Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reality Bites

lawn mower

Dreams do come true. At least some of the time. One of my dreams, when I was an itinerant manager for one of my employers, was to live in a house with a yard. I wanted to cut the grass, fertilize the grass, water the grass, and enjoy the calming power of a well tended lawn. Fast forward 20 years. The dream has become a reality, and sadly the reality is not an exact copy of the dream.

Not being mechanically inclined, I have always relied on the kindness of strangers to help keep electro-mechanical devices functional. My lawnmower is such a device. Every couple of years I do something stupid which results in a trip to the lawnmower repair guy. I gladly pay the premium.

Last weekend, in the midst of a lawn manicure, the machine abruptly died. After a minute or two of confusion, I diagnosed the problem as a torn throttle cable. This has happened before. I knew that a professional would be required.

So, bright this Saturday, I and the lawnmower travelled to our repair guy. Down Folly Road, in the company of the thousands headed to the beach. The trip was fruitless; the hardware store had eliminated small engine repairs from their income statement. But, I was told, their other store, on Johns Island, still provided the service. Off we went.

The young man working the counter seemed disinterested in my arrival. I told him what I needed and he said they might have the part in stock. Where was my machine? Did I want him to do the work? What kind of machine was it? Patiently, I explained that I had left the machine in my car, and yes I wanted him to perform the miracle. As to the machine, all I could recall was that the engine is a 6.5 HP Briggs & Stratton. He pointed to the shiny display of machines for sale and observed that the name was written on the chassis (inferring, of course, that my stupid self ought to be able to read and recall such facts). The cross examination, the haughty demeanor of the pimply faced teenager, and my apparent inability to exchange such technical information, all combined to force me into a state of mind that I rarely encounter. I departed the store, telling the manager that I would never darken their door.

But, the grass remains uncut. Not a dream, but reality.

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The White Album in Perspective

whitealbum

While checking out at my local grocery store today, I found myself in the slowest line. It was too late to change lanes, as everyone seemed to be getting ready for the Super Bowl. The gent in front of me was no exception, as his buggy was filled with beer, wine, snacks, and the rest of it. The only notable thing about him was that he looked a little old for most of his shopping items, having the hunched back, baggy jeans, and strap-on shoes that tend to mark our senior citizens. My opinion was confirmed when the clerk advised him of the total and he whipped out his check book. I sighed deeply, annoyed that he wasn’t availing himself of a debit card, and irritated that he didn’t start writing the check until he had a total. Typical, my inner voice pouted.

old man writing a check

Finally paid, he said a cheery good-bye to the clerk and everyone else in the vicinity and shuffled off to the exit. My order was quickly scanned, debit card payment accepted, and everything bagged.

As I exited the grocery and parked my cart, I heard the melodious strains of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da coming from a nearby car. Looking around, I saw an elderly woman sitting in a new Subaru Outback, windows down, stereo cranking. It struck me strange. Looking further, who should be putting groceries in the back but the old man slowpoke from the check-out lane? My smile was quick and involuntary, as I started to hum along. As I passed her window, I said. “The White Album – what a great set of songs!”

“What”, she hollered, trying to turn down the volume. “Great song”, I said, smiling.

The White Album is 45 years old. You do the math……..

"He Had Grown Used To Having A Car and A Driver"

Behold the adaptation of Tom Daschle, from man of the people to Grand Poobah:

From immigrant stock, he was the first in his family to graduate from college. Now he has forgotten that having a car and driver is considered a perquisite.

Details via the Wall Street Journal.

TigerHawk has more.

Thoughts on the Day Before

Cross posted at Gates of Academe…….

200px-Goethe_(Stieler_1828)
Found on a dismal Sunday, while preparing for the start of classes tomorrow, some words of inspiration from
Goethe. Described by George Eliot as "Germany's greatest man of letters… and the last true polymath to walk the earth.", this says much and inspires greatly:
   

Until
one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless
ideas and splendid plans:

        That moment one definitely commits
        Oneself, then Providence moves, too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole
stream
of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no
man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now.

Good stuff, and words to keep close by this semester……..

  

Hello, World!

No, I didn't disappear, or decide to stop the blog, or disagree with the muse. I lost my sign-in, and when I tried to log-in with Typepad using my gmail account name, Typepad wanted to create a new account for me. A complete fiasco, with a disappointing level of support from the Typepad folks. Thanks to blind luck, and some desperate typing, I'm back on board.

More to follow……

What Are You Doing for Christmas?

Bet most of you aren't doing this….

View Larger Map

According to Google Maps, 1,080 miles, and 17 hours and 36 minutes. We'll overnight in Paducah, KY, and hope for good weather. The last time we did this trip, we were caught in the middle of a major "winter event" that caused quite a bit of aggro. Departure on December 23, planned arrival in Iowa late December 24, with a 2 day layover before doing it all over again, but in reverse. Ah, the Joy of Christmas!