Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Holiday Has Come And Gone

Easter is finally over. When we got home today, we discovered that the dogs had found the Cadbury Eggs that Karen couldn't. Too bad, too, because she probably wouldn't have spread the wrappers all over the house.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My What Big Teeth You Have, Everybody

"Dealing with the bank, he said, was 'like dealing with organized crime.' "
I was forced to work overtime yesterday on a route I haven't done in years, in a semi-skeezy neighborhood. Normally, when you're working an unfamiliar route, even if you don't know the streets, you can sort of follow the mail. Last night, though, walking down dark winding lanes I could hear the mail whispering, "You're going to die out here."
Luckily, I had my iPhone, and when I did not know where the next stop was, why, I just fired up the Maps app and hey presto, there it was.
I read one of the vampire-American books, Dead Until Dark, the other day. Well, I say book, but I really downloaded it onto my phone. Pages are so millennium before last. Anyway, when I finished it, I went to buy the next one in the series, and Barnes and Noble had priced it at $19.96! For an e-book! Sort of preternaturally predatory pricing, no?
When I was in high school, I read a collection called 900 Grandmothers. There's a story about a scientist who can't remember what a particular machine in his lab does. He discovers that it is making people forget that Chicago has been destroyed. He understands then, why there is such a maudlin strain in the popular culture. Having remembered, he lets the machine take his memory away again.
I'm wondering if the sudden popularity of all things vampire is an expression of the way our government, and businesses, and health care system, and book stores, seem to be bleeding us dry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Squalor Can Kill

Ever since we had the furnace fixed a couple of weeks ago, we've been smelling wisps of natural gas just as we walk in the front door, which is just off the kitchen. Today, I finally called the gas company. They sent a man out who identified a leak in the furnace and then turned off the gas. We called a plumber, and he came and replaced the leaky part. Our lives were saved!
We probably should have called awhile ago, but I just worried I'd be embarrassed that the guy would wave his gas sensing wand around and discover a dead squirrel or something under the refrigerator.
We recently got an estimate to replace the furnace with a much more efficient one. It was really expensive. Apparently what we're going to do instead is replace this furnace, piece by piece, and end up with the same inefficient furnace we already have, but at an even higher price.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The other night, I swiped my Safeway card at the Fred Meyer (Kroger's) store. After I canceled and started over, the terminal said, "Thank you, loyal customer." I felt like such a fake.
Speaking of which, I know a man who is a Mormon and a chiropractor. I bet he wears a toupee.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evil Creatures Flying Through The Night Sky

The postal service has retreated in the face of fierce opposition and will reinstate the Santa program in North Pole. That's good for customer relations at the USPS (motto: We hate our customers and their relations) and good for the economy of North Pole, but I do worry a little. Christmas has been pretty well co-opted by Wal-Mart and Santa is just a stooge in their marketing plan. We used to attend a church where the pastor said that you could rearrange the letters (or phonemes, at least) of Santa Claus to spell Satan's Claw. Do you want to live in a world where Satan's Claw is coming down your chimney?
Well, maybe better that than the world imagined in the Star Trek movie that came out last year. I just saw the thrilling special-effects laden DVD. I had to wonder though, why, if the (spoiler alert) Romulans had to kill 25 years, one at a time, before they could kill Spock, they didn't just sail over to to Romulus and save their planet themselves. It's possible I missed something obvious. I felt sort of that way at the end of The Usual Suspects. It seemed to me that the big twist at the end didn't make any sense at all, but apparently I'm wrong because according to the users at IMDB, responding to a criticism of the movie:
"I love this movie. Whadda you do for a living, sell shoes? Cooka-yayah-o"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In the fell clutch of circumstance

We just saw a commercial for a new movie called Invictus. I told
Ellie, our cute little lap dog who was on my lap getting her belly
rubbed, "That's a poem."
Then, "Oh, you poor thing, you don't know any poems, or even any words
that rhyme."
So, I was feeling sorry for her empty little life, when she leaned way
over and started licking herself.
Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going Rogue

Sarah Palin is sort of old news up here. We fell in love with her honesty in the face of our elected officials' corruption, and her ability to reach across party lines to achieve sensible goals. We were proud when she was nominated to run for VP, and disappointed at how strident she became.
So, yeah, we watched her on Oprah, but what is really stimulating conversations and consternation up here is the Post Office's decision to no longer accept letters addressed to Santa, and to no longer allow the town of North Pole, AK to have its own postmark.
The postal spokesman said it was a matter of efficiency. Apparently we weren't losing customers fast enough; we're going to start chasing them away.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Yesterday I finished installing pulls and knobs on the cabinets and drawers. It went pretty well, by my, admittedly low, standards. Only one of the drawers looks like it tried to escape, but was caught after being riddled with holes. After a hard day of home improving, I was drifting, wraith-like (the fattest wraith ever) into the arms of Morpheus, when we were startled by the sounds of steam and water coming from the basement. Okay, here's the question; I was off for 5 days, why would the furnace go out at bedtime on the night before I have to go back to work? And just as the plumber's rates jumped from time and a half, to double time?
I did go back to work today, and it was cold. Those madcaps at Harry and David are at it again sending fruit up here now that it's winter. I spent the day all, "Um, I have a package of nice crisp oranges for you."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Know What You Really Want

I've been off for the last few days doing home "improvement" projects. They turned out to be home "status quo" projects, because although, so far, the kitchen cabinet knob project is going well, the replacing the bathroom light switch project was sort of a net step backwards since we ended up with the same switch (status quo ante) just not wired as well as it had been.
So, I don't have much to report (until I screw up (instead of in) a knob. To keep you busy until then, check out a site that's practically guaranteed to make you feel better.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Traditions Being Shanghaied

I've been carrying my phone through the store, on continuous re-aisle
looking for Karen. I just found her. She's buying so-called Christmas
decorations, which I am beginning to think are a plot by Chinese
athiests to get money from Americans.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Once I Was In A Hot Tub In Palm Springs, With Stars And Swaying Palm Trees Above Me When I Read in USA Today That It Was -30 In Anchorage

That was probably the best moment in that vacation. Yesterday was a holiday, and I have Friday and Saturday off this week, so I signed up for leave today, to get a 5 day weekend. This morning I got a text message from a carrier who didn't take today off. He had about three times as much mail as a normal day to deliver, plus, we had a brief, wet, intense snowfall yesterday making for extremely slick conditions.
MMM, sweet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I saw one of my customers today. He was on his way home from the
hospital after having his foot amputated. I told him, like I tell my
Mary-Kay-selling friend, "If you want people to take your health
issues seriously, you can't look
He did look great; I told him he was the coolest person I know because
he's like a round peg leg in a square world.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, November 09, 2009

No Records Were Harmed In The Making Of This Blog

With mere days to spare before smashing a record for the latest
snowfall ever, we woke up this morning to a world of whiteness. Or to
put it another way, snow.
By the way, what is the deal with Sarah Palin? Why is she trying to
turn Reagan's "big tent" into a freak show?

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, November 06, 2009


The eerily pleasant weather continues. Someone told me today that we had cheated winter. That's good, but I hope winter doesn't find out.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

There is Nothing New Under the Sun, Or, I Can Only Give This Recession A C

Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
According to a newly published book, this recession was brought about like all recessions because we thought we were smarter than the people that came before us, and, as recessions go, it's about average. Like us.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Unsettling News

Still no snow. It's eerie and uncanny, which, I guess, made it perfect for Halloween.

I entered a cartoon contest at the New Yorker, and apparently signed up for an e-mail update from the magazine. There was an article this week about using robots to help people recover from strokes and to help socialize autistic children. Some are unsettled by this because they think, for example, maybe autistic children should be socializing with people. Also, "Patients don’t want to be entirely subservient to the robot..."
I guess they want to preserve "the same illusion of freedom we all have."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

And Another Thing, If It's A Jet, Why Does It Have A Propeller?

Is nothing sacred?
At the end of the House at Pooh Corner, there's an affecting scene where it appears that Christopher Robin is growing up and leaving Pooh behind. Luckily, the Disney company has stepped in to destroy the poignancy and restore Pooh to his contented stout self. Or perhaps they represent the near triumph of Godless Capitalism.
Oh, and speaking of Puff-the-Magic-Dragon-like endings, how's this for poignancy?