59 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-17-18

  1. Morning all. Having a frustrated time here as internet is very spotty. Need to send some messages and can’t even do that. I trust my simple greeting here will go through. Blessings on your Wednesday.

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  2. I’ve invited my husband to go with me down to the pond several times, but he has either had something he needed to do or hasn’t felt like going out. Yesterday he went with me, and I told him I couldn’t guarantee that we would see anything worthwhile. (He only had a few minutes, so we weren’t sure if we would go beyond the pond, and the pond itself is iffy now. If we continue past the pond, I’ve never had a day when there wasn’t something worth seeing, but sometimes nothing shows up at the pond.)

    Well, recent rains have filled the pond back up, and the pond had a great blue heron, a kingfisher, five mallards, and a yellowlegs (a type of sandpiper), so that was worth seeing. But the main event, I think, was that the cedar waxwings gave him a show. They showed up in fairly large numbers (a few dozen in all), and he’d never seen more than three or four of them.

    These two were from a tree that had six and later seven. Eventually they all peeled off and joined another tree farther away (and higher off the ground), in which my husband counted more than 20 waxwings. But while in this tree they gave us a fairly close view (him with binoculars, me with my camera).

    If you aren’t familiar with cedar waxwings, this photo shows the most obvious thing: they are really beautiful birds. You can see on the right bird part of the reason for its name, the wax-like red tips on its wings. Apparently they also really like cedar berries, though they enjoy any berries. The ones near us have mostly been going after wild grapes, though I have also seen them eating little red berries. I think they have finished the grapes, so I guess they’ll go after the red berries more now. They are known to gather in large flocks, as many as thousands of birds, and one day I saw dozens and figured there were likely to be hundreds in my vicinity, since there were some in every tree around me.

    A few notes on their plumage: birds right out of the nest don’t look a lot like waxwings in their coloring, except that they already have the yellow at the end of their tail. The bird at left has tail feathers that are more orange; that has been found to be the result of eating a certain variety of honeysuckle berries as the tail feather is forming. I’ve seen one more obviously orange than this one, but the yellow of the right bird is the true color. Notice that the right bird is growing its tail feathers–they are staggered, not all the same length. Birds don’t lose tail feathers all at once so that they can continue to fly as new ones come in. Another bird landed above these with even more visibly staggered feathers. The bird at the left has its tail feathers but it looks mussier overall. It might just be fluffed out, but observing it and other birds in the flock, I am pretty sure the left bird is a juvenile that is just finishing molting to its first adult feathers. The birds with this look all had fully grown tail feathers, since they got those earlier in the season. The adults are getting their tail feathers, and the juveniles aren’t getting tail feathers but are getting body feathers and thus molting into adult plumage. Two weeks ago a lot of the birds were visibly juveniles (with a more streaky chest), but yesterday they simply had this look, not yet sleek adults (see around its eye, for instance) but with the correct adult coloring.

    Another week or two they will all have adult plumage and the term “juvenile” won’t be meaningful anymore. Some birds take several years to get adult plumage and to breed, but many species are ready to breed their first summer out of the nest. If they survive their first winter, then they have proven themselves, though they may or may not have the skills needed to raise young successfully at their first attempt. (Older birds may be smarter about hiding their nests, for instance.)

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  3. I don’t get it.
    Those commercials that say, “buy one get the second one free. Just pay a separate fee and we’ll ship it to you free”
    They never say how much that separate fee is. It must work because they keep saying it.

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  4. Good morning!

    Chas, I have not seen that ad.

    Last night, as Art followed me home, I did not get far before many indicator lights on the new car went crazy. We went back to the office. My brother had put the spare donut tire on the car. Maybe that caused it, but I did not want to risk being on the expressway with that going on. We thought we would tow the car today, but first I need to find out if it is all related to having the donut tire on so the special systems don’t work properly. When Brother changed the tire, we found a flooring nail in it. It can easily be plugged.

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  5. This is not a serious type question like Lizzie posed yesterday, but I wonder . . . do all left-handed people want their clothes hung on hangers in the opposite direction to how the majority want their clothes hung. My whole married life I have been forgetting at times to hang things like Art prefers. I catch myself and then change it most of the time. He does not say anything if I get it wrong. I want to get it right to please him. I am just curious if this is his personal thing or if others are like this.

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  6. Here is a QOD: would you eat no kill meat? The kind they grow in a lab out of an animal cell. For example, taking a feather from a chicken, extracting the right cell to start the process, feed it the right stuff until you end up with a chicken breast and the chicken is still running free in the yard.

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  7. Hmm, mumsee, I guess I never thought about that before. I am not sure if I would or not. I suppose it is all in how it is marketed and then in the final look, taste, texture and cost of the final product. Doesn’t sound like something I would eat, but who knows? (besides God, that is)

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  8. Morning! Beautiful waxwings!!! I would say they are my favorite but then again I have so many favorites!! They are ones that appear so downy soft and silky….how I love the artistry of our Creator!
    I don’t understand the question about the chicken…how can you eat the chicken breast if the chicken is still alive? Perhaps I just need another cup of coffee before answering the QOD? ☕️ 🐓

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  9. I was reading an article yesterday about no kill meat. The theory being that livestock use a lot of our resources and if they can make meat grow in the lab, it does not have any of the disease issues (salmonella for example) and can be grown with less impact. It is already being done and they expect to have it in the markets this year. It is still expensive (a hamburger would be ten dollars at this time, but as with most things, the price would come down as they work out the bugs. Think Star Trek ideas with real technology.

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  10. So is it faux meat?

    The masked birds look like they’re communicating.

    We’re having our fall dry, windy conditions this week with humidity under 10%. The air dries your skin out something awful and this time is causing mine to itch as well — hands and feet mostly. My hands feel cracked. It’s in the 80s during the day and in the 50s at night. It’s still chilly in the house in the mornings. And the static electricity in the air makes your hair do funny, fly-away, stand up/out things. Kind of like the birds in the picture.

    The authorities are worried about wildfires so they’ve actually shut off power in some areas, both in Northern and Southern California (not where I am as we’re not in a high fire risk area).

    I haven’t turned the heat on yet, that usually happens sometime in November.

    It’s only Wednesday. Two more election stories to do.

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  11. Mumsee, I try not to eat artificial food. No reason, just a quirk.
    I don’t use fake sugar or salt. Sometimes I find myself eating margarine, but not intentionally.

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  12. It is supposed to be real meat, it is grown from real animal cells. My first reaction was, no way, but then I can see it coming into regular food and eating killed animals becoming very politically incorrect.

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  13. I was going to try to go to the link the painter’s sidekick gave me (about the Sabbath and the Gregorian calendar, etc.) but it says the “video is unavailable” on YouTube. I “get” the calendar differences, but what I don’t get is his insistence that if Christians pick the “wrong” day to observed the Sabbath (Sundays, for example), their salvation is either surely doomed or at least in question. They’ve “blown” the big issue and will pay the ultimate price, in his view.

    I guess I’ve been spared many of these wacky ideas during my 25+ years with the Reformed Presbyterians. I’m not at all up to date on the heresies anymore. His is an odd mix of randomly applied legalism, end times conspiracy theories, virulent anti-Catholicism and some other things, all pronounced quite aggressively. I hardly know where to begin (or whether to even begin or not) when he begins bombarding me.

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  14. The entire letter to the Galatians was not only about Judaizes, but also about anyone who wants to add to trust in the death and resurrection of Christ for salvation.

    People keep adding nonsense.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Janice, is there a right and a wrong way to hang clothes? I didn’t know. My husband puts away his own clothes (I launder them), so he can do it the “right” way, I guess. For me, some of my clothes open one way and some the other on the hanger, and it never occurred to me to put them all the same way.

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  16. P,G &E shut off electricity up here over the weekend. They didn’t do a good job of notifying people, left things uncertain, schools were canceled, people lost their good in their refrigerators and freezers and are now wondering if P,G, and E is liable.

    This is all brought to you by the tort lawyers who are insisting P,G, and E should be held liable for the firestorm we had a year ago. It’s a mess and the only outcome I foresee is electricity rates going higher to pay off the insurance fiasco.

    My husband’s company is working to figure out backup generators to keep the plant operating. They’re very expensive, of course.

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  17. Janice, thanks for mentioning your comment at the end of the 10-15 thread. I hadn’t seen that, but I totally agree with you and Art.

    As it happened, I had already emailed the academy owner (this morning, before I saw your comment, Janice) and declined the offer to teach there as an IC. Part of my reason for declining was because she sets the tuition rate for studio clients, and then decides how much of a cut she takes for herself. I think that blurs the lines somewhat between IC and business owner, and in my case, or the case of any IC teacher with decades of experience, we get paid exactly what another IC teacher who maybe is just out of college receives.

    Not to sound greedy, but at $45 a month for each 30-minute-lesson-a-week student, that would be about the same rate I brought in in 2003 (I was charging $11 a lesson at that time), when I had 15 fewer years experience than I do now! Talk about a big step backward! And I didn’t have to leave my home, running the risk of getting in an accident, to teach, either.

    For teachers just starting out, who may have college loan debt to pay off and few financial resources to buy a decent teaching piano, working at a place where you don’t have to provide your own piano would be a good way to start. But for teachers with a lot of experience, it’s not a great deal at all, unless one is really desperate for more students.

    I’m not that desperate. (Although I’ll admit that when I first heard about the opportunity, and even after I knew the owner would be setting the rates rather than I, it was all I could do to stop thinking, “More students! I love teaching piano, and I want more students!”)

    Ultimately, and my husband helped me see this, my time and my 30+ years experience is worth more than $45 a month per student before expenses and taxes, including self-employment taxes.

    If I could set my own rates as an IC, be paid directly by the clients, like I am now at home, and decide when and how much I raise rates, commensurate with my growing experience level and the cost of living index, and simply pay rent to a studio or music school owner, then that would be a different story. There are advantages to teaching in a studio setting vs. at home.

    Another concern I had with this particular arrangement (business owner as middleman between teacher and clients) was that, though I really want to believe that this owner is honest in her business practices (and I have reason to believe she is), unfortunately, we live in a world where such is not always the case. She doesn’t post her tuition rates on the website. Clients pay her, then she pays 50% of those earnings to teachers, according to how much they teach.

    It would be possible, in a situation like that, for an unscrupulous owner (not saying she is one) to up the tuition charge to parents/students, and keep the teachers at 50% of the old rate without them ever knowing that they’re getting less than the 50% cut she promised.

    I didn’t want to get myself into a position where that could happen, even if it would be unlikely.

    In any case, whether transactions like that are above-board or not, one needs to ask oneself if the quoted dollar amount is sufficient.

    I decided that for me, it wasn’t. I’m going to focus more effort on my current position as a work-from-home businesswoman.

    Thank you for all the prayers, and for your advice on the blog, Janice, and by phone, Kim. 🙂 Very good considerations, and which will come in handy if I ever get an opportunity to work as an out-of-home IC who can set my own rates. That possibility isn’t off the table (there’s another studio in our area where IC teachers set their own rates). I appreciate your wise inputs, ladies. Thanks a bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Janice – I don’t remember how my mom, who was left-handed, hung her clothes on hangers, but I do remember the way she wrote. Many (most?) left-handers write with their hand kind of curling around, with the writing below where their hand rests on the paper. My mom taught herself to write with her hand resting under the writing, like right-handed people do.

    Does my description make any sense?

    Mom had beautiful handwriting.

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  19. Janice, I’ve never lived with any left-handers, so I don’t know about different ways to hang clothes based on handedness.

    Mumsee, I don’t think I would eat any lab-grown food product. It seems like that’s the sort of thing that might one day be referred to as a we-thought-it-was-a-good-idea-at-the-time thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Cheryl, I felt a sense of relief waking up this morning, knowing what my decision would be. There was something about the owner that made me feel pressured into saying yes. To be sure, as I said above, there are advantages to working at a studio that aren’t present at home (and there are some drawbacks to doing business in one’s home), but this particular out-of-home business, not only because of the payment arrangements, but for other reasons, didn’t seem like a good fit.

    I mostly enjoyed the conversations I had with the director, and she certainly revealed a lot of information that was pertinent and helpful to me in making my decision, but there were some troubling aspects about things she said, also.

    We talked for close to half an hour the first day, and a lot of what she said centered on the problems she saw with her millenial teachers on staff. Complaints about they wear shorts and flip-flops to work, when she wants a professional look, and why should she have to tell them how to dress; that they walk in shortly before their first lesson start time, instead of in advance of their students arriving; that they don’t do anything about unruly children they teach… etc.

    I agree that those are problems, but I can’t help but think that if she would allow her ICs to set their own rates, she might attract more experienced teachers who would dress appropriately, arrive well in advance, address children’s misbehavior so her pianos don’t get wrecked, and the like. But when the older teachers she longs to have on board are paid like they’re novices teaching in the previous century, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have a hard time getting the mature staff you want!

    She also griped about those millenials not teaching sight-reading. Well, I agree that learning to sightread is important, but it’s hard to fit all the important things into a 30-minute lesson, and, more importantly, she can’t dictate to ICs what the content of their lessons should be, because that’s getting dangerously close (if not crossing the line) into treating your ICs as employees, which, in that case, she would have every right to say this is what you are to teach in the lessons at my studio. I don’t think she’s actually telling them, “You must teach sightreading,” or whatever else, but she’s complaining about the fact they’re not, which gives the impression she might be fighting some controlling tendencies, and is stressed out that the millenials aren’t teaching the way she thinks they should.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m glad I said no.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. The tree of waxwings above is where the first ones flew. There are 14 in that photo, but more than 20 in the tree. I was reading more about them earlier, and apparently waxwings aren’t at all territorial even during nesting season (but they’re monogamous) and they don’t fight. If one bird is full, it might still pluck a berry and pass it to another bird, who passes it along if it too has had enough. They don’t have a song, because they don’t defend a territory.

    Most flocking birds, in my experience, fight almost constantly. You wonder why goldfinches bother hanging out together, because they don’t seem to like each other much, the way they’re constantly pecking at one another. But waxwings are calm and peaceful.

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  22. Go Brewers.

    Is this the Super Bowl? Oops, World Series? You can see I know nothing. (Except that the Brewers are in the Midwest.)

    Go Brewers.

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  23. I just put things on the hanger the way they end up. But hangers must go over the front of the rod, not from the back.

    I would not eat that meat. For those who don’t like GMO products, wouldn’t that be the same thing? (I personally don’t have a problem with GMO).

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  24. Six, I have a company for whom I’ve done some writing and some editing projects (writing devotionals, that sort of thing). Most of their writers seem to be new to the field (my stepdaughter did some writing for them as she was finishing college), but I’m not.

    A year or two before we got married (meaning I’d been editing for 17 years or so, and writing for print about 20), I did a project for them that included some research. I did it diligently, and quickly, and the pay ended up being less than minimum wage, which was ridiculous (I was rather desperate for any income that month). I kept thinking, “The standard line is that you can choose quick, or cheap, or high quality–any two of the three–and I’m giving this company all three.” Then they tried to delay in paying me by giving me a contract to sign a full month after I’d finished it, and waiting 60 days (rather than the standard 30–most companies actually don’t wait 30, but it’s the official standard) to pay after THAT. At that I got mad and said look, I got way underpaid for this project, I’m not a novice, and you can’t do this. And I got back word that they were going to pay some of them quicker and they’d add me to the list. Had I been looking for some extra income alongside a full-time job, or trying to establish myself as a freelancer, no big deal. But don’t treat an experienced professional like a college kid looking for a foot in the door!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. National League championship. The team that wins the best of 7 (4 games) advances to the World Series. Currently, the Brewers & Dodgers are tied at 2 games each.

    Dodgers pulled out a win last night when the game went 13 innings.

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  26. So very tired… I have been helping with a vaccination campaign. Very interesting to be able to be inside a northern school, and how it is different and similar to southern schools. There seem to be more practical skills classes here.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Cheryl, exactly.

    DJ, thank you. National League Championship. And who’s in the American League Championship? That’s still the other league’s name, right?

    Or who’s on first?

    Or what’s the name of the guy on first?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The lab prepared meat is ridiculous. It is utter nonsense that the stuff would be any safer. Even lab meat would have to be fed. In order to stimulate those cells to grow into enough tissue to feed humans, they would have to be bathed in fluid rich in amino acids, lipids, glucose, minerals, and even oxygen, which are all materials that bacteria thrives on too. Meat packing and food preparation on an industrial scale already struggle with contamination issues; the kind of industrial scale that would be needed to manufacture kill free meat in a lab would be very hard to keep free of contamination. Then there is the awkward question of just where those amino acids and other materials needed to feed the cells would be supplied from. The amino acids, for example, are derived from degraded protein – humans break down, in our digestive systems, the protein we eat into amino acids in order to use as our own cells’ building blocks, and so does every animal. The lab meat cells will need a source of protein already broken down into amino acids. It begs two questions: Where is the source of protein going to be derived? What is going to degrade that protein into amino acids? Two point automatically come to mind: first, animals are an excellent source of protein; second, bacteria is an excellent degrader of protein. It gives one pause…

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  29. Are the Cubs still in play, Cheryl?

    Here’s a headline to the perfect LA story:

    All-girl engineer team invents solar-powered tent for the homeless

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  30. Ah, guess not.

    Vying for the American League championship are the Boston Astros (ahead with 2 games) and Houston Red Sox (1 game).

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  31. Nope, the Brewers mostly finished the Cubs off in an extra game (since they ended the season tied, they played for a winner), and then Cubs played (and lost) the wild card game.

    The Cubs had led most of the season, but the Brewers were very hot at the end, and they caught up.

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  32. I think I don’t know is the catcher.

    Phos. I didn’t understand all of that but it reinforces my attitude about artificial food.

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