Day 266

Peter’s Mill Landing this morning

It was peaceful and pretty this morning, and when I took the photo it was a bit perturbing. As I drove up to the landing a car pulled away from the parking area but stopped on the outward bound drive until I parked and got out of the car. Then it pulled away at a speed I thought was fast for the area. But, I walked down to Wildcat Creek and took a few photos. When I was finished shooting I got back in the car and drove slowly back to the street. When I reached th street I was blocked by the car that had left ahead of me. I finally pulled around it, and as I passed it I looked over to see that the car was empty. There was no driver in sight. As I said, a bit perturbing.

***

I had the family room TV on the other day while I was working in the kitchen, so I wasn’t paying much attention to it. I don’t even remember which of the 50+ stations it was tuned to. All I remember was somebody disparaging some newer architectural style. That made me start thinking about how some people love change, love anything new, while some other people hate change. I also realized that the older I get, the closer I’m moving toward the latter point of view.

Let me state two things: 1) While I may not enjoy listening to most contemporary music, I don’t look down at people who do. The same is true for most things in society. I dislike “reality TV,” but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the company of people who do like it. The same is true in politics. I am a liberal afloat in a sea of local conservative opinion. I don’t rail against my conservative friends, I just don’t let them drag me down and drown me. In other words, most things in life aren’t  so upsetting that it affects everything around you.

2) When I heard that Newsweek was going to stop publishing a printed version of their magazine, I was saddened. I wasn’t sad because I wouldn’t be able to renew my subscription for the print version, I had already decided to not renew; I was sad that there would be one less option for people. I like holding a book or a magazine while I read it. I like having bookcases filled with books. But that doesn’t stop me from also using my Kindle. I like having the option.

Day 265 – Updated

Fixer upper

After I uploaded the photo, I stopped to do a few other things. I completely forgot to come back and add words to the post. I’ll update tomorrow.

***

The house in this picture would be a great site for a haunted house. Actually, if I could sink a lot of money into it, restoring it would be a pleasure, or, I should say, having it restored would be a pleasure; I don’t do stuff like that. I think it’s a classy looking place. There is no For Sale sign in front of it, so I have to believe someone has plans for it, even if those plans are to let it fall further into disrepair. That would be a shame.

***

I still can’t believe I forgot to add words to this post yesterday. When I started the blog I would begin my day by going out and finding a picture, then come home, upload my selected photo, and add the words. Some days the words came easily, some days not; but I always worked at it. More recently my forays out into the world have come later in the day, and the text has come even later. It isn’t unusual to find me sitting down to compose after 6 p.m. I need to set a higher priority on the blog.

Yesterday I distracted myself by doing, what I call, file maintenance on the PC. I’m working at combining file folders and moving them to flash drives in order to free up space on the hard drive. I spent a large amount of time combining folders of photographs from the hard drive and from rewritable discs onto a flash drive. I have more to do with photos, and then I’m moving on to music files, and from there to word documents as well as some really old files that were created in WordPerfect. The WordPerfect files were created shortly after I moved to Lafayette, back when it was a better choice than Word. Those were the days.

OK, I’ve updated this post; now to start a draft on Day 266.

Day 264

Squirrel in the tree

The rain doesn’t seem to be bothering them. And the squirrel is having a good time.

***

I don’t know if this happens to other people or not; I don’t recall ever reading about it or discussing it with anyone, but sometimes I wake up thinking of words or phrases. Sounds weird, right? Let me explain. I woke up this morning around 3 a.m. and I thought of the word amanuensis. In case you don’t know, it means a person who writes from dictation, or copies a manuscript, or even who signs a document on behalf a of another person. The first time I heard the word it was defined as a male secretary.

I went back to sleep and woke up around 6:15. Right after I opened my eyes I thought of Schrödinger’s Cat. Please don’t ask me explain what it, I can’t satisfactorily, because I only partially understand it. Simply, it is a thought experiment that delves into quantum entanglement.

Why, you well ask, was I thinking about these things upon awakening? I don’t know. Perhaps they are remnants of dreams that I don’t remember having, though I can’t conceive of a dream I might have that would involve Schrödinger’s Cat, let alone an amanuensis. Let me know if you have any ideas about why words come into my head when I wake up.

***

I spent some time listening to the album Sticks Up! by Bobby Hutcherson this morning. I bought the digital version of the album when I found it on sale a few months ago. I was happy to find it, because I hadn’t heard it since my college days. A friend of mine, I think it was Jerry Warburton, bought the album and we listened to it often. It is a Blue Note album from the 60’s, and they put out some great music in that decade. That’s when I started listening to Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, and Duke Pearson. Finding Sticks Up! on Amazon made it a good day for me. Listening to it again this morning helped dispel some of the gloom from this rainy day.

Day 263

I think my brain has been staying here

I finally got the wireless hub working this morning around 11:30. After arguing with the clerk at Best Buy yesterday, it turns out that he was right, I didn’t need the adaptor after all. I’ll keep it, however, because it might come in handy at a later date when we upgrade to a newer computer. I may need it for this pc if it becomes a secondary computer for the grandkids and/or Cindy or me.

***

If I gave the impression yesterday that working on the computer was all I did, well, not so much. I took time out yesterday afternoon to watch an old movie, the Stranger, with Edward G. Robinson, Orson Wells, and Loretta Young. It was released to theaters in 1946, the year before I was born. I like a lot of these older black and white movies. I must admit that I thought Loretta Young’s performance was over the top in much of the last several minutes, but over all, it was a good movie. Richard Long was also in the movie; he played Loretta’s younger brother. I suppose most people remember Mr. Long from The Big Valley on television. I remember him best for his portrayal of a private eye on Bourbon Street Beat. That was one of a number of detective shows from the same people, Warner Brothers Television, who brought us 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye. As a matter of fact, a quick google show me that he played the same detective character on 77 Sunset Strip before and after Bourbon Street Beat went off the air. I didn’t remember that.

Warner Brothers Television also had a string of western series including Maverick, Cheyenne, and Sugarfoot. As I recall, all of these shows were in black and white; but I could be wrong about some of the ones that came along later. Now if they would only put out Bronco on DVD.

Day 262

I did not want to go here today

Nope. Didn’t want to go here today, and yet, here I am. I’m still trying to set up the wireless hub so Cindy can update her Iphone from the family room. I may get it done by the end of the day.

***

I had every intention of finishing this post earlier today. Well, it’s coming up on eleven hours later and I’m just getting around to finishing the words. I still haven’t got the wireless network set up properly, but I haven’t given up all hope. I still have two more things I can try…one of those things is calling for tech support. Calling is a lot like asking for directions when you are lost, it’s the last thing you try. If you ask for help you lose the satisfaction of figuring it out for yourself.

I went to Best Buy because after casting about for help on the Internet I came across a how-to page on the Microsoft site. When I checked there I found out that my computer is too old to fully support the wireless modem that I got at Comcast…the one I had to call tech support about so they could get it to connect to my PC from their end. Anyway, I learned that I needed to buy a USB Wireless Network Adaptor and install it before I could set up the wireless network. So, I told the helpful young man who worked there what I wanted and why. At that point he said I didn’t need the adaptor, I needed a new modem. I told him no, I needed the adaptor, because i had just gotten the modem from Comcast. He said no, I needed the new modem. We went back and forth on that for a few minutes. I finally mentioned the magic words of “My computer is so old that…” and he crumbled and allowed that I was probably right. If he hadn’t given in I was ready to go to Radio Shack.

As an aside, Radio Shack was my first choice but after driving there I found out that they don’t open until 10 a.m. I drove then to Best Buy, and found out that they don’t open until 10. Don’t merchants want to do business with early risers? Luckily Best Buy is next door to Barnes & Noble, so I whiled away the time browsing.

I came home with my purchase and successfully followed the installation instructions. Two problems: 1) At no point was I asked what password I wanted to use, and 2) I can’t access the wireless network with my phone without entering the password that I couldn’t set. Once I figure that out, things should be peachy.

Day 261

Have a I used a photo of this before?

I have taken photos in this area before, but I don’t recall if I’ve taken this shot and used it in a blog post. It’s just another example of growing older.

***

Once again, this morning, I heard a conservative pundit trying to quote JFK by saying that a high tide raises all boats, and then trying to conflate that with a tax cut. What the president said in 1963 was “As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both partners, without domination or unfair advantage.” He was speaking of a dam project and defending it from charges of pork barrel, not taxes. I don’t mind if conservatives quote President Kennedy, but I object when they infer he held the same point of view that they hold. What were they saying when he was president?

I thought about trying to make an observation about that quote, trickle-down economics, the tax cuts we’ve had for the past ten years, and the shrinking middle class, but  my argument was so convoluted that even I got lost in it. If you want to make your own case, feel free.

***

It’s time to close out today. I hope I’ll be posting again tomorrow, but that remains to be seen. Cindy wants me to switch from cable modem to wireless. That means I have to shut down everything, disconnect the modem, and take it to the cable company and trade it in for a different piece of equipment. That also means I have to hook everything up and hope that I can get it to operate properly. I think I have about a 65% chance of that happening. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be spending a lot of time on the telephone with tech support. That seldom works out well.

Here’s hoping it works.

Day 260

Closer than I appear

You can do silly things out of boredom. Here I am waiting for Cindy to finish shopping in the Goodwill store. I went in with her, and while se went directly to the clothes, and they took up about 90% of the floor space, I went to look at the books. As usual in stores like this, I didn’t find anything that was worth buying. I noticed that there were multiple copies of Hannibal by Thomas Harris. I see copies of this book every time I look at the shelves in thrift shops. It’s as if people can’t get rid of the book fast enough. I haven’t read it, so I may be wrong.

***

Trina & JR came over to pick up Marlon and to have dinner with us last night. We were talking about their trip to King’s Island and the roller coasters. JR mentioned that he liked the feel when the coaster reached the apex and then plummeted downwards (I’m paraphrasing). Cindy said it was the same as starting down a steep hill at speed. I mentioned that I felt like that when watching the chase scene in Bullit. Cindy agreed, but neither Trina nor JR seemed to know the reference. I said it was the best chase sequence in movies. The kids couldn’t place it. We started talking about Steve McQueen and, again, they didn’t recognize the name. Cindy and I started naming some of his movies. JR did say he thought he had heard of The Magnificent Seven but none of the others meant anything to them. Am I really that old? I’ve decided to add a few McQueen movies to my DVD collection and loan them to the kids. They needn’t spend the rest of their live culturally unaware.

 ***

Out of the blue, this morning, I remembered a fashion from the 60’s, “bleeding Madras” shirts. They were plaid shirts made with non-colorfast dyes, so that the shirt colors bled and/or faded each time it was washed. I remember my mom couldn’t understand why anyone would buy a shirt intending for the colors to bleed. In a similar vein I remember her bleaching my grey dress shirt because she said it looked dingy. I tried to explain that I wanted a gray shirt, but she continued trying to bleach it white.

Day 259

Not a bad shot

I took a good half-dozen photos with our camera on the trip up to see my mom and sister today, but took this with my cell phone on the way home. Let me tell you about the trip home.

I promised Cindy that I would take the Interstate driving home so that I could get home faster. That was a mistake. I got on I65 at Crown Point, and the traffic wasn’t bad. Around ten miles south of there it started to rain lightly, and traffic kept moving at a brisk pace. After another five miles the wind picked up and the high-profile vehicles started being pushed by the wind, so elements of the traffic stream stated to slow down. That was fine with me.

After another ten miles or so the wind dropped but the rain increased. Traffic started to bunch up, and that is when things started to go bad. For unknown (to me) reasons, the flow of traffic would drop speed, pick up speed, and drop speed even more. After awhile I realized that we were moving along at 35 miles per hour. Then we would increase speed to 45, and then drop back to 40. All the while traffic bunched up even more. I’m not sure how far we travelled at those speeds.

Eventually traffic started spreading out again. I was in the passing lane, attempting to go around a tank truck when the truck driver decided that he wanted to occupy the same space that my auto was in, and started to move into that lane. I hit my brakes as gently as I could, since the road was wet, and pulled over onto the shoulder. I was lucky that the car behind me saw what was happening and backed off. I got back on the highway, and when it was safe, moved into the right lane. I was ready to get off of the Interstate, so I took the next exit.

I got off on Indiana 24 and drove into Wolcott. I planned on catching 231 south from there. As luck would have it, 231 was closed south of town. I found myself on a deserted stretch of road. That’s where I took this picture. I couldn’t fit the entire rainbow in the picture. It was a perfect double rainbow, touching the ground on both ends. Well, after I took the picture I turned the car around, went back north, and got back on 24 which I took to Reynolds. From there I caught 43 and drove back to Lafayette and home.

Driving on the Interstate only added 45 minutes to my normal drive time.

Day 258

Yes, we have a house guest this weekend. Marlon had just opened his eyes and looked up at me as I took this photo. he loves to nap in my chair in the living room. When he is in the chair and awake, he can sit in the chair and keep watch out of the picture window. This gives him the opportunity to bark at the children and the other dogs that walk past our house. His problem is staying awake.

Earlier today I let him out into the backyard to do his duty. After staying out for about fifteen or twenty minutes he came to the back door to be let back in. Just as I opened the door for him, he took off like a shot and chased a black cat out of the yard. The cat made a mighty leap to get over the fence and got away. Marlon is a good dog, yes he is, he is a good good dog. Of course, after he finished with the cat he had to re-patrol the back yard and mark his territory again. I shouldn’t have to let him out again for a while.

***

It has started to rain, lightly. That’s making it a gloomy day. That’s also the reason I took a photo of Marlon; I didn’t want to go out. However, I may need to run and get snacks for tonight. Cindy is having her friends in to play Old Maid, and I hide out upstairs so I don’t have to strain to hear the TV or music over their voices. They do talk loudly. It is going to be a two or three movie night. I just have to decide what I want to watch.

***

I was doing some unfocused web surfing earlier today, just searching a word at random and letting the matches lead me one place or another. That’s how I came across a term I hadn’t heard before, beef clod. It turns out that this is another term for chuck. The things you learn.

Day 257

Morning at Happy Hollow Park

I didn’t spend a lot of time at the park this morning. For one thing I forgot to take the camera with me, so I had to use the cell phone camera. Another reason was that there were some people there who looked like they didn’t want others to be around. This is purely speculation on my part, but they appeared to be grandparents with a teenaged girl. The elderly couple was standing, looking at her with concerned expressions on their faces. The girl was sitting at a park bench, looking like she was in the early stages of withdrawal. Of course it could have been that she was a hitchhiker who had barfed her Egg McMuffin and Mountain Dew in the back seat of their car; and what I saw was anger, not concern. Or perhaps they had come to the park to surreptitiously bury the girl’s dog, Lugnut, under the playground swing set, and she was exhibiting grief, not withdrawal. There might even be another scenario that fits the tableau I witnessed.

I’ll go back sometime, with the camera, and take a proper photo.

***

The wife of a fellow running for State representative came to our door yesterday, campaigning for her husband. She surprised me by asking if I was Mr. Houseman. Generally when these people come knocking they don’t know who lives in the house. I was impressed that this woman did her homework…maybe I’m easily impressed. She gave me a glossy tri-fold brochure that somebody had gone to a lot of trouble to produce. The one thing that bothered me was the fact that nowhere on the brochure, and at no time while she spoke to me, was the political party he is affiliated with named. I understand, truly I do, that we should be making decisions on how we vote based on the person and what they claim to stand for, not their party. However, I’m not sure what I think of a person who will not state his affiliation. I may vote for this person, no matter what party banner he is under, when I have researched him and whoever he is running against, based on what I learn. But my opinion of him won’t be the highest.

Oh, and don’t get me started on people who use the term progressive instead of liberal.