Monday, March 26, 2018

Maple Sugaring Time







51 comments:

  1. Chocolate “health studies”[Click] Classic methods from How To Lie With Statistics:[Click] multiple short studies with small numbers of participants.

    —Alan

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  2. It's Maple Sugar Time, and it's WAYYY PAST Mueller Time. But at least that tapestry is unraveling daily.

    Alan was here all by himself on Sunday, and I'm grateful for him holding down the fort.

    I wasn't home. Well, I was at first, but woke with a granddaughter on the premises, then we went off to visit a Sugar House, and the entirety of The Fam in Vermont came along. So it was good and fun, but I wasn't much help here.

    My plan is to enjoy temps in the 40's this week, and to watch the weather closely for next weekend. We hope to be in Maine with loved ones, but there is a real chance of a significant storm in New England (yes, another) for Passover, which is also Easter Eve. Heh.

    Meanwhile, two more roofers coming to make quotes on our roof. Childcare tomorrow and a spiritual guidance meeting, more of same for Tuesday and Thursday, plus Tai Chi class. A retreat day (no matter what) on Wednesday. And on Friday, if all goes well, packing. Somehow in the midst of all of that, I need to decorate a bunch of candles and think what to bring to the grands.

    I need a vacation.

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    1. Vacation sounds good. It seems that if we were to develop multiple personalities to handle the work, we ought to be paid more, but it doesn't work that way. And this year's coincidence of Easter and April Fool's Day provides food for thought. I think it must be unusual.

      I was awakened by a slightly frightening part in a dream, and lay awake with various anxieties, so figured I would seek online respite, and then hopefully get back to sleep for a bit before having to get up to go to work. As well as a couple of other things, I am anxious about developing a post-retirement daily routine and in-person social interactions. Those are necessary.

      --Alan

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    2. I hear tell the last time Easter Sunday fell on April Fool's Day was 1945.

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    3. Alan, educator John Holt counseled that when a child leaves public school to home school, particularly if said public school was stressful, the first thing to do is allow the child a considerable amount of FREE TIME without much by way of plans or schedules. This is to allow the person to fully relax and detox before considering the next steps. I wonder how you might employ those principles as you retire. Maybe sleep a lot the first couple of weeks, take walks, relax. Pick up a good book, see a movie in the middle of the day, watch a sunset. Then see what emerges by way of interests and needs...?

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    4. The Book of Common Prayer includes "A Table to Find Easter Day" on pp882-883, which lists all the dates for Easter Day from 1900 to 2089. Ready?

      Easter has fallen on April Fool's Day (and the related Ash Wednesday on Valentine's Day) numerous times, and will again, yet it has occurred only twice in my lifetime so far, and may occur twice more. Here are the years:

      1923
      1934
      1945
      1956
      2018
      2029
      2040


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    5. I think the reason there are long gaps is that Leap Year messes up the pattern.

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    6. As I recall, the calculation of Easter involves pretty convoluted interactions between a solar and a lunar calendar--and let's not forget how the Roman Senate repeatedly altered the months and the days of the months for political purposes.

      And the idea of letting things be free-form to start with and evolve into something more structured is a good one. I can't do everything at once. Starting on R-Day we plan to walk together once or twice a day, 1.5 or 2 km each time. (Our street is really good for that--paved, very very little traffic, very wide, no need to cross the street, so little risk of getting smooshed by a motor vehicle. It is a cul-de-sac, about 500 m long, so one complete circuit is one km.) Sunday evening, Day R plus 1, I call in to the county jury hotline to see if they want me to show up on Monday. If not, I will toodle out to the rural hospital where I used to work to take care of formalities for going back to work (not nearly as much), and stop at a store in a hamlet about halfway there to get a new straw hat--they always have a good selection, and my size. There will be some weeding during the week, jury duty permitting, and I will get a start on taxes. Maybe go to the exercise club swimming pool with Miyoko. I am expected to do some more cooking. That's plenty of structure for one or two weeks. I will make time to learn how to handle watercolor tools within the first month, if not the first week. BTW, I ordered another pen for my sketching field/plein air kit. I found a source of surprisingly good pens inexpensive enough to permit experimentation with different nibs: Fountain Pen Revolution[Click]

      --Alan

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  3. You do. Indeed.

    And didn't speak up, forgot to, but read a whole lotta Alan's links. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, puddle.

      --Alan

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  4. How the earliest plants made our world muddy
    [Click]

    There was also a story in The Guardian about how a study showed that reducing poverty reduces tuberculosis. Well, Duh! That was well known a long time ago. Maybe the researchers could have read books published in their grandparents' time and saved themselves a lot of time and trouble.

    --Alan

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    1. Books? Oh, you mean those rectangular things you hold in your hand like an iPad but rather than swiping up and down a screen, you have to turn these paper things. And there aren't any links, so you have to remember where you saw something, or else put these weird strips of leather or paper between the "pages." And you actually have to write down quotes rather than just cutting them and pasting them into a word processing program. And, like, sometimes these f--kers are, like, hundreds of pages long, so they weigh a ton; and they don't have a search function, so you actually have to read, or at least skim, every page! Like, how'd anybody ever manage before Wikipedia, man?

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  5. Headlines:
    “Stormy Daniels Gets Best ’60 Minutes’ Ratings In a Decade”
    “Trump Expels 60 Russians for Poisoning of Ex-Spy”

    Cause and effect or coincidence? We report, you decide!

    Or might it be because Trump’s personal legal time is down to one attorney[Click] as Mueller closes in?

    How Gun Control Marches Are Like Vietnam War Protests[Click] Interesting and plausible hypothesis.

    Quote of the Day[Click] From politicalwire.com:

    “This past week has certainly seemed like one major story per hour. But before we get carried away, let’s remember one of the gold standards for a time when monumental stories occurred almost simultaneously. Within three days in late January 1973, Richard Nixon was sworn in for a second term, Lyndon Johnson died, the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and the U.S. agreed to a Vietnam peace accord. With no hindsight, it’s impossible for us to know yet what was the most important thing that happened this past week in March 2018. But with 20/20 hindsight, historians of the future will be able to show us what it may have been — and, if history is any guide, this may turn out to be something that we are not yet even aware of today.”
    — Historian Michael Beschloss, quoted by Axios.

    —Alan

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    1. "Trump's personal legal time" was intended to read "Trump's legal team."
      Typographical error, computerized autocorrect, or Freudian slip?
      We report, you decide!

      Alan

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  6. I just recorded 60 Minutes, in case that counts for the ratings, but didn't watch it and erased it after it was over.

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    1. Brava, Susan.
      I have no intention of watching it either. To me it's a no-brainer.
      Don't elect a creep for President. Don't have extramarital affairs and expect respect. Don't have affairs with married people and/or don't be a porn star then expect heaps of respect. I'd so much rather DT be taken down for treason than for this. But, as my mother used to say: If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

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  7. R-DAY MINUS FIVE here.

    Alan

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    1. I took early retirement at 55 because I was working fraud investigations and *I HATED my job* and wanted to leave NY. The amazing thing I learned is that once you retire ALL your days speed by just like weekends do while you're employed.

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    2. That's interesting, Susan; time flies when you're having fun, eh? I can kinda see that--and will put it to the test.

      Alan

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  8. This was mea culpa. Beau's loose, has been for a bit. I let him out thinking I'd hooked up his cable. I had not. He wandered right past my neighbor clearing my culverts, and on. I hollered to her, but she didn't hear until he was almost to the main road. Asking for prayers, light, good thoughts, whatever ya got.

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    1. Oh, Puddle! Lost puppy safe return vibes flocking your way! ♥

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  9. It gets worse: Oh, cripes. I forgot! His ID bone which usually is on his collar got taken off last week because it got entangled with the cable clip. I couldn't get it back on! Double dirty damn!

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  10. ICE Deports US Military Vet Who Served Two Tours In Afghanistan - Click

    The SOBs left him without any money. What is he supposed to do without any money? Even if he is a drug dealer, the man is a veteran suffering from PTSD, a legal resident and, damn it, a human being. I have thought for many years that in order to be considered for a job at NIs, ICE, whatever the name du jour, you have to pass with flying colors a "How subhuman am I?" test.

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  11. Boy's home, belly full of icicles (so he went swimming!), and upstairs, asleep. Thank you all!!!

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    1. Ah, thank goodness! Sending a quick thanks to St. Francis. *smile*

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    2. Proves the dog has some smarts to him.

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    3. Ohhhh, thank heaven.

      There's nothing like the worry of a pet on an adventure. So glad da Boy's home safe. Check him over for ticks. The silly Boy may have run through a thicket for the joy of it. Now that he knows what's out there, he's going to fuss for more. Spinnaker cat is that way. She would love to "escape" again sometime. All's well that ends!

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    1. Guess it's all relative to what you're used to. 😉

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  13. As of Wednesday afternoon, yours truly is now the proud owner of an iPhone 7. It's still not completely set up and kitted out to my satisfaction, but we're getting there. Sis found for me a case bearing a reproduction of a 1920s travel poster for Penzance. *shrug* It made her happy, especially since I insisted on a style of case she didn't want me to get. I can always get another case at some point if I get bored with the Cornish Riviera.

    Have been reading a mystery series with the overall title, Cats in Trouble. Our heroine is not only a cat lover, she is also a quilter with a home business of selling kitty quilts over the Internet and at cat shows. The first book is called, The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse. There isn't as much about quilting in the books as I would like, but there's a lot about cats. The series also has an engaging continuing storyline. These are cozy mysteries. Though our heroine has an unfortunate habit of discovering bodies, and though she sometimes has to battle bad guys, the actual murders take place offstage, so there's suspense but minimal violence.

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    1. I'd like to alert our Library director about this series. Author?

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    2. Wait, I found it: Leann Sweeney

      The book you mention was published in 2009. Turns out only two libraries in our consortium carry the series. I wonder why.

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  14. Alan, the item on the similarity between Vietnam protests and the March For Our Lives/#NeverAgain movement points out a disturbing truth. People only protest problems that effect them personally. I guess that's one big reason the Left is so splintered. You've got kids over here marching for gun control, mothers over there protesting drunk drivers, minimum wage workers on that side demanding $15 an hour, peaceniks in that corner demonstrating for bans on nuclear weapons and land mines, women's groups all over the place agitating for everything from secure, reliable abortion rights to equal pay for equal work to acknowledgement of the prevalence and widespread acceptance of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and violence against women... Talk about wrangling cats! How can you get anything done when so many people seem only to care about issues that have direct, personal impact on their own selves? Where's the spirit of cooperation?

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    1. "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."
      - Will Rogers

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  15. Trump's Legal Threats Backfire.[Click] “The president is used to getting his way by bluster and intimidation, but the strategy that once worked for him is now working against him.”

    Speaking of which, here is a headline from today (story at talkingpointsmemo.com if you want to read it): “Stormy Daniels Sues Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen For Defamation” She OWNS the news cycle—Trump is roadkill. Good fun. IMO.

    —Alan

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    1. Roadkill. Splat! And there aren't any skid marks, just one squished orange superslug!

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    2. To me Michael Cohen's face looks like "whine" made flesh.

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  16. For those with access to YouTube: This piece is very powerful and moving.

    Seven Last Words of the Unarmed · University of Michigan Men's Glee Club - Click

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  17. Just saw an amusing tweet from Politico:

    "Trump uses his status to sit ringside at the WWE, not front row at the opera."

    Sorry if I'm a snob, but to me, that says it all.

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  18. https://washingtonpress.com/2018/03/26/the-lawyer-who-turned-down-trump-for-muellers-russia-investigation-just-trashed-him-on-live-tv/

    "That much is obvious to anybody who pays even a cursory amount of attention to the news coming from the White House as his staggeringly unqualified team of malignant extremists and avaricious jackals are replaced by a fresh set of ghouls, each one as cruel and stupid as the one before them.

    But the refusal of the nation’s top lawyers to join the president’s team is very good news for the rest of us who want to see Trump and his cronies punished for their many, many misdeeds, as it leaves Trump without the expert legal guidance he needs to defend himself."

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  19. Relatively easy day at work today; got my desk about 98% cleaned off and cleaned out, and headed for the barn around sundown. Now to read a couple of the linked articles above.
    --Alan

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