Saturday, April 14, 2012

How's this for a cool gadget?


































This same device converts to a candle holder.
It was made by a member of my Daughter's congregation.

46 comments:

  1. Howard would be first, heh!

    Cleaning up for my company tomorrow has been interesting. . . . I think I finally realized *just* how ill I've been for a year. . . . Made my way back through piles of stuff to the "fireplace mantel" -- and realized that it has been at least a year since it was dusted, or the mirror over it washed. I guess when you are feeling really rotten, you don't even see right. Big job ahead now that I'm feeling (sorta) up to it, lol! No rest for the wicket, eh?

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  2. I've heard it said that the baby boomers' retirement plan typically involves hot lead, cold steel, or poison... I plan to keep pluggin' along for some time yet.

    SO GLAD to hear about Ally! And good advice from the medicos, I think. In my case, I was actually rather surprised to hear from my oncologist just how much more treatment some doctors gave, and insurance companies paid for without hesitation, even when there was no indication for it or evidence that it improved outcomes. I had studied up on therapies enough to know that there were often very significant side effects, and I am satisfied that 1) it is very likely I am CURED, and 2) my quality of life is better than it would have been with excessive treatment. Huzza for watchful waiting! Or should we call this the Bauhaus approach to medicine--less is more? Sometimes it certainly is. Betcha that after a few years Ally will grow like a weed. And I'm with Bill--I fully expected the reported good result.

    Interesting about Janis Ian--and thank you for the leads. Interesting that I was then and don't remember her at all. It might be that I was simply too busy with college, and also that I can't make out many of the words to her songs. Well, it was a different world back then, and despite our current problems some things are WAY better.

    listener--I read about your governor and the bear! I remember hearing a long time ago that you could tell a Democratic household from a Republican one on washing day--the ones with pajamas drying were Republican, because Democrats slept in the raw. Maybe that's still so, but we just can't tell because of drying machines? I can imagine a reporter asking him which is scarier, the bear or the legislature? Well, the legislature is bigger and can do a lot more damage...

    And how about that mayor in New Jersey who rescued the woman from the burning building? I suppose he can count on her to remember him when election time comes around, ya think? And how about this campaign slogan, which almost writes itself: I'd Walk Through Fire For Your Vote!

    TTFN

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  3. Kid's dad bailed, so I only have one helper. Don't ask a millionaire to help the day before (well, two) taxes are due, lol! Especially if they've had a "bad year" -- Good years, they're done by Feb first.

    Actually, ;), I "spect MOST millionaires ask/pay someone else to do it. But this one's a hands-on soul, and not likely to pay someone else to do *anything* (almost: he did pay a roofer. . . . ).

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  4. Well, somebody called Lindsay on her poor-me attitude. Someone who's still in the hospital after having had their esophagus removed. Told her she needed an attitude change. She huffed and puffed, and said in essence: some support group YOU are! I'm just going off and suffering ALL ALONE. . . . I feel so damn sad for her. Talk about being your own worst enemy. . . .

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  5. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 12:51:00 PM

    I'm still trying to get my taxes done. And am used to having them done mid-February. It's not that I would mind paying someone to do them, but I wouldn't trust an ordinary accountant to understand my situation. Not unless s/he was him/herself a writer. Tax rules for a writing business are simply too idiosyncratic to fall within a typical accountant's knowledge base.

    I had an on-line friend who is a retired IRS agent agree with me. He had never handled a writer's return but had handled returns for other creative types and knew that standard small-business rule simply didn't cover it.

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  6. That goes for craftspeople, too! Luckily, I had worked for an accounting firm, and the best tax accountant I've ever known liked me! My first accountant blew it, and she fixed it, and promised if the fix was audited, she'd do all the talking and blow them always. One of the smartest women I've evah known! And even at that, the thought of filling out another Schedule C can keep me from even thinking about going back to doll making.

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  7. So, um, I fell in love this morning. Still working up the courage to broach the topic with the family.

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  8. Does Winnie approve?

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  9. She does. We met Max first, and she and Winnie sniffed each other but weren't super interested. They could probably coexist and maybe become friends, and he *seemed* nice enough, but, meh...

    Then I asked to see Herbert, a beagle who seemed to be laid back, and supposedly loved other dogs. Winnie seemed interested in him, but he seemed intimidated by her.

    This dog is described as a "mixed breed" and is 89 pounds. I had a bullmastiff when I was growing up, and his face kind of reminded me of her. And he was a sweetie when I spent time with him in the "get acquainted room". When the adoption counselor came back to check on us, I informed her that, if he and Winnie didn't hit it off, I was officially going to cry.

    But he got along with her pretty well--maybe about as well as she and Perkins got along. It was rainy this morning, so hard to stay outside very long, but they did the same "chase and wrestle" routine that I've seen before when Winnie has gotten along with another dog.

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  10. Ah. Sweet baby. Good luck wit' da convincing.

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  11. I actually had an amazing experience this afternoon.

    My uproad neighbor came down and witched for water for the new well. And then let me.

    And I did.

    And it worked.

    Very hard to describe the experience (and it was that).

    Don't know about other kinds of dousing, but absolutely *something* happens here.

    Let/got my kid to try, and nada. He just walked away shaking his head. What can I say?

    But I felt those rods move in my hands, almost against my will. (I kept trying to "steady" them, and they absolutely *pulled* against that desire.)

    I can only say that it *felt* blessed.

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  12. BTW, if I do end up getting this dog, I think he needs a new name. Right now his name is Sirloin.

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  13. Younger siblings!

    Sis just conned me into writing a letter to Parker Stevenson. Here it is:

    Dear Mr. Stevenson,

    I am writing to thank you. As a teenager, I was a big fan of yours, and of the Hardy Boys Mysteries. Recently, I was delighted to find that the series is available on DVD. (Although, regrettably, not season three!!) My younger sister and I and have been watching it; and it gives us a great deal of pleasure. Since we are both disabled and shut-ins, we sometimes get a little blue. But watching your show never fails to bring a smile. It’s probably silly of me after all these years, but I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the show then, and still do.


    Yours Sincerely,

    ---

    She printed it, had me sign it, addressed the envelope and just took it away to be stamped. I can't believe it! I wasn't brave enough to write him a fan letter thirty-five years ago, but I've written one now. My hands are still shaking! Of course, he probably won't even receive it, and if he does he'll *NEVER& write back. But, I guess I'm glad to have done it. Sometimes baby sisters are nice to have around.

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  14. I'm given to understand that a Louisville Slugger can be most persuasive. Just kidding. I really hope it works out for you. *hug*

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  15. You never know. I certainly never expected to get a personal letter back from Mr. Rogers, but I did.

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  16. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 06:31:00 PM

    Is it Sir Loin or Sir Lion? No mane though. But maybe it doesn't matter.

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  17. Ya. Mine's a winner, too.

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  18. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 06:32:00 PM

    Looks like a nice dog.

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  19. I was actually thinking about doing something with "Sir", but the only Sir I could think of was Sir Lancelot, and that's quite a mouthful.

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  20. Believe me, Cat, you gave Parker a gift. He's going to feel really good after reading that. I don't know anyone - anyone - who doesn't appreciate hearing others like what they do or did.

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  21. Want to know my take on the Governor's antics, Alan? I think the fact that he was in the raw is TMI and that his approach to the situation was downright foolhardy. He clearly is "from away" if he thinks there was a male along with the mother and cubs. No mother bear worth her salt will let a male bear anywhere near her cubs, because he may kill them (so he can again have all the fun of mating)! It was surely a mother, two new cubs and a yearling she hasn't yet chased off. In which case, the fool Governor was being chased not by a male bear, but by something much more fearsome: a mother bear with cubs on hand, as he removed their food supply, not once but twice!! (You'd have thought he'd have the sense to at least throw on a coat the second time.) I've never heard the one about the laundry, but it could be true. I'd rather not be the one taking that survey, though. I tell you, as a Vermont resident I am a bit embarrassed by the incident. and more because of his lack of wildlife knowledge than clothing.
    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20120413/NEWS03/120413010/Vermont-governor-chased-by-4-bears-in-backyard?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

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  22. Ah, puddle, I would have predicted you'd have that in you. I'm not a bit surprised, only pleased that you got a chance to experience it.

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  23. Think you're right, Susan. At my mother's yardsale after her death, one of my campers from forty years earlier stopped to tell me what an influence I had on her whole life. I have to admit I did not remember her at all (we had 160 girls each summer), but I was very moved.

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  24. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 09:06:00 PM

    Actually it's Schedule A I hate. With years' experience my bookkeeping is adequate to make Schedule C reasonably straightforward -- especially now that my home office is fully depreciated. But I'm not tracking medical/dental expenses as well as I should be, now that they are high enough to be deductible. And there are so many other tings to keep track of. Then at the end it all adds up to maybe $1200 more than the standard deduction -- mostly because Oak Park's property taxes are so high. I suppose it's worth it, but still ---

    Almost finished, though. And I'm obviously not the last. This afternoon I led a book discussion for which one other person showed up. And as we were leaving the library she picked up the paper forms to file her taxes.

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  25. Naked Vermont governor almost eaten by bears

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/13/naked-vermont-governor-almost-eaten-by-bears/

    I recall an old story that you could tell a Democratic household from a Republican one on laundry day; if there were pajamas drying on the clothes line it was a Republican household, because Democrats sleep in the raw!

    Reporter to Governor: "Which do you find more ferocious, the bear or the legislature?"

    Gov: "Well, the legislature is bigger and more dangerous, but I have never confronted them in the raw. The only way to be sure would be to get the bears and the legislators together, but my assistant told me that would be cruelty to animals. She didn't say to which ones, but she's probably right either way."

    puddle--I was taught (by my dad as I recall) to witch wells with a piece of baling wire, but no one ever dug a well to test my work. It IS strange; seems like the movement of the wire should be under voluntary control, but it isn't, at least not completely. I can trace water pipes as well. When the subject came up with a friend once, he asked me to witch out in back of their place; when I found what I figured was the best spot (where three "veins" nearly crossed in one spot) he said that was the very spot that two or three others had pointed out. Go figure.

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  26. IMHO, even if you don't end up getting that dog, he needs a new name...!

    I haven't owned a dog since I lived with my parents, so I have a question I have no experience about and I've never heard anyone mention before. If you have two dogs in the same household, do they adopt the same schedule as to when they need to visit the fire hydrant, or are more walks required?

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  27. I hope you hear back...and I bet you do...!

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  28. Mah*sweetie did our Federal taxes last night and tonight is just wrapping up the State taxes. We're paying in to the Feds and getting a refund from the State. Yay, Vermont!

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  29. Tough love, eh?

    I've never been good with that in an outward or confrontational way. I tend to go the more subtle route, and I realise that you've all tried that heretofore. Hope it helps...though I'm not sure it can if it pushes her into a shell. We don't all wear the same size shell as the rest of a community. Makes me sad too...for everyone involved. ♥

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  30. Wow, Puddle, that does sound amazing.

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  31. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 11:13:00 PM

    Well, I've finished but not filed my federal taxes. Could get a big refund, but plan to let it sit as an estimated tax payment in case my client finally gets around to paying the accumulated arrears.

    Illinois state taxes are very simple. And since retirement income is not taxed and a protein of our (high) property taxes are taken as a credit against state income tax, I don't expect to actually owe any taxes for the year -- despite the tax rate going up from 3% to 5%. But again, I'll just let everything sit in hopes that I'll finally get paid what I'm owed.

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  32. Bill Thomasson4/14/2012 11:14:00 PM

    Meat to say "portion," not "protein." Been writing too much biology.

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  33. Sir Galahad, Sir Percival, Sir Bedevere(sp?), Sir Ivaine, Sir Gawain, Sir Gareth, Sir Kay...Sir Kay?That's nice and short. Or what about going for similar sound: Sir Loyd?

    People give pets some Pretty Rotten names. My mother's cat Princess came from the Siamese Rescue with the name Ferris. And a woman I know has a cat whose name is Diesel. She hates it but is hesitant to change it. I've told her she should, that the kitty will quickly get used to his new name but apparently everyone else she knows tell her she mustn't change it. She is not an independent, assertive person. So the poor kitty is stuck with that appalling name.

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  34. Thanks, Susan!

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  35. Thanks, listener. Sis thinks so too. We'll see.

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  36. That doesn't surprise me at all, Puddle.

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  37. I can't imagine how exciting and touching t hat must have been.

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  38. Has a scientific explanation ever been offered for dowsing?

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  39. So wy not call the cat "Deasie?"

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  40. or Daisy...? A nickname!!

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  41. Wikipedia's entry on Dowsing includes:

    A 1986 article in Nature included dowsing in a list of "effects which until recently were claimed to be paranormal but which can now be explained from within orthodox science." Specifically, dowsing could be explained in terms of sensory cues, expectancy effects and probability.

    Skeptics and some supporters believe that dowsing apparatus has no power of its own but merely amplifies slight movements of the hands caused by a phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect: people's subconscious minds may influence their bodies without their consciously deciding to take action. This would make the dowsing rods a conduit for the diviner's subconscious knowledge or perception; but also susceptible to confirmation bias.

    Soviet geologists have made claims for the abilities of dowsers, which are difficult to account for in terms of the reception of normal sensory cues. Some authors suggest that these abilities may be explained by postulating human sensitivity to small magnetic field gradient changes.

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  42. Shoot, I have no idea if it's for real or not--can't go digging everywhere one dowses a good spot for a well! But thanks be to the Goddess, we don't have to be so finicky!

    As for unfortunate dog names, that's little worse than what ignorant folks name their own children--like Cassandra (the classic "I told you so!") or Claudia/Claudius (Cripple).

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  43. Calvin ["bald"] isn't so bad, but I have reason to feel that way...

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