Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Day After

This is not a political post.  It relates some important (to me, at least) things that happened on the day following the election.

On my drive home from work, I was pulled over by a state police officer on the interstate.  I hadn't done anything wrong, but he let me know that my car's tail lights weren't working.  (I'll see if I can get a service appt. today during my lunch break, lest I get pulled over again tonight.)

Later during my drive, a car pulled up next to me at a stop sign and flashed a flashlight at me.  The driver rolled down his window and informed me that my tail lights were out.  What are the chances that two people let me know the same thing in a span of twenty minutes?  (What are the chances that I've been driving like that for a while?)

At 9:30 last night, I happened to be looking out one of my house's front windows when I saw headlights and tail lights pass by very fast in front of the house, accompanied by the sound of a soda can being run over.  The next instant, my brain processed that there was something else metal in front of the house...  You guessed it:  our mailbox had been smashed -- for the third time this year!

I phoned the police and asked to file a report.  I had trouble falling asleep, possibly because I was stressing about the mailbox.  The phone rang; it was the police department apologizing that they hadn't sent anyone yet.  I got back into bed and tried slowing my heart rate.  It must have worked, because I had just dropped off to sleep when the phone rang again.  It was the police officer in front of the house, asking me to come outside.

The officer took my name and phone number, which I had already given when I first called, and my birthdate, which I hadn't been asked for earlier.  As she pointed her flashlight around (and that was one darned powerful flashlight; I wonder if they can be bought by private citizens), we saw a bit of pumpkin on the mailbox latch, two orange spots on the sidewalk and driveway, where the pumpkin had bounced, and the pumpkin itself, where it had finally come to rest in our yard.

When I picked up the pumpkin this morning, I saw that it had been an entire pumpkin (although the stem and portion of the fruit had broken off, very similar to the way carvers will open the pumpkin), and seeds had scattered on the sidewalk and front yard.  I'll have to give the poor thing a proper burial in the compost pile this weekend.

No, I am not so culturally ignorant that I'm unaware of the band called Smashing Pumpkins, but I certainly never expected to encounter one of their members on a quiet street in Albuquerque.

Surprised by the Surprise

The American media are reporting that many citizens are "in shock" or "surprised" by the result of the Presidential election.  They had reported similar responses after the British "brexit" vote earlier this year.

How can people possibly be surprised?  For brexit, it was a matter of stay in the E. U. or leave ("Should I stay or should I go now?").  For the Presidency, there were more candidates (at least three on the ballot, depending on one's state), but two were the most likely to be elected.  In a case of one or the other, how can anyone be surprised that one of those choices was approved?

Monday, October 31, 2016

It Was Definitely a Trick

When I woke up this morning, I wondered how I could feel so tired and want to stay in bed on a Monday, although I had the opportunity the day before to sleep in but had slept restlessly and couldn't fall back to sleep.  I had already put in my contact lenses and washed my face when I realized that I had woken up exactly one hour early for work.

I knew I wouldn't be able to fall asleep again, so I continued with my shave and then sat up for an hour, reading until it was (the usual) time for breakfast.  I think I deserve a piece of candy tonight, for that.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Time Flies When You're Alive

Today would have been my parents' 61st wedding anniversary.  I'm not sure if I should mention it to my mother when I get home from work tonight, or if I should let it go by unmentioned.  It's a tough call every year, but more so this year because in two days is the tenth anniversary of my father's death.

For over a month now, I've had the line, "Now, for ten years, we've been on our own," stuck in my head.  I here share with you the song from which I took that line:  Don McLean's "American Pie".

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Lesser of Eight Evils

I have obtained a copy of my local ballot for the upcoming election.  I was surprised to see eight Presidential candidates listed.  The political parties (in the order they appear on the ballot) are as follows:  Republican Party, Democratic Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, Green Party, American Delta Party, Better for America Party.

Boy, and you thought the Green Party was getting no media coverage!

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Dawn Patrol

Every morning, my commute takes me downhill through the Sandia Indian reservation, with the entire city of Albuquerque spread below me.  In the summer, I can see dawn breaking over the city.  This time of year, the lights glitter below, like something from the movies.

For a minute, I was surprised to see multiple, sudden bursts of flame in the sky.  "What the he** is...  Oh, yeah.  It's Balloon Fiesta week," I soon realized.  Living in ABQ, one gets used to seeing hot air balloons in the sky, but it's always a bit of a surprise when the Dawn Patrol is up in the dark, checking out weather conditions before Mass Ascension.

(I won't include any pictures here, because you need only do a simple, web search to find about a bazillion of them.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Ankle Bone's Connected to the Shin Bone

After a few weeks of my car dashboard telling me to "Check Stabilitrak" (whatever that is) and "Check Traction Control" (that doesn't sound good), I had a repair appointment at the dealership.  After taking an hour to let a computer diagnose the problem, the service technician told me that the EGR Valve was faulty.  According to Wikipedia, "EGR works by recirculating a portion of an engine's exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders."  This tallies with what the technician told me.

Now, I know next to nothing about cars, especially since I learned to drive back when cars were easier to fix and mechanics were smart enough to diagnose faults without using a computer, but how does a traction warning (which sounds like something to do with the wheels, axles, or steering) end up as a wonky part of the exhaust system?

The technician said that the car's computer (something else new since I learned to drive) registered the fault with the valve and then tried to compensate for it, which resulted in the traction warning.  I can vaguely understand that (trying to compensate), although it still sounds like a "black box" is somewhere between the exhaust and the tires.  This is another reason I prefer working with plants:  no moving parts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

A coworker specified the Double Scoop Cranberry or Pow Wow Wild Berry Coneflower for her latest landscape design.  As I was searching our nurseries for pricing, I came across several other Coneflower cultivars named after foods:  Tomato Soup, Cranberry Cupcake, Hot Papaya, Now Cheesier, Purple Merlot, Raspberry Tart, Supreme Cantaloupe, and Vanilla Cupcake.  (I'm guessing the same breeder developed all of them.)  I've stopped thinking about work and started thinking about dinner (and dessert).