Category Archives: Prattlings

The Power of the Dark Roast

I got up this cold, cold morning and found that while we still had water flowing, the internet was not. So I went over to my workshop intending to take a hair dryer to the router, melt the blockage, and get the electron flow moving again. But it turned out that there was nothing wrong with modem or router: our LAN is working perfectly, it’s just that my laptop does not feel like being conversational this morning.

So I settled into my chair, set my mug of hot, black coffee in its place next to the laptop and began working on a local writing task.  The scent of this invigorating elixir was, apparently, enough to change the laptop’s mind, for after a few moments of typing, it went “bing!” alerting me that new e-mail had arrived.

Coffee is great stuff, isn’t it?

The Rolling Browns

Power outageDespite being right next to TVA, the nation’s largest government owned supplier of electricity, our region has been experiencing rolling brown-outs and even power losses because of the cold in areas where too many people are using too much power all at once.  Primarily this effects that “everyone is getting ready for work” time slot.  The power utilities have asked us (us as in everyone, not just Marie and I) to be mindful of our power consumption between 6:00 am and 9:00 am until we get through this extra-cold spell.

We (Marie and I, this time) are doing our part: Continue reading The Rolling Browns

Zen Sarcasm

I did not originate these, but I’ve collected them from various locations on the World Wide Web as I’ve encountered them.  Enjoy!

  1. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
  2. It’s always darkest before dawn.  So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.
  3. Don’t be irreplaceable.  If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
  4. Always remember that you’re unique: just like everyone else.
  5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  6. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
  7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
  8. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.
  9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  10. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.
  11. If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
  12. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.
  13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
  14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
  15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
  16. Duct tape is like ‘The Force’. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
  17. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
  18. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.
  19. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  20. Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.
Buddy Wingo the Beagle

Beagle Tender

Marie was up before 4:00 this morning: low blood sugar.  Her ministrations in the kitchen roused Buddy Wingo (who was at that time sleeping in a crate in the kitchen) and of course he wanted to be up with Marie.  He adores Marie.  His vocalizations roused Josephine who decided to turn it into play time.  Before the Beagles may play they must go outside to pee.  Marie was not up to beagle herding yet, so I got up to help with that.  It was time for me to be up anyway.

When they got back in and Marie was ready to head back to bed, Josie decided she’d rather sleep some more too.  So Buddy joined me in the den while I tried to study.  After a while, since I was not willing to devote myself entirely to scratching his head (I was scratching, but also trying to read my Bible) he wandered off.

A half-hour later I went out to the kitchen for another mug of coffee and found Buddy curled up in his crate snoozing away.

He did raise his head as I approached, “Is it time for breakfast?”

“No.  Not breakfast time yet.  Not for another hour.”

“Oh.” and put his head back down.

He’s a good boy.

The Importance
of Word Order

There is a meme going around that illustrates the power of word placement very well: place the word “only” anywhere in the sentence and see how the meaning changes, yet it remains a proper sentence.  I won’t go through all of them, but let’s look at a few.

Only she told him that she loved him.
No one but her has told him of their love.

She only told him that she loved him.
Her profession of love for him was not sincere.

She told only him that she loved him.
She admitted her feelings to him but no one else.

Go ahead and work the rest out in your head and you’ll see that this sentence has many diverse meanings depending on where you place “only”.

And then there is this “rule” for descriptive words put out by the BBC: Continue reading The Importance
of Word Order

Telephone Telefollies

telephoneHave I mentioned lately how much I dislike the telephone?  This is not a phobia or even anxiety over the use of a phone, and not aimed at any version of the telecommunications device in particular.  It’s a dislike of the device in general.

Most people openly wonder about my sanity because they LOVE their telephones and spend 73.6% of their lives talking on their cell phone, or playing games on their smart phone, or checking Facebook or e-mail on their phone.  I don’t do any of the latter and avoid doing the former.  I just don’t like telephones.  Cell phones in particular.  My friends berate me for my refusal to join The Collective. Continue reading Telephone Telefollies

Fine, Just Fine

I inwardly cringe as I walk up the steps to the door.  Just inside I am met by a large fellow with a round, ruddy face.  He smiles broadly, “Well hey there, Doug, how you doing?” and sticks his hand out.  I wonder for a moment what would happen if I told him how I’m doing – but immediately dismiss that.  I’ve seen it before. I’d tell him about my concern and that would open the door to a rebuttal involving a litany of atrocities that make my ailments seem penny-ante indeed. So I shake his hand and say, “Fine, just fine.”  I deliberately leave off the expected, “and you?”  We will just leave that door closed.   We smile at one another and move in divergent directions.

This exchange is repeated a half-dozen times before I locate a spot that is the slack-water of the room where I can be present, but out of the way.  Not hiding, but not easily accessible either. Continue reading Fine, Just Fine

Here’s the Thing

The thing is that I don’t know enough about the thing to be able to quantify the thing well enough to discuss it accurately. Not that anyone cares about that; so many people spout off about so much without knowing much of anything about that thing.

Knowing what one was talking about would require the acquisition of facts. Who has time for that? Facts are anachronistic: relics from a bygone era when people cared about truth. No one cares about facts now. No one cares about truth now.  What matters now is how the thing makes you feel. Emotions are what rule our society now that The Enlightened have taken over.

Those who become indignant when The Enlightened burn homes and loot businesses of innocent bystanders because someone said or did something that upset The Enlightened, are knuckle-dragging bigots, bent on hauling society back into the caves of law, order, and morality.

And that’s the thing.

Josie’s Midnight Con

Doug
The dogtor is in

Josie Bean has taken it in her mind that if she gets me up anywhere between 2:00 am and 4:00 am and goes outside that I should give her a stick-treat.  We are in the habit of giving stick-treats to good dogs who go outside after they get up so they are “safe” to let run loose in the house.  But that is after We the People get up, not whenever they decide they need a snack.  She’s trying to con me: and it’s not the first time. Continue reading Josie’s Midnight Con

Aaannd … it’s DONE!

DougFor the past … oh … year or so, I’ve been working on a garden upgrade project.  The entire thing has been chronicled on Grit Magazine’s web site (list of links below).  Feel free to click through to go read all about it.  Make sure you have a beverage handy.  And a sandwich. They can take a while to read through, but they’re chock full of tips and advice on doing this.

Mega Garden Box

Today, Julian the Boxer and I completed this project.

Well, almost. Continue reading Aaannd … it’s DONE!