Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday Twitterdeedum

Just talk to Bob Aavedal at the Alpine Shop if you want a cool pair of snowshoes like mine.

These (there are two) were a present from Bill several Christmases ago, and they've gotten enough use that their tail feathers have come loose from the frames.

Of course, when two or three dogs from the Border Collie nation jump aboard at the same time for a free ride, tail feathers don't have a chance.

Yup, that's what they did yesterday as I was working a trail out in the hayfield.  

I had a talk with them and told them to get ahead of me instead of behind me.

We've had one dog mishap during snowshoe season so far.

Annie Dog, who's 14 and not all that sensible, insists on going with the rest of us on rounds through the fields and the woods.

I learned after the first major trip to keep a look out for her.

She wandered off the trail somewhere along the way.

I didn't worry too much about her cuz she's been accustomed to doing that for years.

This time, though, she didn't arrive at the house with the rest of us.

I figured she'd be showing up pretty soon.

Well, a few minutes later, I heard the "dementia bark" clear out in the woods.

Annie's been doing the dementia bark for some time.  

It's a high-pitched "arf . . . arf . . . arf," usually once she's climbed up on to her couch in the garage.

I've gone out there numerous times to see her looking off toward the wall, arfing off at whatever demons seem to be bothering her.

Usually it takes a stern "shut up" to get her to stop.  A soft " please be quiet" does no good.

Anyway, when I heard the dementia arfing out there in the woods, I knew Annie's demons had gotten the best of her.

So, on went the snowshoes and off I went with the Border Collie nation to rescue Annie Dog.

She had gotten off the trail and started a trail of her own in some deep, wet snow.  Then, she got stuck, thus bringing on the arfs.

I broke a trail ahead of where she was stuck, didn't even have to pull her out.  She walked on, at her own pace, back to the house.

I don't know that future big snow-shoeing trips will be including Annie from now on, but if they do, I know I'll keep a closer watch on her wanderings.


Today the trails are getting a new layer of snow, so I'll probably put on my Red Feathers sometime and go pat them down again.  


With today being a remembrance day of Pearl Harbor, I must mention the book Unbroken again.

I have finished it, not without a tear or two.  

And, when I think back on some aspects of the story Laura Hillenbrand told, it's hard not to get a little weepy and at the same time inspired by the inconquerable human spirit and by the phenomenal author who told Louie Zamperini's story so well.

Bill is reading the book now, and Pearl Harbor has happened in the story line.  

I ask him from time to time where he is in the story and we share thoughts.  There's a sort of camaraderie formed in the reading of this story of truly "unbroken" resilience. 

I noticed this morning that the book has reached No. 2 on the New York Times Bestseller list for nonfiction, trumped only by President George Bush's book. 

No doubt it will rise to the top, just like its main character did so many times during WWII and just like its author has from her chronic disease.

Laura Hillenbrand hardly needs my help in selling jillions of books, but on this day, I feel compelled to encourage folks to buy a copy and to set out a good block of time for reading.  

Believe me, this book is so good that life and tired eyes get in the way of one's desire to curl up and read it from cover to cover. 


And, while mentioning books this morning, I must mention another, for a family member. 

The link will get you the information. 

My brother Jim has illustrated this book by California author Liz Larson and one other for Spokane author Rachel Oxrieder

If you're looking for a children's book as a gift with a connecting thread, check it out at the link.

Additional information on the authors and their artist can be found  by searching for Liz Larson and Rachel Oxrieder books at http://www.amazon.com/.

Congratulations, Jim, Liz and Rachel.  


I went to Spokane on a quick trip yesterday.  Valley Vac and Sew fixed my original Dyson vacuum cleaner, so now I have two.

I love the Dyson's and feel just plain flush to have two of them in working order.  That means I can part with some of the others in my fleet (just like my collection of lawnmowers).

Ya just wonder why you keep these items around.  I think hoarding of equipment in disrepair stems from everlasting hope:  hope that if you plug it or fire it up two years later, the machine will miraculously start working for you.

So far, that has never happened.  I've got at least two other vacuum cleaners that blow dirt out the back end. They can now go to the transfer station. 

I'll put them in the mall there in hopes that someone will take them home, fix them and get some use out of them.

For now, I'm in bliss with my Dyson's. 

Anyway, after picking up my vacuum cleaner, I went to an electronics store.

Within minutes of walking inside, I felt like I had landed on a strange planet.  

Amazing how fast technology comes up next to you, passes and zooms on down the road,  leaving you in the dust.

No,  this store didn't sell any faulty vacuum cleaners blowing dust on me, but I sure felt inept as I walked around looking at "things" and wondering if people in my family might want to own some of them----whatever they are.

A perfect example of my tech-impaired self came when I was looking at the possibility of a karaoke machine for my adult children.  

The thought was that we could all get together on rainy days and make fools out of ourselves with a microphone.

Not that I need any technology to make a fool out of myself, mind you.

I got down on the floor and looked over the boxes on the bottom shelf.  Somewhere I'd seen a $19.95 price.  Couldn't believe it.

Finally a clerk came by and I asked how much one particular box cost.  She picked it up and said she had to go somewhere else to figure out the price.  

Before she left, I asked, "You can just use regular CD's in this thing, can't you?"

"No," she said, "I buy karaoke CD's."

She came back and reported that the model I'd picked was $69.

To which I said, "No, I don't think I want one cuz I don't know enough about it to know if it's anything anyone would like."

That ended my tech shopping, although I did pick up one item which has been discussed enough in my presence that I could feign some understanding of the purchase I was about to make. 

Tech is just too tough for me to figure out these days, and it appears I'd better spend some more time wandering those stores and learning what all those gadgets are.  

By the time I get that accomplished, a whole new wave will come on the scene to disorder my mind all the more.


Enough twitterdeedum:  I've babbled more than needed.  Have a happy Tuesday, and do check out those books.  No pun intended.

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