The Lying Truth and the Truthful Lie

  i know people who do not read fiction because they say it isn't true.
  i say fiction can be truer than fact.
  Facts can be manipulated to the point where they are unrecognizeable.
  What is this?
   More later.

  Untold Tales, by William J. Brooke (Harper Trophy, 1992) is a delightful collection, not just of fiction, but of twisted, retold fairy tales.  
  In the second tale, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Beauty shares how her father moved the family into the forest to escape creditors when his merchant ship was presumed lost.  Eventually, word arrived that the ship had returned, laden with the treasures it had been sent to trade for.
  This was true.  The family rejoiced and imagined what would be purchased with the wealth from the returning cargo. 
  However, this was a lying truth.  The cargo was indeed all the father had hoped for, but the letter neglected to mention that, in the years family and ship had been absent, the creditors had brought lawsuits which far exceeded the value of the merchandise in worth.
  Beauty's father had to flee the city, poorer than before, to avoid being cast into debtor's prison.

  You can find the truth somewhere in the factoids of daily life.  In a world where image builders learn to arrange them to present the desired picture, though, it's hard to find them.  Composite fictional stories, such as presented by Diveboard Dave here can do a much better job than facts and figures in getting the message across.

Oh, and my photo above?  It's not worms.  It's headlights, with camera shake.  Here's the full photo.
Broken Fire Hydrant, 9/30/2010

10 Hints to Guess My Favorite Comic Book SuperHero


  i've never really been into superheroes, but i realized yesterday that i really do have a favorite one.  See if you can figure him out.

10) Although he's strong, well-educated, and clever, oh, and of course he spends his life fighting evil, he's pretty much an ordinary guy.  No spiderwebs shoot from his fingers & he's not from another planet.
 9) He's heavily invested in the family business.  And in his family.
 8) He can climb into any plane and fly it.
 7) He's at home with the richest of the earth and in the mean streets of the city, but
 6) he lives deep in the jungle.  In a cave.

 5)  When he needs a break from all that evil fighting, he has his own tropical island paradise

4) He wears a purple suit.
3) His dog is a wolf.
2) He rides a white horse, which is better trained than most dogs.
1) His superpower is -- friends.

Any guesses?  And did i "lead you up a garden path" anywhere on the way?

the answer is here, in my post about A Little Help from My Friends.

Getting Along: Laundry Edition

  My mom finally, taught me to do laundry when i was 18 and about to leave for college  One of the things she told me was to clean the dryer's lint trap AFTER every load.  That makes it nice for the next person.
  i always do that, clean the lint trap after every load.  (well, when i can FIND the lint trap.  Can't always, in laundromats.)
  But everyone else doesn't.  Maybe they just forgot.  Maybe, like my guys, they believe in cleaning the lint trap BEFORE every load.
  Anyway, i taught my kids to do laundry at a much younger age than i learned, and somehow they haven't been nearly as influenced as i was by mom's laundry dictums.
  Anyway, back to that lint trap.
  The whole point of cleaning the lint trap is to keep the lint from building up.  It doesn't really matter when it's done, as long as there isn't any on it when you start the load, so that you don't get a heavy buildup during the load.
  It used to irritate me that my guys wouldn't simply clean the lint trap after they run the dryer.  But now i've trained myself to simply be grateful that they do laundry at all.
  And i check that darn lint trap before putting my load in, as well as cleaning it after.
  Because getting the job done is what matters.

Grandma for Thanksgiving

  When i was little, we usually went to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving.
  Except when Daddy was on call.  He had one of the very first, brick weight pagers in Indianapolis.
  This photo would be from about 1967.  Everyone came to our house.  And Grandma fell in love.  Puppy love.
  But who wouldn't?  Lad may have been at that awkward, gangly stage, but he was a magnificent dog even then, and he was exactly Grandma's type.

  As we gather with family and friends today, i wish you the warmth and joy of a peaceful gathering with family and/or friends (not necessarily to be confused with calm and quiet!) and the blessing of knowing Whom we are thanking on this day.

Life on the Computer Farm - Chrome?

  Well, MyGuy's been cultivating the Farm again.
  It's an ongoing process, really, but only sometimes does it affect me.
  He tells me i now have updated Firefox.  i can see that, though i really don't see any improvements from it.  i do see changes to adjust to - all sorts of things that i used to be able to just FIND, i now need to go to a single drop-down menu for.  That took awhile to figure out, but i did it on my own.
  Then there's other things i've used before, can't remember just now at this horridly early hour, that i haven't found at all yet.
 But i'll adjust.  And Boom tells me that, if i'd prefer the info and links to the "real estate" i now have (and still can't see that i have), that can be arranged.  That's good to know. i'll give it awhile, though.  Getting used to new stuff takes time for bodies that don't catch on quickly.
  Max seems to have had no trouble adjusting to the updated Firefox.

  But MyGuy also says i have Chrome, which theoretically will help this blog work better.  And i can't find that at all.  i looked under All Programs, which has two alphabetical lists, and neither Google nor Chrome is there.  When i told MyGuy i wasn't finding Chrome, that was his first suggestion - already done.

  So Chrome lives somewhere on the Farm.  Maybe on Duckpond.  In a few weeks with a bit more cultivation i ought to be able to use it.

Love Actually

 
Bridge over Buffalo Creek
  This is where MyGuy proposed to me, many long years ago.
  That is, the second time he proposed to me.
  The first time was earlier that day, as he sat, whiteknuckled at the wheel of my car in the mall parking lot.  Naughty girl that i was, i laughed at him.
  It doesn't excuse my insensitivity, but he HAD told me that i would know he wasn't serious if he wasn't on his knee.
  Later he explained that he had just realized that he wasn't complete without me.  That was a scary thought, with only one conclusion, and he had to grab his courage when he found it to get there.
  Then i laughed at him.
 
  He thinks i engineered our walk later that evening to include this romantic bridge over Buffalo Creek, but honestly, no.  i was in the midst of exam week at college.  My boyfriend was visiting.  My mind is at best a scattered thing, and i truly didn't remember that proposal in the mall parking lot.
  i do now.  And i'm glad our walk led us by this bridge, and that he wasn't put off my laughter earlier.

  The reason i'm reminiscing on this now is because of my blog wandering.  Blog trainer Cris encouraged the class to visit new blogs, and mentioned her husband loved to tell funny stories.  i thought, yeah, funny stories, sounds good.  But what i found was this one, 15 Years, and it touched my heart.

  Thanks for sharing, guys.  Maythe next 15 years find you as much in love & content with each other as you are now.

Culture Clash

  i call this photo "Fax Dog."
  i took it on Christmas Eve, when i was frantically trying to finish the gift scrapbook before going visiting.  Since my art room is a total disaster, i was, as usual, working on the living room floor.
  And my dog, wanting only to be with distracted me, to have at least a little of my attention, was all over my papers and photos.
  We had different goals, you see.
  i call this photo "Fax Dog," because she's being a Facsimile of a well-behaved dog here.  i asked her to "Down," and she did.  You wouldn't know that, seconds before, she'd been making a mess and causing trouble.  But she's eager to please, to do what i want and ask.

  i think this may be the root of some of the difficulties in schools.  There's old-school culture. There's new school, twenty-first century culture. There's politics.  There's parents - and i really believe that,even if school people are parents, because of their training, they come from a different place, especially if they got their training before becoming parents. And the end result is, we don't really understand each other, because we don't start with the same "We hold this to be true"s.
Oh, we try, but the gulf is as wide as my dog trying to understand what gives with that crazy human sitting on the floor in the middle of all the papers  and getting mad when she walks and sits on and among  the stupid papers.

  We have a vital interest, and strong will, to connect.  Finding the common ground though, that's tricky.

A Life-Changing Experience

  Some things that happen when you are a certain age stay with you forever.
   When i was growing up, the Six Day War took place.  Later there was the Watergate scandal , and in between i was reading all sorts of pretrib, premillennialist  literature.
  These things influenced me and will always be part of me.

  Shortly before my aunt passed away, she told me the most amazing story.  i didn't at once recognize it as the same sort of thing, but now i do.
  This is my subject today.

  In 1914 my grandparents married.  They were a farm family, reasonably well off for the time and place.
  The aunt who told me the tale was #3 of five, and my mother was the baby of the family.
  The story is about my grandparents' 25th anniversary trip in 1939.  Now you and i would think an anniversary trip is a couple-only event, but my grandparents took the entire family, plus their daughter in law.
  They took a train to New York .  They saw Niagara Falls and swam in Lake Erie.
  But the life-changing event was not any of these things, though they must have impressed the girls who may never have left the farm before.
  They saw the 1939 New York World's Fair.
  The World's Fair had Futurama, with its suburbs and highways.  It had electrical appliances, which made work easier.
  It was Utopia, to the farmers whose lives were never-ending work.


Sixty Years Later


  As i sat talking to my aunt that day, over sixty years after the event, i knew i had to get all the details possible from her.  i wrote them down, such as they were.

  And since then i have done some paltry research on the fair.  There are some websites about it. Wikipedia  is, as you've noticed by now, my favorite place to start; they have other links.  i've had library books out about it.
  Currently i have a unique "faction" type book by David Gelernter, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair.
   Gelernter alternated showing his research in musings about how 1939 was different from today, such as the character in Fitzgerald 's novel who took his girl out on Sunday afternoon, came home at midnight, worked until 3am, THEN removed his tie before bed, and interviews with and excerpts of the diary of a fictional woman who experienced the fair.  This lady's experiences, along with those of her fiance and friends, sum up what the fair was for all the people he interviewed.

After the Fair: The Future Arrives

   Within a year of seeing the fair, my aunt married her boyfriend, then graduated from high school.  She got to experience first hand the benefits of the highways promised at the fair as she followed him to Texas and many other places his service took him in the war.
  The fairplanners had a vision of the future.  Amazingly, they were correct in many ways.
  As fairgoers exited one of the exhibits, they were given a button which read, "I have seen the future."
  It excited and energized them.
  My aunt seldom talked about the fair, but she was carried by that to the end of her life.

Life on the Computer Farm


  MyGuy is a computer pro of decades long standing.
  It's only natural that we have a computer farm in our home.

  Which in a way is rather funny.  Not too long ago i rediscovered something i wrote in college, saying i couldn't imagine ever wanting ONE computer in our home.
  MyGuy says the computers are "ours."
  i say they are his, well, one is a family computer.  i have no computer, but "squatting rights" on 3.
  There are at least six working computers in the house, including MyGuy's and FB's laptops, but not including FB's iinternet access iPod and other small electronics.  There may be at least that many nonworking computers for all i know.  It's just a matter of time before they are working again, you know.

  The first photo, NOT a recent one, shows Max, who just turned 21, at the first computer we had family access to.  The computer is still there, but only MyGuy uses it, if anyone. i think it was called woodpile.      And Max still has that Maximum Smile.


  This is haystack, the current master bedroom computer.  My main Thunderbird mail program is there.  It drives me crazy.  i can get email anywhere in the house, but until i accept it here, this program considers that i haven't collected mail.
  MyGuy says it's not supposed to work that way, but it does.





  This is duckpond, our current family computer and my usual choice these days.  It's in the playroom, and it replaced south40 - yes, at the south end of our home.
   All these computers are upstairs.  If i want to work downstairs, there is barn, in the  office, and two others, which only MyGuy can use.  But working on the computer while waiting for the school bus is not really a practical option.

  The computers are supposed to be networked, so that whichever computer i began the file on, i can access it from any computer the next time i sit down.  MyGuy can do that, but it doesn't work that way for me.  i'm always having to email myself files and addresses from one computer to another.  Occasionally i can see the file i want on the NetHood file, but when i try to access it, i'm told that i need admin status to do that.

  i expect i'll be coming back to this topic occasionally. 

"I want to be a pencil in the hand of God. . . ,


 ". . . writing a love letter to the world."


 A pencil is a very anonymous sort of thing.
 Some are plain, some are fancy, some are fat, some are skinny, some are even mechanical.
 Those don't work for me.
 But the main thing about a pencil is that it's got a job to do. It's made to get used up doing the job.  No museum piece, the pencil.
 Sometimes i've tried to use my pencil to stuff or hammer something in place.
 Or dig something out.
 Neither works well.  And it doesn't do anything good for the pencil.  Leaves nasty marks over the other thingie too.


  So i'm not going to labor my point.  The pencil has one.  It works right or it doesn't.
   i like hanging out with the flashy sparkly pencils.  They're fun, but i prefer to be the simple blue or grey one that says the right thing at the right time.  Not really noticed much, but says the right thing at the right time.
  Some days i even get to be that pencil instead of the one just lying there or stabbing into the wrong place.


 
  When i began writing this blog entry, i was convinced the quote was from Mother Theresa.  In making certain of the attribution, i found i was unable to do this.  It was also attributed to Corrie tenBoom  and to Mrs. Jonathan Edwards.
  But that's the way quotes are.  One person says it, possibly several different ways at different times; another or several others learn of it, like it, take it up.
  Actually i heard on the news last night that that famous Kennedy statement about "Ask not. . . " was a quote from someone at one of his schools.
  Ultimately, it doesn't matter.
   The pencil - or the quote - may be sparkly or plain, but the only thing that matters is that it gets the job done.