Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Night

The strings of beads of Friday nights
- for you maybe a rosary -
for us the count by sevens
through the years.

We hear the clink as each
falls into place
Nesting with its kin
to link a chain
to cross time's canyon.

Friday, Shabbat
the evening arrives and
wherever we are
in the warm Friday sea
we can taste the salt
welcome you
welcome me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Every once in a while a creative activity really sinks its hooks into me, to the
extent that it worms into my thoughts and manifests in twinges of thrill.
Such is Album-Cover-O-Matic - this random combining of words and images
results in some truly arresting combinations.
Musicians, take note - you could do worse!

Here are a few examples:

The instructions are simple:
Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article. The title is your band name.
Now go to and click on Random Quotes.
From the quote at the bottom of the page, take the last few words.
This is your album title.
Now go to and choose Explore last 7 days.
The third image is your album cover picture. Copy this picture,
add the text for the band name & title, et voila!
Now go have some fun!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Design Flaws

Buying a house is like buying a car, only more so -
you don't just get the parts you want, you get the whole thing.
For example, the refrigerator in our new home:
It's a side-by-side, and in the crisper drawer, the vegetables are icing up.

This isn't my first fridge that does that. Makes me wonder: why is the crisper section in the bottom, where it will be coldest? I'd prefer to store dairy products down there rather than temp-sensitive foods like lettuce. But that's not how these
appliances are "designed".
In our last house, I insulated the drawers which still wasn't adequate - ended up storing the lettuce on the top shelf. Looks like I'll have to do that here too.
The milk isn't even particularly cold - I'd rather it was 5 - 8 degrees cooler. But the carton won't fit in the crisper drawer which has ice on one side and frozen veggies on the other.
Some fridges have all the units interchangeable so you can shift around the storage bins - not this baby.
Plus, a significant amount of the freezer space is devoted to an ice & water dispenser which doesn't work -

but it can't be removed to use
that storage for anything else.
Still, this is our new home.
We have to live with it,even
the parts that annoy the designer in me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stealth Scrabble

Now Scrabble is on Facebook, so Ernesto challenged me to play.
But unlike our previous online games, this time he only makes a play when he's online, then logs out.
So when I check in, he's made a play - but he's not there.
The result is Scrabble in slow motion - After I make my play, it may be 12 hours before he's made his - or it may take me 12 hours to find out.

This reminds me of the early years of Fred & Marigold, when Fred played postal chess.
A game could take several YEARS as postcards traveled back & forth. The message would be a repeat of the previous moves of both players, as a reference point, then the opponent's most recent move, followed by Fred's new move, then his sign-off.
He had a small binder with a set of chess-boards in it with half-pockets to sit the pieces in to maintain each game's board position, opposite a large pocket he could store its postcards in. He had six matches going "simultaneously", if one can use that term about something so extended in time.

Having a long time to weigh your next move is not necessarily an advantage - there's a dynamic missing, along with the question of whether one can fully trust the "randomness" of app-generated letter draws to match one's personal randomness of hand in the bag (in which the vowels school like fish).

This new game setup is characteristic of Ernesto, who has always had the capacity to vanish. When he was little he was nerve-wracking - he'd be sitting quietly doing something, and I'd look over and there he was, again & again. Then I'd glance over, and he wasn't there. No sound of departure, no trace of where he went - just gone. He's still like that - which I daresay he enjoys. In our stealth games, I'll log in only to find that he logged out 7 minutes ago - what will happen if I actually catch him? This adds an element of suspense to the game...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inventing Words

This month's word is where'd-it-go (rhymes with vertigo) -
it's the fear of not being able to find something.
Fred and I have been experiencing a lot of this lately -
in addition to the boxes of stuff still unopened,
there's also the challenge of keeping track of things
unpacked but not yet well-situated.
These are actually more annoying, because
I just saw it! Where'd it go?

Whether it's the Phillips screwdriver,
the new box of light-bulbs,
or the bottle of Goo-Gone,
anything can be a source of where'd-it-go.

And this week, we have the word re-lease,
which means that someone else has rented our apartment,
thus re-leasing us from the obligation of 3 more months' rent -
an excellent turn of events!