Tuesday, August 22, 2017

State of Confusion

Do you ever feel confused? Just confused in general?

I hate to admit this, but confusion is a bit of a life long affliction for me. Things that seem to be obvious to everyone else, just leave me perplexed. I've forever been told that the problem is that I don't pay close enough attention. So my whole life I've tried and tried and tried to pay closer attention, but honestly it's never really helped my confusion.


But today I had a bit of a revelation. It's sort of a long story, so bear with me...


OK, so yesterday was the solar eclipse - 92% here in Denver. I knew we wouldn't be seeing darkness, or the sun's corona, as you would if you were under the "path of totality" - but I had heard over and over that we would see crescent moon shaped shadows everywhere, and for this I was very excited.

I charged the battery on my camera, and I got all of my morning chores done early so I could be completely free for the entire time of the eclipse to witness the spectacular shadows.

And so I sat out on my front porch in the sun with my pinhole camera waiting for the shadows to appear. Once I could see the eclipse happening through the pinhole camera, I started to hold up random objects, waiting for them to cast moon shaped shadows. I tried everything I could think of - I held up my hand, held up my camera, held up rocks, and balls, and sticks, and leaves, and even the neighbor's cat.


I figured eventually something would cast one of those moon shaped shadows, but for all my trying, I got nothing.

See? Just leaves
So finally I gave up and decided to go pick some cucumbers in my garden. I guess I just figured I'd missed it... maybe it only happened at the height of the eclipse? Or maybe we weren't in the right place to see it? I was sorely disappointed though.

But today... today I hopped on the interwebs and discovered that several of my blogging buddies had posted pictures of these amazing crescent moon shadows... and suddenly it hit me.



It wasn't the shadows that were supposed to be moon shaped, it was the light between the shadows! Gah!! Why didn't all of the people on TV just say what they meant?

Then I had a funny feeling. I went and got my camera and looked at all of the pictures I'd shot during the eclipse. I did remember taking a few shots of some "funny light" on the back deck as I was heading out to pick the cucumbers... and sure enough:



Good GAWD!



Suddenly, a million other "moments of confusion" from throughout my life rushed through my mind.

I remembered my 9th grade science teacher trying in vain to explain to me how they could tell the distance of the moon using triangles and the Pythagorean theorem. She kept saying that all you need is three points and an angle... so you've got your location, and the moon, then you just pick another "known point" and you've got it.

Now, in my mind "your location" was the earth. So if you've got the earth as point one, and the moon as point two, then how can you possibly know the location of a third point, because wouldn't said third point also have to be an outer space object? So how could you know it's location without first having some other "known point" to find it? It's an infinite loop of sorts. I think that poor woman spent half an hour trying to explain this to me.


Finally it was my brother who explained that the mysterious third point could also be on the earth. WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST SAY THAT?!?!


And then there was the movie that CatMan and I watched last week.


I think we had to stop it 5 times because I got lost. Finally the big ending came and I totally did NOT understand. CatMan tried hopelessly to explain that xyz character had ended up with the money from the drug deal at the beginning.

"Drug deal?" I asked in perplexed confusion. "What drug deal?" It took me until the next day to realize that the entire plot revolved around this drug deal at the beginning of the movie which I totally missed because all I saw was something about a big suitcase and a key to an airport locker. If there was this big important drug deal that the whole plot revolved around, WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST SAY THERE WAS A DRUG DEAL? I guess it was supposed to be obvious... sigh.

And then there were all the posts on Facebook about Charlottesville, and what, if any blame should go to the "BLM people." Now... in my world "BLM" means the Bureau of Land Management - much of the forest land here in Colorado is BLM land.


Soo... I was confused about why the BLM had anything to do with Charlottesville. The best I could figure it had something to do with Cliven Bundy and his standoff with authorities over grazing rights on BLM land... but I didn't know they were in Charlottesville too. It took me several days of puzzling over nonsensical Facebook posts to realize that in this context BLM meant "Black Lives Matter."



Good lord! WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST SAY WHAT THEY MEANT?!?

So. My revelation is this: My perpetual state of confusion has absolutely nothing to do with paying attention. My problem is that I fail to make the right assumptions about what people meant, as opposed to what they actually said!

Perhaps I just suffer from "literal brain" syndrome. Sorta like the character in my favorite childhood books, Amelia Bedelia. Now she was a person I could understand!


Well anyhow. I'm not sure what good my little revelation does me, but it is interesting.

In the meantime, the flowers in my front yard have finally bloomed.


Hard to get too confused about that!

Hope you all enjoyed the eclipse... whatever you saw in the shadows!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Finally Gone!

Well folks, I did it! The avocado green shag is officially history! I'm "otterly" thrilled!


So... here's my living room before:


And after:


I must say, I can't really believe the difference. It feels like a whole new house. Sooo much cleaner, and the whole room feels bigger.

Here's the other half of the room - with a brand spankin' new area rug which I love, love, love!


But the green shag wasn't just in the main room, it was also in the attached room - which was originally a bedroom, but at some point the house was remodeled - I think they used it as a dining room, but I use it as my office.



And it was also in the hall:


Whew!!


Of course, the work is not yet done as there are still a few issues to address. When the house was remodeled a wall was removed, and where the wall was there isn't any flooring.

That funny looking leopard fur cigar thing is Smoky's favorite toy...

I still haven't quite decided what to do about it yet. I found a few pieces of pre-finished hardwood at the Habitat Store that are a pretty good color match, so I might use them... the other option would be to just get a big hunk of oak and stain it to match as closely as possible.

There's a similar issue in the doorway to the hall - I guess they decided the door wasn't wide enough, so there's a small area there that will also need to be patched.

But all that can be dealt with later. At the moment I'm just thrilled that the floor is in such good shape and that I finally got it done!!!

I did uncover a few nests of carpet beetle larvae in the process of yanking, so hopefully I've finally got them all. Haven't seen a beetle in a week or so... keeping my fingers crossed!

I'll probably get a few more area rugs, and I have to paint the molding... actually I should probably paint everything... well, one thing at a time.

Anyhow, Jasper was a little freaked out by the wood floor at first, but as you can see, he's decided it's OK.



So that's what's been keeping me busy! Hope you're all doin' well!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Melancholy



I've been feeling blue of late, and this song won't leave my head. Nothing's wrong particularly, I just can't shake this sense of deep sadness. Maybe I take things too much to heart, but honestly, it just seems like everywhere I look, I see people being horrible to each other.

I suppose largely it's political. It just seems like our polarized politics have given people license to hate and blame each - and I seem to see humanity eroding everywhere I look. Discussions on NextDoor.com over stupid things like fireworks or graffiti have turned into virtual shouting matches, and don't EVEN get me started about healthcare, or Syria, or...

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just need to have a thicker skin, or learn to ignore it all, I dunno, but it really feels like something fundamental is broken, and people are taking it out on each other. Well, at least I don't feel angry or scared anymore, just sad.

Anyhow, in other news, the carpet beetles have been trying to make a comeback, so I've finally begun the project of tearing out my hideous avocado green shag carpeting. It's rather slow, mostly because I have to cut it up into chunks to haul it outside. And ripping out those horrible carpet strips along the edges is the worst part. But the oak floors underneath are in remarkably good condition. Can't wait to get it all out of here!



And the front yard is looking much better. The volunteer marigolds are coming along wonderfully, and a few have started to bloom. Can't wait until they all do.


I also stuck a few other plants in there. This dianthus is doing quite well.


I'm slowly working on digging out the other half of the yard. It's too hot to plant anything now, but if I can get most of the weeds and remaining turf out by fall, my stepmom has a bunch of low water plants that she's going to separate and give me, so maybe by this time next year my xeriscape will finally be done!

CatMan and I have been riding up a storm. On one of our last rides, we ended up at Riverside Cemetery.


Riverside is Denver's oldest cemetery, and I must say, it really does put things into perspective. I think I'm already older than most of the people buried there.

The ones that always get me are the little babies. There are just sooo many who died before they even reached one year.



Well, that's about all the news from the funny farm. Here's wishing you all the same level of peace that Jasper seems to have achieved in this photo.