When Garry came into the bedroom, I was staring at the radio. Garry takes his hearing aids off at night, so we have bedtime conversations at high volume. Shouting, really.


“Why are you staring at the radio?”

“I’m trying to figure out if it’s on. Oh, it just started to make noise. It’s on.”

“But why are you staring at it?”

“I thought if I stared at it for a while, it would start to play. Or not. One way or the other, I would find out what the red light means.”

“What red light, and why are you staring at it? How will staring at it help?”

“That’s how I figure things out. It didn’t come with instructions.”

Pause. “Have you taken any drugs?”

“No. See, there’s the red light. I didn’t if know the red light means the CD player is on or off. I had to wait to see if it started playing. I was pretty sure a blinking red light means pause, but I wasn’t sure what a steady red light means. I waited when there was no light. Nothing happened. So I tried it the other way. Now it’s making noise. Therefore, the red light means it’s on. It’s slow getting started.”

radio and coffee cup plastic BW

I wasn’t trying to be funny, but Garry started to laugh and couldn’t stop. “That’s the sort of thing I would do,” he said,

“Well, how else would I know what the red light means?”

He laughed some more.

Garry thinks I know a lot of stuff I don’t really know, especially about technical issues. I push buttons. If staring (and waiting) doesn’t fix what’s broken, I push another button. Or push the same button again. Or hold the button for a couple of seconds and see if it does something different.

While I’m waiting, I watch. Intently. Maybe I’ll get a message. Isn’t this how everyone fixes stuff? I used to look things up in the manual, but since no one supplies a manual anymore, it’s more art than science.

My husband finds this hilarious.

I spend a lot of time staring at computers, waiting for something — anything — to happen. Hoping an idea will occur to me or for the system to reboot. To see if a blue screen will recur, or the diagnostic will tell me there’s no problem, even though I’m sure there is. For a message.

I must be doing something right. Beethoven is playing on the CD player/radio. And most of the time, the computers work.


Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge:
2015 Week #13

Welcome everyone to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. This challenge’s subject is the roads, walks, trails, rails, by which we move from place to place. You can walk them, climb them, drive them, ride them — as long as the way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable, as are any signs.




72-Steps-Out Back -2-26_39

St Petersburg bridge


I found this cartoon yesterday on Facebook. Yes, Facebook and let’s not hear anything more about it, please.

It sums up exactly how I feel the fools “up there” in the thrones of power are destroying education in this country. It’s only funny if you think it’s okay that we have a whole generation of kids coming through a system that does not allow them to learn.

our education system

They are passing tests. If they learn, it is in spite of the system, not because of it.

 Fool Me Once


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colorful monotone


I like monotone. I often wear outfits that are essentially monotone and my home decor tends to be tone-on-tone too. I choose clothing — and furniture — so that each part of the outfit or decor blends (rather than stands out) as a variant hue of a base color.

swans a pair


Garry asks me why I don’t dress with more contrast. He loves contrast … bright against dark.

Dawn after the blizzard

I can’t give a sensible answer. I love the subtlety of tone on tone. I always have. In the end, I guess we don’t need reasons to like what we like.

November Mallards Mumford

I prefer subtle shading to big splashes of color. Probably why I’ve never pursued HDR. Perhaps it’s because I started out learning photography on a completely manual camera using black and white film.

Yellow Bough

More likely, I always had that preference and all it took was a medium — photography — to bring it out.

Dawn Glow

Be that as it may, this challenge was made for me. Thank you Cee!

Pumpkin Patch 9


“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.”

It’s an old childhood chant, a miserably inadequate defense against bullies and bigots when one is small and powerless. It was oft-repeated, not only by we, the little victims, but by parents, teachers and other wise counselors. It was supposed to comfort us.

It didn’t because we all knew for a certainty it was untrue.

Names can and do hurt. The hurt caused by a cruel name goes deeper than any mere cut or bruise to the body. Psyches heal but slowly. Sometimes they never heal.

Horrible words. Can you still tell me — with a straight face — that names can’t hurt? Will you give me all your arguments that “political correctness” is stupid? That anything which makes it illegal or socially unacceptable to spew hate is too restrictive of free speech? Really? Your free speech? It’s not my free speech. I don’t talk that way and I don’t hang around anyone who does.

Do you actually believe it? Or did you read it as part of some rant on Facebook?

Of course names hurt. They’re intended to hurt. They have no other purpose on earth but to cause pain. These words carry with them the ugliness of generations of haters. It has been argued by otherwise respected bloggers that if a member of a minority (in your opinion) does you wrong, you have every right to strike back any way you can.

I disagree. Racial and ethnic name-calling epithets are never justified. By anything.

hate speech is not free

Is it the word or its intent that hurts so much? Both. Words have power.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

But wait a minute. I thought words could never hurt me? (Oh yes they can, yes they do.)

Words bring with them the weight of history. A hate word carries the ugliness of everyone who has spoken it. Each time these words fly into the air, their potency is renewed and reinforced.

It’s time to stop forgiving bigots, stop letting them off the hook. Those hate-filled monologues by drugged and drunken celebrities were no mere slips of the tongue. They were not caused by drugs or drink. You could fill me with all the drugs and booze in the world and you’d never hear that from me. Because it’s not in me.

People who talk hate never do so by accident. It isn’t because of their environment, upbringing, or environment. It’s a choice they made. They know exactly what they are saying and why. It isn’t a joke. It isn’t funny. It isn’t okay.

Excuses are not repentance. Don’t give bigots a second chance. Be politically correct. It’s not merely political correctness. It’s also the moral, righteous, decent, civil, and humane way to behave.


Share Your World – 2015 Week #13

What was your favorite subject in school?

Um, would you believe English? Followed by art and history? Probably no big surprise there.

books and the duke

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” (George Carlin). When have you had such a moment?

At my age, this is an unfair question. I can’t remember anything I haven’t written in my Google calendar.

I remember …

The first time I saw Jerusalem appear at the top of the mountain, from the taxi I was taking from the airport to my first little apartment in Gilo.

Infinite Grand Canyon

Seeing the Grand Canyon and thinking, wow, that’s really … wow. Really.

What’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, or numeric puzzles?

Crossword. Of course.

If you found an obviously abandoned car with $50,000 in the back seat, what would you do?

I’d assume the drug lord who left the money there would be back for it. If I take it, he will track me to the ends of the earth, then kill me and everyone I love.


I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order, Castle, CSI, NCIS, and The Black List. I don’t believe anyone just “forgets” $50,000. If it’s there, someone put it there and probably not a nice someone.

I’ll just tiptoe away before I get into real trouble. Okay, maybe I’ll take a few hundred. They’ll never miss it.


Tagline — Our blogs have taglines. What would your tagline be?

And this is as reckless as we ever got. Reckless enough!

I’ve probably had a lot of taglines over the years. Life isn’t one thing. It’s a long book with a lot of chapters. No one is the same person at 68 as they were at 28 or 45 or 50. So, just for the record, I’ll go with: {Are you ready?} … {pause} … {Wait for it} …


Don’t hold me to it. I have given this prompt the attention it deserves. Eighty-six words.