Sunday, September 1, 2013

The New Crop of kids Coming Up The Pike...

For the past few weeks I've been observing some of the new crop of little kids in my neighborhood, and around the area.  We've gone a few years around here with no new little kids, but this year, there are several who've passed the toddler stage and they're now full fledged little people.

The Mom's and Dad's are a different bunch of folks as well.  They aren't like the used to be.  These folks are "helicopter" parents.  They hover...All the time.  They are always with the tykes and don't let them out of their sight for a minute. Honest, it's amazing to see this action.

I get it.  They're hit all the time with the "missing kids", "Amber Alerts" and all the perverted wacko news reports.  These Mom's and Dad's are afraid to let the kids be kids.   They carry it a bit too far though.

I took my Grandson to the park.  The park is fenced all around.  If you sit on one of the benches in the fenced in area, you can see the whole park.  I sat down and let the kid run to the climbing slides and swings.  I was glancing at him every so often, but I was sitting near the gate. I figured I would see if someone was going to "steal" him.  A woman came over to me and said, "Are you here with a kid?"  I looked at her and said, "Oh yes, my grandson, over there", nodding to the area, not 50 feet away.  She looked at me in horror as she said, "Aren't you concerned that he might get hurt, or someone may try something with him?"  I looked at her in amazement and said, "Are you serious? He's less than 50 feet away.  I can hear and see him. He'll be fine".  She looked at me and said, "I don't know how you can be so calm?"  With that parting shot, she went to hover nearly on top of her kid.

Come on, enough of this already.  Parents need to let their kids get dirty, scraped, bruised and bumped.  Kids learn by doing things on their own. They need guidance, not insulation from life.  It doesn't do the kid any good to think they will never get hurt if their parents are constantly running interference from the normal kid things that happen when kids are playing.  

The problem as I see it is this: when all these kids go to school they won't know how to play with others without their parents doing their "hovering" thing.   I can envision it now as I sit here.  The kid will not be "happy" in school because they may not be able to create the same insulated environment their parents have given them since they took their first breaths.  The kids I see are all treated like Princes and Princesses, all of them.  It's like having all Chiefs and no Indians.  That, my friends is a disaster waiting to happen. 

In this country we have lots of boys and girls.  Not so in places like China.  There, the population of boy children far out weighs the number of girl children.  Now imagine a scenario, oh...about 25 years from now.   We in this country have lots of Princes and Princesses, but China?  They have an enormous number of single boy children who are all Princes, but they don't have the Princesses...Can you imagine what an anthropological, cultural nightmare scenario could happen.   Tons of virile men without the calming effect of females, or at least not enough of the females. 

Our Princes and Princesses think their lives will be wonderful, fulfilling and fantastic.  They will have expectations of grandeur and excellence.  The Chinese Princes will be looking for something to give them the same feelings of expectations of grandeur and excellence, but without the calming influence and feminine spirit of the Princesses.  I think this is a recipe for disaster.

I don't expect to be around when this disaster happens, but I predict it's going to be a doosie. The parents need to teach their kids how to survive in a world where everyone thinks their entitled to the best, the biggest, the brightest and the most and know that everyone else feels the same way.  The parents have to let their kids fail, fall, and fight with each other, so the kids are able to pick themselves up, brush off and get on with life.   Right now it's not happening around me. I only hope I'm living in an isolated area and others are not "hovering" so much. 

Monday, August 5, 2013


Funny how things happen when you're least expecting them.  Husband, Larry was bemoaning the fact that as he's aged he's been observing how little he is expected to contribute to society, or at least how little other folks think he has to contribute.   If a question arises, it seems as though he's invisible to the folks around him.  They don't seek out his opinion or answer to whatever they're questioning.  

I had to laugh, that's what happens to women of a certain age, far younger than the male species.  Oh, it happens to them as well, but the males are quite a bit older than the females when they start to become "the invisible men". 

Women as they age change from the "young ladies" to "the Mom's" then there comes a time when they sort of vanish before the eyes of others only to reappear when they become "the Grannies".   No kidding, it really happens.  

As women we are tossed together into groups, seemingly all alike.  We aren't separated or individualized as a general rule.  We're "one of the girls", the "Mommy brigade", the "wives", the "ladies who do lunch", you know what I mean.  We aren't expected to be individuals per se.  I may be more sensitive to this in my observations but I see it all around me.  

The fact that Larry has noticed a change in his acceptance into society got me thinking about men and why they become "Grumps" as they age.  They're pissed off.  No longer are they the top banana in the bunch.  They too have lost their luster so to speak.   There is someone younger who's taken their place in society and they've become transparent.   I don't think they're as invisible as we women are but pretty close. 

See for yourself.  Go into a store where sales folks are there to wait on customers and observe how long it takes to get served.  If there are other people in the store, observe how long it takes for them to get served.  I'm betting you'll come to some pretty eye opening conclusions.   If you're wearing casual clothing I guarantee it will take longer than if you are dressed more formally.  If your hair is white/gray they won't see you unless you have pom poms and start doing a cheer.

Larry had the invisibility experience himself and was absolutely baffled by it.  It didn't occur to him that he may be a victim of "ageism".   I told him, "welcome to the world of the invisible".   It gets worse.

For women of a certain age, we start to realize the invisibility age can be an advantage.  We can walk around stores and places and listen to conversations and get all kinds of little tidbits of information we would normally never be privy to.  That's kind of nice.  We can also shop at our leisure, without being harasses by sales folks at every turn. 

I think for men it's more of a slap to their ego.  I don't know if they ever get to the point we women get to, where we accept the invisibility cloak when we want it, and raise a ruckus when we need to be heard and seen.  I think the man are wont to be stunned and walk away questioning why this has happened to them.

I had to explain to Larry his experience was every man's experience and of course every woman's as well.  We learn to live with it, and what the Hell if we don't, we won't have too long before it won't matter anyway....We're old.  

So if it hasn't happened to you yet, be aware and remember fore warned is fore armed....You'll get used to it, most of us do...

Friday, July 5, 2013

and another thing.....

It's hotter than Hell here and everyone is wiping sweat off their brows, complaining about the heat. Mind you, these are the same folks who complained about the snow, ice and cold a few months ago.  The problem is, we in Northern New York are not accustomed to hot, humid weather day after day.  A couple of days a summer and we can take it, but more than that and we tend to become a bunch of whining brats.

The grocery store is the place to see the most complaining. People linger by the freezer section making all kinds of excuses to stay there and not make a move to any other part of the store. Consequently you have traffic jams in the aisles.  The other shoppers have to wiggle around the people who are pretending to have a reason to stand with the doors of the freezer wide open.   I stood there watching one guy as he opened and shut the freezer at least three times... I could tell he was using the door as a fan.  I don't blame him, it was really hot, but I wondered how long he was going to be able to do that until someone from the store put a stop to it.  

I walked away from that little action and nearly ran over a lady in the aisle holding Ben and Jerry pints to the side of her head.  She looked like she was in ice cream heaven.   The other side of the aisle sat a younger woman with two bags of peas on top of her head.   It's hot, but it's not that bad, of course we have air conditioning and we're kind of spoiled. 

In years past, up here in Northern New York we were in the minority with our central air.  It really was a luxury to have air in the houses.  We seldom had prolonged heat and humidity.   We could get along with fans and open windows.  It's not that way now.  When it gets hot here, it stays hot for many days.

My gardens are overwhelmed with water.  In the Spring one of the big oak trees was struck (again) by lightning and it was time to chop it down.  The tree grew from a little acorn when we first moved in here in 1968.  We've watched the tree grow over the years.  It housed tire swings, hammocks, assorted climbing things and it was the climbing tree.   The mighty oak was over 30 feet high when it took it's fatal hit from above.  The hit could be felt in the house.  The sound was like a huge truck hitting a brick wall.  We knew that was the last hit the tree could take.

The tree removal guys came.  They looked the tree up and down and decided the best course of action to remove the tree was to climb up to the top, cut off the top, remove branches as they came down.  There was no way the tree could be dropped without the prep work. It was too big.

It was sad to see it go.  I stood at my back door and watched the guys de-frock the tree and leave a tall telephone like pole standing.  They took down the trunk in sections and as each part was falling to the ground my tears were falling on my cheeks.   It's sad to see something that's grown up as yo watched fall to the ground.   As each part fell memories flooded my thoughts about all the fun the kids in the neighborhood had with that tree.  

Now the tree is in small pieces in the carport.  It will continue to give us pleasure, but this time it will be with heat and ambiance as it burns in the fireplace.   I guess that's what life is about ...birth, death and rebirth...and that can mean anything you want it to mean...

The removal of the tree has opened up that part of the yard to the sun.  The result of the new sunny part of the yard is, I have tons of new plants popping their heads out of the ground.  The tree had been shading the herb garden, now the herb garden is going nuts with growth and  huge plants. Around the garden there are 10' high tiger lilies blooming and an assortment of other flowers that came from somewhere, I didn't plant them but they came anyway.  

So the sun and heat are not all that bad. The heat helps bring new life into the yards  The rain feeds all the flowers and plants.  We should have a bumper crop of veggies this year with all the rain and sun. We'll see.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Curse of the Dark Cloud

It's at times like this when I truly believe we all have to have adversity hit us between the eyes a few times in order to get things into perspective.  It doesn't have to be life threatening, just annoyances to drive you bonkers.

This past week has been such a time for us.  We don't have much to complain about really, but things happen to annoy us and  because we're older we don't cope as well as we used to.  We tend to get flustered easy.  When that happens, the male of this couple usually goes ballistic.  I listen, not happily, to the tirade then I leave.  I don't like to be any one's whipping person and least of all my male partner.

We have had a spate of things happen in the last week which would make any person fly off the handle, and it happened.  The initial aggravation happened with my car.  It's old. I love it. I don't want to buy a new one. I want this car to live forever.  Alas, I know that can't be the case but honestly, does it have to die a little at a time?

I heard a "thud".  I heard the "thud" again.  Then it happened for the third time.  I decided I better have the "thud" checked out.   My mechanic of choice is a guy who is honest and an expert in my particular car.  He said to me, "What's wrong?" I told him about the "thud".  He looks at me and says, "Did this "thud" happen when you were driving or when you started up the engine?" I told him it seemed to happen whenever it wanted to happen and I didn't really know when it originally started...(I'm of the belief if you ignore "thuds" in the car, sometimes they fix themselves...this one didn't fix itself).

Into the garage it went...The "thud" was fixed along with the removal of $600.00 from my savings account.  One problem solved...

Driving into the garage, I see my partner in crime waving at me.  Now what? I thought.  The dehumidifier was running for the first time this season and ran and ran and ran for over 36 hours straight and didn't take out 1 millimeter of water from the air in the basement. 

The male partner started saying words I've only ever heard from drunken sailors or really angry bikers.  I'm not sure I knew what the words meant but I could guess.  Along with the dirty word tribute to the dehumidifier came some choice words aimed at yours truly. Why? you ask? How the Hell should I know..I think I was the closest thing there that would maybe make some kind of reaction...Who knows?  I left the house in my newly non-thuding car.

I came home several hours later to an empty house, the male partner took of as well, and turned on the dishwasher.  It started, then sounded like it was going to blow up.  I shut the damned thing off.  A little while later I tried it again.  No good, not even a groan.

I went down to the basement to access the damage to the dehumidifier and to see if there was something I could do to get the thing to suck out some water. ran ok but it didn't do anything except run up the electric bill. I did find a customer service number to call.

Thinking I'd get a run around but I'd try anyway, I called the service number.  Amazingly, the response was a real, honest to God person, who spoke English with no accent, well, there was an accent, but it was an accent from Georgia, (the US Georgia, not the Asia Georgia in what was once know what I'm talking about).  Wonder of wonders, success, I was able to tell my tale of woe, and was referred to another person who stated the company would buy back my dehumidifier for a full refund.  Wow, I couldn't believe it.

The male partner in crime came home still in a snit.  I let him stew a bit before telling him the news about the dehumidifier.  I figured I deserved the glory a bit longer before sharing it.

The dishwasher was still in some sort of limbo, but there was no way I was bringing that up at that time.  I went out to my car, turned the key and "THUD". 

I looked under the hood of the car and noticed oil drops under the thing.  Not a good sign in anybody's book.  I came in, called the mechanic, as my male partner in crime glared at me saying, "Jee-sus H. Christ, NOW WHAT?" (I didn't think it was prudent to bring up the dishwasher then either).

So, the good news is, the dehumidifier will be sort of fixed (buy the purchase of a new one when the check comes), the dishwasher repair folks came and fixed the dishwasher(I finally did tell the other person int he house about the dishwasher), the car goes back to the fix-it shop in the morning, and all will be fine again with the world...except the leather chair in the living room has decided to shed it's outer a sticky, gummy, and really quite disgusting way...The furniture guy will be calling me back...

Honest to God....I realize all this crap is inconvenient and not things that are really a big deal, but honestly...I've had enough this year, between deaths, sicknesses and all sorts of mechanical breakdowns I'm yelling, "Uncle, Uncle, Uncle!!".

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cultural Diversity....Upstate vs. Northern vs.Downstate New York

We live in "Northern" New York state, not "upstate".  Upstate usually refers to folks who live just north of New York City, like Westchester County and the like.  We Northerners don't consider "Westchester"  north at all.

When we travel anywhere we're cautious to say, we're from "Northern New York" not Western New York or Upstate New York.  We in Northern New York don't like to get clumped into the "upstate" group.  There's a good reason for it.  We are very different than our lower state neighbors.   We are certainly more rural and more like our New England neighbors to the East of us....For crying out loud, I have been know to make left or right  turns and end up in Vermont, it's happened more than once, I might add....I have this disability called "directionally challenged". I bet if I wrote a paper for a grant to research this disability I'd get the grant money in no time.

There are more than geographical differences though, a lot more.  We are truly a different culture. We like things to stay simple.  We don't like a whole lot of change.  And...we don't like people from downstate telling us what's good and what's bad, especially when they come up here to get away from all their things downstate, then decide to tell us how we can make it better up here.

Most of us, in the North, are loca-vores.  You know, we try to eat local, shop locally and buy things from our neighbors and the stores we can go to "downtown".  Yes, we have a downtown, and it's vibrant, ask all the folks from downstate who frequent our downtown regularly.

Here's the rub: I get it that they like this area, we're clean, we're calm and we're alive. But honest we're not dumb.  We know what we want and what we don't want.   The problem is, some of these folks who regularly come up here think they know what's best for us.   Never mind that they thought by coming up here they were getting away from some of the things they hated down there...

They come up here for all the amenities we can provide, without the craziness they're leaving behind, at least that's what they're thinking.  The problem  is, they don't seem to realize when they "suggest" to bring in some of the "essential to life" things like Starbucks, Eddie Bauer, Chico's and high rise buildings, they're making the place they came to, to get away from where they were, more like where they came from...

I know all about progress and continuing to get along with the times and all that hooey, but that's not what most of this is about.  It's about money, greed, and taking something away from folks who've lived here for years.

We were once a small town, small community, small population, that lit up during the Thoroughbred racing season.  The craziness of the invasion of the masses would last about 21 days.  However, because of greed and money making the season is almost 90 days now.   The town almost bursts at the seams with folks from all walks of life. The good, the bad and the ugly...although not so many ugly.....It's a true representation of the haves and the have-nots, most of us being the have-nots and most of them being the haves...or wanna be haves.

As a general rule most of the downstate folks are very nice.  You have certain ones though who can ruin everything in a matter of minutes.

I used to war a button on my lapel that said, "Ask me I'm local".  I don't wear it anymore after some incidents I was involved with, or one of my friends.  I took the button off and tossed it into the circular file.

Wearing the pin, I was walking downtown when a man about my age poked me in the shoulder and said, "Hey! YOU'RE supposed to help me!!"  I looked at him and said, "OK, what can I help you with?"  He said, "Where the fuck is the place (snapping his fingers.....and tapping his foot) know.....where you get that fucking rotten egg crap water?" I have to tell you I can swear with the best of them, but not to a total stranger who I'm asking for help. We live in a town with lots of mineral springs and some is like "fucking rotten egg crap" water.  I tried to figure out which of the springs he wanted to go to when her said, "What the fuck? Why bother with you fucking idiots up here. You're all a bunch of fucking faggots."

That was my first experience with the cultural diversity of us vs. them....I know I can't generalize but it got better...

The next incident for me was when I was nearly tackled by a couple of women who were shouting so loud and talking at the same time I couldn't understand what they wanted of me.   I asked if one of them would repeat what they were asking, The result of the request was: "Gees what're you deaf or somethin? Why bother." As they walked away.

After that I decided I would not be going downtown any time soon.  I'd wait until the masses of humanity left the town and went back to wherever they were from and leave us alone.  I haven't decided if I'll wear the pin this year or not....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ahhh... Springtime

Ahhhh...Springtime in the suburbs.    I arose this morning to the sounds, not of sweet melodic sounds of little birds scurrying around.  No, the sounds I heard at my bedroom window were more like a Mack Truck trying to get into the house, and not through the garage.  I could hear the banging of something attacking the siding.

After burying my head under the pillows to get relief from the racket, I finally thought I'd better get up and see what the Hell was going on in suburbia.   The side window didn't give me a clue but then the racket started again.   Following the noise I discovered several birds, big birds I might add, were trying to determine which of them had the right to the area above my bay window in the living room.   Oh yes, there was obviously a discrepancy on who held the lease to the ledge above my window. 

Watching the action from the relative safety of my living room, I could tell I was watching a Springtime ritual, that probably occurred a million times over and few of us get to see the action. 

There were two sets of Robins, at least that's what I thought they know, the ones with the "red breasts" we all learned about as a kid.  The ones who herald Springtime after a crummy bunch of months where we all huddle around fires and curse the Gods for all the damned snow that's fallen around us.

Now, I have to tell you, these birds are pretty tough.  I watched as one of the birds swooped down and smacked another of their species in the head.  I could see the attacked bird wobble in the air then turn tail and take off, maybe for help, I'm not sure, but I know one thing, the attacker was royally peeved.

The other Robin (?), must have been the female, although I wouldn't bet on that, was busily making a nest out of "stuff".   We've had nests on the top of the window ledge but this one takes the cake.  It's a freaking mansion.  I don't know if these birds have royal blood lines or not but they seem to think they do.

The nest goes from one end of the ledge over to the other side.  The window is 8' long and the nest is encompassing over 75% of the ledge.  To make matters worse, I opened the front door ever so slightly and found the outside door handle was strewn with nesting material.  The material, twigs, weeds, fleece and some other stuff I couldn't distinguish, was around the door handle up to the porch light.  The light was covered with the weeds and grass.  The fleece comes from me, I'm a spinner of yarn and in the Springtime I put fleece scraps outside for the birds to put in the nests....for the babies.....OK, I admit it, I'm a sucker for baby birds, as long as they know their place. 

When I opened the door to step outside I was "yelled' at by the two birds, who, apparently were watching me come out on to my porch.   They were not happy.  The attack bird, attacked!  I made it into the house before getting my eyes pecked out, at the very least, I'm sure.  

The nest seems quiet as I sit here, prisoner in my own house.   I beginning to think I may be in a new chapter of "The Birds".  I certainly hope not...

and the bad thing?....we're not paid any rent for the use of our house....something is wrong with that....

to be continued......

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Laziness-Value or Valueless?

I'm really becoming a slug when it comes to writing.  I have so many projects going at the moment, I haven't had the time to actually sit down and write much of anything.  This morning I decided to write whatever popped into my head. So here goes...

Do news anchors where pants when they're reporting the news, or do they have shorts on under the table?
Do they bother to wear shoes? or are they all wearing flip flops?

When you see the background filled with people working in cubicles behind the news anchors, are there really people working? or are they computer generated images?

How come anti-freeze tastes sweet, if it's deadly?

Do squirrels eat rotten acorns? If they do, do they get a stomach ache?

Why do some people feel they have to be ahead of everyone else in a line of traffic? Are they going to get someplace way faster than everyone else?  Does a nano second ahead of the line make that much difference, really?

How come whenever you change a baby's diaper they immediately poop?

If pipes in a house get corroded by the mineral content in the water, does that mean the people who drink that same water have some sort of "corrosion" going on inside of them?

Home come granola and muesli doesn't look as good as bacon?

I wonder how long it would take for hoarders who get their houses cleaned out, to get the house back into the "hoarder" state?

If we people are all alike, how come we don't do things the same way? Ergo-we're not all alike

Why isn't the whipped cream on the bottom of a sundae instead of on the top?

I could do this forever, but it's boring.....

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Computers and all thier add-ons

If you think about all the people in the world, I'm not as computer illiterate as many.  In fact, I've been known to do some pretty good stuff using a computer.  However, I have to tell you, when it comes to changing programs or adding new software I'm a dunce. 

People tell me that everyone has to give themselves time to learn the new nuances of whatever it is that's changed.  That may be so but honest to God, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been able to easily transition from one program or something to a new whatever. 

Almost every time I've had the opportunity to update something to my computer it's like I've decided to pound my head with a hammer.  Everything I try gives me a headache. 

I have a Garmin GPS.  I usually update the maps annually. This is not a big deal.  I've done it before, several times in fact.  No problem, right? Yeah...right.

I have a new operating system in my computer.  It's a hotsy totsy new and improved system.  No more do I have to put up with Vista. I have Windows 7 (not 8 because I don't want that one yet, I can't figure it out). It seemed similar to my Vista so I figured I'd plug the Garmin into the computer using the USB  port with the connecting cable I ALWAYS use...Didn't work... I grabbed the manual (thinking maybe I forgot something) read the instructions (written in Chino/English sort of....).  According to them I did everything correct.  So, I try again....Hooray....success....but....not really.

I downloaded the information from the Garmin site to my computer, then it was supposed to AUTOMATICALLY go to the little Garmin device.  It looked like it was doing what it was supposed to do but it only got halfway; it downloaded to the computer but stayed there. 

Now I'm wondering if I screwed up the little Garmin device somehow....

Two days go by, I've checked the device in the car, it seems to be doing what it's supposed to do but the maps are not the updated ones I need.  I decide to try again with the downloading..

I bring the device into the house, hook up the USB cable again and it starts to make funny noises....sort of like a cat purring, but I don't think this device is too happy... I have a bunch of these USB cables so I figure I'll try another one....I plug the device in again...The purring has stopped and the unit looks like it's doing what it's supposed to do...I was wrong.  A new screen comes on and says, "Please check your Internet connection and try again".  I do, it's connected....

I go to the Garmin site on the web.   AFTER 2 HOURS I'M ON THE GARMIN WEBSITE WHICH IS TELLING ME THAT THEY ARE HAVING PROBLEMS ON THEIR END. Now I ask you, how many people do you know that have problems like this? I swear this is the way my life with computers goes. 

Is it any wonder I have no faith in these God forsaken devices?  And I still don't have the damned new maps in the damned device.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I'm too old for this world I fear..

OK I've know for a while that I'm older than dirt but never more than now... I muddle along like most of my compatriots, and we do seem to go in a forward motion, most of the time to, but honestly sometimes it doesn't seem worth it.

Everybody knows we have to have change, and we all accept it. I mean, what else can we do? We sure can't say, "Stop the world, I want to get off".  (I think that was a play, wasn't it?) Sounds to me like lots of folks before me had the same thoughts. 

We live in an age where we can't do much without the use of computers.  You can fight it all you want YOU will go away, the computers, they're here to stay. So now we all have that straight. 

When the blasted things go bad, they go really bad.  There's no such thing as tearing the page out and starting over.  Well, you can start over,  but it's not as easy as it was when you were using paper and pencil.  You resign yourself to the fact that your life will be a  living Hell until you get the computer back to the way it was when it went bad.  My experience with bad computers is when they go bad, they take no prisoners. Nope, they are the killers...the psychopaths of the electronic world.  They don't give a flying fig about the person who keeps them powered up.  They don't care about the person who makes sure the other person in the house doesn't spill any coffee on/in them.  No, they're bad asses, totally bad asses.

My little bit of warning for the rest of society...Don't say I didn't warn you.  That's all.