Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More fiction fun and odd words

I was just watching my DVR-saved episodes of Sanctuary on the SyFy network. Someone in the story made reference to needing House for a medical question. I just get a kick out of writers who don't take themselves too seriously. Two very different programs on different networks makes it even more fun.

On another blog topic, I saw a business that was having a Pre-Grand Opening. That was a new idea to me. Is it just a little opening, with a grand one to come later? What does that mean?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Odd words and phrases

I've noticed another couple of odd phrases and words recently. A newspaper article was about an accident that occurred in an "unmarked crosswalk." I couldn't help but wonder what that meant. I guess I've been under the impression that it was the markings that made a crosswalk. It's against the law to cross the street between intersections--unless there is a marked crosswalk. Is it okay to cross at any intersection? What exactly makes a marked crosswalk--lights? paint? If the paint is faded or the light is out, is it still a safe place to cross or is it now unmarked? I'm confused.

Another thing I read mentioned disinhibition. My first thought was, "huh?" I decided it must be the same as less inhibited or less inhibition. Does disinhibition sound that much more erudite? It surely caught my attention, but I'm not sure that's what the writer intended since I can't remember what in the heck the article was talking about. I guess I'm suffering from disremembrance.

Monday, October 25, 2010


A newspaper article this morning stated that a robber had been wearing a "fake wig." I wondered how that is different from a regular wig. These silly redundancies are all over the place: people get "free gifts," "added bonuses," and sometimes "cash money."

Have you heard people say the "exact same" thing? Or how something happens "each and every" time? Do you make "future plans?" Can anyone make past plans? Maybe it's like a "past experience." It is so difficult to count on a future experience.

How many times have you heard people say they have a "personal opinion?" I thought opinions were always personal. You have heard others comment that their solutions were the "sum total" or the "true facts." If you pay attention, the redundancies are everywhere.

Some of the silliest are used with the prefix "pre." One can "pre-order" something not yet available (isn't that an order?), or parents with babies can often "pre-board" an airplane (don't they just get on like everyone else?).

I'm finished for a while. Maybe I'll have "temper tantrum" before I fix a "tuna fish" sandwich for lunch. I'll "postpone until later" any "final conclusions."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More fiction and reality mixes

Castle is a fun television show that mixes fiction and reality. If you don't know the premise, Richard Castle is a writer of novels who "consults" with the police department, often helping to solve mysterious crimes. Occasionally, he hosts poker games with other writers. The fun is that the other mystery authors in his games are the real thing. James Patterson and Stephen J. Cannell appeared as themselves. I'm hoping others will stop by too.

Beyond that, the novel that Richard Castle supposedly finished (based on the female detective he works with) was actually published--listing Richard Castle as the author. Apparently it did well enough that another novel from the television series has also been printed and released. I guess the ghost writer, affiliated with the television series, didn't mind not being given credit for writing it. Maybe he gets some of the royalties.

Crazy stuff.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fiction and Reality together

It makes me smile when a character in a television show, refers to another television show. Or, when someone in a fiction novel is reading another current fiction novel. Fiction kind of intersects reality. Clive Cussler always puts himself in his novels. The protagonist normally runs into an unusual man who gives his name as "Cussler." I think it's good fun figuring out when he'll drop in and out of the story action.

The best reference, however, is one I just heard. I was listening (while driving) to Spider Bones, by Kathy Reichs. Someone in the story made reference to a murder suspect who wasn't very bright--probably didn't understand CSI, or Law and Order, and was definitely not intelligent enough for Bones. Of course Bones is the television series based on Kathy Reichs's novels. It made me chuckle all alone in my car.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Follow up

I saw another secret yesterday. There is something that automobile dealers don't want us to know.

I can't imagine what that would be. Everything from the rebates and special financing deals, vehicle histories, to the actual invoice cost of the vehicles is on the Internet. I don't know, the whole "there are big secrets" idea feels wrong to me. There are no big secrets--I, and people I know, have worked in dealerships. Businesses are there to make a profit selling vehicles. People shopping want to pay as little as possible for the car they want (or, if you believe some of the commercials, the car they "deserve"). Where's the secret?

Monday, September 27, 2010


Isn't it amazing how many secrets are kept from us? You'd think, in this day of immediate information, that no one could hide valuable facts. Ha! Apparently it can be done.

Those selling the benefits of natural supplements and herbs insist that there are things drug companies don't want us to know.

Some PhD holders have determined that there are self-help remedies that our doctors won't tell us about.

I just saw an ad informing me that there was a skin care secret that was hidden from us by cosmetic manufacturers and dermatologists.

Easy weight loss options kept from the public by the diet pill makers, simple at-home teeth whitening concealed by those selling whiteners, and the best, independent wealth made quick and easy with only the purchase of a few classes or DVDs (why didn't we know that?).

See, you just thought you had plenty of information. So in spite of the fact that we know (if we care) what every "celebrity" had for dinner, and whose done what awful thing to someone else, we are in the dark about many important realities. It is absolutely amazing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fabulous Fall

We sent on a drive last night, across some of our favorite places. These pictures don't do justice to the scene. With the late afternoon light, it positively glowed.
This is one of those years the Quaking Aspen turn many shades--from almost red, to pink, to orange, and to yellow, with a little green still thrown in.

I'm not a fan of winter, but autumn in Utah is fabulous!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our changing language

Sometimes I wonder if our changing Americanized English language is improving or deteriorating. Generally I think it's the latter--especially since so few people actually pronounce deteriorating correctly (just listen).

Lots of kids make a common, but very logical, language mistake. If they don't do something 'on purpose,' then it must have been done 'on accident.' It is not correct, but it makes sense. It reminds me of a quote I used to have on a chart: If English were sensible, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.

Language does adjust and change as people use it. Nauseous is officially defined as "offensive to the taste or smell, disgusting, repellent." Yet I hear people all the time using it to describe themselves, "I was nauseous all day," or "the whatever made me nauseous." I'm certain they weren't saying that they were disgusting and offensive, causing others to be affected with nausea.

The adjective they should have used is nauseated, but that is an extra couple of syllables, or it sounds less cool--I don't know.

However, if enough people used a word incorrectly, it becomes okay. My dictionary says, "Today, however, the use of nauseous to mean 'affected with nausea' is so common that it is generally considered to be standard." I'm probably going to be out of step for a while longer.

One last thing I've noticed is some people have an itch and itch it. When I have an itch, I scratch it. Has anyone else heard someone say they are itching a bug bite? Is it a local thing? My hubby claims not to have heard it used that way, but he's not the world's best listener.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Misleading sign

My son sent me this picture. Advertising is, by it's nature, a little misleading. This sign is an egregious example. If you can look very closely, there is minuscule writing after the cent sign. Guess what it says: "& up."

Following this idea, clothing stores could put out signs saying everything is $1 (as long as you could buy a pair of socks for a buck); furniture stores could advertise living room sets for $3 (I guess they could have a pair of candle holders or something for that price); and car dealerships could advertise cars for $100 (as long as there was one old clunker for a c-note). As long as there was a teeny, tiny "and up" on the sign it wouldn't technically be false.

I have seen this done on individual clothing racks in department stores, but not on such a grand scale. But again, this is Orlando, Florida, and I suppose tourists are gullible fair game.

Friday, July 30, 2010

On my soapbox again.

Warning! I'm climbing on my grammar soapbox again; continue reading at your own risk.

Okay, at least I'm doing it here and not on my Facebook page--my young family members probably don't visit here much and it's just as well. Most of them know how I am, and I make some of them very nervous. That's alright with me, but I can see the decline in reading from people's writing.

1. A young woman, applying for a job, used the word 'youl' rather than 'you'll' or 'you will' on her application. Obviously there was no spell checking involved. Maybe it's a leftover from texting shortcuts, but I'd think one would be very careful on a resume.

2. As I visited a public restroom on my travels today, I saw where some young woman had tried to write a thoughtful message on the stall door. It was about not taking "life for granite." Admittedly, that's mostly how we say that, but I couldn't help myself, I took my pen and corrected it (the first time I've ever written on a bathroom stall).

3. I am almost numb (almost) to the frequent use of your when it should be you're; there rather than their or they're; the careless misspellings; and the confusion about where apostrophes belong.

It is so discouraging. I don't think many young people read good books anymore.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Too Many Commercials for me

I've been watching too many commercials recently. They are very difficult to avoid, whether on television, radio, or computer. My ability to tune them out is not always effective, yet I like having the TV or radio on just for background noise and company.

I am amazed by the fact that every automobile insurance company can save me money when compared to all other companies. Exactly how is that possible? The last few days I've heard that claim from GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Esurance, and a new one (at least to me) 21st Century. Amazing.

Ford trucks are built tough, yet you shouldn't sent a truck to do a Sierra's job (GMC) because they are professional grade, but nobody makes a better truck than Toyota's Tundra. As with so many things, quality seems to be very subjective.

Every fast food place or restaurant offers the best food at the lowest prices, and (as I've posted about before) every instance calls for an attorney so you can "get what you deserve" and the lawyers can get what they want too.

All the new television programs are smash hits, and all new movies "must see."

Fortunately I have a DVR and I can pause live programming for a while, then fast forward through commercials. However that requires my attention, something I don't want to give while I'm unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry.

I guess I need to work on not paying attention, but I don't know if I can do it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Smile while driving

I saw some personalized license plates too cute not to share. It is nice to be able to smile while driving in messy traffic.

A nondescript blue van held PTERPAN, and a small white (of course) car carried a dark-haired SNOWHTE. I guess it could have meant that the car was snow white, but what fun is that?

Now I'm on the lookout for CAPTNHK or MR SMEE (I'm sure WENDY is out there somewhere). And think of the possibilities for the dwarves (or dwarfs): HAPPY, DOPEY, DOC, GRUMPY, SNEEZY, SLEEPY, and BASHFUL, all within the confines of a license plate format.

I'll keep watching.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's like...

I know that I wrote about this some time ago, but unfortunately, I haven't noticed the frequency diminishing. Sometimes when I read the status updates on my young Facebook "friends," it seems as if there is a written code, understood only by a select few. I miss careful grammar and good spelling, and really appreciate those who take it seriously.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm a little strange, I know.

Anyone who has read my blog may have noticed that I am a license plate watcher. I notice the fun, silly, and bizarre personalized plates, as well as the regular plates. I don't know how other states do it, but Utah as a certain pattern to its plates. There are two main designs: Ski Utah and the Delicate Arch, plus the many specialized plates. The ski one is what you get for no extra charge so it is the most common.

When the Ski Utah plates came out they were three numbers and three letters. They began with ### ALL (L means letter for my purposes), as more people got plates they just continued through the alphabet: ### BLL, ### CLL, until the last ones I saw were ### PLL (they skipped O--too much like zero). Then, just a short time ago Utah changed the pattern. Now the Ski plate has L## #LL. But again, they began with A##, #LL. I've seen some that start with B now.

The Delicate Arch plate had the same pattern, but started from Z (### ZLL) and worked up the alphabet. The last ones I saw before the change was ### ULL. The new design and pattern is the same as the Ski one, except it also started with Z (Z## #LL). I'm guessing that they had to change the pattern: the Ski plates were clear to P and the Arch plates were at U. Before long they would meet.

While you're thinking I'm a bit touched in the head let me say another thing I noticed today. I happened to get behind a Cadillac Escalade then a Mercedes SUV whose registrations had both expired the end of January! People who drive expensive cars can't afford to keep them legally registered? I kind of understood a jeep whose had expired the end of May, but January?
Come on people.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How to you say it?

I've spent a lot of time doing nothing with my mother this month as she heals from knee replacement surgery. We found ourselves wanting to make a list of common words that we've heard pronounced differently. We realize that we've spent most of our lives in our home state, and it has some language quirks we're aware of. Beyond those, listening to other people and watching television has made us notice discrepancies. I haven't looked these up in the dictionary yet, we are more interested in the daily speech of regular people. I'm going to try to make the pronunciation differences clear. Which comes closer to your own speech?

Orange ore-enj or are-enj?
Strength straygth or strehnth?
Aunt ant or auhnt?
Illegal ill-eagle or ee-legal?

I know there are more, but these are the ones that come to mind. I'm avoiding all the obvious area words (creek, barn, horse etc.). If more words come to mind (mine or Mom's), I'll expand my post.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I've been thinking about the way people speak, and the euphemisms we use. I read somewhere that when we are very hurt or upset, a swear word or two can make us feel better. Admittedly, a mashed finger, stubbed toe, or bumped head (like raising up under an open cabinet door) has caused me to use a *%&@#% word or two, and it did seem to help more than "shucks."

Words like "darn" and "dang" are so common that I'll bet people don't even consider them euphemisms for damn (although my dictionary does).

Two of the latest euphemisms seem to be "freakin," "frickin," "friggin," or "flippin." No, it's not the same as the naughtier word, but the intent feels similar, and I guess that's what bothers me. It's like when you see something written that says "effing." We know what it means.

I remember vividly when I saw that particular word written in public for the first time--it was startling (and I was in high school). Nowadays I would likely be extremely uncomfortable walking through a high school hallway. I don't like the way the original word has become so common, but I don't like the euphemisms much either. It's like the difference between a slap on the cheek and a punch in the jaw--the purpose is to make the same impression, it's just a matter of degrees.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blogger confusion

Once in a while, Blogger drops me and requires me to sign in again. Is this a common problem? My computer is seldom turned off; it usually just sleeps. When I wake it, sometimes I am signed in and sometimes I am not. Sometimes I can just click "sign in" and it pulls my blogs right up. Occasionally, I have to do the whole e-mail address/password thing.

Is this a glitch of my Internet provider, my computer, my modem, or just a blogspot quirk?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More fun license plates

Okay, I wasn't planning to do this, but I can't resist another look at vanity license plates. Sometimes I just smile at them and then forget, but when I can I record messages to myself on my phone. I have a pretty good accumulation now and I can't just erase them--that would be wasteful. So here goes.

The plates often seem to describe the drivers/owners like the Suburban that carries RVR RNR, the red van with 4GETFL L, a Toyota driven by MINNIE, a dark truck with WTR DOG, and a truck that said KID FXR (not sure what that meant). There was a sporty Mustang GT that was GPASTOY, but I was jealous of the dark Gray Jeep that carried a TREKKIE (me too).

Some plates are a kind of advertising like a pest control truck with BUG MD, or a Prius that says EAR LADY. Some could describe the owner, the vehicle, or the attitude like the Suburban that was HRD COR, the black truck with LGTNFST, the black BMW that said PAINLES, and the Mustang with BRN RUBR. A big white truck was EXPIRED (pondered the meaning of that for a while), a dark green SUV was FOILED, and a huge orange truck was BIG TINY.

And often they are just interesting like the sporty Subaru that was WAFFLES, the red sedan that said MEOWCH, the light colored SUV made me smile with O MY HALE. A gray crossover said 6 BUCKS (must mean something), an older big, blue sedan said YAMAHA (could be the musical instruments, motor vehicles, or something else entirely), a small SUV was GGGGGGG (easy to remember), and finally a red, Saturn Vue that said B GUDE.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Commercials are killing me...

Commercials are so killing me. "How do you Sizzler?" "Do you Kohl's?" "To be incredible, eat incredible."

I guess now that we've given up on adverbs, we can use proper nouns however we choose.

Apparently I Toyota while hubby GMCs. I Apple, he Lenovos. Oh, yesterday my mother, sister and I Red Lobstered.

It does eliminate the need for verbs.

I don't know about others, but these changes in our language are awfully tough for me to take. We are losing a lot of the art of thoughtful communication.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tattoos for everyone?

Tattoos aren't just for rebellious youngsters anymore. Sure, there are the butterflies on the shoulder, dragons on the calf, who knows what on the arms (just watch an NBA game); however, some adults are going in another direction.

I know a number of people who have, or are considering, tattoos on their faces. Mind you, these are women. Some in their 40's, some older. As you may have guessed, it's permanent makeup. The younger ones are perhaps tired of the need for daily "enhancements" to look as youthful as they feel. Maybe, like the women in movies and on television, they want to wake up looking good. It has always bugged me that women on television always have mascara and glossy lips--after sleeping, after whatever.

As we age, menopause readjusts our hair growth. We lose eyebrows and eyelashes, gain mustaches and chin hair. Getting rid of hair is easier than growing it where we want it. I can see the benefit in permanent eyebrows--I'm not crazy about how mine look right now. Mom is considering having hers done, she's only worried that they'll be in the right place. She doesn't want to have a permanent look of surprise, or lop-sidedness. It's not exactly something you can wash off.

As for me, I'm stuck with makeup. Needles and anticoagulants are not good company. It is kind of too bad; I'd like some really nice eyebrows and eye liner.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Golfing and Computing

I've had a couple of reminders lately that I'm not exactly a spring chicken. Sometimes when I glance in the mirror, I see myself as I feel--adult, capable, but ....youthful. Then, life gives me a small reminder that while I may be adult and (mostly) capable.....ah

I've had my second golf lesson. The young man helping me was very sweet and gave me lots of positive reinforcement about what I was doing. However, the next day I had a sore muscle or two in places where I didn't realize I had muscles. I guess that happens to new golfers no matter what the age and I count any muscle usage as helpful. Next time we're going to try using a wood. Oh dear, I hope I can find the proper muscles for that.

I had another lesson about the ins and outs of my MacBook Pro. They are very helpful and there are many shortcuts and tricks that I would never have known about without the Apple Store's experts. The Apple word processing program is called Pages, and it is another reason I felt my age.

I learned to TYPE--on a manual typewriter. Later, I was thrilled to work on electric typewriters, and when I worked at the college I had an IBM Selectric, with a correction key. That was SO cool. I got so I would type along, realize I'd made a mistake and correct it without looking away from my copy. The error was lifted and replaced, slicker than slick.

WORD PROCESSING came along later, while I was teaching, and it was terrific. You could see everything before you had to put it to paper. Correcting was a snap.

But the word processing software got more complex. As I have fought with various programs, Microsoft Word for Windows has made me the craziest. It tried to give me way more help than I wanted. Pages is at least as "helpful." I was telling my Apple instructor how frustrating that can be for a person who typed, and the woman having a lesson across the counter heard me and seconded my comment. As it turns out, she was just a couple of years older and understood completely. If I want to make a list by using tabs, I think I should be able to. Apparently, if an item on my list is longer than the others, that confuses the program. I should ask the Pages software to insert a list. Then request that it stop using a list when I'm ready to go back to the paragraph form.

I know that the youngsters who grew up word processing don't understand my struggle. That's okay, there's still plenty I don't understand either.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Golf Lessons

This afternoon I'm heading for my first golf lesson. I'm trying not to give in to natural trepidation about learning a new physical skill, but it's a bit scary.

When I was in school (I used to tell students that it was just after the dinosaurs had died off), there were NO competitive sports for girls: no basketball, no softball, no volleyball, no swimming, no track and field, no golf. Drill team was the closest and it was far less physically challenging than the things high school groups do now. Therefore I will never know if I could have been good at any of them. Now, I throw like a girl (a small one), I can sometimes hit a softball (not to the outfield), and I'm not a confident swimmer (I blame that on contact lenses).

However, some lovely ladies/neighbors occasionally play and they invited me to join them. Why not? They seem to do it more for fun and companionship than competition, and I have the time now. I am planning on a 4-lesson plan and I have no illusions about being a terrific golfer at this stage, but it want to be able to hit the ball so it goes generally forward.

I'll let you know how things go.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Too fancy for me

I'm sure now that my palate is far from sophisticated. I enjoy the Food Network programs, and I"m always interested in how food is prepared. That said, I am not someone who would enjoy eating in all the finest restaurants.

Hubby and I went out for a special dinner, paid $125, and left wondering exactly what the fuss was about. It was one of those meals where you need to keep the menu so you can tell what is on your plate. For my entree, I had a "protein" (as the cooking shows call it) that was drab, flavorless, and overcooked. It had a blueberry reduction (I think) over it that gave it a slight bitterness. There was another creamy sauce with mushrooms (that was pretty good), and another starchy something that was quite sweet. Stuck in the garlic mashed potatoes (I recognized those) was a thickly-sliced piece of carrot, three spears of asparagus, and something dark reddish-purple (not sure, maybe a beet slice or candied apple).

I've come to the conclusion that I don't like savory and sweet at the same time. I also like things to taste like themselves, not drowned in some odd sauce. Hubby's rib eye was covered in two sauces. One I think was Gorgonzola cheese sauce (trying to remember what was described in the menu). He said it was okay, but nowhere close to the best he's eaten.

The chefs and critics on television talk a lot about 'presentation.' To heck with the pieces of red pepper along the edge of the plate. And I don't care if each bite doesn't have all the flavors my taste buds can detect. I want something that tastes good.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Anniversary

I borrowed this meme from another blogger who had saved it from Valentine's Day. It seems kind of appropriately fun for our anniversary. Last year, about this time, my post was also about our upcoming anniversary. Funny how little time seems to have passed.

♥ What are your middle names?
Mine is Anne, his is an initial (honest).

♥ How long have you been together?
Nearly forever. Married Feb. 23, 1968 (42 years ago).

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About 4 years.

♥ Who asked who out?
He asked me, always...it was another time.

♥ How old are each of you?
I'm 61, he's 60.

♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
Both really, they all live pretty close.

♥ Do you have any children together?
Two intelligent, terrific sons.

♥ What about pets?

♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Can't think of a specific situation, we've gone through quite a bit together.

♥ Did you go to the same school?
Yes, high school and college.

♥ Are you from the same home town?
Four miles apart.

♥ Who is the smartest?
Good question, and one we "debate" often. We have very different skill sets.

♥ Who is the most sensitive?
To what? Sometimes I think it's me, sometimes it must be him.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We alternate. He's a steak lover, I like a big bowl of soup.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

♥ Who has the worst temper?
He does. I'm more of a sulker.

♥ Who does the cooking?
Me. His only food domain is outdoors (grills, dutch ovens, fire).

♥ Who is more social?
It depends on the surroundings and where we feel comfortable. I tend to talk to total strangers more, so maybe it's me.

♥Who is the neat Freak?
I wouldn't say either of us. He lets clutter accumulate, I keep it contained. When he cleans, he really cleans. I may just mop the kitchen floor when its needed, rather than mop the hall and entry way at the same time.

♥ Who is the more stubborn?
He would say I am. I would say I am...persistent.

♥ Who hogs the bed?
Neither, but that's why we have a big bed.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
Him, without fail. Our bio clocks work on different schedules.

♥ Where was your first date?
No idea. We did stuff together and with friends all the time.

♥ Who has the bigger family?
Oddly enough they are the same: both have 4 siblings.

♥ Do you get flowers often?
No, only on rare occasions.

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
We visit the grandkids whenever possible. It's the pits to have them on opposite coasts.

♥ Who is more jealous?
Neither, why would we be?

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
Not too long. He was serious before I was though.

♥ Who eats more?
He does, but many days when he is working he only eats one meal a day.

♥ Who does/ did the laundry?
Me, although he can and does if he needs to.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
Depends. He's a PC and I'm a Mac.

♥ Who drives when you are together?
Always him. He can't bear not being in control.

We are prime examples of opposites attracting, and we've had some mighty fine battles. But, we have never considered not being together. I have a magnet on my fridge that sort of sums us up:
He chuckled when he saw it too....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hoping for Heroes

I find myself hoping that there are real life heroes like there are in some of my favorite novels. When politicians dither and argue and play games intended to build their positions of power rather than work to protect their constituents or the county, I really want to believe heroes quietly do what needs to be done. I want there to be rugged, decent, smart people like Dirk Pitt, Mitch Rapp, or Jack Reacher. I like my heroes determined to do the right thing, even it it is dangerous. If movies or television is your medium, I want Jack Bauer or John McClane on my side.

I'm sure others can think of their own fictional heroes to add. I'd enjoy finding some more. I just hope there are real ones just like them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick follow up

On my return trip today, I saw a person in my rearview mirror (driving a jeep). In my view, the steering wheel covered his/her nose and upper lip. Think about where that put the eyes. It does make me worry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No driver?

Has anyone been behind a car that didn't seem to have a driver? My regular 300 mile trek today put me behind a couple of vehicles where a headrest was all I could see. Usually, it turns out that these cars are driven by ladies--the quite young or the very mature. Occasionally, it will be a young male, but those cars are often tricked-out, blasting bass, and--what do they call it--lowered.

I tend to worry when I see a driver who can barely see over the dash. Obviously they can't see the hood of their car, or even the road directly ahead. How do they park? Do they just know from experience (maybe bad) how far their seat needs to be from objects in front of them? What if something blew onto the freeway right in front of them? Would they even see it?

When I drive my car, the seat is all the way up. I don't mean toward the steering wheel up; I mean above the floor up. I like to see where the hood ends. Hubby is not a lot taller than I am, but more of his height is in his torso so my seat location is too high for him. Fortunately, it is easy to change. The newer vehicles can assign a seat location to each key fob.

I think being able to see more than just the tops of mountains and the sky is valuable stuff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Following rules

Am I the only one who believes that rules are there to be followed? If we don't need to obey, then let's drop the rules. I've heard that "rules are meant to be broken," yadda yadda, but no, dang it, that's wrong.

My community has a pool. There is a set of rules posted by the pool and on homeowners' key holders. Just about every time I've had an occasion to visit the pool (mostly when my grandkids are visiting), there are folks there who are rule-breaking. Now, if we don't want to obey certain rules, then let's get rid of them. But putting up a list, then disregarding it, is goofy.

How about the driving rules? How often do you see someone turn without signaling, pull in the lane ahead of you before he can see you in his mirror, or use the turn lane as a way to pull into traffic? Are there appropriate rules about these things for a reason? If so, they should be followed. If not, then driver's ed teachers can give up trying to teach them.

Yes, there are dumb rules, and we often follow these because the consequences are too unpleasant not to--like having to take off flip flops or scarves when going through airport security. What's the danger there? I believe in sensible rules to keep things safe and somewhat orderly. But rather than have a million rules people ignore, let's just have a few good ones and
try to follow them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful view

I took this sunset picture from the airplane window, December 26. I'm not sure what city we were flying over--somewhere on route not far from Atlanta. The setting sun was visible under the dark clouds for just a few minutes, and it was really beautiful.

When I was moving holiday pictures from my camera to my computer, I decided to join Skywatch Friday. I haven't done one for a long time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vocabulary building

I love to read. My profile lists some of my favorite authors, but I find new ones I like as I go. Having a Kindle makes getting new novels quick and easy; I don't even have to put on my shoes.

I have tried some of Amazon's free novel downloads. I have enjoyed a few, but I'm getting a bit more discriminating as I go. Most of the new, free books offered are science fiction and romance. Now I like a little romance as much as the next girl, but I've found that the plots are all the same. I need more than handsome man meets beautiful woman; they disagree; they succumb to the inevitable and admit their undying love.

I also like good science fiction, but not all of it is good. I think it is easy to write because authors don't have to follow rules. My sixth grade creative writers always wanted to write science fiction so they could make stuff up. There has to be a compelling story under the weirdness.

There are authors who not only write a good story, but take you to school too. I have a decent vocabulary, but books by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston show me my inadequacies. I just finished a novel and paged back through it to gather some of the expressions that I needed to look up (thankfully, the Kindle has a built-in dictionary).

"...incipient panic..." "...vertiginous trail." "...pink alpenglow..."
"I'm a pedant and an obscuranist..." "...froth subsumed into an angry ocean."
"...the lingua franca of the service decks." "...the oenophilic ritual."
"...air so thick with schaden freude..."

Some of these are from other languages so even my MacBook dictionary doesn't recognize them. Make no mistake, I liked the novel. And I think that reading something that makes me think is good for me. I may even be a bit of a pedant.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Commercials drive me nuts!

I use TiVo to zip by commercials, I listen to books on tape in the car. But, occasionally, I accidentally hear commercials. On my drive up today, I heard a couple of interesting ones.

Did you know that you can get the sleep you have been dreaming about? Excuse me, but if you have been dreaming, weren't you already asleep? Does anyone dream about sleeping?

Do you know that a man's overall "quality of life" is affected by his prostate? Sounds like a pretty superficial life if its quality is impaired by a slightly enlarged prostate. How about the quality of a person's life who has lost a limb, had a stroke, is fighting cancer? Makes having to go to the bathroom in the night seem unimportant.

See, I shouldn't listen/view commercials. They drive me nuts, and I'm not even posting about the grammar and speech errors--eek.