1-18-2017 Winnie ther Pooh Day

We woke to a “Winter Wonderland”- I would guess about 4 inches, although it may have been more before it settled. It is both light and heavy, slippery and sticky. How can it be both? I wondered, Willow, who drove in it last night, sliding backwards down the hill on Center Road above Fitch’s, pointed out that slime can be both sticky and slippery. OK, we have slimy snow. Or not, because I don’t think you can have fluffy and slimy at the same time. I was glad she got home safely.
dsc02738   Personally, I have decided to be unreasonable, and blame it on the folks at the Curia on Sunday. They insisted on calling it “the s word”; as in: “There is no indication of the s word in the forecast until after Birka.” . Well, at the time there wasn’t. As I was walking in Manchester the streets were bare. Our yard was pretty bare as well- only the last of the heap where we’d put the stuff we shoveled. In Manchester there were solid grey humps where people had walked over snow before it had been removed, compressing it into ice. These were often a foot thick- very impressive, and almost always at crosswalks.

We were up there for the pre-Birka Curia (business and planning meeting for the Barony), and I found out that there was a Save the Affordable Care Act Rally at the same time only a half mile away, so since I didn’t really need to be at the meeting, I figured I’d go to the rally. I didn’t know what to expect. There were speeches, there was applause. There were presentations. Afterwards I stayed to help fold the chairs. (When I came home I wrote a blog post about it.) Then I walked down to the hotel and met the girls. They’d picked up the Gold Key so that Kat could go through them before Birka. This seems like it’s creating problems, because it’s going to be very hard to carry all the Gold Key AND our stuff to sell in one car (and we don’t want to take two), but not only does it give Kat a chance to go through them, we always have to find a way to get them all into one car on the way home anyway because we can’t take them back to the storage after Birka because it’s not open when Birka finishes.

When Kat and I took the hats (and some bracelets she was selling from her page) to the post office, I mentioned what was in it, in the “hope this will get there on time” conversational gambit, and the Postmaster responded with remarks about how unnecessary that was, and how awful democrats were, how “look it up” Clinton (I think he meant Bill) had made horrible remarks to Billy Bush, which, when I did look them up were almost certainly the “grab her by the pussy” remarks Trump made. He’s supporting Trump and despising democrats for what he imagines they did, but Trump did. And he’s so totally sure that he says “look it up”! I have often heard that these Trump followers were mislead and gullible, but I hadn’t personally come across such an egregious example before.

Ah well, back to the letter. I suppose the big thing this week was getting the shower fixed. It did require Richard to go through the back of the closet. I hope at some point to get Wally go go in and put an access door in, because sooner or later someone’s going to have to work on those pipes again.  He guesses they put the pipes in, then framed up the shower stall, put in the board and tile and then the fixtures. Ælfwine had to cut an access hatch in to work on the pipes in the upstairs bathroom too. I can’t imagine why people don’t expect to have to do work on the same thing that broke once and make it easier to do it next time. (Sure, it’s been thirty years, but still, how hard is a hatch?)
dsc02729 Anyway, it’s got new fixtures, and we have enough water to shower and do laundry again which is a great joy. I expect that we will come to take it for granted again too soon, but meanwhile, it’s great. He was able to locate a 3 knob fixture. Apparently these days they only make the kind that have a central escutcheon, so you can mix the hot and cold that way. It’s supposed to keep you from burning yourself, but I don’t see how. You are still going to turn it to where you guess the water is going to be the right temperature, and wait to see how it comes out after it’s gone through the pipes, then adjust to personal comfort. I was disturbed at first because I was used to only turning the knobs about 20º and now you have to turn them about 270º before you get decent water pressure. That had me worried for a while.
Willow’s worked a lot at Avi’s this week. Avi was working on Saturday, and there was no school Monday (and Tuesday?). She is exhausted, but so is Avi, so she likes helping her. Poor Kat had a commission for a set of spats for a girl to wear over braces (great idea!) but for some reason they came out too short and she had to do them over. After all those tiny buttonholes! And they were fully lined, too! And who knows if anyone else would want them, after all they were made “big”. They pretty much fit over my Uggs. She’s remaking them, and we are considering getting her a new sewing machine that makes better buttonholes. I’m not sure any machine can make the tiny ones that spat buttons take easily.  She also spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to put some app on her phone to take pictures of Gold Key at Birka, and it wasn’t compatible. So she’s going to use my (unused) tablet instead. I think the problem was hooking it up to some website or other. I do not “get” apps.
I spent three hours on the phone today with Apple Support and Microsoft Support. Each thinks the problem I’m having with my computer is from what the other supplies. Kat sat and explained terms to me for part of it- Willow for another part. The thing is that I prefer to keep using programs I know how to use, rather than switching to whatever is newest, and they don’t like to support old ones. One issue we came up against was that updates from Microsoft wouldn’t upload (download?). The 2016 computer probably doesn’t like the 2008 programs and updates. But I certainly don’t want to lose all my old files!
Kat noticed it was .docx files that were more likely to cause the problem than .doc files, but of course, the problem wouldn’t present itself consistently, and that inconsistency makes the Microsoft people suspicious of the machine.
I spent some time this week scheduling guests for New Normal, and working on the CTCW blog. I wrote a couple of blog posts to schedule for the next couple of weeks and found someone to look at them for me- before they go up. One was based on taking times of change as points of power- referring to the nervousness people are feeling around the inauguration and staff hearings. The other was because I re-watched Disney’s Inside Out, and was really struck by the way Joy worked at being happy (as well as the wonderful revelation that Sadness was the way people learn empathy).  I only decided what to talk about tonight last night, going for a thing that’s been bothering me- the idea that “Evil witches are old and ugly, but good witches are young and beautiful” (to paraphrase Glinda). But you see it in Disney’s Snow White and Beauty and the Beast, and in so many examples. No wonder we are not eager to embrace being Crones. It could, in theory, be a recent cultural thing. People are less likely to accept that old people are repositories of knowledge and wisdom when they feel they can get everything from a computer at the touch of a button. Anyway, I decided to talk about it, and then, when I got to the studio page, it didn’t work for some reason. Jane and I both had a hard time getting in. After about 20 minutes I hung up the connection and called in using my phone. Thank goodness the battery lasted for the last 40 minutes! There is a great deal of ambivalence between the excitement I get from a good show, and the frustration from the hardware!
I spent a lot of time knitting this week- and last week. While I knit I watched all the  movies and the Lord of the Rings movies, AND the documentaries that came in the extended editions. I hadn’t watched them before and have a greater appreciation now of the art that went into it. I’d really like to hear the LOTR Symphony  which I think is the various themes strung together in one two hour piece. I’d describe it as a “good parts version” or highlights of the music from the film. I also watched half a series called Civilization (waiting for the second half to come from Netflix). I finished the series Supersizers eat….(Ancient Rome, the French Revolution, the Middle Ages). It was fun, and not too awful. I trusted some of their experts, mistrusted some of their silliness they were doing to make history interesting to the public, and am confirmed in my belief that nearly every period’s clothing looked better than the past 100 years. Now I’ve started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. It was produced by and stars Neil Patrick Harris, and he’s having a lot of fun with it. As it was a fun series of books, why not?
I read a post apocalyptic book called Station Eleven, and really enjoyed it while I was reading it, but now afterwards, can’t remember it well. I was frustrated by the assumption that in case of the collapse of civilization (there was a virus that killed over 99 percent of the population), that people are going to get violent in response to the challenges. Yes, the tech will stop working, and randomly surviving people aren’t going to know more about how to put civilization back together than one would expect. But I would think that with so much loss, people would be less, not more, likely to want to kill each other. You’d want to preserve life, to figure out a way to share. Yes, certain resources would be limited, but people most of all, much less than shelter, clothing, fuel, medicine, etc. That was all lying about free for the taking. What you’d want is what people had in their minds and souls. I don’t think you’d be quick to waste that, even if you were traumatized. Mark loaned me a copy of Friday the Rabbi Slept Late (1964), which I may have read back in my teens, but don’t remember. It is a dose of nostalgia to read that style of book again. Mother loved mysteries and I know shared some of that series.
I read the American Girl books- Maryellen is from the 50s, and I am not really thrilled to think of my youth as an “historical” period (although I was dismayed to note how normal the clothes and food looked in the Supersizers episode!). I have also started Kat’s present to me: Wicked Bugs. I have to remind myself that fascinating as they are, they are NOT a good subject for dinner conversation. So far I’ve read about spiders, scorpions, black flies, fleas, midges and scabies- which so far compete with bed bugs as the worst. How did we live in a world where we had to deal with them (and what they carried) more? (Shiver!)
Well that’s enough for this week. It’s getting late and I want to go to bed. I have to go to acupuncture tomorrow, so we’ll have to dig my car out. As the kids said, we didn’t do much this week.

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. Thomas Paine
Actually, I rather like the full quote better- I like the point of the uselessness of using scripture to argue with someone of a different religion. On the other hand, while there is life, I hold out hope that a person may accept reason again.