Jumat, 28 Agustus 2009

Welcome to the PartyLine

Astride the back of my cousin's Honda (shudder), wearing my Harley jacket, headed through Southern Illinois, well, I had time to think. It wasn't easy to take photos. Singing was all for the wind. Reading was inappropriate behavior. I thought.

One topic which played in my mind was what we call progress. Let's see what I mean. When the telephone was first invented and started to become a regular fixture in households it was a wooden box on the wall. People "shared" a line, sometimes begrudingly, but that's the price they paid. Each "party", or owner, had a designated ring/signal. The decision to answer was based on whether it was your ring and/or whether or not you were snooping on your neighbors and answering their calls as well as your own. It truly was an open line.

Advance a century and a decade or two...we have phones with designated rings. Ah, the obvious, right? But, we also are right back to party lines - such worries about privacy and yet phone calls can be listened to because security is just not where we all think it should be. Email can be invaded and snatched away. Photos or videos end up on global tubes/posts.

The world is one big party line.

As fast as we have progressed in providing new and fancy communication tools the fact remains that the best way to keep a secret is to not tell it to anyone.


Kamis, 13 Agustus 2009

It's a Fair Shot and Then Some

The other day I saw Thomas spelled Taumus and I liked it. That's how my brain works. So you'll forgive my indulgences with the camera and twisting the words to caption the images. If not, well, don't look.

"Welcome to Springfield" - this guy has no idea what his future holds. He was laughing it up and entertaining us, glad to have an audience.

The Fair is for everyone and those who come to make it happen have to keep busy and eat right so they stay alert. Note - Uno, oreo, and soda pop (soda for some, pop for others - this is a global application).

Sometimes the kids have to be above it all. It's kids' play.

The fine china - set out for company, near the pork barns. Isn't there a China something pig?

Speaking of the little porkers the creamy colored one is a rascal. Meet Little Buttinsky who later pees in the food bowl and admonishes us if we consider being tattle "tails".

Before one sets out to visit the Fair one must have all his/her ducks in a row. You never know how long you'll want to stay at the Fair.

Get really close. Maybe you'll hear this little guy crying out about the sky falling. Who says the Fair isn't political?

This was interesting - a tail hairpiece? The note attached says "Do You Dare?" My hubby thought that meant don't touch; I wondered if it was a dare to others about adding to your horse's tail before competition. Notice the horse appropriately has presented its back end.

Graceful ride

This is really what the Fair is about. Every year we look for the babies.

There comes a time when visitors mistake pre-Fair jitters for napping.

Everything Old Is New Again - it's an all skate or a singalong

Yes, I cheated on my cell phone, the old one. I put it aside and tried out a good-looking, fast action phone. It drove me nuts. I found I was able to go without rather than live in an unsatisfying commitment with this new gadget that decided for itself whether to pay attention to my needs or act like I wasn't touching it.

It got what it deserved: returned. And, my old phone was willing to take me and my SIM card back as long as I promise to plug it in so it will re-charge just a bit more often. Everyone is happy again. Sometimes it is sweet to have the comfort of a known relationship.

Which leads me to confessing our 30th wedding anniversary is coming up. How does that happen? It DOES seem we have been married at least 5 years but 30? EGADS. Does this mixup in recognizing the years have passed mean I'm going to start confusing other things too? Oh, not counting the phone incident, please. That was more incompatibility than confusion.

So what does a happy couple sans children but loaded with pets do as a celebration? Ummm. The "mister" is working that night, in his newly found job as a community college instructor. He's growing his hair - sticking to the plan. I'll make a hippie out of him yet. Maybe we'll get his ear pierced as his present to me. As my present to him I will stop telling him to get his ear pierced.

What will I do that evening? Well, we've fallen into yet another TV pit - watching HGTV. Fortunately we are not in the crowd that can claim hundreds of viewing hours but if I had a crystal ball and looked into I might predict that we're headed there. We are intrigued by a number of sociological observations and that's what keeps us going back. Uh-huh.

But moreso is the House Hunters International. Last week we were moving to Spain. This week the country of choice is Nicuragua. I think I should have to spell that correctly before I'm allowed to move there. You can bet that after the show ends my loving partner is on the internet looking for homes for sale.

Ya know, I'm darned happy in my old log house here. The dogs are content to call this home and so are the cats. Packing them up and moving - not all that appealing. And, I won't own two homes, just won't. So I couldn't pull the cell phone routine with houses and "go back". This house has served me well. I'm staying.

It should be good news to my husband. I'm darned happy with him. The dogs and cats are content. He has served me well. I'm staying!

Sabtu, 08 Agustus 2009

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.

Going off to do Donation Dog duty today, with a dog, water and bowl, a minimum of essentials such as ID and cash, made sense. Why haul a lot around when you don't know if you'll be seated in the shade or standing in the sun for two hours?

We ended up in a compromising location - standing in the shade. I was glad we had a plan and had worked it. That was until I realized I needed to put in the "starter money" I always carry for the donation dog events. Reaching in for the few singles I brought along I also pulled out my license.

Well, I thought it was my license. It was my Barnes and Noble membership card. As one guy visiting with Baxter when I made the discovery said, "If you get stopped they'll just book you." Ha ha ha!

The plan fell apart completely when Baxter and I left our post because the heat index was over 100 and there was a heat alert issued. There should have been a humidity alert too.

Back to the car we went, not having coaxed a single copper out of anyone's pocket or hand. People were not in a giving mood although he did receive plenty of pats on the head and I gave out lots of Adoption Alert newsletters. It was a PR mission rather than Donation Dog mission. Not discouraged by that we rode home in the air-conditioned car; he kept an eye on approaching traffic on the chance he'd have to warn them off or out of our lane.

Once we arrived here we trotted happily up to the house and discovered we were locked out. I had not taken my house keys. Ed was gone. We were keyless and clueless in the country. Duh.

Before the other critters knew we were there we dashed quietly back to the car and drove to the near west side of Springfield to interrupt the Pet First Aid class and get Ed's house key. We were still without my driver's license and getting low on gas. Last time I checked I couldn't buy gas at Barnes and Noble but it wouldn't matter - the card is only for discounts not charges. I drove at a speed with which I am unaccustomed. The car reported we can get in again and go 28 miles before it coasts to a stop. The good part is we heard an interesting story on NPR. At least I thought it was interesting. Baxter didn't pay attention all that much.

Yesterday I gave my new cell phone a second chance to perform as I wanted. The evening before I had made attempts to understand the intuitiveness it supposedly has.

I think these things are intuitive for young men only - always have been. Now it seems everything is in pictures, no real instructions other than a horrid noise when the phone puts forth the "you're stupid" bleep. The guy at the store whipped through the few cues and clues and never once said, "Don't try this at home." The result was I made several unplanned calls, early in the day. Hopefully only the one person I heard from was disturbed in 'real time' and everyone else had their phones still off or charging or whatever phones do when by themselves.

I did manage to replicate everyone's phone number in my address book too so had fun removing them. I hope that's what I did. And, oddly enough, the numbers the provider put in cannot be removed - there's no trash can for all their stuff. Oh, what a mistake that is!

Last night we went to the usual hang out for fish. It's a bar not a restaurant. The food, even though it is fish, is not good for us. Fried fish and fried taters. We go for the atmosphere.

Really. It's good to know a wide range of people, bikers of all sizes and shapes and hair styles and tattoos and humor, those who swear more than me, neighbors who drink so much they don't remember they have met you. Hey, there but for the grace of God goes any one of us. Most of these people would give you the shirt off their backs.

Mid-meal I gasped, which brought an end to the action temporarily, and revealed to the man I was with that we were actually missing the mission trip fundraiser we were supposed to be attending at a swanky place on the lake. Having been to the same type of event a couple of years past, for the same reason, we had been looking forward to seeing people we saw two years ago. Did those two ever get married? Is that guy stil wearing a bad rug? Something is different about her. Hmmmm. Look at the size of that (choose all that apply): plate of food, diamond, check. It was to support our doctor and nurse practitioner (owners of one of our foster dogs). A pharmacist and his wife (also adopters of one of our fosters) were going. We WANTED to be there. Ya can't dress 'em up or take 'em out it appears. And, if you do, it's likely you won't end up where you were supposed to be.

Three strikes.
I think I'm out.

Rabu, 05 Agustus 2009

One Full Moon, Eight Dogs, and a Strange Cat

4 a.m. is not a great time to get up. Especially true if there's no sound reason to do so, it tends to make one need more make-up and feel hungry at odd hours. I wish we had a turkey to put in the oven and roast.

Nonetheless, here I am. OK, it's 5 a.m. but I have been awake for an hour, composing this in my mind.

There's a full moon and the dogs know it. All 8 of them (ours plus 3 visitors) and their additional personalities. We know there's a good dog/bad dog for each of them. Who else shows up on these full moon nights? I'll tell you. One new strange, stray, long-haired black cat. Lovely. Just what we need - another reason to be territorial.

And, we all know dogs will go back to sleep instantly, as soon as they get what they want, usually kibble, out, and a little attention. Then they lick themselves inappropriately, drop over on your personal space, and start with what gets us every time, "Oh, look how cute! He's dreaming." or "Aren't her little dream whimpers sweet?" Uh-huh.

But I'm up. I did mention that, didn't I? Short of making coffee or taking a dog for a drive to an all-night store to get the abovementioned turkey, there isn't much else to do other than write in the blog. (Sorry, don't take it personally.)

Actually when you read this you should count your blessings that we haven't crossed paths in some other way. If I go out somewhere today I know at least I, and probably others, will write notes to me and pin them to my shirt so that when I get home I can read them aloud to the four-legged culprits. They all start something like this:
Your person was not in the best of form today. Perhaps a nap, providing a little more sleep, would be beneficial. She seems a bit disturbed and grumpy.

Do yourself a favor. If you see a crazed female who needs a makeover, trolling the grocery store as if she has the blind nibblies, and perhaps even talking to herself and wearing her tee shirt inside out, give plenty of room when nearby.

Beware, one full moon, eight dogs, and a strange cat can play with your mind.

Minggu, 02 Agustus 2009

Arthur Who?

My Texas cousin, about whom I have reported at other times, keeps asking who the Arthur is I mention in emails to him. It'd be Arthur, IL., duh. We went there on a free day - free in the sense that we ignored any personal chores, had no outside obligations, and decide to take advantage of what we thought was to be a rainy day and meant no yardwork.

It was a gift. The weather was perfect.
We lingered. We strolled. We observed. We drove. There was nothing spectacular about what we did yet just doing it and using our senses made the day spectacular.

There was time to go to Sullivan, a community near Arthur, famous for Little Theater on the Square. Only one "star" name was recognized - Dick Van Patten's. So much for fame and fortune foundations in central Illinois.

But, speaking of theater and foundations, we ate at Jibby's (owned by the apparently famous "Trading Spaces" host, Doug Wilson). I had to Google him to get info on him; I like his hair, thus the photo. Ed fans be aware - I'm encouraging him to let his hair grow like this. So far so good, just not curly.
Note the decor. They've made the place over temporarily, to promote "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" at the theater. For those of you who burned all you had back in the 60's, those are bras.
Can I write "whorehouse" on a blog? Yes, but, will there be questionable visitors if I put that word in as a label? We'll see.

This one's titled "Butt Wait There's Mower" ... as in I have to go use the mower and will ride to blog again!