Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good One

Recently, I was reading a real blog, and the writer confessed that he sometimes commented anonymously on his own blog to draw attention to a little joke that he thought people might have missed.
Up till now, I've never done that, but I might start. They'll be anonymous, but you might be able to tell it's me, because there might be a comment on a post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ten Days In May, or Whenever

It was a lovely day today; the kind of day that deludes people into thinking that they want to deliver mail for a living by driving the other kind of day out of their minds (trying to keep the subject and the phrase in agreement has created the unfortunate sense that mailmen have more than one mind which is very generous).
A customer told me her theory that Alaska has ten good days every year for every thing. Today would be one of ten perfect days for going for a walk. Later there will be some perfect days for biking and then for skiing or skating. Since there are only going to be ten perfect days, when one comes, you must run (or bike) with it.  But then I had one of those shallow thoughts that's just so perfect for blogging about. What if every day is perfect for something? Then, all you'd have to do is live your life in the moment, doing what the moment requires, but whatever you'd be doing would be perfect. Ha, what does Ram Dass have that I don't? Well, a job that doesn't require walking around for one thing.
What I was really thinking about today was the contrast between my route and some of the routes I've been helping on lately. It's so nice to deliver to a neighborhood where people have friends and family, and not just third party custodians.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inspired At Church

I saw a bumper sticker today at church. From a Bob Marley song, it said, "Forget your troubles and dance." On a walker.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Blog Bursts Into Song, And Refuses To Hear A Discouraging Word

Two Atlantic articles and a random podcast I heard, all make the point that we are living with stone age bodies and minds in a modern world that we can never understand or adapt to. Apparently, before the advent of spreadsheets and the autobahn, we could trust our first reactions enough of the time that we could usually muddle through. Fight, flight, whatever, just do it and get back to eating.  Back then, retirement plans usually included being eaten. Now, though, we have to sort through the minutia of  IRA v 401K plans being presented by sharks. And we have to do that with minds that can only hold two pieces of information at once and one of them is usually something about french fries.
And, mammal babies cry in a high pitched way so they can't be heard by reptilian predators, which would be great if you were trying to change a diaper and you were in a remake of Snakes on a Plane, but is pretty annoying to mammals on a plane.
And, as Dave Barry explained it, "Now that we have refrigerators, there is no longer any need to use the human buttock as a food-storage device."

Isn't that the way they say it goes?
But let's forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it

Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey, hey
or maybe it should be,

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
because, this morning, for the first time in nearly two years, I was inside my goal weight range by a margin of almost nine ounces.

Friday, May 14, 2010


A customer of mine told me today that she was driving her grandson to school this morning. He looked up at the clouds and said he wanted them to be his bed. She asked him, "What do you think the mountains are covered with?"
He said, "Sugar?"
I told her, "That reminds me; last night my new supervisor said that he was trying to form a collaborative work environment instead of a hierarchical one."
"I know, right," she said. They're just so cute when they're that age."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We went out the other night in a driving rain, so no explanation why
we were on bikes.
Saw a huge dog the other day. It reminded me of Hannibal; it was like
a Great Pyrenees crossed with The Alps.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thursday's Child Has Far To Go, Especially Since Apparently He's Not Even Going To Start (And He Thought He Was Born On Saturday)

I haven't told you every single thing about me that I wasn't proud of or everything I was proud of for that matter. Although, if I tell you that one time my mother said I had nice hands, I will pretty well have exhausted  the topic: stuff I'm proud of.
Anyway, about a year ago, I read an article in Wired Magazine about WolframAlpha. It's sort of exactly not like Google. And not like Bing isn't like Google, but wants to be, but in a totally amazing way of combining data that's in the world already, and succinctly presenting just the part you want to know, like how many cars in France are Fords, or what day you were born or what the weather was like on that day. Which is pretty amazing now that I look at it. But here's the deal, after the excitement of finding out I was born on Thursday (which comes as a shock every time I find out) and that the weather was partly cloudy and the wind ranged from zero to twelve miles per hour at Merrill Field that day* I almost never need to know the weather from 50 odd years ago. What I apparently want to know based on my browsing history, is what's on TV tonight (Ace of Cakes), what books in my price range are available to download (With the Old Breed by E.B. Sledge), and who has an iPhone bike mount (Dahon). So, I'm not worthy of WolframAlpha, but I would like to put in a little plug for Chrome by Google, a fast, minimalist browser which combines search and the address bar.

*I rode my bike around Merrill Field this morning, to give you just one example of how far I haven't come since then.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Space Age Technology After The Space Age

My new iMac can stream movies from Netflix along with the Roku, and
Wii. Now almost the only device that can't is the microwave. I feel a
little bad for it, too. I remember how we all went next door to see
the first microwave in our neighborhood and how it could boil water in
a paper cup.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, May 09, 2010

To Paraphrase Kevin James: Mother's Day, Not A Good Day To Be My Pants

So, it looks like it might be over between my goal weight and me. This week my weight was unchanged. I wasn't worried, knowing that weights fluctuate over time, and that next week for sure, we'd be together. But I hadn't realized how committed I was to celebrating Mother's Day. Long after the less zealous had left the table, I was still mechanically dipping biscuits in gravy, and rhythmically chewing , swallowing and dipping more biscuits in gravy.   Even Karen, the putative mother in this case, had long since left the table. She came back and cleaned the kitchen while I sat there, alone, celebrating her special day.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What Would Christie Do?

I heard recently that genius isn't a trait people are born with, so much as intentional practice repeated endlessly that results in mastery. I'm planning on going for a leisurely bike ride through New England this fall, and to that end, I'm riding slowly, practically waddling,  around on my bicycle here to get ready.
Speaking of getting in shape, tomorrow morning we'll find out if that coquettish minx, the high end of my goal weight range will finally surrender to me. Encouragingly, I am  comfortably wearing, right now, the cargo pants Leah gave me a couple of years ago.

And, speaking of genius, I heard a story on Radio Lab this morning that claimed that an exhaustive concordance-like review of word choices in Agatha Christie's ouvre revealed a substantial decline in her last few books that researchers now think shows she was developing dementia. It's a relief to me because I thought her last few books were terrible, unlike Dorothy Sayers who hated all of them.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that here in rubber-hammer world, Karen went to get an eye exam and now she's having eye surgery. It's a very simple procedure according to the surgeon, except hello, it's surgery on an eye. Except it's both eyes.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

What Would Chris Do?

My niece, Chris, is possibly the nicest person I know. Actually, there's no doubt that she is, I just wanted to leave open the possibility that you might be the nicest person, but sadly (unless you are Chris) you're not. She scrimped and saved and recently bought a new computer. I wish I could say that I scrimped or saved, or even made a plan, but yesterday I did buy a new iMac. Partly because the day before yesterday, I went to buy ink for my printer, and it was so expensive that I just bought a new printer instead. The new printer was wireless, but the old computer wasn't and really, what's the point of having a wireless printer if you still have to have wires? That's what I said to Karen anyway, several times, and also, I really, really wanted a new computer.
I kind of love it. To start, I hooked a cable up to my old computer, pressed "Transfer" and all my files, and all my settings, rode over to the new computer, put themselves away and went to work, doing whatever it is they do (just like Chris would have done if she was a new computer).
I just took a break from typing to use Skype with my computer's built in video camera!
But now Karen is telling me we have to go down the street to a graduation party. In some ways people, with their rigid insistence on capitalizing the first letter of their names, and talking about things that aren't my iPhone or iMac, can be less satisfying than you'd think.
Anyway, Skype me.