31.8.12

Links Galore


  • So cool: take the TED idea but want to ask experts a question. Answer? Edge
  •  How did I not know about J-Archive (an archive of Jeopardy clues)?
  • Not loving DragonDiction for voice memos, so now it's time to try ReQall 

15.8.12

My mother is an alien

You doubt me?

(this was taken years ago, outside our home in Oxford England)

But seriously folks... My mother is now in her mid-70s and is changing rapidly.  A few years ago a family member mentioned that she looked like her mother - I never met my grandmother (who died when I was -12), but I did know her identical twin sister and yes, my mother does look like what I remember of my great-aunt.  She didn't used to look like that!

When I was very young, someone gave me a Raggedy Ann doll.  Family lore has it that I looked at the doll... looked at my mother... looked back at the doll... back at my mother... and then laughed and laughed.  Her thick, curly, bright red hair changed to an auburn, then cinnamon sugar and now is mostly white, and thin.  She still has the chorus girl legs she showed in the Radcliffe newsletter, but the knees are swollen, as are her ankles and there are no high-kicks in the near future.

I just visited my parents in SmallTown, and in the few months since we saw each other there have been major changes.  It's more difficult for her to get up out of chairs and sofas (and beds).  One hand has three seriously arthritic fingers.  She sleeps far more than she has in the past (due to anemia so serious she's had a blood transfusion to help out).  I look at my mother and she's an alien.

Despite this, she's not letting any of this stop her.  Going on a hike?  Bring along the wheelchair so Dad can push her along.  Going on a trip? Pack the special toilet seat so she can more easily get up.   I was only there for a day, because their August schedule has them home (and visitorless) for 48 hours.  She just spent time at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, they're off to California today, then home for a visit with my cousin, then off to visit an old family friend and then off again somewhere... and there are trips to Canada and a few other places in the next couple of months.

Even better is when she starts laughing.  My mother has a laugh that can verge on the hysteric - so much fun except when she's driving!   And she's Mom again.  

7.8.12

Imponderables

It's slightly below 60 right now and I've got my windows open with a nice cool breeze wafting through.  After the humidity and heat, it's such a pleasure.

My neighbors still have their air conditioners going (how do I know? I just heard the compressor go on).

People who know me know I really dislike air conditioning, that it took five years for me to get the central air unit in the Lazyhouse fixed for good.  When it's on, it's set for 76 - Thing One thinks that's a little too high, but it's comfortable and there's no humidity, and who needs more? - and more often than not my windows are open, particularly at night.  To me, "conditioned" air feels stale and static; while I hate driving with the windows down, at home I like the feel of the occasional gust of air and the sense that nature is both outdoors and inside.  (note: the approved nature inside does not include creatures with wings or more than four legs!)

My neighbors have virtually sealed houses, with no windows open ever.  How can anyone live like that?

I mean, we're in the outer edges of suburbia.  It's not quite rural here, but we're part of the Croton Reservoir system and development is a little limited.  There are many trees and lakes (some real, some manmade) around and in a few more miles north, you hit rural areas.  Why would someone move to a place like this and then not open their windows?  Especially when it's 60 degrees out?

3.8.12

Links Galore

Some random things of interest:
And a bunch of book-related links:
  • I love (love!) bad books... History News Network Celebrates Bad History Books http://t.co/Xv7JkfF6 (nominate one)
  • Children's books reflect harsh reality http://t.co/PiMTxjRm
  • Please write his book: One man’s efforts to crowdsource his novel http://t.co/zcwzSoZ0
  • Who Benefits From Same-Day Amazon Delivery? Not Small Towns http://t.co/Ek0C0HBd
  • The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list http://t.co/nJdIywA2 (agree? disagree? don't read enough to have an opinion?)
  • Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey to be reworked by Val McDermid http://t.co/TYe77jJ4 (I'm on the "nay" side of reworking Austen - you?)
  •  But is it a book? http://t.co/JdJJE1vJ (poses some interesting questions re: book v e-book)