Well, its been an exciting week with lots going on in Idaho. Jim (UB’s little brother) is fighting a big forest fire near Boise in very rugged terrain. There are a lot of very big forest fires, due to the hot, dry conditions, and recently, a couple of young firefighters working for the Forest Service were killed in a fire near Salmon.
Johnny (of recent poetic fame) has garnered notoriety once again; his engine crew had their pictures taken with the Blue Angels, the Navy’s precision flying team, who will be performing at the soon to be World Famous Arco Air Show tomorrow. Arco is 30 miles from Howe (where I live), and is where I work and where UB went to High School. It has a population of about 1,000. It is a VERY big deal for the Blue Angels to be coming to Arco, and the town isn’t really sure how to go about getting ready for upwards of 50,000 people inundating their town. Today and yesterday, the 6 aircraft and pilots that comprise the Blue Angels were practicing, and the whole town turned out to watch. It was breathtaking watching the close formations; sometimes they flew so low, one could read the writing on the wings of the plane. I am looking forward to watching them, and many other aerobatic pilots tomorrow as we wend our way through throngs of people in 90 degree (Farenheit) heat. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Also, we are getting our manufactured house put on a permanent foundation starting Monday, so will be unable to live in said house til the work is completed. We will be staying with John’s brother, so hopefully, will not wear out our welcome. It should be interesting; they are going to jack up the house and work underneath it to complete the foundation work. So, I will probably not have access to a computer for a week or two. So, if I don’t post for a couple of weeks, IT IS NOT MY FAULT!
Okay, I know that what you REALLY want are more tantalizing, embarrassing tidbits from the childhood of the enigma whom we know as UltraBob. Rachna, I really thought about writing about that Mexican jail thing, but since UB made the whole thing up (or else has been in a Mexican jail without my knowledge or permission, and since I am no good at prevaricating (no, really I’m not), I decided that I must only write the truth. I noticed that since I branched out a little bit creatively , I have had very little response from readers… I shamelessly crave your approval, so I’ll end with this charming little UltraBob childhood tale.
Important to this narrative are a couple of definitions:
Liverwurst: a sausage containing ground liver, or other ingredients having the taste of liver
Afterbirth: Placenta and fetal membranes expelled from the womb after birth
When I was first married, my husband was running a dairy farm. He milked cows twice a day in a semi-primitive barn (with electric milking machines), and calves were continually being born.After the calves were born, they were taken from their mothers and raised on a bottle with “calf milk replacer”. I know it sounds cruel, but the cows really didn’t seem to mind. It used to take me almost as long to feed all those calves as it took John to do the milking. But I digress. Later, after John tired of the hard work and of the low price of his product, we sold the dairy cows and calves, but still usually kept a few cows around.
Sometimes, we took Bob (probably about 4 yrs old) out to watch the miracle of birth, including the expulsion of the afterbirth, which the cow often times ate after completely licking off her calf. Bob was fascinated.
I had a dog at that time; my first dog actually. He was a black Irish setter, a cross between an Irish and Gordon. Jeff was the sweetest dog in the world, but not the brightest. He also enjoyed the birth of the calves, though perhaps for different reasons, and was always told to “scram” when we caught him sneaking into the corrals.
(On a side note, Bob had recently been visiting his grandparents who sometimes ate liverwurst for lunch. I think that Bob was not particularly fond of this delicacy.)
One summer day little Bobby came running into the house from the yard, where he had been playing, in great agitation. ” Hurry Mom. Come quick. Jeff has the liverwurst!”
Well, I’m sure you can guess the rest. What Jeff really had was not liverwurst at all, but the expelled placenta of a recent bovine birth. Jeff was not at all happy to have his prize confiscated, and then had to suffer the further indignity of a bath to remove a powerful stench. I’m not sure if he ever figured out that Bob “ratted on him” or not. After that, afterbirth had a new euphenism. And a new family legend was created.
It is time once again for the annual Dynamic Duo Fantasy Football league signups. If you know a lot about the game then you have a very good chance, and if you know nothing then you’ll feel right at home in our league. The only requirement to joining our league is that you do a little trash talking, but the number of teams is limited so let us know quickly if you would like to join! You can comment here or contact me at ffleague AT t4ac DOT com to let us know you want in and if you are fast enough we’ll send you an invitation.
Look forward to seeing you on the gridiron
P.S. On an unrelated note, I posted some photos of her trip to Barney’s Hot Spring that UltraMom wanted up on the site for her. This is a one time posting, and after this UltraMom will have to figure out how to post her own photos, although I will be glad to help her through this process whenever she wants.
Occasionally I get printed material, purportedly of a serious and informative nature that just strikes me as extremely funny. Usually it’s the manner in which it is presented; assuming the audience, it seems, to possess the I.Q. of a turnip. Or, perhaps it the unusual usage of a word or phrase. A prime example of this is the instruction manuals included with many technology products, which appear to have translated into English by one who is not altogether familiar with the language. The booklet included with my monitor, for instance, informed me that certain functions could take place when light was “blinkering.”
Today we are going to discuss a memo directed to the manager of the bank for which I work. It was from the company that issues the Traveler’s Cheques we have available for purchase by our customers. As the person in charge of such transactions, the memo was given to me. It’s main purport was to remind us that we MUST charge fees for certain sales, while other types were discretionary. See if you can fathom the included Settlement Flow :
1) Sell the cheques
2) Collect CF2 value and/or GC value plus Amex fee plus Seller fees
3) Remit to AE CF2 value and/or GC value plus Amex fee
4) Retain Revenue Seller Fees
Simple, right? But this is my favorite instruction: “Please cascade these procedures to all personnel who handle sales.” Cascade? When I think of cascade, I picture a wide waterfall rapidly flowing over a precipice. (I also think of a particular brand of dishwasher detergent that gets your dishes sparkling clean with no water spots). What I DON’T think of is distribution of information. With a little effort, I can picture reams of printed material dropping from the sky into the very hands of those with the need to know.
Perhaps I am making too big a deal over this, but I love words, and am amused by this unconventional phrasing. I think I would have been tempted to, instead, ask to have those procedures “passed along” to the appropriate persons. But that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. Or Colorful. Or Picturesque.
And by the way, feel free to cascade this post to all of your family and friends.
I will begin writing on this site regularly again at some point, probably when I once again have distinct days and nights, and something resembling regular working hours again. Right now I am working fairly constantly with brief naps in between, and it hurts one’s desire to write. So anyway, enjoy the respite while it lasts.
In the meantime I just want to put out a tip for any Mac OS X users out there who find that the Mac takes a long time to reboot or boot up. If you get a world icon (the same as the system preferences network icon) that blinks for a long time, and then a folder icon that blinks for a long time before you get the grey apple logo screen then you suffer from the affliction I was suffering from. Your Mac is trying to boot from a network connection, when there obviously isn’t one there for it to boot from. I just assumed this was the normal state of things because my iMac was like this from the first moment I turned it on, but 5 minute start up times were really making me unhappy.
Imagine my joy, and exclamation of “Doh!” when I discovered the problem. My system now boots in about a minute, and I am much happier. Note however, that even with the incredibly long start up times I loved the machine, and it has made me decide to switch to Mac. On that note I’d like to remind you that my iMac is on sale to help fund my purchase of a new G5 system. Please e-mail me at mac AT t4ac DOT com for more details.
Now without further ado, here is how to set your Mac to boot from it’s own disk be default (and speed up the boot process):
1) Open System Preferences
2) Click on Startup Disk (the hard drive icon with a question mark on it)
3) Notice that Network Startup is highlighted, and that there is another option (currently on my machine it is Mac OS X, 10.2.6 on Macintosh HD)
4) Click on that other option
5) close system preferences
6) reboot your machine and enjoy the speed
I know that a lot of us “dabble” in poetry, but I am privileged to be acquainted with a bona fide poet. One who has been personally invited to attend the Famous Poets Ninth Annual Poetry Convention in Orlando, Florida by none other than Lavender Aurora, the Poetry Editor. Somehow, I snagged an interview with this important man. It was quite a coup, and no easy task. So without further ado, may I present Johnny McDonald, or as we sometimes call him (behind his back) Johnny Wordsworth Longfellow.
UltraMom: Tell me a little about this Famous Poets Ninth Annual Poetry Convention.
Johnny: (In a bored, “no big deal” tone of voice) Well, it seems that my most famous poem “Depression” has been chosen to be eligible for a presentation. I will be honored as a Famous Poet for 2003 and receive the elegant Shakespeare Trophy of Excellence, and poets from all over the world will be there to cheer me on.
UltraMom: That sounds exciting. Is that all?
Johnny: No, see, it says right here in the letter: “ There’s more!” The Board of Directors has also elected to present me with The Johnny McDonald 2003 Poet of the Year Medallion! This medallion, suspended from a stylized red, white and blue ribbon, like an Olympic medal will be exclusively handcrafted for this occasion only.
UltraMom: How many people were you competing against for this Johnny McDonald 2003 Poet of the Year Medallion?
Johnny: Well, this is an international thing, so I’m sure the competition was pretty stiff.
UltraMom: (Glancing at letter) Gee, you weren’t making this up. And it looks like this is only the beginning……..
Johnny: Well, yes as you can see (quoting from letter) “Dr. Kenneth Fan, the renowned..
UltraMom,( excitedly interrupting) Wait….you don’t mean…. It’s not THE Dr. Kenneth Fan, the renowned poet laureate of China?
Johnny: (condescendingly) Funny you should ask……..yes, yes it is. We are old friends. And don’t interrupt me again if you wish this interview to continue.
UltraMom: Sorry. I just can’t believe that you know Dr. Kenneth Fan personally.
Johnny: See for yourself “Dr. Kenneth Fan, the renowned poet laureate of the Republic of China and our convention superstar has asked that you walk with him in our Famous Poets Parade! As Our Grand Marshall, he invites you to bring a poem of peace to release “on the wings of Pegasus” during our Famous Poets for Peace Balloonathon. Your poem is your message of love to the world. Hundreds of balloons will be released at once with poems tied to them, making a rainbow of poetry in the sky.” AND Dr. Fan is SO excited about my coming to the convention and walking with him in the Parade and Balloonathon that he is offering me a $100 Scholarship, PLUS $100 for any guest I bring (use enclosed coupon).
UltraMom (rapturously) Wow! I am almost speechless. Can you tell us a little about your career as a poet and this amazing poem “Depression”?
Johnny: I’ve always kind of liked poems. Except for those ones they made us read in English class all the time. Okay, I can’t really remember off hand any poems I liked, but I’m sure there were some. I also don’t remember much about my poem, except that it was really good and I sent it off to a magazine one time.
UltaMom: Well, no matter. You have always been good with words. Just out of curiosity, have you ever reached the levels of Thesaurus Rex and Super Dictionarium in the Bookworm game?
Johnny (looking confused): No. Why do you ask?
UltraMom (smugly): Oh, no reason. Let’s get back to the Balloonathon. What else is going on at the big Poets Convention?
Johnny: Oh, you know. I could win the $50,000 poetry contest. And with all her heart Lavender Aurora wants ME to win this contest! I just send in my poem, of 21 lines or less, and make sure it can be read in less than a minute. Listen to this: Ahem “As part of our Famous Poets Master Workshop you will be invited to read your contest poem aloud! Our instructor Al D’Andrea for all his eminence is as comfortable as an old shoe. When you complete your workshop, you will be awarded with the most handsome diploma you have ever seen. No calligrapher will ever pen your name so beautifully again!”
UltraMom: It all sounds just too wonderful for words. I’m sure you will make us all proud. You will be attending, I presume?
Johnny: Well, unfortunately, I have a previous commitment or two. Unless you would like to donate the $495 registration fee and spring for a round trip plane ticket to Orlando, Florida?
UltraMom: Er, Um, You had better honor your other commitments. I’m so proud of you for keeping your priorities in order. Well, look at the time.. Thanks so much, Johnny. This concludes our interview. Good day.
This site (and all other sites on my server) will be down on Saturday (Japan Time) for server maintenance. If all goes well it will only be down for a couple of hours, keep your fingers crossed. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming
I regret to say that this post will be of a somber note as I contemplate the eminent departure of a dear little dog who has been an integral part of our family for many, many years. Frankie, a little wire-haired terrier has the incurable medical conditions of congestive heart failure and a partially collapsed trachea. We have known of this diagnosis for about a year, and until recently, have been managing it (sort of) with medications. His most obvious symptom is a frequent, barking cough, but the scariest one manifests itself when Frankie is over-excited, usually at the arrival of a loved family member. He collapses on his side as if dead, unable to get enough air. But after he calms down a bit, he comes out of it and acts normal again. Well, now the poor little guy coughs all the time, and can hardly walk. He won’t even try to get outdoors to “use the facilities” any more, and that particular type of house cleanup has become routine around here. For about a week he has refused to eat his expensive “heart diet” canned dog food (wherein we hide the pills), and now is even refusing the contraband canned cat food he so coveted before. Such is his importance in the family that Johnny was ready, after I called him about 8:30 tonight, to come straight home, a one hour drive, so that he might see Frankie alive once more. I persuaded him to wait til tomorrow, and hope that won’t be too late.Side note: (Well, I always seem to underestimate the little fellow. I was touched when he lumbered in here to assume his favorite position of lying by my feet under the computer desk. He even deigned to eat a little of that aforementioned cat food. And then, suddenly, a flash, a noise, and my computer was dead! I finally figured out that Frankie must have hit the master power switch on the surge protector with his foot! I am so proud of Microsoft Word for saving, without being told to, most of my document!) We inherited Frankie on the death of his “Dad”, who also happens to be my husband, John’s Dad. It seemed that promising to take care of his dog was the least we could do for Dad, who was dying of liver cancer. Frankie’s full and complete name is “Francis Xavier Macintosh McDonald”. I used to tease Dad and tell him that I thought he should have named the dog “FrankEinstein” because he was so smart. The funny thing was that we had watched Frankie for Dad before, and if we weren’t vigilant, the little tyke would always run “home” (about 2 miles away), and we would have to go chase him down. But Frankie was present at Dad’s death, and as devoted as he was in life, afterwards he never ran away or even seemed to look for his master. I always thought he somehow knew.