Wednesday, October 30, 2013


With everything becoming an online experience catalogs arriving in the mail will soon be a thing of the past. I will miss them.

Remember the days when autumn meant an influx of paper wish-books? Each day would bring a new selection of shop-at-home opportunities: Cookware, clothing, music, gift items of every description. I always had a stack at hand for the odd few moments when there was not enough time to read a chapter in my current book. Paging through a catalog was a chance to be a millionaire, at least for a little while. I’d happily fantasize, selecting surprise gifts for family and friends, things I could not afford but that I knew would delight.

Not that many catalogs arrive any more. Like everybody else when I want an item I head to my computer and shop online. It is easier and faster and allows many, many more choices. But it isn’t quite as much fun and, unhappily for my budget, encourages much more impulse buying.

Yesterday I returned to the good old days though. The Acorn catalog arrived and I settled down for a a pleasant wish-a-thon. That catalog is filled with DVD collections of shows from PBS and BBC. In my imagination I filled my video shelves with The Mikado by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and series like Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple, and New Tricks. I “bought” gifts for friends and various art and knick-knacks for everybody. Sigh.

My credit cards and checkbook still intact, I reluctantly consign the catalog to a recycle bin. Temptation has been resisted. For now.

Monday, October 28, 2013


The past several days the evening news has contained stories about the police gearing up for Halloween and how that night has become one of the more dangerous times for drunk driving accidents. And I know I’ve gotten old when I hear those stories and react with “WHAT?”

When I was a kid Halloween was for  children. Costumes were fun. Getting candy was great. Jack O Lanterns had scary faces. Parents accompanied their tots around the neighborhood and a fine time was recalled over indigestion the following day. No kid over the age of twelve went Trick or Treating or would put on a costume and the few that did were recognized as “Being up to no good”.

Something slipped in the universe. A generation of kids forgot to grow up and continues to celebrate Halloween. No worries. It is silly fun to wear a mask and consume extra calories. But when the scary homemade costume turns into X-rated skimpiness and the candy turns into drugs and alcohol  and that leads to record numbers of highway accidents something has gone awry.

Please enjoy your Halloween, but do it safely, okay?

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I’ve seen a bunch of email and Facebook humor going around with suggestions about various ways to “deal with” the recalcitrant members of congress that have recently so angered the folks in this country.

I have to ask myself, “Who elected these guys in the first place?”

And I’ll remind my fellow citizens that WE DID.

So who exactly is to blame for the bottlenecks - past and future - that have been so irksome?


And who exactly can do something about dealing with those members of congress?


The next time your senator or congress-critter is up for election remember and vote accordingly. You only have yourself to blame.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

And Have I Mentioned...?

Whatever happened to my memory? Is it my age, or tides. or some vast universal conspiracy concocted by our alien overlords? I used to be able to remember times and dates of appointments, dozens of birthdays and holidays, shopping lists and phone, social security and license plate numbers plus the mailing addresses for all my friends. No notes required.

No longer does my brain retain all this information. Now I substitute notes, lists, and memos. My world is littered with reminders. My computer desktop is littered with "stickies" with appointment dates and quotes I'd like to recall. The real desk has lists of various rules of online games I play and lines of poetry I thought of that I might finish creating - one day. I have push-pinned notes on a cork board and notes held to the refrigerator with magnets and when opened my purse spews forth a myriad of notes I carried to remember market items and things to talk to the doctor about. And the things needed from the hardware store. And ideas for gifts if I see something just right in a store somewhere. Those things I may purchase and tuck away for that future gift and forget I bought it or where I put it.

That information is on another list. I don't know where that one got to.