GETTING NOSY AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

Judy Dykstra Brown popped up with these questions and I found them kind of interesting. Also, I haven’t done this in quite a while, so why not? Right now, the shower installers are back removing ALL the grout and replacing it with the right stuff. I knew something was wrong. It just took a while to convince them that something was amiss.

Meanwhile, we can’t use the shower until tomorrow, but it is fixed.

Does anyone know the odds of getting a contractor to come back and fix something? I think approaching zero would be pretty accurate. Kudos that they came and did it properly this time.

1.  Do you like mustard? No, though honey mustard is an exception.
2. Choice of carbonated drink? Black Cherry ICE. It’s a lightly carbonated water and fruit juice with no sweetener.
3. Do you own a gun? No!
4. Whiskey, Tequilla, Rum or Vodka? We don’t drink.
5. Hot dogs or Cheeseburgers? Cheeseburgers. Garry, though, heavily favors hot dogs.
6. Favorite Type Of Food? Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Mexican (GOOD Mexican which is almost impossible to find in New England)
7. Do you believe in ghosts? Sort of.
8. What do you drink in the mornings? Coffee!
9. Can you do 100 pushups? Not even one.
10. Summer, Winter, spring or fall? Fall. If we had Spring, I’m sure I’d like it.
11. Favorite hobby? Photography, writing, reading. I still miss horses.
12. Tattoos? One which is uniquely mine.
13. Do you wear glasses? Yes. Two kinds. One is for using the computer and another for distance. I don’t wear glasses to read.
14. Phobia? Spiders.
15. Nickname? Hey, YOU! Also, Owen’s mommy, and Garry’s wife.
16. Three drinks you drink? Coffee, ginger ale, ICE, fruit juice (especially orange and grapefruit).
17. Biggest downfall? Unable to travel and can’t walk very far — OR do stairs. My sporting life is over and I will never pitch for the Sox.
18. Rain or Snow? Rain!
19. Piercings? Just ears.
21. Kids? One 50-year-old son and a 23-year-old granddaughter.
22. Favorite colors? Cobalt blue,  hot dark pink, wine red, and racing green accented with black.
23. Favorite age? 40 was good. 43 was even better.
24. Can you whistle? No.
25. Where were you born? Brooklyn, New York
26. Brothers or Sisters? 1 older brother, 1 younger sister. I’m in the middle.
28. Surgeries? When I exceeded 20, I stopped counting. Now, I can’t remember.
29. Shower or Bath? Shower. Last time I tried a bath, I couldn’t get out of the tub. Now, we don’t have a tub, just a big shower.
30. Like gambling? Not for real money. I love games, but I don’t want to lose my money and I don’t want to take someone else’s.
32. Broken bones? No. I specialize in torn ligaments and tendons.
33. How many TVs in your house? 3 – Living room, bedroom; Owen has his own.
34. Worst pain in your life? Having my spine fused. Emotionally? Losing my brother.
35. Do you like to dance? Yes, but I can’t anymore
36. Are your parents still alive? No.
37. Do you like to go camping? No. We used to “cabin camp” in Maine. That was okay except for the outhouse. Too many crawly things.

Please play along! These are fun to do and fun to read.
Copy, paste, change the answer!!

FORTY LITTLE QUESTIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

Cheryl (aka, The Bag Lady) published a list of 40 questions labeled “odd things about me” that she received from her sister. 40 seems like a lot of questions, but they’re short and don’t require a whole lot of thought. Short works for me, so like Fandango, I figured I give them a try. I’ve got all this blog space coming up and my head seems rather empty of creative ideas. I added question 28. It seemed wrong to leave the list at 39.


1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes. But it’s an acquired taste. I like it on toast or crumbled in a salad.

2. Coke or Pepsi? Coke.

3. Do you own a gun? Nope.

4. What flavor of Kool-aid? Yuck.

5. Hot dogs? Garry loves them. I’ll eat them, but it’s not a favorite food.

6. Favorite TV show?Rake” was my favorite for a long time — and I’m still hoping they’ll put up one more year. At the moment? We are re-watching MidSomer Murders. But before that, Good Omens was really good — and before that? Lucifer. Whatever I’m binge-watching is probably my current favorite. 

7. Do you believe in ghosts? No.

8. What do you drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do a push-up? No. I’m afraid my heart will fall out.

10. Favorite jewelry? All my Native American jewelry. Especially earrings.

11. Favorite Hobby? Writing and photography. At this point, they are equal.

12. Do you have ADD? No, but I have lots of other cool chronic illnesses.

13. Do you wear glasses? Only when I need to see anything.

14. Favorite cartoon character? George of the Jungle.

Original 1960s George of the Jungle cartoon

15. Three things you did today? Ate, made dinner and listened to the thunder and the pelting rain mixed with sunshine. Weird weather.

16. Three drinks you drink regularly? Coffee, Coke, sports drinks, fruit juice.

17. Current movies? Haven’t been to the movies much and what I’ve seen hasn’t exactly overwhelmed me. Some of it’s not bad, but nothing seemed all that special.

18. Do you believe in magic? I wish. I’d like to believe, but I don’t.

19. Favorite place to be? Home.

20. How do you ring in the New Year? Watching the festivities at the Boston Hatch Shell and the fireworks. Kissing Garry while the dogs kiss us.

21. Travel? Where would you go? Paris, England (the parts I missed the first time), maybe the French wine country — then probably New Zealand. and, should I live that long, Australia.

Somewhere in Ireland

22. Name five people who will most likely read this? No doubt the same handful of people who read most of my stuff. There are obviously others, but I don’t know who they are.

23. Favorite movie? I have a long list: Casablanca, The Lion in Winter, Tombstone, A Mighty Wind … and so many others and almost anything made by Mel Brooks.

24. Favorite color? Deep blue at the moment, but it changes depending on my mood.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. They are slippery. The only time they were on the bed (not MY bed!), I fell out. As I said, slippery.

26. Can you whistle? No.

27. Where are you now? Home.

28. Where were you yesterday? Home.

29. Favorite food? Shrimp tempura.

30. Least favorite chore? Cleaning the toilets.

31. Best job you can think of? Best-selling novelist whose best-selling novel got sold to the movies for a buttload of money.

32. What’s in your pockets? Nothing. No pockets.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Last night, rereading Terry Pratchett’s “Thud.”

34. Favorite animal? My dogs. But I’ve loved cats, horses, ferrets, and parrots, too.  

35. What’s your most recent injury? Lying wrongly while I slept — then having to get out of that position and stand up until all the parts fell back into place.

36. How many TV’s are in your house? Three, but the third one is leftover. Can’t get rid of it and refuse to pay to have it taken away.

37. Worst pain ever? Waking up after spine surgery. Followed by waking up after heart surgery.

38. Do you like to dance? Nope.

39. Are your parents still alive? No.

40. Do you enjoy camping? Only in a screened house and even then, I really hated the outhouse. I could deal with the rest of it. But now? I want hot water. A comfortable bed. And NO bugs.

PET PEEVES – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. ONE PLY TOILET PAPER

Don’t people realize that you have to use twice as much one-ply as two-ply so you end up not saving any money? And that’s not taking the comfort factor into consideration.

My master bathroom toilet paper roll

2. OVER OR UNDER

On the subject of toilet paper, it’s OVER people! The patent application for the toilet paper holder shows the roll going over, not under.

My toilet paper decor in the powder room

3. WEATHER CHANGES

I’ve been checking the weather regularly and we’ve had an unseasonably warm spell. The one day I forget to check, the temperature dips 25 degrees and I freeze my buns off in my unsuitably light clothes!

 

  1. FOOD DISAPPOINTMENTS

Some days I wake up thinking about the cinnamon sugar croissant at my local bakery. It’s amazing! It’s one of the few things that can make me break my perpetual diet (I’m on Prednisone and gained ten pounds last year). I look forward to this sugary treat all the way to the store – and they’re out! I can taste the disappointment and it’s nothing like my beloved croissant.

This doesn’t look half as delicious as my favorite treat!

  1. SLEEPLESS AT DAWN

My dogs wake me around 6 AM to feed them. I stagger downstairs and go through their morning routine in a sleepy haze. I stumble back to bed and fall right back to sleep. Except when I don’t. There are days when, for some reason, I wake up completely somewhere between the bedroom and the kitchen. I am suddenly full of energy. This is a problem because I go to bed around 1 AM and I need more than five hours sleep to get through the day. So I lie awake thinking of things that agitate or depress me and just exacerbate the situation. Finally I’ll fall back to sleep, but that sleepless hour or two is SO annoying! Chronic insomnia must be unbearable.

  1. FORGETFULNESS

I’ve put a reminder on my phone that’s set to go off the same time every day to make sure I don’t forget to take my medicines in the morning. (I never seem to forget at night). I don’t forget often anymore, so I’ve gotten used to turning off the reminder each day after I’ve taken my meds. But now I’m so used to turning off the reminder, that I turned it off automatically the other day even when I hadn’t taken my meds.

I forgot to take my pills but I turned off the reminder anyway. On Autopilot. Something is wrong with this system – or is it just me?

  1. LAZY GUARD DOG

One of my dogs, Lexi, is my self-assigned protector. She sounds the alarm with loud barking whenever she sees or hears something outside of her definition of ‘ordinary’. Unfortunately, she’s also lazy. So when she’s on the bed with me and hears something ‘suspicious’ downstairs, she doesn’t go down to investigate or scare off the intruders. Instead, she leaps up and proceeds to scream in her high volume, piercing bark, directly into my ear!

If I go prematurely deaf, it won’t be due to the loud rock and roll of my youth – it will be all Lexi’s fault!

Lexi

BOOKISH QUESTIONS AND ODDLY BRIEF ANSWERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango plucked these from the blog of Melanie at who picked them up from Teresa. Interesting book questions for those of us who read.

The Questions:

1-Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?
2-Have you ever claimed to have read a book when you haven’t?
3-Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
4-Have you ever read a series out-of-order?
5-Have I ever spoiled a book for someone?
6-Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
7-Have you ever bad-mouthed a book you actually liked?

And now, the answers – because I can discuss books and remain sane.

1-Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been gifted?

No. Everyone I know is desperate to get rid of books, not collect them. We are all rather bookish people and books come to you like iron filings to a magnet.

2-Have you ever claimed to have read a book when you haven’t?

No. If I haven’t read it, I will say I haven’t read. Sometimes I’ll even explain why I haven’t read it. Usually, I have a reason.

3-Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

No, but I’ve given away books and hoped I never got them back. Oddly enough, they always come back.

4-Have you ever read a series out-of-order?

Sure. I try to read them in order, but sometimes, you read a book, realize there are other books in the series and you go back and read them.

5-Have I ever spoiled a book for someone?

Not intentionally or that I know about.

6-Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

I’ve put down books and never picked them up again. If I don’t like it, I won’t bother to finish it. I have read a lot of books and I’ve never been embarrassed about not reading another one.

7-Have you ever bad-mouthed a book you actually liked?

No. But I have complimented books and given moderately good reviews to books I really didn’t like. Authors are sensitive. I hate hurting their feelings and just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean someone else might not love it. Also, believe it or not, authors read reviews. Even mine.

SPOOKY SHARING ON HALLOWEEN – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World

“Spooky”  Share Your World


Today is Halloween! Got your costume ready? Stocked up on candy? Good. I’m looking forward to a bag full of candy. Yum.


Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.

I wouldn’t BE in a dark forest OR an abandoned building. Especially not in combination.

Share the creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone.

I found a spider in my bed. I screamed, then I dislodged it. I have no rational fear of spiders. I’m just scared to death of them. Mindless paranoia.

What would you like your last words to be?

See you soon!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

No.

How long do you think you would last in a horror movie?

I wouldn’t even be in the audience, much less the movie.

Are you afraid of or find clowns creepy?

I find clowns weird, but not necessarily creepy. But I also don’t find them particularly funny — even when I was a kid.

In the zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?

First, I plan to be living in one of the world’s best anti-Zombie apocalypse location on earth.

Other than that, I figure a paint gun with iron filings in the paint. You know, all creatures from the Never world are terrified of iron.

Have you ever had your tarot cards read?

I used to read them. I creeped myself out.

Anyone know the reason behind putting candles in jack-o-lanterns?

I assumed to make them light up in the dark. No?

Do you think putting special emphasis on certain holidays – like Halloween is ‘spooky’ for example — is a good idea or just more mindless entertainment for the masses? 

I like Halloween when I was a kid, but it wasn’t nearly the big deal it has become. The problem in this country is that every holiday eventually becomes another way for malls to draw crowds. People actually sent Halloween cards. Halloween cards? Really?

Share a positive thought or message or something that’s inspired you this week.

The Red Sox did it! Their best team ever took the World Series, their fourth win in 14-years. Yay Sox!

FORTY QUESTIONS UPON WHICH THE WORLD’S FATE DOES NOT HANG! – Marilyn Armstrong


Cheryl (aka, The Bag Lady) published a list of 40 questions labeled “odd things about me” that she received from her sister. Although 40 seems like a lot of questions, they’re short and don’t require a lot of thought. The idea of making a post I don’t have to really think about was deeply appealing.


1. Do you like blue cheese? Yum. 

2. Coke or Pepsi? Coke.

3. Do you own a gun? I used to have a b-b gun, but I gave it to my son.

4. What flavor of Kool-aid? Bug juice? Seriously?

5. Hot dogs? I like the new Nathan’s unprocessed ones. They actually taste good.

6. A favorite TV show? Currently “Rake” but it depends on the day you ask.

7. Do you believe in ghosts? Only when I meet them in the hallway.

8. What do you drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do a push-up? Maybe one half.

10. Favorite Jewelry? Anything Native American. It’s all about the stones.

11. Favorite Hobby? Blogging.

12. Do you have ADD? More like OCD.

13. Do you wear glasses? Only if I need to see 

14. Favorite cartoon character? George of the Jungle

15. Three things you did today? Wrote, wrote, took some pictures, processed pictures, wrote, wrote, still writing and deleted several hundred emails. Not done yet. 

16. Three drinks you drink regularly? Coffee, some kind of sports drink, and whatever fruit juice looked good this week.

17. Current movies? What’s current?

18. Do you believe in magic? I would really LIKE to believe. But really, no. 

19. Favorite place to be? Home.

20. How did you ring in the New Year? Watching old movies. We do kiss at midnight. 

21. Travel? Where would you go? Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti.

22. Name five people who will most likely read this? I assume five of the people who follow my blog and comment on most of my posts. I have more than 14,000 other followers, but they don’t talk to me.

23. Favorite movie? The Lion In Winter.

24. Favorite color? Black.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. They are slippery. I fell out of bed.

26. Can you whistle? No.

27. Where are you now? Home.

29. Favorite food? Japanese. Almost anything.

30. Least favorite chore? Cleaning mold from between the bathroom tiles. Second least favorite? Weeding the garden. 

31. Best job you can think of? Managing editor, feature newspaper. It was just SWELL. 

32. What’s in your pockets? Nothing. I’m wearing a nightgown and bathrobe.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? When they fired another one of Charlie Baker’s appointed city managers. Hah!

34. Favorite animal? Dogs.

35. What’s your most recent injury? You mean like when my heart stopped and they had to replace two valves, do a bypass and install a pacemaker? Does that count?

36. How many TV’s are in your house? Two. Garry is the only one who uses the one in the bedroom. He watches old black & white movies and I read books.

37. Worst pain ever? Coming out of heart surgery. I tried to beat up the duty nurse. They put me back under for two more days. I was seriously pissed off. Or maybe it was when I had spine surgery and it infected. Hard to remember. I was not a happy camper.

38. Do you like to dance? Not any more.

39. Are your parents still alive? No.

40. Do you enjoy camping? No.


Now you copy and paste the questions to your blog, but replace my answers with yours. One easy-peasy post!

FASHIONISTA? ME? SERIOUSLY? – Marilyn Armstrong

I need to start out by pointing out I will not wear anything that isn’t comfortable. Gone are the high heels, tight anything (skirts, pants, sweaters, forget it!) and in is anything elastic. Even my jeans are elastic. If it doesn’t stretch, I don’t wear it.

I hate “dressy” events because I don’t own dressy clothing. I did, back when we were both working and Garry had events to which we were required to go, but now? I have some dresses, but I can’t wear shoes to go with them. And pantyhose? Seriously?

We’ve invented telephones that rule the world, but we can’t do better than pantyhose?

That being said, don’t expect much from this!

Daily Topic Subject – Fashionista!

Q1] How important is colour in your life?

In my life? Color is important. Not so much in my clothing, though. I wear grey, black, tan, taupe.

Occasionally red or orange … and navy. Not a thrilling palette. But the house has color — in pictures and statues and pottery.

Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?

Denim.

Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?

Photo: Garry Armstrong –

Black.

Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?

I don’t OWN fancy clothing anymore. I can’t wear dressy shoes — and I can’t balance on high heels.

So overdressing is unlikely. If it requires that level of dress? I probably won’t go.

PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]

Sleep tees in the warm weather and flannel nightgowns in the winter. And don’t knock socks. I have the world BEST sock collection.

Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?

We live in New England. I have hot weather clothing, warm weather dress, cool and chilly weather clothing, cold weather clothing, very cold weather clothing, brutally cold weather clothing, and arctic-level clothing.

PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?

I tell them I was sick and not go.

Happy anniversary!

Garry might go alone, but if he had to wear a tie, I doubt he’d go either.

Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?

At my age, I don’t have those meetings or appointments. If they are my age, they are also wearing sweatpants.

Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]

More boots!

I have maybe 20 pairs of shoes, 10 of which are really old and I don’t actually wear them but they aren’t worn out, so I keep them. Mostly, I wear sandals in the summer and Uggs in the winter. In between, I wear SOCKS.

Q10] Do you have classic clothing or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?

I consider it classic. Others might say I’m a slob. Sweatshirts, tee-shirts, and jeans. I’ve been wearing this same clothing since I was a young teenager. Oh, and I have not one but three Navy Peacoats.

Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?

Plain. Elastic. Washable. Dryable.

PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?

No.

Q13]  Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?

Ankle socks with sticky bits on the bottom when I’m in the house. Knee high in the winter and if that isn’t warm enough, it’s too cold to go out.

Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?

Not really. I wish I could say yes, but really, no.

PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]

I don’t think I’ve EVER done that.

Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?

When I try to put on the nightgown and my finger goes through the fabric, I figure I probably need a new one. Also, as I get older and everything droops, I have to buy different sizes.

I’m also getting shorter (we shrink with age), so that’s a factor. But otherwise? I have winter and summer clothing. This is New England. It’s all about the weather.

Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?

Nope. Byt the time tie-dye was in, I was a mother working full time. I missed that whole dressing thing.

Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?

I have an orange dress.

Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardobe? How often do you actually wear it?

I have a deep winter coat from Land’s End that cost me about $250. I wear it when the temperatures fall significantly below zero (Fahrenheit, NOT Celsius).

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

No.

Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired  more so?

I like not looking like I just crawled out of a ditch, so clean matters. I only wear the hairy, dog-hair covered stuff at home. The dogs do not care. And anyway, Garry is similarly attired.

GAME OF LIFE AND THE MEANING OF EVERYTHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I pick these up from Melanie B Cee at:

sparksfromacombustiblemind –
EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL

She gets them elsewhere so I’ll pass it upward and she can pass it forward or backward. Whichever. Chainmail has never worked well for me.

This is an interesting bunch of questions. I probably would have been more amusing with them when I was younger. I’ve pretty much settled down.

The Rules …

1] Leave the Permanent Questions [PQ] always in place PLEASE.

2] Reblog should you so desire

3] If you do reblog, a pingback would always be welcomed so l don’t miss it.

4] This is a non-tagger/ non-nomination game.

Today’s questions are perhaps a little bit more taxing, however, this is the way of life as we know it, and there is never anything wrong with a little bit of thought provocation is there?


Questions:


Q1] What is your take on ‘free will?’

I will restate something someone said to me many years ago. “Life,” she said, “is a room. There’s furniture there. You can sit on the sofa or a chair. Or even on the floor. But you can’t leave the room because that’s your room. And your life.”

Personally, I tend to view it more as a bus. We get on the bus when we are born and we go traveling. We don’t really know where we are going or when the bus will stop. We are not driving the bus and whenever we try to drive, we discover we actually don’t know how. Our attempts to drive are often rudely interrupted by a reality we didn’t expect. We can sit anywhere we like, enjoy the company of other travelers, and occasionally, when the bus stops for fuel, we get to wander around in some strange and new place if we so choose.

We don’t know how long the trip will take or exactly where we will end up. Somewhere. Hopefully somewhere we love.

The single thing we can never do is drive the bus. Whenever we are certain we are (finally) in control, we soon discover we are not. We have free will, but only to a point.

Q2] We all ask ourselves at one time or another what is the point?  So what is the point to our existence?

I’m not sure there IS a point.

Q3] What do you believe about Fate and Karma?

I don’t know. It depends on when you ask me. Mostly, I don’t know.

Q4] As a species, how do you think humans will become extinct or do you believe that we will not?

I think we will go extinct, but I also believe the universe will become extinct and the sun will blow up. Nothing lasts forever.

PQ5] What is your belief with regards the meaning of life?

Another “I don’t know.” Does life have a meaning? Or is life itself the meaning?

Q6] Ok, fess up, do you believe in aliens from outer space – is there really other life out there in the far-reaching galaxies beyond our own?

I assume there is something out there that is intelligent. I’m also pretty sure we either haven’t met them, or they dropped by, took one look, decided we were hopeless and left.

PQ7] What is your best quote for ‘living life?’

Life is short. Eat dessert first.

Q8] What doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger – yes or no? Explain.

That is one of those placebo explanations that people use when they don’t know what else to say. Many things ARE stronger than us and yes, it can and does kill us. Many people I loved are dead. “It” didn’t make them stronger.

Q9] What would you say have been your biggest successes in life?

Still being here when I’m pretty sure I ought to be dead.

Q10] If you could find out the exact time and cause of your death – would you want to know?

No.

Q11] Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?

All of the above, but I think I’ve helped my family to the extent that I am capable of helping. I think I’d rather try and help our society, such as it isn’t and after that, what’s left of our world.

PQ12] If humanity was put on trial by an advanced race of aliens, how would you defend humanity and argue for its continued existence?

I wouldn’t. I think as a race we don’t deserve our world.

Q13]  What is the biggest waste of human potential?

Our overall stupidity.

Q14] We often see those that write ‘what would you say to a younger you?’ However, what would you say today to a future you?

I would run like hell. Anything I said would be a disaster. And undoubtedly wrong in every possible way.

PQ15] Why do you think that as a species, humans need to believe in something? Be this religion, fate, karma, magical, mystique and so on.

I don’t think we need to believe in something. Many people don’t and they are just fine. Right and wrong are not religious principles. They are part of our DNA.

Q16] If we could not retain any of our memories – who would we be?

Jellyfish.

Q17] Time is such an important part of our world, but do you think you would notice if time was altered in any way?

It would depend. Am I still in this world? Am I in a parallel universe? Am I suffering hallucinations? Dementia?

Q18] How important is playing in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

Critical to development. If we don’t play, we do not grow. It is during play that we learn to lose, learn to make deals, learn how to arrange life to suit our needs.

Q19] With no laws or rules to influence your behavior, how do you think you would behave?

Exactly the way I do now, except hopefully, with many fewer bills to pay.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Nope. Just went with the flow.

Q21] Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?

Yes, because I think if we believe a dog in pain needs to be let out of his misery, why would we be less kind to a human being? But that’s an opinion. Not a fact. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I will respect it.

THE NEWEST, SHINIEST “SHARE YOUR WORLD” – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – 9-17-18


What is your favorite beverage?  

Favorite hot drink? Coffee.

Favorite cold drink? Not so clear. I like Coke, but I also love fruit juice. All kinds of flavors, too.

What is your interpretation of ‘The Golden Rule”?  Are there ramifications to breaking it?

I go with the Jewish version: “Don’t do to someone else what you wouldn’t want to be done to you.” It is the summary of most religious law.

Are there ramifications? Only if you have a conscience. Too many people don’t seem to have even a minimal sense of right and wrong. But they go to church.

Sunrise or sunset person?  

A gull at sunrise

It used to be sunrise because you can’t see a sunset on this property. Lately,  it has been sunset when I’m somewhere not so “treed” in.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Do people in modern society anthropomorphize animals too much? 

I don’t think we do, but some do. I don’t have a “count” on how many do what. I do know we love them a lot and why not? They love us back and they never pick on you for your faults.

What were you grateful for during the past week?      

Our anniversary, seeing old wonderful loving friends, and making an amazing clam and shrimp chowder 😀

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM VARIOUS PLACES JUST BECAUSE – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s were:

Why did you begin blogging? What got you started? What keeps you doing it?

I started blogging because I had nothing more interesting to do. I was retired and I had a lot a lot of photographs which I figured I could post.

October — canal and river

I have continued it because I turned out to be good at it. It gives me something to do with all the weird ideas I get and need to write about. It turns out there are a lot of people who are amused by weird ideas.

What — if anything — do you hope to gain from blogging?

Nothing. I have never been able to consider this a money-making endeavor. To make money, I would have to write what people want to read. Worse, I’d have to write what sponsors want to hear.

For free, it keeps me busy. It also makes me think, requires that I not fall into a depressive slump which is easy when you aren’t doing anything that feels worthwhile. Also, I make friends and communicate with people all over the world.

What do you do in the blog world that makes you feel the proudest?

Sometimes, I can give good advice and every once in a while, I get the opportunity to help somebody.

What makes you follow a blog?

Often because it’s funny, or someone has an intelligent way of looking at the world. Good writing counts for a lot.

Do you regard the people you meet online as real (not-virtual) friends?

Yes.


Marilyn’s Questions are:

Your favorite Season of the whole year and why.

October 13

Autumn. Always Autumn and it’s coming soon. It’s the quality of the air, that “snap” you get. The colors of the leaves. There is an energy to fall you don’t get any other time of the year.

What’s the most mystical or magical thing you ever experienced? 

I’d really rather not say. Or I could say, but then I’d have to kill you.

Do you enjoy a lot of company or are you happiest when in solitude?

I rarely enjoy a LOT of company, but I also don’t necessarily want to be entirely alone, either. With Garry, family, and good friends.

Would you do something dishonest if there were no witnesses?

No. Unless a life was at stake.

What is one destination you’d like to visit before you die?

The south of France, Rome, and the stone circles of England.

ULTIMATELY QUESTIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

I got these from sparksfromacombustiblemind – 
EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL…

She got them from https://teleportingweena.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/friendly-fill-ins-18/ (ghostmmnc)

who got them from https://fourleggedfurballs.blogspot.com/2018/07/friendly-fill-ins.html

Who knows the origins? Not me!

The questions:

1. When it is hot, I _________.

Go out only when I need to go out and depending on how hot it is, I may not go out at all.

If it is also very humid, breathing gets difficult, so I hang inside with the air conditioning. Not ideal, but breathing matters.

2. I am looking forward to _________ this month.

Surviving. This month is going to be bumpy. No matter how I look at it, I wish we could all wake up next October.

Welcome to UMass Hospital

Warning, warning, I’m going to be missing in action a fair bit.

3. The theme song of my life would be _________.

I have no idea. Not a clue. Pick something you like and hang it on me.

4. There is no such thing as _________.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Anything that looks too good to be true, is too good and isn’t true. Other ways to put it? When it sounds like a lie?

ex-astris-scientia.org

It’s a lie. When it sounds fake? It’s fake. When your president says he’s going to get rid of your healthcare and give you something cheaper and better? He’s lying.

5. Quick final question: How do you know if Trump is lying?

His lips are moving.

QUESTION FOR THE SHARING WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – May 7, 2018

If you were given $22 million tax-free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do? 

Same as last time. Pay off the house. Possibly knock it down and build one more suitable to our needs.

Home, now

Help out my friends and family who need it. Take a really lovely vacation for which someone other than me makes ALL the arrangements.

Hire a cook and people to clean the house. Get my hair cut by someone who won’t scalp me. Get more Bomba socks!

In what do you find the simplest of joys?

Pretty much all my joys are simple. I’m not sure what a complicated joy would be.

I’m just happy when all the bills are paid and nothing is broken or breaking down.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

I want that vacation, but I want someone else to take care of it. ALL of it. Reservations. Tickets.

Literally everything from leaving home to returning. I don’t want to worry about money or travel connections or whether or not they will let me have a bottle of shampoo on my flight.

Spring dog with window

Spring window, with dog

Usually, when all is said and done, this means staying home.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

This was not a very smiley week. I was grateful to finally have normal weather and some sunshine.

A flower or two would have been grand, but the leaves are coming out, so if we aren’t bright with color, at least we are green. Each time I look out the window, I see the leaves have gotten bigger. Spring is happening in a huge hurry, trying I think to make up for all that lost time!

Happy birthday, Owen!

WILLOW’S FEARFUL QUESTION & MY IRRESPONSIBLE ANSWERS

Willow has posed some fearful questions. It was more than a week ago, but I saved them because usually, I don’t do this stuff … but these are interesting. So here are the fearfully interesting questions. My answers may not necessarily be equally interesting answers.


Fearful questions

It’s been a long time since I’ve asked questions, and I had these floating around in my mind. So anyway, I had some questions about how you, dear reader, deal with fear, or maybe the unexpected, in your world. There aren’t that many of them.  But maybe you might find the them interesting…

Do you now, or have you ever, looked behind a closed shower curtain before using the bathroom?

No. Not even immediately following watching Alfred Hitchcock.

Do you look in your back seat — or taking it further, under your car — before getting in to drive?

Not since I got back from Israel. In Israel, however, you were warned to always make sure there wasn’t a terrorist hiding in your back seat so sometimes, I checked. Mostly, I forgot. I never entirely made the leap from American trustfulness to middle Eastern paranoia.

Do you have a safety ritual before going to bed at night? i.e. checking the doors, windows, locks, or setting an alarm.

Nope. There’s stuff I do. I close the curtains in the bathroom so the morning light won’t wake me up at dawn. I take the telephone off the charger and move it closer so I can grab it without a long stretch, although recently, it has stopped waking me up early in the morning. The scammers, spammers, and survey takers have finally stopped calling me first thing in the morning. Oh, the joy of it!

When you leave your house or car, do you check the locks more than once, or are you satisfied that you’ve locked the door the first time?

I forget to lock the house. It’s a country thing. But also, there’s a logic to it. This is a pretty old house. Getting into it would not be exactly difficult for anyone who really wanted to do it. It was why my husband never locked his convertible. If they were going to break into the car, please DON’T slash the top. Just open the door. It’s expensive to fix the top.

When we lived in the condo in Boston, we locked it … but the city is a different place.

Do you answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number? Why or why not?

No. I used to, back when calls were real people calling about something. But over the years of the robo-caller, I gave up. We have NOMOROBO and it interrupts most automated calls before the second ring. IF it rings twice, it is probably at least a human on the other end, or an identifiable number — doctor’s office or the pharmacy are automated calls, but we do get them. We don’t get the survey takers, the fake charity organizations, the scamming organizations who tell you you’ve won something and just want your personal information to steal your identity or, for all I know, your life.

In what setting — urban/suburban/rural — would you feel the least comfortable walking alone? Does the time of day matter?

I used to walk alone through the old city in Jerusalem in the middle of the night. It was the most dangerous city in the world — and also, one of the safest. Terrorists weren’t looking for me. They had specific goals and a woman alone was not a target. Boston? It depended on the number of alleys along the route. I have always been suspicious of alleys, especially at night. Alleys are unlit — and people hide there.

I don’t walk out here. We live out in the country. No sidewalks. Twisting roads and cars that drive much too fast. Even during the day, I’m sure someone is going to run me down on my own road … or even while I check the mailbox. I am not afraid of being attacked by a person, but I’m very afraid of being run down by a car or truck.

If you found yourself walking alone, would you avoid small groups of suspicious-looking people? How about a singular suspicious looking person?

I avoid groups of teenage boys. They scared me when I was a teenager and they scare me now. They are big, full of hormones, and mentally unbalanced by extreme youth.

Do you have a plan or way to determine if someone is following you or if someone is just walking behind you? What would you do if someone started following you?

No. Really, no I don’t. Sheesh.

What would you do if you notice the same car driving behind you for a significant period of time?

Probably not. I am clearly insufficiently suspicious.

If you drove up to your house and the front door was standing open though you clearly remember closing and locking it, would you go inside?

If there was no car in the driveway, I’d probably race in to see if the dogs were okay!

Driveway with shadows

What would you do if you drove up to your house and found a stranger there, clearly waiting for you to come home?

Who would do that? Why? We have no money, no political connections. We aren’t cops. We aren’t important. We are old and basically, poor.

Do you have plans in place for emergencies (fire, flood, etc.)? Have you ever had to use them?

We should. But we don’t. We talk about it, though. One of these days, I’m sure we’ll do something about it. Maybe.

Do empty parking lots/parking garages make you nervous?

Yes. Because if the parking lot is empty, the place is probably closed and I’m there on the wrong day.

Do you tend to forward emails/messages that urge people to beware of this, that, or the other thing, or is Snopes.com (and similar sites) your friend?

Snopes is my pal. I forward jokes. I forward really great photographs, blogs I really like, and anything that makes me laugh a lot. Also well-written articles and information of historical note. But I always check to make sure that it is legitimate. You should too. Please, do NOT forward fake news!

If you have a dog, or dogs, and they start barking at nothing you can see, does it make you anxious?

If it made me anxious, I wouldn’t have dogs. They bark at nothing constantly. Squirrels? Birds? A noise from another house? Or just because they feel like barking? Dogs bark. At nothing. Often.

Do you close your curtains at night?

I don’t have curtains. But we also live so far from anywhere, no one can see anything.

How do you feel about the state of humankind in general?

I find human beings depressing and I am often embarrassed to BE a human. I am also deeply disappointed in my country, our political process, and people I really thought knew better. I am horrified at the awful things we do to each other, to animals, to the earth and the air and the water. I expected better from us and I hope with all my heart we improve in my lifetime.

SUPERSTITIOUS? QUESTIONS FROM PATIENCE

Am I superstitious?

A little bit, maybe. Mostly involving things that would otherwise be pure luck. Sports. Lotteries. Weather. But not really superstitious because I don’t believe anything I do will actually change an event, but I wish I could. If wishing would make it so! Viewing my answer to this, I think I’m pretty much not superstitious. Everyone has a little thing someone in them, though. All kids are at least a little bit superstitious.

Here are Patience’s questions — and my answers.


1  Do you knock on wood, or use something similar (like cross your fingers), for good luck?

No salt throwing, no crossed anything (except I use the words when I’m writing a story, but don’t actually do it).

2  Does Friday the 13th have any significant meaning for you? 

Thirteen is a lucky number for Jews, but I don’t think any numbers are lucky or unlucky. They are just numbers.

3  What do you do with spilled salt, aside from cleaning it up?

Is there something else I should be doing? If so, I have no idea what it might be.

4  When you move into a new house, what’s the first thing you bring through the door?

Honestly, in all the years I’ve been in various new homes, I have never thought about it. There were a lot of rituals in Israel and I had to have our house exorcised because we failed to do the appropriate stuff. I thought it was pretty strange. Who knew? No one told me.

Superstition mountains, Arizona

5  Do you now, or have you ever, had a good luck charm? If so, what is it?

No.

6  Is there any one thing that you refuse to do because it is “bad luck”? If so, what is it?

I never say “What could possibly go wrong?” ever because inevitably, fate will demonstrate what could go wrong. I try to not even think it. The same goes for “What more could go wrong?” and “We can’t possibly lose this game.” Something more definitely can go wrong … and you sure can lose that game, no matter how many runs you’ve accumulated!

7  There’s a ladder leaning against the wall and the only way to get to where you want to go is under it, what do you do?

Look up, make sure nothing will fall on me, then move on.

8  When you move out of an old house, do you leave anything behind, aside from memories?

Probably a ton of dirt and old canned goods. Is that lucky or not?

9  Does February 29th hold any significance for you?

Sadie Hawkins Day. Everyone knows that!

10  It’s the first day of the New Year, is there anything special that you should do?

I used to make a big, fancy feast. Everyone else had New Year’s Eve parties. I didn’t like driving on New Year’s Eve. Too many drunks on the road, but I figured by New Year’s Day, no one had much to do except recover from a hangover, so that’s when I had a party. These New Year’s Day party were traditional in England … 100 years ago, anyway. They were good parties.

11  What do you do with the “wishbone” of the bird you just cooked and/or ate? (if you’re a meat eater.)

When I was a kid, my  brother and I used to break them with our pinkies. I’m pretty sure nothing much resulted from this activity.

12  Do you believe in omens, good and bad? Or do you think that they are self-fulfilling prophecies?

I think if you believe you are a failure, you are likely to be one. If people keep telling you that you “can’t” do whatever it is, you won’t be able to do it. Kids believe a lot of stuff, even if they don’t want to believe it. It gets stuck in their heads.

13  Would you ever open your umbrella inside the house?

Yes, because otherwise, they don’t dry off properly.

14  If you see a penny on the ground, what do you do?

Ignore it. They aren’t worth anything anyhow.

15  In your mind, are black cats any different than other cats?

No, but I’m nice to them. They’ve had a historically difficult time.

16  What, if anything, do you do when passing a cemetery?

I’m glad I’m not (yet) in it.

17  Do you believe in premonitions? Have you ever experienced one?

Yes, and yes. Death has broad wings and you can feel the sweep of them when they are near.

18  Your mirror broke! What do you do? Aside from sweep up the glass?

I don’t think I’ve ever broken a mirror, but I doubt I’d worry about it.

19  Do you avoid whistling indoors?

I can’t whistle.

20  A bird has flown into your home! What does it mean?

I try to corral it and move it out before the dogs eat it. The dogs are not superstitious, just hungry.

21  Do you avoid setting new shoes on the kitchen/dining room table?

Yes. Shoes are dirty. I eat on my tables. I do put them in the sink to clean them when they are muddy. I’d use the basement sink — if I had one.

22  Your palm itches for no apparent reason, does this mean anything to you?

No. The soles of my feet are itchier than my hands, so if that means something, let me know.

23  Someone has just sneezed near you, what, if anything, do you say to them?

Take your disease elsewhere. I don’t need your cold!

24  You happen to be in a field of clover and find a four-leaf clover, what do you do?

Say “Oh, cool! I found a four-leaf clover!” Then everyone says “Oh, wow, nice.” That’s huge.

25  It’s the last day of the Old Year, what should be done before midnight?

Kiss my husband, of course.

WILLOW’S QUESTIONS & TOO DAMNED MANY! – GARRY ARMSTRONG

So I thought this was kind of interesting. Little did I know that it was going to take up most of my morning. Gee whiz … I mean … I haven’t answered this many questions since my last doctor’s appointment.

I blame you, Willow, of Willow’s Corner. Now, it’s personal!

72-Garry-NCIS-Uxbridge_01

  1. Does jet-lag affect you?  YES!! MORE NOW THAN EVER. BUT WE DO NOT FLY MUCH ANYMORE.
  2. Are you afraid to walk alone at night? NO!! BUT I NEVER REALLY WALK ALONE. (Music up full.)
  3. How did it make you feel the first time you ever held a baby in your arms — yours or someone else’s? AWED.
  4. Do you fold your undergarments and socks? I FOLD – **NEATLY**!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Is there a specific place where you go to think? where is it and why there? MY BATHROOM. PRIVACY.
  6. How many houseplants do you have? How are they faring? ONE OR TWO. THEY ARE SURVIVING.
  7. Do you have a garden — flower or vegetable? HAD A GARDEN TIL THE CATERPILLAR INVASION.
  8. How many hats do you own? Do you wear them all? MYRIAD. WEAR 3. NCIS, RED SOX & SCOTTIES.

    72-Garry- Ben-Sunday-011016_209


  9. Does your best friend call you their best friend? NO!! HE IS A FUNCTIONING MUTE.
  10. Do you struggle to finish a bad book or do you set it aside forever? BAD BOOKS DIE QUICKLY.
  11. Have you ever been in a food fight? YES. ON LIVE TV. BIZARRO!!
  12. Have you ever brought a stray animal home? MYSELF.
  13. Can a well-written book make you care about their characters enough to cry for them? YES! MOST RECENTLY, STEPHEN KING’S,  “11/22/63”.
  14. Have you seen Karma at work in your life?  YA THINK, PROBIE?
  15. How do you deliver bad news? DIRECTLY WITH MINIMAL WORDS. USED TO DO IT PROFESSIONALLY ON CAMERA.
  16. In general, how do you feel when you come home from a long vacation? TIRED AND READY FOR ANOTHER
  17. Are book covers important in getting you to read a book? NO. IT IS THE CONTENT.
  18. How many shoes do you have? Are there any orphan shoes? Why do you keep them? MYRIAD. NO. LIKE TO HAVE CHOICES.
  19. How would you describe your housekeeping strategy? HIT AND MISS.
  20. If you could be a superhero, would you take that chance? YES, PILGRIM.
  21. If you had the wherewithal to invent something, anything, what would it be? TIME MACHINE.
  22. If you had to live for a month on what’s in your refrigerator, would you make it? PROBABLY.
  23. Name something that seemed inconsequential but had a huge influence on your life (for example, a commercial, a postcard, or something you might have overheard). A COMPLIMENT ON HOW I LISTEN TO PEOPLE. CAME FROM A CELEBRITY TALK SHOW HOST. PROVED A KEY IN MY OWN CAREER.

    drone spy


  24. How do you feel about the idea of Artificial Intelligence? or robots in general? I WANT MY OWN DRONE.
  25. What “redneck” (unsophisticated) activity do you like to do? WATCHING OLD (COWBOY) MOVIES.
  26. What (if anything) do you think is beyond the stars?  AN OSCAR FOR BEST ACTOR.
  27. What are the most common lies your peer group tells?  HOW GOOD THE OLD DAYS WERE.
  28. Are there characteristic about yourself that you find annoying in other people? POKER FACE
  29. What do you think of when you think of California? OLD HOLLYWOOD.
  30. Is there a food that is too much work for you to eat? LOBSTER, BARBECUE RIBS AND CORN ON COB.
  31. What highbrow, cultured activity do you like to participate in? LISTENING TO VIN SCULLY BASEBALL BROADCASTS.
  32. Is there a historical culture that fascinates you? OLD WEST. COWBOYS. PRINT THE LEGEND.
  33. What — if any — historical injustice still upsets you? SLAVERY!!!!!!!!
  34. Are there habits other people have that you find suspicious?  PEOPLE WHO SMILE AFTER SAYING “TRUST ME”.
  35. What do you think is a good place to travel but you would not want to live there?  BORA BORA
  36. Is there a scary scene from a movie (or book) you viewed a child that still haunts you? “HOUSE OF WAX” (ORIGINAL) SEEING VINCENT PRICE’S DISFIGURED FACE FOR THE FIRST TIME.
  37. What is the cheapest price you can ever remember paying for gas?  $.79 A GALLON. LONG, LONG AGO.
  38. How far south have you traveled?  TEXAS, RIO GRANDE BANKS. THEN TO PUERTO VALLARTE, MEXICO
  39. When did you realize you’d become an adult? STILL WAITING.
  40. What jokes did your grandparents tell you as a child that you remember fondly? X RATED.
  41. Is there a piece of technology that you do not own but would like to? DRONE.
  42. Do you have any secrets for getting better service? POLITENESS.
  43. What slang word or phrase do you love to use? PRINT THE LEGEND!
  44. What technology, real or imagined, scares you? DRONES
  45. Is there a traditional gender role or stereotype that you agree or disagree with?  “WELL SPOKEN BLACK MAN.”
  46. What type of commercials to you find particularly annoying? ALL!
  47. What was the first thing you learned to cook?  HOT DAWG!
  48. What’s the highest above sea level you’ve ever been? How did you get there?   ???? JET FLIGHT.
  49. Is there something that you do now, but wouldn’t do if weren’t the for the law (for example carry car insurance or wear your seat belt).  SNIFFIN’ GLUE.  JUST KIDDIN’.
  50. Have you ever tried to touch the moon?  ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG.

    72-Reflections-Whitins-Pond-GA-061516_027


    72-Canal-GA-042716_015


  51. When you have out-of-town guests, what tourist things do you show them?  OUR BEAUTIFUL VALLEY
  52. Where is the strangest place you have fallen asleep? NO COMMENT.
  53. Would you be willing to live off the grid? (follow link for definition) FOR THE RIGHT MONEY.
  54. If someone paid you enough money, would you provide them a false alibi? NO!!!!
  55. Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars? YES!!!

PLEASE SEND THE CASHIER”S CHECK FOR THIS SURVEY TO MY CAYMAN ISLANDS ACCOUNT.

JUST ASKING …

Willow of Willow’s Corner put me up to it.

Blame it all on her.

I have questions. Or, more precisely, Willow had questions and I thought … hmm. These are kind of interesting. Maybe I should do this. If you feel like playing too, you can pick up the list of question from Willow’s site without having to remove my answers.

Here goes:

QUESTIONS.

  1. Does jet-lag affect you? 
    Not much.
  2. Are you afraid to walk alone at night?
    No, although there are places I would be inclined to avoid. Just being sensible.
  3. How did it make you feel the first time you ever held a baby in your arms — yours or someone else’s?
    Terrified. It was my son. I was 22 years old and had NO idea what to do next. Fortunately, my mother had stayed to help. Phew.
  4. Do you fold your undergarments and socks?
    Yes, don’t you? I mean … what’s the alternative?
  5. Is there a specific place where you go to think? where is it and why there?
    No.
  6. How many houseplants do you have? How are they faring?
    Just four (indoors) these days. I had more, but I got tired of watering and repotting. Today, I have a huge dracaena, 2 Christmas cactus, and a big aloe. All fine, thank you.
  7. Do you have a garden — flower or vegetable?
    It used to be a garden. Now it’s a thorny patch of dead stuff. I don’t have a back for gardening anymore. And this has not been a good year for the flowers.


    They came, they saw, they consumed.

    They came, they saw, they consumed.


  8. How many hats do you own? Do you wear them all?
    I have a lot, maybe a dozen? I had many more. I almost never wear any of them these days. They have brims and are no good in cars, all of which have head rests.

  9. Does your best friend call you her best friend?
    Yes. She does.
  10. Do you struggle to finish a bad book or do you set it aside forever?
    I have a to-be-read list MILES long. I don’t have time (or patience) for bad books.
  11. Have you ever been in a food fight?
    No. I’ve been in fights about food. Does that count?
  12. Have you ever brought a stray animal home?
    Not lately, but all the time when I was a kid. I was famous for it.
  13. Can a well-written book make you care about their characters enough to cry for them?
    Of course. It doesn’t even have to be sad. Sometimes, it’s just touching.
  14. Have you seen Karma at work in your life?
    Yes, and I don’t get it. Was I a serial murderer in a former life?
  15. How do you deliver bad news?
    Gently.
  16. In general, how do you feel when you come home from a long vacation?
    Glad to see the dogs, grateful to sleep in my bed and appalled at the amount of cleaning up I will have to do.
  17. Are book covers important in getting you to read a book?
    No. Not even a little bit. Mostly I read books online, so I don’t even know what the cover looks like.
  18. How many shoes do you have? Are there any orphan shoes? Why do you keep them?
    No orphan shoes and I’m down to about 20 pairs. All of them fit and I try to wear them all, but I don’t get out all that much. I keep them because I like them … and in some cases, they have a specific use, like walking over rough terrain, being insulated, or waterproof. Then there are box shoes that get worn once in a blue moon, or less.


    72-dustmop_02


  19. How would you describe your housekeeping strategy?
    Desperate. I’m always a layer of filth behind and I will never catch up, not in this life.
  20. If you could be a superhero, would you take that chance?
    Probably. Tell me what powers I get and I could give a better answer.
  21. If you had the wherewithal to invent something, anything, what would it be?
    Not a clue. Okay, maybe a transporter to make travel easy for those of us who don’t move around much. Except it would be instantly banned by every government in the world because if you can’t control travel, you can’t control travelers. And we can’t have THAT.
  22. If you had to live for a month on what’s in your refrigerator, would you make it?
    Nope. We don’t keep that much food in the house any more.
  23. Name something that seemed inconsequential but had a huge influence on your life (for example, a commercial, a postcard, or something you might have overheard).
    Science fiction and fantasy. In books, stories, on TV (Twilight Zone, especially) and in the movies. And history. Some historical novels (Angelique by Anne Golan), but mostly straight history. I really believe if you don’t know history, you don’t know who you are.
  24. How do you feel about the idea of Artificial Intelligence? or robots in general?
    I don’t have much feeling about them. They will come and be a part of the world, like all the other technology we never imagined we’d have.


    ROBBIE AS GORT


  25. What “redneck” (unsophisticated) activity do you like to do?
    I have so few activities that I really can’t answer that. Mostly, I read, write, take pictures, play computer games. I’m not sure what “unsophisticated” means, actually.

  26. What (if anything) do you think is beyond the stars?
    More stars.
  27. What are the most common lies your peer group tells?
    We’re doing FINE. Just FINE.
  28. Are there characteristic about yourself that you find annoying in other people?
    Probably. But generally, I like people who are similar to me. I enjoy being with people who tell stories, make jokes, read books. Have a sense of humor. I like interesting people and generally, they like me.
  29. What do you think of when you think of California?
    Earthquakes and legal marijuana.
  30. Is there food that is too much work for you to eat?
    Lobster. Not that I’ll turn it down, but it’s a major production. Also, barbecued food is too messy and gets stuck in my teeth. Then, there’s corn on the cob. I love it, but I’m not always up to the challenge of post-corn oral cleansing.
  31. What highbrow, cultured activity do you like to participate in?
    Participate rather than watch? Does blogging count? You can always talk me into going to a concert or a museum, but I don’t think those count as participation.
  32. Is there a historical culture that fascinates you?
    More than one. Rome is a big one. It was the pattern on which so much of western culture has been based. Nothing is new — it already happened in old Rome.
  33. What — if any — historical injustice still upsets you?
    Every slaughter of indigenous people. Here in the U.S. and all the other places from Asia, to Africa, and back to Europe. Why do we feel that need to kill anyone who came before us or looks different from us? Why do we murder each other?
  34. Are there habits other people have that you find suspicious?
    No, not really. I don’t know anyone who does anything that I would consider suspicious. Maybe you would see it differently.
  35. What do you think is a good place to travel but you would not want to live there? 
    California. I don’t want to live where the earth may open up and swallow me. Call me crazy, but I find people who build their homes on an earthquake fault line weird.
  36. Is there a scary scene from a movie (or book) you viewed a child that still haunts you?
    As a very small child, the march of the dinosaurs to Stravinsky’s “Rites of Spring” in Disney’s “Fantasia” terrified me. As an adult, the final scenes of “On the Beach” still give me chills. When the fallout has killed everyone and you see the empty streets of New York … just buildings and blowing paper and no people.
  37. What is the cheapest price you can ever remember paying for gas?
    Paid myself? Because I remember it being less than 30 cents a gallon growing up. By the time I was an adult, gasoline was still less than a dollar, but going up fast. So maybe in the range of 75 cents. It didn’t stay there very long.
  38. How far south have you traveled?
    Mexico.
  39. When did you realize you’d become an adult?
    When I looked around and my parents, aunts and uncles had all passed and I knew I’m the second oldest member of my remaining family.
  40. What jokes did your grandparents tell you as a child that you remember fondly?
    I never knew my grandparents. They all died when I was a toddler.
  41. Is there a piece of technology that you do not own but would like to?
    No. If I don’t own it, I either never heard of it, or don’t want it.
  42. Do you have any secrets for getting better service?
    Know your facts before you go head-to-head with the service department. Knowledge is the only power you’ve got.
  43. What slang word or phrase do you love to use?
    Other than four-letter ones? Can’t think of any off-hand, but the 4-letter ones work pretty well for me.
  44. What technology, real or imagined, scares you?
    GMO food scares me to death.


    75-Orange-Grapefruit_3

    On the left, a normal grapefruit. On the right? A GMO orange. Now THAT’s scary.


  45. Is there a traditional gender role or stereotype that you agree or disagree with?
    Most women are better nurturers than men, at least in my generation, but not always. There are so many exceptions to the rule that I don’t think it counts as a rule.

  46. What type of commercials do you find particularly annoying?
    Drug commercials. It’s just a way to jack up prices.
  47. What was the first thing you learned to cook?
    Cheese omelets.
  48. What’s the highest above sea level you’ve ever been? How did you get there?
    I’m not sure of the altitude. We were pretty high up in some of the Arizona mountains. We drove up. Took pictures. Drove down.
  49. Is there something that you do now, but wouldn’t do if weren’t the for the law (for example carry car insurance or wear your seat belt).
    I’m going to take the fifth on this one.
  50. Have you ever tried to touch the moon?
    I don’t think so.


    72-Bad-Moon-Rising-1


  51. When you have out-of-town guests, what tourist things do you show them?
    Around here? Mostly pretty things. Parks, rivers, our few historical sites. We don’t really have much tourist stuff. It’s a pretty small town and quite rural.
  52. Where is the strangest place you have fallen asleep?
    In the CAT-scan machine.
  53. Would you be willing to live off the grid? (follow link for definition) 
    Too old. That’s for the young and hardy who don’t need access to major medical facilities.
  54. If someone paid you enough money, would you provide them a false alibi?
    It would depend on what was being covered up. There are crimes … and then there are CRIMES.
  55. Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars?
    Absolutely, but I doubt they would take me.