Posted by: David | November 13, 2011

The Monthly Post

It’s feeling like a periodical here. One with a lunar cycle. Guess it’s just the girl in me. Or that I’ve become web-lazy. Fortunately for all 3 of you readers there is someone out in the mid-western USA that consistently prods me along. Thank you S. Le. Let me make this vague promise that as winter encroaches, and the cat keeps sleeping in weirder and weirder places in the house, there will be more time to fritter away on the INTERNET. That doesn’t sound anything like a vague promise does it? Sorry.

Yes, we got the freaky pre-Halloween snowstorm. 15″. Power stayed on, snowblower worked well.

That storm was quite the record-breaking something, but much more of a bother to our friends in southern New England, many of whom lost electricity for weeks. With most of the trees still holding on to their foliage, the wet and heavy snow accumulated more readily thus bringing down many limbs and power lines with them.

“Yeah, that snowstorm really SUCKED IT” says Oliver.

In other news, yours truly finally took the plunge and got himself a “smart” phone. My wife dragged me unwillingly into cellular technology in the first place, and our first 2 year plan with Verizon ended back in 2008. We’ve had our nifty “dumb” phones since ought-six. They seemed pretty smart to me, taking speech commands and all. But kids at the college thought my Motorola Razr flip phone was an antique. The Razr was a very popular phone way back when, and the iPhone I have now is similarly popular.

The iPhone 4 is a deal now, since they’re trying to sell the 4s.

Ironically I could not activate it at my home. The attempt connected to US Cellular, which must be the owner of the closest cell tower that only gives us one stinking bar of signal strength if any. US Cellular was not interested in helping me activate my Verizon phone, so I had to drive about 5 miles north of the house to activate the phone, which, by the way, hardly ever shows that it’s getting the “3G” level of service. But I sorta love it anyway. I got a free astronomy app that I can point at the sky and it shows constellations and stuff. If I point it at the ground it shows whats in the sky on the other side of Earth. It even shows where the International Space Station is.  There are so many free apps that I have yet to purchase one. The iPhone sort of doubles as a music player too, so I’ve been copying some tunes for the commute. iPhone doesn’t skip like car CD player does on the bumpy road to work. I can’t believe how wicked smaht (Boston accent) this phone is.

Speaking of ‘smart stuff’, my wife figured out how to get the local newspaper on her laptop. 

Our weekend breakfast table, with I ♥ Grandpa and I ♥ Grandma coffee mugs …

And more smart stuff … my granddaughter. She’s pretty smart too, don’t be fooled by the drooling.

She’s learning how to wield the spoon, and ate a whole banana yesterday.

The weather returned to normal and we were able to finish getting everything ready for winter. You may remember that I’d planted half a bed with the leftover red and yellow onions that were enthusiastically sprouting in the root cellar. The purpose was to let them flower and go to seed, which they did. And at the very end of the summer all the seed heads were harvested. They took a month or two to dry out fully. Only last week was I able to winnow them and now I’ve got some sprouting as a little test. The germination rate is not good. I wonder why?

Do onion seeds need any special treatment? Vernalization maybe? Anyone know?

Meanwhile things at work are chugging merrily along. Have I ever mentioned how awesome it is to work at a small college? Not only do you get to be around all those young and motivated minds, but there is also all the drama and comedy as accompaniment to higher education.

One of my coworkers has this interesting wallpaper on his computer screens.

Meanwhile, November moves along toward the inevitable winter. Having already had a substantial snowstorm, I feel mentally prepared. So far the temperature has not gone below 20°F. When it does, I’ll be lighting that first fire in the woodstove.

Just a trace of snow was still visible last week. The morning sun catches the hills to our west.

Thanks for reading folks. That is all for now. WordPress tells me that this is my 333rd post. Huh. 333 x 0 = 0



  1. I’m sorry about that snowstorm. It was ours before we sent it up your way, and I honestly didn’t think it would get that far. As for those poor folks in Conn. who lost their power for so long, don’t tell them where I live.

    I’m sure I would love a smartphone too, if I had one. I have no use for a phone phone (I have a little TracFone for emergencies), but all the other things they do are just amazing.

    My goodness, that grandbaby of yours has grown! And she’s adorable. Guess you won’t have much choice this winter but to stay inside and play with her even more. Tough duty, Gramps.

    Apology appreciated. I won’t tell my friends from the Nutmeg State. Very generous of you to take the blame for this Pied. We’ll let you off the hook for the rest of the winter. It’s not your fault that the weather moves from west to east.

    I didn’t really resist the temptation to get a smart phone. There was no such temptation. I’m too cheap, and very inured to the endless storm of gadgets spewing from the technomart. Many of my coworkers have iPhones, and they are a motley crew. That was convincing.

    Yeah, it’s so amazing to watch the baby grow. Brings back so many memories and feelings. And watching the child become the parent ain’t bad either. 🙂

  2. I didn’t know that it would take so long for the child to look like a girl. Do you think you would know it is a girl if it were not your own? Whereas you, on that photo, look more like Steve Jobs, which wouldn’t be surprising, since your interests are similar to his in one direction, though not in the other.
    Oliver looks sad. Maybe he has been watching the wrong movie.
    Whereas that breakfast! It looks like you put half a chicken on a thin slice of Bimbo and call it a sandwich!

    Babies are definitely androgynous in appearance, and most of the stories about how different male and female infants are from each other are inconsistent.

    Yes, I guess the late Steve Jobs and I are both of Middle Eastern extraction. And he was only a year older than me. In my first few years working with computers I cleaned a lot of Apple IIe computers.That was nearly 20 years ago.

    Our weekend breakfasts are quite hearty, aren’t they? Where your tastes run to lentil soup … The meat on the toasted bread is bacon, a smoked pork product very high in every dietary evil.

    • “stories about how different male and female infants are from each other”
      But up to what age are they “infants”? Because little girls, many of them, are already able to walk like a lady if Mummy dresses them up as ladies for the village fiesta. They are still tiny little, but they hold up their long skirts, which would otherwise touch the asphalt, and hold it up just a little, like real ladies would have done 100 years ago, hold it up to show your pretty shoes, but not too much.lest (lest!) it be considered improper.

      And they walk with little steps and even wriggle their back view a little. I was going to write “fanny”, which sounds nice, but the dictionary says it is vulgar.

      Oh heavens no, ‘fanny’ is quite acceptable, and if it was ever vulgar, that would have been in the 19th century.

      I believe that “infancy” is defined as the period of life before one begins to use speech.

      • It is not “wriggle”. Maybe it could be “wiggle”, but that doesn’t suggest that rhythm and symmetry either. It ought to be “balance”, but that isn’t in use or suggests mental control of that movement which however is nearly always unconscious. Isn’t there some better word?

        I would say wiggle is the better of the two, but maybe ‘sashay’ is better. It describes the way fashion models walk the runway. Although I’m sure there are many more technical terms that fashion runway coaches could use.

  3. What a feast for the eyes (and heart)! Lydia is so cute! I hope that you’ll keep posting monthly photos of her– it’ll be fascinating to watch how fast she sprouts. I heart Oliver, and I covet your grandma and grandpa mugs.

    Hi Moonbeam! You too can have such a mug. They came from Shutterfly I think.

  4. So glad you are here to post. I know what you mean about not posting. But your blog is one of my favorites, so I am always happy to see a new post to read! Cute pictures, all around.

    Onions are one of the harder seeds to save. I am still learning myself. I have a lot of suggestions to type out, but instead I will pass you on to this link:

    Happy cold weather!

    Thanks Maleesha! That’s so very encouraging.

    Thanks for the seedsaving link too. The leeks we’ve been growing for years yield very vigorous seeds. They’re practically perennials! Pretty soon our whole backyard garden plot will be all alliums, except for the asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes. (The deer put a serious dent in the Jerusalem artichokes this year though, hardly any tubers.)

    The germination rate on those onion seeds is well below 10%. I put some seeds in the freezer as an experiment. Not too optimistic.

    Happy winter to you too!

  5. 1. You’re welcome.
    2. Your blog resembles a periodical with it’s lovely photos.
    3. Better you than me! (snow-wise)
    4. Don’t let the dog out in the snow. You’ll never find him.
    5. Nice mobile.
    6. I like your wife’s sense of humour.
    7. Add baked beans and tomatoes and you’ve got a Full English.
    8. Very cute little girl, but who’s the old geezer?

    My blog has become stale and lacks content. I’ve been thinking of stopping but hate to give it up. I’ve little to say and less time to say it.

    Thanks for that itemized content. For #5 I had to look back over all the photos to see where the one of the mobile was. Mobile being one of those artistically balanced hangy thingys such as are hung in great museums and baby cribs. Yeah, it took me a full minute to process MO BILE as “cell phone”. So, that leaves the question, What do Brits call those other things?

    • Stop me from chucking my blog in the skip please. Save me from myself!

      Oh don’t chuck it in the skip! Don’t ding it! Don’t do yourself in. Perhaps you need to cut yourself some slack and only post when you are well motivated. Perhaps working in a library compels you to post regularly, even if you find yourself short of ‘content’.

      • You apparently have 5 readers.

        Never did believe those stats. They say there is an average of 10 visits to this space each day. So half my readers are spambots. Which is OK, because the spam comments that WordPress filters for me are getting more interesting. And often are very complimentary. For example:

        “This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.”

        That makes me feel great! And then there is the newsworthy spam: “See Justin Bieber and selna naked on the beach” Of course I would never click on that, with such awful punctuation.

        Anyhoo, the point is that I don’t write this crap to attract readers. It’s strictly a pointless adventure in pointlessness. So I guess it’s pretty successful in that light …


  6. 1) Okay, so I didn’t think it was possible to see a cuter pic than the one of Oliver (so adorable! And I’m not even a dog person!), but then I saw your granddaughter holding the spoon and it was all over.

    2) Re: “…there is also all the drama and comedy as accompaniment to higher education.”

    …Do you have any idea what I would give to have your job? I LIVE for young people’s drama! It’s just so…dramatic.

    3) Did you know that the iPhone 4s actually talks to you? I figure it’s only a matter of time before “real friends” are extinct.

    4) Make that 6 readers.

    Welcome Reader Number 6! It could be your lucky day. I’m well aware of how lucky I am to have this job and I could recommend you if you care to move to New Hampshire. Every so often there are openings for professors of graphic design and other creative arts, all you’d need is a terminal degree in your area of expertise, or the willingness to actively pursue said degree. If academics is not your strong suit you could join the housekeeping crew, who get a pretty close up view of student life, cleaning up the residence halls and such. Please email if you’re interested.

    Yes, I wish that my iPhone had Siri, but alas, no. The phone talks to me but only when I speak to it first. If I say, for example, “Call Jim”, the phone says, in a pleasant female voice, “Home or mobile, asshole?”. So I consider that very close to friendship. And there will always be Facebook friends, right? So who needs real friends anyway? Once you get to know people, they see how much you suck, and they’re gone. So this saves time and trouble, which can be used for other things …

    • 6 readers

      Thanks a bunch for sticking with it. 🙂

      • I think I must be a blog-stalker. I must seek help.

        I think you get a pardon on this offense, being a librarian and what-not.

  7. Strangely enough, I just saw an advertisement on television not ten minutes ago – it was for the new slimmer faster Razr phone!

    Hi nursemyra, thanks for visiting! Yes, this new Razr is a “smart” phone, while our old Razr phones were not too swift really. This new iPhone has a decent camera, which makes me happy, and it doubles as an iPod which is something I should have had by now. Now I can avail myself of all the ridiculously weird music I can find on the interwebs, e.g. Dr. Buck’s Letter.

  8. I have just had a great big blogging surprise. Google has changed their referrer presentation, and I see what I never suspected : of 600 hits I had yesterday, a little more than 500 came from images.

    Moral: pictures have to have descriptive or — if possible — defining titles.

    Do you mean the image captions or the image file names?

  9. Um 8 > 3; and that’s not counting all your lurkers.

    Anyhow, I’m still using a geriatric phone, but I think I’m going to make the leap next time. I did however jump into the future, or present as the case may be, with an e-reader…but for the past week, I’ve thought I was reading ‘Call of the Wild’, but I’ve really been reading ‘White Fang’. This mistake wouldn’t have happened with a real book.

    And speaking of ‘White Fang’– cute Oliver picture…and even cuter banana eatin’, spoon wieldin’ granddaughter pictures.

    Thank you Allison. So what reader did you jump to the future with?

    The granddaughter really blew our minds today. Midway through a diaper change, grandma decided to plop her on her new Fisher Price Froggy Potty, and she, uh, tinkled! What were we expecting I wonder …

    • The new Kindle Touch…

      Nice! I have vivid memories of Abby sitting on the potty saying “squeeze” and making a squeezy face with nothing happening…if I had only had the Froggy Potty.

      I now have the Kindle Fire. It’s nice.

      We were not expecting the tiny one to tinkle. She amazes us.

  10. Quote:
    “Do you mean the image captions or the image file names?”

    I do not know what they are. I use only one of these.For example, I have a post called “Maps”. It is a permanent top post. I vaguely thought that probably kids had to study maps, but one day I looked at the search keys more closely, and there was only one map which got all the hits.

    Another top post of mine is about an old sea map full of monsters. I also thought it was kids who had to learn how maps were not always what they are now. However, I found out that at least in the beginning what got the hits seems to have been a single photo of a deep ocean fish with a strange name.

    I used to think that the spiders relied mainly on text. Now I think they and the readers, both scan pictures to find information.

    Yes I see that the image in question has no caption beneath it. I wonder how the spiders examine pictures.

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