Another look at unproductivity

Tulip tree

This picture serves as my annual reminder why the Yellow Poplar is also called a Tulip Tree. In statute, the State tree of Indiana is named as the Tulip Tree, not a Yellow Poplar. In fact, the Yellow Poplar is not a poplar, but rather a member of the magnolia family.

***

The other day I wrote about the things I did instead of being productive. Today I thought I might build off of that. You will be happy to know that I finally finished my load of laundry. I put down the mystery long enough to do that. Then I went back to the mystery and read the rest of the book. I told you it was a good mystery.

Part of the time I was reading I was playing music in the background. I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning that, but for a statement I heard on TV this morning. The person speaking said that people were perfectly happy to let AI (Artificial Intelligence) do things and make decisions for them. He mentioned Anti-lock brakes (I concur) and choosing music (What?). I know he was talking about Spotify and similar services. I have tried Spotify a few times but have never liked the results. I give it a few songs that I like, and it seems unable to match my preferences. Perhaps I’m too picky. I would probably be the same with an online dating service.

***

I also cut the grass the next day. I am happy that the trend in lawn beauty is  lush stand of grass. I can recall when we were all supposed to have yards that looked like putting greens, very short and smooth. My grass is lush. My more generous neighbors might call it super lush. My less generous neighbors might call it super frickin’ lush. I’m sure that those who really don’t like me have even more colorful terms. At least I have no rusted-out autos in the yard. I could be a worse neighbor.

By the way, a half hour after I finished cutting the grass it started to rain. Timing is everything.

Things I did instead of working around the house yesterday

Full moon through the clouds

I took this picture after our granddaughter Maely’s final 8th grade choir concert. At least I think it was then. It was an eventful concert.

***

I had an unproductive day yesterday. There are things I should have be doing, but put them off, because I’m basically lazy. For instance, rather than collect my dirty clothes and start a load of laundry, I decided to read a chapter in a mystery. It is a very good mystery.

Apologies to my vegan friends for the next two paragraphs. I hope that you don’t find them too distasteful. Perhaps you should just skip over them.

While reading I flashed upon a steak dinner that I used to order in my favorite restaurant in Auburn. I haven’t lived in Auburn in at least thirty-five years,  but I could picture the plate with the steak and baked potato. The dinner had just been served, with the potato still in its foil jacket, steam rising from the plate, and a smaller plate for my trip to the salad bar. I could feel the tenderness of the steak as I cut into it, and the delicious flavor of the meat. All this at 9:30 a.m.

I put on a Pat Metheny Group CD that I borrowed from the library. It was really relaxing. I had the windows open, the ceiling fan on, and my eyes closed. But then I experienced an olfactory hallucination, and could swear I smelled eggs frying in butter. It smelled so real that I could almost hear the sizzling in the pan. It wasn’t yet 11 a.m.

OK. You can start reading again.

The only explanation have have for these incidents is that due to a reaction to a newly prescribed med, I had lost my appetite for the best part of a week. That seems to assume that meal times are the best times of the week. (I should probably think about that.) But now my appetite is returning.

I finally started my laundry and decided that I should cut the grass. It needs it. Badly. But you know, the idea of just sitting in my easy chair and watching an old episode of The Rockford Files just seemed too appealing. Of course after I watched that episode it was time for my afternoon nap. Nobody would want me to miss that! And after my nap, well it was just getting too late to start a major project like cutting the grass. I’ll do that tomorrow. Unless it rains.

My confession: I’ve had to make some changes this post while writing it, because I started writing it yesterday but put off finishing it until today.

Little bits and pieces

Macey & Della

I took this picture at my granddaughter Maely’s baseball game Friday. My older granddaughter, Macey, found it hard to be as somber as her mother and grandmother because she was holding the adorable Della.

***

A few days ago I tore one of my thumbnails to the quick. Yes I know, “Boohoo, Boohoo.” After staunching the meager blood flow, I put a band-aid (copyright erosion?) on my thumb to protect it. Due to diabetes I have lost some sensitivity in my fingertips. With this problem and the band-aid, it took me more than double the normal amount of time to button my shirt yesterday. I believe my thumb has been protected enough. The band-aid is coming off soon, because eventually I’ll be getting dressed for another baseball game.

***

Our President’s talk about his beautiful wall at his political rallies, reminds me of Gallagher’s sales pitch for the Sledge-O-Matic. I do miss our dear President’s tag line that Mexico will pay for the wall. What happened? Unlike Gallagher’s show, the crowd doesn’t need to bring plastic sheets for protection. You may have to look that up on YouTube if you are under a certain age.

***

For those of you on WordPress, you know that you can compose either in the classic format or in block format. I prefer the classic format. I was surprised to see that the spell and grammar check function had disappeared from my tools. Has anyone else experienced that as well? I want it back.

***

I was looking through my list of notes for possible blog posts before starting this draft. One of my notes reads “Eyes as big as half dollars.” I wish I could remember what I was planning to write because, because it sounds like it would have been fun.

Three questions

Boxcar #3

A third boxcar from a time past.

***

When I look at the stats supplied by WordPress for Classical Gasbag, only one of them piques my curiosity. I always look at the number of views that originate in other countries. I wonder why somebody in Singapore looked at one of my posts. What drew in a viewer in Romania? The occasional view by someone in Russia causes me to wonder if it flags me for investigation by the NSA or FBI. But it always goes back to “Why?” I wish that those people would make a comment, or send me an email explaining what drew their attention. If they did that the NSA could intercept it, and explain it to the FBI. Come on folks; help a guy out.

***

 The other day I downloaded an album by the late Grant Green. If you are not a jazz fan, you probably aren’t aware that Mr. Green was a prolific jazz guitarist. The particular album that I downloaded is good, and worthy of listening to a number of times. Then I realized that there was something strange about the album cover. Evidently the cover designer was not a fan, nor had any basic knowledge about Grant Green. The cover had no photographs, just a simple line drawing of a piano…for a jazz guitarist. And who approved that cover design?

***

Who is Beatrice Corval? I asked myself that question when I was going through a checklist of ideas that I had jotted down some time in the past. The ideas were mainly for possible blog posts. Near the bottom of the list I found the name Beatrice Corval. The list wasn’t exclusively for the blog, so perhaps it was the name of an author that someone had recommended that I read. Or perhaps she was an actor seen on television who impressed me. I decided to Google Ms. Corval. Nothing. Nada. She didn’t seem to exist. And then it occurred to me. I sometimes aspire to be a novelist and need a name for a character. Beatrice doesn’t really exist, so it is a perfect name. Finally! A question I can answer.

More Little Things

Leaves from my neighbor’s tree, our yard

I finally took a picture of autumn leaves. Now I have to get them out of the yard. The leaves on the trees in our yard have barely started to fall.

***

In my last post I commented on a trope found in murder mysteries. Well, I have another to discuss today.

Perhaps you have noticed those mysteries where the hero/heroine surreptitiously enters the home of someone. Often there will be a television or sound system playing. The protagonist, who doesn’t want to be caught, immediately turns off the sound coming from the electronic device. Why? Wouldn’t that notify the occupant that someone had entered their domicile?

We know that nobody will notice the lack of background noise because they are (GASP) dead. Gosh, we never saw that one coming. The only person surprised by this development is the body finder. It makes one wonder about the script writer’s skill.

I would be glad to hear any movie/TV tropes that cause you to sigh and shake your head. Feel free to comment.

***

I attended a concert by the Brubeck Brothers Quartet a few weeks ago, and it was great. If you like jazz, you should see them if they come to a venue near you. Everyone sitting around me had good things to say about the group. But I must admit that while I eavesdropped on their conversations during the intermission and after the concert, I felt that they were saying some of the most inane things I had ever heard.

But while I was driving home I realized how unkind my thoughts had been. I’m sure that if I attended a classical music concert, other people might find my opinions, while positive, vacuous. We all come to music in our own way. For me, I base my musical likes and dislikes on the skill of the artist(s) as well as their choice of repertoire. Others might have different criteria, and that is fine for them.

I’m still working on being a better, more tolerant person. I have a lot of work to do on that project.

Little things

Stock photo from freeImages.com

It’s autumn, and I haven’t taken any pictures yet. I haven’t done much of anything recently. By recently I mean the past few months. Oh, I’ve cut the grass and done a few other odds and ends, but nothing that makes me feel that I’ve accomplished anything. So today I’m trying to complete a post.

Today’s post is about a few mundane things that bother me. The first is a cause of wonderment to me. I call it Picture and Strings.

Picture and Strings

Cindy and i like to watch murder mysteries one TV and DVDs. One thing that I find incomprehensible is the use of walls to post pictures, news clippings, post it notes, etc. concerning the crime, and using string or colored yarn to connect things.

I don’t get it.It just looks like a hodgepodge to me. How does it help anyone?

I would understand if they set up a spreadsheet with the names of people and places on the X axis, and a timeline on the Y axis. That makes sense to me, but pictures and strings? Perhaps a person who responds to visual stimuli would find it helpful, but not me.

Toddlers at the BMV

I went to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office a couple of months ago. It was time to renew my driver’s license. I pulled a number and sat down to wait my turn. Behind me sat a young woman who had brought three young children, all between the ages of two and five. They were a rambunctious lot. There was a lot of use of outside voices and scurrying about.

Imagine my surprise when the woman’s number was called and I saw that she was there to take a written test. She left her young charges behind when she went to take the exam. The outside voices turned into squeals and the scurrying turned into outright running.

I was about to stand up and become the hard-nosed authority figure when my number was called. Well, thought I, let someone else be take charge of the situation while I renewed my license. I suppose I shirked my civic duty. I feel bad about that. But I did get my license renewed and was out of there in record time.

I’ve been thinking

Quality Control takes a vacation

I opened a pack of ankle length socks a few days ago. I don’t wear them often. Normally I wear them when I’m doing yard work, or if I’m on vacation and wearing shorts. So I was somewhat surprised when I found this pair upon opening the pack. At first I wondered if Cindy had bought them for me, and had purposely looked for unequal lengths because of the toe that had been amputated some years ago. I looked at the package, and, no, they were supposed to be the same length. If I wear them, it will be in the back yard, behind the fence.

***

As I’ve written previously, I just can’t get enthused about writing. I had hoped that it would pass, but it hasn’t. The only thing that gets me fired up to put things on paper, or in Classical Gasbag, is the situation in this country. I don’t want to do that.

When I consider what is happening in the U.S. I get depressed and I get angry. Those are not emotions that I want to exhibit. I talk to Cindy and one or two close friends about current events, but I want to limit it to that. And so, I remain silent.

Perhaps I should change the direction of this blog since my standby options no longer bring forth words. I’ve changed before, though on a gradual basis. But I don’t know where to turn focus. I would appreciate any ideas. I’ll give them strong consideration.