I Got Your Number When You Walked Thru The Door

Did anyone but me get the reference to a 1980s, two-hit wonder band called Sugarloaf?

If Mankind was not “Created” or “Intelligent Design”-ed, we developed our survival skills through evolution.  People are just great at seeing patterns, even where no such pattern exists, and almost always in one direction.  We see faces in clouds, but never clouds in faces

The caveman who saw a sabre tooth tiger in the grass a thousand times when it wasn’t really there, had nothing to answer for.  The fool who didn’t see it when it really was there, only made that mistake once.  He who frights and runs away, lives to fright another day – and sire children.

None of which has any actual bearing on the post I’m about to publish.  I just have a bunch of figures spiralling in toward the event horizon of the black hole of my intellect.  Some of them are vaguely related, but, if you can see a pattern, you’re a better man than I, Charlie Brown, even if you’re one of the impressive ladies who read my posts.

First, there was that little bump to the ego, and sideswipe to the self-esteem when I hit the age of 69.  That little internet birthday party helped buff out the worst of the damage.

Next – the blog is coming along nicely.  The second last award I was given, The Liebster, is only given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  A lovely crop of newcomers has recently shown up and pushed my numbers to 215, so I shouldn’t receive another of those, although Sparklebumps is well over 200, and recently had a Liebster thrown at her.  She had the presence of mind, not only to catch it, but to do what I have never bothered to do, translate it, basically, respected or beloved.

If all the numbers added up on the same day, or even within a week, I’d claim a pattern, but they’re too strung out.  Perpetually calm and cool, I don’t ever remember being strung out.  My views recently exceeded 10,000, and my comments are rapidly approaching 3000.  I know that’s not terribly exciting to those among you whose follower counts equal the population of Colombia, or the number of drug dealers in the U. S.  (Wait!  Aren’t they the same thing?)

I was given another lesson in humility recently.  They arrive unannounced, and usually unwanted.  AFrankAngle offered me a link to one of his older posts – March 2009 – not even back to his “In the beginning”, but long before I could spell blog.  He’s published almost every day, and often as loquacious as me, for over five years.

I, on the other hand, still have a bit of paranoia about where my next semi-lucid idea is going to come from, and limit my posts to every three days.  I still compose the occasional non-time-specific post, and tuck it away in a Word file, to be pulled out if I have a bout of brain drought.  This post should go up about number 250, and there seems to be almost 50 more, hidden away, so I should reach at least 300.

The wife jokes (At least I hope she’s joking.) that I could die today, and she could keep pulling them out and publishing them for six months to a year.  If it weren’t for a shortage of smart-ass, inane comments and replies, you guys might never notice, or miss me, and John Erickson being back, yet again, isn’t going to help.

I’ve done 450 on-line crossword puzzles since the last time the computer was initiated.  I had my average time-to-solve down to 8 minutes and 46 seconds, but hit a few real puzzlers and drifted up to 8:52.  The more puzzles I do, the more seconds I need to shave off to affect the average, but I’ve pushed it back down to 8:48.

I told Benzeknees about a local couple who didn’t think they could afford to pay for a marriage ceremony.  Her mother alerted her, and she entered a contest to win a free wedding at a local marriage chapel, and won.  They were wed on the 11th month, the 12th day of the 13th year, at 2:00PM, the 14th hour, at 15 Queen Street.  Any numerologists in the crowd??  What does that signify?  I should know.  I have CDO!  It’s a lot like OCD, but the letters are in the proper alphabetical order!

My numbers for watching The Tonight Show are in a countdown.  I have until Feb. 6, 2014.  I’ve watched the show almost every night since we were married, almost 47 years ago.  The first large segment of that was the Johnny Carson Golden Era.

I’ve seen a few of the original Steve Allen episodes.  He could be giddy, and uncontrolled in his humor.  I’ve seen a few of the Jack Paar editions.  He could be so cerebral; it was like watching paint dry.  Johnny Carson was the perfect mix, a bit of magic, a wide range of humor, good guests, great interviews, and very little ego.

I sent a letter endorsing Jay Leno as his replacement, and a submission for his “Headlines” bit.  I got back a nice letter, and an 8” X 12” autographed photo.  I’ve watched a bit of Jimmy Fallon, who will replace him, but have decided I’m just too old to “get it.”  I could learn how to run Netflix, or just read and blog more.

The anonymous and never questioned They, say that one volunteer/hero is worth a thousand unwilling conscripts.  I feel that the small, but steadily growing circle of continuing, concerned, conversational, commenting, dedicated readers, is worth a showroom full of tire-kickers.  Thanx for stopping by.  🙂

Rapunzel, Rapunzel!

My daughter is a spinster. Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s a lot of single women these days. Well, my daughter is single, but I meant that in the literal sense. Unlike Rapunzel, she can’t spin straw into gold, but she does spin a variety of materials into some very nice artisan yarns and threads.

My son suffered from some psycho-social problems, which meant he didn’t leave home after he graduated from high-school. He didn’t get a job for over ten years. Instead he was our majordomo. He vacuumed and dusted, mowed grass and shovelled snow, helped with laundry, ran errands and did a lot of the cooking while the wife still worked. The daughter had an independent streak and was already out on her own when he failed to launch. Unlike the three of us loners, she has a big list of friends and acquaintances.

She had several jobs, including living on a farm and tending horses. She suffered numerous non-work-related accidents which pretty much ruined both of her knees. After giving birth to her son, at home, in a cleaned and sanitized bathtub, with the assistance of a friend and two mid-wives, she lived on mother’s allowance until the government announced some major changes in social assistance which forced her to work with her doctor to qualify for the disability benefits.

She/we found that the numerous physical shocks like that, can cause fibromyalgia, a neurological affliction which can cause great pain and weakness. Doctors are a little more aware of it now. Back then it took two years to diagnose. First they thought she had chronic fatigue syndrome, yuppie disease. Then they felt she might have Lupus. They all appeared similar, which turned out to be unfortunate, as the treatment she received to deal with what they thought was Lupus, made the fibro worse for her. On her “good” days she only requires one forearm crutch, worse days take two, and bad days have her moving in a power wheelchair, if she can get out of bed at all.

She has become very computer-able because of being stuck inside so much. She has a friend who has a less intense version of the illness, and also spends a lot of time indoors, with four kids. To bleed off the stress, she took instruction in spinning yarn, and then taught my daughter, so that she would have something therapeutic and constructive to pass time with. There is just something so mindlessly calming about spinning, it is meditative to both the spinner and watcher alike, and the results are pretty too.

The daughter is now on her third spinning wheel. She sold number two, added money and bought number three. This one is a double-treadle model so that she can run it with both feet. The friend saved like mad and bought a custom wheel from British Columbia. It has six gears, like a bicycle. Even in second gear, it spews out yarn so fast she can barely keep up. She can’t imagine anyone fast enough to run it in sixth gear. She does fun, interesting stuff, like dying the yarn with Kool-Aid powder; it can produce some bright colours.

The daughter has learned a couple of ways to spin yarn without the wheel, including the use of a drop-spindle [she has 12 of them, 6 of which she made herself]. This is a system for making yarn & types of rope that was used before artisans began to build spinning wheels. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs show them using this method.  Evidence has been found in archaeology sites that have dated spinning going back much farther as well.

The daughter spins a variety of material, fibres like wool, mohair [fibre from goat], alpaca, llama, Qiviut, buffalo, yak, camel, cashmere, silk, dog, cat & rabbit furs. Other fibres [either natural or processed] she has spun are cotton, flax, ramie, soy silk, bamboo, viscose, nylon and even milk weed fluff.

Did I say dog? Yes, any long fine fibre can be spun. A client’s poodle-cross was getting older, so she saved several trimmings, and the daughter spun it to yarn. The dog is gone, but the mitts live on. One of her closest friends has a poodle and they have saved his coat like a mini lamb’s fleece and several years’ worth was mixed with wool, spun into yarn and knitted into a lovely shawl. They are still saving his yearly ‘fleece’ in hopes of being able to make another project in the future.

My wife’s niece, who is also our massage therapist/osteopath, used to do a major grooming of her Malamute twice a year and she had saved two years’ worth of the clean fur. The daughter spun it with some lamb’s wool, and the wife knitted her a headband and a pair of mitts out of the yarn. The new Jack Russell terrier chewed a hole in the headband, but the daughter found a small amount of the fibres used in the original yarn, spun up another small batch and the wife dismantled the headband and repaired it.

I can barely play the radio. It’s the wife and daughter who are the creative ones. We tend to do certain things the old-fashioned way, if only to keep the skills in use. The daughter used mid-wives and home-birth for her son. She can spin and weave. She and the wife both knit and both crochet. The wife learned how to tat, which is the hand-production of lace, with tiny knots.

The co-worker who showed her how, was not a good teacher. There are slip-knots which must be rotated, so that they will slide to produce a loop. She didn’t explain this to the wife. We went to visit my parents for a weekend, and the wife was getting frustrated. She knew something was wrong, but not what. I had done a little study of knot theory, so I asked her to describe the problem. I had to go and get an eight-foot, heavy, black, telephone lead cord, so that she could see large-scale, what had to happen in miniature, but the light finally went on. Now when someone asks her who taught her to make lace, she claims I did.

The wife says that, sometimes she feels stupid when the son and I are discussing esoteric subjects like super-string theory, black holes, or just the precise usage of the English language. Both of us though, bask in the reflected glory of both these creative ladies’ abilities.

The daughter blogs as LadyRyl, http://ladyryl.wordpress.com/, and has an on-line catalogue of beautiful, hand crafted yarn, and some items already knitted or crocheted from it. I think it’s easily as pretty and useful as SightsandBytes’ sister’s glass jewellery. Perhaps some of the ladies might wish to have a look at it, and be as impressed with some old-fashioned productivity, as I am. On-line payment and shipping are available.