Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mystery: The Unpleasantness in the Big Drawer

As I no longer carry a purse, it’s been a while since I opened the big drawer in that Empire chest in the hall. Besides handbags and totes, that drawer’s the place where for many years I’ve stowed what I always thought was a secret stash of candy.

So I was startled, yesterday, to discover that someone had made a couple of contributions to my hoard. Somebody knows about it !  Everybody knows about it? At any rate, thanks -- I’ve been enjoying your little packets of M&Ms.

Not quite so delighted, though, with that half-empty sandwich bag of grapes.  It looks like the kind of pack someone might have bought in an airport.  There haven't been any visitors for a couple of months now, and I’d really like to know how long it was in there. 

As Nathan says – everybody shut your eyes, and whoever did it raise your hand.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hot Sauce Update

See last week's posting -- it's clear the vinegar in Texas Hot Sauce does not hurt sparrows.  Pity.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Take Your Choice

Woke in a hospital bed when my cardiologist came in to talk about the heart attack I’d had the night before.  So I asked:

“Did I bring it on because I haven’t given up eggs and butter?”

“One egg a week,” says he abruptly, and leaves.

In comes the cardiac surgeon who put in the stents.  He starts drawing on the white board, to show me where they’re located.

“Dr. W. says one egg a week,” I remark.

“Don’t pay any attention to what he says.”

So I don’t.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here's a first, at least a first for me—but then, I don’t get out much.  Took a lamp in to be repaired, the guy asked for my email address, typed it into a laptop, said he'd email my receipt. 
I asked if any customers didn't want to give out their addresses.  He said maybe one in a hundred doesn't have email, usually old folks.  But few hesitate to furnish addresses-- "for those of course I give paper receipts."
Says the system "saves me about 2% a month."  Two percent of what it only just occurred to me to wonder.





Monday, October 22, 2012

Shape of Things Already Here

Ben’s little boys were here on a Saturday, so my column was in the Democrat&Chronicle. Told Ben I wanted to brag to the kids, show them my picture in the newspaper.  He said never mind, they don’t know what a newspaper is. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Can I Post a Picture? Yes I Can!

Forgot to re-stock birdseed while grandson here to help, proud of accomplishing it on my own.  The kid at the feed store put the 40-pound bags in the car.  Back home I brought out the Rollator that makes a good cart, levered the bags onto it, wheeled it out to the big padlocked (raccoons) storage can.  Nudged the bags over to the can, stabbed them open and let them pour out.  Refilled the feeder, re-hung it high under the overhang where the squirrels can’t reach, a difficult and scary procedure – afraid of losing my balance.

Within an hour a deer – a stag, came and emptied the whole thing. So off to the Expensive Bird Store to ask about deer-proof feeders.  They suggested a little bottle of pepper oil ($11.95) to be mixed with the seeds. “Birds have no salivary glands, I promise you it won’t bother them.”  So I went over to Wegmans and bought a  $1.85 bottle of Texas Hot Sauce.
Home to google Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology and “There have been no studies” on pepper.   All those  PhD students, all those bird stores selling pepper suet cakes, and nobody ever wrote for a grant?  Cornell just says they “can’t recommend pepper in bird seed”. 
Found a hoe in the garage,  went out back and mixed Texas Hot Sauce with the seeds.  Refilled the feeder. Assuming squirrels will no longer be interested, jiggled a long s-hook extender up in the overhang.  Can now hang the feeder lower without risking a fall.
So far so good.  No squirrels, no deer.  That huge tribe of voracious English sparrows has descended, but if I’m poisoning them (there is vinegar in the hot sauce) no love lost.  I don’t think they’re on the protected list

Friday, October 19, 2012

Targeted Advertising

What did I say on Facebook?  Did I post my birth date somewhere? Talk about targeted!
 Today the little ads down the side of my screen have headlines reading
                      Trick to Erase Wrinkles
                      5 Signs of Alzheimers
                      Mom Beats Thinning Hair, and
                      Pre-Planning Helps Loved Ones
and I expect you know what they're ready to help me pre-plan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Ever Uses Up a Lipstick?

After my mother died I read through the little appointment book in her purse.  Chuckled tolerantly when I came across a note she’d recently made.  She’d evidently admired the lipstick someone was wearing and jotted down the name of it.  I had to smile – what difference would it make what shade of lipstick an 82-year-old woman was wearing?  So cute!

So now I’m four years older than she ever got to be and I’m worrying.  I have an ancient lipstick (20 years old? 30?), not only a good shade, but once in the morning lasts all day.  More or less.  But its little stub is almost worn away. And every time I try to buy a replacement it turns out to be glittery, or glistening, or in some other way highly inappropriate for an elderly lady.  I’ll have to shop again, but I’ve  just about given up going to Macy’s – too exhausting.  Maybe try the drug store just one more time?

And then last night it occurred to me to google the almost worn-away numbers on the bottom of that lipstick tube --I had to get out a magnifying glass -- lo and behold it came up on the screen!  One of the places offering it has the name "liquidators" in its web address but so what?  I ordered it in three different shades.  Some day when the kids liquidate this house they can chuckle over the assortment. At her age!  So cute!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Having run out of library books and remembering Norm's sensible question -- "So if you say you have nothing to read, what are all these books here on the shelves for?" -- last night for the first time in many years I pulled out "The Prisoner of Zenda" and what a comfy evening it does make. I open a page for you at random. 
The narrator is a young Englishman who looks exactly like the king who is imprisoned in a dungeon in the castle of Zenda and is supposed to marry the princess who just sent that rose, and -- oh, never mind, just read:
- - - - -
…I bowed my head to meet my hands, and crushed the rose between my fingers and my lips.  I felt his hand on my shoulder, and his voice sounded husky as he whispered low in my ear:
'Before God, you're the finest Elphberg of them all. But I have eaten of the king's bread, and I am the king's servant. Come, we will go to Zenda!'
And I looked up and caught him by the hand. And the eyes of both of us were wet… - - - -
Writers today just can’t do it. They haven't got it Here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

86 Forever -- Huzzah!

Whew!  So here we are, safely on our own at  86andholding,blogspot.com , after that initial venture that left us blundering into someone else's blog and meditating on the belly fat problem.  You will agree, I trust, that 86 is a lot classier than 80 in a blog title anyhow.  86 has the merit of being truthful, at least until next February 27, and it has resonance -- If you have a friend in the restaurant business you can investigate its meaning.  Or-- You Can Look It Up.  That phrase is used so much these days that I decided to look up "you can look it up."  I had the impression it had something to do with baseball, and indeed it does.  Turns out it is the title of a James Thurber story about a baseball manager who hired a dwarf -- very difficult strike zone.  Evidently based on a true incident, which was just a brief stunt.  I forget the details, but you can look it up.

 Meanwhile, if you google 86, you'll learn that

86 is the 25th distinct semiprime and the 13th of the form (2.q).  The aliquot sum of  86 is 46 within the aliquot sequence (86, 46, 26, 16,9,4,3,1,0) 86 being  the 17th composite of the 3-aliquot tree.