62 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-23-17

  1. Good morning everyone.
    You know all is right in the world when the headline is “Podesta to testify to committee”.
    The Drudge headline is “Health care law sick”.
    That means no trucks have run into people in London.
    No congressmen have been shot.
    No policemen have been attacked.
    No news is good news.

    Maybe Ivanks wore the same dress twice. That would be news.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. QoD Seriously:

    What happens to those women’s clothes when they have worn the once?

    Not just Ivanka, but Hillary, Shannon Bream, Kelly, all of them. They never wear the same thing twice.
    Elvera will wear the same outfit a few weeks later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning. Today I feel the lack of sleep from yesterday. Coffee is helping slightly.

    Chas, perhaps they donate the dresses to a fundraiser silent auction? Maybe they wear them for the event and then return them to the store for a refund? When I worked in retail, people sometimes did that.

    We have never gotten rid of our old personal tax returns. It is time to tackle that. They have been out of sight and mind. When you deal with everyone else’s, you don’t deal with your own. Some people swim in a pool in the summer. I will be swimming in thirty years of old tax returns shredded.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would never return something I have worn for a refund. Same as stealing.
    Something happens to Hillary and Ivanka’s clothes.

    Elvera and I were pondering how blessed we have been through life. Then I remembered that in 1960 Gulf Oil wouldn’t give me a credit card. πŸ˜†

    Liked by 2 people

  5. For your edification. You may not know.
    Credit cards haven’t been around forever.
    They started as oil company credit cards because sometimes gas got t up to $0.35/gal. If you were on a long trip, you might run out of money. Hence, the oil companies stepped in to meet a need.
    It expanded from there.
    People who live with maxed out credit cards are reducing their standard of living by at least 20%.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So you all know I sometimes get a “bee in my bonnet” about something. I was on my way in to Pcola today and a song came on the radio. So for DJ and Michelle I will post it because they “pulled out of San Pedro late one night”. Then I had to find out about Grapevine Hill so here is that:
    In reference to “Grapevine Hill” in the lyrics of the Hot Rod Lincoln song, someone asked about it (geegee).

    (It’s kind of a Legend for all us So. Cal older folks)

    Here’s what I remember:

    “The “Grapevine” was (and I say ‘was’, because it’s now buried deep underneath Interstate 5 ) a very steep and
    curvy stretch of 2-lane road which connected the Los Angeles basin with the Central Valley of California.
    Specifically, it’s on the north side of Tejon Pass, between Gorman and Bakersfield. It got it’s name “Grapevine”
    because it was so steep and full of curves, like a grapevine.

    It was infamous for deadly accidents, and causing most vehicles that tried to climb it to overheat (to this day,
    there are still turnouts with water available, and when going down the hill, there are runaway truck lanes).

    As I mentioned, the original “Grapevine” is buried underneath I-5 which was built on top of it in the late ’60s. I-5 is
    now an eight lane highway, and most of the curves have been straightened, but it’s still pretty steep.

    I remember, as a kid in the early ’60’s, driving the original Grapevine with my Dad, and he always made sure we
    had extra water in the car for the Grapevine (and, extra blankets, in case we got stranded).

    If you drive I-5 up Tejon Pass today, you can still look over the side in some places, and still see portions of the
    original grapevine road, over the edge, down in the canyon.

    It was one hell of a road, and caused numerous problems over the years for not only highway engineers, but many motorists alike!

    Just a bit of Highway Trivia for you all . . . Enjoy!!”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good morning all! I’m surprised that Chas forgot his line today, so I’ll say it for him: “It’s Friday, and you know what that means!” It means Political Cartoons.

    6Arrows- You asked how Cheryl got the “Like” link italicized or bolded? It’s easy. Just forget to close the [i] or [b] or put the closing / after the i or b. Like this: You type something and hit post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chas, I was working retail soon after Discover came out with their new card. And they used a brilliant strategy–they simply mailed pre-approved cards to people with good credit, and thus quickly established themselves as a credible player in the industry. (That strategy was then wisely outlawed! It would be a dangerous strategy today, but in the ’80s it worked well.)

    By today’s standards, that drugstore retail job would be an excellent job for a 20-year-old without any college–I don’t think a retail job is ever as good as I had it then. I earned 20% above minimum wage, which meant I got $4 an hour, had 40 hours a week with a predictable schedule (10-6:30 four days a week, 9-5:30 on Wednesday–everyone else preferred an earlier shift, with one of them starting at 7:45 and everyone else at 9:00, but I liked the later shift; the later evening would then be covered by a high-school kid and our pharmacist also worked late), weekends off, health insurance, and paid holidays and vacation and sick days, plus an employee discount.

    I shared an apartment with my sister and we scrimped and saved. We shared a one-bedroom apartment, ate little meat, and I drove an old car. I saw something this week bemoaning the fact that people with minimum-wage jobs can’t afford two-bedroom apartments in most areas of the country, and I scratched my head wondering why anyone thinks they’re supposed to be able to. Now, with all our scrimping I did put money in the bank, and I had savings to begin my college career. But to afford the two-bedroom apartment (or the house) means going into management or getting a job beyond minimum wage–even then it did. When I worked the job I worked, no men worked there, except the pharmacist and one 20-year-old who wasn’t very smart and didn’t work there very long. It was a job staffed by young people who hadn’t yet gone to college (like me), wives whose husbands worked and whose children were grown, and widows in their senior years. But it was a good, dependable job for those who weren’t trying to support a family on it. Now it would be less than full-time hours, variable hours, and no benefits AND some “family men” would be working there too.

    But anyway, with that 40-hour job, I had a gas hog of a car (13 mpg if I used the a.c., 22 if I didn’t . . . and in Phoenix it was really hard not to, but I’d switch it on for a while and then turn it off until I couldn’t stand it anymore) and lived 11 miles from work. (I once looked in the phone book and counted, and there were 11 Revcos closer to me than the one where I worked. But I had moved farther from work when I moved in with my sister, and I liked my co-workers, and I liked the fact that we didn’t sell alcohol and most Revcos did, and so I stayed.) But the hardest part for me of that $4 an hour job was that I was close to “empty” by payday. I would put some money in the bank, pay my bills, leave out just a little cash for groceries and such, and operate till payday. But sometimes I wouldn’t be sure the gas tank would get that far, and I would look for loose change and put another gallon or two in (gas was about 80 cents a gallon). Finally I applied for a gas credit card, thinking that I wouldn’t have to worry about waiting till payday . . . and I got turned down! Full-time job, and I couldn’t get a gas card. I was rather surprised.

    Two or three years later I was in college and one of my fellow students got a credit card. She said it was easier to get one as a college student. That didn’t make sense to me–I earned more money when I was working full-time than now that I was only working 20 hours during the school year–but I went and applied for one through my bank, knowing that it would come in handy to have one, and I was accepted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have two old grades close to us. They are used still but every year they are used for bike rides. One is called Making the Grade, the other is Just for the Hill of It. Quite the bike ride, I would imagine, but it is all up hill. We used to ride down both of them on our once a year sojourn to California. And I always got motion sick. But they sure are pretty.


  10. They have been replaced with wider roads and a bit straighter but both still have runaway truck ramps and overheating pullouts.


  11. Little Brother, does your son get to fly “under the hood”? Son has done that from nearly the start, apparently designed to get them comfortable with driving by the controls. He has the hood lifted at the landing, don’t remember if it is on or off during the take off. I would find that incredibly claustrophobic but I appreciate the need to trust the controls. Just wondered if that was industry wide or a localized training due to the heavy fog at times.


  12. The Saluda grade is somewhat like that. They replaced dangerous US 176 between Hendersonville and Spartanburg, with I-26. It has truck runoff exits with sand banks to stop trucks that lose their brakes. They have to hit the brakes hard or they would cross SC state line doing 150 mph. If they made it.

    The blog was late getting up and I had forgotten that it’s Friday by the time I got back onj.
    I realized it in time to get Elvera ready for the Senior Center.


  13. My family traveled very little when I was growing up, so I never had occasion to go over those mountains from LA until 1979. By then it was on Interstate 5. They still called it “the Grapevine”, but I never knew why until now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. While I was out watering last night the neighbor from across the street came over (they moved in maybe a year ago) — “Lucky,” who is a longshoreman. He said he just wanted to let me know that they’ll be firing off BB guns to shoot the rats they noticed hanging out in their palm and olive trees in the front and along the side of their house (which sits on top of the canyon). Sure enough, pop-pop-pop I heard a while later.

    Where are the coyotes when you need them?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If we were on the original Grapevine when I was a kid (probably?) I don’t remember it. My aunt from Idaho used to talk about driving it when she’d come in for visits.


  16. Mumsee, that might come when Flyboy gets training for his instrument flight rating, but they first teach you visual flight rules and you need to see where you’re going. I’ve never heard of “under the hood” but if they do it here he would know so I’ll ask him tonight.

    By the way, his first solo on Tuesday went great. I hadn’t planned this, but since the small airport is only a mile from where I work, I decided at the last minute to get a drive-through lunch and find a parking lot at the airport where most of the runway is visible. I got there in time to see his first take-off with his instructor for final check-out. Then he landed, dropped off his instructor, and took off again. By that time I had finished lunch so I got out of the car to watch. He did three circles, touching down and taking right off again between them. The circles kept him close enough to the airport that I could see his plane the whole time except for a small part of the circle where a large building blocked my view.

    He was beaming the rest of the day.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. I can imagine. And I am sure he was thrilled to have good old dad watching.

    My son has not soloed yet but that should be coming up. I thought the hood thing was strange but it makes sense. He says he rarely knows where he is flying because he is under the hood so much of the time. Seems like it would take some of the fun away but not according to son, the engine guy.


  18. Hey, it looks like I taught Kevin something! πŸ™‚

    AJ, cute birds! What species are they? Some water bird? My first thought was blackbird, but the beaks are wrong. I can’t quite place the beaks, actually, which shows I’m not a very good ornithologist after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cheryl,

    Black birds. Female I’m guessing due to the color, although I gave them boy names. πŸ™‚

    I have more, and a few that show Mom.


  20. AJ, you can’t tell the sex of most baby birds. Woodpeckers are one exception, but nearly all young birds are colored like their mother or are different from both parents (red-headed woodpecker chicks, for instance, aren’t colored like either parent). That’s why bird books will sometimes refer to female-plumaged birds, meaning it may be a female or it may just be an immature male. A lot of birds get full adult coloring within their first year–many do so as soon as they lose their baby down–but some birds stay in female coloring for two or three years, apparently to keep them from being attacked by adult males before they’re actually ready to breed.

    A couple of years ago we had a rose-breasted grosbeak come to our feeder a few times in the fall. I assumed it was a female until one day I saw the underneath of its wings, and they were red. (Females have more orangey-yellow.) It was an immature male, not a female, but it looked very much like an adult female.


  21. Janice, I have been coming across old tax returns as well while clearing out boxes of paperwork that needs to be shredded. I went through another bag last night — also finding plenty of the old employer health care forms, etc., from past years that are no longer applicable.

    I may get to visit & do a story on this today, it’s the cream-of-the-crop pet adoption center that opens tomorrow



  22. I did a bunch of that shredding last winter. My condolences, Janice. The end will be worth it, though.


  23. The outdoor wood stove is our shredder.

    My first thought, looking at those birds, was baby starlings. Not that I know what starling young look like. They just reminded me of adult starlings plumage, except lighter in color.

    Peter, I know that not closing bold or italics will alter the appearance of the “Like,” but the body of Cheryl’s posts yesterday with the bolded/italicized Likes at the end didn’t appear to have any bold or italic print anywhere, unlike your post at 9:45, where I can see you used bold and italics on your “You type something and hit post.” I tried to guess at and attempt what Cheryl did, but, like Chas, it didn’t work for me.

    That Cheryl is a surreptitious one. πŸ˜‰


  24. It worked for me. You just put the [i][b] (with greater than and less than in place of the square brackets) as the last thing in your post with nothing after it. The tags seem to get applied to the following Like.


  25. I don’t know what “under the hood” is either. But I surmise that it is a simulator. I was talking with a pilot at the Naval War College> (tis was in 1979.) He said that his training for carrier landing was so realistic that his hands were sweating as he came in for the landing.
    I can imagine that flight (and other) simulation is almost a replica of the real thing. It should, and maybe is, available for high school driving training.


  26. Actually, it means under the hood. As son is flying, right after take off, the instructor tips the hood over son’s head so he can no longer see anything but the instruments. They fly according to various given coordinates and, as son is landing the plane at some airport, the hood is lifted just before hitting the ground. Scary to me but I am sure it builds confidence in the instruments.

    Son says it is a lot different landing on a paved runway rather than the grass one where he is learning to fly.


  27. How can I eat three hamburgers, with lettuce and tomato, but no bun, plus a banana for lunch at 1:00 and be hungry again by 3:00?

    I used to have a very fast metabolism, but it has slowed down in the past couple years. It appears it is revving back up again.

    Time for a snack

    Liked by 1 person

  28. (Special attention: Cheryl, Michelle, & DJ)

    I’m sure some of you have seen this piece of humor on Facebook (where I shared it) or elsewhere:


    1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
    2. Prepositions are not the words to end sentences with.
    3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They’re old hat.
    4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
    5. Be more or less specific.
    6. Writers should never generalize.
    Seven: Be consistent!
    8. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words then necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
    9. Who needs rhetorical questions?
    10. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.”

    My friend Renee & I were “talking” in the comments of my post of this, & she wondered if avoiding alliteration is really a rule that is taught. YF came along &, assuming we thought it was a serious post about writing rules, informed us that it is merely a piece of humor with each point breaking its supposed rule. :eyeroll:

    In that comment thread, & also on her own post of this, she continued to inform me that these are not actual rules, that good writers break these rules all the time to good effect. Of course, I understand all that, & of course I knew the post was humorous. Sheesh.

    But aren’t these (or most of them) taught in schools as a basis for writing well? Even if they’re not emphasized in creative writing, aren’t they, or something like them, taught in journalism classes?

    Liked by 2 people

  29. My father and his family once spent a couple days camping on the side of the Grapevine because their ancient car broke down and they had to send all the way to LA (!) for parts. That would have been circa 1938 ish.

    I did not know that song, nor why it was called the Grapevine, but we’ve driven it many, many times–it means we’re almost there!

    Or, about to descend into the valley and hope there’s no Tule fog.


  30. That fog is pronounced TOOL-EHH.

    VBS done. Trying to remember what I do when I’m not blowing a whistle and glad to know I’m going to bridge and dinner with outlaws in two hours. We’re partying all afternoon tomorrow and then I get to teach Sunday School on Sunday to the 4-6 graders. THEN, maybe then, I’ll have time off to actually think . . . but there’s no point in counting on that! πŸ™‚


  31. I think most of those rules are real rules I’ve heard, read, or been taught somewhere. A few exceptions I wasn’t familiar with:

    1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
    4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
    9. Who needs rhetorical questions?

    Writers, are those really rules for good writing?

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Chas, my husband was a Flight Simulator Specialist or some such when he was in the Air Force. He never did fly a real plane, however. My dad flew and rebuilt a couple of planes through the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I have a question for anyone who has memorized music in the past, or knows people who have and how they did it. (I’m thinking mainly for solo performance, but memorizing for ensemble playing could also apply.)

    First, did anyone teach you a method for memorizing, and, if so, what was the procedure? Did you set out to memorize after you could play (or sing) the piece well, or did you begin memorizing section by section right from the start of studying the piece? Or did you simply get things memorized without trying? i.e. just through playing the music often enough or whatever?

    If no one taught you any specific techniques for memorizing, how would you say you accomplished it? By muscle memory? By “seeing the music on the page” in your mind’s eye? By hearing what should come next? By remembering the chord progressions? Another way?

    If memorization was hard for you, what do you wish you could have been taught to make it easier?

    Many thanks from this piano teacher.


  34. 6 – I learned the song thoroughly before starting to memorize. By that time, it was already half memorized. I think for me it was more muscle memory. I can hear what should come next in a piece but I can’t translate that down to my fingers. I wish I could play by ear, but nope. I can tell there is a chord change but not to what chord.


  35. No one ever taught me how to memorize anything and it’s something I fear. Music, scripture, lines– the only way I get through is repeating over and over, and I’m still never confident.

    I’m much better off the cuff, or inventing my own lines– which is yet another reason why I’m not an actress.


  36. Kevin, alliteration can be clumsy and forced, but it can be OK. I think, really, any “device” can be overdone. One preaching one I have always hated is when the pastor asks a question “for” the parishioner and then answers it. I guess Paul did the same thing, but he was inspired! But he’ll say, “You ask me, ‘But, Pastor, how can God damn anyone to hell and still be a good God?’ Great question!” and then he will answer it. If he were to say, “If you have ever wondered, ‘How can God . . .” I don’t think it would hit me the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. DJ, when I left Misten with anyone for a few days, I always left a page of written notes (how much dog food, her vet’s number, etc.) and at the bottom I always included: “one chapter of Lassie at bedtime, and she likes it best if you do all the voices.”

    Liked by 4 people

  38. You talk of run-away-truck ramps. Believe it or not, there are some in Iowa of all places. A college friend’s father was a civil engineer for Iowa’s DOT back in the 80s and had to design some for highways along the Mississippi River. No one thinks of long, steep highways in mostly flat Iowa.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Kare & Michelle, thanks for your comments on my memorization questions. Nobody ever taught me how to memorize, either — it just happened after lots of repetition. In fact, my piano teacher in high school asked me how I memorized. I didn’t know, except that my hands just seemed to know where to go after enough playing on a piece — muscle memory, like with you, Kare. It’s a little scary, though, like you point out, Michelle, because muscle memory (for me) is not totally secure. I very easily get into a different section of music than where I’m supposed to be in pieces that have a lot of repetition, but where one little note or passage is a tiny bit different than the previous (or future) instances of it. There have been fast pieces where I’ve jumped from page two to page six in one measure because I accidentally flew onto the wrong transition without thinking! Luckily, that’s only happened in practice, not in a performance.

    My reason for asking is because my student who will be a senior in high school this year will start working next week on three difficult works for next spring’s competitions, and all three are to be memorized. She has memorized easier works before, but I have not given her any specific strategies for doing that. It seems that when she has ample time to practice (summer more so than the school year), she does fine with keeping her memorized repertoire fresh. But she will have an extremely busy senior year once school starts in the fall, and I’m trying to decide on the most efficient and effective way to get her on the road to thorough memorization before the summer is out. Not that everything should be mastered by late August. That’ll never happen by then, and I wouldn’t want it to — her technical and artistic peak on the music should be in the spring, soon before the first competition, but I want her to be very secure in her memory at least a month before that, to iron out some of those glitches that crop up frequently after music is newly memorized. But being that time will be very tight for her for the six months leading up to the March auditions, I think she will need more focused work earlier than usual…

    Both your comments really helped, though. The ear component and the fear component. πŸ™‚ That gives me great food for thought. Thanks much. πŸ™‚


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