Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Damage report

The wind died down early this morning,  its raining but only lightly, and the only damage was a tree limb half way down our driveway, which we cut up and moved out of the way. 
Most of NH is apparently powerless and there are crews coming this morning from Illinois to help out. I love these guys, they always seem to enjoy their work, and not much fazes them. 

Who I do feel sorry for are those people in NJ and NY who couldnt or wouldnt get out.  =(

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Woke up around 3:30, heard the wind, and decided I'd had enough sleep for awhile.  Yep, whatever the edges of the hurricane are, they're here.  I don't know how the folks in the middle of this thing will like it, but right now we are having fairly heavy wind and rain, and we're not even pictured on the landfall area yet..  Nothing like a hurricane to get the yard picked up.  Great incentive, there.  Last thing I want to see is my garden rake whipping past the windows, or, heaven forfend, through the window.

This is a huge storm, and one of the many times I am so glad we don't live on beach front property.  And with the full moon pending,  there's a good chance that any beach front property will, at least temporarily, extend inland for quite a ways. 

Anyone out there in hurricane land,  get that car out from under the trees, the power lines, whatever.  No heroics, please. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Double Dipping

Just got a notice from my bank that from this point on,  if I use my bank related(debit) card in a non-bank related ATM, I will be charged 2.50 per withdrawal.   Okay, I can live with that. However.  If I go to the ATM in the mall which is NOT my bank's related ATM they  tell me when I withdraw money from my account via their ATM I will be charged 2.50.  So a transaction using this card at that ATM could cost me $5 before I ever see any money at all.
You have got to love technology...

First Person Singular

When my mother-in-law died, she had prepared herself and everyone who knew her for the eventuality.  Part of what she did, as a sensible rock-solid good Christian woman, was make out a will, prepay her funeral expenses, (with strict instructions as to how and where and what) and write  her own obituary (leaving out the obvious 'to be filled in later" parts).

We have all seen obits that go on for columns, listing descendants to the ninth level of degree,  extolling the virtues of the deceased or ignoring them entirely to focus on what the writer wants to remember:  my favorite was obviously written by her granddaughter, about a woman who had had a long successful life in several fields, but all this girl could come up with was 'She loved her grandchildren and she loved to knit and crochet".

The other day I sat down and wrote my own.  Not sure what I'd say,  not sure where it would go.  As an exercise in summing up one's life in a few sentences, it was quite revealing, since it focuses you on what really matters to YOU, as it should be.  And it isnt grim at all.  Since it's written from the 3rd person POV, you're two removes from the thing, and somehow that makes it easier. 

(I wonder what would happen if someone's own obit was published,  in the First Person...??)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


this is the second round 'container' of leafmold i've put together this year, first mowing/collecting the leaves and putting them in a double walled structure:  reinforcing wire (the stuff that makes such great tomato cages) and then a  liner of chicken wire (which for some reason I have yards and  yards of) to keep the leaves from blowing out the 6x6" openings in the reinforcing wire.  The whole thing is about 5' high, and i've wet it down twice, which means it should by now be cooking inside.  When spring comes, with any luck, I can remove the cage pieces and spread it out, making an at least partially decomposed bed of leaf mold to plant my potatoes in.  Good stuff.
I got the idea from here:  http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/how-we-make-leaf-mold/, a wonderful site full of all kinds of cool things to do to and for and about a garden and other things as well. She also has a cook stove almost identical to mine, which is a plus in my book.

Color Perception


this is the sort of thing where you go in thinking, aha, Ive got this one knocked, and it turns out that you really didnt.  sigh.  It's also kind of addictive, once you start playing with it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I first discovered the 'net in 1995;  purely by happenstance I clicked on something called "Excite" and found myself involved in a massive message board that I never did find the edges of;  there were sections for everything from politics to religion to literature to build-your-own,  and the day someone actually responded to a comment I made, I was hooked.   I don't think in the next year I watched TV for more than an hour a week.  And after that almost never. 
What appealed was the interactiveness of it, something that I think we all take for granted now;  and to watch TV after that was numbing.  Sit, stare, react, lather, rinse, repeat. 
And when I finally encountered a real debate I suddenly realized I had no idea how to react, how to respond, how to comment.  It had been probably 30 years since I had had a deep convo about anything, and suddenly here they were, all around me.

 I also encountered my first online sociopath, my first flame war (hello Harvey) my first friends (hello Harvey) and discovered the arts of diplomacy, debating, and role playing. 

I miss the structure they had then,  and the breadth.  Message boards became forums, and then splintered off into specialized arenas;  now we have a dozen or more kinds of ways to interact, from blogs to games to specialized forums to social networking.  I dont miss the flames, but I do miss the people.  Even the stinkers.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Evening Bark

Just before sunset I was out doing a bit of garden work and noticed how quiet it was;  suddenly there was a chorus of coyotes in the small woods beyond the garden,  and another to the north of us.  It went on for quite a while, and then a third group joined in.  It reminded me of what I call the 'evening bark' that dogs practice, passing whatever messages they have along from one to the next.  This was, I expect, a territorial thing last night letting each of the other groups know where everyone was.

As long as I know where the cats are,  I can relax and enjoy the concert.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

yo, earthquake

Not a major deal, perhaps, but the first one we've felt in maybe thirty years;  in California they don't even look up from their dinner,  but here it's major,  a bit exciting (I said "wow" a few times), no one gets hurt, and you have something to put in the memory book.  And you get to put in a "did you feel it" notation on the USGS map--one by one, people in most of the surrounding towns responded, like hands being raised in class.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Leaving me Speechless dept.

Cuddledown, the pillow/bedding catalog, is putting their pillows on sale.  One, which they highly recommend as a "bridal gift"  is list priced at $3,999.  That's the small one, Heirloom Silk Eiderdown.  Now, this opens the door to the obvious question:  ONE?  Divorces have happened  over less.  Who gets possession?  If there's a divorce, who gets custody?  Can you grant visiting rights to a pillow?  I'll bet NO one has a pillow fight with these things, nope.
Then again, it's a great way to sell two of them, sort of like bonded cats;  you just can't go home with one, and frankly if you're that rich,  you can easily spring for two.  Perhaps with rights of survivorship tacked on...


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Links to things

Nearly a year ago Ancestry.com took the SSDI off the public airways in here and put it behind a paywall.  You can no longer look up when Aunt Susan died,  or any other relative, unless you belong to Ancestry.com and for a fee will be allowed to look up your ancestors.
This has left me and a lot of other people scrambling to find something reasonably equivalent. I have found a few that work, although not as cleanly or as efficiently as the original SSDI:



And lord alone knows how long ago Babelfish became a place you had to belong to to use,  and now I see the future in 'upgrading' which always means pay more to get more. 

Soon enough I  suspect Google and/or Bing (which is what I use now)  will start putting out watered down versions of their search engines,  with the fancy high speed versions behind that paywall too.