Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

If we learned anything from Alanis Morissette, it's that we don't know what irony is. No one does. Except for freshman coeds , although I'm not sure coed is even a noun anymore.
If irony only meant an unexpected outcome, then nowadays irony would be almost impossible, since no outcome, even the most horrific, can be totally unexpected.  Graffiti in Damascus? Syrian civil war and the return of polio. And, like a million other examples I haven't thought of. I know a week ago when I first started this post, I was upset about something, but I'm like Homer Simpson, "Look, a bird." I've spent approximately 2 hours trying to upload a video of eagles I took a few days ago to illustrate how distracting they are, but while it looks amazing in the original, online it looks so pixelated it could be an eagle inspired game of Tetris. If you want to see the original, let me know, and maybe the whole internet can gather around my phone. 
Since then, I've left town and right now I'm in New Hampshire. It snowed lightly yesterday here which was preceded by a heavy fall of salt leaving the roads passable, but the windshields opaque. There is enough salt that virtually every car is a mobile margarita glass. White Mountains, indeed. More time has gone by and now we're back in Boston about to join our family for Thanksgiving dinner, coincidentally almost exactly 150 years after the speech containing the immortal words, "Now we are engaged in a great civil war. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Okay, I'm Back

The snow was wet and heavy, and now, so am I. Doctors call this "heart attack" snow because middle aged men go out and overexert themselves. I feel pretty safe, because I'm no longer middle aged. From the This American Life show in the last post, another conversational no-no was talking about your period, but I don't know why you wouldn't want to know I'm from the Cretaceous. By the way, just checking with Wikipedia to make sure there actually was a Cretaceous, I discovered that there was a creature called a rudist. You can see how I fit in.

How Did That Make Me Feel? Don't Ask.

I've only listened to part of  This American Life this week. The first guest laid out rules for conversation. Number one is, "Don't be boring." I'd tell you that that paralyzed me, but rule two was, "Don't talk about your health."
We've had our first real snowfall this winter just now. I'm pretty sure weather talk is verboten, as is, no doubt, needless foreign phrases, but this is climate talk. Like, the climate is going to be pretty frosty if I don't stop blogging and go out and shovel the snow.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Squeaking Wheel Gets Greased

This blog seems to have degenerated into a series of rambling complaints, but that's not precisely accurate. It was always a series of rambling complaints. So, for all of you that have had to bear up under the whole podcast cascade here's a case where I complained to someone that could actually understand the problem and then resolve it. Not to say that somebody that reads this blog couldn't have done that. I'm just saying that nobody did. You can judge for yourselves what that says about you. As I am.
Anyway, they used my question about Apple's Podcast app at Macworld's Ask The iTunes Guy. You can read about it here, (it's the last item, the place of honor, I assume) or you can do what I did weeks ago and switch to a different app.

You may remember the furnace complaints that I was rambling through before the podcast series, but here's a quick refresher; the furnace has been muttering resentfully to itself in the basement, and I've been muttering resentfully about it here. The furnace's muttering was diagnosed by the plumber that installed it two years ago as a just-out-of-warranty pump failure.  While I've been complaining about that, Leah has been complaining that one whole end of the house is cold. I don't remember why I was standing in front of the furnace last night, or why I was gripping its pipes, but I was and I realized that one pipe was colder than all the rest. I opened the valve as an experiment and waited to see where the water would gush out, but all that happened was that the whole house got warm, and the muttering stopped. Apparently, anyone with a little nerve can be a plumber.

Friday, November 01, 2013

A Gentleman Loser Looks At Sixty

For Halloween, Karen went as a person who tripped in the kitchen and hit her head in the exact same spot (on her head) she always does. Before the  EMT's came, it was awkward because I had to keep running to the door, smiling and saying, "Help yourself to one or two pieces of candy," then running back to the kitchen to look at Karen. Between her bruising, and the kid's costumes, it was hard to know who was scarier.  We saved $586 (or more accurately, Blue Cross did) because I drove her to the  ER where they said she didn't look concussed and sent us home. They told me to bring her back if she seemed confused, but then they had Fox News playing in the waiting room, so it seemed like they were trying to confuse her. This morning after an intensive treatment with the Today Show she seems fine.
While we were at the hospital, the nurse talked to us about three-wheeled walkers that might be able to fit in our narrow kitchen. I talked to the nurse about my iPhone and its features. It was a good exchange of information and I think I was really able to make a difference in her life.

Here's one of those odd situations where the name, is exactly the opposite of what it seems to describe like Fox News or idiot savant. Yesterday, I bought an album that I first bought in 1972,  Can't Buy A Thrill, and yet, every track thrilled me. Then, and now. I remember what it was to be young, and optimistic, to think that it would always be summer, I'd always have friends, that life could turn out any way I wanted. Even then, Steely Dan sang, "Only a fool would say that." Now I've become the, "man in the street
Draggin' his feet...
do(ing) his nine to five
Drag(ging) myself home half alive."
But listening to them "reeling in the years, gathering up the tears,"
"It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—"
And then one fine day, for only $8.99 we can have it all back again, at least for 41 minutes.