Monday, October 13, 2008

"Current Events" Tidbits

In an attempt at a pale shadow of coherency, I'm dividing this batch of tidbits into two groups. The first (or in other words, this 'un) is a mix of random things that have been happening or have been recent topics of discussion (between us, at least). The next will be more "entertainment-related" topics-- i.e. books, movies, TV, and so on.

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Last week, someone from Louisiana called and left a message for another someone named "Charlotte J********". The message was something about a shipment of snakes-- oh, and he was sorry if this was the wrong Charlotte. I wonder what kind of snakes, and what Charlotte J. intends to do with them. . .

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Somehow or other, we got to talking about discipline and our memories of punishment, the other day. Donald reminded me of a couple of stories he'd told me before, but that I'd forgotten.

For instance--

The Crime:
Donald's parents had a freezer with a power switch/button that had some type of indicator light. He was young enough to think it was really fun to watch the light go on and off, so he was playing with it, despite having been told to leave it alone. He just happened to tire of the game with the switch/button in the "OFF" position, with predictable results.

The Punishment:
(Brace yourself, and just remember-- he made it through, and when you look at him today, you'd never guess that he had to endure this sort of thing as a young lad.)
He wasn't allowed to go to Sunday school!!!

Lest you think him too perfect, though-- I mean, not being allowed to go to Sunday school was considered a stern punishment? (g)-- let me tell you about the time that he and Ingela were playing with the mangle. . .

(Sidenote: A mangle is also known as a "wringer"-- but it that still doesn't ring a bell, it's the contraption that people use(d) to wring water from laundry or-- more recently-- to flatten larger items, like sheets or tablecloths. Two cylinders roll firmly against one another, with the fabric fed between them.)

So, they were playing with the mangle. Heaven only knows why.

(Kids do have the strangest ideas, though, don't they? I remember thinking washing dishes looked like so much fun, once upon a time. . . Unfortunately, most of the magic's gone, now that I can wash dishes all day long, if I so choose.)

They weren't supposed to play with the mangle, of course-- which, come to think of it, probably goes a long way to explain why they wanted to, in the first place! Ingela was turning the hand crank (making the rollers move) while Donald pretended to feed the cloth into it. Apparently, he got carried away by imagination, because one of his fingers was caught in the mangle. (I think he said the nail even came off. :oS)

To avoid admitting that they'd been playing with the mangle against the rules, he told his parents that he'd hurt his finger in a door. What's more, I don't think they ever "confessed" to mingling with the mangle. (shakes head in disappointment) Tsk tsk, Donald. . . Well, you know what they say about the truth eventually coming out. ;o)

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Over the weekend, we relocated the banana fuscata that was too near the site of our new patio. It wasn't a quick and easy job, and I foresee aches, but at least that should be the only large plant that we'll have to move because of the patio.

I've also been working on painting posts so that we can get them set in concrete before the cold weather comes. (From what I remember, concrete doesn't set well when the temperature dips below 50 degrees, and I definitely don't want to have to put this project on hold until spring!) Meanwhile, Donald's putting down the pavers. I tried my hand at it, but I don't think I have the patience for it. There are too many things to keep an eye on. Is it level with the surrounding pavers? Is it level period? Is the spacing right? I get one aspect right only to ruin another! I'm better at carrying pavers where they're needed and painting. (g)

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Donald's paternal grandmother is still in the hospital, recovering from surgery. The last I heard, they were just hoping for the best.

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Donald recently tried out Skype (pc-to-pc "phone"calls) and was impressed with the quality of the sound. Now if we just get a web cam, he can have almost face-to-face conversations with his family.

Yes, apparently we're about ten years behind the rest of the world, in this area. ;o) I remember we talked (not "chatted"-- actually talked with our voices) via our computers a little, back when we lived on separate continents, but I'm sure the technology has vastly improved since that time.

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I heard an owl hooting one night last week. A week or two before that, I heard a group of geese honking overhead. Autumn sounds!

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  • Still growing. She weighs about twelve pounds, now.
  • Still likes to chew/bite, but we've noticed a distinct improvement in this department, in the past week or so. I guess she's finally starting to grow out of the biting. (Thanks be!)
  • (on the other hand. . .) Still "talks back" when scolded for biting. (You may be saying to yourself, "Um, Michael? Dogs. . . Well, I don't know how to break it to you, but dogs can't talk." No, maybe they don't talk like you and I do, but trust me, they can use their "voices" to make their feelings known. It's not barking-- not whining-- not howling-- not growling. It's dog-talking, and it's another of those typical Eskie traits.) She gets particularly sassy when you hold up your index finger in a scolding position.
  • Loves to dig. This is something I'd read about Eskies-- that the breed tends to like digging. I guess it's true. However, to be fair, I'd say almost any energetic young dog would have been tempted by the large expanse of sandy soil where we're putting our patio. I suspect she'll be less likely to dig through sod. (But flowerbeds. . .)
  • Still loves playing fetch and "Frisbee", though her willingness to drop things on command is somewhat less impressive. Sometimes she'd rather play keep-away or tug-o'-war.
  • (speaking of keep-away) Likes to pick up things and keep them away from us. It can be a sock, a sea shell, a stone-- anything. She's not picky, though she does prefer things that she's not supposed to have. It's always great fun to run away from "the peoples" when they get within grabbing distance. Even if we're not remotely interested in her fabulous new stick, she still likes to dart away as though she's guarding treasure. (Now that the biting is more under control, this will probably be the next behavior to modify.)
  • Likes to sit in my lap (sometimes). It's an endearing habit, though somewhat less so when she crashes into me at full speed.
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And I'm going to say that's good enough and post it. The entertainment portion will probably not be ready until tomorrow. It'll give you something to look forward to. ;o) (Um. Joking there. Obviously, I hope. . .)