Fav Things

It’s funny, but of all the cutting boards I have, the two I use almost every day (one for meats and another for veggies–that one IS every day) are a couple I made in shop class 53 years ago (or was it 54? *heh*).

One (the solid mahogany board) was a Xmas gift to my paternal grandmother, and family “put it in my pile” when she passed away 37(?) years ago. The other (walnut and maple) was a Xmas gift to my mom, and she left it with me about 28 years ago when she was paring things down for a move.

While I have–and have had over the years–others, these serve almost all my needs quite handily, and have worn very very well over the years.

simple things, but real favs.

Zoning Out


I use Freecell for a bit of nearly mindless relaxation/”zen-ish” non-exercise of my “little grey cells” (which, of course, aren’t grey at all). *heh* Of course, I cheat. How? Oh, I long ago observed patterns and combinations, and, more importantly (for values of “importance” that include playing a mindless lil computer card game), I simply learned to take advantage of patterns and combinations of moves in such a way that doing so is almost unconsciously “automagic”. Since Freecell is apparently supposed to be played by people who just semi-randomly move cards around until they “lose,” what I do is cheating. *heh*

Of course, I really “cheat” at computer solitaire by setting the games to one-card play. Solitaire at 3-card is seriously stacked in the house’s favor. But at one-card play, it’s strongly biased in my favor. There should be a middle ground there, somewhere, but I’ve not found a balanced-odds straight solitaire game for computer play yet.


What I really wish I could erase from the end of these games’ score displays are the lil congratulatory attaboys. It’s really insulting to be congratulated for beating a “(nearly) mindless relaxation” computer card game.

Fundamentals: Ethics v. Morality

“The ethical man knows it is not right to cheat on his wife; the moral man will not.”~Ducky Mallard

Parenthetically, I’d say remaining faithful to one’s wife is easier when one loves her and is convinced God has definitely joined one with one’s wife. Nearly four decades with my Wonder Woman has deepened my understanding of her beauty and irreplaceability.

The Joys of “Not Getting Lost”

Nah, this isn’t some think piece with the “directionally challenged”/”directionally gifted” as metaphors for anything. This is just about NSEW orienteering. 🙂

“Not getting lost” in America’s Third World County™ is more fun than not getting lost in Boston or Dallas or wherever. For the first ten years after we moved to America’s Third World County™,navigating the back roads was. . . interesting. No names apart from informal names that could (and did) change according to family or neighborhood tradition, or simply an individual’s idiosyncratic choice. The road “system” also reflects the fact that this is a geographically rugged area (Ozarks, and all the hills, valleys, streams, creeks and rivers that implies) that was settled (more or less) before the idea of section lines really took hold, so, while other rural areas in other parts of the country might give directions by section line, etc., not so here. NSEW and geographical features were the primary means of providing directions to places within the county that fell off the map of state roads.

The official county map was not a lot of help, either. Many roads didn’t even appear on the map of county-maintained roads and the roads that did had designations not acknowledged by those who lived on them. Rural postal routes were more useful as directions than the official county designations. Made my “hobby” of driving the back roads more fun.

Then, when the county began instituting a 911 system, roads started getting names (including the street in town that we had lived on for 10 years with no address), names that usually reflected longstanding tradition. Now, Gobbler’s Knob, Granny’s Branch and Pine Log Road (which Internet mapping services still often get laughably wrong, despite more than a decade having passed since it was formally named) are all easily found on a 911 map, though I know lifelong residents who have NO idea where they are located. Not their neighborhoods.

I’d like the gig of being The County Guide. *sigh* 😉

Quick Tip from Your Friendly Handy Helper

So, if you’re out and about and need to jot down a note in your handy pocket notebook (which, of course you always have at hand, because electronic notes. . . well, we’ll just not go into that for now *heh*), but–*ack!* Pen’s out of ink! No pencil! *sigh*

Just eject a round from a spare magazine and write with the lead tip. You’re welcome.

(Note to NSA goons: Feel free to share this tip with HS thugs. I know you will anyway, so I’ll not get all torqued off about it. . . *sigh*)

A Garage Sale Just Won’t Do the trick

Gettin’ serious about cleanup stuff. Most of what I imagine I’ll end up just pitching out of the garage is stuff I’ve said, “I can think of X number of uses for that,” and just put back. Quite often, such junk has proven quite useful, but a lot has become, “Yeh, I could use it, but after all this time I probably won’t” stuff.

But sometimes, as I’ve been sorting, I come across lil gems that just hit the sweet spot of, “Huh. I can use that right now.” Take the box(es) of lil odds ‘n’ ends from a car I sold for scrap. It’d just gotten to the point where it was fixable, but not worth fixing, and since it was a model I knew my “guy” was just going to take to the crusher and sell for scrap metal pricing, I pulled a lot of lil stuff off it before giving him a call. Like those gas struts for the tailgate and hood. Good stuff, Maynard. But the first piece I put to immediate use was… some barely worn disc brake pads.

*huh?* Yep. Found a nice, level piece of concrete and cleaned one of ’em off (a few spiraling “sanding” motions did the trick). Pulled out a pocket knife I’d noticed needed a fresh edge and… it was a really nice whet stone. Put the edge back in shape very quickly.

Rabbit trail: OK, yes, before you ask, of course it was a non-asbestos brake pad. I did say it was barely worn, implying it was fairly new, didn’t I? But, to be frank, even if it had been an asbestos brake pad, I’d not have cared. The asbestos used in brake pads was of a different kind than that which has been clinically and epidemiologically shown to be linked to some cancers and lung diseases. In fact, of the six or more different kinds of minerals called asbestos, only one has been linked to those kinds of health issues. But even if it had been of the “bad” type, it still wouldn’t have mattered, since the use I was making of it would have posed a vanishingly small health risk.

Now, I need to get back to my sorting: keep (‘cos I KNOW I’ll use it… relatively soon), yard sale, give away, toss. (When I get the furniture I have stored in the garage out and down to the local food bank/thrift store, that’ll make a HUGE dent.)

Hmmm, probably CraigsList as well for some of the more obviously usable things, and even some of the “This junk just CAN’T go to the landfill!” stuff…

One Thing About eBooks…

…and particularly Kindle books, is the ease of taking notes within the books–and searching notes. This is especially useful for those books that have error reporting enabled. One of my fav notes to submit in an error report is, “Consult Inigo Montoya. (No, not that quote; the other one.)” I generally slug that comment in wherever a word is misused. And, oh, am I finding a slew of those! The quality of proof readingand copy editing has really, really declined in recent years, and in self-published books it is frequently non-existent… or of a “quality” that can only–charitably–be described as comparable to toxic sewer sludge.

Oh, well, at least I have the joy of making LOADS of snarky notes, and even–happy-happy-joy-joy–submitting a few as “error reports”.



I love these cool, gray Autumn days. Easy on the eyes. Especially nice when they come along on weekends. Good napping weather. 🙂

“Golden Boy” (not his name) cat is at least smart enough to have learned to keep a minimum of 4″ between himself and this lil notebook as I type along, surf or whatever. Other Cats (who shall also go unnamed) weren’t that smart. But I do wish he’d can the “walk up on the back of the couch and butt head into typing human” trick. Distracting and sometimes annoying. He does do a good job of amusing himself with random stuff he “finds” (or steals from my desk or whatever) to carry around while loudly proclaiming his victory over the inanimate object or throwing it so he can chase and catch it.

Don’t you just love this?

Thank you for your order. I have contacted XCompany to send you the email with the download link and serial number. You should receive the email form XCompany on Monday.

*arrrggghhhh!* THE REASON for purchasing downloadable software IS INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!

*sigh* I’ll wait until Monday. Not. I bought it, I’ll have it NOW. *goes and finds, downloads a pirated copy and keygen for the software* Works for now. One decimal point of a version back. I’ll just reinstall with the legit copy/license key later. *grumble-grumble-gripe-complain*

Ashton Kutcher –is there an excuse for any film with this guy in it? I only ask because I came into the room and there was a movie on with him in it. Tune out…

Seven weeks with only 1.5 doses (three half tabs) of high blood pressure meds needed. Something’s working. Kinda like that.

SyFy–*feh* The SciFi Channel was once a decent idea. Now? What a bust. Kind of like The History Channel was a decent idea before it became “The Conspiracy Theory Channel” mixed in with lots of other kinds of dumbass crap.

‘S’all I have.

Nah: one more. I noticed that the “holiday” commercials for gift-giving from Kay Jewelers are not touting prostitution anymore (“Every kiss begins with Kays”). That’s progress of some sort, at least.

It’s the Little Things… Isn’t It?

Why do I prefer some products (various computer hardware, software, automotive, household products, etc.) over others? Usually, it seems to come down to little things.

I prefer Mobil1 motor oils, because, among other “little things”, Mobil makes a wide array of reliable, high-quality synthetic lubricants besides just motor oil, and I like having a consistent quality across the board in my automotive lubes.

I prefer ASUS computer hardware wherever possible, because I have come to find ASUS hardware to be consistently reliable and high-quality, but also–perhaps especially–because of one important “little thing”–live people respond quickly to support requests 24X7. I have not always liked the answers I’ve gotten, but I’ve never gotten any lame excuses from the support folks, either. Oh, and they all seem to be competent speakers of English. *heh*

I prefer Opera as my web browser for TONS of “little things” it does right. Built in mouse gestures that work consistently well and aren’t “broken” by upgrades like the add-on mouse gestures other browsers clumsily implement. Paste-and-go. Why the heck is that not a context menu option in other browsers (let alone, as in Opera, a quick keystroke combo)? How many times each day do folks paste links in a nav bar and then have to press “enter” or click another button to get the simple functionality of CTRL+D I have (yes, I modded the built in keystroke combo, because I have no use for CTRL+D as a keystroke combo to bookmark a site).

Speaking of modding keyboard navigation keystrokes, that’s another little thing: super simple, easy-peasy in Opera to make darned near any keystroke combo one wants.

Tons and tons of those kinds of “little things” make Opera THE choice here at twc central.

Household products? You may not have heard of the company, but for years now we have relied on the consistently exceptional quality and affordable cost of Melaleuca products, and my Wonder Woman will NOT give up her nutritional supplements the company makes. One example of affordable, high quality: the liquid laundry soap (not detergent) generally requires about 1/8 of a cup of product to do an excellent job cleaning clothes in our washer, with our small town water. That’s half what the company recommends, but it works for us. And that makes the product less expensive to use than buying something else at WallyWorld

And all the products work similarly for us. Little things like, use less (often much, much less) or simply unique properties–like the disinfectant spray that uses thyme as a primary component, for its disinfectant properties–have solidified the company’s products as our default for household needs.

Unique properties and features, customer service, consistently high quality, attention to detail: come to think if it, these aren’t “little things” at all!