying around. M the Elder, thinking standing stones are a neat new way to decorate one’s property ( I completely agree with him and have encouraged this sort of creativity), was determined to stand them up. A year or two ago M the Elder and M the Younger managed to raise one of them. It stands proudly out front, looking a little like a tombstone. We’ve had an offer or two to buy it. Maybe we’ve started a trend.

There is a second, larger barn stone near the barn (heh, go figure). It has a round hole in it. At one point M the Elder was going through a pagan decorating phase and had hoped to position the stone so that the solstice sunrise would shine through the round hole. Or some such thing. Which would’ve been neato. But the stone is big. And very heavy. Just raising it was going to be a bit of a logistical (and strength) problem. He gave up on the idea of positioning the stone, but continued to think about ways to raise it.

And raise it he finally did:

Pretty cool, eh?

He had help from a neighbor who has one of those little bulldozer type things. I can’t remember what they’re called. I’m glad he didn’t attempt to use his truck again. He almost ripped the bumper off when he raised that last stone.

What’s interesting is that the shape of this stone is very similar to the shape of Ohio…sort of, kind of.

But Ohio doesn’t have a hole in the middle.

Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

Fall back

(Vegetable soup. October 29, 2006.)

The weather finally cleared up here in the Bogs. It’s been sunny, windy, and cold all day. It seems pretty nice when you first step outside, but the wind starts to get to you after a while, blowing the cold right through you.

We turned back the clocks last night. Well, we really did it this morning. I always enjoy having that extra hour. I know it’s not really an extra hour, but it sure feels like it. And perception, so they say, is one’s reality.

The cold and blustery weather made this the perfect day for soup. I’m a big fan of soup. It’s usually fairly easy to make and the clean-up isn’t so bad either. Everything goes into one pot. Someday I’m going to have soup parties once a month. A soup party involves making a couple of big pots of soup and inviting all your friends over for dinner, telling them to bring whatever they’d like to have with the soup. I think it would be lots of fun, especially as it would be very informal, people coming and going as they please.

Because it’s a Sunday, I made a vegetable beef soup, adding the meat for M the Younger who came home to do his laundry today. Most of the soup was sent off with him when he left so I’ll know he’s eating some vegetables throughout the week. Yes, I know. I’m such a mom.

M the Elder is at work, doing experiments with nicotine and rats. I kind of feel sorry for the rats, being hooked on nicotine like that and then having it withdrawn from them. Don’t worry. I’m not ready to join PETA or anything. It’s just that I’m very familiar with nicotine withdrawal and wouldn’t wish it on any creature. Isn’t it a shame the tobacco companies don’t think that way?

With election day coming up soon, the political ads are running hot and heavy. We get a lot of phone calls asking us to vote for so-and-so or to support this-or-that issue. phoned today, looking for volunteers to make phone calls. I’m so disgusted with our political system and with politics in general that I don’t care to support or volunteer for anyone. The only reason I’m going to bother to vote this year is because I do want to vote for the Smoke-Free Ohio issue. It would be nice to go out to places and not be overcome by other people’s smoke. I have no problem with people smoking. I just don’t want to be subjected to secondhand smoke when I went to all the trouble to quit so I could live a healthier life.

Time to wrap this up before I become a permanent fixture on my soapbox.

Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason. ~Author Unknown


(Self-portrait #1. October 28, 2006.)

Just because.

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. ~St. Augustine

“Know thyself?” If I knew myself, I’d run away. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


(Hail. October 28, 2006.)

We were pelted with hail for about 10 minutes this afternoon. Then it turned to snow. Now the sun is shining.

Weird weather.

Hail forms on condensation nuclei such as dust, bugs, or ice crystals, when supercooled water freezes on contact. In clouds containing large numbers of supercooled water droplets, these ice nuclei grow quickly at the expense of the liquid droplets because the saturation vapor pressure over ice is slightly less than the saturation vapor pressure over water. If the hailstones grow large enough, latent heat released by further freezing may melt the outer shell of the hailstone. The growth that follows, usually called wet growth, is more efficient because the liquid outer shell allows the stone to accrete other smaller hailstones in addition to supercooled droplets. These winds hold the rain and freeze it. As the process repeats, the hail grows increasingly larger. Once a hailstone becomes too heavy to be supported by the storm’s updraft it falls out of the cloud. When a hailstone is cut in half, a series of concentric rings, like that of an onion, are revealed. From these rings one can determine the total number of times the hailstone had traveled to the top of the storm before falling to the ground.

— From Wikipedia

From the back of the pond

(Our home from the far end of the pond. October 2006.)

I took this photo about a week or so ago. Things are looking a bit different out there now. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and it’s gray and gloomy, rain pouring down like a wall of water from time to time. The wind is supposed to kick up later. Colder temperatures are moving in. There’s a chance of snow tonight.

M and I are puttering around the house today, trying to put things in order. I’ve decided to stop whining about the pain. Life goes on and the chores just keep adding up. Better to get on with things, don’t you think?

There’s a fire crackling in the fireplace down here in the basement. The washer and dryer are doing their thing while I type which makes me feel like I’m actually doing something as I while away the time at the computer. Ever notice that computer time speeds right by? You sit down at the computer for 5 minutes and the next thing you know an hour has passed.

The dryer is calling with that obnoxious buzz. I’d best be going.

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. ~Benjamin Disraeli