Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No more High-fives!

I was watching a TV game show one day, and with every correct answer the contestants would high-five. This probably wouldn't have bugged me so much, but I've been on high-five overload for quite a while now.

It used to be that it was used for celebrating points in athletics, and it was fun to watch the enthusiastic expressions of accomplishment. Now, it seems like it has degenerated into a tired, meaningless gesture.

How much actual enthusiasm is generated by a person holding up a hand and telling you, "High-five!" The gesture presumes upon you to respond in kind no matter how it imposes upon your good nature or personality. It makes you feel that you must humor the "high-hand" if you don't want to seem a poor sport. No matter how dorky you feel slapping someone's hand, there you are doing it.

I don't mean to be contrary, but would it be rude to tell someone, "I don't do high-fives"? Is it the same as refusing a hand shake? Is it the same as ducking away from a hug? I don't really think so, but I guess I won't be testing out the theory.

Thankfully, it seems like the "fist-bump" may be gaining favor. This seems more my style.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A nice Minnesota day

I don't know this guy but he looks really familiar. He might be one of the guys that tailgate in the parking lot outside the stadium where the Vikings play football. He also has a typical American look and probably appears familiar to you too. They say people tend to look like their pets so that probably explains the "hangdog" demeanor.

It occurs to me that as I blog, I merely react to events and various stimuli--like this picture. I don't really do anything creative or original. This worries me.

I like to consider myself a nice person, therefore I don't want to get into anything very controversial. That's not what Ms. Sparrow is about. I'm a non-confrontational person, a regional condition called Minnesota Nice.

Much has been written in Minnesota about our "Nice". Local news commentaries and editorials will deliberate (even agonize) over whether our Niceness is waning.

According to Wikipedia, it is characterized by forced politeness, passive-aggressiveness and false humility. Well! This observation was no doubt made by a New Yorker. There's a quote from Garrison Keillor, "New Yorkers think people from Minnesota are shy because we don't interrupt. New Yorkers interrupt each other all the time."

I find myself shut out of conversations all the time because I can't bring myself to interrupt. Of course, what I have to say usually wouldn't add that much to the conversation anyway (and that is not false humility.

I blog because I don't have to interrupt anybody to do it!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stop the madness!

Gazooks! Now Billy Mays, the pitchman, has died unexpectedly. It sorta shakes a person up that death is so darn sneaky. It makes you feel like you can't depend on tomorrow anymore.

For years I have been planning a poster of all my favorite things for my kids to use at my funeral. So far, I have the poster board and a folder labeled "Poster" with two things it it. I have also done a poem (which still needs work) and I've made list of recordings that I wanted to put on a CD for the occasion. Obviously I'm not taking my own demise seriously enough.

Don't get me wrong--I fully plan on dying. For one thing, I can't afford to live to a really old age. And for another, I probably won't hold up very well and it's no fun being old and never getting to go anywhere. It seems getting out of the house is necessary to my sense of well-being.

However, since I'm already older than any of the recently deceased celebrities (except for Ed McMahon), I guess I'm doing OK.

Long Live the Bloggers!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The incident

I was reading a friend's blog today and she writes about being haunted by a worrisome incident in her past that she was powerless to do anything about.

This reminded me of an incident in a grocery store some years ago. I think about it every once in a while and it continues to bother me.

I had pushed my cart half-way down an aisle when a family of four was coming toward me. The father, a 40-ish beerbellied type was pushing the cart. When our carts came side-by-side, the man was barking orders to a boy of around 10 on what grocery items to grab and put in the cart. The boy darted back and forth while the man kept harassing him and calling him stupid.

The scariest part was that close behind the guy were huddled a woman and teenage girl. They cowered close together with expressionless faces. The disturbing scene screamed ABUSE. I was angered and appalled that this was going on right in front of me. I desperately wanted to do something. I stood there watching for a moment while I debated whether to ask the woman if she needed help but she didn't make eye contact with me. I was afraid of making the situation worse. I looked around and other carts were now coming down the aisle but those shoppers were trying to ignore the whole thing. Reluctantly, I moved on and I have felt guilty ever since.

I always wonder what happened to that poor woman and her kids. I stew about what I should have done--alert the store manager? Intervene no matter what? Call the police?

I try to comfort myself that maybe the management saw the incident on security cameras and stepped in to help. But still...

(You can check out my friend Pearl's blog at http://pearl-whyyoulittle.blogspot.com/)

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm not psychic!

I was as stunned as everybody else when Michael Jackson died yesterday. (I'm sure oddsmakers didn't even bet on him.) Who knew the poor guy was is such bad shape?

The "tradition" of celebrities dying in threes has been around for a while. I researched (well, googled) the topic and read that it's believed to have started when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959.

Some examples cited were that Heath Ledger, Suzanne Pleschette and Brad Renfro (?) all died the same week, as did Dennis Weaver, Darrin McGavin and Don Knotts. It appears there have been many other similar groupings depending on how you assess the celebrity status of the deceased or how long you stretch the period in which the deaths occur. (In that case, some might include David Carradine in the latest bunch.)

So, we can all rest easy now in the calm assurance that no more celebrities are likely to die in the near future.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The bell tolls thrice

They always say movie stars die in threes. We've lost Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett so far this week...who's next? Actually, they are both TV stars but who makes the distinction anymore?

Ed McMahon made a movie years ago called The Incident. As I remember, it was similar to The Taking of Pelham 123 which was just released as a remake.

Farrah Fawcett is best known for a TV movie called The Burning Bed based on a true story. When I googled her filmography, however, I found she actually appeared in a lot of movies.

But now we are left to wonder: who's going to go next? (They're taking odds in Las Vegas.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's too hot to think

I don't do well in the hot weather. I feel exhausted and irritable and my brain goes into a stall.
This is a picture I took last month of my favorite flower, the trillium. It was a cool day--ahhhh.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This takes the cake.

I picked up this 50's picture online somewhere and had mixed feelings about it. It's so quaint and idealized. All the "ladies" are prim in their rigid, permed hair styles, shirtwaist dresses and aprons. They have smug grins on their faces as they happily fulfill their destiny making a three-layer cake for someone else. (A three-layer cake was for a special occasion, not just the family. A cake made for the family would be baked in a 9 x 13 pan.)

Cake mixes were the new thing back then and it was considered a cop-out to use a mix. Real housewives baked from scratch. In fact, any labor saving foods or devices were suspect.

I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show and stand up comedians would mock the lazy housewives who used the new frozen food items. TV dinners were the latest thing and frozen foods were becoming more commonplace.

But, you can't stop progress by making jokes about it. I can just run over to the Dairy Queen now and buy a superb frozen layer cake. The grocery store sells frozen Pepperidge Farm cakes plus a big assortment of bakery cakes (not to mention, a wide assortment of cake and frosting mixes).

Viva la easy life!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rejection is God's protection

I was watching an episode of Law & Order--Criminal Intent last week when one character said to the other, "My mother always used to tell me that rejection is God's protection". (He was comforting his associate whose fiance had been sent to prison.)

I had never heard that expression before, and it kind of jolted me. As a writer, rejection is a dirty word. It's a kick in the stomach, a slap in the face and a whopping humiliation. Well, maybe not to all writers, but I'm the type who takes it hard. I have submitted only two things for publication and both were rejected. I have the nice (actually) rejection letters in a file folder marked REJECTIONS. The file folder is in a stack under a bunch of other file folders that are in more frequent use.

I have a lot of sayings and trivia up on the walls around my computer (as I've posted before). I made the one above with a graphics program and I see it every day. Somehow it seems that this sentiment is countered by another one I have on the wall, "Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans." So maybe God is laughing at me!

I'm pathetic I know, but if God is protecting me from being published, I'd just as soon it would stop.

However, I haven't submitted anything in a long time. And, there's that still, small voice in the back of my mind that keeps saying, "You aren't trying nearly hard enough!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What might have been...

I gave up the accordion at the age of ten--to the great disappointment of my parents. (I wanted to play the piano but never got the chance.)

If I had stayed with the accordion, I might now be a colorful street entertainer instead of a boring old blogger passing along cookie recipes and going on about my cats. Sigh...

The greatest sin may be the unlived life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My cat gets migraines

I have noticed that some bloggers have a schedule. They post on prescribed topics for each day. I am not that organized so I just "wing it" and try to go with whatever pops into my head. Some days, there is nothing in my head.

So, here I sit with my little buddy, Sunny, at my feet. Sunny (looking peaceful above) has a thing about thunder and fireworks. He can hear it miles away. Despite the fact that there is not a cloud in the sky today and the 4th of July is several weeks away, he's skulking around with his head down like he's threatened.

I have come to the conclusion that Sunny gets migraine headaches.

Of my four cats, Sunny is the biggest eater and has the girth to show for it. Naturally, he is the one most likely to wake me in the morning to get up and open a can of catfood. I always divide it into bowls and set three down on the kitchen floor. Gracie and Tweedy will eat a little and then leave. (Snuffy, the oldest, sleeps in and comes later.) Sunny gobbles up his food and then cleans up the "girls" dishes. They also have dry food to nosh on the rest of the day.

However, when Sunny has a headache, he doesn't come for breakfast. When he gets finally gets up, he moves around slowly, head down with his eyelids puffy and half-closed. He tries to stay away from any bright light or noise and holes-up for the day. Fortunately, he doesn't suffer them very often or for more than a day.

I haven't spoken to the vet about it (she'll probably think I'm far too anthropomorphic) but I've had enough headaches to empathize. What would she give him for a headache anyway?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Having a Norwegian moment

The other day when I was at the lobby desk at the clinic, two young women came down in the elevator, looked out the front windows and saw that the sky had turned dark and ominous. One said to the other, "Uff-da!"

Having grown up with a Norwegian mother, I knew exactly what she meant. Actually, it is one of the nicest expletives anyone can use. It's a regionalism, with connotations of oops, ouch and holy cow! Uff-da is also folksy, quaint and fun.

A lot of Scandinavians settled in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota because there was good farmland and lots of lakes to remind them of home. They were salt-of-the-earth people who adapted to America within a single generation. However, uff-da apparently said something that no other American exclamation quite covered. As a result, more than a hundred twenty years later, folks are still saying it.

I googled Wikipedia and here are some of the entries listed:

"The following are some examples of how Uffda has become established in parts of the upper Midwest of the United States, often in a humorous way.
* There is an "Uffda" store in Red Wing, Minnesota selling various Scandinavian-Minnesota souvenirs, craft, gag gifts, and folk art .
* The "Uffda Mountain Boys" is a band from the Fergus Falls, MN area, playing Scandinavian and bluegrass music.
* In Westby Wisconsin there is an "Uff Da Mart".
* The New Glarus Brewing Co. in Wisconsin markets a brand of beer called Uff-da Bock.
* Yogi Yorgesson's "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" with a studio group called "The Uff-Da Band" is still popular (around these parts) after 60 years.
* The logo of the Fargo ND Marathon includes the phrase "26.2 miles...Uffda!"
* According to one edition of Red Stangland's book of Norwegian jokes, "Uff da" expresses one's feelings on dropping a sack of garbage; "fy da" or "fee da", getting one's hand in it.
* Uff Da Airport (2WI1) is located in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
* In Grand Forks, ND
, there is a stand that sells Uff-Da tacos. " (Oooh, I wonder if an uff-da taco is lefsa filled with lutefisk.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

No more schmaltz

OK! Enough of the homespun ancient memories.

I't's time for a good rant. Like last week, when I was at the checkout at a grocery store. The cashier, a woman in her late 60's-early 70's, remarked on the cool weather and then added with a smirk, "So much for Al Gore's global warming!"

DUH! As if a cool week in the middle of one continent for a single June is proof that it doesn't exist! I responded, "The earth's weather cycles are just really screwed up." She scowled at me. I wasn't validating her ignorance.

I watch a lot of documentaries and I believe them when they show how the cold fresh water melting from the polar regions cool and distort the oceanic gulf stream that powers the weather systems worldwide. This cooling also derails the jet stream so transatlantic flights can take much longer, and again, weather patterns get screwed up. Add to that the hole in the Ozone layer, the rapid growth of the Sahara Desert and the ballooning hurricane seasons, and we've got trouble, right here on Planet Earth! Denying it won't get us anywhere.

The last couple of days have been really hot in the middle of my continent. It's supposed to get hotter. So to those who would blame Al Gore (or me) for screwed up weather, let's support those who are trying to do something about it. Seriously, we can't put it off any longer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I remember all the stay-at-home moms from my childhood. They would get together for a coffee-klatsch or visit by the clotheslines on Monday washdays. "Mom-talk" probably hasn't changed much since those days. Discussion on teething, kids' birthday parties and good bargains are timeless.

Other things have changed, however. It's the expectations on housekeeping. A stay-at-home mom was above all a housekeeper-no matter that she had a hundred other responsibilities like gardening, canning, ironing, plus cooking and baking everything from scratch. If she didn't keep a tidy home, she was gossiped about.

As a child, I heard grown women sneering about a "lazy" housewife's dirty corners, or sweeping dirt under the rug (that's where the saying originated). A woman's worth was ultimately based on her housekeeping ability.

We had to clean house every Saturday--scrub floors, dust furniture, shake out rugs and vacuum--in case someone would come to visit on Sunday. It wasn't uncommon for people to decide to "go visit" friends or neighbors on Sunday afternoons. Our family, all six of us, would sometimes get in the car to "go for a ride" (this is back when gas was four gallons for $1). If we passed someone's house and my folks noted they were home, they might decide to stop in for a visit. There was always the expectation that they would be ready for "company".

I'm rarely ready for company nowadays, not on Saturday or Wednesday or any other day. If someone drops in when the kitchen's a mess and we haven't vacuumed for a week, so be it. I sorta plan to clean the kitchen today, but I have to go pick up some neighbors out at the airport this afternoon and I've got a bunch of stuff to do first. I hope to get a piece written for my Writer's Group on Friday etc.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Golly! Aren't you glad we don't have to iron everything anymore? When I was in my midteens my mother taught me to iron my dad's white cotton long-sleeve shirts. It was a step-by-step process that began with moistening the clothes to just the proper dampness. This was done with a "sprinkling bottle".

The sprinkling bottle is a lost art form of past generations. I remember making mine when I was in the fourth grade. Sometime before Mother's Day, the teacher instructed everyone in the class to bring in an empty ketchup bottle (but it's a secret, don't tell your mom what it's for). What kid doesn't love a secret?

After the ketchup (or pop) bottles were "smuggled" to school, the process began with a flat pan with paint of varying colors swirled to create a marbleized effect. We would each roll our bottle in the paint and then it would be set aside to dry. The next day, it would be fitted the standard sprinkling top--a cork topped by an aluminum head full of holes.

The Friday before Mother's Day, we would wrap it in white tissue paper with a little tie of crinkly ribbon and take it home for the big presentation on Sunday. I don't remember my mom's reaction when she opened it--or her reaction when she received three more in the following years from my siblings. In any case, they were in use for many years.

Eventually the cork base would crumble away and once that was gone, well, what possible use is there for a painted bottle? It went in the trash. As a result, when I went online to find a picture of an old-fashioned genuine Mother's Day sprinkling bottle, I checked Google images, ebay and Yahoo. All I could find was a single picture. It's not painted, but this is what it looks like:

After the clothes were sprinkled, they were rolled up and packed together in a laundry basket or plastic container. Some people would put them in the refrigerator. I think that was to keep them from getting mildewed it you didn't get to the ironing the next day. If the stuff got mildew, then you'd have to wash it again and hang it out in full sun to kill the mildew--if that failed, you'd have to soak it in bleach!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, Monday


You spent the entire day washing the clothes and bedding, carrying the heavy, wet stuff out to the clothesline in bushel baskets made of thin wooden slats with metal handles that cut into your fingers. If you were lucky, it would be a sunny, breezy day so the laundry would dry quickly but not blow off the clothesline. Then you could rotate the dried things off as you hung out more wet things and not have to worry about running out of clothespins. It was HARD work.

Now you can do laundry 24/7. It's no longer a big deal--you can do it as an afterthought. Don't you just love it?

I remembered a song from my youth about Monday being washday, Tuesday ironing etc. If you're interested in all the lyrics, I googled and found it only on another blogsite at http://mimirock-castleyonder.blogspot.com/
Monday's Wash Day

Today is Monday, Today is Monday,
Monday's wash day, Everybody happy?
Well, I should say!
Today is Tuesday, Today is Tuesday,
Tuesday Ironing, Monday washday
Everybody happy? Well, I should say.
Today is Wednesday, Today is Wednesday,
Wednesday Cleaning, Tuesday Ironing, Monday washday,
Everybody happy? Well, I should say.
Today is Thursday, Today is Thursday,
Thursday baking, (a little faster) Wednesday cleaning, Tuesday ironing, Monday washday,
Everybody happy? Well, I should say.
Today is Friday, Today is Friday,
Friday fiii-sh, (a little faster) Thursday baking, Wednesday cleaning, Tuesday ironing, Monday washday,
Everybody happy? Well, I should say.
Today is Saturday, Today is Saturday,
Saturday shopping, Friday fiii-sh, (faster) Thursday baking, Wednesday cleaning, Tuesday ironing, Monday washday,
Everybody happy? Well, I should say.
(Hushed and reverent voice) Today is Sunday, Today is Sunday,
(very hushed) Sunday church,
(Louder) Saturday shopping, Friday fiii-sh, Thursday baking, Wednesday cleaning,
Tuesday ironing, Monday washday, Everybody happy?
Well I should Say!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Flag Day

Some interesting facts about our flag:

* It's the most complicated of all flags requiring 64 separate pieces to construct.

* President Harry Truman declared Flag Day in 1949, however, it is not a federal holiday.

* It is not illegal to put a US flag across your butt--it's considered freedom of speech.

* The emails circulating that President Obama refuses to wear a flag pin or salute the flag are Hoaxes.

* Ours is the prettiest and best flag in the world!

You're a Grand Old Flag by George M. Cohan

You're a grand old flag, You're a high-flying flag,
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of the land I love
And home of the free and the brave,
Every heart beats true 'neath the red, white and blue
Where there's never a boast or a brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the Grand Old Flag.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Help yourself to a blessing

I did my volunteer stint at the specialty clinic yesterday. It was an uneventful day for the most part. People come in and pass the lobby desk where I am parked in my maroon vest, ready and eager to help.

There is a woman who comes in regularly and each time stops to ask me which floor her doctor's office is located on. I'm not sure if she is doing this as a courtesy to me as her way of acknowledging my usefulness, or if she is simply that forgetful. I suspect it is the latter.

Later, she came back down to the lobby after her appointment to wait for her ride. She came over to me and said, "A million dollar's worth of blessings on you to go spread it around".

I thanked her and for a moment felt quite honored that this sweet, balmy lady said that to little ol' me. A short time later, the Security Guard came by and she went up to him and pronounced $14 million worth of blessings.

Oh well, help yourselves to your share of my million dollars worth and be generous to yourselves. One can never have too many blessings!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We all need a good boost sometimes

I love this cartoon. I adhere to to the premise that every dog is a good dog. (Well, maybe in their own way.) When "Pepper" chases the mailman, he's driving away an intruder. When he freaks out at the trash hauler's or recycler's trucks, he's driving away thieves. When he chases away squirrels or cats--well, who knows what those sneaky things are up to?

The thing is, the object of the threat always leaves, and once again, Pepper has proven to himself that he is a good dog and he has been amply rewarded.

It woud be great if I had some daily rewards like that--little things that would fill me with such satisfaction I would sigh with contentment. I'm obviously lacking the right kind of stimulation.

I try to think what would stimulate that feeling. I love to cook and having guests dive into a meal with gusto and leave smiling with Cool Whip bowls of leftovers, makes me happy. But that's an occasional thing and a lot of work. It would be nice if blogging gave me that kind of reward, but after I post, I keep going back over it to see what errors I made. It can take me hours to publish a post--not rewarding.

What I need are some bedtime affirmation tapes I can play, "You were such a good girl today, everybody likes you and blah, blah, blah." I can't even think of affirmations that would fill the bill. I guess I'm too jaded to appreciate the little joys in life--like feeding four hungry kitties every morning. Shame on me!

(In case you haven't guessed, it's another cold, rainy day.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Try this on for size

This is Becca, a friend from my Writer's Group. She's a regular contributor to a delightful and helpful online newsletter called Momicillin. It's at http://www.momicillin.com/

The site also gives reviews on various products and tips, so it's worth checking out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's a good day for baking

When I was a kid and we had to play indoors on a rainy day, my mom used to say, "Well, it's a good day for baking," Then we'd get busy in the kitchen making cookies, or we'd stir up a buttermilk chocolate cake from scratch. The warm oven and activity would soon warm up the kitchen and tempt us with lovely smells. Plus, the payoff was great!

Today is a cold, rainy day and by golly, if it didn't put me in the mood to bake some cookies! I'm a big fan of crunchy cookies--I always say, "Crunch is everything!"

Here, dear friends, is a fabulous Crunchy Cookies recipe to die for:

1 c soft butter........1 c sugar........1 c brown sugar, packed
1 c vegetable oil.....1 t soda..........1 egg (that's correct)
1 t cr of tartar........1/2 t salt............1 t vanilla
3 c flour..................1 c Rice Krispies...1 c quick oatmeal
1 c choc chips.........1 c coconut.........chopped nuts
Combine butter, sugars and oil. Beat in the egg and add soda, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla.Beat well, then add flour and beat again. Stir in oatmeal, rice cereal, chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Dough will be very stiff. Drop by rounded spoonfuls 2" apart on cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 until brown. Large recipe--makes plenty cookies to share.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Seeing Big Black Cats

I've been pondering for a week about whether I wanted to post on this subject. I'm not the type to leap to conclusions or exaggerate--but, I saw one of the legendary Big Black Cats. (Picture from internet.)

Last Friday, I got up about 5:30 am to go to the bathroom. As I came back to bed, I went up to the window to pet Snuffy who was lying in the heated cat bed in front of it. I looked out the window (as I always do) to see any wildlife that may be around.

The big black animal appeared so suddenly I didn't realize what I was seeing right away. It was as large as a German Shepherd as it crossed the clearing in the wooded lot below. It was in view for only two seconds before it melted into the brush, but I would swear that it was a cat! It had a long black tail that extended straight out from the body and the gait was definitely cat-like. I did not get a good look at its head however.

I admit it was quite early and there wasn't full sunlight yet. Still, I am positive about the size of the animal. I have seen my own cats down in that same lot and the size difference is indisputable. The distance from the window to the spot where I saw the cat is only 20 to 25 feet.

The picture below was taken out of my bedroom window at my eye level but in the afternoon. It shows the wooded lot that is separated from my yard by a retaining wall that drops down 3 or 4 feet. The retaining wall is about 10 feet from the window. The wide clearing is due to a large black walnut tree growing there that prevents most other vegetation from growing under it. The cat walked from left to right in front of the tall grass (hidden by afternoon shadows).

I first became aware of the Big Black Cats phenomenon from an episode of MonsterQuest on the History Channel. MonsterQuest documentaries examine a variety of folklore and creature sightings around North America. They have featured the Chupacabra of Mexico, Sasquatch of California, sea monsters in Lake Champlain and other places, the Jersey Swamp monster and Mothman of Ohio. The Big Black Cats are in (admittedly) spurious company.

Therefore, when I was at the Wildcat Sanctuary last Saturday, I spoke with Tammy Quist who is the director of the facility. I asked her about the Big Black Cats and told her I saw one. She said that the producers had consulted with her on the production of that MonsterQuest episode. She felt that they had proven that it was only a matter of mistaken perspective. I was disappointed by that since my sighting was at very close range with an accurate perspective.

So, the upshot of it all is this: I saw a Big Black Cat only 20 feet or so out my bedroom window! Now, I will always and forever be looking for it. And, I will never see it again...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GM still striving to make the perfect Impala

I just got a recall notice on my 2000 Chevy Impala--for the fifth time. This time it's for a problem that can cause the engine to start on fire! I'm getting a little upset with GM and since (as of Monday) I am now part owner of the company, I have decided to raise the roof!

DARN IT, GM! I was willing to overlook the door-post-thing and the seat-belt-anchor-thing, but you built this car ten years ago! You only now discovered it can catch on fire?
Worst of all, you have put out a new editions of the Impala every year since 2000. So you were making more and more cars when you hadn't even perfected the 2000 version! Wouldn't it make sense to design a car and after all the recalls were done,
continue to market that car to the world?
Of course, when you decided to stop development of an electric car and instead promote the Hummer and Cadillac Escalade, you really blew it. The dandies who buy those vehicles aren't the people who made GM the powerful company it was for 100 years. It's the folks like me who want safe, reliable and economical cars.
So, please get out there now and make a really good e-car, and perfect it so that I can buy it without worrying about what kinks GM forgot to work out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ms Sparrow does not eat like a bird

This is me in my natural setting--in front of a refrigerator with my mouth full. My nose is red as it seems to be much of the year.

I don't consider myself to be a big eater but I eat too many carbs for my own good. As a result, my housemate and I have made a pact to go on a healthful diet this summer. I really need to lose weight if only to protect my poor aching joints. (I'm still sore from walking around the Wildcat Sanctuary on Saturday.) Sue, my housemate, had bariatric surgery several years ago and lost well over 100 lbs but she has regained much of it back.

We have been going through various books on the subject: The Zone, South Beach Diet, The T-factor Diet, The Alli Diet Plan, The Detox Health-plan and a host of cookbooks for low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, heart-healthy and/or diabetic recipes. Why does it have to be so darn difficult?

I'm a night-time nosher, big time! I plunk down in front of the TV and get up to prowl the kitchen during every commercial break muttering,"Now, what can I eat?" I do all the wrong things like skipping breakfast.So our plan is to do one diet plan for a while and then switch to another. The Dr Atkins Diet will not be one of them. I'll keep you posted how this is working out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's all perspective

Somebody emailed this to me and it struck my fancy. But, it seems that the depiction of a 50-year-old is way, way off! The woman in purple ("When I am old, I shall wear purple") is too old. My eldest daughter is 50 and her siblings will soon to reach the half-century mark too. None of them are white haired, none of them are sagging and jowly. They are all energetic, vital people. They won't even be able to retire for 15 to 20 years.

I have found that as I get older, those younger than me tend to seem ever younger. High school graduates seem like mere children. Yet, I was married at that age. I'm frequently shocked to learn that some younger person is actually in their 40's or 50's.

The biggest change in my perspective is how I relate to people. When I was younger, I was shy and couldn't relate to anyone who was different from me. The few folks of different age groups, races or abilities that I encountered were so alien to me, I avoided them. I'm older and wiser now--cliqued though that may be. People of other ages and backgrounds can be so much more interesting than the folks just like me. (I can be such a bore, as in today's post. I try to do better tomorrow.)