just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

This is a test

This is a test and does not count as a real post.

Blog Buddy Sar and I are playing around with Blogpoll.

This is only a test.

Monday, January 30, 2006


We've been having flushing issues for a while now - our front yard was dug up last year for sewer line work. I still use the plunger frequently ~ but that's due to a particular person residing in this household that uses too much paper and not enough flushing.

You can imagine the conversations around here.

Also imagine my delight at this article in Sunday's Patriot News:

The Orange County Register

YORBA LINDA - It wasn't enough for John Koeller to flush gummy bears down the toilet.

No. In the name of science, he had to flush oatmeal and sausages and Cheerios and Play-Doh and toy water-wigglers before settling on the substance he now flushes with such gusto that he and his partner have become Canada's largest importer.

Put down your bagel. Stop eating. For the next few minutes, we're going to talk about ... soybean paste.

Not the soybean paste you eat in miso soup (though it's the very same stuff.) But the soybean paste that industrial engineer Koeller - aka the "Toilet Guru" - of Yorba Linda uses to routinely test some 200 models of low-flow toilets.

All so the sound you hear next time you flush won't be that of money going down the drain.

What he does exactly with this paste would make any seventh-grade boy bray with delight. It should do the same for you - if you're a homeowner. Because, for all the razzing he takes as the toilet guru, Koeller, 67, knows how to save you money. And embarrassment. And he's happy to tell you.

If you're willing to listen.

Important dates in toilet history:

1596 - Toilet invented.

1775 - S-trap invented.

1872 - Flush tank invented.

It took another 120 years for the first step backward in toilet technology. It came when Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 1992, requiring all new toilets to flush 1.6 gallons of water rather than the standard 3.5 gallons.

"There was a terrible consumer backlash and a protest against low-flow fixtures," says Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council in Sacramento.

Why? The plumbing industry was unprepared, and their new toilets really didn't work.

Customers kicked and screamed. They complained to their congressmen. And worse, in terms of water conservation: they double-flushed and rejiggered their low-flows to flush more water.

The trouble was too few standards. In those days, all a toilet maker had to do pass certification was flush 75 out of 100 three-quarter-inch plastic balls.

"John figured out this test was meaningless," says Dickinson, "and that unless we devised a test that actually simulated what we flush down the toilet, we couldn't accurately test the performance of these low-flow fixtures."

This led Koeller and his Canadian cohort, Bill Gauley, to start flushing gummy bears and oatmeal down their test toilets in Toronto.

In purely technical terms, these things are called "media." As in, If we don't find something to solve this problem, the media is really going to hit the fan!

Once Koeller and Gauley found the right media (from a Japanese exporter who was so horrified to learn where his miso was going that he made the men sign an agreement to never utter the word in their reports), they did what engineers have long done. They researched - first and foremost, how much media ought a good toilet be able to flush. Without going into gory detail, let us just say it's 250 grams (about a half-pound).

Then in 2003, the men went where no one had gone before: They tested every brand of low-flush toilet they could find to see exactly how good each was at flushing their new media.

For that, Dickinson says, "He's a great unsung hero in the water conservation world. He's been in Newsweek, Time, the Wall Street Journal, all the construction magazines and energy magazines. He's known internationally."

No one said being a hero was easy. Leastwise, not in the toilet world.

"I am the toilet guru," Koeller admits. "You bring that up at a party and you never live it down. I brought up urinals once and never heard end of it. When people ask now, I say I'm a lint broker to the movie stars!"

His study - called Maximum Performance Testing of Popular Toilet Models, or "MaP" for short, raised more than a few snickers. It virtually turned the toilet industry on its head.

Now in its fifth edition, it compares 177 low-flow toilet models (the sixth edition, due in January, will compare about 200). And here's the rub:

"We've learned, in a number of studies, that there is no correlation between price and performance," Koeller says. "That's right. Some of the cheapest toilets are some of the best performers."

The reason: until recently, consumers had no way of knowing which toilets performed best, so price was set mostly by style.

When Koeller and Gauley began their tests, it was the water districts - in the name of conservation - who funded them.

Just three years later, it is the toilet manufacturers themselves promoting the tests.

Dickinson says it's likely the MaP test will become part of a new, nationwide standard (for now, the 75-ball standard remains in effect).

In fact, she's helping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency create a nationwide water-efficiency organization, named the Alliance for Water Efficiency, which will promote MaP testing.

"There's no point being efficient if the customer has to run the water longer or double flush," she says.

All of which brings us to: What kind of toilet should you buy? It depends, says Koeller, whose back yard is crammed with new models for testing, but whose bathroom sports a Toto Ultra Max (MaP score: 700 grams!).

There is gravity-feed vs. power-assist (power-assist typically flushes more but is louder). There is two-piece vs. one-piece (one-piece typically looks sleeker but is pricier). There are variations of bowl shape, seat height, even doohickeys like heated seats, slam-resistant seats and dual-flush mechanisms, featuring a half-flush of 0.8 gallon for liquid-only flushing.

Those factors depend on preference. Flushing power is all about function. But buyer beware! Just because a manufacturer makes one or several powerful models doesn't mean all of its models are powerful. It pays to compare. Visit: www.cuwcc.org/MaPTesting.lasso for test results. (Note: prices not included, so you'll have to do some homework yourself.)

The good news, says Koeller (who, by the way, is not connected to the Kohler toilet company), is that new manufacturers have made competition fierce.

"Prices aren't much higher than 12 years ago," he says. "Yet I'd say 75 percent are excellent."

Thanks in large part to ... soybean paste.

In the meantime, Koeller is leading the charge on another new trend in water conservation. He's already started writing national standards.

For what? Nothing that will require gummy bears or oatmeal or even more soybeans.

A waterless urinal.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Old Photo Sunday

Here's the MIL that I've been harping about lately. She was born in 1922 - I don't know what age or year to guess this photo was taken. They were New Yorkers (Nod was born in Ozone Park), so I'm guessing that this was taken at one of the beaches within reach of NYC.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Weird PA

My DH is with his mom today while dear brother works. Nod goes crazy staying inside like that, so he tries to find things to do or places to go. The problem is that MIL doesn't do well on long car trips, so the options are limited.

However, if you find yourself in Pennsylvania and don't mind the drives, here are some places to visit:

This one is in Pottstown.

This one is in Boyertown.

The Coffee Pot is in Bedford, the Shoe House in Hellam.

TLP & my girls have been to the Shoe House.

The Ship Hotel is along the Lincoln Highway.

The Pagoda overlooks the outlet stores of Reading.

I'll have to dig up the photos we took when we visited the Lucy the Elephant building in New Jersey.

What unusual buildings have you all been to?

Friday, January 27, 2006


It's been pretty darn windy around here this week. This large tree limb is down the block from our house.

There was a message on the machine when I got home from the grocery store yesterday afternoon. One of my MIL's neighbors called to say that she was at his house. Please call. So I did, asking if she was still there (the time stamp on the machine told me that he had called 45 minutes earlier). She was, so I told George that I would call Nod and he'd get over there. This was 4:30 pm. Nod said that his brother should be home now ...

When he got home, Nod was really aggrevated. He still doesn't know what the full story was - most likely his mom got tired of being home alone and went for a walk around the house and locked herself out (or forgot that she had the key in her pocket or purse). But Nod was really, really mad at his brother. Dear BIL told Nod that he was to make sure that dear ol'Mom was taken to the adult day care place to punish her.

What's up with that? MIL needs to go in order to just get her out of the house (which is driving her batty) and to have some stimulation of the mind. Her Alzheimers is never going to get better, but it can be forstalled some if her mind can be occupied.

The MIL has been getting harder to handle, and my BIL has been sucking my husband into taking on more and more care. Mind you, my BIL is the one still living at home and "gets" to decide what care their mom gets. My husband has said that his brother gets to make that decision. Yet, somehow it's Nod that ends up making most of the calls to doctors (and taking MIL to appointments), calling various agencies, etc.

I told Nod that he needs to distance himself from the situation because it's killing him and straining family life here at home. To my relief, he sees that and has begun to step back. He hopes that this incident of his mom wandering (or whatever) will get his brother to see that things need to be done differently. (She does have an Alzheimers ID bracelet on and is registered with a national group.)


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Go Visit Doug to Visit My Mom. NOW!

My mom, TLP, is today's guest host over at Waking Ambrose, so go over and visit.

* ... pause and wait for you to come back ... *

Didn't she do great? That ol' ma o'mine.

The Ominpotent Poobah sez that there's a Pez museum in the San Francisco area, so I Googled Pez Museum. The first thing that came up is actually more in our neck of the woods: The Easton Museum of Pez Dispensers! Just blocks away from the Crayola Factory, in fact (which I have not been to, but my hubby has taken my kids). Here's a CNN story about it.

The west coast one is the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia. Who knew that there was a collection of Pezzes on both coasts?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Moving Day

Twice a year our seating/work stations are reassigned. It has to be done late in the Fall after all the seasonal associates have been hired and trained. It is done again in January after the seasonal period ends and those that are staying on have been given their permanent schedules. Few in Sales or Service have a station/desk to call their own - most have to share with one other person. (Over the Peak holiday season, some share with three or more, and many of the seasonals have a different seat every day.)

This causes a lot more stress than it should. People aren't sitting near their friends, or they and their desk-mate had a good system of sharing down, too far from the restroom or break room, etc. And there is the anxiety of not knowing if the person you're sharing with is a slob or thief. And we have to reconfig the computers with our logons, passwords, and whatever each individual likes to do (i.e. I don't want a new browser window popping up everytime I go to one of the various catalog websites we have, but most of my co-workers do. That's a setting that has to be made within "internet options".)

Norma, who I've known for more than 15 years (her twin daughters are my age) is upset because the guy that she's sharing with has taken over the whole station already - and not even neatly.

I have neatly set up my catalogs, calendar, quick hints & phone number sheet and notes on one half of the station. My desk partner has a whole half left to do with whatever he wants. I know he's been there, because he left his headset plugged in, but he hasn't left anything else. So, we'll see how it goes. I don't care, as long as he's not a slob and leave messes.

There's going to be some interior construction in the Call Center as the product sample room is reconfigured, so the products have been taken upstairs to another room - aaargh, that'll be a pain.

And apparently there are alot of chairs in need of repair:

Monday, January 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Brother

Nivek Army Ranger Pez
January 23, 1965 - August 7, 1991

The occasion of this photo was the
first birthday party of my twin daughters,
Bookworm and Goa'uld.
He let Bookworm have a sip of his beer a few minutes later.

She liked it.

In his honor, I watched the Three Stooges this weekend - one of them was a great one titled Mutts to You, where the Stooges are dog washers and end up with a baby that they think was abandoned. Another one was Baby Sitter Jitters, which I have seen before, but not for a really long time. In it was a joke that I didn't notice or get before when I was a kid ~

The mother: "oh, you're ALL here to babysit!"
Larry: "Yes, we're a UNIT!"
Shemp: "Yeah, we're Unitarians!"

There is a song that I learned as a teenager, Alphabet, forced to watch hours of the Stooges because of Nivek. I'm the only one that I know of who knows it, and I've been singing it for years. It baffles people. I found a sound file of it at the official Three Stooges website. I see/hear now that I've been singing it too fast!

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Old Photo Sunday

This old photo is on metal - I don't know if it's literally a "tintype" or not. It's been in an old paper folder, which I used as a backdrop when I scanned it in.

The boy in the photo is my dad Niks's dad. I posted another old photo of him last year. Elmer was born in 1892, the photo is undated. Not sure what age to guess him at.

I've been feeling particularly dull and unimaginative lately. This may be just because my head is still congested and I'm tired.

And I'm also plagued by the Blues. So have many of my co-workers. I don't know why ~ the winter weather and lack of sunshine, frustrations and annoyances of our jobs and families, the world in general. Maybe five years of taking catalog orders is enough for some of us. I dunno.

Hopefully Punxsutawney Phil will give us good news soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Yes, Mother

At the request of my mother, I have posted something so that she doesn't have to see the title of the previous post when she stops by to see if I've posted anything.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Floods and Explosions

I don't sleep well when I'm congested. Never have. And my post-nasal drip is a flood. Didja know that I can spit a good gob ten feet? Yup.

If I've been lying awake for more than half an hour, I go downstairs and turn on the TV. That usually can do the trick, unless there's something interesting on (yeah, yeah, I know . . .).

I came across Barry Williams (Greg from the Brady Bunch) selling "70s Music Explosion". Man, I love those songs. Even tho' the commercial - which was one of those half hour jobs - only played a couple of lines from each song, I was hooked.

One of those songs is America's Horse With No Name. When I was in sixth or seventh grade, living in San Dimas, CA, a local radio station had a contest to promote this song. Whoever came up with the best name for a horse would WIN a horse. I sent in a TON of entries. Can't remember a single one! Should have kept that list, it would have been funny to see now. Anyway, this song is quoted in today's Doonesbury comic:

If you haven't been following the strip, Jimmy Thudpucker, a rocker from thirty years ago, has now done an album of "standards." Mark, a DJ, can't quite believe it. He's been interviewing "James" this week. Click on the comic to get a bigger view.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Under the Weather

Well, the weather hasn't been great lately, and neither have I. I started to feel not-quite-right at the end of last week, and by Friday night I was definitely sick. Spent most of the weekend in bed. Monday afternoon I went in to see a doctor, expecting to hear that I had sinusitis.


Of all things, an EAR infection.

Even Goa'uld said "don't only kids get that?"

So I'm resting as much as I can, listening to the wind howl outside and rattle the house. And yes, I'm drinking lots of fluids. (Maybe too much, I'm trekking to the bathroom an awful lot . . .)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Old Photo Sunday

Yes, another week has gone by, and it's time for another old photo. This one was taken in the house that Doug took a photo of at the beginning of the month. The year is around 1967/68. From left to right, it's Actonbell, me, our cousin (Aunt Doris' daughter), and our brother Nivek Army Ranger Pez. I'm lookin' mighty pleased with that new Disneyland T-shirt, aren't I?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ladies Night Out

Sar has suggested that we girls save Miz BoheMia from her In-Laws.

Where shall we go and what shall we do?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

dddragon Visits the Farm Show

Last night Nod and I decided that we just had to go to the Farm Show. The Kids couldn't go because of their schoolwork this week. So we went without them. Wow. But don't worry, we weren't gone long and we brought home fresh Potato Donuts for them.

Here I am with that butter sculpture that was featured earlier. It's in a large glass, refridergated case.

Here is an old truck with an attractive arrangement of produce around it. Nod just had to take a photo of it.

There are a lot of cows. By this time they were mostly laying down. We overheard someone ask about cud-chewing. Apparently, a cow will chew an average of 40 times before swallowing, then regurgitate to start chewing again. So the farmer girl was counting her cow's chews. Of course, the contrary cow chewed 60 times before swallowing. By that time a small crowd had gathered and we all had a good laugh about how a watched cow will not swallow cud.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's Farm Show Week

Last weekend the 90th Annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show began, and runs until this weekend. 'Round here, it's just called the Farm Show. Supposedly we get a big snowfall every year at this time, but this year we've got record warm weather. Well, actually, I made that up. It was 63 degrees yesterday, which is just plain WRONG for January in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, it's a really, really big thing here. A must-see for anyone with kids, for sure. And it's a real agricultural event. Farmers from all over the Commonwealth bring their produce and animals to show. 4H kids show and sell their animals to earn college money. There is a Sheep to Shawl contest, where a sheep is shorn, the wool is spun and woven into a shawl in one long contest. There is a square dance competition, cattle penning, food tasting, chicks hatching under the lights, and every and any thing that is associated with agriculture. Demonstrations of all sorts - even polka dancing. Go to the website and try out the winning recipes

There are, naturally, the animals to see: cows, pigs, sheep and horses of every breed, all sorts of fowl, rabbits and more. Every year at least one calf is born during the week. The farming families camp out in the building with their animals.

Every year there is a giant butter sculpture.
This is the Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff,
with the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess.

My favorite is the Horse and Pony Pulling Contests. Pairs of horses or ponies are hitched and try to pull the heaviest weight. These equines really like to pull - some of them are so antsy to go that they yank their handlers off their feet. The drivers are not allowed to slap the lines (reins) or whip the horses - in fact, you'll see the drivers hold the lines high up to keep them off the horses' backs. The drivers can only holler or make other noises (usually those kissy noises people make at animals) to encourage them to pull harder.

The winning pull last night was 4500 pounds for the heavyweight category* by the Brown Brothers' horses, Fred and Jim. They're from Acme, PA (just had to throw in that town's name). They had actually won with 4400 lbs, but that was last year's record pull, and they were given a chance to pull another 100 lbs. Then the crowd yelled for another 100, but the Brown brothers said that was enough. To be honest, the horses looked like they could have pulled 4600.

* A team that weighs 3200 lbs or more. This is a new PA Farm Show record for the PA Dynaometer. Now, there are different ways of measuring weights, so records are kept for each method. Next year the weight will be pulled on a sled, rather than a dynaometer truck, as voted on by the team pulling association. And if you're REALLY into this, there is a website to go to. You knew there would be, didn't you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wimpy Mascot?

doing one-armed push-ups on a board held by cheerleaders at Beaver StadiumTLM suggested in an earlier comment that Penn State's mascot was wimpy.

The Nittany Lion wimpy? lol. Our mascot may be the smallest of the animal mascots that colleges and universities, because the outfit is person-sized w/o padding. The process of picking a person is strenous - the Nittany Lion is expected to do one-armed push-ups after each touch down and kick. The number of push-ups he does is equal to the score on the board at that time.

This isn't often seen on televised games, but the students see it after every score. Also, the Lion doesn't just hang out with the cheerleaders. He is running up and down the stairs of the stadium, all over the arena. Students frequently carry him over their heads, passing from hand to hand, from the bottom to the top of the seats. I'm amazed that he doesn't get dropped and get hurt!

Here are some links if you'd like to read up more on the Nittany Lion mascot:


In related Penn State news, coach Joe Paterno is under fire from the National Organization of Women for statement he made the day before the Orange bowl last week (this is from the AP report):

... when a reporter asked about Florida State linebacker A.J. Nicholson, who was accused of sexual assault and sent home before Tuesday's game.

Paterno replied by talking about past suspensions of Penn State players. He then added: "There's some tough - there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

"Geez. I hope - thank God they don't knock on my door because I'd refer them to a couple of other rooms," Paterno continued. "But that's too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He's a heck of a football player, by the way; he's a really good football player. And it's just too bad."

The entire press conference hasn't been aired that I have seen, nor have I seen a transcript of the whole statement. The part of the video that has been shown does show a JoePa that was somewhat stumbling for words, and did sound stupid and crass. I think he should apologize but I don't think he should be forced to resign. Hopefully he'll realize what he said and I hope that he didn't mean it.

For more info, check out the Philadelphia Daily News article. Also, the story from the Associated Press.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Let's Play!

Choose one of your favorite bands/artists: Chicago (this link will work with Explorer, but not Firefox for some reason.)

I got this idea from Miz BoheMia:

Chose one of your favorite Bands or Musical Artists.

Answer all the following questions using SONG TITLES from this BAND or ARTIST.

Because I haven't heard some of these songs in a while, I started to listen to Chicago (the band). For a while I got caught up in whether or not the lyrics answered the question, then realized that I was taking it too far. So just the titles are used as answers.

Are you male or female? Along Comes a Woman

Describe yourself: Chasin' the Wind

How do some people feel about you? Call on Me

How do you feel about yourself? 25 or 6 to 4

Describe current relationship with BF/GF: We Can Last Forever

Describe where you want to be: Saturday in the Park

Describe how you live: Colour of My World

Describe how you love: Make Me Smile

What would you ask for if you had just one wish: Free Country

Share a few words of wisdom: Does Anybody Really Know That Time It Is

Now say goodbye: Wishing You Were Here

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Old Photo Sunday

It's one again time to post another old photo!
Today's submission is of my first car, a

Leopard Print

Yesterday I had a delightful, long conversation with one of my catalog customers. She ordered our Leopard Print towels and bath mat. These items have been popular for quite some time now, staying in the catalog for over a year (most things cycle out with the seasons).

Anyway, after some conversation that proved that we had "clicked", she went on to tell me why she likes leopard print so much.

Several years ago (she would've been in her mid-50s at this point) after her son and DIL's wedding rehearsal dinner, the group found themselves in the parking lot. My customer realized that she really, really had to pee. Alas, all doors and restrooms were locked and unavailable (no, I don't know anymore than that). She REALLY had to go. So she did.

In the parking lot.

As a result of this, the wedding party discovered that she was wearing leopard print panties (and no, I don't know how they came to know this ....).

So, thus started the deluge of gifts of everything in leopard print. Her husband thought that they would all eventually forget, but they didn't. My caller decided that she liked leopard print and has embraced the look.

She was a hoot to talk with and I thoroughly enjoyed her call. This is the kind of caller that makes this job interesting.


On another Call Center "issues" ~ the current catalog (of which there were three versions mailed out) has so many problems that editing didn't catch that we have stopped counting. I discovered two more. One was simply a price misprint. That happens.

The other concerns a small quilted sham. The bedding that it goes with comes in pink and green versions. There is only one photo of this item in the catalog; tell me, is this sham the "green" one or the "pink" one?

I and three supervisors and the catalog manager finally decided it was the pink one (won't bore you with the reasons), but we have requested confirmation from HQ and a photo of the other version to be sent to us.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Canadian Brass

Bookworm's trumpet teacher is a member of a local brass quintet group that is pretty active. Some months ago I told Mrs. S that the Canadian Brass would be performing at Penn State in February. She got pretty excited and told us about how her group had had a "master class" with the Canadian Brass and what wonderful musicians and people they were.

Yesterday Mrs. S invited us (and a few other band kids) to go with her brass group to a master class with the Canadian Brass up at Penn State the afternoon before their performance at Eisenhower Auditorium. (Milton Eisenhower, Ike's bro, was a president of Penn State, 1950-56.) I'm pretty excited for the kids. However, Goa'uld is worried about missing a half day of classes. That kid!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Penn State 26 Florida State 23

ddd @ PSU game c. 1980

What a frustrating game. I've never seen so many penalties in a football game before! It went into triple overtime to finish. It's 1:00 am, I stayed up for the whole game. I'm going to regret this in the morning. Oh, wait, it IS morning. UGH.

The photo is of me at a PSU game, season of 1980. I didn't know my photo was being taken - one of my photographer friends on the school paper was on the field and turned to look up at the student section. I think I might have been trying to focus on the game for a change.

BTW, about that photo ) below ~ JoePa rolls up his pants so that the players on the field can spot him quickly and easily. Oh, and what's a Nittany Lion? Basically, it's a mountain lion found around Mount Nittany. (nah nah, tlm)

good night!

hear the Penn State Fight Song here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The New Year in the Midstate

In this area of Pennsylvania, the newscasters call us the Mid-State. Also Southcentral Pennsylvania. Mind you, it's a two hour drive north to the geographic center of the state from the Harrisburg area. (Just in case you're wondering what's at the center, it's Penn State. It was put there for that reason.)

Anyway. When the news is on, it covers Gettysburg and Carlisle to our west, Lancaster to our east, and York to our south. There's not much between us and Penn State. (The people there would dispute that, and, of course, all the cows.)

While the rest of the world watched the big pretty, shiny ball drop in New York City, we here in the Mid-State watched ALL KINDS of things drop (or sometimes rise, as the case may be):

Harrisburg: a Strawberry (in 2004 it was a Strawberry Cow)
Dillsburg: a giant Pickle
Lebanon: a 7 1/2 foot bologna (come on- what else would they use?)
Hershey: a 300 pound Hershey Kiss (this one went up)
York: a White Rose* (down into a giant vase)
Lancaster: a Red Rose* (this goes up)
Falmouth: a stuffed goat. They have goat races in the summer, ya see?

There are more, but that's a sampling. Every year more small towns in Pennsylvania are dropping and raising objects.
(*see English history if you're wondering about these flowers)

Of course the news is now all about the Orange Bowl game on Tuesday night. Penn State vs. Florida State. Some sportswriters have dubbed it the "Geezer Bowl" because JoePa and Bobby Bowden are old guys. JoePa just celebrated his 79th birthday (and was voted Coach of the Year!).

The local reporters who are down in Florida for the game have also been doing some stories on the fans from Pennsylvania who went down for the game. "You can tell which ones are Penn State fans ~ they're the pale ones." Ha ha ha.

You can always tell JoePa in the crowd of people on the sidelines:

He rolls up the cuffs of his pants.

I expect everyone to root for Penn State. Didn't have to mention that, did I?

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Mushroom

I don't know if any of you have ever visited the Mushroom - I had forgotten him until I saw his comment over at Jamie Dawn's on December 23 (really liked that poem she wrote).

Anyway, Mushroom collects old discarded photos and posts them and makes up stories about what's going on in them.

For example, he posted this photo, and then goes on to say . . .

Years before plastic surgery or sex change operations were invented, Donald Weisbaum (seen here as his torch-song personna, Estrella Celeste) was doomed to never actually be a convincing woman. His nose prevented him from finding his fortune, despite his voice being so soulful. He was going to take a dive off this bridge but the thought of snagging his hose [either variety] on the way over the rail made him think twice, and the epiphany made him delve further into his theatre work. His life served as an inspiration for later unpretty female impersonators such as Harvey Fierstein and Divine; he died last month at age 80.

His December 2005 photos (scroll down a bit) are of someone he knew as a child and he posted some stories that he knows, or others have told him, about "Uncle Elfie". There are six photos with tales - Take a gander. I think you'll find the visit worth it.

(BTW, there is a Yahoo Group about Collecting Found Photos. Who knew?)


The kids go back to school today, I go back to work tomorrow after taking off most of last week. Nod returns on Wednesday. I will attempt to get some stuff done despite Nod's being underfoot. In the way. Roadblock. Hurdle, blockcade, interference, monkey wrench . . .

Just you watch. He'll suggest that we have lunch out. That man. I can never get anything done with him around. Except vacuuming. Because he got it out for me. And before you think poorly of him, he cleans everything else in the house.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Rabbit Rabbit & Old Photo Sunday

Happy New Year Rabbit

Today you get both a Rabbit and an old photo. A new photo, too.
(If you want to know what's up with the rabbits, read this.)

ddd and Actonbell, 1968The old photo is of me and my sister Actonbell, Halloween 1968. AP3 was born October 30, 1968, so I'm guessing that Dad/Niks was behind the camera. Mom made my Peter Pan costume. This photo was taken in the house in the photo below. Doug took this photo - the house wasn't nearly as colorful then as it is now.

1719 Monterey Road, South PasadenaThis is my favorite house of all the houses I've ever lived in. The Rialto Theater is within walking distance. I'm sure that Mom has a story to tell someday about my going there on my own.

HapPy New YEAr!

I wish a healthy and happy year
for all my friends and family
in the Blogsphere!