Saturday, January 22, 2011


The Jananese are supposedly a non-litigious people, but a Japanese woman is suing Google because her drying underwear showed up on Google's Street View of her apartment. I love Google Maps. They make me feel like an alien approaching earth in a UFO. You click in on Tokyo say, then switch over to Satellite View. Click in closer till you can see the buildings and streets, then grab the liitle yellow man in the left corner and drag and drop him anywhere. Presto, you're on earth. It's a static earth, but you can turn 360 degrees and move around town on the white lines. You get a feel for what a place really looks like, but it soon grows tiresome because every move, even a few feet up the street, is at warp speed. Then it takes several seconds for the new view to come into focus. As for the Japanese woman, I wondered why she didn't mind her neighbors seeing her underwear, but got upset when Google put them on its site. I suppose she became a celebrity in her neighborhood. Instead of losing face she found an unwanted one. In court she admitted to mental health issues being exacerbated. She only wants $7,000. Perhaps to pay for professional help.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Have you ever watched "Undercover Boss?" It's fun to see the CEO in disguise doing grungy jobs while his employees try to tell him nicely this is not his cup of tea. The best part is the boss revealing himself to the workers, telling them how they're going to be promoted or how their sick kid is going to get better doctors. It's an eye opener for the boss to see what his employees have to deal with and to see what outstanding workers he has, but I wonder how many company screw-offs get the ax when the camera quits rolling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Pause That Never Ends

I sat in the back row of a funeral the other day and saw a woman pulling on a pint bottle of pop. I won't say I was shocked. I saved that emotion for the pallbearer in bluejeans. But I was chagrined, baffled and nonplussed. Couldn't she abstain for sixty minutes? Perhaps she has some rare Diet Coke deficiency that requires topping up every 15 minutes. And what makes me so superior? There might have been friends of the deceased labeling me Funeral Crasher as they smiled and nodded.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Winter is a fierce beautiful beast. To endure it we must prepare ourselves, like the lion tamer cumbered with upheld chair and whip. Always alert, we might enjoy for seconds at a time his roaring and his rippling grace as he circles the cage seeking to get at us. But we're stuck in this cage for months on end with no applause from the crowd to compensate us for our danger and discomfort.
The saddest day of the year is June 21 when the days start getting shorter. Everything ripens then decays. This too is beautiful and makes no demands on us. But soon we're hauling out the heavy coats and paying the fuel man. Life becomes dark and messy. The lights of Christmas distract us from the loss of daylight. On December 22 there's only eight and a quarter hours of sun. But there's hope in this because the days are getting longer now. By January 27 the sun is rising before eight and setting after five and that helps me bear the cold and snow. February is made short to boost our hope. Winter's back is broken by March and Spring has her birthday then.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Cat Problem

There are cat lovers, cat haters, and people like me who feel overwhelmed by all the problems cats and the rest of us have to face. Today is the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Last Saturday several people were gunned down by a madman in Tucson. ASPCA has a commercial in which Roberta Flack sings over incredibly sad-eyed dogs in shelters. They will be killed if no one adopts them. Tonight cats will hang around farmhouse doors hoping to be invited in out of the cold. Up to a year ago a cat hanging around my mother-in-law's door would have been invited in. The cat would have been confined to the laundry room and shooed out at daybreak, but least it would have enjoyed a good night's sleep and something to eat. Unfortunately Frances died last year and her husband is indifferent to cats. He'll tolerate them outside and will even feed them on the porch, but he can't abide them in the house. A cat once ate his hearing aid, but even without that disaster he would not be having any cats inside.
My sister-in-law loves cats. She and her husband were up to visit the farm last weekend and saw first hand the plight of the two cats who hang around Einar's house. One of them will soon have kittens. Kathy did not try to convice Einar to let the cats come inside, but she did ask me to pick up a pet warmer mat. At her suggestion I put the mat in the garage out of the wind. A little red light came on when I plugged in the mat. After a while I carried the pregnant cat to the garage and set her on the mat. She immediately returned to the front porch. The mat instructions said the mat would not feel warm to the touch in cold climates. The pet will get warm it says by lying on the mat. I'm hoping the cat will somehow figure this out. The mat has a nice fleece cover and maybe she'll curl up on that tonight when it gets down below zero.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Delta, I Cave

I was in a snit about the high cost of flying to Boston on an upcoming trip and threatened to drive there. At first Teresa was agreeable to saving hundreds of dollars, but as she weighed those dollars against the cons of driving she asked if we didn't have enough miles for a free ticket. We have a Visa FlexPerks card which we were given after the Delta-Northwest merger. Delta went with American Express and Visa tried to hold on to it's Northwest carholders by pronising free tickets on any airline. I had little faith in this promise but checked our account and was surprised to find we had enough miles for two tickets. The Visa site took us to Travocity and a few minutes later we were booked through to Boston and back. So I say to Delta, Visa, Pope Benedict, and anyone else I may have offended, I apologize.

No Worries

We truly need to start worrying about the Chinese when they start coming over here adopting our orphans.