I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

6/26/2005

Should have seen it coming--

I suppose everyone has a compulsion, a love, a pleasure that they really spend too much time and money on. Mine is books. I have four bookshelves in the living room and there are books on the shelf under a side table, one full and a partial shelf in the sewing room, a shelf in the hallway, a shelf in the kitchen, probably 100 books stacked in the extra bedroom, 40 or more books in stacks on the floor next to my bed, five or six books in my bathroom and at least a dozen and a half boxes full of books packed away. There are always books scattered around my house. I order regularly off Amazon, and my family carefully steers me away from bookstores if we are in a hurry, because they know time ceases to exist for me when I am around books.
I am usually actively reading two, if not three, books at a time. When I am working around my house, I carry a book with me, just in case I have a spare minute. I read when I fold clothes; even when I cook, I have a book open. My family teases me relentlessly about it.

My second daughter and my youngest daughter were sitting at the table in the kitchen today after lunch. I walked in and started looking around. My youngest daughter asked me what I was looking for and I told her that I had misplaced one of my books.
I saw the eye contact and the grins between the two of them and my second daughter put on her innocent face and said "Gee mom, how can you tell?"
I guess I should have seen it coming.

All Quiet on The Western Front

I watched the 1979 made-for-TV version of this movie a few weeks ago. The book was required reading my junior year of high school and I saw the 1930 version on one of the movie channels quite a while ago. I decided to watch the movie again because of a description I read on a site that called it the "definitive anti-war movie". I was surprised by the description, because that wasn't how I remembered the story.
Perhaps Remarque intended it to be anti-war. I can't say. But I remembered it to be a story about disillusionment. About false expectations that don't last when forced up against harsh reality. The war was the catalyst for Paul's disillusionment, so to me, the setting was secondary to the changing human dynamic. He began as an idealistic student who is exhorted to join the Army in loyalty to the Kaiser. The process of disillusionment begins even before he gets into the field, in basic training, when he was faced with a drill instructor who was a petty little man who enjoyed mis-using the authority he had over the recruits. Years of trench warfare, where hundreds of lives were lost to gain a few feet, continued the process. Watching friends die, watching enemies die and eventually seeing no difference between the two, completed it.

This quote is almost the end of the last chapter--
"Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear. " Paul dies shortly after this.
Knowing the truth, knowing reality not only made Paul unhappy, it made him hopeless.
This is the last line of the book--
"Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come."

There was a recent post on the INTJ list that asked this question- Is it better to be ignorant and content, or to have knowledge and be discontented? I didn't join the discussion because the question was one-sided. Neither of those options worked for me. For the character of Paul, knowledge of the truth was so painful in contrast to what he originally believed, that only death brought him peace. If he had been given a choice, I think he would have chosen to be ignorant and content. While I can understand Paul's situation intellectually, I can't agree with it because it isn't right for me. Because for me, there is another question that goes along with the first one. What if you are aware of your ignorance and discontent in that state? What if you gain knowledge and are more content with knowing the truth, even so painful a truth as the one he had to face? Turn the first question around to the second and see which choice of the four is really preferable. If your spouse was cheating on you, would you rather live in ignorance? If you had cancer, would you prefer not knowing?
Maybe the answer has to be considered in light of this-Paul lost hope. He couldn't or wouldn't let himself see a future past his day to day existence. But what if you could face a painful truth, and still believe in and work toward a hopeful future? What if you lost everything you once thought important, but you still believed in yourself? What if you didn't lose hope? Wouldn't knowing the truth, even a painful truth, then be the best choice as long as you realized there was still so much left to be gained?

6/25/2005

Saturday Night Menu

For supper tonight---
Shrimp Scampi with bow tie pasta, garlic bread, romaine salad with carrots and cherry tomatoes and a lemon/olive oil dressing.
Fruit salad with honey/lime dressing for dessert.
The fruit salad is something I like to have a lot in the summer when fresh fruit is readily available. It is another recipe that can be altered a lot of ways to suit individual tastes.
Fresh Fruit Salad with honey/lime dressing. Serves 4
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces. (Pear or any other firm fruit can be substituted or added.
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into chunks. (Again, other tropical fruits can be substituted or added.
4 peaches, nectarines or plums in any combination you like, chopped. I used 2 peaches and 2 black plums tonight. Any soft fruit will do.
1 cup of summer berries. I used blueberries and chopped strawberries tonight. Raspberries, blackberries, cherries will do fine.
To make the dressing you need 1/4 cup of lime juice, 2 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of water. Add all of these to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, watching carefully. After about a minute, cool a spoonful and try it. It should taste tangy, but a little sweet. If the fruit is a little tart or if you prefer a sweeter taste over the tang of the lime, add more honey or even some brown sugar when you are cooking the dressing. Pour over the fruit and mix. Best to let it sit for at least 30 minutes to let the fruit and dressing blend.
It is possible to prepare this the night before, just don't add the berries until you are ready to serve the salad. They'll turn to mush overnight.

Disappointed in myself.

The incident happened more than a month ago. But I am still replaying it at odd times and can't seem to put it to rest. Since starting this, I have found that writing down something that is bothering me helps me deal better with it. As if putting a problem here takes it off the little wheel inside my head that keeps going around and around.
A female prosecutor and a male defense attorney were in my office for a conference with the judge about a defendant who had been found not competent. Judge was on the phone and I knew that he would be on it for more than a few minutes, so I told them to go ahead and have a seat. But instead, the female prosecutor started obviously flirting with the male attorney. She was rubbing her hands on his lapels and telling him how nice he always looked. He started backing up. But she kept rubbing his chest. She ended up backing him into the copy machine. He finally got around her and suddenly remembered he had to talk to another judge for a few minutes and said he would be back shortly. He looked very uncomfortable and unhappy.

This post is not going to be a critique of her behaviour, but of mine.

My first reaction was irritability that she had brought her behaviour into my office. This type of behaviour was not unusual for her. It was pretty commonplace, as a matter of fact, even in the courtroom, as long as the judge was off the bench. I was just relieved when she left. The staff attorney came out of her office and told me that she had seen some of it through her door. We talked for a few minutes about how unprofessional the prosecutor was, etc. I mentioned how uncomfortable the man had looked and suddenly I had another thought. If the roles had been reversed, if the man had been the aggressor and the woman had been the one made uncomfortable, would I have been so cavalier about tolerating it in my office. No, not ever. I would not have hesitated to put a stop to it.
Acknowledging that is personally embarrassing. There are no excuses for ignoring what should have been plain to see. More than just unprofessional, her behaviour was classic sexual harassment. It very easily could have become a quid pro quo situation. At the very least, the man was embarrassed not only by her behaviour, but by the fact that I was sitting in the same room observing it. And all I was concerned about at the time was my personal dislike of her acting that way in my office.
After stewing on it for a while, I decided to do what I could to make amends. While I have no authority over the prosecutor, I did quietly tell her that I didn't like what she did in my office and I didn't want it repeated. She was a little flippant about it, but at least I made my point. I did not see the attorney again for almost a week. When he did come in, I took the opportunity to talk to him privately and I told him that I knew the incident had made him uncomfortable and I apologized for my inaction. He was a little sheepish about it, but he admitted she had made him very uncomfortable, particularly since the judge could have walked out and seen it. I told the judge about the incident. I also talked to the staff attorney about feeling like I should not have ignored it and while she was good enough not to say anything to make me feel worse, she also didn't try to make any excuses to make me feel better and I appreciated it.
Open confession of a personal failure is considered to be a prerequisite for forgiveness. So maybe this mea culpa will help me be a little more forgiving of myself. Because I am really disappointed in myself.

Odd how your brain works-

I am working on the computer. It is about midnight. Emeril Live just came on. I love watching his show and have watched it regularly for about 2 years.
I just happened to turn my head toward the TV as the theme music started and Emeril walked out. For the first time in two years, I noticed something.
OMG, Emeril wears white socks and black loafers! White socks!

I raised a member of the Fashion Police. (I had nothing to do with her acceptance on the FP force, she has an inborn skill.) While I am not the expert she is, she has trained me well and my obsessive-compulsive nature does the rest. I will never be able to watch Emeril again without obsessing over the white socks.
Just damn.

6/24/2005

Looking at the Numbers

The current U.S. population as of now according to this site- http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html is 296,449,069.
Approximately 60 million are under the age of 18, that leaves around 237,000,000 adults
According to MBTI statistics-
NTs make up about 12% of the general adult population 28,000,000
INTJs are about 2% of the general adult population-4,740,000
Male INTJs account for about two-thirds of that number-3,128,400
and females one third-1,621,600.
Working with these numbers, female INTJ's make up less than one percent of the adult US population. Seven-tenths percent to narrow it a little further.
No wonder I have always felt so different and out of place.

6/21/2005

Did you know....?

Etymology is the study of language origins. I enjoy discovering how and where a word originated. There are sometimes interesting things to be learned.
The word "toad" is an example. It was first noted in Old English, but it is something of a mystery word. There are no known words in any other Indo-European language that is related to the word "toad". And since English is almost completely derivative, it's seems a little odd to me that it can't be traced back further to another source.
The word "toady", meaning synchophant, derived from the word toad. How the word came about is fascinating. It's short for "toad-eater". Itinerant quack doctors sometimes had a assistant or servant who pretended to eat a toad(which were thought poisonous) so that the doctor could administer his miracle potion and keep the assistant from dying. Thus, toady came to indicate a servile dependency.
Toadstools were named that because of their shape and the association between their poisons and the supposedly poisonous toads.

6/20/2005

He lied to me

Working in a court system exposes you to a large number of people. It also exposes you to their character and their values.
I have referenced a young lady called Colleen in a previous post (4/26/05). When she came to work with us, she was optimistic, cheerful and completely naive.
She took a phone call from a young man one day in reference to a civil lawsuit that had apparently been filed against the young man's mother. The court date was coming up and the young man was very distressed because his mother had died a couple of months ago and the family just didn't know what to do. Colleen's heart was touched by his dilemma. She put him on hold and told the rest of us the sad story and asked how we could help him.
I told her the first thing to do was pull the file and check to see if the suit had been served by the Sheriff's department. I went to the files and pulled the suit myself.
Now, there are two acceptable types of service of complaint against individuals. One is called personal service and that means the deputy actually put the documents in the hands of the person named in the suit. The other is called MNPA or most notorious place of abode, meaning it was given to another person at the place where the person being sued lived. If neither of those services is possible, then the deputy writes "non est" on the service sheet, meaning it wasn't possible to serve the lawsuit.
I opened the file and looked for the service sheet. It was there. I looked at Colleen and said, "The deputy went above and beyond the call of duty to serve this one." She asked me why and I told her.

"This is the first instant of personal service on a dead person I have ever seen."

The suit had been personally served on the woman only four weeks before.
Colleen looked at me and her eyes grew wider.

"Personal service? His mother was personally served? He lied to me? You mean he lied to me? He lied about his momma dying?"

We had to laugh at her. Poor kid was so shocked that another one of the clerks took the call and just told the man that if his mother had died, he needed to provide the clerk's office with a death certificate. And we had a talk with her afterwards and explained the reality of the people we had to work with and the lengths they will go to in order to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Colleen had her eyes opened that day. She was still friendly, cheerful and optimistic. But she stopped being naive.
I have laughed with others about how much a person changes when they work in the courts. One of the female bailiffs I enjoy talking to said to me one day, "I used to be such a nice person."
I don't think I have ever really fit the general concept of "nice person." But even I have become more cynical and more wary of people simply because of what I have seen and heard at work. I have become more realistic as well.
We're all human. And everyone at some time or other acts out of purely selfish motives, myself included. It comes down to choice. I will never live my life perfectly. But I choose to try to do better and be better every day. I choose to recognize my failures and my flaws and admit them to myself.
One of the mom'isms I used frequently on my children was this:

"You can't solve a problem until you can admit what the problem really is."

And for me, admitting that I'm the problem is what makes the difference.

6/19/2005

Spoon River

I first read Spoon River Anthology when I was fifteen. I have re-read it numerous times since then and I have found that the older I get, the more Masters' words touch something inside me.
This is not a standard novel, but a collection of characters who are dead and who speak their own personal epitaphs from the grave. Spoon River is an actual area in Illinois where Masters grew up.
The book was considered somewhat scandalous when it was published in 1915, because the ghosts are frank and blunt in a way they could not have been during their lives. Just about every nuance of human dynamics is covered, good and bad. Some of the characters lives interlock and it is interesting reading through the vignettes to see a name and realize that you have already heard the same story from another vantage point.
I have begun rereading it again, and one epitaph in particular has gained new meaning because of the soldiers who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.


JACOB GOODPASTURE
When Fort Sumter fell and the war came
I cried out in bitterness of soul:
"O glorious republic now no more!"

When they buried my soldier son
To the call of trumpets and the sound of drums
My heart broke beneath the weight
Of eighty years and I cried:
"Oh, son who died in a cause unjust!
In the strife of Freedom slain!"
And I crept here under the grass.

And now from the battlements of time, behold:
Thrice thirty million souls being bound together
In the love of a larger truth,
Rapt in the expectation of the birth
Of a new Beauty,
Sprung from Brotherhood and Wisdom.

I with eyes of spirit see the Transfiguration
Before you see it.
But ye infinite brood of golden eagles nesting ever higher,
Wheeling ever higher the sun-light wooing
Of lofty places of Thought,
Forgive the blindness of the departed owl.

So to the newest brood of golden eagles, my deepest respect and gratitude.

6/18/2005

Summer Saturday Night Meal

I truly enjoy cooking. My mother usually prepares our weekday meals, but I cook on the weekend. I decided to make beef quesadillas for Saturday night. To complement the quesadillas, I decided on homemade salsa and fresh fruit salad with honey-lime dressing.
Here is the recipe for the salsa:
I make this often during the summer when tomatoes are plentiful. I tried to duplicate a salsa served at a small Mexican restaurant in a local strip mall. This is a recipe that can be modified in different ways to suit individual tastes.
Makes approximately 3 quarts.

3 lbs. Roma tomatoes, chopped (I like to chop them to about the size of half the tip of my little finger, not quite half an inch)
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped (I finely chop the onion, because I don't enjoy biting into large pieces.)
5 green onions, chopped (I just rough chop these onion, including the green stem.)
3 fresh jalapenos (Again, finely chopped. Jarred jalapenos can be substituted if fresh aren't available; use about a quarter cup, chopped)
5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (add more or less as you prefer)
Fresh cilantro and parsley to taste, finely chopped (if fresh isn't available, use dried. Cilantro is strong, so be sure to use judiciously)
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (these last three can also be adjusted to taste)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
10 oz tomato juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (this may need to be adjusted. I like a strong lime flavor)
1 4oz can chopped green chilies(use another can if you like)
1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes and chilies(I only use half the can. I like a mild burn. If you use a full can, the burn is stronger. )
Remember that you can always add, but you can't take away, so add your ingredients with this in mind. It is easy to increase the flavors you prefer once you have tasted the salsa.
While this is good as soon as it is made, it only gets better as it sits. An hour is good, overnight is great.
If I am in a hurry, I will use bagged chips. If I have the time, I will buy the smaller flour tortillas, cut them into wedges and deep fry them so that I have fresh chips to eat with this great salsa

6/15/2005

Favorite Authors-Classics-Lewis Carroll

Thanks to Disney, it seems that most people think of Lewis Carroll only as being an author of children's books. I first read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass when I was about ten years old. I rediscovered them when I had children and found in him a wonderful sense of the ridiculous that an adult with an appreciation for subtlety can find enjoyment in.

This is my personal favorite:
"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that."
And there is this:
"If everybody minded their own business," the Duchess said in a hoarse growl, "the world would go round a deal faster than it does."
And this:
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter. "

Get serious

Uhh, excuse me, excuse me, Amnesty International! She could've used some help here!

6/12/2005

The Blame Game--

When I first began working at the Courthouse, I worked in one of the Clerk's offices. The management style there was unexpected. The office I first worked in had four people. It stayed open during lunch, so someone always had to be there. There was not a lot of business done during lunch, so it was usually a good time to catch up if you were behind in your paperwork.
Once during my week to take the lunch shift, I had finished all of my own work, so I went to the front desk and picked up the two day backlog of docketing from it, thinking that I would help get it caught up. As I was sorting through the papers, I saw a time-sensitive document that had been filed in the day before that should have been turned over to a supervisor for immediate action. I called the supervisor on duty and let her know what I had and that time was running out. I waited for her to give me some instruction as to what she wanted me to do in order to get this document properly taken care, but this is what she said,
"Who is responsible for this mistake?"
What? What? Here is a document that needs to be handled immediately and her first concern is exacting retribution?
I told her that I didn't know who had filed it in, but I did need to know what to do with it and I needed to know now.
She finally came down and took care of it herself, but I thought for a long time about her response and I have never forgotten the incident.
I came to learn that her attitude was not unusual in the office. But I have never understood it. All I could see was that the document needed to be handled and that should have been the priority. All she could see was that someone had to be blamed. Totally illogical. And useless.

Random thought for a fellow driver #2--

On the way home from church today--

"Hey lady, I think I'm entitled to half the road!"

Yes, you are. And as soon as you figure out which half you want, let me know and you can have it. Just so long as it isn't the half down the middle.
Jerk.

Give it a good bashing

I got up early this morning and decided to spend some time on the computer before church.
I looked at a few things on the internet and then tried to open my e-mail.
When I tried to put in my password, I got an error message. I tried again. Same thing. I went very slowly and noticed that one of the keys wasn't printing. It wasn't sticking, but there was no keystroke showing when I hit the key. I opened Word and tried the key. It just wouldn't print. I tried all the keys and found that half of one row wasn't working. So I rebooted. Twice. I opened the control panel and checked the keyboard. I checked the system. I rebooted in safe mode. I ran a disk clean-up. I ran my spyware. Nothing worked. I was so frustrated.
I had already made my plans for today and now I was going to have to go to the computer store and buy a new keyboard.
I have always felt that if something is broken, my messing with it isn't going to make it any less useable than it already is. So I picked up the keyboard and banged it against the side of the desk three times. I rather enjoyed it.
And it worked. I put the keyboard on the shelf and tried it and all the keys printed. So I decided to write this.
There is a scene in the movie "The Longest Day", where the beachmaster is trying to move the troops inland and a vehicle stalls. The troops try to start it up again, but the engine had sea water in it and didn't want to start. The beachmaster, a dignified British gentleman, walked over, whacked the engine with his stick a couple of times and it started. He said, "My old grandmother always said things work better if you give them a good bashing."

Amen, brother.

6/11/2005

Always so focused

I went to the grocery store today. A normal weekend activity. But something happened that I think I need to write down here.
I was making my way through the store and I heard a voice say my name. I stopped and saw one of the bailiffs who works in our courtroom occasionally. He's in his 70's and a fine gentleman. I smiled at him and said hello. He said he'd seen me a couple of times moving up and down the aisles, but that he hadn't spoken because I seemed to be very intent on what I was doing. I laughed and said I did have a tendency to be focused. He said,

"I know. I've never seen you do anything where you weren't focused. "

We spoke for a few more minutes about some courthouse business and I went on and finished my shopping.
But I couldn't get what he said out of my mind. I know that I have a tendency to put my full attention on what I consider to be an important task. My family sometimes teases me about being obsessive-compulsive. But before Mr. C said that to me, I hadn't realized that my behaviour was that obvious to someone outside my family or that I was doing it even while I was grocery shopping
My first reaction after I got over the surprise was an automatic concern that if my intensity was obvious to someone I didn't see that often, then it was an out-of-control flaw that needed to be corrected. My second reaction, which followed quickly after the first, was irritation at myself for falling into a trap that I have been trying to get out of and then irritation at the world in general for setting standards of acceptable behaviour that don't work for me.
Why shouldn't I do everything with intensity if it suits me? Even the books dealing with personality typing say that one of the flaws of an INTJ is an inability to relax and enjoy themselves. Well, I do a great many things that bring me enjoyment. And I do them with intensity. I do things I don't enjoy with intensity. What is wrong with that? Who set the rule that in order to "enjoy" yourself, you have to be relaxed? It wasn't an INTJ.
If watching me do things with focused intensity exhausts you or causes you mental or emotional distress, then don't watch. Go somewhere else. Go to sleep. Go away.

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

Your IQ Is 140

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius

But I love it. I really, really love it.

6/10/2005

The Office of the Presidency

I posted this today on the INTJ list and felt that it was something that I put some passion into. In consideration of my post on Sunday last, I wanted to post it here also. I felt and even now, feel more passion about the topic than I was able to put into the posting.

Another list member wrote this in response to a thread about presidents and lying

Clinton was also stupid to lie about the BJ. It was a pointless lie and Hilary should have know better than to let him do it. However, I also believe what he lied about was something that was between him, Hilary and Monica and was not of National Security. It was blown way out of porportion and was distracting from important issues----
This was my response----

I would agree with what you said about it being his business(and the others) but for a few things-
I am not a party-affiliated person and I'm willing to accept whomever is elected and give them a chance to see how they do the job. When the business with ML came out, I really didn't care about what he was doing as much as where he did it. Having a tawdry little affair means nothing to me personally. Bringing that tawdry little affair into the Oval Office meant a great deal.
Having an intern give you a blow job in the same office where John Kennedy's children played, where Franklin Roosevelt worked, where Abraham Lincoln mourned the death of his son was incredibly offensive to me. It showed an unbelievable lack of respect for history and for the men who had been there before him. It also showed either unfounded arrogance or crass stupidity. Perhaps I expected too much, but I would never have expected a man who had come as far in politics as he had to be lacking in the art of calculating political risks. He was either too stupid to figure out what a risk he was taking, too arrogant to believe it would do him any harm, or too glandularly challenged to think at all. I have little to no respect for powerful people who can't keep their own stupidity, arrogance or glandular problems sufficiently under control. A study of effective tyrants will show people who were able to do just that. When they fail to do it, they fall.
I love history. I am intrigued by the people who make their mark on it and how they do it. And even when I don't agree with someone's ideology, I can admire how well they use what comes their way to achieve their goals.
Ruthless effectiveness used to reach a desired goal has a beauty of it's own even if the goal achieved is a distasteful one from my personal perspective.
One last thing that bears on this-
"The presidency is not merely an administrative office. That's the least of it...It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership."--Franklin Roosevelt

If you know the history of American presidents-and putting all other facets of their presidency aside-figure out for yourself how many of them grasped this and how many didn't. Even as ineffective a politician as Jimmy Carter understood that the presidency was more than the man occupying it and tried to comport himself appropriately. Bill Clinton either lost sight of that or never understood it and marred his own legacy by not being able to keep his pants zipped

6/08/2005

Another bomb threat today.

1:40 pm-"Don't you know you are supposed to be evacuating the building? "
"Sure I know. That's why I'm just sitting here."

So we all go down the hall again, down the emergency stairwell and out the door into the judge's parking lot, out the gate and across the road.
Thankfully there are trees to provide shade. It's pretty hot. The deputy assigned to our courtroom makes a point to move us away from the area we stood in before. He is more concerned about the potential for something happening once we are outside than he is about someone being able to smuggle something dangerous inside to use. I had a book in my pocketbook, so I had something to occupy my time.
Emergency vehicles showed up and the access roads were blocked properly. But still it took almost two hours for the building to be searched and secured.
I think this is going to become a common occurrence. Whoever is doing this isn't doing it for a prank. Whoever is doing this isn't doing it for the power rush. And I don't think the person/persons doing it really intend to do any harm. I think there is another purpose altogether. We shall see.
The U.S. Marshals were here last week, asking questions about security in the offices. They have been asked to come and assess our security. The ones I have dealt with have been very professional and very courteous. Let's see if any of their suggestions for improvement are taken.

6/07/2005

Blog readability

I found this site link on another blog I read on a regular basis-
http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php
You can plug in your url and it will analyze the readability of your blog.

These are the results for this site:
Reading Level Results
Summary Value
Total sentences 367
Total words 4501
Average words per Sentence 12.26
Words with 1 Syllable 3133
Words with 2 Syllables 900
Words with 3 Syllables 335
Words with 4 or more
Syllables 133
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 10.40%
Average Syllables per Word 1.44

Gunning Fog Index 9.06
Flesch Reading Ease 72.78
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 6.16

The Gunning-Fog index
is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to
understand the content. The lower the number, the more understandable the
content will be to your visitors. Results over seventeen are reported as
seventeen, where seventeen is considered post-graduate level.

Typical
Fog Index Scores
Fog Index Resources
TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain 6
Reader's Digest 8
Most popular novels 8-10
Time, Newsweek 10
Wall Street Journal 11
The Times, The
Guardian 14
Academic papers 15-20
Over 20-Only government sites can get
away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30-The government is
covering something up

Flesch Reading Ease is an index number that rates
the text on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to
understand the document. Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of
approximately 60 to 70.

The Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Like the
Gunning-Fog index, it is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would
take someone to understand the content. Negative results are reported as zero,
and numbers over twelve are reported as twelve.

I am very happy with the results.
That makes me laugh at myself.
How many people would get a thrill over this?

6/05/2005

Logic vs. Emotion

I have long considered the concept that a good artist has to "suffer" for his art to be somewhat silly. Skill, talent, ability are not dependent on emotion.
I am still not completely convinced that strong emotions enable an actor to act better, a writer to write better, an musician to play better, an artist to paint better. What I am discovering by blogging is that emotions do factor into the quality of what I write here, both in a positive and negative way.
The posts I have written without a strong emotional impetus do not have the same visceral impact as do the ones where my feelings were strongly involved. On the other hand, the ones with more emotional content require more correction as to grammar, syntax, and organization. I have also noticed that if I write about an emotional incident after some time has passed, it tends to lose some of the emotional impact, but it requires less correction.
Since blogging, for me, is first about self-expression and secondly about communication, I am having to reconsider my ideas about writing from an emotional standpoint.
Strong emotions interfere with my clarity of expression, but push me to write with speed and impact. But having a serious tendency to be obsessive-compulsive, I can't stand poor grammar, spelling, syntax. If I let myself, I would go back and re-read and re-write ad infinitum.
But overall, I think perhaps I ought to go ahead and write when I am under the influence of my emotions, just not post it. Correction can come after the words and feelings are down. I think I have learned that emotions are as important a tool as good grammar, spelling and punctuation. And I have always enjoyed learning something new. So good for me.

Take a look-

Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
I have a certain fondness for people who won't let themselves be forced into molds--
Like this -- Cowboy Troy
and this -- Big and Rich.
Listen to the music and check out the videos.

6/04/2005

Myrtle Beach, Memorial Day Weekend 2005

A few more of the pictures we took.

The pool was heated, which was wonderful.
The obligatory sand castle. Perhaps not architecturally sound, but fun to just dig in the sand.
The two lower pictures were taken during an early morning walk . The tide was out and the beach looked completely different. The man fishing was a hundred feet or more from the regular tide line. He was out beyond the tide pools.
I took the last picture at the edge of one of the tide pools. It was beautiful with the early sun reflected off that thin layer of water.

Early morning

Scenes from Myrtle Beach-Memorial Day weekend 2005

The upper pictures were taken from the balcony early on Saturday and Sunday morning.
The two lower ones were taken while we were walking the beach.

Memorial Day Weekend Pictures

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Memorial Day Weekend 2005

We had a wonderful weekend. Liz and Livy loved the beach.

6/01/2005

Random thought for a fellow driver--

Have you ever considered that out of the 2,365,200,000 seconds that comprise an average life, you could spare 10 of them to let a pedestrian in a driving rain cross the street in front of you while you sit in your nice, dry car? Jerk.

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