SHORT DIVISION – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Division

“Mom?”

“Yes. son?”

“We’re learning long division in school. I hate it. What’s short division? Maybe I would like short division better?”

“Son,” she answered, “Short division is what you can do with the fingers of one hand using just five fingers. If it doesn’t fit on five fingers, you will need medium division which uses two hands — ten fingers — after which it becomes long division for which you need a pencil and paper. At this stage, I use the calculator and a computer.”

“Oh,” he said. “Thanks.”

“And son?”

“Yes?”

“If it gets even more complicated? There’s always Google. Never forget Google.”

“You’re a real pal, Mom.”

“I know, kid.”

CALLING THE SQUIRRELS TO ORDER – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Order

It used to be that my merely tapping on the window glass convinced the squirrels to move on.

I have nothing against feeding a hungry squirrel, but the woods are warm. It is time for them to begin their return to eating foods which nature offers. They need to do a little digging, hunting and stop making a gawdawful mess on my deck.

In the name of saving a few bucks — and also delicately suggesting to feathered and furred critters that they need to return to the wild, I’m buying cheaper food. I know they don’t love the milo seeds in this feed.

It’s part of the encouragement to find food they like better. Meanwhile, there are piles of milo all over my deck which they toss there. Every evening we sweep it off the deck to the ground below where the doves — who actually like it — will stroll around the grounds munching on it.

When nesting begins, I’ll get richer food again. After nesting is finished, though, they need to remember to be wild. It’s a hard call and I’m a bit of a softie, as referees go.

Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?
Let me try a different approach …

This morning — and I don’t mean early this morning — the squirrels were chowing down with enthusiasm.

It was well into the day by then, like ten-thirty or eleven. The sun was high in the sky and shining brightly. I looked out my window. There was a party of squirrels fighting over who should be hanging on which part of which feeder. At least three were on the flat feeder and another pair were on the hanging feeder.

Scarred and scornful, I stand my ground!

I tapped loudly on the window and no one so much as twitched. Finally, I opened the window and called out “Hey, Fuzzies. Move your butts. Time to let the birds have a go at the food.”

They didn’t move. At all. They ignored me.

I finished dressing and made my way to the kitchen. A few squirrels had walked away. Slowly. No hurry. Probably laughing at me as they strolled slowly into the woodland that we otherwise call our “backyard.” Two more were still hanging on the flat feeder.

I tapped.

They ignored me.

I tapped harder.

They ignored me harder.

I see you. You see me. I’m eating, do you mind?

I finally opened the door, stepped out on the deck and said: “You guys need to move on. It’s almost noon. The sun is shining brightly. Betake yourselves to the forest and make your case with the oak trees. Find acorns. Rejoin nature.”

I’m still hungry …

They looked at me. I looked back.

Slowly they turned and even more slowly they climbed down the upright pole and made the short hop to the ground. It’s obvious that soon I will have to go outside and physically push them off the feeders.

Even that might not do the job. Soon, they may well decide they need to come into the house and sit at the dining table for a full dinner.

Is this a case for … (drumbeat) … the squirrel whisperers?

BEWARE OF MAN! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC – Beware of Man!

Harking back to yesterday’s long discussion of ARE YOUR VALUES WORTH A SONG AND A MOVIE? – Marilyn Armstrong which was based on Fandango’s Provocative Question #18:

Man (as opposed to a woman) should not lead a nation. Men are unsuited to the task. A man can be seduced by the size of a breast or beer.
A woman cannot.

A Talmud Legend relates the remarkable tale of how Alexander the Great searched for and found the gates of Paradise on Earth. Upon his appearance, however, he was not greeted knowingly by the Guardian of the Gate. The story reveals that even the most powerful, well-known or ‘great’ men need to be humbled, just like all of us on Earth need to be.

The legend goes as follows:

Once arriving at the gates of Paradise, Alexander the Great knocked persistently on the doors and demanded to be let inside. An Angel finally came calmly to the entrance and asked ‘Who is there?’

Alexander boldly announced, “It is I, the Great Conqueror and Lord of the Earth. Open the gates.” The Angel (to Alexander’s surprise and disappointment), said “We know him not. This is the Lord’s gate, only the righteous enter here.”

Incapable of persuading the Angel to allow his entrance, Alexander the Great prepared to go. Unwilling to leave the gates without some sort of token for his accomplishment for at least discovering the location of the abode of the just, he bravely asked the Guardian of the Gate for a gift. Granting his wish the Guardian gave him a small valuable item and said, “Take this, may it prove useful unto thee, and teach thee wisdom, more wisdom than thou hast acquired during thy ambitious expeditions and pursuits.”

Realizing the gift was nothing more than a piece of bone, Alexander the Great was angered and threw it down to the ground. An accompanying wise and learned man hastened Alexander to reconsider the value of the gift from the abode of the just and offered to weigh it upon the scales. Alexander allowed the wise man to do so. On one side was placed the small fragment of bone. The other side was filled with gold. No matter how much gold continued to be placed upon the scale, the fragment of bone outweighed it. The more gold put onto the scale, the lower the bone sank.

Confused, Alexander asked what could outweigh the bone. The wise man proceeded to show him and covered the bone with dust from the ground. Instantly, the side of the scale with the fragment flew up.

It was realized, “The bone was that which surrounds the eye of man; the eye of man which naught can satisfy save the dust which covers the grave.”

How, then, can a MAN lead a nation when nothing can satisfy him except his own grave? Beware the greed of man. Beware man and his hormones, his endless need for dominance, his demands for power and proof of his superiority. He will never be enough. He can never have enough.

Beware the creature who is a man!

WORLD WITHOUT WI-FI? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Wi-Fi

Although we have managed to remove cable television from our lives, you just can’t do without wi-fi. As a result, Charter/Spectrum’s wi-fi now cost more than their entire cable package used to cost. $76 for a $10 telephone and the rest, wi-fi.

For the moment. I’m sure it will cost more soon enough.

Considering that wi-fi is no longer a luxury for most people, maybe it’s time to set some controls on how much it costs? It used to cost $30, then $40, $50 and now, $65. Next year, the sky is probably the limit. I bet before we hit 2020, I’ll be paying more for JUST the wi-fi than I was paying for the whole cable package. And we only have ONE source here. We can pick Spectrum (Charter) or nothing. When you live in a small town, you don’t get lots of choices.

There are at least some regulations on electricity and other basic utilities. How about some kind of regulation for wi-fi?

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I’m going to be (again) at UMass today. Transthoracic Echocardiogram. I hope I’m in and out quickly, but you never know. It depends on what they see. I would much prefer they see everything ticking along like the proverbial clock.

It’s all “ultrasonic transducer.” At least something works without wi-fi! If they let me look at the pictures, I’ll be happy. I like it when I can see what they are seeing.

SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT AND STRAIGHT ON TIL’ MORNING! – Marilyn Armstrong

YOU CAN FLY! – RDP-SUNDAY–TUNE

This tune has been running through my head all morning. Why? Maybe it was trying to get the birds to hold still for me? But I can’t get it out of my head, so TUNE is the perfect word for my morning.

You CAN fly!


Lyrics

But, Peter, how do we get to Never Land?
Fly, of course!
Fly!
It’s easy! All you have to do is to is to is to
Huh That’s funny!

What’s the matter?

Don’t you know?

Oh sure, it’s, it’s just that I never thought about it before

Say, that’s it! You think of a wonderful thought!
Any happy little thought?

Uhhuh

Like toys at Christmas? Sleigh bells? Snow?

Yep! Watch me nowhere I go! It’s easier than pie!

He can fly! He can fly! He flew!
Now, you try

I’ll think of a mermaid lagoon
Oh underneath a magic moon
I’ll think I’m in a pirate’s cave
I’ll think I’ll be an Indian brave

Now, everybody try one, two, three!
We can fly! We can fly! We can fly!
This won’t do what’s the matter with you?
All it takes is faith and trust oh!
And something I forgot Dust!
Dust? Dust?
Yep! Just a little bit of pixie dust

Now, think of the happiest things
It’s the same as having wings
Let’s all try it, just once more
Look! We’re rising off the floor
Jiminy! Oh my! We can fly!
You can fly! We can fly!
Come on, everybody, here we go!
Off to Never Land!

Think of a wonderful thought
Any merry little thought
Think of Christmas, think of snow
Think of sleigh bells off you go!
Like a reindeer in the sky
You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!

Think of the happiest things
It’s the same as having wings
Take the path that moonbeams make
If the moon is still awake
You’ll see him wink his eye
You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!

Up you go with a heigh and ho
To the stars beyond the blue
There’s a Never Land waiting for you
Where all your happy dreams come true
Every dream that you dream will come true

When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your cares goodbye
You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!

There it is, Wendy, second star to the right
And straight on ’til morning

Songwriters: Sammy Cahn / Sammy Fain
You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

I was almost six when this movie was released. It was the year my sister was born and it was playing everywhere. My Aunt Ethel and Uncle Herman took me to see the movie at Radio City Music Hall. It was the only time I was there and I loved the movie. Of course, I was 5, so you’d figure I’d love it. But then, my Aunt Kate took me to see it. Then my Aunt Yetta took me to see it too. Overall, I think I saw it at least five times in less than two weeks. So unlike other Disney movies, all of which I saw (Mom was a Disney fan), this one really lodged firmly in my brain.

There are some pretty racist sections in it about Natives and I can’t watch it anymore. There are sections like that in all the early animations and that’s no doubt why they are redoing almost all of those movies. That being said, I swear I can see every frame of this original movie.

I also had the book with the 45 rpm records that told you when to turn the page in the book with the sound of Hook’s clock ticking.

LOVELY RITA METER MAID! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Meter

I can’t help it. Music jumps into my head when I hear a specific word. And it sits there until I find something else to take up that earworm place in my brain.

Brain.

I got tested for cognition, but they didn’t let me have a mouse. I think I missed half the questions because of the strange device I was supposed to use. Whatever happened to point and click? This was clearly designed for the computer under-achiever. They need to rethink the testing and use actual computer tools for people who actually use computers.

I’m sure Garry would NEVER have passed that test because he’d still be there trying to figure out how that circular twirly device that was supposed to take the place of a mouse was supposed to work. If you don’t come in stupid, the bad design will finish you off!

Meanwhile — Lovely Rita Meter Maid is wriggling between my earlobes. Oh look! It’s dancing, too!

I didn’t bother to add the lyrics. We all know them, right? You don’t? You must be young.

TEMPERATURE AND WINTER IN NEW ENGLAND – Marilyn Armstrong, Photos -Garry Armstrong

RDP Thursday – TEMPERATURE

“Oh, the temperature outside is shocking …” and it really is. Really really cold, though it’s supposed to go up into the 40s over the weekend. I hope so. Because nothing is melting.

Photo Garry Armstrong

Photo Garry Armstrong
Photo Garry Armstrong
Holly, By Garry Armstrong