Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bra Bear

There are few times when I have so much to say in one night, but I'm behind in posting a few things.

Several weeks ago Sarah and I were over at my parents' house for dinner. Mom left the clothing out on the line and had decided to just leave it overnight. We advised against, as there had been a lot of bear sightings in the area. We teased her that our local animals might decide it would be a good night for a toga party.

No sooner was this said, than the dogs started barking - and we could just see in the dusk that the wash on the line was moving...

Sadly Mom refused to clean off any of her SD memory cards (full of pictures from their Germany trip), so we could only capture 16 MB worth of the event...but needless to say, Mom will be thinking twice about leaving her dainties out on the line for the male three-legged bear to play with again any time soon...

Canned Panic

Our family invaded our house for the evening - the same night my sister decided to try to make jam for the first time. She's never canned before, but the room is filled with experienced persons who were willing to yell suggestions from the living room to the kitchen.

She cooked the jam, but didn't boil the jars. Correcting advice was yelled, and a pot of water was put on to boil. Jars were put in and the family returned to the conversation.

Suddenly my sister marched into the room gripping a jar with the tongs:

"Look what boiling water does to jars!!!!"

After lots of questions about just what this amateur was using to boil her jars - and a slightly panicked closer inspection by three of the males in the family who all claim science backgrounds - she revealed that it was a defective jar that had come from the factory that way.

Happy (early) Half-Fools Day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Of Bloggers Past...

Great Books is a great way to keep things in perspective. Just when you thought you had an original thought -- well, let's just say it's probably been thunk before, and even more likely by somebody far better at thinking and writing than you or me. Further, that thought has probably also been discounted and shown to be completely false by yet another person far more worthy of the mass in his or her head and the ink in her hand.

In many ways, it is a shame so many of them had to come before us. I think they missed out by being born too soon. Case in point: Michel de Montaigne.

I daresay Michel de Montaigne would've been right at home in today's technological society. In fact, I would argue further that he was the first blogger. And his blog would have probably been called "Of Michel's Mind." And it would've been a pretty active blog.

de Montaigne pioneered the "essay" as a form of writing. Doubtless, he also pioneered the style of titling all of his essays as "Of" something. And true to form of any blogger, there was no subject deemed unworthy:

Of sadness
Of prognostications
That the taste of good and evil depends in large part on the opinion we have of them
Of prompt or slow speech
Various outcomes of the same plan
Whether the governor of a besieged place should go out to parley
Of books
We should meddle soberly with judging divine ordinances
Of sleep
Of thumbs
Of husbanding your will
How our mind hinders itself
Let business wait until tomorrow
Of honorary awards
Of not communicating one's glory
Of vain subtleties

And onwards.

And, like any good blogger, he provided links to his other favorite thinkers. Horace makes regular appearances, such as the following in the essay Of friendship:

-- A lovely woman tapers off into a fish. HORACE

Indeed, de Montaigne describes himself in that same essay as fully prepared for the form of thought-word-publishing: "And what are these things of mine, in truth, but grotesques and monstrous bodies, pieced together of divers members, without defnite shape, having no order, sequence, or proportion other than accidental?"

Which he follows with the above mentioned Horace quote.

Sadly, had the blog form existed in the day of de Montaigne, I fear that his insightful ramblings would've resulted in yet one more pile of mish-mash written in bad need of editing forever lost in the blogosphere and eventually zapped out by the next passing solar flare.

Maybe it's time to go back to stone tablets.

Releasing the Rocks

Having visitors on the horizon is a great motivator, and the impending arrival of a large group of them has me tackling the attic for real. Or, at least, again - with promises to go back through those other boxes soon. But in the process of sorting through the unsorted, I found somebody's long-forgotten rock collection, too long removed from their natural environment. I decided it was high time to return them to their natural habitat. So, with the help of Wrangler, we released the rock collection: And they're free!!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fairwell to a dear friend

Cooper Brewster, 3 years old, was laid to rest this morning on the Brewster Estate. He lies in peace in the forest next to his beloved predecessor, Duke.

Cooper died Sunday night, September 6, 2009, after being struck by a car shortly after 8 PM.

Cooper's life, while entirely too short, was a blessing to Sarah and the rest of the Brewster family each day. We remember with joy his confidence, curiosity, intelligence and independence, and most of all, his devotion.

Rest in peace, Cooper. May you find many chipmunks and all the ice cream you can eat in heaven.