Another Thing I’m Not Going to Try

As we already knew, different people do like different things!


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Good Luck, Andy!

Do you remember the condensate Andy was collecting from from the refrigerator when the air was moist?

7-09-14 Refrigerator and tubing

Right now the air is dry, so it’s not a problem, but Andy is going run the tubing down to the drain in the crawl space. That means drilling a hole in the floor, but there’s no room behind the refrigerator to do it from the ground floor. So he’s trying to figure out exactly where to drill the hole up from the crawl space. Wish him luck. ;) (I’m betting he makes it on the first try.)

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cha·ris·ma — compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Example: “She enchanted guests with her charisma.”

I was intrigued to read this paragraph in a Foreign Policy article the other day:

Germans tend to avoid charisma in their public figures — think of dowdy Chancellor Angela Merkel — because it is a stark reminder of how the power to win over hearts and minds can be manipulated.

The stark reminder, of course, alludes to Hitler.

I don’t know if that’s really true of the Germans, but I don’t think it’s true here in the U.S. — my guess is a lot of people want charisma in their leader. Think of FDR during the depression — “All we have to fear is fear itself.” A lot of people don’t think his policies were that effective, but he did give people hope.

What do you think of later presidents? Say, JFK, Reagan, Clinton, Obama? Do you think any of them had charisma? Do you think it was a good thing?


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In a comment to the post Comfort Food, Evan said his was Vegemite on toast. He’s clearly not alone.

If you show this bottle of Vegemite to 10 Americans, half of them won’t know what it is. Out of the remaining 5, four of them will recoil in abject horror and begin dry-gagging, while the remaining 1 will say, “Oh, I love that stuff on toast!”

Show that same bottle of Vegemite to 10 Australians, and 9 of them will reach for the bottle to open and smell it deeply, and ask if you have any toast.
The truth about Vegemite …from an American foodie

I did a bit more research and found this classic TV ad for Vegemite:

We’re happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be.
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Our mummies say we’re growing stronger
Every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite
We all adore our Vegemite
It puts a rose in every cheek.

And this video of Oprah Winfrey’s reaction to Vegemite on her Australian tour.

Thanks, Evan! Fun stuff.


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Three Wise Monkeys

Do you remember the three wise monkeys: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil? Tom Cheney has updated them, as we can see from the box of the 2015 Cartoons from the New Yorker Day-by-Day Calendar.


Zoomed view:

Does anyone agree with the original wise monkeys any more?


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Burning in the Rain

Andy has been stacking piles of slash, waiting for enough snow so he could safely burn. We did get precipitation, but strangely enough for this time of year, it was in the form of rain, not snow: 1.32″ in two days. It came down gently, so it all soaked in instead of washing out roads, thank goodness. He did have trouble getting his bonfire started, and he took these pictures from the covered porch because the rain was still coming down, but it all worked out fine.







Yay, Andy! Yay, rain!


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A Favorite Poem

My recent post on Carpe Diem reminded me of of this ancient Sanskrit poem:

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the truths and realities of existence:

The joy of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
a memory of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!

It’s one of my favorite poems, but I have to admit, I like the T-shirt slightly better.

Do you have any favorite poems? Favorite T-shirts?


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Poor Congress, Poor Us

Poor Congress. It’s a perennial butt of jokes, and now Andy Borowitz says President Obama has signed an order that would convert the capitol building into housing for amnestied immigrants.

Signing the order in an Oval Office ceremony, the President said that American taxpayers would finally receive some value for a building that remains empty and unused for much of the year.

It will be a cause for celebration to see this building filled with people who are excited about making contributions to American society.

The problem is the parties are so polarized now that moderates don’t have a chance. They can’t win their parties’ primaries if they’re willing to work with the opposing party to do what they think is best for America.

Poor Congress. Poor us. At least a little bit of laughter is good for our health.


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This logo isn’t quite up-to-date. It’s ignoring Small Business Saturday, but it is a way for non-profits to get in on the action.


We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

The idea seems to be catching on, I’ve just received a number of appeals asking for donations in the name of Giving Tuesday, but it’s not for me. For me the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a quiet, reflective time. Remember, I’m the gal who’s already bought Andy’s gifts through 2016.

But have no fear, I get plenty of other chances to contribute during the rest of the year. They do make it easy — except to say no.


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Carpe Diem

The worst possible thing you can do when you’re down in the dumps, tweaking, vaporous with victimized self-righteousness, or bored, is to take a walk with dying friends. They will ruin everything for you.

First of all, friends like this may not even think of themselves as dying, although they clearly are, according to recent scans and gentle doctors’ reports. But no, they see themselves as fully alive. They are living and doing as much as they can, as well as they can, for as long as they can.
—Anne Lamott, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

In fact, of course, we’re all dying. Some more slowly than others. So doing as much as we can, as well as we can, for as long as we can strikes me as a great strategy. What do you think? What do you do when you’re down in the dumps or feeling victimized?

Carpe diem! A good reminder would be this T-shirt:


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