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Batteries

The Boeing Dreamliner.  Unless you've been hiding under a rock in Outer Mongolia, you've heard about this plane's bad-news battery.  Can't name the guy or quote him verbatim, but some official commented that although the battery problem was serious, it is not dangerous.  What!  Give me a break!

Is it dangerous if your car battery catches fire?  They don't come equipped with little built-in fire extinguishers, do they? 

Is it a problem should your kiddie's battery-powered toy burst into flame?   What about your watch?  How embarrassing if it starts smoking, especially in the airport.  No telling where that could lead.  Certainly not to a happy landing.

Think of the anguish if batteries powering laptops, pads, pods, berries, and droids flame out.  I can see it now:  Lawsuits ending in huge settlements for loss of info, undue suffering, missed tweets and Face Book hits.

What about cordless tools, you know, screw drivers, drills, etc.  Flaming batteries could wreak havoc on Workman's Comp and the government's got enough problems.

Little bitty batteries powering hearing aids smoldering in the ear?  This scenario I, personally, do not wish to contemplate.

Terrible reperussions for patients equipped with pacemakers, a matter of life and death.  Battery failure not dangerous?  Come on, it's serious as a heart attack.

 

 

  

The Big T

The old bod aches today.  It complains about damp weather and over-exercise, formerly known as housework. 

Weather today is 60 and breezy.  Hey, up here in Minnesota, that sounds pretty darn good.  Agreed, but we cast a wary eye on unseasonably warm winter weather. And why would that be?  Well, you see, it's always followed by seasonably cold weather.  So?  Oh, come on, you know from The Weaather Channel that warm--cold often produces terrific electrical storms.  If these storms start chasing tail, the dreaded tornado, is spawned, usually at night.   

Now, I'm here to tell you a tornado warning makes you forget aches and pains.  You sit with the closet door under the stairway propped open for quick access; you stare intently as TWC tracks storms headed straight for you; you put shoes, meds, cell phone, and hand-crank radio in said closet.  You keep your clothes on.  All the while driving rain batters your house; lightening bolts, heaven's blinking neon signs, keep it lit when the power fails; thunderclaps shake it to the foundation.  You listen sharply for the "freight train,"   That's what I do.  My husband falls asleep in his chair.

        

    

Five Stars

Look at that, I'm a five-star blog!  In my case, I'm pretty sure that means I have five people I could call on the landline.   Okay, make that four; one of the stars is from the writer's mouse.

I prefer stars to thumbs.  True, babies and toddlers enjoy pacifying themselves with the everyready thumb, but after infancy thumbs can be tricky.  In same societies thumbs-up means up yours

I don't know about you, but, to me, a thumb just doesn't have the romance of a star.  No songs rhapodize about thumbs falling on Alabama.  No Hollywood actors are known as thumbs.  Posh, and the not-so-posh restaurants and hotels are rated by stars rather than thumbs.  Whoever heard of thumb-crossed lovers?  Have you ever attended a four-thumb movie?  A shiny star on your spelling test beats a thumb any day.

Still, I do love my thumbs, both of them.  Opposable, great for catching rides and keyboarding (if you don't hunt and peck).   I give them five stars any day of the week.    

Amour

I just saw reviewed the French movie, Amour, a movie I will not be seing.  Not because I believe it violent, obscene, or silly.  Not because I boycott foreign movies.  Au contraire, I love them.

Amour, undoubtedly,  is a film of merit.  Didn't it receive Academy nominations for Best Actress, Emmanuelle Riva, at 85, the oldest woman ever nominated?  Best Picture?  Best Director?  These nominations aren't slips of paper pulled from a goldfish bowl.  Well, sometimes you have to wonder.

Anyhow, I won't be seeing Amour because I've witnessed ravages of old age.   I'm an old woman with old friends.  Old people understand their places on the curve of life.  Refusing such a film is not denial, but a choice for optimism.

On the other hand, Amour might well be required viewing for those between ages 30 and 55.  Everyone under the age of 30 is immortal, of course.  At 55, reality sets in.  The trailer, itself, brought tears to my eyes.  A powerful movie I won't be seeing. 

    

 

See-Through Tires

I got this forward.  Sleepy-eyed and groggy, I opened it and the thing jerked me wide awake.  No it wasn't see-through blouses or news of California crumbling into the sea. Nothing like that.  It was see-through tires.  Don't scoff!  Forwards about something besides dotty old people, cranky old ladies, fat people, and fluffy puppies grab my attention.  Yeah, I like that stuff, but, you know....

 Any way, there it was:  Thin belt of something forming outside layer of the tire; next comes flexible spokes, and the center is some deformable material.  No air, no flats, no jack rattling in the trunk or hidden somewhere in the undercarriage.  The outer belt is replaceable and lasts two or three times longer than the tires we know today.  Seen in motion, the spokes disappear and the car seems to be floating.  Really cool.  On sale soon. 

Whoops!  I do live in the slow lane.  Checking the facts revealed these tweels, as the Brits call them, have been experimental for six years or so.  One application is ponderous, many-tonned military and construction vehicles.  Another is wheel chairs, skid loaders, seques, and scooters, all operating at low speeds.  As for automobiles, there's a problem.  See-throughs traveling at speeds over 50 mph rattle the teeth, jar the bones, produce enough noise to eliminate conversation, and forget about texting.   Come to think of it, that might not be bad.  Still, I don't see us floating anytime soon.          

"Don't believe in abortion? Don't have one."*

I don't know about you, but I, myself, am sick and tired of never-ending uproar over a issue settled 40 years ago.  Aren't they clever, those right wingnuts, to keep stirring the pot.  And aren't women of the conservative persuasion nuts to buy into it and let a bunch stiff-necked, white male legislatures and Bible thumpers lead them down the primerose path.  Keep 'em riled about abortion.  They won't be worrying about trumped-up war, pollution and climate change.

It annoys me to no end when these wild-eyed, sometimes murderous folk, have the nerve to scream out against entitlement for women and children in poverty.  Listen, girl, you gonna have that baby and you better get yourself a job 'cause the foodstamps are drying up.  It was your father?  Can't help you there.  You oughta know better. 

Allowing for their belief, it seems ironic that Fundamentalist Christians are forgetting one thing.  Isn't God quoted in the scriptures claiming vengeance as his?  Who appointed them God?

Years ago, the word "abortion" used in slang meant a situation totally fouled up.  Today, this ridiculous abortion tactic does exactly that to government..  It is a potent, divisive weapon in the right wingnut arsenal.  Here''s the scarry part:  It's not the only one!   

*Bill Mahr 

 

 

  

Shocked!

I'm  shocked this morning.  Cold weather static gives me a pretty good jolt now and then, but that's not what I'm talking.  None of my appliances are dangerous.  But listen to this:  I'm staring at a brand new TV less than 24 hours after the old set suddenly transmitted beautiful plaids, turned belly-up black and died.   I'm pretty sure it's enroute to meet its maker in China.  Who knows how many Chinese will be poisoned preparating it for reincarnation?

It came to our house under duress seven or eight years ago.  It was love at first sight when I spied it at the office supply.  The picture so clear, the colors, so bright, the screen so thin, the price so right.  When I lugged in the box, my husband was less than pleased.  "Nothing wrong with this one," he grumbled.  He was right, of course, but I was fed up with rainy-window viewing and impending snow storms.  Being a passive resister, he left installation up to me.  Huh!  I'll show you.  I can do this. 

First of all, it needed a stand, the old set being a console.  My sister and I set about putting together a simple model that came diassembled in a very heavy box.  After working  a couple of days, we had it together.  One door, a sliver droopy, we decided to reset.  Wrong thing to do.  Sadly, these assemblies can be screwed only once.  The door couldn't be reattached.  Furthermore, the thing wobbled, swayed, fell like a house of cards.

My husband was not pleased.  No TV, the room covered with sawdust boards helter skelter.  On the verge of tears, I admitted defeat.  My husband, to his credit, came to the rescue, gathered  the mess, found a good home for the old set.  Not a word of complaint when  asked to pick up the no-assembly-needed stand in town.  I did, however, connect the TV.

But today I am pleasanatly shocked.  After the recent demise, my husband thumbed through yellow pages, found one lonely independent seller of TV's.  (Set's sold everywhere, but you're on your own once you clutch the sales slip.)  One phone call and a very pleasant man brought the set, hooked it up, and is available for service.  The TV is excellent.  Still, I'm hoping it didn't come from "inside an overcoat," if you know what I mean. 

Editing

Editing, more specific the lack thereof.  Not a self-styled critic picking my way through books looking for errors, but mostly I know how to spell, remember a bit of history and geography.  Yet simple errors in these categories leap from the pages of reputable publishers and hit me between the eyes.   So what if spell checks ignore differences between there and their, your and you're?  Help!  I'm thinking those who know and care about such things are disappearing at an alarming rate.

I bought this book, a gift to relatives squabbling about where the Mississippi River rises.   Lo, and behold!  A graphic showing major rivers flowing into said river labeled one crooked line the Colorado River (actually it's the Arkansas).  Being a native of Colorado, I knew, as do Californians, Utahns, and Arizonians, that the Colorado flows to the Pacific.  (Well, what's left of it.  In Mexico, the Colorado, a mere dribble of its former self, creates salt flats as it sadly trickles to sea.) 

Though my first inclination was to write a sarcastic letter, (It's the Arkansas , Lady) I opted for polite.  The mortified author wrote thanking me, and had corrections inserted  in the book.  A nice woman who cared enough to correct the mistake.

On the other hand, a little volume hitting high spots of Lewis and Clark's legendary expedition declared that Merriwether Lewis died in Mississippi.  (Whooops!  Tennesse folks are wondering who the guy is resting in Merriwether's grave.)  Again, I wrote pointing out politely that Merriwether died along the Natchez Trace a few miles from Nashville, miles and mles from Natchez and Mississippi. The Natchez Trace runs between Natchez, MS and Nashville, TN, you see.  No response.  Discretion is usually the better part of valor, but wish I'd sent her the nasty version. (Where'd you learn your history, Lady? )  

 

Cars

Traffic can be hectic even in the slow lane.  Those Tennesse drivers are nuts, but we never have traffic jams,  Not unless the circus comes to town or a famous person gives a lecture, or an almost famous act lands a gig or one on the skids.

 Since mass transit exists only on Sundays when the catholic church picks up folks, most garages house at least two cars, or they're parked out front.  More sixteen year olds are behind the wheel than were baptized at birth. Southern California has nothing on us when it comes to loving the automobile.  Granted we're a grain-of-sand microcosm of Southern California, but we love cars with the same fierce passion.  In fact, we think it almost unAmerican not to do so

Like everywhere else, there's lots of TV ads for new cars.  These hawkers of wheels seem particularly noxious to me personally though I suppose they are very nice people if you know them.  One man screams and looks like a bald-headed parrot; another stumbles around his vehicles in what appears to be less than sober condition; a third, a weasley kind of guy points his finger and you shrink into the depths of your chair.  A woman, easy to look out and tastefully dressed, has the voice of a fishwife on steroids.  A daddy uses his cute little kiddies (really, they're cute) standing like two adorable sticks, mumbling replies to Daddy's comments.

And then there's used cars.  The chamber of commerce keeps it quiet, but our town is unofficially known as the "Used Car Capital of the World."  No kidding.  An undisclosed amount of local income is generated (pun intended) by indpendently owned clean-up shops, paint shops, radiator shops, upholstery shops, etc.  Car carrier transports roll in and out with great regularity.   Years ago before tough laws against turning back odometers, welding broken cars together, the VIN system, the town was known as the "Stolen Car Capital of the World" for obvious reasons.  That was then and this is now.  Still, you can't blame the chamber for being a little touchy.

   

Helen's

Two of them, my aunts, walk the earth spry of mind and body.  Assuming you've read entries alluding to my age and jean size, you've placed them in the ninth decade.  Right!  Slow lane style with no video or pictures. 

Though Helen, as a name, is not popular these days,  it definitely was "in" at their nativity.  Why so?  Helen of Troy comes to mind, but I'm dim to non-existent on Greek mythology.  She's the face that launched a thousand ships, right? 

A thumbnail biography reveals Helen, considered the world's most beautiful woman, to be the Elizabeth Taylor of her time.  Helen was supposedly abducted by Paris, maybe even raped, but other writers say she ran away from home, leaving husband and daughter of her own free will.  Personally I go with this version.  She must've been bored silly sitting around eating grapes and being ogled.  Probably had no inkling her little escapade would end in war.  Who says we've not evolved as a species.  Today, we don't war because women have been abducted; we war to abduct natural resources.  

Back to Helen.  Her life became anything but boring, took twists and turns, aligning her first with Paris, then his brother, Hector, then a third younger brother.  Who knows how many others?  She, like ETaylor, had to have been a consummate actress.  When Menelaus and the wooden horse entered Troy, can't you see Helen blinking beautiful, long-lashed eyes telling her current alliance,  "I'm sorry, Darling, I don't know where your sword could be.  The slave girl has looked everywhere."  After dispatching the swordless lover, Menelaus spared Helen.  She dropped her drape and the still luscious body stunned Menelaus.  While his sword became impotent; his body did not. 

Some writers say she returned home with him; some say she fled to Olympus.  Still others write that she was hung  from a tree for treachery in Rhodes.  A tree shrine dedicated to Helen's treachery exists there even as I write.   Still Helen's beauty trumps all.  Why else would daughters be named for her.     

    

 

Jeans

Everyone knows the story of the enterprising Jacob Davis and partner Levi Strauss.  Using tent canvas, they sewed  tough trousers for tough customers, California gold seekers.  Copper rivets  kept seams from ripping.  Sold like hotcakes; the rest is history.  Levi's became the gold standard of jeans.

But  why are jeans, other than Levi's, called "jeans?"  Where'd that come from.  Seems it originated in Genoa, Italy sometime before the 18th Century.  The actual date eluded me, but it's out there somewhere.  Tough ribbed fabric similar to corduroy, called jean or jeane, woven in Genoa, was immensely popular with sailors.  Could it be Columbus wore jeans?

As a side note, french manufactures in Nimes, liking it a lot, tried copying the fabric and failed.  Even so, they wove a tough twill that was pretty darn good.  Voila!  Denim  from "de Nimes." 

And now in this day and age, who among us does not, has not, or will soon wear jeans?  I, myself, have been wearing them for 60 odd years.  My first jeans, (they had to be Levi's) were so tight I could barely sit.  Wider at the hem, we rolled them just below the knee, mimicking Marilyn Monroe.  Atop these skin tight numbers were our fathers' white shirts, untucked and flapping in the wind.

For quite a few years my booty could bounce around unashamedly in jeans.  Inevitably, time came when a longer, looser top was required.  Heaven forbid, I even had jeans with elastic waist bands.  Ugh!  Clever manufactures figured out "the larger woman" still wants jeans that zip up the front. Yeah!

Jeans have evolved in my time from none made for women, to bell bottoms, low riders, high riders skinny legs, elephant legs, faded denim, acid washed, stretchy, and every color of the rainbow.  But the latest reincarnation bllows my mind.  A new skinny leg jean loaded with aloe vera  moisturizes legs and may help with cellulite. (Seems to me if one can wear supper skinny legs, no cellulite is present.)  Anyhow, you can reload your jeans after six washes.  Sweet.

I won't be buying the "lard off" jeans.   I will, however, be wearing my jeans with a loose, booty-belly covering top.  The legs are still good.  

Walkers

Walkers.  There's the device the elderly sometimes use.  My mother so hated the idea that none dared whisper the "w"  word in in her presence.  I'm not kidding.  But let's talk about people that walk.

We have power walkers and less-than-powerful walkers hustling along roadsides, in the malls and parks, etc.  Congratulations are due these folks for perseverance and stamina.  Mostly they don't eat junk food either. 

In the slow lane, we have dawdlers.  Soon they will stop and smell the March flowers.  Despite the name, they begin blooming in February.  The dawdler creeps from hibernation when these charming, wild daffodils burst forth.  March flowers are greeted locally with joy usually reserved for prodigal children.

There's the city dweller whose way of life is walking.  These folks probably stay physically fit without giving it a thought.

Other walkers among us are the mentally ill.  In the past 30 or 40 years, wards have been emptied and ex-patients walk.  In slow places where I live, they are not homeless.  The forgotten or lost meds?  The walker goes away for a bit, but returns when demons recede.  His (I've never noticed a female in this category) outfit does not vary.  Always a black jeans and black western shirt for one;  black almost-to-the-ankles overcoat for another.  A third is never seen without a gigantic straw sombrero.  Every day they walk miles and miles, their poor eyes glazed, shouting sometimes in reply to imaginary insults.  People ignore them, and that is what they want.  Their bodies must be incredibly fit, a blessing that carries them away from hauntings toward imagined relief.  I used to resent them, or mentally poke fun.  Now, I'm glad they walk.  What torture for them if they did not.              

Letterman in the Slow Lane

Who needs David Letterman?   It could be early-morning oxygen deprivation, but to me, our local early TV news, seems distinctly Lettermanesque. To wit:

Six Southern Illinois horses' tails were cut and stolen in the dead of night.  Local authorities speculate they were sold on the black market.  To what end? (Pun intended)  I'm thinking Chinese pharmaceuticals. Let me know if you have a clue.

Need a makeover?  Download a picture and a statement telling why you need said makeover.  Well, duh!  Your ugly self should be reason enough.  Still, literacy may be being used as a qualifier. Sd t sa mni ugli pepl r iltrit.

College enrollment down as more and more people consider higher education a waste of time.   Perhaps Rick Santorum's (I 'm always tempted to call him "Sanitarium" because that's where I think he needs to be) education views are more popular than I realize.

Followed a few minutes later, I kid you not, by:  College students reportedly taking on Sugar Daddies and/or Mommas to help pay mounting (pun not intended) college expenses.   This is dangerous!  Who's to say the enterprising sudent might ask him/herself why bother.  Excellent money can be made in the oldest profession without all that study.

This is so corny it's embarrasing:  Dr. Bone (a very skinny man) does a commercial for curing pain including testimonial from an obese woman.   I may have missed it, but the exact location of the pain was not disclosed.  Take a guess where this ad triggers pain in my body.

Last, but not least:  Paint-by-Numbers sets are still on the market.  This might be a good solution if you're tired of coloring books and cutting out paperdolls.  I rest my case.

Robots in America

A lot of people are scratching their heads and asking, "Why is the stock market doing better, profits up but employment rates out of synch?"  Could it have something to do with technology?   Befuddled by it, I'm intelligent enough to understand it is here to stay.  Cyber-structure controls and improves our lives to a breathtaking degree.  We can't, nor should we, turn back the clock.

But folks, we've gotta do some serious re-inventing here.  We can't all found profitable cottage industries, design clever new ways to use the internet.  

For those who are not creative risktakers, the job market shrinks as robots roll into the labor market.  For instance, according to 60 Minutes, in a huge warehouse operation, one robot replaces one-and-a-half workers at a cost of $22,000.  The robot labors 24/7 for three years at Chinese wages.  Of course, he/she expects and receives no fringe benefits, no paid vacation.  The robot has no family, is never sick and pays no taxes.  It must be comforting to the robot community to know corporations want to bring jobs back to America.

Well, you say, you're quick to point your finger.  What's your solutionHey, I'm only an old woman living in the slow lane, but I do know:  a) We can't all clean toilets and be nannies, b) We can't all work construction and be gardners, c) The market for fast food workers is glutted.  It seems to me there's only one avenue, one way to go, that being education.

So what else is newDon't be cynical.  Haven't I heard there's a million or two jobs unfilled because workers lack the education to fill them?  Maybe government (yes, indeed, big government) should determine ways to bring this about.  I mean, just exactly what are these jobs waiting to be filled?  Can we move education toward meeting these needs?  Why not?  Because we have to pay for war.  That's weak.  Robots can do war.  Because we have to return to values of the 80's.  Please, we could never give up technology and free-spirited living arrangements.  You got me there.  And robots are bringing jobs back to America!                

                                      

 

 

 

     

 

Eat Slowly and Savor Every Morsal

I write what some folks consider to be a rather clever Christmas letter.  Oh, yeah, probably one of those aren't-you-impressed-with-my-life letters.  Actually, it might arrive at Christmas, but often it's a New Year letter.  Once it was a Valentine.  It's arrival is unpredictable and that may be the hook.  You know, the same hook that gets gamblers to keep on throwing the dice or puling the lever. ( Hmmm.....not a terrific analogy.  The letter's not a reward like winning the jackpot.  Oh, well.)   

Anyhow, arrival date may vary, but format is always the same.  Sitting in our beloved, almost shabby matching recliners, m husband and I discuss the past year.  It's written as a skit, never more than one page.   We bicker gently.  My husband always falls asleep.  That's it.  On a gloomy winter's day, a reader might see humor in the letter rather than silliness. 

This year the holidays swept by me without a thought of the letter, but yesterday the time was upon me and I put finger to keyboard.  But what theme?   February's.  Oh, ho!  Glancing at my zany and wonderful calendar, I discovered January choices: Cuddle Up Day, Bubble Bath Day, Send a Hug Day, Do Nothing Day.  And the winner was Chocolate Cake Day, January 27.  The letters will arrive in plenty of time to make preparations to celebrate.  And if you don't love chocolate (do you live on this planet) you must like cake.  Eat slowly and savor every morsal.   

Slowsand?

Is there such a thing as slowsand?  I mean we all know about quicksand, an evil relative of the dreaded quagmire.  We've seen it in movies and read how it swallows cows, villains, and alas, sometimes the hero.  (Hopefully, we never see it on U-tube.)  As a little kid, the thought of it scared the bejeesus out of me.  I don't recall my mother warning me, but a book I got hold of said it's often unrecognizable until you step on it.  Don't get the idea I tippy-toed round my little Colorado town in fear of quicksand.  I had much freedom to do kid things and never gave quicksand a thought during daylight hours. Just one of those groundless fears (no pun intended) that kids sometimes latch onto. 

Fortunately, I lived half a century or so before I met face to face, er...foot to foot, this fear.  Actually, the hoof of a horse met the foe with me aboard.  Rose, that gallant, forgiving mare had carried me five days into Utah high country before the fateful steps.  What a struggle for Rose with my stirrups dragging the muck and me sobbing like a baby!  A lesser mount might not have made it.  Other riders would've roped me and drug me out,  saved me, but I'm grateful it didn't come to that. 

Fast forward to the present.  A relative of mine, a forester in the Northwest, unwittingly stepped into a quagmire.  Remembering the rule, he threw himself on his back and yelled for his helper who was there as said relative adhered to the rule of never working the the woods alone.  The stout assistant drug the stout forester to safety just as his pants were filling with mud (and maybe something else). 

To answer the question:  Yes.  My observations point toward relative quickness of sand.  Had I ridden into sand as violently slippery as the relative's, on Memorial Day, my loved ones would be roped together placing wreaths on an innocent looking place in the Utah high country.  

The Great Obstructionist

Knitting, the ability to buy beer, etc. are not the only things on my mind.  Anyone with half a brain frets about our dysfunctional congress.  These days it's kind of embarrassing to admit one lives in Kentucky.  Look at the senate minority leader.  Not a handsom man, but that's not what I mean.  Look at his record of boastful obstruction filibustering away the past four years.  Once he filibustered his own bill!

The senator is quite popular here as he divvies out lots of pork.  Sad to say, his implicit disrespect for the President plays well in this red (neck) state.  I have written him many critical, but respectful letters to which he always answers promptly with the standard opening:  Dear Constituent.  Thank you for your interest and comments......etc.  But he clearly does not represent me nor maybe even the ones who elect him. 

Kentucky was home of the Great Compromiser, Henry Clay, a legendery statesman.  But now that compromise has become a dirty word his legacy is ignored.  Actually, there are many elected officials who seem not to know the definition of the word.  They use it in the negative sense:  to gain acess to secure records and private information, to threaten national  security.  (Admittedly not a good thing.)  But political compromise is a blending of ideas to serve the majority.   Those of us in the slow lane know this.  Well, hey, we learned it in school which makes one wonder.

The Great Obstructionist is showing signs of coming around to the "c" word.  About time and what else can he do?  Made a spectacle of himself vowing to spend all his energy to unseat Obama.  GOP election strategies flopped to snickers heard round the world. So what else is new?  Just want to spread the word that a lot of us in the slow lane are loving that donkey kicking some elephant.......backside.

 

Knitting

An interesting pastime at which I, of course, am slow.  Fifty odd years ago I knit a sweet little vest for my expected baby.  It was square in shape and my baby was not.  Needles and yarn crossed neither my fingers nor mind for another hundred years.  In early middle age, I flippantly remarked, "When I'm old, I'll knit."  The day has come and I knit.

[Insert picture of old lady entangle in yarn, calling for help]

My friends knit beautiful, intricate, evenly smooth items at the rate of a sewing machine.  As you might guess, my knitting is slow, labored, lumpy.  Still it's getting better though I entertain no idea of ever catching up with my peers.  That being said, I think I do reap the same beneits they enjoy from this craft.  It is relaxing (at times), almost mesmerizing, almost like repeating a mantra.  Books have been written about this very thing. 

Another interesting thing about knitting.  Like human beings, no type of yarn seems to be the same.  You just can't relate to worsted wool the way you did with the polyester bay yarn.  You have to make friends, you have to learn the idosyncrosies.  That's the reason you're supposed to knit a practice patch, that and getting the right gauge.  A trial run, a test period to get to know one another, kind of like modern couples.  Not a bad idea, but that's another story.

And now a miracle.  Between October and Chrismas, 17, yes 17 scarves, came from my needles,, 5 miles of yarn, passed through my fingers between October and Christmas.  Simple, large stitches, straight knitting, but 17 of them.  This year I'll learn to purl. 

Not of This World

Not of this world, a notion put forth in hymns, various spiritual teachings and philosophies.  I've never felt this idea more so than now.  With a techno-vocab so limited that I understand maybe half of what I see and hear on TV, it's discouraging.  A lot of my friends feel the same way.  One said she prayed her kids would not gift her with a GPS, Kindle or some such gadget at Christmas.  (Her prayers were answered.) 

[Insert picture of Crabby Maxine-like woman frowning at her PC] 

Hacking used to be bad cough, tweeting was for the birds, the snail was a garden pest, Face Book, no equivalent.  Well, maybe the notes you passed around in fifth grade, and you were pretty interested in the number of friends you had.  Some lucky kids had penpals who sent letters on paper from far away places.

So? You can, these days, hear from the other side of the world in a heartbeat.  True and good.  But how about the flip side of this instant gratification?  Might it not lead to further frustration and want?  I mean when your technology screws up or, heaven fobid, you leave it in a cab?  Shopping on foot in a real store, would you buy that gizmo?  And really, do I need to see all 250 pics of your admittedly cute grandkids?  Sad to say, beautiful  photos have lost their wonder, have become a bit boring due to digital overkill.   Is a daily report on your valid, but ordinary life necessary? 

Well think of all the trees saved by eliminating paper and snail mail service.  Really?  Think of all the unrenewable resources gobbled up to keeping technology up and running.  What about money saved in postage?  What offolks losing jobs because of online and offline robots? 

You belong in the last century!  Don't I know it!  I used to think the old saying about old dogs and new tricks was hogwash.  Now I'm not so sure. 

Slow Lane Miracle

In the slow lane, that's me.  So slow, in fact, that it's taken me a week to get this far in the world of blog. All the bells and whistles of this site??  Maybe, I'll get to them, maybe not.   Though not considered slow academically, technoligically speaking........I think you get the idea.

To preserve my self-esteem, I've decided to list things at which I am not slow:

  1. I can read fast.
  2. I can type very fast.
  3. I can dance fast (for a limited time).

Hmm.....kind of a short litst, you say.  Well, I can pack a suitcase fast.  Not because I'm of questionable character and often on the run, but because I love to travel.  I can quickly bid the wrong response to my bridge partner's bid, but sometimes it's right. I can whip up a  tasty meal fast, one that will not encourage fasting, not because I love to cook, but because it's necessary and I've had lots of practice.  And that's a reason I now get to be in the slow lane. 

I was in the slow lane, as usual. at the grocery store the other day, but I didn't mind.  I was  on the proverbial Cloud Nine.  After trudging up and down endless aisles as athletic moms zoomed past me, simultaneously pushing toddlers in super carts, grabbing canned goods, talking on their cell phones, I was blessed by the universe.  There in the newly installed coolers was, of all things, cartons and cartons of beer.  Beer!, you say.  So what?  I'll tell you what.  We can now buy beer without driving 50 miles to get it.  (I think you may be catching on.)  My fridge had beer from 50 miles away.  I didn't need any beer; a couple of six packs a month is my speed.  But I bought  some because I could. And what a laugh when I checked out with my beer.  The clerk carded me!  "What would be your guess," I asked.  "Over or under 21?"  He laughed but made me show it anyhow.  Actually, it was kind of fun.  I haven't been carded for 50 years.  [Insert picture of old lady poppin a brew]           

 

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