Topics, Slightly Skewered

I’m about to embark on a home search. My brain feels overloaded at this point. No amount of over-thinking while looking at listings, will substitute for looking at the real thing.


Triple Tongue Tripping
The Chair Is Not My Son
Selective Memoir–y
Frontier Foibles
Fruit Fly Salad Days
They Wouldn’t Miss It, Anyway
Water Over That Darn Dam
Double Dog Days
Hide Your Wires and Children
Curses, Foil Packets Again
Familiar Faces, Wide-Open Spaces
Great Expectorations
Too High, Or Too Low?
Knee Deep, Knee Deep
Sundays With Sprinklers
The Call Of the High Water Pantaloons

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Penny For Your Thoughts

Technology that could be construed as too “Big Brotherish.”


You didn’t have to say it. You were thinking it.

Scientists at MIT developed a wearable electronic device purported to “hear” inner speech. It’s officially called the “Alter Ego” headset.  Billed as an “intelligence enhancement” device.

Electrodes pick up neuro-muscular signals in the jaw, triggered by internal verbalizations–saying words in ‘your head’–but were undetectable to the human eye.

…The signals were sent to a computer that used neural networks to distinguish words…

So far, the system has been used to do fun things like navigating a Roku, asking for the time and reporting your opponent’s moves in chess to get optional countermoves via the computer in utter silence.

…Motivation was to build an IA device–intelligence augmentation device, said MIT grad student and lead author, Arnav Kapur in a statement.

Pardon me for being skeptical.  The “what if” part–what if this were to get in the wrong hands, for the wrong…

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One Step Ahead

Plans were laid last December to sell our current home and relocate. We scoured home listings from three different towns in two states.

Then, our home was put on the market.  There were visitors hosted by selling agents for two-and-a-half weeks, then traffic stopped. No one wanted to risk being out with the virus scare.

We’d given up hope.  Surely nothing would happen for weeks, maybe months.  Then this past Friday, someone visited with their agent.  We watched them come and stay for over 30 minutes.  A good sign? 

Late Friday evening there was a call from our real estate agent.  Someone made an offer.  We made a counter offer, buyers accepted, and on Saturday morning, it was official.  We have until mid-May to vacate the property.  We have to find a place to reside.  The search begins in earnest.   


More Dad Jokes

I confess to passing on a few of these.


Dad jokes were more a category, than an exclusive genre of humor.

Other people told “Dad Jokes.”  Favorite aunts, uncles, teachers and preachers, told “Dad Jokes.”  Preachers told them because they weren’t nasty or dirty.

They were corny, plays on words, terrible puns, paraphrases.  From various sources,  TV shows, pop culture–long out of fashion.  Slips of the tongue, held against you for the next forty years.

It was Uncle Elmer, or others like him.  You stayed still, listened, no matter how many times you’d heard the same things before.  Inside, silently screamed for mercy.

I’m full. You’re a fool?

I’m stuffed.  Well, you look real.

Leave me alone. Make you a loan?

Don’t want to talk?  Cat got your tongue?

The rain in Maine fell plainly on the grain.

You’re mixed up. Your nose runs and your feet smell.

The calf near a silo, Was his fodder in there?


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The Heat Is On

The air conditioning went out in the main part of the house. How long had it been out? Hard to tell because of mild weather. Yesterday, inside temperature was 81 and climbing.

Summer weather is here this week with temperatures of 85-90 F. Not to be left out, the spare air conditioner in the sunroom went kaput. The main A/C was under warranty. This repair will be on us.

Neither of us tolerate heat well. I have terrible seasonal allergies. This is the time oak trees pollinate.  The A/C will get straightened out in the next few days. Wouldn’t be so bad, if we weren’t sheltered in place.

Omega Man

With empty parking lots at public places, that were formerly busy, at times, I feel like the main character in the movie “Omega Man.”

I’m referring to the one made in the seventies, starring Kirk Douglas.  Or maybe it was Charlton Hesston?  On second thought, it was Charlton Hesston.

So far, it hasn’t been that bad.  There have been people out and about the neighborhood.  This is a rural, sparsely populated area, so there’s been no encroachment of anyone’s private space.

Hope this health crisis doesn’t take too long, because I’m starting to be bored.  Like being out among people more.  What was I doing out and about?  Had to visit the grocery to restock essentials.  

Sometime After Alice (After Vonnegut & McLuhan)

A humorous look at the history of technology.


Sometime after Alice fell down the rabbit hole

And got into the bigger-smaller shape-shifting thing

Small screens changed to big screens

Then back again to, even smaller

McLuhanesque, mediums with messages

Humankind stared–and stared in awe

Instantaneously linked to the universe

Handheld, mirrored screens, let secrets leak

Cars went from big-fendered putt-putts

To bigger, faster, chrome-festooned chariots

Till we came back to earth in the seventies

Station wagons became compacts, sub compacts

Computerized with interactive touch screens

Rural farmhouses, neat cottages

Begat tract homes on suburban fringes

With long commutes to work and back

Which begat big, bigger, and still bigger mansions

To contain more cars, more people, more gadgets

More tension, ulcers, heart attacks, high blood pressure

Bigger wasn’t always better for some folks

Rebellious winds blew in with simpler lifestyles

Mini-farms, backyard chickens, the Tiny House Movement

Glorified homes on wheels with–just the basics, please

And you know what?  I think Kurt Vonnegut was…

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