Monday, November 29, 2010

Quit being so subtle

I think we're all supposed to get with the program and hop on board with....with some kind of name for today. What was that again?

Wait! I'll think of it. Just give me a minute.....

Bread and Peace

Universal Prayer
Alexander Pope, 1738

Father of All! In every Age,
In every Clime adored,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

Thou Great First Cause, least understood:
Who all my Sense confined
To know but this, that Thou art Good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,
To see the Good from Ill;
And binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.

What Conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
That, more than Heaven pursue.

What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when Man receives,
T'enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span
Thy Goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy Foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,
Or impious Discontent,
At aught thy Wisdom has denied,
Or aught thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,
To hide the Fault I see;
That Mercy I to others show,
That Mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by thy Breath;
Oh lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's Life or Death.

This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot;
All else beneath the Sun,
Thou knowst if best bestowed or not,
And let Thy Will be done.

To thee whose Temple is all Space,
Whose Altar Earth, Sea, Skies!
One Chorus let all Being raise!
All Nature's Incense rise!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Please excuse ... a Spatula Gross-Out

This is sort of a public service announcement, because I never, ever, thought to pop the head of a kitchen spatula off its stem -- I mean, it's tightly on, so I never thought it was supposed to be dismantled for cleaning.

So I tend to assume everybody is like me, and needs to know about this. If, however, you regularly think to clean the post and head of your spatula(s?) (spatulae?), then disregard this notice.

Larry and I were making Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for the family bash tomorrow and thankfully (no pun intended) he did think to pull off the top.

Gross. Me. Out.

This has led to :
(a) using a different one that is all formed in one piece, and
(b) dismantling and cleaning several spatula(s?) (spatulae?).

Hoping that I have not ruined your Thanksgiving,
I remain,
grateful for so many things,
including my interesting and delightful online friends,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

As video rental stores sink slowly in the west...

There's kind of a downside to having a home-based business.

Not that I'm real big on social conversing -- it's low on my list of enjoyable activities, below washing dishes. Honest. But when you work at home, you really don't want to use the 'net for everything. It's nice to see a human being on occasion, in, you know, actual stores. It's nice to know our shopkeepers and have them know us, and it's nice to have a town of active businesses, instead of a town of empty storefronts and jobless locals.

So we make our weekly rounds. We've become friends with the people who work at the post office. They know us at the grocery store, and do nice things like honoring my discount coupon, good only on an order of $75 or more, even though my total came up $1.73 short of eligibility. And they know us at the diner and bring me a diet cola as soon as they see me come through the door. Yes, at breakfast.

And we rent videos the prehistoric way. We've been regulars at the nearest walk-in stores.

That's "stores," plural, because they keep folding. We make video rentals part of our regular errand run, and the store closes. I mean, with no notice; we show up and it's an empty room with several dvds lying under the return slot on carpeting imprinted with vanished fixtures, a Chik-Fil-A cup abandoned on an empty shelf, and a Dear John letter on the door.

So we feed our dvds into the return slot to join the forlorn pile on the floor, drive to the next nearest place and become regulars there. Then that one tanks. We're on our third one.

It's weird to get nostalgic about a company like Blockbuster, but we've enjoyed it. I like the staff, and get some good ideas and suggestions from them, and yak with them about our cats and their car trouble and so on.

Blockbuster used to give us one-week rentals. That was nice. Then they cut it to 5 days. That's a pain, but basically still means a once-a-week trip, so we adjusted.

Today, we got there to discover that they've switched to 3-day rentals.

Not that 8 miles is an arduous drive, or that much of a fuel economy burden. But we NEVER go that route for any other reason, and there are a bunch of [%$@#!]ing traffic lights to wait at, and that just tore it. The new 99-cent rentals are swell for somebody, but little in that category appealed to us, and engineering our own 5-day rental period by incurring dollar-a-day "late fees" means a [%$@#!]ing automated "reminder" phone call each day, and adds up too fast if you take home more than one.

So. It looks like I'll be following the rest of the human herd to Netflix. I wrote BB to tell them so. Their stores are "competing" with the convenience of the internet/mail order providers by making store use as INconvenient as possible, which makes no sense. I told them that, too. Likely, they want to stop serving through stores and ferry us all into their own net service, but why keep spending money to make the stores less competitive??

Anyway, I guess my BB card will now join my collection of defunct cards.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Link by link, and yard by yard

There are 9 ribbon-chains, so far. One is sort of displayed along the back of the couch, the others are in heaps. Each is about 12 feet long. That's a guess. I'm about 5 foot 2, so a doubled-over length my height would be around 10 feet. But I keep adding links until I hold it up with my arm extended ceiling-ward and the doubled-over chain touches the floor.

It's very pleasant work, in anticipation of a Christmas that I'm pretty sure will not go down as being the Best Ever.