Jan 09

No bones about it.

Bird Feathers

Everywhere I turned today…. some little morsel of information was plopping on my lap. Here are some things I learned in the process.

• More than twice as many people are killed by vending machines as by sharks. I can only speculate why this might be true. But doesn’t it make you wonder. Are these folks just walking by the machine and it explodes? Or perhaps it just falls over on them? OR… do they reach up in to the vending machine to grab a bag of Cheetos… and they get stuck…. leaving them to starve and die… all stuck-tight in that vending machine?

• The inventor of “best before dates” … . originally made for milk… was Al Capone’s brother Ralph. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. What I mean is… old Ralph was really thinking. He did something pretty good…. really. But his bad-boy-brother got all the press. (I guess this mean Al was spoiled…. rotten.)

• Ants can survive in a microwave. They are small enough to dodge the rays. So… the next time you make chocolate covered ants… stick with the conventional oven method. Otherwise, the outcome could be disastrous.

• A typical bird’s feathers weigh twice as much as its bones. That is really something, don’t you think? Human skin weighs about 20 pounds. Surprisingly enough… human bones weigh around 20 pounds (this is dependent on your frame size). Another reason we can’t flap our arms and fly.

• I have some friends who really dislike snakes (…. Janet.) Most of them have gardens. Here is a little tidbit for you. There is no such thing as a vegetarian snake. Snakes eat nothing except for other animals. This is one reason to like them…. gardeners. They won’t eat your stuff.

• One in 50 Americans claim to have been abducted by Aliens. I know more than 50 people. Not a one has ever mentioned this to me. If it is you, please… oh please…. fess up. I would love to hear about it.

•  If you are 62 years old today… and this is your birthday…. you are a Goose in the Native American Astrology scheme of things.  But, according to the Chinese Calendar… you were born in the year of the Rabbit.  You are old… like… just about 32,611,568 minutes old.  And you share a birth date with Bob Denver.  THAT is the dude who played Gilligan… on Gilligan’s Island.  I’m not sure what all this says about you…. but Happy Birthday to my dear, dear brother.    Love you Eddie.

“My work is a game, a very serious game.” – M.C. Escher

Jan 08

Go. Seek.

HIDE

Obvious.

A common word in our English language, an adjective to be exact. When something is obvious it is easily perceived or understood. It is clear, self-evident, or apparent.

And there you have it.

How does the old phrase put it? Hide and Go Seek….. or is it….. Seek and Ye Shall Find.

You know. Clarity. Vision. The Clear and Evident.

Now take a box of spaghetti. What a wonderful and amazing thing, really.

It is fairly obvious to most of us what needs to be done here. You open the box. Boil water. Then you put that rigid pasta into the hot, bubbly water. And what the heck….. just like magic. It becomes a malleable, and delicious bit of food. We cover it with sauce and eat it.

Obvious.

Unless of course, you have never seen a box of spaghetti before. Then, perhaps… things are not quite as clear.

Maybe you go in the kitchen, grab a sheet of sturdy paper, some Elmer’s glue, and begin making a pasta-picture with broken noodles. Like the scene from page 843 from War & Peace. The scene where the Rostovs have waited until the last minute to abandon Moscow, even after it is clear that Kutuzov has retreated WAY past Moscow. Maybe.

Things are always what they seem, it seems.

And what may be very comprehensible to one person, is as clear as ‘peanut butter in a sand storm’ to someone else.

Sometimes there is more than one way to do something. Or… two separate and distinct roads to the destination on the map.

Other times….. maybe just one true and right course… is the only way to go.

I offer no insight here. Just further possibilities. Like Goldilocks said…. this one is too hard, this one is too soft, this one is just right.

“No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.” – Khalil Gibran

Jan 07

Tweet Off….

01-07-2014--birdies

In any given day, we all have a varying degree of “bright spots” and “low points.”  Oh yes. It varies.  It could be high-in-the-sky-apple-pie-goodness…. all the way down to the lowest of despicable woes.

Most days… it is good if it all stays just around the center.

I was going to complain about Century Link tonight… which is our phone company. Our land line provider. Our Neanderthals.

But instead, I’ll start off with a good point. I live in Gasper Township, in Preble County, Ohio. I have to give a big old “shout out” to our Township Trustees. We have had a crappy-doodle winter thus far. Our trustees are pretty amazing at keeping the roads free and clear. I don’t know how they do it…. but they must be working their butts off. Out in those trucks… come snow, or come snow.

As far as I know… those super-super-dupers are Eric White, Bill Roell, Michael Allen, and Anitra Roell. Honest to goodness. What a great, great job they do.

Second great thing. I so enjoyed watching the birds today. They were freezing their little feathers off…. I didn’t like THAT part. But they managed to belly-up to our feeders, and refuel just a bit. Good for the birds. Good for me. We had everything from American Tree Sparrows, to Red Bellied Woodpeckers… to Junkos. I just loved it. I Tweeted. Literally.

Okay… now for my complaining.

Dang it.  Century Link changed our home phone number. There. I’ve said it. But for crying out loud….. we’ve had this same number for nearly 18 years. We’ve experience our fair share of woes with them lately… an entire barrage of things going wrong. Finally, they determined we had to place a service call. This all spilled out a couple of weeks ago. Wellllll…….. Someone wasn’t paying attention… or something…. and changed our phone number. Yes. Changed it.

After speaking with four separate Century Link agents today, they assured me the situation would be back to normal about a half an hour. Hmmmm. Twelve hours later…. it turns out…. still no ringy-dingy. I don’t have the strength to call them back.

I am tired of fighting.  So when I find out what the new number is…. I’ll let you know.

But believe you me…. I think all of this is for the birds. If only Century Link could be more like those super hero township trustees. Yeah.

“I do believe that if you haven’t learnt about sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness.”  –  Nana Mouskouri

Jan 06

I have arrived….

Go. Go.

Here is the thing. I have always thought  that Time Travel might possibly exist. In fact, once I took Physics in college, I was just about convinced.

We already Time Travel. Each and every one of us do it daily. Our thoughts take us back into the past… or at least  to our rendition of the past.

Those same thought processes thrust us into the unknown future, projecting what might come to be. Sometimes we are right.

So what is not to say, that our physical bodies, some day….. may go right along. Or at least our awareness will be so heightened that it will manifest it in that manner. I’m not sure exactly how it will work…  to the very littlest detail…. . but I am pretty sure it will.

In fact, I just read an article in which a group of Physicists have been using the internet to flush out future time travelers who might be among us today. They took a couple of significant events, like Pope Francis being named Pope… and the Boston Marathon bombing… and such. Then they went back PRIOR to those events…. to search for these terms in social media forums… like Facebook and Twitter. They used internet data from these sites.

Well… as it turns out they didn’t find much in the way of future Time Travelers talking about those topics on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram…etc.

And so….. the experiment might of had some faults. But it’s still an interesting premise.

Now…. it is my guess that time travelers from the future are simply that much more savvy than our current scientists. They are extremely good at covering their tracks. It is my next guess that the future time travelers could foresee this experiment taking place, and they went back again… to REMOVE all comments from social media sources. I mean… if they have figured out how to travel in time… they aren’t going to leave such flagrant tracks. Like Bigfoot… or something.

Oh to be smart like those future travelers.

All I know… is that if I could… I would. Yep. I would hitch up my little red wagon…..and I would travel right out of January.  I don’t know for sure where I would head.   Maybe towards April in Hawaii. Or right here… but in July.

I’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease…. but to warmer air.  Much warmer.  Annnnnnndddddd…….  Now you see me… now you don’t.

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

 

Jan 05

Down. And Out.

Chicken Hawk

When the weather gets this extremely cold, it is hard on all of us. But hopefully, most of us humans can get prepared.

Some humans cannot get prepared. And this is also very true of our pets.  A number of humans and animals will suffer and die from these subzero temperatures.

So tonight, I simply write to ask all of you to give special consideration to those around you. If you can help a human in need…. please try.

And for crying out loud… if you have an outdoor pet…please don’t let them suffer or perish.  It truly is NOT that hard to bring them in for a night or two.

To me… it just seems like the right thing to do.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

Jan 04

Gobble. Gobble. Gag.

Turkey Dish

I am not a bad cook. But tonight, I totally sucked.  I would never just “blurt” this our on Facebook or anything like that.  But since there are just a few hundred people who read this Project 16010… I thought I would be totally honest and forthcoming.

The fact of the matter is, I do not like to follow recipes. Maybe because someone else is telling me what to do…. and I am a stubborn bull.

Most of the times, I am very creative with food, and as such….. I can whip up a pretty tasty dish here and there. But sometimes….. yes… sometimes… I let things get a little out of hand. Such was the case tonight.

My first mistake was pulling leftover Thanksgiving turkey out of the freezer to “use it up”….

The sauce I concocted for it was actually pretty tasty, I thought. But you couldn’t really get past the stale taste and tough consistency of the thawed out turkey….. now…. twice baked.

Warning. Don’t try this at home kids.

My second mistake was the level of creative license I took with the “rice bed” that it would rest on. Just don’t ask. Really. I’ve consumed paste from the plastic jars in the Kindergarten classroom which has tasted better.

Finally. The meal was rounded out with steamed broccoli. I’m not a total idiot. I got that right.

So I asked Mary what she thought as we ate dinner, hoping to get some semblance of approval. The smallest nod would have made me feel better. But. Without missing a beat, she remarked quickly. “This is awful. It is really pretty bad.”  Simply the brutal, cold, hard truth.

And there you have it.

But have no fear.   I will not be deterred. As the old saying goes… “Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.” Yeppers. Tomorrow is another day, and once again, I will be cooking on the front burner. I will waltz around the kitchen…. and from time to time… shout out… “NOW we’re cooking with Crisco.” For better, or for worse.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jan 03

One Kaboom. Two Kaboom.

Freeeeezzzeeeee

Our little mini-vacation is over. Ended. Kaput.

We flew back to Ohio this evening. I suppose I have a few more observations about the last couple of days. So if you will oblige me, once again.

In the simplest of terms, I experienced Karma, first hand. We ate at Taco Boy yesterday. I ordered a side of the Danger Sauce. Those folks at Taco Boy even write a fair warning for you. “Danger. We call this Danger Sauce for a reason. ”

And so it was. I consumed large quantities of Danger Sauce on my Chicken Fajitas …. until the back of my scalp burned and I could no longer differentiate my neck from by left buttocks.

So, it is within the Karmic Experience, that I should be repaid for the act of ingesting the said sauce.  And repaid I was.  In full … this morning. Without going into the details….

And on to the next thing.

Here’s the thing. I like to fly. I know a lot of people give it a bum wrap. And truthfully, I thought it would be a total bust for us today… with the blizzard and all. But away we went. From Charleston, SC, to Atlanta, GA, to Dayton, OH. Without a hitch. Flying the Friendly Skies.

I’m enthralled with the “going fast” part of it…. the taking off and landing. I love to see the world from way above. Sometimes it looks like lunch meat party trays to me… or other times… like quilts. Depends on the place and the time.

And I have to admit it here. I enjoy the whole “fast food in the airport” ordeal. Albeit, it is not very fast these days. But the dining encounter is always sloppy, and fried, and good. I don’t eat too much fast food on a regular basis. So it is like a treat for me.

And finally, it is a little colder here now than when we departed. I left a few Diet Cokes in the car. When I opened the rear hatch… there was ice everywhere… INSIDE the car. Diet Coke cans decided to spontaneously combust. Or commit Hari-Kari in the form of frozen explosion.

I think these things are amazing and wonderful…. like….  the Danger Sauce and the exploding Diet Coke cans.  I guess it all falls right together… and reminds me that our human experience is filled with things unexpected.  And with each passing moment… when you think you have it figured out pretty well… … … it all goes back around again.

 

Jan 02

The Look

Storky

Another great day on the map.

We did a LOT of eating out today. Every day. It is par for the course in Charleston.

Of course…… the evening would not be complete without a trip to the Pralines Store on Market Street. Kim “Free Sample” Parlnie hooked us up. She sold us more than a pound and a half of candy…. and all we wanted was two pralines. She works it.

But maybe the highlight of the day was the Charleston Aquarium. It was quite an impressive facility. I told them so. And then they hunted us down and gave us a behind the scenes tour.

I got to see my favorite Sea Turtle close up. And a stork nearly accosted me. Lemurs. Otters. Geckos. Snakes. Jellyfish. Stingrays. Eagles. Sharks. And Grouper. Everything from A to Z in the way of the water worlds. They had it all. It reminds me how diverse, and amazing, this planet can be. Whenever I get to see wildlife that close…. where I can look into their eyes. Well.  Experiencing their beautiful design and majestic presence gives me a case of the “hair-on-the-back-of-my-neck tingles”. It connects me. It reminds me. It humbles me.

Yep. A very good day. And I didn’t destroy one single iPhone.

Stellar.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

 

Jan 01

It all cracks me up.

ring... ring....

Things I have seen and thought about over the past couple of days.

We saw a woman on King Street who was walking her duck. It had on red duck booties, a red duck jacket, and a red duck hoodie. I thought this was odd. I would have thought the duck would have much preferred something in blue, green, or even orange. But definitely not red.

Pizza can be glorious. There is not much else better than cheese pizza dipped in blue cheese dressing. Anywhere.

You can learn great lessons from any one… at any given time… if you are listening. The key, I think …. is to be ready and willing.

The mineral Malachite is said to be the “mirror to the soul.” It is green.  Somehow…. I think that is significant.

Every person I’ve ever met who was named Miranda… tuned out to be very nice, and quick on the uptake. I have liked every Miranda I have met. Today was no exception. Attitude is everything….. at least…. that is what her name badge said. It also said Miranda.

Dogs are cool. Same thing I said about Miranda goes for dogs.

If you order a Grande Hot Water from Starbucks…. let the contents cool slightly… before gulping.

Screaming in Starbucks yields attention from other patrons.

Despite my love of them…. I have decided that iPhones may be my  Archenemy.  My nemesis. My Krypton. My big whoops. I vowed never to wash another iPhone again. As many of you know…. I have put seven different iPhones through the laundry. This time I did NOT. I simply dropped it on hard concrete… face down… to ensure the shattering of glass.

There are certain people in this world that I would do most anything for. And just when you think you love them as much as you possibly can…. you find that once again…. you turn around… and love them just that much more.

Finally. Tomorrow is another day… with more ducks…. more malachite…. more great surprises. I bet.

 

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein

 

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis

 

 

Dec 31

Or Not.

Limey

Well. Happy New Year.

Ringing in the NEW is what this is all about…. or…. I am told. I am never quite sure what the hubbub is about the New Year.

To me…. it is sort of like the birthday thing. One day it is the 28th. And then you wake up and the next day is the 29th. Nothing has changed significantly in the scheme of things. One day has passed. That is all. It ticked. And then…. it tocked.

Birthdays. New Years. And such.  Just one more minute.

Sure…. we humans set up this whole time-keeping thing. Calendars and clocks. Yet…. as the planet goes… we do our rotations around the sun… so we started keeping track. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Whirling through space. And time I suppose.

So on to a newer year than the last one.

And a New Year tradition is to make some kind of a resolution.

A Resolution. A word which is defined as… …… a firm decision to do or not to do something.

A firm decision to do or not to do.
So here is to a year of “to-doing” or “not to-doing” depending on your spin on things.

And we are all spinning round and round the sun. One day at a time.
Happy New Year.  May it be filled with “not” lemons.   Or limes. Seriously. Or not.

 

Okay.  Seriously.

Happy New Year to you ALL!