Thursday, May 27, 2010

Two for the Challenge

Once more dear friends, into the breech we go. Time for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge. This week I am tempted by prompts 1 and 2 - to wit:

1.) Describe a time when you had difficulty communicating with someone who speaks a different language than you. (inspired by Jen from Hamster Central)
2.) If you could do your wedding over, how would you do it? (Inspired by this tweet “I am watching TLC’s wedding shows and this makes me want to get married again. Same groom but a totally different ceremony.” by Jen@BuriedWithKids)

#1 - I was designated to give a presentation to a visiting team of Korean executives. They were all high muckety mucks and I was the designated expert in the topic area. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

But then corporate began to get worried. So we got a crash course in doing all the right things in the visitors culture. Things like always presenting your business card facing them so they could read it (a sign of respect), etc. Accept the gift they will present to you in appreciation for your time, let corporate deal with the ethical issues after the visitors have gone, etc. What no one thought through was that the visitors would have almost zero knowledge of the English language. Couple that lack with the fact that my talk was on computer and network security, a technical area full of jargon and engineering acronyms, and I'm sure you can see a disaster looming on the horizon.

Sure enough, the visitors arrived at our site in the middle of nowhere, clearly a high up executive team. I have never seen so many $2000 suits in one room in my life. Of course I am in khaki's and a short sleeved shirt. Really impressive.

Fortunately, there is a junior gofer with the visiting team who can manage a little pidgin English who will attempt to translate my talk for the suits. Since I have a white board plus diagrams, the talk gets started. And then immediately side-tracked. Turns out that, at that point in time, the cultural moires in Korea left the executives unable to fathom the idea that someone might attempt to use a resource they were not authorized for. In particular, the mainframe system running their multi-billion dollar company had no password. Only those who should be using it would dare to try, no need for user ids or passwords. Once I got my jaw off the floor and managed to pantomime "bad guy" and "unauthorized access", we were ready to continue.

When I got to the concept of outward facing systems and the "no man's land" between them and internal systems, communication came to a stand-still. I could not seem to convey the idea of "no man's land" in any way shape, or form. Finally in a fit of desperation, I called it the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ). The entire visiting team had light bulbs go over their heads - they all knew very well about DMZ given the division between North and South Korea.

I'm not sure how much knowledge the visitors took home with them, but DMZ became the standard terminology in the security area within a couple of years. After all, letting a scientist or engineer see an acronym leads to immediate use.

I did get a nice gift from the visitors:
The doodads on the tie clasp and cuff links are plated versions of the highest capacity memory chip dies in the world at the time - the company had just put them into production at the time. (The curious can figure out the company by reading the silk print in the back of the box. {*grin*})

#2 - I don't think I would change a thing about our wedding. To understand why, let me re-print this story.

Some background is in order before we get to the gist of the tale. Now would be a good time to put your Coke down if you are prone to snorting all over the keyboard!

L and I got married here in Colorado in the midst of going from New Hampshire (undergrad) to California (graduate school). L had arrived in Colorado well ahead of me to attend to such minor details as the wedding arrangements and her ring and all the showers and ... You get the idea. She was undergoing a whirl of showers and preparation and worry. Pretty stressed to say the least.

In the mean time I was journeying from New Hampshire with a friend from college with all our earthly goods in a U-Haul behind his old clunker of a car. To make the trip more exciting, we decided to visit the Smokey mountains on our way to Texas to drop his stuff off at his home. Now let me remind you that this was 34+ years ago and there was no such thing as a cell phone, for which I am eternally grateful. Otherwise I am sure I would have been on the phone to L hundreds of times a day. {*grin*}

Nelson, the friend I was traveling with, and I finally hit Colorado a couple of days before the wedding. He and some other friends from college were staying in the upstairs of mom and dad's house. Since we had a day free before the wedding, we all piled into Nelson's car and headed for Rocky Mountain National Park for the day since they had never been there. Of course L was stuck back down in the flatlands doing wedding type things. (Do you detect a pattern here?)

The day of the wedding, mom and dad's house was a total zoo. Mom was the cake decorator for the wedding, so we had wedding cake everywhere on every flat surface to be found. In addition, mom and dad's house only had one bathroom, so mom, dad, my brother, myself, and all my friends sleeping upstairs in the attic were sharing the one bathroom as we got ready. Then to top it all off, mom discovered that some of the wedding mints had gone bad. So there we are all sitting around the kitchen table molding mints like mad as we got ready for the wedding. Your only exit from the mint making line was when your turn in the bathroom was called. It may sound a bit insane, but some of my friends thought that the panic drill of sitting around the table stuffing and pressing the molds to create new mints, switching positions as the bathroom cycled, talking and laughing, half dressed for the wedding, was one of the high points of the wedding.

When I finally arrived at the church and joined up with my groomsmen, we were shuttled off to one of the warren of little rooms in the upstairs of the church. So we got to sit there and talk and wonder what was going on and when they would come to get us to get the show on the road. Unfortunately the young lady that put us in the room forgot to tell anyone else where she put us and as the time for the wedding to begin came and went, we were still sitting serenely and visiting without a clue. At long last, my future FIL happened to open the door and spot us. I think he was both relieved to have found us and disappointed - his money was on the groom (me!) having cold feet and departing post-haste.

The wedding itself went off without a hitch. Well except for the fact that I was reading the ceremony from the reverend's book upside down as he did the service and just about got lost when he skipped a bit. It is amazing how moved and shaken one is when those vows are finally said in front of all.

After the wedding, we had a reception in the church dining area. That was where the cake and mints and the food and basically a lot of visiting was going on. L and I were the oldest grandkids on both sides and were blessed to have our our grandparents in attendance. Thus there were a lot of pictures and people to be talked to at the wedding and reception. Our wedding was not small, it seemed like thousands but was probably more like 250-300 people. Once the cake was cut and the first wave of hunger assuaged, it was time for the party to get going. This was an early afternoon reception at the church with dinner that night over at MIL and FIL's.

At this point you have to know that L's maid of honor (her lifelong friend) and my best man (a friend of mine and L)are both all out jokesters. In addition, I have a huge crew of uncles that all love to give one and all a ribbing just to see them squirm. In fact it was after I first took L to a Christmas scrum at my grandpa and grandma's house and she was able to handle being around the uncles without killing me that I knew I had a real keeper.

The aforementioned crew of jokesters and fun loving rowdies then decided it would be a great idea to chivaree the bride. So the groomsmen and maid of honor, my brother, my uncles, and any other guilty looking souls they could corral kidnapped the bride. They didn't inform my new MIL and FIL of what they were doing either. So there I was surrounded by all the females at the wedding (and in on the whole affair) in an apparent flirt fest and no sign of their daughter who had just gotten married to me.

The rowdy crew took L to the local cemetery and tied her to a headstone. Then they just left. After they had left her there for a while, they came back and took her to the lowest and cheapest cowboy bar in town. So L got to drink and dance with all the toothless old cowboys in the place. And of course all of these impressive events were captured on film for later enjoyment. While that was going on, I was beginning to get the 3rd degree from my FIL, since he was convinced I knew what the heck had happened to his daughter. Boy was I happy to see the crew return with L in tow.

That evening we had a picnic type affair at MIL and FIL's house. I remember the line going out and around the house and down the block. It was a great good time for all. It was also funny because as I was standing in line with a friend I had first met in college in New Hampshire, he turned to me and said "I've been in this house before! It used to belong to the XXX family didn't it?" Sure enough it had - turned out that he used to get sent out to the wilds to stay with the XXX's in the summers. Talk about a small world.

L and I were staying in town for a few days before heading off to California, so we were at mom and dad's in the sewing room (it had been the room shared by my brother and I until we shuffled up to the larger space in the attic). But all those friends there for the wedding were staying in the attic now. The only way from the attic into the rest of the house was (you guessed it) through the sewing room. In addition, remember that mom and dad's house only had one bathroom and the only way to get there from the attic was through the sewing room where L and I were ensconced. We heard nary a peep from the captive guests in the attic all night - of course that may be because we were busy doing other things. {*grin*} In any case, L and I had to be up moderately early in the morning and elsewhere, so we got up and left, not even thinking that we should have perhaps shouted up the stairs that the coast was clear to the bathroom. You wouldn't believe the razzing I have gotten about that from the attic captives over the years.

The upshot of all this is that L and I have a litterally priceless wedding album. Any time friends drop by, all we have to do is bring it out and everyone relives one of the best times ever. And because of the chivaree and cowboy bar and the attic and the mints and ... Everyone has their own unique memory from the event. And those that weren't there can't believe they missed such an outrageous good time. Don't you wish you had been there?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Mystery of ...

Today I played the starring role as the detective in the infamous case of the missing sock and pot-holder. I like to think of it as "The Mystery of the Hungry Dryer."

The case began when I washed some socks and a pair of BBQ sauce soaked pot-holders and other laundry late last night. Just before I headed off to bed, I transferred the load from the washer to the dryer and left it to do its job while I slumbered.
(close to the right model, but my dryer knob is on the left)

Today was busy, so it was after 5pm when I got around to emptying the dryer. As I took the laundry out to put it all away, it became evident that there were only 5 socks and one pot-holder. But, I had put two pot-holders and matched pairs of socks into the wash. Where had the missing items gone? I first checked to make sure that none of the missing items was stuck to other items from the dryer. With the winds over the last few days, static cling has been outrageous. That was followed by a complete "stand on the head and stare" inspection of the dryer interior. Still no pot-holder and friend.
(obviously a re-creation, my high heels are nowhere as sexy {*grin*})

Desperately, I opened the washer and stared with trepidation at the empty interior. No sign of the missing items. At this point I was beginning to doubt my sanity; where could the sock and pot-holder have run off to? I even got a screwdriver and probed under the agitator on the off chance they had somehow hidden there. I even journeyed to the kitchen and looked in the pot-holder drawer to make sure that the missing pot-holder was not there.
(way too neat to be my drawers)

At this point, I was convinced the dryer had gone cannibal on me, eating it's fill of socks and pot-holders with complete impunity. I repeated the search steps once more, but still no joy.

(vicious cannibalistic dryer indeed)

Finally, I got a flashlight and began looking around and behind the washer and dryer. After all, I was sure that the missing pot-holder and sock had been put in the washer, so there were very few places they could have disappeared. I found old fabric softener sheets. I found dust bunnies. And then I found the missing sock and pot-holder.

Case solved.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wind, Wind, and More Wind

The wind has been blowing for the last several days here. It has everyone on edge as the howl and gusting is continuous. It even drove the number of calls to the Humane Society to record levels as dogs and cats took to any shelter from the wind. Add to that the fact that the wind was mixed with periodic downpours and a spot of hail and we have had what I like to call a spa treatment weekend: a derm-abrasion via blowing sand, a mud pack due to the rain and flying dirt, and finally a poor man's Swedish massage from the pounding hail. Best of all: no reservation or payment required.

Today the wind finally knocked the basketball hoop head over heels and sent the garbage can and garden carts flying too.

Here's hoping the wind and continued low pressure will abate soon. (Low pressure makes me ache in every joint. Not just me, but I am naturally more attuned to my joints. {*grin*})

(A completely extraneous aside: I just found a huge fly in my coffee. Yuk! Nothing like drowned fly flavoring to make one sprint to spit out the coffee and the corpse of the fly.)

I'll leave you with an ingenious method to avoid putting laundry away, especially if your spouse is at all picky. It is somewhat akin to the prohibition against me washing L's colored laundry. {*grin*}

Thursday, May 20, 2010

RIP Good Friends

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while may remember the anti-fashion statement made by my favorite pair of moccasins:

It is my sad duty to report that this valiant pair that gave meritorious service for so many years finally bit the dust. The bottoms decayed to the point that not even duct tape could salvage them. The final death throes happened whilst vacuuming the house; a lunge and pull with ye olde trusty vacuum and the bottom of the moccasins remained rooted while the feet did not. RIP old friends. (Fortunately blueviolet is out of town so she won't be able to tell me good riddance and razz my sartorial splendor. And Monnik is tied up so she loses out as well. And the rest of you who commented in the past on them? Can gloat all you want. {*grin*})

BTW, the answers to yesterday's quiz are:
I came, I saw, I conquered. -- Julius Caesar

Love me, love my dog. -- St. Bernard

Love conquers all. -- Virgil

Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. -- Mark Twain

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her. -- Agatha Christie

After thirty, a body has a mind of its own. -- Bette Midler

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. -- John F. Kennedy

It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man. -- Xenophanes

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her. -- Oscar Wilde

A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven. -- Boethius
It always surprises me how many people don't catch the Agatha Christie quote.

Quote Quiz

Have you ever noticed how some quotes are known in the original language and others seem like you have never heard them in any language but English? How some quotes are so in-grained in our culture that you have no trouble identifying who said it and others sound vaguely familiar but you have no clue who said it? Today was one of those days where I drifted into several quotes, some by a complex chain of vaguely connected thoughts, others directly in my reading material.

In honor of the quotes drifting through my mind today, it is time for a little quote quiz. Following are ten quotes (translated to English as needed). Then comes a list of authors in no particular order. Your job is to connect the quote to the author.

The quotes:
A) I came, I saw, I conquered.
B) Love me, love my dog.
C) Love conquers all.
D) Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
E) An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.
F) After thirty, a body has a mind of its own.
G) Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
H) It takes a wise man to recognize a wise man.
I) A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.
J) A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven.

The Authors:
1) Boethius
2) Oscar Wilde
3) Xenophanes
4) John F. Kennedy
5) Bette Midler
6) Agatha Christie
7) Mark Twain
8) Virgil
9) St. Bernard
10) Julius Caesar

So your challenge is to match the quote to the author. As a hint, A-10 is one answer. I.e. it was Julius Caesar who in 47 B.C. said vini, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). Good luck!

Monday, May 17, 2010

R U Stressed

(& if u cn rd ths, a hi pyng jb awts u)

(I couldn't resist moving into the old language of the matchbook cover stenography schools. I'd suspect that those ads no longer make a whole lot of sense. Maybe now they hawk classes for Twitter and texting  addicts?)

USA Today reports that the amount of stress begins to drop faster once you are past the age of 50. I'm a bit skeptical of the result. I am certainly past 50 but still feel the same stresses. The only real difference is that I can no longer stay up for days at a time to worry about it. (The original story is here.)

There are several points to the story that have a ring of plausibility to them. One is that the level of stress falls with age, but falls fastest once the age of 50 is passed. The other is that women feel more stressed than men. But, ...

My qualm with the study and screaming headline "Daily Stress and Worry Plummet After age 50" is that the study was done in 2008, before the long term impact of the economic downturn impacted people with its full weight. I suspect that the stress level has risen a bit for those in their late 50s seeing their retirement look less and less plausible. I also wonder if the seeming lower stress levels were the result of lower stress or of a better ability to cope with stress as we get older.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Expressions of Love

Last night I was listening to music and heard "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. I regard that song as one of the greatest musical expressions of love ever made. For the rare person who hasn't heard the song:

Why do I think it is the greatest love song ever? Because it takes the mundane events of life and uses them to express the wonder and joy that is love. That someone so special is in your life and that they care about you is one of the real wonders of the world. I think most men have had the thoughts expressed in the song about the one they love, whether they express them aloud or not. (And I also suspect that most women want the person they love to feel this way about them, but that is conjecture on my part.)

L was not home this weekend, so hearing "Wonderful Tonight" was enough to send me into that melancholy mood associated with missing the one you love. Somehow the adoring looks and head in the lap of Molly the wonder dog is not a replacement for time with the one you love. {*grin*}

My melancholy mood led me to think of other love songs. Being a Heart fan, "Crazy On You" immediately came to mind. As opposed to "Wonderful Tonight" which reflects what guys feel about the one they love, "Crazy On You" reflects what guys hope the woman they love feels about them. So without further ado, Heart:

Now that I've shown you a couple of mine, what are some of your favorite love songs?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Little Post About Nothing

I must be turning into a curmudgeon. Why you ask? Because I couldn't get enthused by any of Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge topics this week. At least not enthused enough to write on any of them. It isn't as if they weren't good topics, I just couldn't sink my writing teeth into them. Oh well.

Today was indeed cool (in fact it is a glorious 28 degrees as I write), but the forecast snow missed us. We settled for rain and freezing temperatures. I find it wryly ironic that I spend so much time waiting for the warmer weather and then a long time wishing it would cool off again. So I have no real right to be dismayed when spring is a fleeting phenomena; I know it will be hotter than I desire soon enough. Guess I should just settle back and enjoy the drear.

Blogger seems to be having issues tonight, so no pictures or images or deep content tonight. Is it just me or has blogger become a bit less reliable of late? Especially the image functions.

Back to the salt mines.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oddities of an evening

It's cold and windy and raining outside and here I am inside with a soaked dog. There is nothing like having a soaked long-haired dog like Molly wanting to lay her dripping muzzle in your lap. What more could a man ask for?
(Tagged art courtesy of Banksy.)

Aside from the damp dog and weather, all is copacetic. {*grin*}

Fitting with the mood of the evening, I present five odd facts for your edification:
  • The symbol above the 3 key (#) is an octothrope. Contrary to all the masses who incorrectly call it the pound sign or number sign.
  • The eye of an ostrich is bigger than its brain.
  • A pregnant goldfish is called a twit. Thus all of you who post on a certain service featuring a blue bird logo and 140 character limits are abusing pregnant goldfish.
  • Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  • A quarter has 119 groves around its edge.
So what strikes you as odd today?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Rambling Post to Prevent Three Short Ones

Earlier in the week, I got a phone call out of the blue from someone I hadn't spoken to or thought of since high school some 38 years ago. It took me a moment to get over the shock, but then we visited for a bit and he got around to the real point of the call - he was trying to locate a mutual third acquaintance from high school since he had decided to resume an earlier career in photography and the mutual friend was a professional photographer and cameraman. I had to disappoint and tell him that the last time I had visited with our mutual acquaintance was 20 years ago. At that time he was a camera man for CNN and we were both based in LA, but I hadn't heard much from him since leaving LA.

Saturday was the mother-daughter lunch at the church, so L and MIL had a good time here while I toiled away getting the packets for tonight's board meeting done. Then in the afternoon our friend came over to visit and them take us out to supper. G, the friend, was in town for the sad task of assisting his brother and sister arrange hospice care for their mother. It is sad; their mother has reached the point where she recognizes none of the kids and is in that petulant imaginary baby stage of advanced dementia. G and I have known and hung out with each other since grade school, more than 45 years ago. So we know each others moms well - we spent many a supper eating at each others house and driving G's older sister crazy as kids. Now we have both lost our fathers and are a part of what my cohort calls the fatherless generation since we are at the age where most of our fathers are gone. Before too long we will become the parent-less generation as our mothers reach that event horizon. It is sad to contemplate.

Anyway, G and L and I spent the time visiting and enjoying catching up with each other. G lives in the south now, working as an engineer. We see each other once or twice a year. His older brother retired from the IRS and moved back here to the childhood home several years ago and his sister has lived here all her life, so in addition to visiting his mom, he comes back to see his siblings and along the way we get a chance to visit. It is amusing how clearly I remember our first meeting in fifth grade - I still see that same youngster in my minds eye when I think of G - even though we are now both grizzled oldsters with white beards and a lot less hair. And we still  remember doing stupid things together back then that would result in long-term hospitalization now. It's always good to be reminded of the time when you were fearless and invincible. {*grin*} Heck, G was my wingman and chauffeur the night L and I first went out and he was a groomsman in our wedding. He just can't escape us!

For Mother's Day, we had both mom and MIL over for lunch. The day was beautiful, in the 70's and calm. So after the guests departed home, L and I and Molly went for walk in the park followed by a relaxing nap (See, I told you we were oldsters!). In any case, as the evening wore on, the winds came up and blew hard enough to move the patio furniture about and knock over the basketball hoop, etc. Generally a miserably windy evening with the howling and rattling windows. Made L grouchy and Molly needy. What a combo.

This morning the wind was gone, but L and Molly had to squeeze out the back door to move the furniture out of the way so they could fully open the door. I got the task of setting the basketball hoop back up since L cannot lift it. And of course we had to clean up the bird nests and eggs and little hatchlings blown out of th trees and killed by the wind. The wind made me curious so I looked at the weather forecast for the week. Wednesday is forecast to reach a high in the low 40s and snow! So much for spring. Of course it is supposed to be back into the mid-70s by Saturday. I just love Colorado weather!

Enough for now. Time to enjoy the grey drear before it starts heading for the cold and rain and snow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Chatterbox

I was forcibly reminded of just how out-going and talkative third grade girls can be today. I had just finished mowing the lawn when the door bell rang and a young woman from down the street and her daughter were at the door. Of course Molly was going wild hoping to get petted, the daughter was in heaven to spot a new dog to play with, and we adults were just trying not to get trampled in the ensuing brouhaha.

The mother had remembered that I used to be the mayor and was hoping I could tell her who to see to solve a problem at one of the grade schools. I had to disappoint her and tell her that it was something that the school district would have to fix if it was possible to fix. (The issue was traffic in the pick-up lane at an elementary school. But the pick-up lane is actually on school property and exempt from municipal traffic laws.)

I gave her the names of a couple of people that might be able to assist with the problem  and then we visited for a bit. All the while her daughter was chattering on and playing with the dog. From the very talkative third grader I learned all sorts of information in the form of a continuous monologue in my other ear. Mom and daughter stereo if you will.

From the daughter I learned:

  • She was in the third grade.
  • She likes dogs.
  • Her dog liked to chase squirrels and birds too.
  • Her dog had recently died.
  • What was my dogs name?
  • She liked my dog, especially her big bushy tail.
  • When they moved here, her mom gave her other dog away since they couldn't bring the dog with them and OMG, she didn't tell her about what she had done until after they were moved and that was just so wrong of mom.
  • She likes to play basketball, did I?
  • She would really like a basketball hoop like the one on the side of our driveway.
  • Was I really sure I wouldn't like to play basketball.
  • Did I know her dog had died.
  • Could Molly come and play with her sometime.
  • Did I like mowing the grass? Her dad just hated to mow the grass.
  • Why was my yard bigger than her yard?
  • Did Molly have any toys to play with outside/

I'm sure I could have learned any number of other facts, but mom had to get back since she had left dad in charge of the baby. You just never know what your are going to learn when you open the door around here.

Memories and Oddities

Tonight as I was eating supper, I was reminded of the Sunday suppers when I stayed at my grandparents farm. Why? Peanut butter. (I had some peanut butter on celery to go with my salad supper.)

I learned early in life that if you were at Grandpa P's on Sunday evening and there wasn't a big group on hand, supper was going to be a bowl of cornflakes or other cereal with milk, buttered toast, and - if you were grandpa - a spoon of peanut butter. One of my enduring memories of my Grandpa P at ease is him sitting at the kitchen table, legs crossed, leaning back with a smile in his eyes and a spoon hanging out of his mouth as he slowly enjoyed his peanut butter on a Sunday evening.

Of course, all us grand-kids wanted to do what grandpa was doing and have a spoon of peanut butter as well. Grandma had a stricter (and saner) view and prohibited us from imbibing until we attained a more advanced age. When I finally reached an age that grandma deemed responsible enough to partake of the straight peanut butter, I was allowed to try my spoon of peanut butter just like grandpa. What a disappointment!

The actual experience left a lot to be desired versus the wonderful thing it had become in my mind from watching grandpa. If you have ever taken a spoon of peanut butter, you have discovered how sticky and gummy it really is - especially if you are young enough to be a bit impatient. Especially if you don't have a cup of hot coffee to help melt it on down the throat.

If I had been a brighter pupil, I would have learned my lesson then. But I didn't, and so a number of years later I can remember being given a bit chew by grandpa while we were out working in the shop. Although he took great pains to warn me not to swallow, I'm sure you know what happened. Yep, I have never had a worse self-induced bellyache in my life. That was the experience that finally taught me that it probably was not wise to want to emulate all of grandpa's habits, no matter how much I idolized him.

P.S. It amazes me that I can see the Sunday evening table setting with absolute clarity even now many years later. The white bowls and matching juice glasses that I think grandma got as part of a box top or Tang promo stand out and evoke all kinds of pleasant memories any time I think of them. They star in so many of my memories of Sunday and breakfasts and grandpa and grandma's farm ...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Noxious or Not

I've decided that I need to take more blogging breaks. Why you might ask? Because more people follow this blog when I don't write than when I do write. I'm not sure what that means. In the immortal words of Arnold in Terminator 3 - I'm back.

I've been tied up with real life for the last week as I went through a change of operating system on the servers here while herding cats. No, not literally, but figuratively, as I worked to get the members of the board in sync for a board meeting next Monday. It always makes me think of herding cats when you try getting a group of people to agree on a day and time to hold a board meeting.

In other niceties, the weather is finally heading towards full-on spring here in the flatlands. That means that it is time to start planting some of the early cool ground tolerant things. Of course the weeds are already in fine fettle, attempting to conquer the universe one root at a time. There has to be a good reason that weeds seem to have a head start on all the other plants - otherwise they wouldn't be called weeds!

All of which is a round about way to sneak up on the subject for tonight: one man's weed is another man's flower. I remember as a kid when we lived for a few years in Nebraska and then returned to Colorado. I was puzzled that the same plant that was so abundant as to be considered a pest in Nebraska was rare enough in Colorado to be the state flower. It was my introduction to the idea that people can have quite different value judgments of the same objective reality depending on local conditions.

I leave you with this question: Is there any reality where noxious weeds like Russian Thistle are considered rare and beautiful plants? Because if there is, I can introduce you to nirvana without any effort. At least until the weed police come and cart me away for growing a proscribed weed.

At least Russian Thistle leads to tumble weeds in the fall. Unlike Canadian Thistle that just remains troubling and noxious all year round.
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin