Saturday, October 29, 2011

Did You Know....

...because I didn't until today.


For the first time since what most of us grew up with as the "Emergency Broadcast System"  (This is a test.  This is only a test...) a nation wide test of this system will be held on the above date.  I'm accustom to this test cropping up on a monthly basis on my weather radio, statewide.  To this day, that danged "tone" drives me insane...I have hearing like a dog, evidently. 

For approximately 3 minutes the airwaves across America, from t.v. and radio, to satellite, etc.  will conduct this test simultaneously.  Try here for more information on this  test.

Although not overly publicized at the moment, I'm glad to have discovered this now, rather than worry terrorists had taken over the airways.   I only hope the EBS gets an A+.

Not so sure picking the date 11/9/11 was such a reassuring influence.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday 55

Whatever treat you've cooked up, make sure to share it with the g-man; especially if it contains 55 words.  

“What’s wrong Jack?”

“I just don’t have it in me to celebrate Halloween.”

“Why?  You’re perfect,” his friend offered.  
 “I know today’s kids aren’t quite as creative.   
And they don’t believe in the Great Pumpkin.”

 “I’ve looked inside myself, 
only to discover my destiny isn’t Halloween. 
It’s pie,” Pumpkin Jack sighed.   
 “No guts, no glory.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who are YOUR Heroes?

Brad Meltzer has written a new book entitled, "Heroes For My Son".  The basic idea was the simple musing of a new parent, "What kind of man do I want my son to be?"   I'm sure it's a question all parents wonder at some point.  But the "simple idea" took on a life of it's own when Meltzer realized that just naming people like Abraham Lincoln was easy.  What about the stories behind what makes a great man?  Or woman.  Did you know the Wright Brothers brought along extra materials when they tested their airplane...for when it crashed?  Not because they believed they were always doomed to fail, but because they were prepared to keep trying in spite of failure.

I like that attitude.

Melzter had a convincing argument for heroes, "History doesn’t just pick people.  History picks everyone.  Every day.  The only question is, do you pay attention…do you put in the hard work…do you hear that calling?"

Although the book is composed of 52 heroic subjects, I wondered if I could name ten...not including friends or family.  After all, I was raised by great parents, I have a wonderful Hubby and a friend from college who STILL understands me and yet she loves me in spite of it.  Those are my "personal" heroes but because you don't know them, that doesn't seem to count.

So here's a simple challenge: name 5 of your heroes and if you feel like sharing, tell us why.  Here's my stab at it:

Mark Twain: despite the "political correctness" now being forced onto his stories, the fact is, the man was a great storyteller.  Besides, through him I learned you can tell stories using a pseudonym and not go to jail. (What?  Did you really think my name is 'hope'?)

Capt. Kangaroo: So this is a nod to my childhood.  For those not familiar, before the days of "Sesame Street" there was this children's show with an emphasis on enjoying the silliness of childhood, combined with reading.  To this day, my favorite childhood book is "Stone Soup", followed by "Caps for Sale", both of which the Capt. read to us often.  As an adult, I added a copy of both to my bookshelf. 

The Mercury Seven: no, not to be confused with some political activist group of the 1960s, these were the first 7 NASA astronauts.  I have no idea why I liked Gus Grisham best, but he was one of the astronauts who died in a fire on the launchpad during a test.  With these men is a nod to Gene Kranz, Flight Director during that time.  These men made me believe we could go just had to work hard and keep trying. 

Tom Hanks: yes, the actor.  Why?  Because he has been able to portray so many faces of America (and one completely made up foreign country if you saw "The Terminal") in a way which illustrates the one trait we all share: we're human..and more alike than we realize.  He's my modern day Jimmy Stewart: the "all American Every Man" before movies came from Hollyweird.

Elizabeth Kitchen: okay, you don't know her personally, but if you write, chances are you had an English teacher like her.  She was my 7th grade teacher and inspired me to learn as many words as possible. I still remember how she pronounced "Cacophony" with such enthusiasm. With her white hair and plump cheeks, she reminded me of Santa's missus.  And I love the fact that her "punishment" once got the best of her.  Chewing gum in her class was forbidden; get caught and you had to memorize a poem to recite in front of the class.  At that age, reciting, poetry, punishment and public was not a good combination for the ego.  My friend Pete got caught and as he rose to face the punishment, there was a twinkle in that 13 year old boy's eye.   Rather than select a quick poem to get it over with, he'd memorized a sappy love poem. His delivery was so moving, half the girls in the class swooned.  Mrs. Kitchen kept her composure as Boy Romeo finished his recitation, nodded that his punishment was complete and indicated he should return to his seat.  As he did, her cheeks flushed the pink of a young girl, totally smitten.

That's the start of my list.  What about yours?

Friday, October 21, 2011

And now a word from the Kid

Just wanted you to know there's no need for anyone 
to gather a search party.  
hope was under the weather earlier this week, 
so she asked me to look in and see if y'all are okay.

You look fine to me.

Carry on.  And have a great weekend!

No, she can't speak with you right now,
it's time for my dinner.

And to make my point,
I just shoved the keyboard away with my nose.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You ARE a Hero!

If you've had one of those weeks (raises hand), then run over  here and type in your name.  Guaranteed to make you smile. 

Courtesy of author Brad Meltzer...who made my day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday 55

I've got my act together...well, 55 words of it any way.  If you write one of these challenging gems, make sure you share with the g-man.

The sudden appearance was so startling,
she hit the brakes.

Was she seeing things? 
That really was the symbol of freedom taking flight.

Once it’d been quite…
In today’s world…

As the Bald Eagle soared
she was glad Benjamin Franklin had lost his battle.
She couldn’t imagine feeling patriotic about
a Turkey.

True story.   We live near a large lake system and our temperate climate makes it a good spot for Bald Eagles to nest.   Although I’ve seen them on the lake, and occasionally flying overhead where I live in the country, the sight isn’t an everyday occurrence.  Plus,  they’re a lot bigger than they look on television.   And every time I see one, the little kid in me jumps up and down thinking, “Would you look at that?!”

For those unfamiliar with U.S. history, when America was deciding on a national symbol, Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion was the Wild Turkey, because it was so plentiful.  His suggestion lost by one vote.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hey Canada!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"We're All Clark Kent"

Last week I was lamenting that the adults of the world I'd grown up admiring are gone.  Disappeared like an extinct species.  Then I ran across this video, posted by author Brad Meltzer.  Don't let the title scare you's worth the time.

And so are you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday 55

It's story time so perhaps when the g-man returns, he'll give us a comment or two.  Don't forget to tell him you shared.

It’d been a week of changes.
The end result would be great.
Surviving the renovation was another story.

Fact: Senior citizens hate change.
Update: they express that loudly.

Grasping for some control,
she changed her cell phone photo.
Ah, beautiful Ireland.

It was only later that she realized 
the photo was dominated by...
a cliff.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day Two: Oh Boy

There is one universally acknowledged concept and it doesn't matter where you live: senior citizens do not like change.

And they have no problem sharing that fact with you.

It's understandable.  My group has been displaced from their little home away from home.  No temporary site will even come close.  Add the fact that everything I'd told them about the building to comfort them and make it feel familiar backfired....all because the Boss decided to help by setting up a different parking space for them.  One in the opposite direction of where I'd insisted they'd be closer.  It was kind of her, and to be honest it is closer.  But the seniors felt betrayed because it wasn't what they EXPECTED.  Hard to sell change when the very first "Trust me, we can do this," looks like a lie. With no phone (still), I couldn't let them know ahead of time of the change.  No way to e-mail either.  Seems right now my computer only likes to e-mail people it the County system.  It mistrusts anything ending in yahoo, hotmail or gmail.

Old computers don't like change either, it seems.

I've cooked lunch for these folks once a week for 18 years.  Today, it felt like I was going into the kitchen for the first time because I had to use a gas stove. It, of course, cooked totally different than my old electric restaurant style stove at the Center.  Timing is everything.  And I've always had the food out on the buffet table at noon.  High noon.

Turns out the stove was the least of my problems.

No, it was the heating/cooling system which did me in.  I'd been back and forth through the building so many times, not counting extra trips to the kitchen to ensure I wasn't setting anything on fire, that I didn't realize how cool it was in the room.  The seniors did.  They began to complain.  Loudly.  I know how easily they get chilled and I have a couple who are 91 and 95...and refuse to take Flu Shots.  I would've gladly adjusted the temperature but ah...County buildings which are rented have actual LOCKS on the thermostat to keep temperatures from being changed.  Smart in theory.  Not so good today.  

I tried four different people for keys to that lock. Either the ones who might have a key had left or the ones still there didn't have one.  Nope, none in my new group of keys either.  So I wrapped one lady in my sweater and fixed everyone who was cold a cup of hot chocolate.

I knew their joy about the presence of an ice machine had evaporated.

During the final two games of Bingo, after the room had finally warmed up to a comfortable temperature, our new Office Manager came in and announced proudly,"I have the key!  How hot do you want it?"  Everyone giggled and I had to explain that the group would be leaving in 10 minutes.  However we thanked her for the effort. 

I see a new key in my future.

During the last game of Bingo, I felt a cool breeze.  I glanced around, knowing I'd shut every door which created a draft.  Puzzled, I looked at the group and said quietly,"Is it just me or did it suddenly get rather breezy?"  As they nodded in agreement, looking around the room, a loud rumble belched overhead.

It was the Air Conditioner turning on to cool off the room.

Ah, the sunny South.  Last week you needed the AC every day.  This week, you don't need it at all and the mornings are cool enough for a little heat.  Especially if you've had more than 70 birthdays.

In spite of the grumbling, we had a nice lunch, meaning I didn't burn anything.  Although the crowd wasn't as large as normal, they did promise to come back next week for lunch.  Especially now that they have their own parking lot.

As two who had done the most complaining hit the exit I heard this exchange.
"Personally I don't care for the place.  Lunch was good though."
"Oh, it wasn't all that bad.  Just needs a little heat."

I went back to my little office feeling vindicated.  For about two minutes, until one of my British ladies came by with her friend.  As they stepped into my new sanctuary, she very primly offered, "Oh my!  They've stuck you in a closet!"

Keep tapping friends.  Keep tapping.  Map, you can hum.  Maybe tomorrow I might even be able to hear you.  Did I mention my computer doesn't have speakers?

Ah, but I have an extra set at home.  Perhaps tomorrow they can join their new friend, the Telephone, on my desktop.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day One: It Begins

Let's just say everyone in my new "temporary" office was so nice to me today, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Thankfully I'm in the office suite with "The Guys" of the Athletic Dept., which means it will NOT be 99 degrees by the end of the week.  We have agreed if they keep it too cool, I have sweaters.

I love my sweaters.

I also now have lots of shiny new keys, the alarm code, a computer updated after 2 years of sitting alone and a file cabinet which smells oddly like stored floor cleaner, but I can fix that.  The missing ceiling tile "hole" was covered within hours of me mentioning it.  I guess other people just don't have to look up as much as short little me does.

Half the co-workers seem to be in a scavenger hunt to find me a phone that works, I now have a pantry only I can access by key...which means all the stuff stored on my back porch at home can go there to roost.  And the Boss knows where there are a pair of matching chairs and a small table to make my, office...prettier.

The real test is tomorrow, when the Tuesday Lunch group arrives.  That will make me or break me.  The card players were fine this afternoon...they're in love because they've discovered the ice machine.  But it's the Tuesday Regulars that will tell the tale.

So as I sit in my windowless office (I brought a 'window' from home; a multi-section frame filled with photos of OUTSIDE) and wait for the computer to get past "Loading #8 of 88 updates", don't forget to tap on the screen.

No, not to wake me up.  To ensure they don't get so attached to me, they won't let me back out.