Sunday, August 27, 2006

Katrina Pets

I've been watching and reading Katrina follow-ups, and they all say the same thing: this is going to be a long haul. Except this one: the Elmira Star-Gazette offers a very hopeful Katrina pet story.

Because most pets are not so very long-lived, these stories are not often open-ended. We blogged a few times on this, here and here. Granted this is not as complicated as assisting the displaced people, but in many ways, because their little lives are shorter, the displaced pets needs were more immediate.

Please remember your local animal shelters with your donations. Their job is never done.

Little Pond

Went to the Moving Wall today. If it comes to your area, you should visit.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Extraordinary Posts

...on (usually) mundane things. A captain's log on the day-to-day voyage of two extraordinary people. These podcasts are short and to the point. Some make me smile, others bring tears to my eyes. All in a lovely, rich, broadcaster's voice.

I don't know if this is a first, but it's the first blog that is almost exclusively podcast.


Little Pond

Friday, August 25, 2006

Late Summer Sadness

Criminal Grace inaugurates the season with: Back To School Blues

1. When you were a kid, did you do back-to-school shopping? No. Because our family was big--seven children--back to school was pretty much a couple of skirts, a couple of tops and a pair of shoes. Not of my choosing, and the rest were always hand-me-downs. Until I got my own job, it was pretty much a disappointment.

2. Do you still peruse the back-to-school aisles now that you're grown up? Not since my kids have grown, thank the Lord.

3. What back-to-school item did you just have to have, only later to find out it wasn't as useful as you thought? When I began working, in Junior High School, I bought a fancy notebook that was quickly stolen. I replaced it with a cheaper one.

4. What is your favorite TV show about school? Mr. Novak, because I thought James Franciscus was dreamy.

5. What was your favorite and least favorite part of going back to school? In my family we were rewarded for doing well, but I was always unhappy over the regimentation and discipline. Not doing well was asking for really big trouble at home. At school, kids could be hit, so that made the adults especially scary. I never realized how much it upset me until I became a teacher, and went into an awful depression over the classrooms, the corridors, the very smell of all the lacquer and paint chalk dust, etc.

Hated it. Still do. Glad those days are over. I should note that I didn't feel the same about college, although when I had to go for my "teaching career" I hated it just as much as the rest of the mess. Compulsory education sucks for anyone with any sense of self.

Now September is just a cooler version of the rest of the summer. I like it that way.

Little Pond

Thursday, August 24, 2006

So close and yet so far...

The IAU members gathered at the 2006 General Assembly agreed that a "planet" is defined as a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

This means that the Solar System consists of eight "planets" Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. A new distinct class of objects called "dwarf planets" was also decided. It was agreed that "planets" and "dwarf planets" are two distinct casses of objects. The first members of the "dwarf planet" category are Ceres, Pluto and 2003 UB313 (temporary name). More "dwarf planets" are expected to be announced by the IAU in the coming months and years. Currently a dozen candidate "dwarf planets" are listed on IAU's "dwarf planet" watchlist, which keeps changing as new objects are found and the physics of the existing candidates becomes better known.

More on this later.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Welcome Old Friends! New planets!

Surely the MS Companion is the place for the latest news on the Solar System.

Not a health-related article.

Rest in Peace ...

... Patsy and Jon Benet. Your vengeance is in sight.

It was never a question of Patsy being a suspect, the woman was living for her little girl. Even if it may have been in any way selfish, well, what parent doesn't have some vested interest in their kid?

But I never could figure out why the police considered her suspect. When Patsy accused them of incompetence, this rang so true and so very "not guilty" to me. But why didn't the police come forward with the information that would vindicate her?

Of course, at the end, Patsy cooperated with them, as much as she was physically able, in their further investigations. She knew she was innocent, and let's hope that was enough. At least they are together again.

Rest in peace, ladies. Maybe you can forgive a prejudging world?

Wonder if John Ramsey can?

Little Pond

Friday, August 18, 2006

Customer Service

Criminal Grace offers "Return to Sender" as this week's meme.

1.--At least once or twice a year we can expect mail "returned to sender." To be fair, it is usually our fault and not the postal service. I should point out that a great many bills sent out at least a week in advance still arrive late. More and more we are using online payment because of this. The worst city is Baltimore. More than half of all our payments arrive there late or just barely on time. I regularly check.

2.--Husband RJ almost never returns defective merchandise. I almost always do.

3.--Gifts are sacred and not to be returned. However, if it doesn't fit, and I can exchange it, I do.

4.--Library books are always returned on time. This is especially important because I browse the "New Books" area. It's not fair to others if I keep them to myself. Library fines are negligible in Elmira, but it's better to just be considerate. Common courtesy is common sense.

5. Not only do I believe Elvis is dead, I believe he is in heaven. If he were Catholic, he would be considered by many to be a saint. We Catholics especially love our saints to be totally human, warts and all.

Speaking of saints, one of my favorites is Francis, because of his patronage of animals before and after his death. He considered himself the brother of all beasts. I often feel rather catlike, and sometimes catty, myself. This piece by Granny J seems extreme, but I can't help but approve. I sometimes think my neighbors think of my place that way. My own father, even, once called it the Cat House.

Little Pond

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Summer Sunday Morning

Woke to a busy Little Pond today. Dressed for Mass, and took the car a few feet.

And parked it. Flat tire.

Mr. Policeman was taking depositions. The neighbors were all clucking.

Slashed tires. Saturday night/Sunday morning pranking, up the one street, around the cross-street and down the other

Husband RJ rankled to think of the vandals snickering at the thought of our Sunday morning ruined.

I couldn't help but notice how nice everyone was to each other. We were all in it together. Met a few neighbors that were new to me.

It's ironic to think that this evil occurrence will probably make for a nicer neighborhood.

Too bad about the tires, though.

Little Pond

Friday, August 11, 2006

First Thing on Friday

Five on Friday this week is a "Last Things" meme:

1--Last thing I ate without regret was whole grain snack crackers to raise my blood sugar at work. Pretty much regretted everything else: calories, quantities, fat content.

2--Last person I talked to was VeggieGirl who was going to work. We always say "I love you" each and every time.

3--I last took a vacation in the Spring, mostly to clean and work on the house.

4--I hugged GolferGirl before and after our weekly visit. I hug the kids, but does the mothers' hug count?

5--My ancestry would be the last thing people learn about me. I'm pretty much a mixed bag, and must look rather indeterminate. When I was a little girl, we always knew the ancestry because we were all third- or fourth- generation Americans. So there was a Dutch family, plenty of Polish, a French/Swedish household, lots of Irish, some Italian and one Irish/Italian, some French Canadian and some Yankee. Hot topic in our neighborhood.

Little Pond

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Conventional Wisdom is They are Never Worn Again

Let's start with the maids' dress. All in autumn colors. VeggieGirl will wear "Cinnamon," which, being the motorhead she is, she calls "Rust." Posted by Picasa

Queen for a Day?

And here's the bridal gown. Ivory lace that will fill out much better when worn by a girl with some ooomph in her figure. MammaDog will look positively regal. Posted by Picasa

Not a Beer-Garden Bride

Not appropriate for a kegger. How we are going to get that train through the woods at Fountainebleau is a mystery to me. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What Happened to the Kegger? An Update.

So the Dog family decided to tie the knot, and we approve. I mentally calculated the size of our backyard and theirs, and how much beer and a tent would cost.

No way. MammaDog will be a bride. Lacy white dress and all. And PappaDog in a tuxedo is more than I want to contemplate. Husband RJ and I were wed in our home chapel and everyone wore street clothes in jewel tones. Except MIL, who wore a peach gown, covering arms and legs, in the Washington DC summer heat.

A wedding in fall colors is in store: my mother will wear a pantsuit, and maybe I will, too. Today the bridesmaids, including VeggieGirl, will pick out their dresses. Color is all and I think style is optional. Will keep you posted, as soon as I get a link to the dress. Or a photo!

So the place is a lovely inn between Seneca and Cayuga lakes, on tiny Lake Cayuta. It's woodsy and grassy and is on the little lake itself. The chapel is a walk away through the woods. I found the proprietors low-keyed and hard-working. The lady didn't seem to know the particular style of the inn, but I would call it Federalist. Lots of peaked lintels and woodwork. A little more imposing than I would care for in a living space, but still nice.

My heart stopped when I began to investigate caterers. But we found a lower-priced firm that is famous for its sandwiches and desserts. Wedding cake? Chocolate, natch. And the caterer will provide a full buffet with a sit-down salad and (homemade) bread course. These people are rebuilding after a nasty fire, and that doubles the pleasure of acquiring their services. I know their pain, and can imagine it is still fresh. They aren't big spenders on advertising, and prefer to work through the wedding sites themselves. I can't tell you how much easier this makes things for us. We are crunched for time and would be at our wits' ends in the minutiae.

So, a quick loan against my 401K, and I will probably need a second, part-time job to even things out for a while. Been there, done that; I will survive. And we still don't know that it will be necessary. We want to have fun with this, especially since my family will drive (in droves) from Mass. for the festivities.

Keep an eye out for the next wedding post: Eyes on the Details.

Little Pond

Friday, August 04, 2006

Almost a day late, but not a dollar short

Criminal Grace has the goods today:


1--five favorite stores?

Family Dollar has the nicest people; Radio Shack is like a candy store to me; Big Lots brings out the homemaker bigtime; Bed, Bath and Beyond the same when I have the cash; and Lowe's for the homeowner in me.

2--store you absolutely hate?

Stores with scented merchandise: candle stores, health and beauty aids and the detergent aisle in any store. Guaranteed asthma attack.

3--cash, credit, debit, or...?

Debit mostly. Credit when something is sorely needed and pricey, or is a once-in-a blue-moon opportunity.

4--in person or online?

Honestly, for clothes, I can't imagine online being very smart. Otherwise, it's cool to shop the whole world in my dining room.

5. In the last six months, what single purchase has been the most important?

Amazingly, a dishwasher repair kit. We've never staunched the rusting before, so it's a revelation to me that we can do something about it.

Back to work.

Little Pond

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The daylilies don't mind the heat. Husband RJ takes good care of them. But I can only look out the window at them. I personally would wilt out there, at least for now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dog Day Morning on the Web

Literally. Mine are dogless: Ellie hides when I call for our walk, so I sent her back to Da Glow. They will lay low and sleep away the heat. Today at 7AM, it was nearly as hot as 9 AM yesterday. That's enough walking for one day.

Can't complain though. My BlogSis Karen has it worse, although she makes the absolute best of it.

After all, my exercise could be a classic runaround, through the medical records' community, where my BabyBogSis, Pearlie, gets her (almost daily) constitutional.

Must be superhot here. Hat tip to Cathy at Athritis Rants.

Not too hot to visit the local ethnic fest at Flitzy Phoebie's. She caught the fun with lots of photos. Wish we'd have one here. I catch glimpses of everyone's ethnic pride every now and again. I was an organizer of the Elmira College International Club's annual dinner and fashion show while I was dating RJ, and we always loved that stuff.

Darker is cooler. In both senses of the word. The darkside of life is cool at Intueri, and don't miss your chance to howl. Today is a rare day to comment.

Let's visit with someone else who is not a game geek. Things are plenty cool in on the Shore where Shushan pokes her way through the Myst.

I know it's hot back East, but I recommend a little visit with Sissy. And let Sissy give you one for the road. Hope her margaritas are well-iced.

Can't tell if Granny J is fighting the heat or not, but her photos indicating a lifestyle of major chill.

And let the kids provide the entertainment; they have the energy. Bet they suck it out of their Dad, though, because mine always did.

Enough! Back to the Pond for a nap. Work tonight.

Little Pond