Enthusiasm

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Since there’s never enough blog awards to go around, one of our number has graciously created yet another one to be shared.  Cordelia’s Mom felt that there should be a badge to acknowledge visits and comments (to her site), so she produced the Enthusiasm Award.  Only posting for about six months, she’s obviously more computer-savvy than me.  I only things I’ve created are chaos and confusion.

She and I both use a “That’s Life” tag regularly.  Whenever I check WordPress to “See what others are writing about,” I often find the most recent of her cute posts.  If you’ve still got a bit of free time, and don’t mind explaining to the nice officer what you’re doing, peering over the blog-fence, click on the link above and possibly be entranced and entertained.

Talk about no good deed going unpunished….  I would occasionally drop in and leave some erudite comments.  The next thing I know, she’s gone all Fatal Attraction on me and I’m on “A List!”  “Also known as – known to police – may be unarmed and dumber than advertised – known associates, Tickle Me Elmo and Bart Simpson.”

Her inspiration for this award was a comment she received on an early post, within five minutes of putting it up.  I’ve never had one that quickly.  I did get a response within fifteen minutes one night, from one of my semi-regulars.  While I am often up (and sometimes posting) at unreasonable hours, he is afflicted with a medical condition similar to the wife’s Fibromyalgia.  The only reason I got a quick response was because he couldn’t sleep.  After reading my stuff, he quickly dozed off.

About two years ago, I received the similar Readers Appreciation Award, for making too free with my opinions.  Taking inspiration from Cordelia’s Mom, I am not notifying any of my victims.  Those who show up here, find their name garishly displayed, and wish to partake of a tiny slice of the Fifteen Minutes of Fame – grab a copy, and go Do Unto Others.  Those who just took the blue pill and woke up here, are also welcome to indulge – don’t say I didn’t warn you.  It would be nice if you also linked back to her site, and told her what you’ve done.

Randomly listed, here are a few visitors who still take the time to make this site enjoyable.

BrainRants – Who has moved beyond the event horizon to use his intensive training in PowerPoint, to make the Free World safe.

John Erickson @ Windy City Wonderer – Now that I’ve bragged about you, come out of hibernation and take a bow.

BenzeKnees – With more ailments than even my wife, she still has time to tell me what she thinks.

Always a Redhead – How can you not respect a woman who loves guns and knives?

Ted @ SightsNBytes – Even busy getting (re)married, he wants me to row out to his Rock, for some cod tongues and screech.

1Jaded1 – Moved to Erickson’s Windy City, and is now living in Al Capone’s empty vault.

Jim Wheeler – If you want someone to explain what *erudite* means, Jim’s your man.

Notes to Ponder – Has to push her comments uphill, all the way from the Left Coast, but still regularly shows up.

White Lady in the Hood – Just a (Very!) honorable mention.  She’s a bit busy right now for posting or commenting, although, occasionally I feel a nice warm “Like.”

Let the niceness begin!

 

 

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Seinfeld Rerun II

The solution to the crossword clue, “Many blogs”, the other day was, “Rants”.  I’m glad to know I’m holding up my end of the bargain.

I’m also glad I caught a clue from BrainRants’ site last February, and started putting my posts in a Word file.  It has reduced tension and evened out my publication.  I pound out three, thousand-word treatises in 36 hours, then go into suspended animation for 8 or 9 days.

Lady Ryl has been diagnosed with type-II diabetes.  It should be to her to announce this, but she hasn’t felt well enough to post since the end of March.  Added to fibromyalgia and mobility restrictions from two damaged knees, this just increases her burdens.  It was caught early enough, that diet and medication should control it.

Her doctor got the blood-test results on a Friday, and wanted her to come in on Saturday, but she was already committed to the Cherry Park festival, where she had a good time, and made some sales.  The trip to the crazy cat lady was delayed a week, and I took her over on Sunday.  A male, and a female, doctor share the office.  Neither wishes to work a full week.  Her lady doctor is in on Tuesday and Friday.  The man she saw, is in on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, providing clinic-like coverage.

In my post about names, I mentioned Laurie Embro, and her sister-in-law, Lori Embro, who both worked in the same plant with me.  Recently, “Laurie Embro” turned up as a search term.  I hope I didn’t say anything derogatory.  Speaking of names, a local female executive carries the surname of Bodkin, so rare that the surname website doesn’t even list it.  In my May 12/13 post, You Don’t Say, I explained that a bodkin is a pointed tool, somewhat like a naval marlin spike, used to work on leather, canvas and rope.

Almost a year ago, on July 26/12, I posted the story of how I got into collecting foreign coins, titled, “A penny, lira, peso, etc. for your thoughts.” It got the usual 40 or so views, and disappeared.  Suddenly, about a month ago, I started getting, “A lira for your thoughts” as a search term, and usually 4 or 5 views of that post, each and every day.  The views come from countries all over the world.  Pleasantly puzzling!

While many of the larger auto-parts firms have left the area, it is still possible to get a job with some of the smaller ones.  The Workforce Planning Board held a meeting of HR executives recently, and, among other things, the topic of strange applications came up.  These are definitely not the usual ones, but they include an applicant showing up for an interview in a hoodie and baseball cap.  Mark Zuckerberg can get away with wearing that to a board meeting, but not a job applicant.

A candidate who had been granted a $17 dollars/hour, 40 hours/week, 9-week summer job, then wanted three weeks vacation in the middle.  Applicants tell HR reps that they’ll only work days.  They don’t do afternoons or night-shifts.  It is not appropriate for parents to call to set up an appointment for their child, nor is it appropriate for them to call, and follow up after an interview.  A parent showed up at one plant and asked to submit a resume for the son who was sitting out in the car.  Who wants the job, the kid, or the parent??  One mother even came to her son’s performance review, and fielded questions for him.

I recently took the wife to a local rheumatologist for a cortisone shot.  The building is filled with doctors, including one of her nephews.  Every door has two signs, “Leave all wet footwear outside.” and, “No food or drink allowed in office.”  Dr. Tom’s door has a third one added.  It says, “This includes Tim Hortons!”  This just shows how Canadians regard Timmie’s.  This stuff isn’t “food and drink”, this is Canada’s lifeblood.  It goes where we go!  Rrrrolll up the rrrimm on the large double-double, eh!

California became the first state to ban the Pray-The-Gay-Away repair therapies for minors, to change their sexual orientation.  These therapies have driven teens to depression and suicide.  Gay rights groups have labelled them as dangerous and abusive, and claim these practices have no basis in science or medicine and have been relegated to the dustbin of quackery.

I saw a man pursuing the horizon,

Round and round they sped.

I was disturbed at this.

I accosted the man.

It is useless, I said,

You cannot….

You lie! He cried, and ran on.

I checked my stats today, and found that Akismet had protected me from 3,333 spam comments, such an interestingly round number.  They included a new one from Mona@bogusemail.uk, who wished me a happy belated birthday, and said she loved my wrinting??  I treasured it so much I could barely delete it.

My brother phoned to tell me that he had lost his job as a bank guard.

I said, “That’s awful.  What happened?”

He said, “Well, a thief came in to rob the bank.  I pulled out my gun and told him that if he took another step, I’d let him have it.”

Mesmerized, I asked, “What happened then?”

He replied, “Well. He took one more step, and I let him have it.  I didn’t want that stupid gun anyway!”

Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.  Coming soon to a blog near you, posts that make much more sense than this one.

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.