Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Overheard in the local coffee shop this morning

Two moms complaining about how often their private school kids are off school. "It's like, the more you pay, the less school you get." Talk about your First World problems

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dumpster Diving

I'd never truly understood the term until our longtime neighbor passed away, quite unexpectedly and very young (from our point of view), a couple of weeks ago. Her grown children, who live a time zone away, have the sad duty of cleaning 35 years of life out of the house they now need to get rid of. They did the sensible thing and rented a dumpster. In the past few days we've seen no fewer than four different couples--dumpster divers--standing inside the contraption, picking over furniture, clothing, books, knickknacks, and what have you. I suppose they fulfill an economic function since they are presumably paying the survivors for what they take. Even if they're not, they lighten the load so that it's cheaper to dispose of the remainder. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thoughts on riding a bike in Howard County

I'm probably wrong, but i remember it as Ernest Hemingway who said that one day you understand you're going to die and nothing is the same afterward. I think that's why I don't ride as much as I'd like: when I'm just sitting around thinking about it, riding in suburban America is scary. Once I get on the bike and go out, though, it's not all that bad. Doesn't mean I'm not still gonna get run over and die, but being on the bike is not as scary as just thinking about being on the bike. Most people around here give you your 3 feet, and then some, and are generally alert to cyclists. Thanks, HoCo drivers. And the roads in my part of the county generally have a bit of shoulder to ride on. The storm grates are the ostensibly bike-friendly kind, too, though I do not take my road bike over them.

That said, it would be better for bikes and cars both if the roads were better maintained and we were all less careless about what falls off or gets thrown out of our vehicles. Cracked pavement, potholes of various sizes, metal scraps, broken glass, wet leaves, low-hanging tree limbs, shoes, bottles, cups, and overgrown brambles may annoy us when we're in cars, but all of them can cause serious damage when we're on bikes.

I don't expect bike lanes. I know money's tight and there are better things to spend it on than weekend cyclists (I have no illusions about our car-crazy populace suddenly biking to school and the grocery store, myself included), but come on, county administration. Why do you tease us with 200 feet of bike lane that disappears into a narrow piece of road with no shoulder whatsoever? I suppose that's the bike equivalent of the sidewalk to nowhere, with which we're all too familiar around here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


À propos of the post before last, "Relax, nobody died," turns out to be not totally true. The store itself died. Fairly quickly. It started out gangbusters, with all sorts of cool merchandise, but the shelves started emptying, and within a little over a year it closed. Bummer

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The war on "Christmas"

Meaning the one run by the stores. Not the real Christmas, the one God runs. If you, too, would like to...maybe not declare war on commercial Christmas, but even dial it back a little, you might be interested in a web site to which we were recently alerted: The Advent Conspiracy . I've only just begun to explore it, but I like what these guys are doing. They're swimming upstream. That's what they're doing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Relax, nobody died

While this may look to our Western eyes like a funeral, it's not. These are congratulatory arrangements sent to our new Asian-Latin-American supermarket when it opened last week. The bank, the local liquor store, even the competition (albeit one located at safe distance) sent flowers. I feel bad because we didn't think to do it. All we did was spend money there.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When the moon hits your eyes...

Regular followers may recall my Moondance posting 3 years ago--almost to the day. We had a similar experience tonight on this side of the water. We went for a walk late under a gorgeous full moon. We didn't need flashlights, partly because we're now in a more urban area with more ambient light and partly because we went to the optometrist this afternoon and had our eyes dilated. Boy was it ever bright out! I feel like I now know what a cat sees.