July 2010


The lovely Sharon and I have a strange paranoid habit.  Maybe its paranoia or just good sense, but we both have chains and padlocks on our car steering wheels.  This is both practical and historical as both our parents do the same thing.  When we lock our cars we often wrap the chain around the wheel and padlock it.  Some of you who know me will instantly wonder who would want to steel my wee banger practical little car.  You never know.

Now it seems that the lovely Sharon believes I have gone too far and have taken it to a geeky extreme.  When she borrows my car she complains that I have two padlock keys and she, very frustratingly, keeps trying the wrong one first.  I shall ignore the fact that she probably gets the right key half the time and more than likely remembers the times she gets it wrong more often than not.  Anyway, she wanted an explanation, although her tone of voice when she asked did not ring with much interest in a logical answer.  Here it is anyway;  I get frustrated when I can’t find the padlock.  Sometimes it slips under the seat or is buried under junk or disappears under a mat.  So, now I have two padlocks!  This doubles the probability of finding the padlock when I need it.  Simple.

I think technology is brilliant.  I think text messages are great, especially when used by useful services.  For example, I have been getting friendly reminders for regular dental appointments via text messages for a few years now.  I find this very useful as I easily forget the exact time if I don’t write it down.  This service is probably automatic.  The computer looks up the dates, patient details and reason (like; CHECK UP or FOLLOW UP or FILLING or CLEANING), then it sends out the messages automatically.  The only problem is the lack of the human factor.  I mean, are the messages checked before they are sent?  I have recently cracked a molar in two and a couple of days ago I got a quite disturbing message texted to me first thing in the morning:

From DENTIST.  You have an appointment with Dr ——- —— for PAIN at 8:30 on ———-

Not encouraging.

cat vs humans

To wrestle with things in the raw is the craving of every healthy human being.  The height of happiness to a child is to scramble up a tree, to plowter through mud, to find shelter in a rock.  The more scratched and torn and filthy he gets in the process, the wilder his grin of delight when he staggers home.  Deprived of this natural outlet, a city boy will find satisfaction in breaking windows, in slashing cinema seats or other boy’s noses. If the immediate matter of making his living were one where a man could use the whole of himself-his strengths, his wits and his imagination, the problem of how to fill his leisure would not arise, and he would be too preoccupied to spend more than the odd day thinking up ways to exterminate his fellows.  His culture would not be imported in canisters from the other side of the world; he would make it himself, from a brain and a heart kept bright and taut with satisfactory living.  It may be fascinating to have a picture of life among peasants of Andalusia flashed to one’s fireside, but how much more fascinating it would be to feel a song of one’s own dancing on one’s own lips out of the joy of one’s own doings.

Katherine Stewart – A Croft in the Hills

Talli surveys her dominion and thinks of jobs for her staff

This morning the lovely Sharon pulled all the garlic cloves out of the ground as they looked like they were dying back.  I strung them up to dry in the kitchen just like I do every year.  Later that day we returned to our house and noticed that this year’s garlic is different.  The entire house STINKS.  They are now hanging in the greenhouse to prevent vampires stealing our tomatoes and peppers.

A few people told me that I would have little time to read when september comes, for various reasons.  So, I decided to  go for a reading blast and see if I can get through this little pile that has appeared over the last month (no seriously, I know that is insane).  A little fiction creeped in, can you see it?

Why did no one tell me about these guys Why, when all the students told me about these guys, did I refuse to listen?  I just thought they were some new fangled thing that all the hip kids were listening to.  Now I discover they are indeed the thing to listen to.  Folk is back, hurrah!

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan says…

So wrong it’s hilarious…..

via

reblogged via 3Z

On the radio today I heard a well repeated fact, the fact that trans fats are killing us.  This renewed my enthusiasm to try and have a slither of will power and refuse processed foods in favour of real foods.  It’s going to be hard to do this but the refusal of a mini chocolate roll today was a small victory.  The lovely Sharon and I agree with each other that home made treats taste way better than most supermarket desserts.  This of course means that we have to actually make them.  The lovely Sharon offered to help me with this tonight.  Initially this sounds great.  She is my wife, my love and my best friend, but do I trust her enough to share my secret cheesecake recipe.  I accepted her help and enjoyed the fun of cooking together (but I compartmentalized her help and prevented giving her an overview of the whole process in its completeness).

As I write, the chocolate/vanilla swirl cheesecake is baking in the oven and creating an overwhelmingly yummy smell to the house.

This all reminds me of a good read by Michael Pollan and his food rules:

1.  DON’T EAT ANYTHING YOUR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WOULDN’T RECOGNIZE AS FOOD.
2. AVOID FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING INGREDIENTS THAT ARE A) UNFAMILIAR, B) UNPRONOUNCABLE, C) MORE THAN FIVE IN NUMBER, OR THAT INCLUDE D) HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.
3. AVOID PRODUCTS THAT MAKE HEALTH CLAIMS.
4. SHOP THE PERIPHERIES OF THE SUPERMARKET AND STAY OUT OF THE MIDDLE.
5. GET OUT OF THE SUPERMARKET WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

These are all good principles to follow.  Although, to be fair I think granny would not have recognised tapanade and I still have a problem pronouncing houmous (hum-us or hew-mus).

The parenting classes have come to an end.  There may have been a few moments when I may have drifted off and been woken by a little panicked impression that I have missed something important.  Of course there is the back up of the lovely Sharon with her expanding presence.  Surely she would have been concentrating hard due to her more pressing (literally) reminder of soon to be responsibility.  But I know the lovely Sharon a little better than that, we shall have to trust in our wisdom and a little common sense to fill in the gaps.    Dont get me wrong, we were attentive (as attentive as anyone can be after over 2 hours).

For a lot of the classes we were split up into two  classical husband/expectant mother groups.  This enabled us to deliver clichéd lines to exercises such as brainstorming our worries; “what happens if our tea is not ready by 5pm anymore?” – no seriously, it was said.  Laughs all around, oh those hunters boys! – *sigh*

There were moments of entertainment. While  we were shown how to top to toe wash I looked over at the lovely Sharon and we both laughed at the same reflexed thought; “4 bits of cotton wool used already and we have only started the face? Are we really going to need a mountain of cotton wool?”.  The moment when we were shown a 5cm dilation (gasps all around) and then a 10 cm dilation (GASPS all around) was another humourous moment, but for some strange reason the lovely Sharon did not reply my chuckles.

It is inevitable that I will feel helpless at times.  For example, the opening times at hospital do not allow the father to be there all the time.  Maybe this is a throw back from the days when the men were kept well away from it all and it was a bit of a hidden dark art.  I have heard stories from days long ago, when the mere presence of a man on the wards (even a doctor) would halt some womens labour.  And it saddened me today when we bought a car seat and I was told by the shop that it would be my job to pick it up when the time came.  Really, will I not be in hospital?  Would I have time to pick up a car seat?  Apparently I need to be given something to do.  That does not feel right at all and I will refuse to follow that stereotyped role.

To sum up the lessons I think I can conclude that we are not to panic at every little thing and we should rely on nature and the wisdom of those around us.  We can find no better teachers than our own parents who we both agree, did a fine job (and they still are doing a fine job).  Although we must be selective about the lessons from all around us; at the market this morning we overheard a nurturing and loving mother interact with her precious cherub, “get inta tha pram befora slap ye”.  Can children not be reasoned with a little more eloquently?

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”
— Dave Barry

I cannot move

I have a cat upon my knee

I cannot move

Even if it is to pee

I move a little

And she flexes her paw

I move a little

And I feel her claw

I dare not move

She seems quite content

I dare not move

Her comfort is my intent

I feel the heat

One leg has a steady purr

I feel the heat

A fuzzy warm ball of fur

cats vs humans

It’s caturday!

source

Actually, no it is not.  But it feels like it is.  It’s the holidays!!!!!!!!!

Sorry non-teachers, i feel for ya (sort of).