Sunday, July 19, 2009


Jan, Lloyd & Speedy at the hospital

I stopped at Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store after attending Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I needed the sustenance of a brownie fudge sundae, than which there is no better made than Braum's. Then I went home and took Speedy to the park to work on his sit-with-D-cubed. (That's distance/duration/distraction, which he doesn't get much of in our house.)

A neighbor boy was sitting on a bench in the playground, looking bored. I went over to him after a period of "No, Speedy. Sit, Speedy" and asked if he would like to help by coming over and greeting me so that Speedy could practice company-manners. As a reward, I offered to let the boy pet Speedy. The meet and greet went off without too much jumping on Speedy's part, but he still needs a great deal of practice. Subsequently, while we were petting Speedy, another boy came up on his bike and asked if he could pet Speedy. The dog was in heaven: multiple petting!

We went home after that. Speedy obediently jumped the perimeter cable when I held it down a bit. Then I about did myself an injury, as my foot slipped on the cable as I went over. Fortunately, I managed to catch myself without looking too foolish.

Oh, and yes, I enjoyed HP&HBP in spite of the gratuitous fire. Of course, I had read the book - multiple times - so I knew when they had just cut out unessential stuff and when they really lost all contact with Rowling's narrative. I'd give it 4 out of 5. And I'm glad they're getting book 7 ready as I write. From I see that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is to be released as a two-parter. I was afraid that by the time they released it Radcliffe, Watson, et al. would be old enough for real-time depiction of the epilogue.

I did enjoy the cinematography in that the lighting was dark. Even the outdoor daytime scenes were rainy or cloudy. I also thought the scenes of Draco in the Room of Requirement were quite well done. The scene with Harry at Dumbledore's side after Draco and the Death Eaters get away is very nicely done also, although not "strictly true" to the book.

The word of the day for July 19, 2009 is "replete" — Pronunciation: \ri-'plēt\
Function: adjective
Etymology:Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French replet, from Latin repletus, past participle of replēre to fill up, from re- + plēre to fill — more at full
Date:14th century
1: fully or abundantly provided or filled [a book replete with…delicious details — William Safire]. 2 a: abundantly fed. b: fat, stout. 3: complete.

Our quotation is from Henry James. (1843–1916). The Portrait of a Lady:

Isabel came back to Florence, but only after several months; an interval sufficiently replete with incident.



Thursday, July 16, 2009


Mike from Handyman Matters


Today I stayed at home, remoting to my work computer. I had just plain gotten tired of jiggling this faucet handle a tad to avoid dripping or activating the toilet mechanism just so for the flapper valve to seat properly. Then the master bath shower head sprang a leak, and the same day the handle on the outside tap broke as I was trying to close it tight enough.

So I got on-line to Service Magic who matched me up with several handyman services. I chose the right one, I think. Mike from Handyman Matters got here at ten a.m. as agreed, looked at all the little problems I have with the taps, etc. He gave me an estimate I can live with. Then he turned off the main at the meter and proceded to take things apart.

bathroom sink in exploded view
There is something slightly perverse about human nature. The second the main valve was shut off, I needed to use the facilities. Never fails, like the itch at the end of one's nose when one's hands are full of glop. Ah, well, I suppose I can always pull out the box of unused puppy pee-pads.

The word of the day for July 16, 2009 is "plumbing" — Pronunciation: \'plə-miŋ\
Function: noun
Date: 1666
1: the act of using a plumb. 2: a plumber's occupation or trade. 3 a:the apparatus (as pipes and fixtures) concerned in the distribution and use of water in a building b: an internal system that resembles plumbing ; especially : one consisting of conduits or channels for conveying fluids.

Our quotation is from John W. Gardner (1912 - 2002):

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exaulted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy...neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.


Friday, July 3, 2009


project started


half done
my new library

The company, at the Unions' behest, gives us Friday off this year because Independence Day is on Saturday. I had originally thought, oh goody, more time to read. However, I decided that, as I have been moving things about, I ought to get with the program and get the bookshelves I have been promising myself ever-so-long. So yesterday on the way home, I picked up a couple of DIY media storage units from Walmart.

It took about three-quarters of an hour construction and about three hours of recuperation for each unit. Anyway they are nearly full of the books that I had brought up from the basement that I am determined to keep on hand. They have taken the place of the unused bar table and chairs that were in the dining area. My next project is to get a cabinet to store Speedy's paraphenalia (you can see the containers on the left in the last picture. Now I can spend all of the Fourth with a glass of sun tea and a book, listening to the neighbors' fireworks.

The word of the day for July 3, 2009 is "indolence" — Pronunciation: \'in-də-lən(t)s\
Function: noun
Date: 1710
: inclination to laziness :

Our quote for the day is from Henry James. (1843–1916). The Portrait of a Lady:

He wintered abroad, as the phrase is; basked in the sun, stopped at home when the wind blew, went to bed when it rained, and once or twice, when it snowed, almost never got up again. A certain fund of indolence that he possessed came to his aid and helped to reconcile him to doing nothing; for at the best he was too ill for anything but a passive life.