Sunday, July 25, 2021

Radio Years

Early on, there was a radio in the family homestead kitchen. Loudly featured, on those rare mornings when Dad made pancakes, as he liked to tune into the local station that played jaunty polkas on Sunday mornings. Not something this teenager enjoyed--unless making my grouchy ridiculing remarks count as entertainment. Poor Dad, trying his best to bring back my pre-adolescent smiles and ending up grouchy himself.

Sometime around my intermediate elementary years, I was gifted a transistor radio. So many hours, I spent with that single ear piece stuck into my pillow ear, listening to the songs on "62 KGW". I holed up in my bedroom often--that's a normal thing, right? 

Later, I was either gifted a small, portable radio or bought it myself with babysitting money. I took that radio everywhere I went: to the river, the park and the front yard. Eventually, scrolling through stations, I discovered audio for CBS or NBC and Dr. Demento. Listening to Dr. Demento was a revelation--what else was out there waiting to be found.

Later on, when Dad had good steady work, they sprang for a stereo set, that resided in the living room. Mom, kept her favorite easy listening station on during the day. And there I was with my grouchy ridiculing remarks, "Are they singing a Beatles song? Why don't they write their own songs, instead of ruining ours?", and on and on I went. You'd think they would've been thrilled to have me holed up in my room.

N and I, have gone through a few boombox type radios, that we kept in the kitchen. That's when we discovered Prairie Home Companion and eventually the rest of the public radio line up. About eleven years ago, I stumbled upon an article about internet radios. That's when we discovered Squeezebox. It's the best radio experience I've ever had--clear reception, excellent sound. 

We did eventually spring for a google appliance in the kitchen. The sound is fairly close to the Squeezebox and it can display cooking videos or video phone calls. But we keep the Squeezeboxes, even if they're not quite as reliable as they were in the beginning. Good listening is hard to find.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Some Words from Carolyn Hax

The quote below is from Carolyn Hax's column yesterday. We all could do better, a lot better, at what she says:

"There's also the bigger issue of a finger-pointing culture, which I wish would just die:

If you're sick, then it's your fault for being irresponsible.

If you're poor, then it's your fault for being lazy or choosing the wrong line of work.

If your kids screw up, then you're a bad parent.

If you're lonely, then you must not treat people well.

Not only is this a fundamental breakdown of compassion, but it's also rooted in magical thinking — that if you just do all the right things, then everything will turn out right for you. That's not how life works.

We can do some things to help ourselves, protect ourselves, advance ourselves — but lightning still strikes when it wants to. Institutions and environments have their say. And we all make mistakes, but the price per mistake is often randomly assigned and rarely, if ever, the same from one person to the next.

It's such a tempting emotional habit to adopt, though, of seeing misfortune and then finding ways to tell ourselves why that couldn't possibly happen to us — or worse, why our superior selves and superior choices have lifted us above the possibility of such a fate.

We’d be warmer people and have a better-functioning society if we had the courage to look at misfortune and immediately connect to how that could happen to us — and be less self-congratulatory about why it didn’t. That’s how a society learns to act collectively toward a common good, instead of hoarding and yelling and culture-warring."--Carolyn Hax July 2021

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Interesting Week

 On Monday, I stepped out of the shower, to discover approximately 40 flies (not drain flies) on the bathroom floor--looking like they were stumbling out of a bar into the daylight. They seemed to continue coming out of wherever they were coming from for the next couple of hours. Then it stopped. The next morning, there were more, though (thankfully) only half as many as the day before. 

We still have no clue how they got into the house, but we do have theories. Perhaps some living creature got into our attic and perished during the extreme heat, and maybe the flies that hatched from the maggots came through our bathroom fan? Hard to say, but I'm glad it seems to be over. 

And I'm trying preemie diapers on Hope dog. At first it was difficult to keep them on her skinny little bum--she's still a little Houdini at 17 years old. Cue, "Find the Diaper" game music. 

This week, I've done some fine tuning and discovered that a sheet clip works as a nice way to clip diaper to her halter. Which meant, I could remove the archipelago of small rugs, I've been using as crude, unreliable, urine catchers, and shampoo the beegeebers out of the carpet. Felt like winning to me, though who knows what Hope thinks.

But, though the week isn't over, the cherry on top, was getting a great haircut out on the deck. That was a sweet first. Love, K

Sunday, July 4, 2021


When I was in elementary school, about once a year, a classmate would appear with a cast on either an arm or leg. Such a huge event! A broken arm! A broken leg! How did it happen? Did it hurt? Can I sign your cast? There were just enough of these injuries, for us to learn and forget the tricks of using a marker on uneven plaster.

Such a mysterious thing, these broken bones. Fairly certain, that my understanding of this mysterious and hidden injury, was that this injury might be similar (had they been around back then) to a Lego People snapping off a joint. No blood, no swollen, bruised tissue, just ... "snap". {paste, paste, paste}

Oh and then there was the inexplicable envy. Good grief! What kind of small barbarians were we? Or ... perhaps we were just normal. All that attention, with a class of curious faces turned to you, must've felt like the warmth from the sun. And all you had to do was fall out of a tree or ? ? 

You first. Love, K