Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Down, but Not Out

Before running errands this evening, I suddenly remembered my spare-change book fund (money I get back from purchases and set aside to buy more books).  Could I not use that to repay the bookstore employee her 60 cents of kindness from last Saturday?  (All right, her kindness was worth more than 60 cents, but that's the least I could repay her.)  Of course I could, since, in an oblique way, I was using that money to pay for books.  I wrote a thank-you note, sealed it in an envelope with two quarters and a dime, and left it at the customer service desk at the bookstore.

One of the other errands I ran was to stop by the ATM then go inside the bank to have my $20 withdrawal changed into smaller bills, so I can pay the tolls on my upcoming road trip.

That's about all I can afford at the moment, though.  I discovered this morning that I was not paid for the last two weeks!  Why not?  Because I forgot to submit my timesheet online last week.  (Yes, even after more than seven months I've been employed as an alleged manager, the company still has not corrected whatever glitch causes the payroll department to treat me like an hourly employee, so I have to prove to them that I worked.)  Fear not!  The office manager knew a way to request a check, which should be delivered, via overnight service, to me at my mom's house (where I will be, starting this weekend) on Monday.  That still leaves me enough time to make the deposit before banks close for Thanksgiving and to write checks for my rent and mortgage before the end of the month.  Whew!

The Call of the Mild

It got down to freezing again last night, and it stayed barely a few degrees warmer all day (not counting the wind chill).  I stood outside and watched (I'm the boss, so I don't need to labor with them unless I want to or it's absolutely necessary) my crew cut down some dead trees at a school, and I was shivering.  If I had known it would be that windy, I would've worn my long underwear to protect my legs and my scarf to protect my nose and lips.  My fingers started to hurt, but I think I have warmer gloves I can get from my bedroom at my mom's house, when I go there for Thanksgiving.  I couldn't feel my toes, though.  How many layers of socks will I be able to fit inside my shoes?

To think, this was at or just above freezing.  How much will I suffer when winter sets in?


I visited the library this afternoon to return books and check out some more, as well as some audiobooks (to listen to while I drive to and from NM for Thanskgiving).  While I was in the stacks, I saw the book they said I hadn't returned -- right on the shelf where it belongs.  I took it over to the librarians, and one of them made sure it was no longer listed as "missing" in the system.

It's nice to be vindicated.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sisyphus Was No Sissy.

A program I routinely listen to on NPR led me through an internet search to this page, an overview of radio host Bill Morelock.  (Yes, his name is just one letter off from the species in H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, but I don't know how often he has been told that.) After reading this blurb from his brief bio ("He writes an occasional piece of prose, occasionally funny, but not often enough to really annoy anyone.") I figure I'd give him a chance.  He sounds like someone I'd like.  Namely, he sounds like me, and I like myself, so shouldn't I like him?

I read a few of his pieces.  Naturally, I identified with his plant-related ones.  Sisyphean Labors portrays gardening as an unending, seemingly futile exercise.  How I Landscaped upon the Stage relates how a simple, personal landscaping project morphs into a very public exhibition inviting criticism.  (All right, so my dad designed and installed our retaining wall, and he used uniformly cast, concrete blocks, but I chose and laid out the plants.  Our combined efforts garnered the compliment of how "pretty" it turned out, which is probably the best approbation either of us could've gotten.)

Yeah, I think I like this guy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Chlorophyll Family "Tree"

Last night, I finally got around to searching the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints's genealogy website.  Naturally, the first name I sought was "Chlorophyll", since it is, to my knowledge, unique to my family.  I was surprised to see oodles of references to people that aren't in my widespread family.  Did I miss a connection somewhere in my roots?  Did someone else have the same idea of making up the name, as my grandfather did?  Or, since the information about known ancestors wasn't always accurate (including incorrect birth years or locations), maybe all these strangers I'm allegedly related to are mistakes from whomever created the data that made it onto the website.  (Lord knows that "Chlorophyll" has been misspelled and/or mispronounced enough times in my life.)  I also wonder why I found references to myself and my brothers but only some of my cousins.  Where are the others which I know I'm related to?

I then looked up my father's birth name, since it wasn't until between my second uncle's and my aunt's birth that my grandfather Americanized it.  (Note that I didn't say "Anglicized".  My mom once referred to my dad as an "Anglo", and he pitched a fit because his family was Polish, not English.)  The 1940 census data was accurate; it listed my grandparents and their three sons.  (My aunt hadn't been born yet.)  Other data also listed my father's aunts, but this is horribly incorrect.  Not only were they children of my great-grandmother's second husband (so their last names would be different than that of their older siblings), they were on my grandmother's side, so they never would've had that great-grandfather's name in the first place.  (Or maybe Loretta and Adeline were popular names back in the 1910's.)

I found enough inaccurate information (I'm even taking for granted that so many name changes were the fault of Ellis Island) that I wonder how useful the website actually is.  What's the point of using it, if you need to know everything about your family already before you log on?

In Which I Stray Far from My Knowledge Base

In the mystery I'm currently reading, a "throwaway" incident (i.e. not remarked upon by the characters), but one I know will be realized later to be significant, was that a character fell down the stairs.

Unlike every other mystery I've read, which contains a character falling down the stairs, this person was not killed.  Other than that, it's still a cliche among mysteries.  If people died from falling down stairs in real life as much as they do in mysteries, there'd be a lot more notices (e.g. one) in the news than there are.  (Or, as our monthly safety briefings allege that slips, trips, and falls incur most household or workplace accidents, perhaps they do happen that often but are ignored by news outlets because they usually aren't sensational enough.)  Indeed, if pregnant women fell down the stairs and miscarried as often in real life as they do on soap operas, the world would suddenly move to the ground floor.

My mind started wandering at this point.  What if a woman fell down the stairs and suffered a spinal injury that made her a paraplegic?  Would it affect her ability to conceive, carry to term, and bear children?  If she still could give birth naturally, would she need anaesthesia, or would her spinal condition prevent her from feeling any pain from childbirth?

Inquiring minds... are probably better off not knowing.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Be Kind to Chlorophyll Day

A couple of uncomfortable situations turned out all right today.

First, I went to Barnes & Noble to pick up the books I ordered last week.  It turned out that the total cost just a smidge more than my gift cards, but the clerk stunned me by using her own debit card to make up that last 60 cents!  (Naturally, your eternally honest Cap'n will take 60 cents to the store at the earliest opportunity.)

Then, I went to the library to look into an e-mail I had received that I didn't return a book.  It certainly isn't in my apartment, and I returned all the other books from that batch at the same time, so I thought they might have shelved it without checking it back in.  Alas, it wasn't in the four places on the shelves where I looked.  However, the librarian 1) was nice and 2) noted I am a regular patron with an otherwise exemplary record, so she marked the book as "missing" and did not charge me a fine.  Not only that, I was still allowed to check out the requested book which had just arrived for me.

It appears that, in addition to charming little old ladies and waitresses, my superpower affects women who can get me books.  (I'll have to perform further experiments to see if I have that power over both genders of librarians, or just females.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Location, Location, Location

Without knowing it, I set myself down in a pretty convenient part of Tulsa.  I've previously remarked how I can walk to a branch of the city library.  Later tonight, I'm going to walk to Walgreen's (which is very near the post office I've been to a few times).  This past Saturday, I discovered that (thanks to a deliberate gap in the wall of a nearby "big box village" and an underpass to cross beneath the highway, I can get to a Barnes & Noble (and several other stores, not to mention the "smaul") in just 16 minutes on foot (and that's uphill).

I wonder if I could tell my boss, "If you pay me more, I'll lose weight, because I will have a reason to walk to stores."  Indeed, two of the stores I discovered this weekend sell walking shoes.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Four Scored, and Seven Ears to Go

My friend Gimpy collaborates with craftsmen to recreate medieval garb, tools, crafts, etc.  I know he has bartered deer antlers in the past, so when one of my employees was relating the tale of his recent, successful hunting trip, I asked what he does with all the non-meat parts.  It turns out he has numerous antlers in the attic because (as he said) his wife won't allow more than one set in the house.

A quick e-mail to Gimpy garnered the response, "How many does he have, and how many is he willing to part with?"  My employee replied, "I'll take care of you."

That he did.  He pulled me aside this morning, once all the witnes... I mean coworkers -- were gone, and we transferred four sets (pairs?) of antlers from his vehicle to mine.  Here are the pics I took once I got them home.

I was able to listen to his hunting tale, but coming face-to-face with the results was a little gruesome.  I remembered the time I lived in Alabama and discovered that reading tales of English manor houses with animal heads on the wall sounds all old-worldy romantic in its way, but encountering numerous deer and fish on the wall of the local barber shop befuddles the imagination.

The antlers felt like the bone-handled steak knives my parents have had for yonks (probably a wedding gift), so that wasn't too bad.  I wasn't about to feel the actual deer fur at the base, and is that a piece of skull they're attached to?!  Those things went right into a box, and they're going to stay there until I unload them on Gimpy at Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Now why is this string tied around my finger?

When I don't want to forget something, I usually leave a note for myself, or I leave the thing I need to take with me or work on.  Yesterday morning, I woke up and found my flashlight on my placemat.  I remember setting it there to remind myself, but I couldn't remember what I needed the flashlight for, so I put it away.

Last night, when the lamp timer switched off, leaving me in the dark an hour before going to bed...  "Oh yeah, I remember why I needed the flashlight!"  In fact, I'd better change the timer right now, or else I'll forget it again!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Hot and Cold

To reassure you, I should mention that my furnace was replaced, and my air conditioner was repaired.  The HVAC guy asked me to turn on the A.C., to make sure it worked.  I told him it did and, in fact, it was blowing more strongly than before.  "Good," he replied, "now leave it on for an hour, to give the sealant some time to circulate."  So, where I had been at a comfortable temperature, I ended up shivering as the indoor temperature dropped six degrees.  After that, I darn sure wanted to test the furnace.  After 15 minutes, the temperature went up four degrees.  I think we can call the repair a success (although there is a slight smell of natural gas in my apartment).

The fact I smell anything at all is good news.  It appears that my cold is almost gone already.  Now if I could be allowed to fix other things by lazing around my apartment, the world and I would get along fine.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Not that I was going to do something else anyway.

Yesterday morning, I felt a scratchy throat.  "Oh, no," I worried.  "That's the way a cold usually starts for me."  Sure enough, by the end of the day, my sinus headache and drainage had started, guaranteeing that I wouldn't sleep much at night.  Therefore, I will stay inside my apartment (except for laundry) and read all weekend and, hopefully, nap.

To make up for it, I will get two extra hours of sleep this weekend.  That's right:  two.  Not only do we celebrate the end of the accursed Daylight Savings Time, but our work hours are pushed back an hour as of Monday.  (Actually, I prefer starting work at 6:00 a.m., and the later start and end will put my commute into heavier traffic, but there's precious little a grounds crew can do at 6:00 when the first hints of dawn don't start until 7:00.)

I had a more pleasant surprise than my cold, yesterday afternoon.  Four children came trick-or-treating!  (That's four times as many as I've ever had before.)  I handed out two Reese's peanut butter cups, a Hershey bar, and an Almond Joy.  Now what does it say about me that I have no recollection of what costumes the children were wearing?