Showing posts from June, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 272

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count.

1. If you know someone who is interested in you happens to be high maintenance, are you as likely to date them anyway? It really depends on many more factors than that. Did I really have an interest prior? How will that work with my own tendency to be high maintenance? Hmmm. An interesting conundrum!
2. Do you get more frustrated by your home being in a state of disarray or your workplace being in a state of disarray? Without a doubt my workplace. If my desk reaches an untenable point of mess, I will drop everyt…

Montana - The Journey Out

25 June 2009
0850 EDT

Flight #CO (I've forgotten) from Newark, NJ to Phoenix, AZ

I have no idea what the local time is, since there is not a running monologue kept at 36,000 feet. No big deal – flying itself is joy enough. It started out well enough and took no time at all to sail through the seemingly permanent cloud cover that New Jersey has been mired in for ages. It was a welcome sight to see blue sky and the cloud layer under us. Sweet relief!

This is a mid-sized airplane, not a puddle jumper but not a jumbo jet by any means. The seats are just what you’d expect when not flying first class. I suddenly wish I’d been willing to pony up the $1,800 to fly first class… but that is patently absurd and in some ways, not worth it.

My riding companions are diverse. Originally there was a whiny young kid in front of me (always a heartwarming experience… kill, kill…), and the mother kept lying to the two- or three-year-old, who liked enunciate, “NO!” anytime a plane flew away. Why people go …

A.W.A.D. - No Theme for This Week's Words

with Anu Garg

Have you ever taken a vacation that's planned to every nanosecond? At 9:37 we visit the Garden of Standonburg and spend an hour and 18 minutes there, then we reach the Pamponi Museum at 11:09, and then .... Well, that's not a vacation, is it? Sometimes it's best to let yourself roam through what may come, with no plan, no schedule, no rules, no aim, and nothing to guide except a free mind and open heart.
This week's AWAD is prepared in just that spirit. A word tickles our fancy and leads us to some others that bring forth new sights. We skip some of them, move ahead or perhaps take a leisurely stroll through the dictionary. There's nothing common among the words selected -- at least as far as we know. There's no theme to constrain our word choices during the next five days. Or maybe that's the theme.

PRONUNCIATION: (el-uh-MOS-uh-ner-ee, el-ee-, -MOZ-)
MEANING:adjective: Relating to charity

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin eleemosynarius, from ele…

Yet Another Lame Scam...

I wrote back and asked this person if s/he thinks we are all this stupid...

"The Chambers of Richard Gilbert QC and Associates
2 Bedford Row
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)703 190 1802
Fax +44 (0)700 606 6349

Attorney at Law
Faegre & Benson LLP, UK.
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Evening Appointments Available On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr. Jurge Krugger.
I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr. J?rge Kr?gger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($30,100.000.00) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL.This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wis…

Article - Everything You Need to Know: June Solstice 2009

Early dawn. Late sunset. Long day. Short night. For us in the northern hemisphere, the June solstice marks the longest day of the year. It’s your signal to celebrate the first day of summer in this hemisphere. South of the equator, winter begins.
When is the solstice where I live?
The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. But our clocks say different times.
This solstice takes place on Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 5:46 Universal Time. To find the time of the solstice in your location, you have to translate to your time zone. Here’s an example of how to do that. In the central United States, for those of us using Central Daylight Time, we subtract 5 hours from Universal Time. That how we get 0:46 (12:46 a.m.) Central Daylight Time as the time of the 2009 June solstice.
Want to know the time in your location? Check out EarthSky’s article How do I translate Universal Time into my time?. And just remember: you’re translating from 5:46 Universal Time, Sunday, Ju…

Article - Forget Stonehenge: 5 Questions to Put Science Back in Summer Solstice

Huge crowds are expected to gather at Stonehenge in England this weekend to celebrate an annual astronomical event – the summer solstice. Officially beginning 5:45 Universal Time on June 21, the 2009 summer solstice marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pagans and Wiccans gather at the solstice to honor the sun and to dedicate their service to the earth. But many solstice revelers use the extra hours of sunlight as an excuse to party. According to an article in The Guardian, the Wiltshire police are bringing horses, drug sniffing dogs and an unmanned drone to control the 30,000 people expected to descend upon the ancient ruins. The article goes on to say that “peace-loving” Druids are taking their celebrations elsewhere to avoid the unruly throngs.
I don’t blame them.

I can’t think of anything less spiritual than crowding shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of hippies and wannabe wizards who want to get drunk watching the sun come up. But there's plenty of scie…

Satruday 9: Never Say Never Again

Saturday 9: Never Say Never Again
1. Do you like James Bond films? If yes, what’s your favorite? I'm not really much of a James Bond fan. Some of the movies are okay. The last one in the theatres was the most expensive nap I ever took. It was boring, it was long, but I saw the opening credits and the closing credits and slept through the rest of it. Now, if you want to discuss animated movies...
2. Are you daring enough to go snorkeling in the water fountain at the mall? Not unless I suddenly have a size 8 body...
3. Do you sometimes hate everything and everyone around you? No. I get a little down sometimes, but not like that. What would be the point?
4. Do you secretly or openly believe the world revolves around you? I'd like to think that from time to time, but no, I know better. So I am unperturbably happy for the most part, because it is always better to be grounded and really, if the world revolved around you, it would suck.
5. Would you rather buy a moped or a Harley Davidson…

Sunday Seven: Episode #200

Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Enjoy!
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Name up to seven weekly memes on other people’s blogs or websites that you’re most likely to play, whether you play mine or not.
1. Curious as a Cat (Monday)
2. TMI Tuesday
3. Wednesday Weirdness
4. 3x Thursday
5. Four for Friday
6. Saturday 9 and Saturday Six
7. Sunday Seven

Yes, I know, that's eight, but hey, Saturdays have more than one. I love memes!

A.W.A.D. - Words From Old Medical Terms

with Anu Garg

Ancient medical practitioners believed that a healthy body had a balance of four essential fluids, also known as humors (from Latin humere: to be wet, which also gave us the word humid). Those humors were blood, yellow bile (aka choler), black bile, and phlegm. Each humor was associated with a season and an element (air, water, fire, and earth). An imbalance of humors was thought to cause a change in temperament or worse.
Thankfully, we have come a long way from that theory about the human body. We no longer use that method to diagnose people's conditions, though the terms live on in the language by being used as metaphors.
MEANING: adjective:
Easily irritated or angered; hot-tempered

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cholericus, from Greek cholerikos, from chole (bile). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghel- (to shine) that is also the source of words such as yellow, gold, glimmer, gloaming, glimpse, glass, arsenic, and cholera.

How'd I End Up in Seattle?!

Somehow I clicked my heels three times and ended up in Seattle. I have never wanted to live in Seattle. I would go for a day, maybe two, but that is all I think I could take. And yet, without leaving the greater New Jersey environs, I've been transported to that part of the United States.
I think we have had three sunny days in all of June. I get that it is 21 June (in 3 hours) but we have seen much sun.
It rained on Monday. It was okay on Tuesday, but overcast. Wednesday sprinkled. Thursday POURED, so did today. Friday was sunny and beautiful and I missed it almost completely being in my office from 1000 to 1945. Groan...
This morning I awoke around 0330 and looked up the time of the Moonrise - 0200. Okay. It was clear out on Friday and I had heard it might be clear in the early morning. I went outside and wore a sweater and cargo pants. I can't remember the last time I wore sweater in June. It was cool and rather damp. But there, hanging in the eastern sky like a golden sickle,…

Saturday Six: Episode #271

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… but either way, leave a link to your site so that everyone else can visit! If you repost the questions on your site, you must link back to this site as the source.
1. You’re invited to a get-together with friends, and you’re asked to bring a tasty treat: what are you most likely to bring? I would bring hummus. Absolutely delicious!

2. Considering your answer to the previous question, are you more likely to buy something already prepared, or prepare something from scratch on your own? Oh, I can barely boil water. I certainly wouldn't want to kill anyone with my "cooking". I don't cook. I don't even make frozen meals, for the most part. I can muddle through a PB&J sandwich!
3. Where is the last place you met a close friend for coffee or a meal? Um... well... Hmmm. It's been a while. Wow, that's pretty sad.
4. Take the qu…

When Did I Get This Fat?!

What would make me say that?
If you are wondering who that is, it's me. How do I know? Well, that wretched painting made it onto the local Wayne HS channel in 1985 or 1986, because it somehow ended up there after an art show and no one knew whose it was. (I find that a bit hard to believe, as I am distinctive looking - not in a model or famous person type way, but just easily recognisable throughout the ages). This was when I was working on it in Mrs Hughes' art class. And how else do I know?It's been a while, but I do remember life with just one chin. And normal, even (dare I think it) perky boobs. (We are dating ourselves now!) And the hair... I paid less attention to it then than now, hard to believe. I'm as indifferent as ever to fashion. I never made much of an attempt to care about it anyway.Funny to see me that age. I looked happy there, and happiness in high school was fleeting, to grabbed at whenever possible. It's painful to recall those days, when I…

Saturday Six: Episode #270

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog…but either way, leave a link to your site so that everyone else can visit! If you repost the questions on your site, you must link back to this site as the source.
1. What is the dominant color in your bathroom? Have you coordinated rugs, towels and the shower curtain to match this color? The main bath, which is mine, is mostly blue; the ensuite bathroom, which is Luis', is brown. Both are very circa 1960s. His shower has a glass door; mine, a mild, nondescript greenish white curtain that matches any bathroom.
2. What part of the bathroom needs the most attention from a cleaning crew? None, the cleaning crew comes every other Monday.
3. How many rolls of unused toilet paper are waiting in the closet? Uh... um... how embarrassing. I buy 'em in bulk at Costco, so many - many, many, many - in mine. Just the four to six that fit in easy reach are i…

Sunday Seven: Episode #199

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Name the first seven red things you see in your home.

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment. (To be considered “first to play,” a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.) You may include this link in the URL space when leaving your comment, or in the comment itself. As long as it’s there in one spot or the other.
1. The big body pillow for my back
2. The fireplace (drk cherry wood)
3. The tops of the Smurf houses on the mantle
4. The black and red checked throw on the couch
5. The glass bric-a-brac on the table, a very recent gift from my sister-in-law (I love it)
6. My glass light-catcher on the window
7. The red cat toy that came with Siobhan, sitting atop the globe

Clothes Make the Man

I am often bamboozled by people, clothing choices and the obsessive need to have the latest, greatest... or even the need to be dressed up. I am a jeans and sweater person, or (even worse), a cargo pants and tight but too casual shirt person.
This has been a bone of contention in every company I worked for that had any kind of dress code at all. Imagine what I've been experiencing the last three and half years.
I've become used to my husband. As much as Luis will not bend his will for my insane requests (put dirty dishes in the kitchen, put dirty laundry in the bedroom, please don't leave the cereal box open - note that none of the requests are quite what they should be - put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, put the dirty clothes in the hamper, put the sealed cereal box away in the pantry), he does acquiesce to my greater knowledge of what colours work with one another. This is a miracle and a boon. It's bad enough that he is the equivalent of a 14-year-old (immature …

Now I'm Primary Crew

Six minutes ago I became the primary crew for the Sunday shift. Rats...

I got to take two calls last night as back up for the whole of Parsippany (Car 65 gets from the start of the Wetdown to 1300 the following day off). We had a run to Greystone (which I've been to all of six times, five of them in the last five or six months) and a run to a wedding reception at the Hilton (when's the last time you had cocktail hour at 2300? Unreal...). Two trips to Motown - and oh, hey! A drunk being wrestled to the ground right in front of us in front of Motown when we wanted to leave! (That was the highlight of all of this.)
After that, nothing happened. I mean, seriously, nothing happened. Most of the time I listen to 65 getting between three and five calls each night I'm on. Nothing... I would say I was grateful. We got home just after midnight, I think. And the pager made not a single sound, not even static, until 0730 this morning.
But now I'm no longer on back up and Sundays can …

Wetdown Madness!

Last night we had the Wetdown for Car 65 (Parsippany's Volunteer First Aid Squad) and Car 69 (Parsippany's Rescue and Recovery Squad). Here are some of the highlights.
The truck in the foreground is 65's new ambulance. The monster behind it is 69's new toy.

More fun and games among firefighters. It's all in great fun - but this is by and far the most boisterous I've ever seen it get. I've been to at least a half-dozen of these things, including our two. Heaps of fun!
The new Heavy Rescue rig. This one has all the trappings except a winch, but you can attach a rolling winch to it!
Me and Nan standing with their new baby.
More soakings for the different firemen.
One of the Roxbury Trucks getting in on the action...
The fire departments want to dump water on anything, so shortly after soaking the new trucks, they'll happily soak each other. It gets a lot more out of hand than this. Hello, Nick. Here's from Car 65... but you likely guessed that...
This w…

Marching to a Different Drummer

I'm reading Erma Bombeck's Forever, Erma, which is a book compiled from various articles whe wrote. How many of you under 40 know who Erma Bombeck is? Show of hands? All of you. Yes, I know. Every day that I scoff and laugh at aging and say that I refuse to let it get me down, there is another example of why some cultures have ritual suicide at a specific age...
Anyway, in it is one article entitled Marching to a Different Drummer, dated November 3, 1979. She talks about her one son, who didn't fit into any of those typical descriptions of kids.
That's me.

I'm the baby who used the stuff in my diapers to draw on the walls. I'm the kid who threw a rabbit skin (very soft and fluffy) out the car window and yelled, "Furs flew away!" I'm the kid who played in the dirt, hated girlie clothes (as you can see, little has changed that way), and traipsed around the house in my mother's work clothes... a sequined bikini (she was a go-go dancer. What, aren…

Saturday 9 Meme: Uninvited

1. Do you mind people to show up uninvited? Yes, I do mind, terribly. I have a schedule and I have a 44-year-old child that turns the house upside down as fast as three kids between 2 and 6 years old. And people wonder why I don't want children. I have one!
2. Last person you talked to on the phone? Dave DeGil in Montana. He called me to ask for Cinnabuns when I stop in Utah's Salt Lake City's airport to catch the last leg of my flight. Eleven days and counting!
3. Last person on your missed call list? No idea. It must be someone at work... as in a call received at work. My job is such that I am not a phone chatterer.
4. Who calls you the most? Mmmmm... no one - not at home, anyway. I am not one for phone conversations. Oh, my! Sunlight! I must go outside!
5. What is your favorite song about breaking up? Okay, I'm back. Sunlight is fast and fleeting these days. I don't have a favourite song about breaking up. Who thinks that way?

6. If someone sent you an unexpected gif…

Back onto The PCT Trail (A Diary of My Cousin)

Hi everybody! Some of you were wondering what happened to me last year when the trail reports stopped suddenly. Of course, everything was ultimately fine, but after hiking another 100 miles or so and coming to within 180 miles of my finish point, I started to have a physical problem and felt it was the better part of wisdom to exit the trail for the season. Good timing, because the next week it dumped the first load of snow for the season in Northern California! So here I am, back on the trail this spring, hoping to make it from the Mexican border to Kennedy Meadows (my starting point last year). That's 709 miles. Up in Northern California, I still have the last 180 miles left to hike, then I'll have finished the whole Pacific Crest Trail.
I'm still deciding how I'm going to celebrate. Oh, and there WILL be celebrating. Much celebrating.
Miles hiked so far: 120
Days hiked: 10

On May 11, my sister-in-law Kim and I made our way to Campo, CA. San Diego trail angels drove us t…

An Email Meme (Someone E-mailed it to Me)

Where is your cell phone? It is sitting ignored in my bag.

Your significant other? He is laying ignored in bed...

Your hair? Dark brown with a lot of dark red/burgundy

Your mother? Bedridden. Or did you mean hair colour? It would be completely white but she has it dyed.

Your father? Bald, like my husband, who is laying in bed ignored...

Your favorite thing? My iPod, what else? Maybe my camera... it is a toss-up...

Your dream last night? You know, I did have a weird one. I was dreaming about our Major Medical changes, but also about driving the ambulance and I was turning around via a jug handle on Route 80 and my right knee kept banging against something that was sharp and cutting up the skin. I awoke to find the cat sticking her claws under the blanking and clawing up my right knee!

Your favorite drink? Room temperature water with cran-each flavour in it.

Your dream/goal? To be happy... which I am!

What room are you in? I'm in the living room, listening to Spock vs. Q on my iPod.

Your favo…

Humour - Dear Deaf Wife

A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family doctor to discuss the problem. The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the doctor a better idea about her hearing loss.
Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.."
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens." Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?"
No response.

So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"
Still no response.

Next he moves into the dining room where…

A.W.A.D. - No End to Eponyms

with Anu Garg

Self-improvement author Dale Carnegie once said, "A person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
No wonder we put it to use any chance we get: from naming a business (Wal-Mart) to naming a child (Ron Jr.). For the same reason, we insist that a hospital auditorium or a park bench carry our name in return for our money.
We name inventions, diseases, countries, products, plants, mountains, planets, and more after people's names. We even coin words after them. Such words are called eponyms, from epi- (upon) + -onym (name).This week's AWAD examines five words named after people.
PRONUNCIATION: (choor-ee-guh-RESK)
MEANING: adjective: Baroque; lavish; over-the-top. Also, churrigueresco

ETYMOLOGY: After José Benito Churriguera (1650-1725), Spanish architect and sculptor, whose family was known for extravagant architectural decorations.
USAGE: "I had what I considered to be a reasonable plan for findi…

A.W.A.D. - Multiple Meaning Words

with Anu Garg

"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."
Alice and Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass might as well have been talking about this week's words. While the word "set" has the largest number of meanings -- the Oxford English Dictionary has 26 pages devoted to this little three-letter word -- each of this week's hard-working words has many unrelated meanings that are interesting.
Come to think of it, Alice's one word mean can mean more than one mean word. With this week's words in AWAD Humpty Dumpty is going to have to pay a lot. Let's get our money's worth.
MEANING: noun:
1. The space between the extended forefinger and thumb
2. A flourish or curl at the end of a handwritten word. Also known as curlicue
3. A discourse, esp…