Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Correcting a drunk driver story

A month ago, I wrote about Frankie Coleman's drunk driving charge. I referred to it as a DUI, "driving under the influence." Since January 1, 2004 this has been called an OVI, "Operating a vehicle under the influence." The same bill also made these changes: Restricted license plates can be issued for OVI offenders. Vehicles can’t be seized, immobilized, or forfeited unless registered in the driver’s name, which repeals the “innocent owner” defense; a new “physical control” offense was created to cover being intoxicated in the driver’s position with the vehicle’s ignition key, but not driving; provides consistency between OVI laws for watercraft and motor vehicles; clarifies no driving privileges allowed if offender has three or more OVI convictions in six years (SB 123, explained at Ohio's Drunk Driving Laws)

So I suppose "driving" was changed to operating, because watercraft is now included, and sitting in the driver's position with the key in the ignition makes you an operator, though not a driver.

DUI or OVI, Mayor Michael Coleman (D) has dropped out of the race for Governor. I'm sure his wife has made many sacrifices over the years for his career, and I admire him for standing by his woman and realizing her recovery is going to take a lot of effort from both of them.

"But life is more than polls and more than any one campaign. My family and my city are more important than either, and after spending Thanksgiving considering all of the factors, I have made a very difficult decision. Today, I announced that I am no longer a candidate for Governor of the State of Ohio.

I have traveled long miles since this began, and I've learned so much about this great state and its needs, but I love my family above all other things, and right now that is where I am needed most - as a husband and father." Coleman website

1845 Useful source

when you want to analyze the opposition after President Bush's speeches, check this site, The Who Said it Game--Iraq Style. It says it is "A repository of quotes from prominent Democrats regarding pre-war intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

But no one, absolutely no one, can back peddle as fast as John Kerry.

USAToday gets on the Christmas word bandwagon

The "Holiday Gift Guide" in today's USAToday just went crazy using "Christmas." The message is out. Don't kill your advertisers' joy with "diversity days" and "multicultural merriment." On page 5D: Christmas tree; Christmas stocking; Christmas excitement; Christmas gift; and Christmas. In the article about shopping at CVS there were two Christmas words. On 6D, Christmas. On 9D, Christmas past. In the Kitsch article there was Christmas Story leg lamp and Charlie Brown's pathetic Christmas tree.

At this rate, someone may even report why we Christians celebrate Christmas, although that may be too much to hope for.

And by the way, forget that recommendation for the 5" b & W TV in the CVS article. I bought one for $19 earlier this year for the kitchen because it included an am/fm radio and wouldn't take up much counter space. Lots of static. Can hardly see the controls. We left it on the same channel most of the time because it was too complicated to move the dials made for tiny little stunted fingers. Then that channel seemed to wear out, so we've located another channel. Today, I swapped it with the guest room TV.

1843 Wash before and after eating

fruits and vegetables. Have you ever tried to prepare a salad following the new guidelines for contaminated food? It appears that fecal matter is traveling with them to the stores, restaurants, and our kitchens. I just washed some mixed salad greens. First I washed my hands for 20 seconds; then I dumped the greens in some sudsy water, rinsed, and put them in a drainer, and ran water over them. By this time, I'd contaminated everything in sight, so I washed my hands again, and wiped down the sink and counter top. Then I laid out some paper towels and dried off the greens, which by this time were looking a bit poorly. Then when I tossed out the paper towels and the plastic bag they came in, I decided I was probably contaminated again, so I washed my hands again. I repacked the greens in 2 bags, and wiped down the counter tops and sink again. No, I don't have OC disorder, but if you don't follow some complicated sanitation guidelines, your first unwashed salad could be your last, or at least send you to the hospital with bad diarrhea.

Apparently the same with oral-anal and oral-genital sex, according to a recent issue of JAMA which summarizes a CDC report. First timers can pick up all sorts of nasty pathogens--Shigella flexneri serotype 3 is making a big comeback, or you could pick from a varied menu of Hepatitis A, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Campylobacter, or Samonella. Instead of suggesting that men stop having sex with men (called MSM in the medical literature), the authors recommend a routine not unlike fixing a vegetable or fruit salad--wash your hands and anal-genital regions with soap and water before and after sex; use a condom, a dental dam and gloves. Be especially careful if you or your partners have recently had diarrhea or any breaks in the skin. I'm sure they'll be honest while you do your scrub routine.

Yes, that should just about take care of the safe sex check list and the salad prep routine--and cool your appetites.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

1842 WalMart, Target and the left

Why do you suppose liberals hate WalMart so much, but seem to like Target? Target is much more upscale, so is it just snobbery? But now WalMart is moving into that area too, and I don't think liberals will love them just because they carry a better line of clothes or make wider aisles, gussy-up the stores, or put their mega-stores in cities instead of small towns.

Target and WalMart both got their start around 1962 in non-metropolitan areas, but Target should have had a huge head start, being part of the Dayton-Hudson group and WalMart was just a family who'd run a successful Ben Franklin store in Arkansas. They both have "global" suppliers; both oppose unions; both have super stores; both put surrounding smaller retail firms out of business because they can't compete. Both pay about the same entry level wages and offer the same kind of benefits. But WalMart's done everything better, faster, and with more innovations and tighter margins.

WalMart has also served the poor and low income consumer better. And I suspect that's what is at the heart of the liberals' ennui and dislike for the world's largest retailer. WalMart succeeded by marketing to the low-end customer, someone just about all other retailers except the little local guy forgot about. At WalMart needs are met, desires satisfied, and the consumer who wouldn't walk into a regular department store or boutique because of their high prices, can be quite happy in a WalMart.

Liberals don't want the poor to be happy; they want them to be angry and feeling victimized--dependent on the government and Democrats for special programs. Not programs that lift them out of the bottom quintile, mind you, but programs that keep them right there where they belong--as their power base. The left is getting very aggressive with law suits against WalMart--and it's not just their deep pockets they're lusting for, they truly want WalMart to fail. Gimme back my po' folk!.

Think about it. Is it snobbery or just old fashioned power politics?

Update: I hadn't seen this WaPo op ed when I wrote this, but here's someone with the details. "Wal-Mart's "every day low prices" make the biggest difference to the poor, since they spend a higher proportion of income on food and other basics. As a force for poverty relief, Wal-Mart's $200 billion-plus assistance to consumers may rival many federal programs. Those programs are better targeted at the needy, but they are dramatically smaller. Food stamps were worth $33 billion in 2005, and the earned-income tax credit was worth $40 billion." Some interesting facts for all you WalMart haters.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

1841 Don't open your mail from the "FBI"--it's a virus

My provider cleaned it off, but I went in to the FBI page to see if they posted a warning. They did.

"We're sorry to report yet another wave of virus-laden e-mails sent out with false FBI addresses. This particular e-mail claims the FBI has been monitoring your Internet use...says you've accessed so-called illegal websites...and demands you answer questions—all you have to do is open an attachment, maliciously laced with a variant of the w32/sober virus.

Don't do it! In fact, don't EVER respond to unsolicited poison pills like these. The FBI does not conduct business this way.

Who are the e-mails from? To date, they're being sent out with email addresses of, and

What does the message say? Something like:

So be very cautious about opening attachments.

1840 A Thanksgiving story

One of my regular readers e-mailed me that I didn't have a Thanksgiving story. Well, I posted the menu, but I guess that was on Wednesday. So here it is, Bev.

Thursday evening after everyone had gone home (all three of them) and all the dishes were done and we'd had a few left-overs for supper, one of the upper cabinet doors in the kitchen swung open as far as it could, and wouldn't close no matter what. We don't know if it is the ghost of turkeys past, or if the building suddenly settled after 30 years, but that sucker is open as far as it will go.

After studying the situation, I tied a piece of dental floss around the cabinet knob and then tied that to the coffee caraffe handle. Then I moved the caraffe back under the cabinet to secure the door in the closed position with its weight. I have to keep the counter top clear, because if we forget and whip that cabinet door open, we have a caraffe flying through the air knocking everything in its path to the floor.

1839 Great Balls of Fire

It's 70 degrees in Columbus today, which is lucky for all those folks without power. A fire in a transformer of American Electric Power on the city's north side left about 40,000 people in the dark and cold and a number of schools and businesses closed. Our son is handwriting the customer orders today since he works in that area of the city.

My husband could have used a little of this unseasonable warmth Saturday. He and our son-in-law went up to Lake Erie to rake leaves at our summer cottage--covered by about 4" of snow and ice. Today was the last leaf pick-up. He took a tumble on some slippery landscaping stones, but didn't break anything. Good thing I didn't know he was up on a ladder chipping ice and leaves out of the gutters.

1838 Christmas word in the Journal

The Wall Street Journal has apparently picked up on the backlash about the non-use of the C-word, Christmas. In section B (Market) today I noticed the use of four Christmas words and one Hanukkah, and five holiday words uses plus one cute play on words.

Christmas selling season
Chilly Christmas sales
Last Christmas
Christmas morning

Holiday sales
Holiday discounts
holiday season
holiday gift-giving
jingle sells

I was reading and understand that the proposed boycott of WalMart for a rude customer service rep's e-mail insulting a "valued customer" has been called off because WalMart has apologized and the employee fired. And I think they are going to use the Christmas word.

I hope all the Christians who've been complaining about this keep in mind this event isn't about making sales.

1837 The Not Used Blog Entry

Occasionally you'll see my numbering system is messed up. That's because I drafted something, let it percolate for awhile, then decided to discard it. Meanwhile I continued on another subject. This one (1837) was about hiring the older worker. I didn't like it when I finished, and didn't really have any stats to back up my opinions, so it got moved to the permanent draft file with the title "This Blog was not Used."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

1836 A Favorite Cookbook?

The week-end cooking thread at Daily Pundit is "What is your favorite cookbook?" I thought that was a good topic for this blog and too long for his comment section, so here goes.

When I got married in 1960, my mother was busy assembling not only the pieces-parts of the wedding (I was living in another state), but also a cookbook. At the store each week (maybe the A & P) she’d buy a chapter of Mary Margaret McBride's Encyclopedia of Cooking (Homemakers Research Institute, Evanston, IL: 1959, 1960). Really, you'd never need another cookbook in print, unless you needed to know something old, like how to pluck a slaughtered chicken (I use Granddaughter's Inglenook for that) or how to cook something in a crockpot or microwave (I use the manufacturer's instructions or the internet because they hadn't been invented yet). My most favorite, favorite give-to-every-new-bride recipe comes from this source: sweet sour meatloaf.

It contains standard American recipes--that's primarily what I use, but also "the world’s best recipes of all nations" including Scandinavia, Ireland, Italy, Great Britain, France, the Balkans, Eastern and central Europe, Belgium and Holland, Spain and Portugal, Germany, Latin America the near East and the Far East. It even includes Canada! And it also includes American regional cooking, most of which I haven’t tried--rabbit casserole, Maine togus loaf, royal Poinciana pompano, smierkase, etc.

There's lots of helps, how-to's and many photographs--oh, not fancy colors like today’s cookbooks, but more than any one person could ever use. Some take me back a few years--like Pineapple Baked Beans which is two no. 2 cans of baked beans and one no. 2 can of pineapple chunks. Bake at 350 for 20 or 30 minutes and serve 6. Any bride could master that one! There’s a tiny chapter on weight control (eat less, exercise more) and a very large chapter on wines, a nice meal planning section, high altitude cooking, freezing, game, preserving, and to please my librarian’s soul, a good glossary and index.

I'm not a great cook, but if I had wanted to be one, here's where I’d turn.

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1835 Unpacking and washing the memories

At my other blog, I'm matching up sewing patterns with photographs, and yesterday unpacked the storage bins with my children's clothes finding all sorts of things I'd forgotten. These items had been stored for many years, and then were repacked and sent to my daughter's home when we were trying to make our storage-impaired home of 34 years (no attic or basement) look larger. It's a trick every home seller does--clean out the closets, buy bigger wattage light bulbs, bake a batch of cookies, etc.

Before repacking, I decided I needed to launder everything. Some of these things have been packed for over 30 years, some for 40, and things were musty and there was some evidence of tiny bug carcasses. It was quite an event because some items have become fragile. I have no idea why I'm saving these, but who among you could throw away such precious, delicate pretties that a tiny daughter was able to wear only once or twice before outgrowing them?

And then there is the ironing. . .

1834 Are your Christmas cards ready?

We've usually received at least one or two Christmas letters by this time (week-end after Thanksgiving). Card/letters from my cousin Gayle and friend from high school Lynne usually are first. Then there is a cousin in Iowa and a niece in Florida who send theirs out some time in the Spring. Cousin Mel's wife found her New Year's letter and sent it in October. Ours are ready, but I haven't run the labels yet, or composed the Christmas letter. You would think with all the writing I do, I'd have that ready to go in an instant, but it is often done the final week and my husband will be asking everyday, so they are sent out in batches, with only a few getting the letter. If you're on our list, this is what you'll see this year:

We couldn't get the lighting just right and it is too large to scan, so finally he took it to the camera shop, they used a digital camera 10x better than mine, and had the cards ready the same day. Actually, I thought my photo was better for color accuracy. This shot must have been after several tries, because I see samples of the prints sitting under this. The problem isn't my camera, but the home printer has a problem picking up all the colors. [The painting is my husband's.]

Now you can have web based companies prepare and mail paper cards--it will even create a font of your handwriting. As a potential recipient, I'm really not comfortable with all those personal addresses floating around on hackable web sites--mine included--and I'd sure be cautious about letting someone copy my signature. So if you're doing that--just take me off your list.

My husband put up the Christmas tree and got out the decorations on Wednesday. That's a bit earlier than I would choose, but since he does all the work of dragging it out of the garage attic, putting it together, digging the boxes out of the basement, buying the new lights, etc., I won't complain.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

1833 Don Paterson's Aphorisms

I took the October issue of Poetry to the coffee shop this morning, and thoroughly enjoyed Don Paterson's Aphorisms beginning on p. 37. Then I found it here on the internet. Although it reads better with coffee and a fire place and the neighbors strolling by, it's still good here too. Here's a sample.

"It is possible for a woman to say, honestly, that she has thought of her lover all day long — but she will neglect to mention the twenty other things she has kept in her head at the same time. A man ignorant of this ability will be terrified by her declaration, since were it to be his . . . it would be a straightforward admission of his own derangement."

"Google, that new-minted, bright-eyed demon, that constant reminder that our little history now is no history at all, and that we must live with every insult we have delivered or received until we are ash and dust. Eventually it will guarantee the sensible government of our tongues in a way nothing else has yet been able to manage; but first things will get much worse."

"Only the mad are safe from doubt. I never fail to be mystified by those who regard the revision of a former opinion as a sign of weakness; it strikes me as a perfect guarantee of the commentator's sanity."

Go ahead, you'll enjoy it, and it's not long. In addition to being a poet, he is also a guitarist and has some interesting things to say about that, too.

1832 Harry and David Win the Christmas Award

Leafing through the most recent Harry and David catalog, I see they've used the "Christmas" word eight times (3 times on one page)! See? How hard was that? They also use "holiday," [has anyone noticed that is holy day?] and "celebration" and "all-occasion" in this luscious catalog of chocolates, pears, cheese, nuts, apples, crackers and shortbreads. It's not to late to order a Christmas Deluxe Tower or a Chardonnay smoked turkey. or 800-547-3033. This year our list is getting a book, but normally we would use Harry and David for the distance relatives.

1831 The mysterious X on Cheney's face

When Vice President Cheney was giving his speech (Monday?), people watching it on CNN saw a strange full size X come across his face with an unreadable scrolling message. I saw a clip of it later on Fox, where I had listened to the speech. It was sort of scary, even for the MSM. CNN issued an apology, said it was a technical glitch, and that was it, but some bloggers kept checking.

Bill Quick at Daily Pundit gives a run down of this, which is interesting because there was more to it, but also it shows how news stories are followed by bloggers and how the fact checking is done, and how it is passed up the line to the main bloggers who get thousands of hits a day (ahem--I'm not on the list--I get between 130-150), and how updates are posted frequently so readers can make their own conclusions or start their own research. It also shows CNN should make their phone numbers a bit more transparent and save everyone some work.

1830 Sin cargo anual

We received a credit card solicitation in Spanish today. There may be Spanish speaking residents in our zip code, but I'm guessing it would be less than .001%. Not a very close hit for targeting Hispanics--especially since we are already this company's customer, for oh, maybe 25 years if you count the company they bought. This firm sent a solicitation recently (not here), signed by the same guy to "Dear Palestinian Bomber." I googled him. He's given testimony before the Senate--says they have 94 million customers with outstanding credit histories. Really?

Reminds me of the time I got a letter addressed to Ms. Ohio State Libraries.

1829 Fathers are optional, just another choice?

Read this silly star-hype article. I don't know if she actually said this, but this is how it was written:

"Jessica Alba used to believe she would never find someone to share her beliefs when it comes to raising children, so she was convinced she'd end up a [sic] being a single mom."

I have no idea who Jessica Alba is--I accidentally ran into her on the internet. But I sincerely hope she's smarter than this reporter.

So, she's got firm beliefs on child raising, but they don't include a father? There are unfortunate events that might leave a child fatherless and a woman alone to raise a family, but choosing it? How silly. And disrespectful of men.

Friday, November 25, 2005

1828 No words to describe it

Angle of Repose has been blogging about his time in Hurricane Katrina territory here. He's been to Dallas, Houston, Vicksburg National Military Park, Jackson, Ocean Springs-Biloxi-Gulfport-Long Beach-Pass Christian, Mobile, and New Orleans. He left California on September 26 and is now headed home, and back to his regular routine.

"I lack the words to describe the devastation I've seen on the Mississippi coast. The pictures I took can't capture what I saw," he writes.

His photographs tell some of the devastation.

He notes another problem that FEMA has caused: butt sitting syndrome.

"Help is in short supply in the lower paying jobs. Small stores and restaurants have fliers offering jobs and even sign-on bonuses. I thought the lack of employees stemmed from people moving out of the area because their homes were destroyed. I asked a waitress if this was the case. She said there are plenty of people around here to take jobs. The problem is FEMA, which gives money to people who say they they're so stressed out from the hurricane damage that they can't go to work. These people take the FEMA money and then sit on their butts. The thing is, when their FEMA money runs out, they may find getting a job difficult. The waitress said her restaurant wasn't bringing back any of the people who took this FEMA-funded stress leave. She had nothing but contempt in her voice for these people and for FEMA. And why not? The absence of her former co-workers has put an added burden on her and the others who chose to continue working."

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1827 Human victims of animals

Today's Wall Street Journal featured a story of a battle raging in San Francisco between responsible dog owners, and the flagrant violators of the leash laws (guess you can tell whose side I'm on, huh?). If I were still working in the vet library I could give you the stats on how dog feces contaminate our water and soil, destroy our parks and ornamental trees and shrubs, and make our public areas living hell for the elderly and very young. Then I'd show you the web sites for plastic surgeons who have to repair the faces of babies and toddlers torn apart by "Oh, he won't bite" dogs who interpreted something wrong when friendly baby grabbed his ears, poked his eye, or just stood there.

It seems that dogs and children are about equal in SF, not only in numbers, but in value. Some dog owners want to let their "children" run free in the parks and have play groups. The stupidity of some pet owners just overwhelms me. 1) They place a higher value on Fido being able to catch a frisbee than on the life of a child. ALL DOGS BITE. ALL DOGS WILL BITE. ALL DOGS CAN BITE. 2) They think they should own a large dog, a huge dog even, but live in a small apartment or house. Therefore, that means it would be cruel to keep poor puppy on a leash. Either get a small dog, or running shoes, but keep the streets and parks safe for people.

And if you live around here, get a $18.95 Puppy Poop Carrier and make her carry her own dump to the dump while on a leash. Although usually the worst offenders of "What, my dog poop, where? I don't see it" are men, in our complex they are women, I guess because we are co-owners of the common space. There are two large dogs that are allowed to run while their owners stand by (100 yards away) and "control" them. "No, no precious, don't jump on that nice man." "Here, baby, let's not join that couple on the deck eating their dinner." "Ha, ha, she's just curious--won't hurt you."

So when I hear or read about legislation that would allow pet owners to take their animals to rescue shelters for people after a disaster, I'm wondering how all those irresponsible pet owners of snakes, birds, cats, dogs and horses are going to improve under panic conditions. Especially when that earthquake we all know is coming hits San Francisco. I can just see the dog owners pushing little children aside while getting evacuated.

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1826 Katrina's animal victims

You've probably seen that Animal Planet is showing reunions of victims of the hurricanes--owners and animals. Friends of ours from church have had a taste of this. Their daughter and son-in-law lived in New Orleans and were flooded out, so they've relocated to her parents here in the Columbus area. But they rescued a cat before they left, and brought it with them. Our friends have a dog. These two are not getting along. The unhappy dog has started "marking" his territory if he suspects the cat is invading it. Plus, the young couple has recently gone to Florida to stay with his parents, and left the cat here. Poor little thing is so traumatized that his new owners too have abandoned him, that he is acting out by attacking the toilet tissue rolls and unwinding them all over the house.

Before Katrina, they were empty nesters with just a well-trained dog.

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1825 Why they’d vote for Bush again

Check it out at who is rallying for President Bush.

JR says:
He's pro-child (education, marriage, life, and family values). Bush is pro-victory in Iraq.Bush is pro-American military. He is pro-reform (tax systems and SS). Integrity--I don't question it.

Gary says:
He is changing the course of the world and making America safer. He has taken bold steps and major risks to bring about change. That shows an immense sense of mission and courage.

Cindy says:
He stands for the things that are most important to me--preserving our religious freedom, marriage, the family, the unborn, the strong defense of our nation. I also believe he is a born-again believer. I believe in his integrity and good character, and that's extremely important to me in a president. No, I don't agree with everything he does and says, but I do respect and admire him.

Pat in NC writes:
Our expectations for a president are tremendous--responsible for our safety, economy, health concerns, education of our children etc. GWB is doing well and although immigration is not at the top of his agenda, he has the rest of his priorities right.

Susan says:
The issues he supports - national security, rights of the unborn, protection of marriage, education, the economy, oil in our own country, etc - are those I prioritize as well. I'm thankful our nation has enjoyed the past few years with him and will miss his presence at the helm when he leaves.

Don’s with Dubya:
The defense of our country is critical. Homeland security depends on a President that will not allow adversity to sway his (or her) resolve. Our military needs (has) a steadfast commander and our country needs (has) a man (or woman) of moral integrity. Under liberal leadership America became weak, lazy and vulnerable. Today our military and economy are stronger. We are liberating and changing the world. Why would we put this heritage back in the hands of politicians whose platform promotes abortion, tax increases, military cutbacks, and the United Nations and the ACLU?

and there are others, but you get the idea. I haven't read all the instructions for signing on, but I probably will. I just wish he were a little more conservative with the spending and demand a few more reforms and changes before throwing money at problems. I like the fact that he has freed more women from oppression and slavery than the feminist movements of the last three centuries.

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1824 Avian influenza

At it is reported that:

"Avian influenza was the top story at the time of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) 43rd Annual Meeting; October 6-9, 2005; San Francisco, California, both inside and outside the Moscone Center, where the conference took place.

Klaus Stohr, PhD, from the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland, gave the opening address, which was devoted to this topic and the current state of preparedness.[1] He not only reviewed the substantial morbidity and mortality of "ordinary flu," but also emphasized the unique experience with pandemic influenza in 1918-1919. This pandemic resulted in 30-50 million deaths, and in retrospect it appears that organism was an avian strain similar to the H5N1 avian influenza strain that is now circulating throughout Asia and beyond. Much of the talk dealt with preparedness with respect to both vaccines and antivirals. The conclusion is that there is not enough of either vaccines and antivirals -- the world currently lacks production capacity to make enough of either and countries in Africa are most vulnerable because of a virtual absence of any production capacity.

This year's IDSA conference brought constant reminders of possible parallels between the avian influenza virus of 1918 and contemporary avian influenza, some of which are shown in Table 1 , which reflects the current status of H5N1." Read more here.

And at the same story, don't miss the opportunity to be the first in your crowd to be able to discuss Clostridium difficile and what to do about it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

1823 Are you old enough to remember

when Velveeta cheese came in a box? That's what crossed my mind when I waited at a stop light behind this.
We used to make toy cars and trucks out of the Velveeta boxes.

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1822 A Prayer for our Time

Bishop J.C. Ryle, in the 19th century, offered a prayer for today:

From the liberality which says everybody is right,
From the charity which forbids us to say that anyone is wrong,
From the peace which is bought at the expense of truth,
May the good Lord deliver us.

And another time, while warming up for his sermon which was about freedom in Christ, he took a side road to political structures:

"The champions of freedom in every age have been rightly esteemed among the greatest benefactors of mankind. Such names as Moses and Gideon in Jewish history, such names as the Spartan Leonidas, the Roman Horatius, the German Martin Luther, the Swedish Gustavus Vasa, the Swiss William Tell, the Scotch Robert Bruce and John Knox, the English Alfred and Hampden and the Puritans, the American George Washington, are deservedly preserved in history, and will never be forgotten. To be the mother of many patriots is the highest praise of a nation.

The enemies of freedom in every age have been rightly regarded as the parasites and irritations of their times. Such names as Pharaoh in Egypt, Dionysius at Syracuse, Nero at Rome, Charles IX in France, bloody Mary in England, are names which will never be rescued from disgrace. The public opinion of mankind will never cease to condemn them, on the one ground that they would not let people be free.

But why should I dwell on these things? Time and space would fail me if I were to attempt to say ten percent of what might be said in praise of freedom. What are the chronicles of history but a long record of conflicts between the friends and foes of liberty? Where is the nation on the earth that has attained greatness, and left its mark on the world, without freedom? Which are the countries on the face of the globe at this very moment which are making the most progress in trade, in arts, in sciences, in civilization, in philosophy, in morals, in social happiness? Precisely those countries in which there is the greatest amount of true freedom.

Which are the countries today where there is the greatest amount of internal misery, where we hear continually of secret plots, and murmuring, and discontent, and attempts on life and property? Precisely those countries where freedom does not exist or exists only in name--where men and women are treated as slaves, and are not allowed to think and act for themselves. No wonder that a mighty Transatlantic Statesman declared on a great occasion to his assembled countrymen, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I do not know what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” [Patrick Henry, an American Statesman of the 18th century]."

1821 Too old for talking dolls?

Here's a talking picture frame, and this one includes the batteries!

If you prefer peace and quiet with your photos, here's 140 more frames from the same site,

1820 The segue to immigrants--our strength

If I'd asked Jane to play second banana, she couldn't have done better. She checked out my 2003 Thanksgiving post about looking for a cup of coffee:

"Many employers really do give Thanksgiving Day off. This morning I had quite a search to find an open coffee shop. Panera’s, Caribou, Starbucks, Bob Evans, Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s, McDonald’s. All were closed so employees could enjoy time with their families, or time to sleep in, or time to clean the garage.

Finally I saw an open White Castle and pulled in. I’d never been in one. No house newspaper or classical music, just big windows and small booths, but the coffee was excellent. Perhaps because it was a holiday with no baggage for them, there were two Hispanics, an Asian woman, a developmentally disabled man, and a Canadian supervisor (I don’t know that, but his haughty attitude and countenance reminded me of Peter Jennings, so I’m calling him a Canadian) working the pre-dawn hours. I’ll have to stop back tomorrow--they wouldn’t take a $20--and said I could pay next time."

Jane of Sisters of the Tender Heart writes a wonderful blog about being a librarian, a mother, a wife and a Catholic, commented:

"OK, I know you're going to sigh and move my blog to your lefty bloggers listing (as if you had one), but isn't it ironic on Thanksgiving only minority groups have to work: two Hispanics, an Asian woman, a developmentally disabled man, and a Canadian supervisor. . . a Native American would have made it perfect."

To which I replied:

"Yes, that would indeed be the liberal view. The conservative view is that this is the land where immigrants are still welcome, where even when their English is barely passable, they can work if they want to, that they were given the choice, and were probably paid double time for a holiday, even though to them it was just another day. And the happiest guy in the store was probably the developmentally disabled, because he really wants to make a contribution to society and White Castle is giving him that opportunity.

And the Asian lady probably has a daughter in college, and the Hispanic who now rides a bicycle to work in the dark is saving for a car, something he'd never be able to afford in the old country.

Is this a great country or what?"

Thanks for the set up Jane--today let's be thankful for our country's immigrants--current and past. My ancestor immigrants came in the 1600s and 1700s, looking for freedom of religion and a better life (religious discrimination in the old country prevented them from owning land, starting businesses, etc.). I would mention the Native Americans in this essay, but some are offended if you mention the Bering Straits immigration.

1819 Do you read biographies?

That's today's entry at Booking Through Thursday

  1. Biographies and autobiographies—do you read them?

  2. If so, whose life story has inspired you most and why?

  3. If not, why not?

Although I read less than I used to, I'm primarily a non-fiction person. Keep it real, is my motto. Time and space exist only in this life; I'll read fiction in heaven. In the last year I've read Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow--a very BIG book and not easy in the sense that you are stunned to realize how different our country would be if that orphan had not immigrated--and how his own life was strengthened along the way by seemingly small opportunities (and disasters!) and assistance from others. I've already blogged about that book, and was the leader at our September book club for this title. I'm not sure "inspired" is the word I'd use for biographies affect on my life, but they do provide the "ah ha" moment for things I've wondered about as the author puts together all the pieces of the puzzle of their lives. Admiration too, for the incredible research. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand is not exactly a biography, but it is certainly the best researched book of any genre I've ever read.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

1818 Put the X back in Christmas

This is excerpted from a sermon on Christmas by Raymond L. Cox, in 1996, when it was Christians who were speaking out against celebrating Christmas instead of Christians complaining that department stores and community events were renaming it and removing Christ.

“Xmas is not of modern coinage. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551. Undoubtedly it was employed before that. Now 1551 is fifty years before the first English colonists came to America and sixty years earlier than the completion of the King James Version of the Bible! Moreover, at the same time, Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of Christian and Christianity.

You see, the X in Xmas did not originate as our English alphabet's X but as the symbol X in the Greek alphabet, called Chi, with a hard ch. The Greek Chi or X is the first letter in the Greek word Christos. Eric G. Gration claims that as early as the first century the X was used as Christ's initial. Certainly through church history we can trace this usage. In many manuscripts of the New Testament, X abbreviates Christos (Xristos). In ancient Christian art X and XR (Chi Ro—the first two letters in Greek of Christos abbreviate his name. We find that this practice entered the Old English language as early as AD 100. Moreover, Wycliff and other devout believers used X as an abbreviation for Christ. Were they trying to take Christ away and substitute an unknown quantity? The idea is preposterous.

Some may use Xmas today as an unchristian shortcut for Christmas, but the ancient abbreviation by no means originated as such. The scribes who copied New Testament manuscripts had no intention of taking Christ out of the New Testament. They used the abbreviation simply to save time and space. We use abbreviations for the same purpose today, as witness FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ, and a host of others. Xmas is a legitimate abbreviation."

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1817 Amazing Amanda

will probably hold a little girl's interest Christmas morning longer than the box it comes in! She talks, recognizes her "mommy's" voice, understands the world around her, speaks English ungrammatically, complains and is toilet trained. She has RFID sensors and knows she shouldn't eat cookies for breakfast, and has sensors in her scalp for brushing her hair. You can find her at WalMart for about $90.00 Although I think the technology is interesting, I was able to watch the video only a few seconds.

Well, my dollies had conversations too, only I supplied all the dialogue, the setting, the conflict and the resolution. My dollies never needed batteries and didn't talk back. My dollies were unique, and handmade with love. And I'm guessing Amanda won't look this good when she's 55 or 60 years old.

I noticed in Wired a grouping of tech gifts under $30. We always have a $10 gift exchange with my sister-in-law's family (now 4 generations). I see for $9.98 you can buy a finger nose hair trimmer. Really does look like a finger up your nose.

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Happy Thanksgiving

The President has pardoned two turkeys. Mine is still thawing in the refrigerator. My son-in-law was concerned there wouldn't be enough turkey for left overs. With 5 people and a 21 lb. bird, I'm sure they'll be something for him to take home.

Just about everything else is finished. Apple sour cream pie is baked; tossed salad is in a clear bowl to show off the lovely colors; fresh fruit is cut up and mixed in the fancy salad bowl; and I tried a new recipe called "Zesty corn stuffing balls." It looked a bit gooey for forming into balls, so I just put it into a casserole dish. I think it is just a variation on escalloped corn (which my daughter and I love and my husband hates), because it contains eggs, and most stuffings don't. The Hummingbird Cake will be postponed; I ran out of Splenda. My daughter is bringing green bean casserole and sugar-free pumpkin pie.

Some time today I'm going to head to Caribou and pick up a cup of coffee for tomorrow morning. I won't make the mistake I made in 2003.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

1815 Libraries are still amazing

And frustrating if you know as much as I do. Today I drove over to Ohio State's main library to look for a 1958 magazine. I think the last time I did this trip was May. All the neat tricks I'd learned about streets and parking between 1978 and 2000 are useless now. Roads are blocked off with chain link fences, and there are numerous traffic lights where we used to play dodge the students (ca. 50,000 on one campus). I usually don't bother God with small details I can handle myself, but realizing I probably wasn't dressed warmly enough for a hike from a campus parking garage, I prayed for a parking place! I have a hang tag that let's me park anywhere you can put a car, but it only works if no one else is parking there. Yes, I know God is busy right now with Katrina victims and your mother-in-law's cancer and your son's custody hearings, but there were three of them!

Inside what used to be a grand lobby but now is a computer room, I double checked the call number and groaned when I saw, AP2 is on Deck 11. My recollection of Deck 11 was dark, unsafe, and body fluids here and there. The elevators were the only thing I saw in Main Library that hadn't changed. The desk staff actually had coffee cups! Still two elevators, still too slow. But Deck 11 was a wonderful surprise. Light and airy, with pictures on the walls, display cases, and comfortable furniture.

I found Mademoiselle, AP2.M18 v. 46 and carried it to a comfortable chair. I looked everywhere for the picture I'd referred my mother to in April 1958, and it just wasn't there. But it was a blast looking through the volume, and just as I suspected and commented on in my sewing blog, the late fifties were harbingers of style and shape changes--blousy and bouffant that would become more popular after 1960. So I decided to look at some other titles to see what they showed about that era--I love researching by class number (reading the shelves rather than the catalog) because of the thrill of discovery. But when I went back into the stacks, I discovered that AP2.M is the class and cutter scheme for literary journals that start with "M." I looked all over the section and couldn't find another fashion magazine. Not exactly the thrill I had in mind.

Anyone else would have said, "Oh, well," and gone home, even if she suspected all the other fashion journals had gone to the storage facility on Kenny Road. But I couldn't drop it. I went to the basement and had a pleasant reunion with Magda who is now Head of Cataloging. "You haven't changed a bit," she told me, but she couldn't answer my question and took me across the hall to serial cataloging. The two women I conferred with were not librarians, but had worked many years in the serials cataloging department. Together we looked into an in-house program of the classification and cataloging tables--this doesn't show to the public. After trying several possibilities we discovered at AP2 was (or still is) the class number not only for literary journals, but for foreign journals. Mademoiselle was started in the mid-30s in New York, I think, but whether it was actually foreign, or it was the foreign word as a title, it went into the AP2 class. I checked Cincinnati, Akron and another large university in Ohio and they also used AP2. Each issue did have some fiction (James Baldwin had a short story in April 1958), but I don't think that would put it into the literary class.

So I learned something new about something old at the library, but didn't find my picture. Still, not a total loss of two hours of research.

Update: When I checked the holdings of the Library of Congress I see AP2 was for "general periodicals" even Time Magazine. So this is a class number in which a shelf browse wouldn't be much help. Most fashion magazines went to "Technology" class number. I'm guessing many of the titles around Mademoiselle had gone to storage, leaving only the literary journals.

Interesting site here: Mademoiselle Covers

1814 Don't mess with Texas

Earlier I blogged about rootkits and Sony, and recommended you check out sites that understand this better than I do, like Charles or EFF. Now Texas has sued Sony for violating its anti-spyware law. A number of states have these laws, but I don't think Ohio is one of them.

"Texas has become the first U.S. state to sue Sony over its distribution of flawed copy protection software, while representatives for the EFF, a digital rights watchdog group based in San Francisco, said the organization will bring a class-action lawsuit against Sony in California.

The Texas lawsuit accuses Sony of violating the state's 2005 antispyware law by distributing the software on 52 of the company's music titles this year."

1813 What's wrong with this picture?

Lucy Liu is sitting in a librarian's lap. Did the ad people think there are no male librarians who might have enjoyed a movie star smooch in the stacks? Did they think all male librarians are gay? (Many are, and they are proud of it, but many are not.)

And there are other problems with this picture. Look at that styrofoam cup on a stack of books. And Lucy's using a pile of books, on the floor, for her foot stool. Shame! Shame! Lucy's had implants and the poor librarian is flat chested. Lucy's got a cool dress and probably Manolo Blahnik shoes, and our librarian figure has a gray sweater, brown jeans and huge clunky shoes that look like they're for dancing at the tulip festival in Michigan. The condition of the shelves is a mess, all jumbled and out of order, despite the "Please ask for assistance" sign. The tile floors are looking pretty bad--like they used a real library for this shot and shelving seems to be at right angles. Lucy's wearing make-up and the librarian, well, looks like a librarian.

1812 Don't trust the Media!

Not even in a humor quiz like "Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist" are you. Must be totally rigged. Although the number of questions that would allow a hint of support of the Bush administration and the war are miniscule, I still came out as:

Paul Krugman
You are Paul Krugman! You're a brilliant economist
with a knack for both making sense of the
current economic situation and exposing the
Bush administration's lies about it. You
somehow came out as the best anti-war writer on
the Op-Ed staff. Other economists hate your
guts for selling out to the liberals. To hell
with 'em.

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've never read Paul Krugman, but of course, I'll accept the brilliant economist part, which I think came from selecting the quote "A fool and his money are soon parted." That's probably what got me rated as being anti-administration. They never saw a government program they didn't love and throw money at. When you check the other possible choices, you see indeed it is rigged. Only two conservatives, and they are both berated in the description. Why am I not surprised?

This has been around for 2 years, but I just came across it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

1811 Senior blogging on the increase

according to this article in the Rockford paper which Murray sent me. I'm glad to hear they're out there, because I haven't found very many, and I set the bar fairly low--age 50. I'm doing my part with seven, but I could use a little help.

"Bloggers say their hobby keeps them up on current events, lets them befriend strangers around the globe and gives them a voice in a society often deaf to the wisdom of the elderly." [Ain't that the truth!]

"Three percent of online U.S. seniors have created a blog and 17 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Compare that to online 18- to 29-year-olds: Thirteen percent have created blogs and 32 percent have read someone else’s blog, according to Pew." [A lot of those "created" blogs only have one or two entries.]

Most people I know still say "what's that," when I tell them I'm a blogger. Then when I explain they roll their eyes and tell me they simply don't have time to read blogs or write them, but they have time for golf or tennis or gardening or bridge or shopping or grandchildren. It has always been my theory that people make time for what they enjoy, and I enjoy writing. I don't enjoy publishing. The only senior bloggers I have met face to face are the ones I have taught myself.

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1810 You probably think I'm neglecting my blog

but in fact, I have blogged at my church blog about a Lutheran hymn site, where you can listen and read the lyrics. Some interesting stuff for a folk Christmas service. At our church people complain that they have to go to K-Mart to hear Christmas carols, because we sing Advent hymns. I wonder if they are allowed to say "Merry Christmas" at K-Mart.

Then I added two entries about wrap arounds at my sewing blog, one a jumper and one a skirt.

We had a funeral visitation today for a member of our small group from church (about 15 years). He had Alzheimer's, but really went rather quickly which is a blessing for him and his family, but still, his wife of 60 years feels bereft and abandoned. A very devoted couple. Fortunately, they had moved to their daughter's home in Colorado 3 months ago, so she won't have to go home to an empty house. He was a WWII veteran and taught in our local high school for 30 years.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

1809 Merry Christmas WalMart, Kohl's, Target, etc.

It seems some consumers and conservative reporters are getting quite huffy that major department stores aren't using the word Christmas during their biggest profit period of the year. I'm not sure what to make of this. Wasn't it just a few years ago that we Christians were so concerned that we'd lost the true meaning of Christmas in all the advertising, glitter and shopping? Wasn't it just a century or two ago that many Christians absolutely refused to observe Christmas at all, especially in the United States because drunkenness, riotous behavior, and licentiousness had taken over the holiday?

I did a quick survey of my "Christmas" catalogs--just to see if we're being too hard on the larger retailers. What are the niche marketers doing?

Pottery Barn has lots of holiday items and words--sparkle, twinkle, greenery, glitter, mantels, motif, magic, stockings hung with care, garlands, wreaths, Santa, reindeer, lanterns and (whew!) Christmas monogrammable ornaments! Not once does it mention the actual occasion we're celebrating.

L.L. Bean is even more subtle--if it weren't for sprigs of evergreen and some red ribbons, I might miss it all together--but it does include mention of a non-specific holiday, and it does have "heirloom stockings" and "traditional wreaths" but there is not even a picture of a Christmas tree, let alone the word, Christmas.

Jerry's Artarama has a snowman on the cover and some pictures of poinsettias and holly on the inside, but other than that, it could be the summer catalog. Cheap Joe's has a man (Joe?) on the cover and p. 5 dragging a cut evergreen, the words "Holiday Greetings," and a Santa on p. 8 and that's it.

Norm Thompson has "holiday surprises" and "glitter balls" on the first two pages, and on the back an embroidered tree on a sweater, but otherwise, you'd have no clue this is a Christmas catalog only that it is for winter. Victoria's Secret sends 395,000,000 catalogues a year using up a lot of trees, but none of them come to my address, so I'm not sure what it has for holiday words.

So I looked in the paper. Blooms Direct is selling holiday plants; The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus is having a Holiday Concert; the Franklin Park Conservatory is having a Holiday Show; the Columbus Jazz Orchestra will perform "Home for the Holidays; the Easton Town Center will have a "Holiday Lighting"; and Christ United Methodist Church is having a "Holiday Bazaar!"

Thank goodness, Bill Gaither is coming to town with his "Homecoming Christmas Tour."

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1808 Impulse buying--sometimes you should

There's a really lovely used bookstore on Fifth Ave. in Grandview, Acorn Bookshop--wonderful staff, well maintained, good subject arrangement. About 10 years ago I was in browsing the animal books when I noticed an odd homemade book. Illustrations and articles had been removed from magazines and inserted into a heavy post-bound notebook, the kind merchants used to use for accounts. I pulled it off the shelf and was surprised to see beautiful illustrations of poultry--from Poultry Tribune, I think, a publication from Watt Publishing in my home town. The paper was good and the color hadn't faded. It wasn't anything I needed for the Vet Library, and I sure didn't need it, but it was so charming and interesting, I decided I'd think about it. I believe it was $7.00. It wasn't a real "book," so I'm sure the owners even debated about putting it out. Of course, it wasn't there when I came back. It was one of a kind, I'm sure. I think the illustrations may have been these, now available in calendar form and sets of prints.

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1806 Insomnia

I don’t have it, but like a lot of people my age, I certainly don’t enjoy a night’s rest like I did when I was younger. As many as 40% of people over 60 have sleep problems from mildly irritating like mine to severe, causing health and life-style problems. This may be the most common complaint I hear from friends and relatives.

My problems began in 1991 when I started getting up around 2 or 3 a.m. to check CNN on the Gulf War. Once my body had adjusted to that bad habit I moved on to watching Charlie Rose who had a talk show in the middle of the night on one of the networks. Now if I wake up at that time, I go to the living room couch, turn on Nick-at-Night and watch reruns from the 80s and 90s that I missed the first time around, or loved back then like Murphy Brown or Bill Cosby which I used to watch with my kids. If it’s a really good show I don’t want to miss, I fall right to sleep--if it’s one of those awful Roseanne things, I’m wide awake.

What you do if you wake up is important because you’re conditioning your body to expect it (it's called a habit). I sleep fine in the guest room, in a motel, at my relatives or on board a ship on the Danube River. My brain knows I can’t get up and turn on the TV. So if I wake up, I just go back to sleep.

Sleep hygiene is what you do during the time you’re not asleep. And it’s very important. Here’s a list from I don’t think the one about reading is such a good idea--if you are a reader, you may look forward to it and your body will suggest “book break” when it should be preparing for work. To this list, I'd add "don't nap," but I admit, I love little quick naps.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine;

Increase exposure to bright light during the day;

Perform regular exercise (preferably in the morning or early afternoon);

Avoid exposure to bright light during the night;

Avoid heavy meals within 2-3 hours of bedtime;

Avoid large amounts of fluids 2-3 hours before bedtime;

Allow for a comfortable sleep environment;

Minimize excessive noise, temperature, and light in the bedroom;

Allow time for social and physical stimulation during the day; and

Reduce time spent awake in bed, and if unable to initiate sleep, leave the bedroom and engage in relaxation activities, such as reading.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

1805 Twelve year old critiques new Potter movie

Yesterday my daughter took the afternoon off work so she could take her girlfriend's kids to see the new Harry Potter movie. Her friend, Jennie, has been ill. But, as it turned out, Jennie felt well enough to go along, and so did her friend. . . and seven additional little friends of her kids. My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan, and I suspect she was looking for a good excuse to see the movie with children.

"So, was it good?" I asked (I sat through about 10 minutes of the first one, but that's about it. I don't like fantasy.)

"I think the book is the best in the series, but the movie is the worst," she said. "The first 14 chapters are covered in about a minute, and they were too good to be left out. It's so complex that I'm sure it's difficut to translate it to film."

After the movie the three women took the nine children to "Old Bag of Nails" for dinner (I find this very hard to picture). She then had a discussion with the 12 year old who definitely gave it a thumbs down. She is a huge Harry Potter fan, knows every character and plot and detail, and was able to monopolize the dinner conversation with her critique of the movie, scene by scene, disappointment by disappointment.

So I went on-line and read a few very enthusiastic reviews, most thrilled that some boring details were left out. Then I checked Movie Mom, whom I trust, and she gave it an A-.

"As Harry gets older and the stories get more complex and intricate, hints of themes from earlier chapters becoming deeper and more resonant, the series is becoming one of the most reliably satisfying in modern movie history. And that's what magic feels like.

Parents should know that as in the books, Harry's adventures and reactions become more complex and his challenges become more dangerous, the series has moved from a PG rating (albeit one that was right up at the edge of a PG-13) to a full-on PG-13. The bad guys are scarier, both in looks and in the threat they pose. There is a great deal of intense peril and some scary monsters. An important character is killed and the movie, even more than the book, makes you feel how searing a loss that is.Characters use brief strong language ("bloody hell," "piss off") and there is some very mild adolescent romance (a crush, concerns about who is going to ask whom to the dance and the jealous consequences thereof)."

So obviously, this would have been way to scary for me. But my daughter loves this intense, scary stuff. And what could be more scary than taking 9 children to an adult restaurant on a Friday night?

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1804 Trash or treasure?

In "Dear Abby's" column today, a very unsentimental reader asks how long are we expected to keep memorabilia? She had pitched all her baby albums and scrapbooks when she and her husband downsized--says she hadn't looked at them in 35 years. Now her mother (who obviously put all those albums together) is so angry, they aren't speaking.

So Abby (actually her daughter) notes it would have been nice to have offered other relatives those photos.

Maybe, but I think I know where mine will go. My kids aren't sentimental, and not only do I have our family's "stuff," I've rescued boxes of old photographs, family records, and glassware from relatives homes. When we moved here I gave my son his old Fischer Price toys. He sold them on e-Bay. I made them both their own photo albums from extras in 1975, and they are long gone.

So I've written this poem for our daughter, who is our Executor. Still, you can't control what other people do, and I know that, so I'll gradually sift, sort and give away. Maybe at our next downsizing.

To my daughter, about my treasures
August 29, 2005

I want you to have our paintings,
of flowers, children, boats and trees.
You’ll sit back and admire I know,
closing your eyes in a squint
to see the artist’s true intent.

I want you to have the books,
Bibles, histories, poetry and lit.
You’ll treat them well I know,
opening them from time to time
so their wisdom doesn’t go stale.

I want you to have the china,
silver, pottery, and goblets.
You’ll dine with them I know,
setting a lovely white linen table
as you continue the traditions.

I want you to have Aunt Martha’s quilts,
pieced and stitched by lantern light.
You’ll fold, touch and smooth I know,
positioning them on wooden racks
to display her detailed handiwork.

I want you to have the photographs,
albums from way back when.
You’ll wonder at your folks I know,
dancing and partying with their friends
when the whole world was young.

I want you to have Mom’s recipes,
sewing chest and maple suite.
You’ll puzzle where I know,
shifting and rearranging like I did
until they are welcomed in your home.

I want you to have our calico cat,
kitty toys, bowls and love.
You’ll feed, pet and groom I know,
holding her close at night
until she leaves to join us.

All the rest just haul away,
the auctioneer’s close, up the road.
You’ll get a good price I know,
banking the rest for a sunny day,
after you lock the door.

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1803 Getting ready for Thanksgiving

It's only Saturday, but it's time to start thinking about it. I'm going to move the 21 lb turkey into the garage refrigerator to thaw. We don't need two refrigerators for two people, but that side by side monster has been sitting there since we replaced it with a top freezer model. I need to find it a good home.

The dining room was dark faux orange (even the ceiling) and the window was draped when we moved here. Even now, it's a bit dark, but we love the view of trees, a creek and sometimes deer, not visible here--hence, no drapes, just plantation blinds.

Then I was browsing the Carnival of Recipes today and came across Shawn's recipe for Hummingbird Cake. I make pies for Thanksgiving, but this is also birthday week, so I'm leaning toward a cake. I'm always looking for something I can easily substitute Splenda for sugar, and this one looks pretty easy, plus it's got some healthy stuff, like crushed pineapple and mashed bananas, in it. Cream cheese frosting is a bit of a problem, however. So I went to the Splenda site and here's how you make powdered sugar substitute:

3/4 C Splenda
2 TBSP cornstarch
mix in a blender.
And that equals 1/2 Cup of powdered sugar.

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1801 The most wonderful chair in the world

If I could've taken anything from my office when I locked it for the last time in 2000 (after walking around in the dark and saying good-bye to the prisoner made 1940s furniture, the musty stacks, and the cobbled-together equipment and computers), it would have been my Aeron Herman Miller chair.

In the spring of 1999 my arms below the elbow began to ache and my hands were tingling. I knew all about repetitive stress and also knew that my 1970s desk chair and my 1940s office metal desk were probably the incorrect height for heavy computer use. I thought maybe a new chair with adjustable arms and height would help. My line of command had recently been changed to the Health Sciences Library which had more pockets of special money than did my old reporting line, the Libraries, so my boss told me to go to an office furniture store and pick out a chair. After sitting in several, I thought the Aeron felt just about perfect, and I loved the design. I put it in the back of my van and went back to the office.

However much I enjoyed the chair and its support of my back and arms, the pain only increased. And it moved to my right shoulder. I finally went to the doctor who told me I had an injured rotator cuff, the clue being I could barely raise my right arm above my head without pain. For several months I went through physical therapy with all the OSU athletes. "How'd you get hurt?" they'd ask. "Lifting journals," I told them. The sports medicine doctor just shook his head at my lack of progress, and suggested surgery. That scared me, so I worked harder and eventually got back full range of motion.

But, I sure did enjoy that chair.

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1801 The Old School

Occasionally I drop in on the Davey family blog. They are Welsh evangelists in France. The adults are attending a special language school for foreigners, but their kids, Catrin and Gwilym, just attend a regular French school. Alan comments about this recently:

"The school culture is quite different here from in Britain. It is much more like school when I was a kid. For example teachers here do use the "You are no good and you'll never get anywhere" method of encouragement, children are hit by the teachers and the kids are encouraged to sort out their own problems of bullying etc."

And then he pauses to reflect that maybe things weren't so great in the good old days the way he remembered them.

Friday, November 18, 2005

1800 No one bowls alone in Cyberspace

Knitters are getting together at Knit Unto Others, a 2 week Knit Along for the charity of your choice. November 16th-30th, 2005; author wannabes like Hip Liz and Paula are furiously writing in the NaNoWriMo because in November they are suppose write a whole novel; all the smart and snappy ladies are hanging out together at the Cotillion where everyone is entitled to their opinion; Christian ladies group at Women4God; Bear Flag Leaguerounds up Californians and Ex-pats like me; Open Source Media has Blogjams; Homespun Bloggers features "Best of the week" and has radio broadcasts; the 96th Christian Carnival is up this week at Jordan's View; there's zest and spice at Carnival of the Recipes; and the photoblog and the audioblog people do their roundups, and it goes on and on and on. No one speaks or links alone in blogland.

1799 Complacency and Promiscuity

Apparently, teenagers are having oral and anal sex and SURPRISE! getting HIV and AIDS. Seems as though they too think that isn't "having sex" and constitutes abstinence. The media is full of this CDC report. I looked at yesterday's press release of the CDC and didn't see it--I'm sure it's there or maybe in an earlier report. But I did see that the rate of diagnosis has remained stable, that it is going down among blacks, but that half of all HIV diagnoses are among blacks. And guess what? Men are getting it from men and women are getting it from men. Seems to be a pattern here.

Call the teens silly and naive if you wish, but how could that be any sillier than entrusting your life and future health to a tiny piece of latex, expecting it to hold back virulent viruses and bacteria, and never fail or break?

1798 Cat abuse lands perp in the woods for a night

Judge Michael A. Cicconetti of Painesville, Ohio is known for his creative sentencing. Michelle M Murray has received a 15 day jail sentence for abandoning 35 mittens kittens in two parks. She has to spend the first night of her sentence in the woods without food or shelter (precautions have been taken for her safety, which is more than the kittens got). She also got a $3,200 restitution fine and can't own or care for animals for 3 years. I wish the courts were that tough on bad parents and in domestic abuse cases. Story is in today's Columbus Dispatch (no free on-line). If you Google this, you'll find a number of animal rights sites were watching this case, but in this judge's case, I don't think that made any difference. He sentenced someone who had called a policemen a "pig" to time inside a pig pen in public view.

If you kill a woman in Ohio while drunk, you'll only get 5 years (plus a few extra for a gun or abuse of a corpse) and no fine, and you'll probably get custody of the pit bull!

1797 The Ohio State vs. Michigan game tomorrow

The only time it is crazier is when the game is here. Last week Eric and my husband went to the OSU Northwestern game with 105,000 of their closest friends. Anyway, earlier this week I was writing about my husband learning to use some of our newer appliances, so I thought this joke I heard on 920 am this morning was pretty funny (and I paraphrase because I was driving and I'm just terrible at jokes).

The husband calls upstairs from the laundry room. "What should I do to wash a load of clothes?"

Wife responds: "Depends on what you're washing."

Husband: My "Go Michigan Beat Ohio State" T-shirt."

Wife responds: Use very hot water, a box of Tide, and four cups of bleach."

And be sure to read Mustang Mama's Go Bucks story.

1796 Put it on the opinion page

Yesterday a journalist in our local paper attempted to write a humor page about the various wizards you find in literature and movies, like Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (don't hold me to this, since I'm not a fantasy fan I probably have the titles wrong). The only part that got political in the entire not-so-funny piece was the Wizard of Oz with reference to "duping the good folk of Oz," "dimwitted country boy," Karl Rove "behind the curtain" and the "cowardly lion" Democrats. Ho, ho, hum. How funny. Does this man never read liberal blogs? That dumb country boy with strings attached to Rove behind the curtain has been done to death! No one laughs at these oh-so-tired jokes except the Michael Morons, and this guy's writing for a heavily Republican readership. So much for respecting your audience, huh? And your advertisers.

I think he'd had this idea burning a hole in his brain and really struggled to find other wizards so he could do a big spread and use the overworked Bush-is-dumb-and-controlled-by-Rove meme. Hose him down. Put him on the opinion page.

1795 Kissed by a trombonist

Trombone playing consists of three technical elements that must work together: blowing/buzzing of the lips (sound and flexibility), the slide (digital coordination) and the tongue (articulation and rhythm). From Online Trombone Journal

My husband says, you haven’t been kissed until you’ve been kissed by a trombone player. I’ll bet I’ve heard that line about 50 times in the last 47 years. I've been sick so long I haven't even had a hug in 3 weeks, let alone a kiss. But today I feel much better than yesterday, which was better than Wednesday, so we are planning on our Friday night date tonight.

And when my husband left this morning to lead the aerobics class (all female), I got a sanitary kiss on the back of my neck.

1794 Spending is out of control

under the Republicans. If you ever wondered why many Republicans don't consider George Bush a conservative, just read George Will's column of November 17.

Conservatives have won seven of 10 presidential elections, yet government waxes, with per-household federal spending more than $22,000 per year, the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. Federal spending -- including a 100 percent increase in education spending since 2001 -- has grown twice as fast under President Bush as under President Bill Clinton, 65 percent of it unrelated to national security

Read the "Grand Old Spenders." It's not a pretty picture.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

1793 Need a memory refresher

Conservator had a link to a group that reshelves books from fiction to some other category at book stores. CNET article here. It seems to me that back in the days when I was a contributor/reader of misc.writing (Usenet), there was a plan whereby we were supposed to move the authors we knew (members of mwville) to the front. Somebody help me out here. . . Hip, Billo, Gekko, Doyle. . . I've forgotten the routine.

BTW, don't ever reshelve a library book (as this site suggests for bookstores). It throws off statistics and you'll probably do it wrong.

1792 Patriot Act extended but librarians are mum?

"Congressional negotiators reached a tentative agreement today to renew the terror-fighting USA Patriot Act, leaving the controversial law largely intact but with new restrictions on the ability of the FBI to gather information and new requirements for the Justice Department to publicly report on how the law is operating.

The agreement makes permanent most of the existing provisions of the law, which was approved after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, while two sections, including a widely debated records-gathering measure known as "the library provision," would expire in seven years unless extended." LA Times, Nov. 16, 2005

Apparently, the 7 year extension is considered some sort of "curb," or victory, but after all the whining and teeth gnashing by librarians the last several years, all the effort spent and pixels burning up blogs, columns and journal articles, I'm a bit surprised that I found no one mentioning this either as a victory or a complete failure at the ALA website or the Of course, it's still early on the left coast. . . and Blake is redesigning LISNews and I'm having problems with some of the features, so maybe it is there . . .

BeSpacific says this came out from the ALA Washington Office, but I couldn't find it: "The House is scheduled to vote on the PATRIOT Act conference report as early as Thursday, November 17. The revised bill does not contain important civil liberties safeguards sought by ALA and other advocates...The revised bill sunsets at seven years (The Senate bill sunset was 4 years and the House bill sunset was 10 years) -- A four year sunset will make it possible to correct an abuse of Section 215 at an earlier date." Maybe it was a subscription item--librarians talk "open access" but don't observe it for their own publications.

1791 What should I do?

Listen to Bach, play with Norma's knitting, or take a nap? Naps win paws down.

1790 Plame Name

The "secret" widens. Must have been an even worst kept secret than we thought--even Bob Woodward knew before Scooter Libby, but Patrick Fitzgerald's two year investigation never even got him in the cross hairs. What's going on! But Bob, who must be the only reporter who CAN keep a secret, didn't tell his bosses at WaPo for two years, and now they are mad at him!

"Fitzgerald [on Nov. 14] asked for my impression about the context in which Mrs. Wilson was mentioned. I testified that the reference seemed to me to be casual and offhand, and that it did not appear to me to be either classified or sensitive. I testified that according to my understanding an analyst in the CIA is not normally an undercover position." Read Woodward's full statement here, and ponder again how silly this all looks.

1789 Time for a new notebook

and I don't mean a computer--the old fashioned, use a #2 pencil, 6" x 8", spiral bound, hard cover, lined paper notebook. I don't write these blog entries out of the air, you know, (well, sometimes I do). I read and take notes in long hand, then I think and decipher my scribbles and look for links to see what American Daughter or Dr. Sanity or Jane Galt or Neo-Neocon and Barbara Nicolosi are writing about. Usually, they aren't blogging about my topics, but that takes another two hours. Anyway, a notebook can last for three months, but the last one was begun on September 1, and I had way too much to say about Katrina and the liberals who claimed the federal government should be the first responder. So by November 1, I only had 15 pages left. I actually ran out on the 14th, and was scribbling in margins and on the covers. So today, it is officially, NEW NOTEBOOK DAY.

New notebook on left. I think I bought it at Meijer's. The notebook on the right (Sept-Nov) was purchased at Wal-Mart and is one of two styles I buy by Day Runner that includes passages from the Psalms, King James Version, every 3rd page. It started with 3:3 and ended with 86:12

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

1788 Purchased any Sony CDs lately

with XCP Content Protection Technology? Like perhaps Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook or Billy Holiday’s The Great American Songbook? Buyers are furious and the law suits started. I don’t pretend to understand the technology, but I think I know it’s not right for Sony to assume I'm a thief and modify my computer when I insert a CD.

Here’s Sony’s apology.

The back ground, with links, is provided by Charles Bailey,The Sony BMG Rootkit Fiasco. Especially read the first link in his article. Your eyeballs will fall out, but hey, it's good exercise.

1787 A Soldier's Funeral on Veteran's Day

Soldier's Mom writes about the funeral of SPC Tommy Bryd who was in her son's squad. Bring along a tissue. She is the wife of a career naval officer (retired), and mother of four--a currently serving career sailor (Norfolk, VA), a hazardous waste specialist (a Navy vet in upstate NY), daughter in medical school (VA), and a 3rd Infantry Division soldier deployed to Iraq in January 2005, WIA August 2005 and now recovering in the U.S.

1786 A very good list

of things she wished known starting out is over at Alana's Morning Coffee. Smart lady! Especially enjoyed these:

6. Live on LESS than you earn. Be radical in order to make this happen.

7. Stay the #%#% away from credit cards.

8. Have an emergency fund saved up so you CAN stay away from credit cards.

29. Find a way to give to others: whether time, talent or money. Be deliberate about it. You will be a better person for it.

47. Pray more. Worry less. Amazing how much God seems to care about the details of your life.

48. Get over yourself and don’t take yourself so seriously.

1785 Grown Up Land

Orange Judd Farmer, Young Folks column, January 14, 1889.

Good morrow, fair maid, with lashes brown,
Can you tell me the way to Womanhood town?

O, this way and that way--never a stop,
'Tis picking up stitches grandma will drop;
'Tis kissing the baby's troubles away,
'Tis learning that cross words never will pay,
'Tis helping mother, 'tis sewing up rents,
'Tis reading and playing, 'tis saving the cents,
'Tis loving and smiling, forgetting to frown,
O that is the way to Womanhood Town.

Just wait, my brave lad--one moment I pray;
Manhood Town lies where--can you tell the way?

O by toiling and trying we reach that land--
A bit with the head, a bit with the hand--
'Tis by climbing up the steep hill Work,
'Tis by keeping out of the wide street Shirk,
'Tis by always taking the weak one's part,
'Tis by giving the mother a happy heart.
'Tis by keeping bad thoughts and actions down,
O that is the way to the Manhood Town.

And the lad and the maid ran hand in hand,
To their fair estates in the Grown-up Land.

Orange Judd Farmer (Chicago, 1888-1924), then became Orange Judd Illinois Farmer, which merged into Prairie Farmer). Attributions in farm journals were sort of careless in the 1880s, but this poem is credited to The Pansy published until 1896.

1784 Teaching an old husband new tricks

We've been married 45 years and have a good system for division of labor--I do the easy stuff, he does the tough stuff. Even when I was a SAHM (1968-1978) in the midst of the feminist propaganda of the 70s about how downtrodden and overworked we women are, I sat down and charted the work loads of our family. The kids were given credit for "work" for each hour in school and homework and any little jobs they had around the house. My husband got credit for hours at work, travel time, meetings, continuing ed and work around the house like gutter cleaning, yard work, carpentry, small repairs, autocare and night time child care if I was out of the house at a consciousness raising group. I gave myself credit for time spent on the seven C's, cooking, cleaning, clothes care, car pooling, children's outside the home activities and clubs--VBS, Campfire, etc., cat care and child direct supervision (they were in elementary school and not at home from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. week days). Wow. How humbling. I was definitely the sluggard--working about half the hours of everyone else, which gave me time for reading, painting, watching TV and lunching with friends.

So I've never been too eager to include my husband in household chores. But being sick the past two weeks, I've learned we need some minimal instruction if I don't want him snapped up by some floozy in 6 weeks if something were to happen to me. I never thought about the fact that when we moved here in 2002, we had all new appliances, and I spent a little time experimenting and learning their foibles, all of which come without thinking now. But although he could load the dish washer (sort of), he didn't know the digital settings for heavy and light and times; he didn't know the digital settings on the ovens; he could put clothes in the dryer, but didn't know how to turn it on (4 setting and a bazillion choices for time and fabrics); and he knew how to buy bananas, but not apples.

Thank God he knew how to scoop the kitty litter because she was getting hair ball cat food instead of her usual diet!