Category Archives: Ramblings

A better look at the fourth toast

I remember a short dream I had early this morning.  I remember waking for a few seconds really early this morning, falling back asleep, and then I woke up at 5AM to begin the day.  This dream occurred in that sleep.

I was applying jam to four pieces of toast stacked in a pile.  For some reason I had multiple jams out.  There were two dark jams, I think it was blueberry and blackberry.  And then there were two orange jams.  One was apricot, and the other was peach.  I wasn’t applying one jam to each toast, but instead applying two jams to each toast.  In real life, I never do that.

I applied the darker jams to the first two pieces of toast.  I applied a dark jam and an orange jam to the third piece of toast.  And I was in the middle of applying apricot jam to the fourth piece of toast, when I noticed I was having a lot of trouble.  The apricot jam wasn’t mixing well with the already-applied peach jam, and I was thinking maybe it was because the peach jam was really chunky.  Lots of peach chunks just sticking out of the jammy mixture.  And I was having trouble holding the piece of toast.  I thought it moved in my hand.

So I put down the toast, and took a second to close up all the jam jars.  I turned on an extra light and picked up the fourth toast again, to have a better look.  You sort of hunker down into inspection mode, where you hold something very still, and hold your face still, to inspect something for the slightest trace of movement.

And sure enough, near the upper right corner of the toast I was holding, a worm-thing squirmed its “head” out at me.  I remember feeling surprised and annoyed.  I had a glove on my left hand, and tugged on its face.  I didn’t need to put much pressure, it sort of willingly jumped out at me, and it fell onto the kitchen counter.  It didn’t seem like my kitchen, and I didn’t recognize it as any kitchen I’ve ever been to before.

I wanted to move it somewhere, but I didn’t know where.  Without touching it.  I’d been fooling around with bacon earlier (still in the dream), and in the sink there was a spoon with a small piece of bacon on it, mostly just sticky white fat.  I picked it out of the spoon and threw it onto the counter, and the worm surprisingly scooted right after it.  I was alarm at its speed.  It swallowed the whole piece of bacon with its mouth in one movement, and I was alarmed at that.

For some reason I opened the refrigerator door, a small refrigerator that sat on the counter.  Inside the refrigerator, there were no shelves.  There was only a large styrofoam box, and it was occupying almost all the space inside.  The worm immediately jumped inside, and I shut the door.  I was thinking, good, that will keep him busy.  Then I worried about where he was at inside the refrigerator so I opened it again, and didn’t see him.  I lifted the box out, and there he was, underneath the box.  He didn’t move.  So I replaced the box inside the refrigerator, and shut the door.

And that’s when I woke up.

A first mouse caught

Was cooking in the kitchen this morning, and I heard a series of noises.  Not quite tapping, not quite smacking.  My furnace makes funny noises sometimes when I listen, so I thought it was that.  But there were too many in a row, like there was an almost continuous dripping noise.

So I went over to the bathroom, and sure enough…a mouse trap I’d set in there had closed shut.  I have a few “live capture” traps that I placed, after I had a couple of occasions where I observed a mouse in the house.  I guess it’s always a surprise to go from being “sure you don’t have mice” to “hmm now I’ve seen one, how are they getting in and how many are there”.  I had a trap in kitchen, in the downstairs bathroom, in the furnace area, and in the small utility closet between the furnace area and the bathroom.  I target the bathroom and the furnace area, because those have “missing wall” around the pipes easily large enough for mice to get in and out.  Annoying.

I guess the trap will go out with the garbage this week.  I’ve already moved the kitchen trap over to the spot in the bathroom.  I had to clean a bunch of black stuff in that area.  Maybe dirt?  Maybe plastic shavings?  That mouse was making all that noises in an attempt to chew himself out of the trap.  He must have been pretty frantic, to be making all that noise while I was only ten feet away in the kitchen.

Just a few

Just a few random things.

  • I despise the expression “making water”.
  • I can’t believe Alton Brown is American, and not Canadian.  I’d have lost money on that.
  • If you stop what you’re doing and pay attention to everything that’s going on, I think you can’t help but to become entranced by how busy everyone else is.  Someone should document that, but that’s a big job.

Activating my beavertail cactus

Another winter season in Indiana means another few months trying to keep my plants alive over winter.  I had my cactus box up in the same window I had them for summer…but they weren’t doing so well.  Winter here is always very cloudy, so far less sunlight was getting to them.

So I decided to move my box into my kitchen downstairs, where they would be under my LED floodlight I keep on almost 24/7.  I added a second yellow LED desk lamp aimed at an angle, so they’re getting extra light at two angles.  But I didn’t know how this would work, as these aren’t the “LED grow lamps” that I’ve been reading about.  During some hours of the day, a bit of natural light reaches them, from a high window above the front door.

For most of the plants, it hasn’t made a difference.  But the beavertail cactus is going ape-shit.  I was noticing position changes every day.  The first it was drooped to one side.  Each day since, it’s perked up further and further, and now it’s as straight up as it can be.  The leaves are spreading apart, and some of those buds look like they might develop at any time.

I pruned away some of the withered “leaves” to help get more light to the body of the plant.  And yes, this time I’m smart enough to use tweezers instead of naked fingers to do that.  Learned my lesson last year.

Regarding the deflated footballs in the AFC championship game

A team prepares a game plan based on temperature and weather conditions, and knowing how a new and properly inflated football behaves in weather.

If you deflate the balls…knowing when you carry the ball, you’re less likely to fumble because you have a better grip…knowing when you throw the ball, you’re more likely to catch it because you can get a better grip…that’s breaking a rule in order to gain a competitive advantage.

When you deflate the balls, and you don’t tell the other team, that’s a further competitive advantage because your game plan is adjusted, and their isn’t.  Maybe if both teams were notified that the balls used in the game would be under-inflated (by two pounds was it?), *maybe* that would make things a bit more equal.

I didn’t watch the game.  I heard there were weather conditions, I assume it was cold, it may have been wet.  Any ability to get extra grip on the ball would be a clear advantage.

I’m not sure how and when the footballs are used during the game.  The score was only 14-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, and only 17-7 at the end of the 2nd quarter.  That’s not “a blowout”, to address the claim the Patriots “didn’t need to cheat because it was a blowout”.  We know deflated balls were used in the 2nd quarter because it’s only when the Colts intercepted the pass and realized the ball felt different.

When you take advantage of a cheat to gain a 17-7 advantage by the end of the 1st half, you change the course of the rest of the game…adjustments are made during halftime to the game plan…a lot of times, this means more passes have to be made, to cover yardage more quickly, because the time remaining is further and further dwindling.

From what the media is saying, the most the league could do is take away some draft picks and force the Patriots to pay a small fine.  That seems unbelievable to me.  Normally the commissioner tries to protect “the integrity of the game” with pretty stiff fines, with suspensions.  With “draft picks” out there like Ryan Leaf, and a myriad of other draft busts…picks are basically a gamble.  Losing the ability to gamble doesn’t seem like a big deal.

I’m tempted to make an analogy like this.  “We recognize you cheated in order to win the Powerball lottery…yes, you get to keep the jackpot (a Superbowl berth), but we’re taking away your ability to play scratch-off tickets the following year (draft picks are a gamble, and more often than not are meaningless), and you’ll have to pay a small fine (peanuts compared to the jackpot you just won).”