Day 245

Sunday morning farmhouse

The white paint helps dispel any depression over the drought. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. It does seem to be a more cheerful place than many other farms. Brightness helps me maintain my cheerful outlook on life. I can hear Cindy laughing at the thought of me having a cheerful outlook. It is a work in progress.

***

I’m listening to the Jesse Colin Young album On The Road while struggling for words today. This is another album that has grown on me over the years. I became a fan when he was with The Youngbloods and expected this album to be an extension of that sound. It isn’t, but had merit of its own. At first I spent most of my time listening to Sunlight, Corinna, and What’s Going On/Mercy Mercy Me, mainly because I was familiar with those songs. With time I came to appreciate The Peace Song and Walkin’ Off the Blues just as much. Now I like the entire album. That raises the question of has my taste in music improved, deteriorated, or just expanded. I don’t know, and it probably doesn’t matter.

***

I have been searching the CBS website to see if they have posted a video from today’s Sunday Morning show. The lead story was about people and their relationship with their cell phones. Two statistics have stuck with me. First, 90% of U.S. citizens have a cell phone. The second statistic was related to a study conducted worldwide with young cell phone users. They were asked to not use their cell phone for twenty-four hours. Here’s the statistic: 70% of the participants dropped out of the study before the 24 hours were up. Then they talked about how many people are on their cell while watching tv. When they said that, Cindy looked up from her cell, glanced at the screen, and then checked to see if I was watching her. Of course I was watching her. I smiled and she smiled somewhat ruefully. Then she went back to the BINGO game on her cell.

Oh, I haven’t found the video yet. If it shows up I’ll add in link to it in a future post.

Day 244

Caffeine depot

 I don’t now why I ever buy coffee here. It tastes bad, and yet I stop and buy a cup every few weeks. I usually make coffee at home and carry it with me, but not every day. Today I bought a cup of bad coffee. I shan’t do that again in the near future.

***

There is a series on CineMax named Strike Back that I watch.I’m not sure why I watch it because there is a lot of gratuitous violence and occasional graphic fake sex. Still, I like the show. I particularly like the theme song by a group named The Heavy. The song is Short Change Hero, and it is the best theme I’ve heard since A3’s Woke Up This Morning, the theme from The Sopranos. I’ll definitely be downloading music from The Heavy.

***

The first time I saw the word defenestration it was standing alone; there was no context. My mind immediately decided that the definition was the act of removing body hair. I have no idea where that came from. As I’m sure you know, it actually means the act of throwing someone out of a window. I am still somewhat surprised that there is a technical term for that occurrence. What is more surprising is that when I googled the term I found out that the term is often related to the city of Prague, Czechoslovakia. Evidently there have been two official “Defenestrations of Prague,” and other unofficial defenestrations in that storied city. Who would have guessed?

Stephen Colbert made me realize a somewhat curious use of words a few nights ago. When talking about the Emmy awards he said that he had lost. How often do you hear that about an award that someone does not get? Instead of saying that they lost, they say, if anything, that they did not win. I suppose that helps assuage the hurt. It also says something about ego.

Finally on the subject of words, when did it become politically incorrect to say that a woman is a lady? Every time I run a spelling/grammar check on a document I am coaxed to change lady to woman. The world continues to change around me. That’s probably for the best.

***

Oh, I think, maybe, I’ve worked out a way to get my photos posted. I know I’ve said that before, but today I think I have succeeded. Check out Days 242 and 243 to see if you can see the pictures. I saw them when I looked on my cell phone…I think that means success.

Day 243

Alley outside the back door to Cindy’s office

I didn’t have my camera with me this morning because I thought Cindy was taking the car, instead I drove her to work. So I used my cell phone camera, and I think the shot turned out pretty good. I’m still using a workaround to get the photo in the post (see yesterday’s post), but I haven’t figured out a way to add tags to the post. That option seems to have disappeared along with the ability to add pictures in the normal way.

***

Cindy and I were listening to the Beatles this morning. Beatles ’65 was the album. I realized for the first time that the song No Reply could well be subtitled “The Stalker Song.” I mean, he’s watching her windows, he keeps calling her on the phone, and he’s staking out her house. Is it any wonder she wants him out of her life? Scary stuff!

***

 I had an appointment with the podiatrist this morning. The receptionist gave me a form to fill out to update my medical file. One of the questions was about any surgeries. Well, I have had a toe amputated, in fact my podiatrist did it. I started to wonder if there was a one word term for that procedure, like maybe toectomy. I didn’t have the nerve to ask him, so when I came home I looked on Dictionary.com. Toectomy doesn’t appear in their database.

***

I caught a snatch of conversation on The Today Show this morning while waiting for Cindy to get ready. They were talking about Whitney Houston, and one of the people said that her sound was timeless. That caused me to ponder the statement, and to decide that a fan of anybody would find the person’s art as timeless. I know that not everyone was a fan of Steve Goodman, for instance, but I think his songs, his recordings, are timeless. Joe Kubert’s comic art work is timeless. Many people find the comedy of the Three Stooges timeless. It depends on who you are, and what you like.

***

I hope you can see the photo’s on today’s and yesterday’s posts. I thought I had worked out a solution, but now I’m not so sure.

Day 242 – Updated

Critters on the clean-up crew

Well, I figured a workaround to the inability to post my picture from yesterday. This isn’t the best picture I took, but I know I’ll probably not get a better opportunity to get this shot. I can go back and get the good pictures at another time.

***

On Monday morning I’m going to have a procedure done on my left eye. Assuming they don’t blind me with the laser I’ll have the same procedure on the right eye a week later. I am looking forward to having it done because it is getting harder to read every day, and driving at night is kind of scary. The problem is caused by scar tissue that developed after the cataract surgery I had last year…at least I think it was last year. The people where I had the cataract surgery and now the laser treatment prefer to call the scar tissue “healing tissue.” It’s like calling a tax a “revenue enhancer,” or a stripper an “exotic dancer.” A rose by any other name. Anyway, I want to get it done because things seem much dimmer to me, and it has been getting worse for the past two or three months.

The procedure sounds simple enough. They just use the laser to burn a hole in the scar, excuse me “healing,” tissue. I’m guessing that they won’t be giving me any good drugs because they told me that I can drive myself home when it is over.

***

I love to watch the birds eat the seed I put out for them. The finches have been a particular pleasure this year. The squirrels still try to get the seed, but they don’t seem as intent on getting to it. I remember how they used to infuriate me when I was younger and living on Eastland Drive.

One year I decided to have some fun with the squirrels. The bird feeder was hanging from a metal pole in the back yard. The pole was 1/4 inch in diameter, and the squirrels could climb the pole and get into the feeder. One day I greased the pole. Later that day I watched a squirrel run to the pole, leap up to climb, and slide back down. The squirrel tried three times before it gave up. Then it dragged its belly across the grass, trying to get the grease out of its fur. This worked for a day or two, but then the squirrels, or furry tailed rats as Mary calls them, had rubbed all of the grease off the pole  and were able to once again climb to the feeder. It was fun while it lasted

Day 241

I’ve been to the store, guess what I bought.

Some days fruit is all you want. Or at least there are days when fruit is all I want. Today I picked up bananas, pears, grapes and oranges to go along with the apples we already have and a watermelon that I haven’t cut yet. Right now a fruit salad and a bowl of soup sounds good for dinner. I have a few hours yet, so I might change my mind.

***

One of the good things about a library is that you can check out music cds and decide if you like an artist without committing to purchasing the album. I decided to try an artist named Sharon Dressen McKnight when I went to the library the other day. I found two albums by her in the folk music section. I’m listening now, and I’m enjoying the music. The songs appear to have been recorded here in Lafayette though many of them seem to have originated in Minnesota. I’ve tried googling her, but have come up empty so far. I can see that I need to do more research.

The other cd I borrowed from the library is The Essential Doc Watson. These songs come from when Doc Watson was recording for Vanguard. I belive it was first released on vinyl in the early 1970’s. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I am pretty sure that I will enjoy it. I can’t imagine not liking it.

***

I just checked the upcoming IU Men’s basketball schedule. The first game will be on November 1st against Bryant University. It looks like the game will be streamed on the Internet, so I  will probably skip it. I don’t like watching television on the Internet. I guess I’m just too picky for words, unless those words are picky, picky, picky. That’s me.

Day 240

A few trees’ leaves are starting to change

It didn’t take long for autumn to start changing the leaves. The drought probably had something to do with it as well. I can’t say I’m not ready for autumn, because I am.

***

Where shall I start today? I was listening to Ian & Sylvia this morning, So Much For Dreaming was the album. I underappreciated that album when I first bought it on vinyl. Back then I believed that the only appropriate instruments for playing folk music were acoustic guitars, banjos, bass’, and occasionally mandolin and autoharp. o when I bought the album I was dismayed to hear drums and even an orchestra on some cuts. Even at that, two of my all time Ian & Sylvia songs are on that album, Wild Geese and Summer Wages. I’ve found that as I age, or maybe as I mature, I enjoy albums that I didn’t like so much when I first bought them. Also, I’ve opened myself up to more types of music over the years. I find it harder to distinguish among the different types of music because there is so much overlap. That’s a good thing.

***

Yesterday morning I considered making snide comments about some of the news items crawling across the bottom of the screen on MSNBC. I had planned on giving you my opinion, in a snarkish manner, about the death of the baby panda, but then decided that I was just being mean. Then there was the blurb about a study that claimed corporate leaders are overpaid. Why comment on that? Most people believe that point already. Maybe I’m mellowing out.

Day 239

This isn’t Dogpatch

It has been another beautiful, sunny autumn day. I spent a good part of the morning just cruising around neighborhoods I don’t normally go through; hence this photo. It just adds to the feeling I’ve been having all day that it is good to be retired.

Those feelings started this morning while I was watching the news with Cindy. I have been skipping the morning news and watching Morning Joe on weekdays, but I thought I would be sociable  today. I figured out that one of the reasons I have been skipping the Indy news show is that they have traffic reports. Watching those reports became part of my daily schedule when I was commuting to work in Indy. It became a habit that I carried on even when I came back to work in Lafayette. The report this morning made me realize how much I had come to dislike work. Twenty-nine years of working for the state was at least five years too many. You couldn’t pay me enough to ever go back to that kind of life.

Another reminder of my current happiness came when the subject of teacher performance appraisal came up on Morning Joe. It made me think of doing and receiving performance appraisals when I worked for the state. Doing them was never something that I enjoyed, even when I was giving someone a good appraisal. The State’s system was a good one when used correctly. The bad news was that we were mandated to write comments on just about every measure you used. I don’t like being told that I have to write a comment. I know others felt the same way, because my last supervisor had stock comments that she used for everyone…so meaningful.

The third reminder of my happiness came this afternoon when I was able to just sit in an easy chair, listening to a jazz cd, alternately reading a book and dozing in the chair. I couldn’t have done that while working, though I knew a few people who were able to get away with it. I’ll mention no names. Yes. It is good to be retired!

Day 238

A quiet Sunday morning

Bob Gibson (the folksinger, not the hall of fame pitcher) or Captain Beyond? That was my musical choice this morning. I took this quiet picture while listening to Rampaging River Of Fear by Captain Beyond. Of course I listened to Trouble In Mind by Bob Gibson shortly before driving to this peaceful spot. If you know the lyrics to that song you realize how that song fits with this picture.

***

Here is a sign of our times. My grandson Mason has been talking about getting an upgraded cell phone for months. A couple of days ago he posted on Facebook that he had his new phone. He listed the number and wrote “Text me.” Not call me, text me. It’s just another example of the fact that a cell phone is really a hand-held computer that you can use to make telephone calls if you’re really retro. I guess yu can also use it to take pictures. That makes it a true multi-tasking tool, or an inanimate (unless it is set on vibrate) Jack-of-all-Trades. And yet, I still don’t feel like I’ve left the twentieth century.

***

Never mind that before each new autumn season of television the individual series claim that the critics are calling each show the best new show of the season. Yesterday I think I heard the “best” copy for a new show. I don’t have the exact words, but it was pretty much, “Tune in for the premier, it will be an all-new episode.” Really? I never would have guessed. I not only wonder about the person who wrote the words, but also the person or people who said, “Yes! That’s what we want to say because the typical tv viewer will be swayed by those words.”

***

An observation: The actor Timothy Cumberbatch would make a great Dr. Who, though he may well not want the part. I really enjoy his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Day 237

Color on the walls

I have been changing the wall decor in our office recently. I’ve added more comic book related posters. The posters have been in my possession for many years, but I just got around to framing a few of them. On the far left is a poster advertising Whisper, one of my favorite comics. Whisper is one of the few series I would not want to part with. I have many that are probably worth more, but only monetarily.

To the right of Whisper is an advertising poster for Echo of Futures Past. This was an anthology type magazine, with story arcs from different writers and artists. I particularly like this poster because the art is by Michael Golden.

Next is a poster for The Badger. The concept of the hero of this book was different for its time, in that the hero was mentally unbalanced. While many heroes have that problem, this book made it abundantly clear that the Badger was off his rocker. Still, he was a hero. The comic started with good writing and fine artwork, but as time went on the artists changed and the art deteriorated. I stayed with the book because the writing was good, but when it started going downhill I abandoned the title.

Finally there is a poster for Revengers: Starring The Ultimate Man Megalith. I bought the first issue, based on the cover by Neal Adams. I don’t believe I bought a second issue because I was not impressed by the writing in the first issue. But, you know, Neal Adams art on the poster made it worth framing and hanging.

***

In case you are wondering why this post is coming so late today, and why I’m using this picture, well…you see, I’ve been in a cranky mood most of the day, and I didn’t get out to take a picture. I was also afraid that if I started composing earlier, I would have been whining about things that you might find childish. Cindy told me that I let myself get upset things that were “nothing.” Maybe. But I think we have different definitions of “nothing.”

Day 236

The best photo I took today

I’m glad I went out to take pictures first this morning, because I had a number of errands to run today. I had to go out more times than I had anticipated because I couldn’t find everything I needed in one place. By the time I finished it had started to sprinkle, so it is good that I took the photo before I ran the errands.

Among the things I needed to get were a prescription for me, snacks for me, jigsaw puzzles for Maely and Emma, pop for Cindy, and DVDs for the girls and Cindy. I thought I could get most of those things at CVS, but I was wrong. I got the prescription and my snacks there, but none of the specific things Cindy wanted were available there. They didn’t even have jigsaw puzzles in the toy section. I figured I could get the puzzles and pop at Wal-Mart, so that was my next stop.

The Wal-Mart I chose to go to was near and it has six or seven aisles of toys. The only jigsaw puzzles they had were for toddlers, not seven-year old girls. There was a woman with a young child wandering through the toy aisles. The child, I think it was a boy, kept pointing and loudly saying, “Zatun, Mummy, zatun. Zatun, Mummy, zatun. Zatun, Mummy, zatun,” and so on, and so on, and so on. I don’t know how she tuned him out; perhaps she was deaf. She just kept slowly walking the toy aisles with her child in the cart.

I was able to get one of the types of pop that Cindy wanted while I was at Wal-Mart, but they didn’t have, or I couldn’t find the second type. I gave up and went home to eat lunch and take a fifteen minute nap.

Back on the streets I went first to the video store and rented the two movies Cindy wanted for the girls. From there I went to the grocery store and got the second brand of pop. Moving on I went to Toys ‘Я Us and found two 300 piece jigsaw puzzles for the girls to work on. Missions accomplished!

So ends another day in the life of a retired gent, except for all of the stuff that I did for myself. Maybe I’ll give you insight into that some other time.