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Bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth. Go ahead, admit it.

And I wasn’t even staying here!

My question for the day is: Do you ever feel jealous of people with certain talents? I do.

I cannot listen to anyone who can sing with feeling a sense of jealousy, no matter how moving the music might be. I suspect that the jealousy comes from the fact that I am and have always been a poor singer. Bad enough that the Son and L banned me from singing in the house, even in the shower. It could be because I have an absolutely atrocious sense of pitch, it could be because I am tone deaf, it might even be because I never can remember lyrics. (Which is strange since I can remember whole books close to word for word.) In any case, I feel envy and jealousy when i hear a great singer or choral group.

Another group that I envy and feel jealous of are proto-gymnasts. You know, those absolutely flexible and lithe little people who always look graceful, even if they are tripping down a flight of stairs. Given that I was 6’4″ and 250 lbs. by seventh grade, it is safe to say that I never went through a stage of being tiny, nor lithe, nor graceful. The phrase big-galoot comes to mind. So whenever I see a proto-gymnast, I envy them and am jealous. Primarily because I wonder what it would be like to go through life not tripping over things and never running into door ways and walls, not having to consciously maneuver through a crowd so as not to crush someone. The world must seem like a very different place to those lithe little people.

So who or what skills do you feel jealous of?

Merry Christmas

Santa must have recovered from his pre-flight routines in time to complete his rounds. His database must have crashed though, I didn’t get a lump of coal!

Question of the day: why did I get a wrapped roll of toilet paper with a note in the center that said “the real gift goes with this”? At least it wasn’t this classic knit Cthulhu mask:

I know that Santa is tired today – if for no other reason than the fact he has the wrong date on his calendar.

Of course that may be because of his legal troubles with Mrs. Claus:

Or it might even be the scurrilous campaign being conducted against him by the religious right:

What do you think?

The Sock Recovery Tool and Other Stories

Time once again for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Challenge. This week the prompts are:

1.) What’s ailing you? Diagnose yourself with a syndrome.

(inspired by Kimberly from Kamp KK)

2.) Share with us something you made by hand.
(inspired by Texan Mama via email)

3.) Fess up. Tell us what you found after a spying on someone.
(inspired by The Scattered Mind of a Tattooed Mini Van Mom)

4.) “How are y’all doing it? This summer, I mean? I cannot remember ever being as busy as we’ve been over the past two months. Those of you who are blogging daily, being as witty and entertaining as ever…I beg of you…HOW?”
(inspired By Lula from Lulaville)

5.)What are you afraid of?
(inspired by Life With Kaishon)

#1 – I’m currently suffering from two deadly syndromes. I don’t know which will get me first, but I do know that both are fatal.

The first is the dreaded ILMWS (I Love My Wife Syndrome). That means that I miss her a lot when she is forced to stay in the mountains for weeks at a time for business. Unfortunately, I suffer from the lesser rather than the greater version of this syndrome. In the greater version, amo meus uxor maximus, you pine away and eventually fade away due to not eating. In the lesser version, amo meus uxor grunnio, you make a lot of really high calorie food and eventually die from bacon overdose. In either case, the prognosis is not good.

The second syndrome is CAIS (Computer Addicted Idiot Syndrome). You know you have this ugly affliction when you keep thinking “I can read one more blog post before I absolutely positively have to get up and go to the bathroom.” and you do this repeatedly until the sprint is on. You also know you are on the verge of progressing into the final stages when you find yourself drooling over ads for new computers, even if you already have several working machines at hand. In the last stage, you stop talking to anyone in real life – often insisting that the people you know from blogging are more real than the annoying ghosts trying to keep you from spending yet more time on the computer.

#2 – The only things I’ve made by hand in the last couple of weeks are large piles of vegetation like this:

as I cleaned out the volunteer elms and sumac and weeds from the back yard. Of course if we aren’t restricted to the last couple of weeks, I always have my patent-pending, Rube Goldberg approved, behind-the-dresser and behind-the-dryer sock recovery tool (you’ll have to click on the image to see the full details of the exquisite construction):
Note the full utilization of the the bent coat hanger, duct tape, and a dowel stick to make a tool of extreme beauty. I know you just must have one of these fine tools! {*grin*}

#3 – I’m going to give this a pass. Most of the spying I have dome has been as part of work related activities and isn’t meant to be disclosed. I haven’t spied (or even stalked) any relatives because I believe that their life is their own to handle in the way they see fit. (Or mess up as they see fit as well.)

#4 – The simple answer is that I’m not doing it all. I am not blogging as much as I did in the past winter. For the nonce, I am generally not posting on the weekends. That is because I have other things to do and it is generally the only time L and I have together. So then the question becomes blog or spouse? If you chose blog, I think you are in the final stages of CAIS. Seek help, immediately.

#5 – Usually not much, but … This week while doing all the bushwhacking in the back yard brought forth a couple of anxiety producing happenings. (No, I don’t mean I tried to chop off a leg or arm with the ax. Cheesh!) When you chop, cut, and pull that much underbrush out, you disturb every bug and crawlie known to man and some not yet known ones as well. There is nothing like the feeling of a few bugs crawling around inside your shirt to induce the rapid removal of same. I don’t know how people of the female persuasion do it – having to go inside before removing the shirt and beating the snot out of the creepy crawlies that is. I’m much more in favor of the immediate gratification of just yanking the shirt off and flailing away. How about you? I figure that anyone who looks deserves the nightmares they’ll suffer from seeing my bare torso.

Of course, the evening that I whacked and piled all the brush made the backyard into a bird smörgÃ¥sbord. There were literally scenes like this one from the Hitchcock classic “The Birds”

going on all over the yard. At twilight, there must have been 300 birds gathered to feast on all the bugs and crawlies that were now exposed. When you see that many birds all staring intently and eating anything that moves, you can really believe that birds are the last of the dinosaurs. My only regret is that it came after it was too dark for me to get some pictures. I think the bird telegraph must have really spread the word that there was a free feast. At least a couple of every kind of bird from around here except for the turkey buzzards (thank heavens – they are the bad neighbor of birds and the largest crappers in the universe) showed up to feast. Wrens and sparrows and crows and bluebirds and swallows and doves and thrushes and … All getting along with no territorial battles since there was so much food for the pecking.

Sunday Yet Again

L has left on her return to the mountains and Molly has retired to her bed to mope. Pretty much a standard Sunday evening here.

Today was one of those days that it is good to be out on the plains. In Denver and environs they had 5 tornadoes this afternoon along with the severe thunderstorms that covered the whole eastern half of the state. Fortunately not too bad as far as problems, with plenty of warning. Mostly property damage in limited areas. This was different from most tornado occurrences since it was a result of cold air settling over Denver and then the normal afternoon thunderstorm build up accelerating as the cumulus clouds breached the top of the cold air layer and expanded rapidly, releasing a lot of stored energy. In fact, the national severe weather center had predicted *no* severe weather for today in Colorado. Just goes to show you can’t trust those weather critters. {*grin*} Another interesting part was that the process generated a band of thunderstorms from Denver all the way out to the Nebraska border, about 170 miles, that dropped hail from 2 to 3 inches in size. That is hail larger than a baseball! Fortunately the storms went north and south of us here and all we got was some really loud thunderclaps and a brief flood of rain.

Today as I perused the Denver Post’s Arts and Entertainment section heading for my beloved crossword puzzles, my eye was caught by small photo in the fashion layout. My first thought was “That looks like Summer of Le Musings of Moi!” So I sent her a copy so she could see that she was nearly famous. {*grin*} See if you don’t think it looks like Summer in her fashion poses:

(From 6/7/09 Denver Post)
Other than that, a quiet day. What was your day like?

Miscellaneous Monday

I’m running a tad short of time today so I’m taking the easy way out. Mama Kat and others have been touting the LinkWithin widget, so I decided to give it a try. The installation was easy. Just click on the “get this widget” link below and follow the bouncing two step ball.

Now being a techno geek at heart, my real goal was to see if it does a very good job of picking posts out of the archive to link with. Given that I often have a hard time finding the post I want to link to even when I know the wording of the post, this blog could be a challenge to the LinkWithin heuristics. (And see, you just knew I couldn’t resist using heuristic, just like I had to use canonical the last time I talked about search.) By looking at what it does and what the LinkWithin site says, it’s pretty clear that they do a crawl of your archives and then select matches to the current post from the archive posts. Since it takes them some finite amount of time to do that initial crawl, I’d expect that one would see changing selections with each refresh until the crawl was done. I’d also expect that there is some degree of randomness in the selection, so that each display of the blog might get a different set of links displayed.

When I installed the widget, I immediately started a series of refreshes in other browser windows. The earliest refreshes did indeed return pretty much random stuff, but later displays sometimes seemed a bit more on topic. I’m still undecided about the true effectiveness of the links suggested. My experience thus far is that the proverbial “10,000 monkeys typing on 10,000 typewriters for 1 million years will reproduce hamlet” type of randomness seems to be at the forefront in the selection process. If that indeed remains the case over the coming days,  the lifespan of the widget may very short here.

So that is where you all come in. I’m going to leave the widget enabled through the rest of this week and then post a poll to see whether it stays or goes. (Anyone with the widget installed interested in running a multi-site poll?) So pay attention and be prepared for a quiz after class! {*grin*}