TPBM 108 - All factors considered, it's just 2**2 * 3**3


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TPBM 108 - All factors considered, it's just 2**2 * 3**3

Set 3, 2020, 8:16 pm

Funny how things work out that way...

TPBM groks the mathematical notation in the subject line.

Set 4, 2020, 12:43 am

Sure do. I recently got a T-shirt stating my current age as 111100.

TPBM interprets that as 15 times 4 with no trouble at all.

Editado: Set 4, 2020, 3:09 am

Depending in which mask I use, I can also interpret it as 3C or a < symbol. And presuming a pair of leading zeroes, it could also be "end of text, form feed".

TPBM keeps punch cards handy, just to write notes on. (I do!)

Set 4, 2020, 6:23 am

I wish I had some old punch cards - goodness knows I punched and used enough of them in the early 70s. I'm a post-it note and back-of-envelope note taker, although there are some things I keep on my cell phone.

TPBM uses something else interesting to write notes on.

Set 4, 2020, 8:44 am

An old calendar (1992?) I inherited. Most pages are blank (so I write on them), but some of them contain random notes from my aunt (who passed in 2014) :-)

TPBM also gets messages from the other side.

Set 4, 2020, 5:48 pm

I do and usually they're telling me something is payable immediately.

TPBM had flipped a house.

Set 5, 2020, 7:25 am

Interestingly, granddaughter did just that yesterday. Well, it was a barn, not a house; but same general principle. All the animals fell out but were okay.

TPBM worries about the animals.

Set 5, 2020, 11:30 am

Despite my notoriety for not being a Pet Person (really, just don't want any in my house--ever), I've always got water out (that I change out every other day, at least) for critters. I also feed the deer and keep a hummingbird feeder fresh.
I don't put seed out for the birds anymore because the squirrels get aggressive and take it all for themselves, not allowing the birds to get near it. And despite the claims, there's no such thing as a squirrel-proof bird feeder. We've tried them all -- every damn one of them.
I'm happy to report that Thing 1, the more skittish of the twins fawns, seems to have completely recovered from the bite it got several weeks back. The leg had swollen and it could hardly put any weight on it. I hadn't seen it in about a week until three nights ago. It's all cleared up.
But, two nights ago, there was a new deer -- one I'd never seen before. I can say this with certainty because I would have remembered. It's got to be a few years old already. It's got short, stocky legs; its fur isn't the sleek tawny color of the other deer, it's more like it never shed its winter coat. Its basic build in more like a fat goat than a deer. Rather than tined antlers, it's got a pair of yellowish, foot-long, curved, soft rubbery spikes that are attached to the scalp, but not the skull. The most disturbing feature, though, is its eyes. Whereas as deer's eyes are mostly exposed (eyelids rest at the edges of the eye sockets), this poor fella had human-lidded eyes. Creepy.
I've got three feed buckets that get 8 cups of corn each. Numbers vary, but I can usually expect to see 18 each night. So, there's a lot of competition for the corn -- a definite pecking order -- but they all get some. Except when this fellow showed up. He had that bowl to himself because none of the other deer wanted to go anywhere near him. I feel his pain.

TPBM marvels at ___________________.

Set 5, 2020, 6:16 pm

........WHL's apparently relaxed attitude at the obviously alien creature in his yard. The deer clearly have come to the right conclusion and are giving it a wide berth. If this thing waved its rubbery antlers at me and gave me a humanoid eye I'd be calling the Men in Black without any delay.

TPBM has had an encounter of the Third Kind

Editado: Set 8, 2020, 12:42 am

Well, I guess. Being a non-consumer of alcohol, I may have been in maybe three bars in my life, and always the designated driver. And this particular incident occurred prior to my first marriage, so I was maybe in my late teens, early twenties ... pretty sure. I was at a table with several friends of mine, and one of them told me that there was a girl a few tables away, and she was laser-focused on me. Mind you, I was still quite shy around girls; awkward. So, I casually turned my head as I took another sip of my ginger ale. Sure enough, this gal was rolling her eye at me. I hardly knew what to do! But, my folks raised me to be polite, so I picked them up and rolled them back to her. Got me another ginger ale.

TPBM would have handled that differently.

Set 9, 2020, 6:39 pm

Most emphatically yes, although the woman in question would probably have ultimately been as equally disappointed with me.

TPBM is watching old shows.

Set 9, 2020, 8:50 pm

How did you know that, Larry? Yes, Bill and I have been watching one or two old Perry Masons every night.

TPBM has just started watching a new series and is trying to NOT binge watch.

Set 11, 2020, 1:12 pm

Can't say that I have. I tried binge-watching the first season of Angie Tribeca, but only because whatever channel it was on did back-to-back-to-back episodes. By the fourth one, I pretty much had my fill of slapstick for the year.

TPBM is decisive.

Set 11, 2020, 1:19 pm

Yes! Well, maybe...

TPBM can do better than that.

Editado: Set 12, 2020, 10:49 am

Nope. I'm a Libran and as indecisive as they come.

TPBM also exemplifies his/ her astrological sign.

Set 12, 2020, 4:22 pm

Damn, I hope not -- Cancer.

TPBM was born on a (state day of week.)

Set 12, 2020, 5:46 pm

On Sunday. According to the old rhyme I should be bonny (No!) and blithe (often) and good (sometimes) and gay (not my style!)

TPBM may or may not fit their prediction in the rhyme, but will tell us.

Editado: Set 12, 2020, 6:44 pm

According to my mom, I am fair of face, but all moms think that.

TPBM has received good news.

Set 15, 2020, 4:32 am

Still waiting!

I’d better lower the bar a bit. Just listened to a very good weather forecast for S E England - sunny, temperature in the high 20s (C, not F). That will do for today’s good news.

TPBM is feeling philosophical

Set 17, 2020, 9:13 am

I think, therefore I am feeling philosophical.

TPBM will make a prediction for 2021.

Set 17, 2020, 1:28 pm

It will begin 105 days from today, at midnight.

TPBM is, all factors considered, doing okay.

Set 19, 2020, 8:29 am

Yeah, sort of. We are going back to working online after a brief stint of working on premises. And this part of Denmark is not currently hard hit by Covid-19, so it's sort of win-win :-(

TPBM is also seeing the lighter side of things.

Set 19, 2020, 3:08 pm

Only when it comes to dawn and Noble gasses, the latter being much more difficult to actually see.

Currently reeling in the consequences of the untimely death of the Notorious RBG.

TPBM is adept at sleight-of-hand.

Set 21, 2020, 11:01 am

Not at all. My hands, like the rest of me, are moving slower these days.

TPBM has visited a corn maze.

Set 21, 2020, 6:13 pm

Don't get that sort of thing around here - we do have one of the better known (at least in literary terms) mazes just up the road, the one at Hampton Court Palace which anyone who had read Three Men in a Boat would recognize.
I've also got a book, The Art of the Maze, by an author who has written lots of books, all about mazes.

TPBM has never been lost

Editado: Set 22, 2020, 1:32 am

I wouldn't say never, but rarely. I could read maps before I could read words.
And since my motorcycle accident, I never had the screws in my hip removed, so whenever I'm disoriented, I jump into a pool of water, and within a minute or two, I know I'm facing west.

>24 morningwalker: Nothing good ever happens in a corn maze.

TPBM is looking forward to ____________________.

Set 22, 2020, 5:57 am

___ getting my books back on their shelves. But first I have to clean and polish the shelves after having dehumidifiers put in which means clambering up and down the ladder - which my knees are not looking forward to.

In the meantime, the rain has finished, there's that fresh feeling to the vegetation and it's heading towards sunset so we may escape that humid period when all the water evaporates back into the air, making it even more muggy, and enjoy a cool(er) evening instead.

TPBM is enjoying the weather.

Set 22, 2020, 6:48 am

Yes, very much. It's sort of Indian Summer here, but with a lot of fog in the morning, so autumn is surely on its way. I can fill a bag with mushrooms very easily, so these days shopping for dinner is a walk in the park.

TPBM hates a walk in the park.

Set 22, 2020, 3:17 pm

Normally, I'm okay with them (until & unless I get myself lost). However, with "recent" events I've been wearing slip-on shoes that like to Cinderella me without notice.

The person below me has weird footwear preferences.

Set 23, 2020, 9:30 pm

I guess that depends on what one considers to be weird. Granted, something like a axe sheath would be pretty damn odd, I think, but if one has sharp toenails, that may be just right for them.

If I go hiking, and mind you, that's at least five years ago, I'd wear sturdy hiking boots. Otherwise, I tend to wear sneakers. Inside the house, I'll either go barefoot (not recommended) or some moccasin-like footwear that I refuse to call slippers.

MrsHouseLibrary discovered pedicures around 2005. And since then, she and one of her sisters would get one monthly. And that stopped when Karrell died. Lots of things did.

TPBM knows someone who sleepwalks.

Set 27, 2020, 10:53 am

Can't say I do but I have seen Bellini's opera, La Sonnambula. The heroine is prone to wandering about at night asleep in her shift leading her superstitious neighbours to believe she is a spectre. To cut a rather silly story short she wanders into a visiting count's bedroom on a snowy night. He behaves like a gentleman and covers her up with his fur cloak. Her rather wet fiance won't believe that she is faithful and trouble ensues. It ends happily (sort of) and the couple are reconciled but I am convinced she would have done much better to go off with the Count.

TPBM is missing live music more and more.

Set 27, 2020, 12:24 pm

I am. I played at an Open Mic Night every Monday evening and a few other places on a generally monthly schedule. Don't know when we'll be doing that again. But I play the guitar for a couple of hours every day; about 260 songs that I feel comfortable performing live, and since the governor closed (more or less) the state, I've gone through them alphabetically 14 times already.

And, with Austin being the "Live Music Capital of the World" (a claim I like, but don't really believe,) I can't say I've been to more than a handful of venues in the 30+ years I've lived here. I have a strong preference for small venues.

TPBM can (or used to) handle being amongst the throngs, no problem.

Set 28, 2020, 9:40 am

No, never liked the throngs. I'm a solitary sort and prefer things like walking on trails with the dog and kayaking on the creek with a friend or two. I would love to own a cabin in the woods or a small place on the ocean where I could walk the beach.

TPBM is going out for lunch today.

Set 30, 2020, 9:37 am

If I did, it would be the first time in more than 6 months; but no, it just isn't going to happen. We do have takeout every Saturday after Bill runs errands in town.

TPBM has gotten or will soon get a flu shot.

Set 30, 2020, 10:08 am

Me! ME! I got it Saturday. Would have gotten it a week earlier, but they were out of the "senior" shots.
I felt the tech swab my arm, and I heard him prep the band aid. He showed me the now plunged-and-empty syringe. Didn't feel the needle at all.
About 4 hours later, the are around the injection site got mildly itchy for about 10 minutes. Can't complain.

TPBM has completed _____ jigsaw puzzles, totaling _________ pieces this year.

Set 30, 2020, 11:06 am

2 1/3, about 400, which is really very low for me. Most years I would be up to 3 or 4 thousand pieces by now, but I've been reading instead of puzzling.

TPBM can see the fall colours from where they're sitting.

Set 30, 2020, 1:36 pm

yep. The rain last night stuck them to my car and they stayed on for the entire ride to work. Maybe they will blow off on the way home.

TPBM is ready for the holidays.

Set 30, 2020, 6:27 pm

Ready for 'my' holidays, anyway. No public holidays coming up in the UK. Having missed our usual trip to Crete we will, I hope, get a week in Dorset soon. Less Covid there than around home and social distancing will be easy although I'll miss the pubs. The virus is building up again quite fast so we may yet be thwarted by a lockdown.

TPBM is looking forward to November 3rd.

Set 30, 2020, 8:20 pm

More like somewhere around November 20th (give or take a month,) when the votes will be verified, counted, and tallied. Then it's just a matter of all the lawsuits being denied, gawd willin!

TPBM is going to make _____________.

Set 30, 2020, 9:41 pm

Instant Pot shrimp risotto for dinner tomorrow night.

TPBM has made risotto on the cooktop, patiently stirring in warm broth for ... oh, ever.

Out 1, 2020, 10:13 am

Oh, yes! Very contemplative. As long as there is something good on the radio it is the sort of cooking I enjoy.
I found another slow recipe yesterday in Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook - Carote al burro e formaggio. Just carrots cooked slowly for an hour and a half in butter and a very little water until they are brown, wrinkled and concentrated in flavour, then coated with grated Parmesan. Very easy but needs your attention.

TPBM has a favourite cookbook

Editado: Out 1, 2020, 1:42 pm

Well, I've got only one cookbook -- The Joy of Cooking -- just for reference. There is very little in there that I can actually make use of due to my congenital food over-sensitivities. And, being in the kitchen, t's the sole tome that prevents my username from being a boldfaced lie.

The weather here in central Texas has been absolutely delightful. Down into low 60s or high 50s at night, and in the 80s during the day. Humidity is below 45%. I shut off my heat and AC units last Saturday and have kept the windows on the 2nd floor open. Downstairs, the windows are open only during the day.

Plus, I made s special trip to an organic-foods store some 15 miles away because they are the only store that has been reported to have Macintosh apples. I've got 8 pounds of them in my refrigerator now, and they'll be gone by Monday. But while there, I also picked up a small whole chicken and the broth with the lowest-reported onion content (very bad for me), and today, I'm making chicken soup.

The afore-mentioned book has no recipe for chicken soup. Gumbo, sure, but not soup. Go figure.

TPBM is fortunate enough to live far enough north to witness the Northern Lights on Monday and Tuesday.

Out 1, 2020, 2:33 pm

Even if New York is far enough north, the amount of light pollution (even here in Brooklyn) would probably drown it out.

The person below me has a great anecdote about That One Time they rolled a nat 20 in a D&D campaign.

Out 5, 2020, 4:46 pm

Bear in mind that I am old but I really can’t understand this rolling Nat 20 thing. The only D&D that I know is a moderately upmarket restaurant chain in London that I occasionally frequented in more open times. If TPBM can shed light on >43 AnnaClaire:’s post, let’s have it. Otherwise tell us whether FLOTUS will take over from POTUS if he has to step down from the race.

Out 5, 2020, 5:33 pm

No clue as to the nat 20 thing.
As for FLOTUS, that would be the daughter, not the wife (in his opinion).

TPBM will kindly steer the thread away from politics, please.

Out 6, 2020, 8:09 am

>43 AnnaClaire: Is referring to the Dungeons & Dragons game where you roll dice to determine the success of your character's actions. Rolling a 20 on a 20-sided-die is very lucky and means that your character's action was completely successful.

TPBM prefers other kinds of dice games.

Out 6, 2020, 8:27 am

Yahtzee. And, we play a 6-dice version with a special score card.

//a D&D friend of ours basically agrees with Darth-Heather. Here's his explanation for a 'nat 20': Whenever you "roll to hit" your opponent, a 20-sider (dice) is used. If you roll a 20 it is an automatic hit regardless of what type of armor the other guy is wearing.//

TPBM has had to turn on the house heat because the nights are getting chilly.

Out 6, 2020, 8:36 am

Yes, a couple of days ago.

TPBM sets an alarm as a reminder to take out the garbage/recycling.

Out 6, 2020, 10:51 am

No alarm necessary. The schedule is: Take the garbage out on Sunday nights (because they pick it up very early Monday morning), and take recycling out every other Sunday night.
That being said, on my own, I can usually go 3 weeks before I fill the kitchen garbage can, and a good portion of it is coffee grounds, which tends to absorb odors, I presume. Recycling, once a month, maybe.
That being said, I have a calendar app on my phone, and there's a recurring every-other-Sunday "appointment" fore recycling, but there's no alarm, no reminder.

>47 karenmarie:, My heat/AC systems have been off for about 10 days now; and my upstairs windows have remained open 24x7 the whole time. Downstairs windows are open only during the day, if I'm not watching TV. Until last night, it's been wonderfully arid here, with temps as low as the high 50s at night and maybe up into the 80s during the day.

TPBM uses a strategy for solving jigsaw puzzles, and us undaunted by ones that have 3,000 pieces.

Out 7, 2020, 11:10 am

I didn't even know they made ones with 3,000 pieces!!! My strategy is pretty basic. Start with the outside pieces and group similarly colored pieces.

TPBM can recommend a good ghost story to read for October.

Out 7, 2020, 1:11 pm

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

I went looking for more works by the author of The Bear and the Nightingale and was not disappointed. This one is YA, but honestly if I had read this at a young age I think I'd have been seriously creeped out. Ollie is a middle school girl who finds a strange book that tells a tale of a farming family that runs into some bad luck. When the story turns out to be more than it seems, Ollie is the only one who can figure out what is happening.

TPBM will tell us a scary story.

Out 9, 2020, 10:42 am

I don't have a vocabulary foul enough for me to adequately convey the tale of my abusive first marriage, so no, I won't. It would turn your hair gray, though. You're welcome.

TPBM has tattoos. Just a number would be fine; don't need details like what or where it/they is/are, nor why you got it/them.

Out 9, 2020, 10:54 am

Nope. Both children have gone the whole body route, making me cry for days. In order to shock them after I die, I’m considering one for them to find then. I’m thinking the old postage stamp with the pointing hand and the text “Return to Sender.” But where?

TPBM will not suggest, but help us move along.

Out 9, 2020, 11:43 am

I will not suggest a thing.

TPBM will suggest a good Thanksgiving dessert that does not include pumpkin.

Out 9, 2020, 12:20 pm

Apple pie.

TPBM has another suggestion along that line.

Out 10, 2020, 1:05 pm

Our other two traditional Thanksgiving pies are Pecan and Banana Cream.

TPBM wonders how the holidays will go, what with Covid and all.

Out 10, 2020, 1:39 pm

I suspect there'll be a whole lot less arguing around the dinner tables.
I know what I'll give thanks for despite eating alone.

By the way Canadians, premature Happy Thanksgiving greetings to you. (It's on Monday, my fellow yanks!)

TPBM knows what was actually served at the first Thanksgiving.

Out 10, 2020, 2:59 pm


TP B M will correct me if I’m wrong.

Out 12, 2020, 8:42 am

No, that sounds about right.

TPBM always reads something spooky in October.

Out 12, 2020, 12:57 pm

Except for EA Poe, no. I prefer non-fiction, but when I read novels, they have to be plausible, so stories of ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc. ... not a fan. I've edited several of them, but I would have never bought them.

>58 2wonderY:
From A Great And Godly Adventure by Godfrey Hodgson:

... a dinner that included a "large baked Indian whortleberry pudding," dishes of "sauqetach" (squash), clams, oysters, and cod fish, a haunch of venison, plates of what were badly described as "sea fowl," and "frost fish" and eels, an apple pie, cranberry tarts, and cheese. No turkey!

And, it was done in late December.

TPBM knows of a celebration that is not enshrouded myths and falsehoods.

Out 13, 2020, 2:05 am

My birthday. Truly - we celebrated last week. 21 again!

TPBM has spotted some unusual wildlife recently.

Out 13, 2020, 8:11 am

TPBM is picking pumpkins.

Out 13, 2020, 5:09 pm

No, no pumpkins for us this year, unless my niece drops some off at our door, as sometimes happens. Since the kids are now (at least legally) adult, I no longer feel obligated to do the whole digging around in pumpkin guts and carving Jack-o-lanterns thing.

TPBM is planning to hand out Halloween candy in a safe, physically distanced manner.

Out 13, 2020, 5:26 pm

We living in on a cul-de-sac road with only 15 houses, off two roads from a state highway and have never, ever had a trick-or-treater. We used to have to take our daughter into town for trick-or-treating. So unless you count us having Halloween candy for ourselves that we shouldn't have, no.

TPBM carves pumpkins, and takes the time and effort to roast the seeds.

Out 14, 2020, 1:19 am

//>62 Darth-Heather: Ooh - who's that?

I didn't get a photo of the monkey on our balcony but as it was only about 10 feet away and the doors were open, I had other concerns at the time.//

Out 14, 2020, 8:05 am

>65 humouress: it's only the second time I've seen a bobcat, although neighbors who have chickens have seen them more often :( We are pretty sure it's a young male. This field is near a farm that raises pheasant, so I'm sure they were less thrilled than I was to see it.

Out 14, 2020, 8:16 am

Out 14, 2020, 9:50 am

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays so I'm still carving a couple pumpkins, but I quit roasting the seeds years ago. Too much work getting all the slimy guts off them.

TPBM is counting the days until________.

Out 15, 2020, 11:35 am area moves up into Tier 2 Covid alert status (actually only one day and a bit away).
It's going to be a gloomy autumn.

TPBM keeps calm and carries on.

Out 16, 2020, 3:00 pm

I am keeping calm, amazingly, because there's just not much more I can do to stay safe. I've absentee-ballot voted, vacuumed today, picked up two library books via curbside service, and am going to go read some.

TPBM likes to 'earn' their reading time by checking a thing or two off of the list.

Out 17, 2020, 10:38 am

I keep thinking I should do that, and sometimes feel guilty for not doing that. I just keep on reading, and letting chores fall by the wayside until they can no longer be ignored.

TPBM will tell us one item from their list. Any item, any list.

Out 17, 2020, 1:48 pm

Relocate the large pile of dirt that used to be the raised garden.
It'll be at least six months before I can do it, though. There are maybe five other things related to that task that must occur before I can start.

I have to admit that I haven't read any book in a few years now -- other than the ones I've edited. There's just too much else for me to get done, and I can't make headway through any of it.

TPBM is easily motivated.

Editado: Out 18, 2020, 6:33 am

Guilty as charged. The trouble is that the internal dialogue about the sense, priority or even need for whatever it is comes after the motivation so by no means everything gets done.

TPBM wants a view

Out 18, 2020, 6:42 am

I do have a view. I can see the jungle (behind the houses across the street) which, for the city-bound island of Singapore, is extremely rare.

TPBM is appreciating the sunset.

Out 21, 2020, 3:08 pm

Every day, even if I don't get out to see them.

TPBM is (also) finding it harder to keep track of what day it is -- any day, not just today.

Out 21, 2020, 3:49 pm

Funny, innit? Weekdays are indistinguishable, Saturdays and Sundays have a different routine on radio and TV which I can’t escape. It must have been like this in the 14th century. Except no TV. Or radio. So not really very like this.

I have a dish turned from Oregon maple under my hand. TPBM has something else under theirs.

Out 22, 2020, 7:29 am

A Canon CanoScan N 650 U flatbed scanner. (Very useful for scanning book covers).

TPBM's scanner live in vain.

Editado: Out 22, 2020, 11:43 pm

Pretty much, yes. (On the rare occasion I scan my own covers in I use the LT app.) It did see a flurry of activity when my husband had to send signed copies back to the office while working from home though.

TPBM enjoys volunteering (as in for good causes).

Out 23, 2020, 9:37 am

I used to spend a lot of time volunteering at my kids' schools, but I haven't gotten back into it after my last bout of pneumonia a couple of years ago. And since the kids are pretty well grown up now, I don't have the same connection with their schools anymore.

TPBM has a knack with houseplants.

Out 23, 2020, 11:04 am

Only to upset them. I don't water them enough, or to much, they get whitefly or scale insect or red spider mite. I've given up on them all except a 15cm cactus in a tiny pot. I was given it about 20 years ago. I water it 2-3 times a year. It has grown about 5cm and produced a single 3cm off-shoot. I think it is still alive: it will probably outlive me. It doesn't seem to have any fun but maybe a cactus doesn't expect anything better.

TPBM can tell me if I should give it a bigger pot, unless they want to boast about their huge Aspidistras and Monsteras.

Out 23, 2020, 11:12 am

Yes, you should give it a bigger pot, but then you already knew that :-)

TPBM will keep the aspidistra flying.

Out 23, 2020, 10:00 pm

How about the philodendron? I actually cut it back recently and moved it to a better afternoon sun position and it's doing well.

TPBM is fond of growing succulents.

Editado: Out 24, 2020, 2:22 am

MrsHouseLibrary was. I'm more of a tree person. She married me because I has a yard full of trees. I married her not because of her succulents.

TPBM remembers when __________________.

Out 25, 2020, 4:31 pm

I remember (vaguely) a time when persons mattered more than digital identities. I've just spent an hour or so NOT penetrating a digital defence that keeps me from seeing if an association I manage has an unpaid bill. I must first log in with my digital signature, but when I try that I'm told that it is the wrong digital signature (which is probably right since I don't think we've ever registered my digital signature there, just my name, email, phone number etc).

TPBM wish the Luddites had won.

Out 25, 2020, 5:37 pm

A world without LibraryThing? Hardly!

TPBM would really miss another product of the electronic age.

Out 26, 2020, 12:34 am

um ... um .... Facetime/ Zoom/ Skype, since it's going to be a while until I can see my family, who live on another continent, in person.

TPBM can recommend a good book with a gold (foil) cover.

Out 28, 2020, 12:28 pm

Not sure what you're referring to. If there was a gold foil badge on the cover, it'd be a Caldecott winner, or if it were not so flashy, perhaps a Newbery winner. MrsHouseLibrary could have easily rattled off the names of decade's worth of winners and their contenders. She was brilliant that way, and with taxonomical names.

TPBM knows what type of book our good friend humouress is referring to.

Out 28, 2020, 1:41 pm

Possibly A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggars. I bought it at a Friends of the Library Sale last October specifically because of the cover. Haven't read it yet, but I do mean to one of these fine days.

TPBM has a book they specifically bought for the cover and will tell us what it is.

Editado: Out 28, 2020, 2:03 pm

Whoops! Leapfrogged!

This is my response to >87 WholeHouseLibrary::
I have two books with gold covers. Strictly, one has a shiny gold slipcase and the other a gold(ish) dust jacket.
The first is Fifty Folio Love Poems, a miniature book from the Folio Society with some familiar verse, some less so. A romantic keep-sake.
The other is Even in the Best Families by Rex Stout. My copy was published in 1980 in Collins' Fifty Golden Years of Crime series -
I don't know if these would suit?

Now, >88 karenmarie:

A book I bought on the strength of the cover was And Miss Carter Wore Pink, a Lowry-like painting of an early 20th.C. Lancashire scene. Lots more similar pictures inside.

TPBM has other metallic-bound books

Nov 1, 2020, 10:41 am

None with metallic covers, but one that is bound with wire, like a spiral notebook. It's about metallurgy. There's another about glass bead making; the wire binding is hidden by the cover.

I have a cloth-bound book with beveled edges, six books gilded with gold, and one gilded with silver.

TPBM has another not-quite-standard sort of binding or type of cover example.

Editado: Nov 1, 2020, 11:20 am

I have a holographic cover. It’s a ghost story - now you see it, now you don’t.

TPBM has some candy today that they didn’t have yesterday. Wonder why...

Nov 2, 2020, 11:48 am

I wish!
I've still got a persistent ulcer on the lee side of my vocal cords, and at least four more farther down the line -- from a month ago. The only true solids I've had in all this time is my meds and vitamins. Haven't had a real cup of coffee either; just this watered-down, slightly warm version of it. The really sad thing is that, with as restricted a diet as I'm on, I've gained weight. It's not fair.

Not a single trick-or-treater, by the way. There's a greenbelt next to my house, so they find it unproductive time-wise to go to houses on side streets. When my kids were young, lots of trick-or-treaters would come to the house; mostly because they knew me from Cub Scouts. But after a few years of no one coming down our street, I don't even bother with it anymore.

TPBM eschews tradition.

Editado: Nov 3, 2020, 4:50 pm

I don’t get a chance to eschew my end of October tradition because it has disappeared. When I was nobbut a lad we would take to the streets with a straw-stuffed dummy and beg for “A penny for the Guy” seeking funding for a few fireworks to set off on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th. Halloween really did not feature except as the eve of All Saints Day if you went to church or Samhain if you were a pagan. Haven’t seen a Guy for decades. The local FaceBook page hates fireworks because the noise scares their dogs and induces incontinence.

TPBM misses some other defunct celebration.

Nov 6, 2020, 3:00 pm

Apparently not, friendly abbot! Three days and no response. Perhaps it's the fate of the free world that has everyone distracted.

But, as for me, I've never been one for celebratory falderal. It's possible that the reason is that an older sibling of mine was merciless in spoiling every bit of cheer in my life whenever he could. Yet, he somehow managed to be entirely outside the picture when it came to the first external relationship of my life -- Barbara Puckle, from Kindergarten through the middle of second grade. Turns out, she was the proto-MrsHouseLibrary. They were both smart and lovely redheads. So, I got lucky twice in my life, and that's what I celebrate, not these made-up reasons.

TPBM is already getting sick of commercials for that late-December holiday.

Nov 6, 2020, 10:54 pm

Not really - I haven't seen too much of the retail side doing its usual crazy this year (for some reason). Partly the shops haven't ramped up as much as usual (y'know, with Hallowe'en offering out in August etc) and partly I haven't been haunting the malls as much as usual. As for TV advertising, our cable provider (there are only 2 companies here - they added one recently - so no competition) doesn't have much commercial advertising (thankfully) and this being Asia, December isn't the biggest holiday event. Chinese New Year, however ....

TPBM is learning a new language and could possibly advise on useful techniques for learning a new language.

Nov 8, 2020, 8:22 pm

Does a computer language count?

TPBM almost always reads eBooks rather than real-world books.

Nov 9, 2020, 1:58 am

// I decided that a computer language didn't count or I'd chipped in with R
// And the way to learn a new computer language is to take some smallish project that isn't in the tutorials and see if you can solve it in the new language. Like finding outliers in your LT catalogue.

And no, I'm the other way around. I prefer real-world books to ebooks.

TPBM have just started reading something that leads right back Memory Lane.

Nov 11, 2020, 12:02 pm

Can't say that I have, but I actually knew a woman, who, before she married, was named Memory Lane. She had a younger sister named Penny. These are the facts, folks; my imagination isn't so good that I could make up stuff like this.

TPBM imagines a world without hypothetical situations.

Editado: Nov 14, 2020, 5:26 pm

I can't.

TPBM doesn't care what they say, they won't live in a world without love.

Nov 14, 2020, 6:17 pm

That takes me back - a No.1 single in the early 60s by Peter and Gordon. Peter was the son of physician Richard Asher who wrote a notable paper on the dangers of staying in bed and who first described, and named, Munchausen's Syndrome (see in Richard Asher Talking Sense). his second child was the actress Jane Asher, lovely girl!

TBPM knows why the sun goes on shining, why the sea rushes to shore.

Nov 14, 2020, 6:37 pm

Because it's really not the end of the world (as we know it).

But can someone (preferably TPBM) tell me if England swings like a pendulum do?

Nov 18, 2020, 5:52 am

Isn’t the next line “Bobbies on bicycles, two by two”? I’ve not seen a Bobby - police officer, that is - on a bicycle since the last century. They go around now in stab vests with all sorts of kit like tasers and handcuffs hanging from their belts*. They are allowed visible tattoos now. Autre temps, autre moeurs.

TPBM has a tattoo or two, even if it doesn’t usually show.

*rarely firearms, thank God.

Nov 18, 2020, 9:40 am

yep, I have a couple. No, you can't see them. :D

TPBM has an idea in mind.

Nov 18, 2020, 10:36 am

The Edinburgh Tattoo but I don't know why.

TPBM is a forward thinker.

Editado: Nov 22, 2020, 12:20 pm

It's hard to say. Whereas I have this plan to redistribute a pile of dirt, formerly the raised garden, in my yard, there are eight other things that must be done in order for me to accomplish that final task, after which I'm going to have to seed the area. The first of these things is mostly done -- hang some light-obliterating curtains in the living room. Just need to play around with how they overlap in order to avoid light slits.
I also manage my checking and savings accounts in a series of spreadsheets, and have a separate sheet for escrow considerations -- property taxes, insurance payments, saving for a new vehicle, emergency expenses, etc. I set the start and end dates, and the amount, and every month it allocates a proportional amount for each of these items. When it gets to the last month, it zeroes out that item. On the page where I plan my bill paying (scheduled out a year in advance), there's a summary of all my accounts and I can see how much I have in savings and how much wiggle room I have for an indulgence -- like last night, when I bought a set of harmonicas. I'll figure them out soon enough.

So, if that's what you mean by forward thinking, then ... sure. On the other hand, I am constantly finding myself reminiscing; mostly about MrsHouseLibrary, but tons of other stuff, too. Perhaps looking forward requires a base point to give one a sense of direction.

TPBM knows why too much perspective is a dangerous thing, or at least provide an example of it.

Nov 26, 2020, 6:29 pm

That's got us all thinking. Staring into the distance for days on end wondering what to say. Perspective dangerous? I very rarely call on the scriptures but in Matthew IV, 8 Satan takes Jesus up "into an exceeding high mountain and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them.." Now I guess that Satan knew a thing or two about temptation and putting his targets in dangerous situations: He must have been disappointed to be told to get himself hence.

TPBM keeps their feet on the ground

Nov 26, 2020, 6:53 pm

Yes, except when I’m dancin’.

TPBM still has a pair of Keds.

Nov 26, 2020, 8:34 pm

I wish I did! For the past 30 or so years, my primary footwear has been pairs of New Balance (now knockoffs) walking shoes with Velcro fasteners. Because of that motorcycle accident I had back in '73, my feet are two different sizes, mostly width-wise. and I wear a lift in one of them to make up some of the length. (The left one grew while the right was busy repairing itself.) And now, I've got too much belly in the way to tie my shoes, except when absolutely necessary.

>106 abbottthomas:, If you can learn about having too much perspective by reading Chapter 11 (a mere page and a half) of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe -- the second book in the series that, upon the publication of the fifth book, the series was noted for being the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's trilogy.
There's also a chapter that explains Bistromathematics, which I often used in root cause analysis of other people's computer programs. It's also worth the perusal. Sadly, my edition, which has the first three book plus an additional story, making it (at the time) the more than-complete Hitchhiker's Guide, has but a single embedded cloth bookmark, and I can't locate the passage, which I now believe to be in Life, the Universe, and Everything.

TPBM knows someone who owns more than 100 pairs of shoes.
(MrsHouseLibrary had a friend whose closet contained something over 300 pairs. She counted them when she was pet-sitting for them.)

Nov 27, 2020, 2:11 am

// It's chapter 5 in my copy of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

// Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single fact took the scientific world by storm.

Nov 27, 2020, 7:17 am

My sister does. Don't offer to help her move, she doesn't pack them. You just have to carry all the shoe racks with shoes still on.

She also has been wearing high heels for so many years that her Achilles tendons have permanently shortened, and she has to walk on the balls of her feet. Her bare feet look like a Barbie doll's.

TPBM has hurt themselves in an unusual way.

Dez 1, 2020, 3:54 am

I snapped my left plantaris tendon a couple of years ago. Not truly a rare injury but should qualify as unusual. One in ten people don’t have one, for a start.

TPBM often kicks cans down the road.

Dez 1, 2020, 7:44 am

Only figuratively speaking these days, but when I was a kid in suburban Los Angeles we played Kick the Can.

TPBM has a favorite game they played as a child.

Dez 1, 2020, 11:25 am

Hide and Seek. I didn't play it as a game; it was a survival technique I used again my perpetually angry next-older brother. I robbed him of his infancy by being born a mere fifteen months after him. I swear, I didn't plan it; it just happened. So yeah, hide and seek.
Happy to report that after a few decades, he got that vengeful aspect of his personality under control, and we get along fine.

TPBM was an only child, except for a sibling or two.

Dez 2, 2020, 9:53 am

Or 6. I wanted to be an only child while growing up because it always felt there wasn't enough of anything to go around. I wouldn't trade my large family now for anything. Our numbers are dwindling however as kids grow up and move away and divorces occur but we still get together often and enjoy each others company.

TPBM's family is also dwindling.

Dez 4, 2020, 1:52 pm

Absolutely. As I've mentioned before, my mother cooked for seventy (70) every Thanksgiving when I was a kid/teenager/out-and-married. And that just involved the immediate family and relatives from her side of the family. There are actually even more relatives on my father's side, but we rarely got together with them.
Fast forward; of my nine siblings, two died as infants and one sister died ten years ago. The rest of us are scattered all over the country; likewise, my cousins. My mother was the last of her generation, and she died less than three months before MrsHouseLibrary. Had she lived, my mother would be a great-grandmother of two now, only one of which has the family name. There will likely be others, but it's purely speculation on my part. As for me, my step-son has two daughters, but I'm rarely in contact with them. My oldest son is in a relationship, but it's too early to determine a future at this point. The other two have chosen to not be involved with anyone for over ten years now, and they're pretty adamant about it. All three were burned pretty badly in a previous relationship, and they're not willing to try again, despite the fact that they witnessed how good things were with me and their step-mother. The oldest one is the exception; he's a real people person.
So yeah, from almost 300 relatives to just a couple dozen in the lifespan of one generation. Don't think I haven't noticed!

Interestingly, the first birthday in my extended family occurred in late February, and the last birthday occurred in late October. There is a run of four consecutive days in June where a birthday occurs. I concluded that when the weather turns cold (in New Jersey), our parents get "cozy," and apparently that "coziness" is what they all gave up during Lent. When I mentioned that to my father (mind you, I was already married at the time), he slapped me. Not one of my finer moments.

TPBM knows the birthdays of all of their relatives.

Editado: Dez 4, 2020, 2:18 pm

I have a spreadsheet.

Well, only for my mum's side of the family but I never use it because my youngest aunt sends out birthday and anniversary wishes by e-mail to all three current generations, who are spread around the globe. I have ambitions to create a similar spreadsheet for my dad's family and if that ever happens I may do my husband's as well. But I should get to it soon - my eldest aunt on my dad's side and my husband's eldest aunt always send birthday cards; it was a thing for their generation and my grandmothers' before them. So they hold all the data in one place, as it were.

TPBM put their Christmas tree up early this year.

//ETA: birthdays in my family/ families are spread around the year; but I do notice that there are clusters within each subfamilies. My two kids' birthdays are within 4 days of each other while my husband's brother's kids' birthdays are within 2 weeks of each other.//

Dez 4, 2020, 3:55 pm

no, but the Festivus Pole is ready!

TPBM is feeling jolly.

Editado: Dez 8, 2020, 2:44 pm

Yes, because I'm not the only one who has a Festivus pole. Only 19 more days, and then I can perform the Airing of Grievances (to empty chairs.) The traditional Feats of Strength are being suspended to comply with the reasonable antisocial distancing guidelines.

TPBM (like as I am, even with only rarely being in an indoor public place) is already tired of hearing tinny other-holiday music. It really grates on my nerves.

Edited for grammar.

Dez 9, 2020, 7:51 am

I rarely enter stores nowadays except small local shops that don't do Muzak so I've been spared, otherwise I would certainly share your grating.

There is some good seasonal music around. I just bought a CD (Streaming? What's that?) by the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin featuring, among others, a New Year song, We Toast the Days, by Linda Kachelmeier who is new to me. Really very nice!

TPBM has a favourite piece of Christmas music (and will tell us what it is).

Editado: Dez 10, 2020, 12:07 am

Feliz Navidad!

(Apologies for the ear worm)

TPBM has had a book/ books published.

Dez 10, 2020, 9:20 am

No, but I did get a letter to the editor published in my local paper.

TPBM likes fruitcake.

Dez 10, 2020, 9:37 am

The only one I like is Collin Street Bakery Deluxe Fruitcake. Since I'm the only one in the house who loves it, I rarely indulge.

TPBM has been baking for the holidays.

Dez 10, 2020, 9:48 am

No working stove yet! The plumber was supposed to add back the gas line to the kitchen, but claimed (lied, I think) that all the lines in the house need replaced. Gah! Have been microwaving for weeks and learning new tricks with the crockpot; but not that one.

TPBM will post a delicious seasonal recipe.

Editado: Dez 10, 2020, 9:50 am

Wine. Actually this works for all seasons.

TPBM has another.

Dez 10, 2020, 10:50 am

>123 2wonderY: //you can actually bake cake and bread in the crockpot. my attempt yielded a not-too-bad cake but a really dense heavy bread. it didn't seem to rise properly.//

Dez 14, 2020, 1:13 pm

Also good any day, any time, this has been a traditional Festivus breakfast for my sons and me for decades:

A fried egg, two thick, browned slices of Taylor Ham/pork roll, and rooom-temprature aged Swiss cheese in a toasted English muffin. If you butter the English muffin, keep napkins at the ready.

Another recipe please, TPBM.

Dez 14, 2020, 1:26 pm

A quart of blackberries, a cup of sugar; fill the jar with vodka (you can use the cheap stuff.). Let sit for as long as you can wait. Decant and be sure to squeeze the berries for the last bit of flavor. Tastes like summer sunshine. Perfect for sipping with friends in front of a cozy fire.

Apologies if this is a repeat.

TPBM will suggest what will best compliment this cordial.

Dez 15, 2020, 6:31 pm

A Mahler symphony, maybe?

TPBM has experienced synaesthesia.

Dez 16, 2020, 8:50 am

Not personally, but I knew a kid who sneezed every time lightning struck.
Also, when riding in a car, and came out from a shadowed area to sudden sunlight; also when flash cameras were used.
His optical nerve juxtaposed whichever olfactory nerve is involved in the sneeze process, and they short out.
Interestingly, in the first book of the series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the title character experiences synesthesia. The really weird thing is that just last night, I was interviewed for a podcast about writing, and I mentioned the series; hadn't even thought about those books in years, despite the fact they occupy two and a half feet of one of my bookcases in my office.

The last book that TPBM re-read was _____________.

Dez 16, 2020, 9:06 am

Before Midnight by Rex Stout, last month. I'm in the midst of a personal challenge to read/re-read all 47 Nero Wolfe novels. I started in April and will finish up sometime early or mid-next year. So far this year 22% of my reading has been re-reads or re-listens.

TPBM never re-reads books.

Dez 16, 2020, 10:09 am

Rarely ever. I will re-watch movies, but not re-read books. I think it's the time invested and the fact that there are so many new books out there.

>127 2wonderY: That sounds yummy!

TPBM will have a very altered holiday this year.

Dez 16, 2020, 10:11 am

>129 WholeHouseLibrary: // I have come across the photic sneeze reflex before. Wikipedia tells us that it may be called the Autosomal (Dominant) Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst syndrome - ACHOO - Get it? ;-) //

Dez 16, 2020, 1:36 pm

>132 abbottthomas: Very good!

>131 morningwalker: Nope. MrsHouseLibrary and I rarely acknowledged it. Besides, I had my work cut out for me. As soon as the illegal fireworks started going off, any deer that was in the vicinity would come into my yard, and I'd spend an hour or so calming them down. I got 20 of them to lay down one year.

The only difference this year will likely be that they're a lot more skittish, and I don't expect they'll be all that cooperative. I only expect that Thing 2 (one of this year's twin fawns) would, and maybe her mother (who was born in my yard.) Thing 2 always comes within 10 feet of me and takes a particular stance before she gives me a nod. And I bow in return. Her twin will turn and run if I glance in her direction. Kids, I swear!

TPBM prefers to have attend large NYE celebrations -- not this year, of course; but in the recent past.

Dez 21, 2020, 4:24 am

I’ve never really been a party animal so my custom for years has been a glass of fizz and the Big Ben bongs and bed not long after. I did go into Central London on New Years Eve 1999 for the fireworks but “the noise, my dear, and the people!” You have to buy a ticket to stand in the street for the display nowadays.
The local Facebook page is always banging on about how fireworks reduce their cockerpoos or whatever to incontinent emotional wrecks and urges silent fireworks.

TPBM can’t see the point of a flash without a bang.

Dez 21, 2020, 1:31 pm

You're right - I can't. Lightning and thunder are my favorite flash and bang duo.

TPBM has acquired, wrapped, and sent, if appropriate, all holiday presents.

Dez 21, 2020, 1:49 pm

yep, all appropriate gifts have been sent. I will deliver the inappropriate ones in person :)

TPBM enjoys eggnog.

Editado: Dez 21, 2020, 6:06 pm

Absolutely! But only if I make it from scratch! (Which I do once every year).

TPBM enjoys another holiday fixture - a toy train running around the Christmas tree.

Dez 23, 2020, 9:52 pm

>137 alco261: absolutely as long as there's a club car and the tiny train will get me to Vail on time.

Dez 23, 2020, 11:01 pm

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: // Ahemmmm. And the person below you ...? //

Dez 24, 2020, 2:29 am

And the person below me as well! Sorry, I lost all me manners while in prison.

TPBM had a very special skill.

Dez 24, 2020, 5:34 am

I sprung youse, din’t I?

TPBM is full of holiday cheer.

Dez 24, 2020, 6:01 am

I was sure SomeGuy had got a presidential pardon. The thought cheered me up!

Despite the new variant Covid burgeoning around us and not seeing our kids in the flesh we should have ourselves a merry little Christmas. More than enough booze and a small turkey all to ourselves with plenty of Christmas music will keep the blues at bay, as will Zoom and FaceTime. The feral foxes can deal with the leftovers.

TPBM will tell us their favourite Christmas track.

Happy Christmas and a MUCH better New Year to all here.

Dez 24, 2020, 9:49 am

The first track that came to mind is Mannheim Steamroller's God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. I'm playing it now and it's giving me goosebumps.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

TPBM will also tell us their favorite Christmas track.

Dez 24, 2020, 9:58 am

we like our holidays a bit funky, so this:

Sleigh Ride with Bootsy Collins

TPBM will share another...

Dez 24, 2020, 10:49 am

I celebrate Festivus, which was yesterday, but there aren't any songs about it. Regardless, my formative years were spent in NJ, steeped in Catholicism. Fact: My father spent 7 years in a Jesuit seminary in Buffalo, NY before deciding there were other things he'd rather do. He spent another 3 years there, teaching foreign languages to pay them back, I suppose. He was qiute the polyglot. No doubt, he would have stayed longer, but when his youngest brother arrived, they told my father he had to leave. And he did; move back to NJ and after a while, met that brother's old girlfriend. My siblings and I refer to her as Mom.

You didn't need to know any of that, but it just kind of jumped itself out and wrote itself down. So to answer Darth: Back in 1990, the Roche Sisters (siblings, not nuns) released a CD of Christmas songs called We Three Kings. Two dozen songs, maybe three of which I skip past because they're disruptive of the mood of the rest of the songs, and they spoil it. But, I swear, their vocal range, their harmonies ... They also have a CD of the Hallelujah Chorus -- absolutely awesome.

TPBM is celebrating Anthony Fauci Day.

Dez 24, 2020, 6:55 pm

How Jolly the Lot of an Oligoglot (or polyglot for that matter). And yes I celebrate Anthony Fauci Day and the new agreement between EU and UK. I think. If it's an agreement and if both parties agree to it :-)

TPBM is celebrating something else.

Dez 27, 2020, 3:01 pm

The end of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2020.

TPBM thinks only fools rush the hours.

Dez 27, 2020, 3:20 pm

// >146 bnielsen: I'm with you Fauci Day and the Brexit decision. . . finally!//

Dez 29, 2020, 8:47 am

>#147 They could, but they could also waste them away by doing absolutely nothing. Not sure which might be the worse of the two. Certainly, the alternative I've suggested doesn't cost much.

TPBM is anticipating _________________.

Dez 29, 2020, 8:57 am

.....a couple of shots of the Covid vaccine, sooner rather than later I hope. I'm just wondering how 'free' I will actually feel.

TPBM has plans.

Dez 29, 2020, 9:27 am

Coffee, reading, possibly putting up the Christmas Present Wrapping Station after wrapping one more present for our daughter, which arrived too late to mail to her in time for Christmas.

TPBM received a new book this holiday season and is already happily reading away.

Dez 29, 2020, 11:54 am

I did not and I'm so proud of myself! I'm not buying books until I get in the new place. I've been working on how many shelves I need and I've had to admit that I'm a hoarder. It's really taken me aback. Still, my own, functioning lie-berry. Aahhhh.

TPBM is locked in as fight to the finish with a piece of technology.

Dez 29, 2020, 12:37 pm

The laptop.
It was MrsHouseLibrary's, but seeing as how she hasn't any use for it, and the screen on mine crapped out after eight years, I repurposed hers.
There's a bug (blue screen of death issue) concerning the some library involved in the wireless connection. So far, none of the updates I've received have addressed it, although there have been more than enough reports about it. It started around this time last year. And the damn thing has a proprietary ethernet connection that I've never seen the cable for. I'm sure the cable came with the laptop, but she never used it and I have no idea where it might be. Already checked the box and places I store wires and such, but I can't locate it.
Also, it no longer sees the built-in SD card reader. I used it every day, and suddenly, the driver was gone, and even my tech guy can't get it back.
So, maybe in March, I'll replace this puppy and take a drill to the hard drive.
Budgeting -- I could get a replacement today, but unless it's an emergency, I earmark a certain amount of my monthly income for paying for items. It keeps the impulse-buying at bay.

TPBM is a long-term planner.

Dez 29, 2020, 12:46 pm

If by long-term you mean I plan lots of stuff but by the time I actually get around to doing (some of) it, it's ages later then yes.

TPBM will be staying at home to see the New Year in tomorrow night.

Editado: Dez 29, 2020, 12:57 pm

well, yes, but we always do. We usually spend NYE making goodies to stock the fridge for All-Day-Movie-Day on the 1st. Apparently we've been living like there's a pandemic for many years already.

TPBM will watch Ryan Seacrest ring in the new year on Thursday night.

Dez 29, 2020, 1:52 pm

Unlikely. I might be playing my guitar or something, but I doubt I'll be watching the TV. I'll know it's midnight by all the illegal fireworks going off, and I'll be in the back yard trying to calm down the deer.
I find it curious that the ones who label themselves "Patriots" (upper case P is essential for them) are the same ones who select which laws they'll obey, and the rest are dismissed because "freedom." And, as I write this, there are firecrackers going off, at nearly 1 pm, two days beforehand. Sigh.
Off my soapbox now.

TPBM toes the line.

Dez 29, 2020, 4:45 pm

I’m much more likely to unobtrusively rub it out or nudge it to a better location. Whistling tunelessly and innocently gazing at the sky....

TPBM will go gaze at the sky and hurry back with a report.

Dez 29, 2020, 9:30 pm

Hmm ... Patchy clouds and Holey Moley a Convair 580 downwind on the Runway 26 STAR!

TPBM gets the drift ...

Dez 30, 2020, 5:05 pm

TPBM has attended one of the First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremonies.

Dez 31, 2020, 5:01 pm

I missed it this year. Happy New Year, everyone!

TPBM is at a resort.

Dez 31, 2020, 6:03 pm

Yes I am - I have a room with a view at the famous Hearth and Home - just west of Checkpoint Covid at the end of the driveway.

TPBM plans to watch 2020 disappear in time's rear view mirror in a few hours.

Dez 31, 2020, 7:28 pm

28 minutes into 2021 already here. Doesn’t feel different yet.

Happy New Year!

TPBM is still waiting.

Dez 31, 2020, 7:52 pm

Yup! Still have a bit over 4 hours to go!

TPBM will beat the pans. . . I will have been asleep for a couple of hours when that time arrives!

Dez 31, 2020, 11:13 pm

Not me. I intend to be sawing logs by then, myself. About 2 hours to go.
I'm really sick of the constant fireworks that have been going off for the past several hours.
I've noticed a certain correlation between people who shoot off fireworks knowing that it's illegal in the area and who they voted for, and people who don't participate in the illegal activity.

TPBM celebrates quietly.

Jan 1, 2021, 10:37 am

About as quiet as it gets...home alone, as MrExiled is visiting his brother for the next week or so. I stayed up, only because I was bingewatching reruns of Angel (never watched it before though I was a Buffy fan). I heard the neighbors setting off fireworks, so I knew 2021 came on schedule.

TPBM will tell us their local New Year's Day superstition or tradition (here in the Midwest, it's eat black eyed peas for good luck)

Jan 1, 2021, 10:45 am

I think it's two things - Hoppin' John and Collard Greens, but I wouldn't touch either.

//We're watching Angel, too, Shannon. We've watched it once before, a very long time ago, so although some of the plots and characters are familiar, it's like watching it all over again.//

TPBM loves to rewatch series.

Jan 1, 2021, 1:25 pm

Happy New Year!!!

Only for white noise. I'll usually turn on an episode of a sitcom to play in the background while I go to sleep.

>165 theretiredlibrarian: Ham for health, black eyed peas for happiness, and collards for wealth. Unbreakable tradition when I read growing up. I'm fact, I'm having it for dinner.

TPBM reads in front of a fire.

Jan 2, 2021, 9:14 am

I wish! Our house doesn’t have a chimney.
I remember a pub on the Norfolk coast where the fire in the bar was lit in October and didn’t go out until March. It’s below sea level. I wonder if they worry about their CO2 emissions?

TPBM tries to be green.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:08 pm

It's not easy, you know.
Recycling gets collected once every two weeks; I usually have extra stuff sitting on the side to go with it. Garbage, on the other hand, is collected weekly, but it might take me a month to create enough to maybe fill up the bin in the kitchen, so a mostly empty bag goes into the garbage collection bin when I notice things getting "ripe." It might take six months to fill the the garbage bin, but I'm not going to test that.

I'm not concerned about the amount of carbon emissions I produce from my fireplace. When our collective CEs from fireplaces becomes one of the top 100 contributors to the problem, I'll be happy to brick up the damn thing.

TPBM finds green to be relaxing.

Jan 6, 2021, 10:31 am

Yes, that's why I got rid of my treadmill and walk outside all year long. The trail I walk on has a lovely tree canopy for most of it and deep dark woods and fields along it. Very relaxing.

TPBM recommends something else relaxing.

Jan 6, 2021, 11:53 am

Well, I can tell you it’s not babysitting a two year old! Poor thing is starving for another toddler to play with and I have to substitute for now. We’re playing birds today and the dialog is a bit repetitive. Poppy Penguin keeps offering Andy Partridge fish.

TPBM knows whether partridges are omnivores.

Editado: Jan 7, 2021, 10:26 am

I asked a partridge and he just looked at me like I was crazy. So no?

TPBM is sick of black swans. C'mon! 2021 is supposed to be better!

Editado: Jan 7, 2021, 2:53 pm

Gotta ask, which partridge did you ask -- Shirley? Danny? Laurie? Christopher -- either one of them? All the rest are dead, so don't even pretend you're a necromancer.

Re: Black swans -- don't be ridiculous. Everything that's happened was not just predictable, but guaranteed to happen. And it's not over.

Glad to know that you weren't caught up in that mess.

TPBM is better (than I) at holding their tongue.

Jan 7, 2021, 5:48 pm

Nope. Just commented on the weird things Americans do in their parliament these days. Someone ate crow on the senate floor.

TPBM prefers white crows to black swans.

Jan 8, 2021, 4:25 pm

I’ve never seen a white crow, black swans are not, however, a surprise. In my early childhood I was taken to Kew Gardens where there were several. A gift from Australia. Elegant birds.

TPBM has an early memory of something unusual.

(I don’t want to even think about the outgoing POTUS)

Editado: Jan 9, 2021, 9:49 am

I was a kid and we were living in McBean, Georgia. If you don't know where McBean is, it's between Hephzibah and Spiderweb. To this day it's an extremely rural location. Dad had a horror of snakes and one morning was out working in the garden when he suddenly raised holy hell and killed a snake. These are facts. Whether the snake was a harmless black racer or a cottonmouth is up for debate, depending on who you ask. An old country woman was there and told my dad that unless he burned it the snake pieces parts would join back together and the snake would be as good as new and slither off under cover of darkness to continue its reign of terror (or just eating crickets, either). Plus, burning the snake would have the added benefit of keeping every other snake away from the yard in perpetuity. Dad built what, to me, seemed like a bonfire and using a shovel threw the chopped up snake on the flames. He never did see another snake in the garden, which is also a fact.

**I may have already told this story here but I like this version best.

TPBM knows another regional superstition.

Jan 9, 2021, 9:32 am

The Devil's Tramping Ground, of course, in my own Chatham County, NC.
The Devil's Tramping Ground is a camping spot located in a forest near the Harper's Crossroads area in Bear Creek, North Carolina. It has been the subject of persistent local legends and lore, which frequently allege that the Devil "tramps" and haunts a barren circle of ground in which nothing is supposed to grow. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.

Chatham natives say... that the Devil goes there to walk in circles as he thinks up new means of causing trouble for humanity. There, sometimes during the dark of night, the Majesty of the Underworld of Evil silently tramps around that bare circle-- thinking, plotting, and planning against good, in behalf of wrong.
I've never been there.

TPBM has a local famous or infamous place/historical site/museum/etc. that they have never visited.

Jan 9, 2021, 11:20 am

Changi POW camp.

TPBM is having unusual weather where they are. Over here, the daytime temperature is expected to be 25ºC. Bear in mind that year round, the night-time temp is usually 27 and daytime a humid 32-35ºC - it's practically winter ;0)

Jan 9, 2021, 12:41 pm

Well, we're supposed to get snow tomorrow night here in central Texas; I'd say that is pretty unusual.
Thanks for the mental exercise of converting Celsius to Fahrenheit. It was fun. (25C is 77F, for those who are befuddled.)

TPBM is also fond of number games.

Jan 9, 2021, 1:33 pm

// >178 humouress: and >179 WholeHouseLibrary: I just use the units converter app on my cell phone when I really want to know what a Celcius temperature is in Fahrenheit. Very lazy, I know.//

Jan 10, 2021, 1:31 am

//>179 WholeHouseLibrary: You're welcome. Just returning the favour for the times I have to convert backwards ;0) //

Jan 10, 2021, 6:07 am

//I have an Hp calculator that reminds me everytime I convert that I should check if the temperature is absolute or a difference. Makes me grateful that some of the other weird Imperial Units aren't as weird as they could have been.//

Jan 10, 2021, 12:14 pm

>182 bnielsen: as TPBY, I too have an HP reverse polish notation calculator - I still use it at least several times a week. However, for sheer fun, never mind the confuddlement of present observers, nothing beats the old pepper mill mechanical Curta Calculator.

TPBM doesn't have a Curta but probably has some kind of pocket calculator.

Jan 10, 2021, 1:52 pm

// >183 alco261: One of my friends found one of those in a second-hand shop. They had thought it was some weird kind of camera equipment and sold it to him for next to nothing. //

Editado: Jan 10, 2021, 2:42 pm

//>179 WholeHouseLibrary: I have two F to C anchors that work for me courtesy of my sister who has lived in Italy for over 40 years. 40km/hr = 25 mph. The second one is 28C = 82F.

Some friends of mine live on the west coast of Newfoundland. The native Canadian still thinks of temps in F. The transplanted Yankee (I think is now a naturalized Canadian) does temps in C.

At early hours in the AM I can't do the conversions well (I the math major) in a reasonable period of time so I have conversion tables stuck on the wall in the kitchen so I can not have to think that early. . don't have enough caffeine in the system. //

// >182 bnielsen: and >183 alco261: I'm also into reverse Polish calculators. If I remember correctly MS had an option on the freebee calculator they gave you with DOS. . .or was it Toshiba with their knockoff luggable DOS machine that looked like an HP box. . the keyboard covered the dinky little monitor. Anyway, I have one of the HP calculators but after all these years several of the keys are starting to fail, when I hit 5 I either get nothing or 55. . . I bought it in '73 or '74//

TPBM has some kind of antique electronic device that will keep coffee/tea warm.

Jan 10, 2021, 3:45 pm

I retain a single-switch 12-cup coffeemaker that shuts itself off after 2 hours of evaporating the water and burning the coffee, if that's what you mean.
I keep it around for when my programmable bean-grinding coffeemaker finally gives out -- which could be any day now. It's been leaving a puddle of clear water underneath it every morning. I don't have the right style/size screwdriver to allow me access to the innards to find/repair the leak.

TPBM is a tinker, of a sort.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:07 am

Sort of. My wife bought four dirt-cheap LED flickering candle-lights that had a switch so they would lighten up for 6 hours and then wait for 18 hours and start over again. After the battery died I took it apart and examined the very few parts. The LED contains the flickering part. I.e. if you apply 3 V it flickers. The legs on the LED are so long that they provide all the wiring for connecting to the battery. So the timer? Still not sure where that is located, but maybe inside the switch? The LED is now connected to a micro:bit and lightens up the last (and soon to be put away) of my xmas figures in the window.

TPBM is also a tinker, of a sort.

Jan 11, 2021, 2:33 am

Sort of. I try to fix the kids' broken toys, if I can.

TPBM is a tailor.

//>185 ulmannc: Ah. I use 50 mph (miles)(British national speed limit) = 80km/h. And F to ºC; F is larger, 32F is 0ºc so you have to subtract the 32 and after that x9/5 which is roughly half (for when I'm in a rush, setting the oven temp) //

Jan 11, 2021, 11:04 am

Nope, I can just barely sew a button on and with all the lockdowns and concurrent upticks in my use of casual wear, I actually walked out my front door last week and thought, 'Man, I hope I'm wearing pants'.

TPBM is a candlestick maker.

Jan 11, 2021, 11:47 am

Given the recent sad demise of John LeCarre I was expecting to see soldier, sailor next. He was said to have had another book in him :-(

I have never made a candlestick myself but I have an ancestor who made brass candlesticks, among other useful metal objects, in Birmingham in the 19th.C. Will that do?

I have, within easy reach, a pottery candlestick that I chose, apparently and quite inexplicably, as a gift from a junk shop when I was about 3 years old.

TPBM has something close at hand from their early years

Jan 11, 2021, 12:21 pm

Yes, I do, on my 'shelf of sentimental things' just about 5 feet away from where I'm sitting. Two small metal figures of burros with packs, a place for the business to have written "Dam Corner". I think the last time we went to Lake Isabella, California was when I was 10. Think gas station, tourist trinkets, bait and tackle, food...

TPBM has a book with sentimental value from a family member.

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 12:48 pm

Not precisely a family member, but the old lady who lived next door. She joined us for all holiday meals and was seriously taciturn. She and I had a non-verbal bond; as I snuck over to her back porch to befriend the feral cats she fed. She gave me Riley’s Child Rhymes and it contains the best poems to recite around a campfire!

TPBM knows about the Squidgicum-Squees and what they do.

Jan 12, 2021, 9:26 am

Oh my goodness. I didn't, then when I looked it up I remembered the poem from when I was young. My favorite of his is Little Orphant Annie. I remember reading it at Halloween and being scared but loving it. Oh, by the way -An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers the'rselves is what they do.

//>192 2wonderY: Thanks for a walk down memory lane.//

TPBM has in the past let hype ruin a good book for them.

Jan 12, 2021, 11:00 pm

I've started books because of hype that I found I didn't like but I just stopped reading them, they were ruined long before I picked them up. John Updike is my go-to example of hype bolstering up unreadable books.

TPBM only reads best sellers.

Jan 14, 2021, 11:45 am

Verily, very often I'll only read from the New York Times's fiction best seller list. I'll even kid myself by thinking that I'm really doing it because I'll be helping the library system out by donating the book after I've read it, when the truth is that I love trashy novels.

TPBM is erudite.

Jan 14, 2021, 4:48 pm


TPBM is terse.

Jan 14, 2021, 5:24 pm


TPBM is worse.

Jan 14, 2021, 10:26 pm

TPBM sings

Jan 14, 2021, 11:25 pm

That depends on how broad your qualifications of "sing" is. When we had Open Mic Nights, I was introduced as: Mike, the Song Butcher. Since the pandemic started, and venues were closed, there haven't been any more, although I practice every day and I'm trying out new material.
Around the end of September, I ingested something that caused hundreds of small ulcers from stem to stern. The most persistent ones were on/near my vocal cords. rendering me voiceless up through Thanksgiving.
Not sure that the sounds I make would qualify as singing most of the time, but I'm trying.

TPBM plays Scrabble, but not with the standard rules.

Jan 14, 2021, 11:53 pm

// Hey, they still let you up in front of the mike ... er mic? //

Jan 15, 2021, 3:09 am

// When it starts up again, I'll be the emcee, so, yeah.//

Editado: Jan 16, 2021, 1:03 am

// >200 humouress: Sorry, I meant that in a good way (as in, you get to go in front of the mic so you can't be that bad). Reading it back, it looks a bit rude.

I don't play Scrabble, so someone else can take it.//

Jan 16, 2021, 6:39 am

I don’t play Scrabble either but I recall two sweet old ladies arguing about the validity of ‘motherfucker’ in a Goldie Hawn movie. Forgotten the title but she played a character called Gloria Mundy

TPBM has another Scrabble-related anecdote.

Jan 16, 2021, 6:47 am

I’ve been buying up old Scrabble games for the letter tiles. Grandbaby is too young yet to grok the letters, but she loves the tactile fun of them. She uses the similar, but larger, domino pieces as bar soap.

TPBM has another favorite board game.

Jan 16, 2021, 10:17 am

// >203 abbottthomas: reminded me of a band name: Sick Transit. //

Jan 16, 2021, 11:03 am

Jan 16, 2021, 1:19 pm

Any drinking game will do. Or craps. Either. Love both.

//>203 abbottthomas: I don't remember that scene from the movie, but all my life I've heard people use the catchphrase 'Motherfucker is a word' and now I know where it comes from.//

TPBM is a whiz at ___________.

Editado: Jan 16, 2021, 1:36 pm

Anything involving numbers -- unless there's a currency sign with at least one of them. Idle time is filled with doing square- and cube-roots in my head, or extrapolations.
I think it's because number problems have rules, some of which only make sense after I've worked out a correct answer; whereas currency involves rules that are manipulative, most often for sinister purposes, therefore I want nothing to do with them. That being said, I've track my checkbook and savings account in spreadsheets, one of which is used to create escrow allocations for long-term expenses like annual property taxes or homeowner's insurance and such. The money is there, but I can't use it until it's due.

TPBM is s spendthrift.

Jan 16, 2021, 3:01 pm

Once in s while. I paid for my daughters trip to the US and they brought back some tea and other stuff that I could have bought online cheaper :-)

They also took pictures of something in Chinatown with the phrase: "we do a living wealthily happily".

TPBM knows Engrish when (s)he sees it.

Editado: Jan 16, 2021, 3:23 pm

>208 WholeHouseLibrary: //I’m always annoyed by the word “spendthrift” I think it should be “spendswift.”//

Jan 16, 2021, 7:31 pm

// >210 2wonderY: Can't do that -- they're opposites. //

>209 bnielsen: I'm more familiar with Spanglish.
My father was the polyglot -- 17 languages, including 3 dialects of Inuit.
As for me, I took Spanish I twice. So, I'm stuck with English -- good, because I copy edit manuscripts -- and 11 dead programming languages.

Of, course, I have a Zen calculator, too. It'll do all sorts of computations, but if the answer is greater than 4, it displays a diagnostic message that reads: A subterfuge of yellow.

TPBM knows who else has this calculator, and/or possibly where one can obtain one.

Jan 17, 2021, 4:48 pm

I was thinking maybe Zaphod Beeblebrox but though he is very cool he is not particularly calm like someone into Zen should be.

As to where one might obtain one, the first option on Amazon is an app titled ‘Underpants Superhero’. There are several motorcycle maintenance manuals on offer - perhaps more understandable.

So, no, no help

TPBM can do better

Jan 17, 2021, 5:05 pm

Sure I can! But since I'm the one who posed this particular challenge, it wouldn't be fair of me to give you the answer.

So, same issue: TPBM knows who else has this calculator, and/or possibly where one can obtain one.

But here's a hint, if you want/need it: Same author.

Jan 18, 2021, 10:15 am

I don't know where you can buy one, but if you do find it you better be ready to hand over £20 of ready cash for the thing.

TPBM haggles.

Jan 18, 2021, 10:45 am

Nope. Not ever. I used to date a guy who called me a retailer's dream.

//However, I just acquired 30+ books for my shelves from a largish book donation that the Fol wasn't officially accepting but I agreed to keep at my house. The folks were so happy that I was willing to take 300+ books that they said take whatever you want personally. Free is better than haggling and as a whole, my bookshelves are happy even if I do sometimes pay retail for a book.//

TPBM has received a windfall recently.

Jan 18, 2021, 12:34 pm

// >215 karenmarie: Where the heck do you put them?

I'm so full now that I'm seriously thinking of trying to unload one of my collections to give me 3 or 4 shelves.

I had all my slides digitized (thousands) and got rid of my big old Kenwood tuner and this got me 2 free shelves which are filling up rapidly. . multiple boxes stacked all over the house. So far "she who must be obeyed" has not had a dumpster delivered. . . she only has 3 greenhouses mostly filled with over 1000 orchids and other plants so she sort of leaves my library building alone! //

I saw a windfall coming my way and I hung up very quickly.

TPBM ran faster than the phone could ring to avoid another windfall.

Jan 18, 2021, 1:44 pm

Well, in high school I did the mile in five minutes flat; not sure how that compares to a phone ringing. At this point, walking a mile is a bit of a challenge for me. And the only reason my phone rings is because the caller is in my contact list, so I could actually go for months without hearing it. Most everyone texts me instead.

Also not sure why I would avoid a windfall, unless you're talking about branches dropping out of trees (the original meaning). Oddly enough, I've got the car packed with snow-fall right now. We had an episode of wet, heavy snow here in central Texas last week, and I lost a few larger branches from a hackberry. I cut it into car-fitting sized pieces (sure do miss my truck!) and loaded it last night. I went to the recycling center this morning. It's close because it's MLK Day. Forgot. Well, tomorrow -- in the rain. We're expecting rain every day up through and including next Monday. This is Texas! If I wanted rain every day, I'd move to the northwest coast.
Regardless, the rain will guarantee a large bloom of Bluebonnets in the spring. What was the question?

TPBM, for some crazy reason, is full of energy and optimism.

Jan 18, 2021, 5:40 pm

Yeah! The crazy reason is the color amethyst. It turns me on; and I just painted a 32 foot wall in my basement. Dazzling!

TPBM will tell which color season is theirs.

Jan 19, 2021, 5:06 pm

// >216 ulmannc: I will be keeping the bagged books in my Library because I can close that room off from the kitties, who are fascinated with bags of books. Between these 29 bags of books and the 35 bags of books from a previous donation in December, my Library will be chock full. I need to tuck the 30+ personal books here and there amongst my shelves as I don't have any empty shelves anywhere for books.//

Jan 19, 2021, 7:47 pm

I am a summer. I had my season done at the same time I had my pores done. Living in a biggish city gives you ample opportunity to pursue the inconsequential.

TPBM always takes the free samples.

Jan 20, 2021, 2:08 am

Not if it is Musou Black:

TPBM always takes the free samples no matter how bleak they look.

Jan 20, 2021, 8:43 am

We were in Austria many years ago at a small hotel before we went up Grossglockner Pass to look at alpine plants (they were beautiful). Breakfast was a buffet laid out on a large mirrored table. There was this pile of white next to the butter, jams, jellies. My wife and daughter looked at it and then looked at me. That meant I was supposed to try it.

Daddy will try anything. In the US, there is a character in commercials called "Mikey, he'll try anything". Well, I'm the Mikey at our house. I took a bit of it back to the table, put it on a piece of bread, put it in my mouth and discovered it was lard. I have no idea what the German name is for it but lots of people at the hotel were eating it. My wife and daughter (aged 7) gave me the look of "you really ate that?" At home there would be lots of horrible noises but they were being polite at the hotel.

Dinner the night before was wonderful and the accordion player was fun in both German and English even though by the end it was clear he had consumed one schnapps too many!


Jan 20, 2021, 10:33 am

I've tried quite a lot of unusual foods, and hope to try many more, but have to draw the line at insects. I know lots of cultures enjoy them, but I just can't get over it.

The only thing I've tried that I really hated was beaver meat. It was served at a wild game supper at our shooting club. It's not the taste so much as the texture - it's like a meat-flavored sponge. I chewed and chewed and nothing happened. Finally forced to spit it into a napkin, but surreptitiously because all of the meats were donated by members of the club so somewhere in that room was a person who was very proud to have murdered a lot of harmless beavers to provide this meat.

TPBM enjoys the exotic.

Jan 21, 2021, 9:44 am

As close to the exotic that I've gotten was watching Joe on the Tiger King.

TPBM is off to a good reading start for 2021.

Jan 22, 2021, 8:22 pm

Meh, not really. Two books so far this year.

TPBM is accomplished.

Jan 26, 2021, 9:58 am

Well I showered and dressed and made it to work in the freezing rain, so yea, I think I am.

TPBM is loyal to name brands.

Jan 26, 2021, 10:17 am

Didn't intend to be, but have realized that all of my jackets are Columbia and all my shoes are Merrells. If it isn't broken...

TPBM doesn't fix it.

Jan 26, 2021, 6:06 pm

I usually give it at least one good attempt. Then I go at it with a 4-pound sledgehammer. If it breaks, it needed to be replaced anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Disclaimer: My first wife (ThiMs) claimed (and possibly still does) that that's how I approached fixing our marriage. I was acquitted. Her fingerprints were on the hammer; not mine.
Conversely, with MrsHouseLibrary, there was nothing to fix. I loved every one of her imperfections -- of which there were few.

TPBM always selected the green tokens when playing Parcheesi.

Jan 26, 2021, 6:57 pm

I only played Parcheesi once, during a sleepover while I was in middle school. I don't remember what color token I chose but I do remember feeling kind of bored, which was the exact opposite reaction of my hosts who seemed to be absolutely thrilled to be playing the game. I remember it being kind of an eye-opener for me because up until then I thought that all families were pretty much like mine, where we spent evenings together playing bridge and exchanging malicious gossip.

TPBM would pay $50 million to go to space.

Editado: Jan 26, 2021, 7:23 pm

I don't have $50 thousand, much less $50 million. And if I did, I certainly wouldn't be spending it on going to space. I'd want to go on the book spending spree to end all spending sprees.

And then a (multi-roomed) library to store them in. Then my dream house built around the library. On numerous acres of land with a grassy "crick" to lay by and read. Top of the line computer for book data collection and storage. A comfy chair. Servants (chef, housekeeper, etc.) so I wouldn't have to be bothered by all that stuff so I had -time- to read. Physical trainer and dietitian so I don't get any fatter than I already am from sitting around reading all day. Hmm, indoor pool for ease of exercise and, of course, a jacuzzi to snuggle into with a top of the line waterproof ereader. Chocolate and fresh fruit shipped in from around the world. You get the idea...

TPBM shares awful puns with their mother.

Jan 26, 2021, 8:03 pm

I would, but considering she died two and a half years ago, I suspect her reaction would be to spin in her grave, and that would disturb Dad no end. He died in 1997, but he always was a light sleeper.

TPBM has attended a pun-off.

Jan 29, 2021, 9:33 am

I never even knew such a thing existed. I really need to get out more.

//>230 Morphidae: I like your thinking!!//

TPBM has discovered a new talent during the pandemic.

Jan 29, 2021, 10:38 am

Not wasting hardly any food and keeping the pantry organized. These are two things that I was an epic fail at BP, before pandemic.

//>230 Morphidae: I, too, like your thinking. Especially the indoor pool and jacuzzi and waterproof e-reader.//

TPBM has also discovered a new talent during the pandemic.

Jan 30, 2021, 7:18 pm

I can cook! Did not see that coming.

TPBM has discovered their super power.

Jan 30, 2021, 8:03 pm

I sure did. I knew it was somewhere in the attic and this past weekend after some rummaging I found it - my old Lionel ZW transformer - it was the most powerful toy train transformer Lionel ever made - runs up to 4 trains at the same time...a far cry from my trusty old TW transformer which could only handle one train and a bunch of accessories.

TPBM has also spent some time rummaging through closets looking for I-know-it's-somwhere-around-here mislaid treasures.

Jan 31, 2021, 1:38 am

Kind of, I guess. I needed to change the strings on my year-and-a-half-old guitar, plus give it a good cleaning and polish. It's been a while, but I knew where the cleaning stuff was, and I had a new set of strings in the case. Wire clippers, no problem. I couldn't locate the tuning peg wrench. I swear, it's saved me days of time when replacing strings over the past 50 years!
Couldn't find it. And that's because I needed to temporarily rearrange a few things in the house, and I had tossed that crank into a box it had no business being in, except for this particular situation.
The rearrangement became "permanent," in that the reason for the change hasn't been finished yet (mea culpa), and I forgot.
But, I did find it eventually, and I'm not going to put the new strings back on yet. In the 18 months I've had it, the frets are in worse shape than the now-49-year-old guitar it replaced. Much of this antisocially distant time has been spend figuring out new (for me) songs to add to my repertoire if/when Open Mic Night starts up again. So, it's going to the luthier on Monday.

But, yeah, I spent a good hour looking for that tool. Afterward, I had all the strings off in less than 30 seconds. Whoever invented that thing -- genius, I tell you -- genius!

TPBM is never at a loss for words.

Editado: Jan 31, 2021, 8:17 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jan 31, 2021, 3:24 am

Er... um... ah? No?

Actually, I'm often quite vocal inside my skull but it wouldn't be polite to say it out loud.

TPBM is already planning their travels to exotic countries. When we're allowed to again.

Jan 31, 2021, 1:29 pm

yes but there's no telling how long it will be before that is safe enough. For now it's fun just to browse the maps and daydream. My husband wants to take a cruise through the Panama Canal. His dad told many stories of his travel there with the Marines and he always wanted us to take him and we never were able to do so.

TPBM has traveled to more than one continent.

Jan 31, 2021, 3:52 pm

Never set foot on another continent, but I've been to Ireland twice, and went on a cruise with the late MrsHouseLibrary (she was alive back then -- don't want you to think I walk around with our urn...) to the Lesser Antilles. So, not continents, but lots of island nations.
And, I'm not ever excited about traveling abroad, but she was, and planned on going with or without me. So, considering that on her only other venture off of North America (a vacation in Bermuda with her first husband), she got pregnant, I figured I'd better accompany her this time. I don't regret a single moment of it.

TPBM is more of a beach person than a mountain person.

Editado: Jan 31, 2021, 8:17 pm

Definitely. I grew up in SE Florida so spent much of my childhood and youth on the beach. Even now when I live up in landlocked Minnesota I prefer being by the water. Thankfully, it's known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes and we live near the 9th largest in the state.

TPBM has run their own "unusual" business.

For example, tarot reading/astrological charts, underwater basket weaving, broken doll repair, professional cuddler. (I can claim one of them.)

Jan 31, 2021, 8:31 pm

Not self employed, but I was paid to collect bugs for several years. Tracked agricultural pests for the state entomologist. Found a new pine bark beetle in my own back yard and was cited for it in publication.

TPBM has a much bigger boast.

Fev 1, 2021, 2:30 am

Possibly. I wrote the first Y2K solution 19 years before it was needed.
Everyone (companies that used computer, that is) use two digits for the year because disc storage space was expensive, so every byte that could be spared, was.
I don't even recall now what the program did but I distinctly remember arguing with the higher-ups that it wouldn't hurt anything to leave that code in the program. So, we did. And a few years later, I went to work somewhere else.
And, the program had to be transferred to a different system because the original one was being replaced with ones that didn't have wires and magnets for memory. They only had to change system-specific idiosyncratic nomenclature to get it to compile and run. And then again several years later.
I ended up moving to Texas in 1989, working at the receiving end in a vendor's tech support center. Interestingly, there was a place that used only a single digit to represent the year, and in 1990, everything stopped working for them, so even though it was their problem, I scribbled out a solution for them and faxed it to them. It earned me an attaboy, but I also got reprimanded for doing something that was not part of my job description.
And I got them both in the same departmental meeting.
So, the Y2K specter raised its ugly head, and I get a phone call from a fellow whom I had worked with at the first place. He had been there this whole time and promoted to upper management, and very concerned about the Y2K issue. And in their analysis for planning the coding effort, someone came across that program I wrote. So, he called to thank me, and they used my nigh-two-decade-old code as the model for all the rest of the programs.
So yeah, I'll claim that bragging right.

TPBM can top that.

Editado: Fev 3, 2021, 6:30 am

I'm sorry I can't, but I remember New Year Eve Y2K and thank you for the lights not going out!

TPBM will tell us where they were NYE Y2K (Capitol Hill in DC).

Fev 3, 2021, 6:52 am

In London on the south Bank of the Thames in front of the National Theatre singing 'We all live in a Yellow Submarine' which seemed to be the only song to which more than 5% of the crowd knew the words. Eheu fugaces.... Where are the community songs of my childhood?

And TPBM was where?

Fev 3, 2021, 3:25 pm

Well, it was either asleep in bed, or in the back yard trying to calm down the deer that tend to congregate there while *s were shooting off fireworks for hours on end. Probably the latter, but I've slept since then and the details escape me. But definitely, one of those two.

TPBM, same question.

Fev 3, 2021, 3:51 pm

We went to bed early, like every year. New Year's Day is our annual movie marathon day, so New Years Eve is spent making snack foods to prepare for an entire day as a couch potato. We get to bed early so we can hit the couch with coffee and cinnamon rolls in the AM.

TPBM won the lottery.

Editado: Fev 7, 2021, 11:45 am

Not yet and I want one of the big ones!

TPBM already has a financial advisor that wouldn't be thrown by a billion $.

Fev 7, 2021, 6:50 am

The last financial advisor I spoke to wanted two and a half per cent per annum to manage what I optimistically describe as my portfolio. A billion dollars would have been just up his street. We didn’t get further than the initial “free” meeting - he wore a very elegant suit that would have cost 2 - 3 months of my income. It was a “Where are the customers’ yachts?” moment.

TPBM is wary of sartorial signals

Editado: Fev 8, 2021, 9:36 am

When everything is sharp and new and perfect, yes. There should always be something off and a weensy bit drab about dressing, in the same way that a native English speaker should never knowingly speak perfect French.

TPBM was recently caught out.

Fev 10, 2021, 12:15 pm

Yeah, and it wasn't pretty. There I was, standing in the hobby shop finishing a surreptitious purchase of another train for the layout when my wife (who I thought was at home) tapped me on the shoulder and said,"The next time you say you are going to be at the city library you'd better BE at the city library." ....busted..... :-)

TPBM has also had to do some explaining to their spouse/significant other recently

Fev 10, 2021, 2:57 pm

>251 alco261: // Who hasn't?? I know . . . no spouse/significant other. . . or the dog //

Editado: Fev 10, 2021, 4:20 pm

>251 alco261: >252 ulmannc: // "Lucy, you've got some 'splaining to do!"*

* Yeah, yeah. I know. Still funny. //

Fev 15, 2021, 4:46 am

I am embarrassed to admit to something close to mansplaining to the Abbess (about changing our on-line grocery delivery order). I think she sees a screen as a single image, entire of itself, and has difficulty in noticing individual links.

TPBM can reasonably claim to be an influencer.

Fev 16, 2021, 1:01 am

So, I've been told.
If I had an ego, this would be considered bragging, but it seems that I've launched several careers in the music business (no one you've heard of, though) simply because I seemed to enjoy playing the drums in garage bands in the 60s and 70s, and that carried over to me playing the guitar and a few other instruments in coffeehouses and such.
Also, spending 19 years as an adult Boy Scout leader, you can't not influence the kids. I haven't been associated with the Troop in about 10 years now, but even a year ago, I was told that at each monthly camp-out, there's at least one Mr. Lynch Joke competition.
It's been a while, but some of the lads who were in the Troop with my sons will stop by to say hello; introduce me to their kids. It's nice.
I also ran a writing group for 8 years. The stories I could tell!

TPBM is also an influencer, of a sort.

Editado: Fev 16, 2021, 12:26 pm

I've always thought that the rise of people who, with straight faces, lay claim to being influencers is a sign of the apocalypse. That, and calling salt 'sea salt'.

>255 WholeHouseLibrary: Speaking of hell freezing over, how are you making out with the snow and Arctic temperatures?

TPBM makes their own chocolate.

Fev 19, 2021, 3:49 am

//Rereading my earlier post I should clarify that I meant social media influencers. I can't speak to people whose altruism leads them to better people's lives because I work in Washington DC and I don't know anybody like that.//

Fev 19, 2021, 8:51 am

Hot chocolate, yes! Yum.

And I've made chocolate mice:

TPBM makes something else from scratch.

Fev 19, 2021, 9:38 am

>258 karenmarie: //Very impressive, but those eyes are rather unnerving. I’m not sure I’d dare to eat one. //

Fev 20, 2021, 6:47 pm

I will as soon as I'm in the new place, I bought a Dutch oven so that I would be able to make homemade bread all the time. Right now I can't even scratch together a decent plate full of hot food, I'm down to nothing but cocktail onions and PB&J sammiches. 12 days and counting.

>259 abbottthomas: //That's why you have to eat the eyes first!//

TPBM did it without benefit of clergy.

Fev 20, 2021, 7:35 pm

Both times!
When ThiMs and I got married, it was officiated by a family friend who was a local Judge, and it took place in the living room of Thims' parents. My parents didn't attend because it wasn't officiated by a priest in a church.

When I had the great fortune of having MrsHouseLibrary as my bride, the ceremony was performed by the fourth judge we contacted; and it was done in my living room. Had my father still been alive, I'm very sure he would have been there. As it was, my mother was in attendance, as well as several of my siblings and anyone who happened to come by.

There will not be a third.

TPBM is forgiving to (A) a point; or (B) a fault.

Fev 21, 2021, 1:27 pm

I'm forgiving to a fault. Though I like to think of it as just being forgiving. Not only do I forgive, but, as long as it's relatively minor, I forget. I have to be betrayed or have a behavior repeated numerous times for me to reach my line of demarcation.

"I'm sorry," goes a long way with me. "I'm sorry" with behavior change (imperfect as it may be - as long I see a genuine attempt is being made) goes a REALLY long way. Numerous "I'm sorry's" with no attempts to change will often upset more than the original offense. Even then, it takes me quite a bit to get upset about it. Even longer to say something.

(I've just gotten back from a five week stint in the hospital/rehab, so...)

TPBM has been in the hospital (including ER) or rehab in 2021.

Fev 21, 2021, 2:41 pm

// >262 Morphidae: Good to have you back here!

Fev 21, 2021, 2:48 pm

>262 Morphidae: Does my wife count. . . yesterday. . her blood pressure med decided to stop working. . .do you know have many different blood presure meds there are? Hundreds! Look it up!

TPBM was left outside the hospital as not permitted to escort the sick person courtesy of COVID-10. . . that was me!

Fev 21, 2021, 3:42 pm

No and I can't imagine what that was like.

>262 Morphidae: //Morph!//

TPBM has been doing a lot of ________ during lockdown.

Fev 21, 2021, 5:23 pm

Writing weird scripts to extract weird information about my library from the export file.
Like identifying the Publisher from the Publication field and checking if the data fitted Zipf's Law.

TPBM had heard of Zipf's Law before reading this.

Fev 24, 2021, 3:45 am

I seem to have killed the thread. Reconnecting .....

TPBM has never heard of Zipf's Law.

Fev 24, 2021, 8:05 am

Not only had I never heard of it before, now I find out it's been made a law! I tell you, you have to watch the government every damn minute...

TPBM lives in the hinterlands.

Fev 24, 2021, 9:28 am

If you suggested that last week, I could have responded with a yes.
Still in the process of taking down vegetation that didn't survive the glacier. Today, it's the hackberry, which lost four large clusters of branches.
Oddly enough, none of my oak trees took any damage.
Expecting rain for the next several days, so I better get to it.

TPBM maintains an immaculate yard -- the kind that wins neighborhood awards.

Fev 24, 2021, 11:19 am

You must be joking! When my knees were less arthritic it was tidier although nowhere near award status. Now I have to creak down on a kneeler I pay much less attention to the edges and the gaps between the paving. I suppose I am fashionably supportive of wild life and the natural ecology.
Oh, yes, I also harbour honey fungus.

TPBM can propose a cure - or boast about their immaculate yard if they prefer.

Fev 24, 2021, 11:41 am

The yard I just bought last summer has huge tree trunk stubs just under the grass. It must have been an antique forest here before thinning. One of the two trees left is a three person arms outstretched circumference. I wondered why there was nothing growing beyond grass and an enormously diverse crop of fungi till I tried digging. Yow! I will be drilling holes in these flat surfaces in hopes to speed up the decay. Not sure what happens when all the roots disintegrate.

TPBM can clue me in.

Fev 24, 2021, 1:00 pm

you can tell when the roots have disintegrated when a sunken spot develops. Just fill it in with soil and plant something there.

Drilling holes in the stumps will help by allowing moisture in, but you can also buy a product that helps the process move along faster.

TPBM has a brown thumb.

Fev 24, 2021, 1:37 pm

I have killed every houseplant brought into the house. Even fake plants turn a dingy grey with dust. The problem, I think, is that they don't get enough sun. We live in Minnesota and there is exactly one window in the house that gets direct sunlight. And it's over the sink in the kitchen. For various reasons, it won't work for a plant.

TPBM has a song stuck in their head.

Fev 24, 2021, 8:55 pm

Sure do! The first song I've attempted to write in decades.
Back when the governor issued stay-at-home orders, Open Mic Night was put on hold. It's still on hold, but when it starts up again, yours truly will be the emcee. So I wrote new words to John Sebastian's Welcome Back, making lots of references to the coffee shop and such.
But that was a fun exercise in co-opting someone else's song.
At the moment, I'm writing an original, commemorative tune regarding the weather we had here in Texas last week. It's called Waiting for the Glacier to Recede.

TPBM can think of a word (or two) that rhymes with frostbite.

Editado: Fev 24, 2021, 10:27 pm

(Can one answer back to back TPBM questions?)

I can't off the top of my head but is an excellent website for that type of thing.

Check out:


They provide lyrics and poems that use the word for inspiration:

From "Millennium Dodo 2" by Atmosphere:

Yall catch frostbite waiting at a stoplight

From "A-Rod" by 2 Chainz:

I need a chinchilla, before I get frostbite
Put the white girl in the middle, call it Klondike

Etc... It's a fun place.

TPBM has a website(s) they recommend for reference that isn't commonly used, excluding narrowly focused fields like underwater basket weaving.

Fev 25, 2021, 12:46 am

>274 WholeHouseLibrary: //long night?//

Fev 28, 2021, 4:03 am

I use the Edgar awards database when I'm trying to identify something fun and trashy to read. It includes the winners from all categories going back to 1946.

TPBM has another great internet resource.

Mar 1, 2021, 4:27 am

I am currently enjoying Garden Radio, a free app from the Apple store. You get a Google Earth-style map of the globe covered with green dots, each representing a radio station or collection of stations from larger towns. Click to access real-time streaming from anywhere that takes your fancy. Amazing!

TPBM is wary of freebies

Mar 3, 2021, 6:16 am

They are the Trojan horses of marketing.

//>278 abbottthomas: I just downloaded the app to my Android, very cool!//

TPBM remembers when geeks came bearing actual gifts.

Mar 6, 2021, 4:08 pm

Pocket protectors and slide rules! Sure. I have several of both.

TPBM still has the 4-function calculator they were happy to pay $60 or more for back in the mid-70s.

Mar 6, 2021, 5:43 pm

Yup and I became a convert to reverse Polish notation when I could afford an HP calculator.

TPBM still uses reverse Polish!

Mar 6, 2021, 9:21 pm

Ah yes, RPN - HP-45, HP-25, and HP-32SII All still going strong and in constant use - indeed, I always have some trouble with the other kind.

TPBM never saw a hexadecimal pocket calculator and only knows the term "hexadecimal" because they saw the movie "The Martian."

Editado: Mar 6, 2021, 11:42 pm

I spent over 30 years debugging and programming computers, using 11 different now-dead languages. Pretty sure I got it nailed. I'm fluent in Base32 as well.

TPBM can explain why you shouldn't put metal in the microwave, and give a first-hand example.

Mar 8, 2021, 9:38 am

Well because it sparks and starts flaming. My example was putting frozen vegetable broth in one of those "assumed to be" paper cartons into the microwave to thaw. I soon saw fireworks and didn't understand until I tore open the container and saw it was lined with foil of some type. So, lessoned learned.

TPBM has learned a valuable lesson.

Mar 8, 2021, 9:41 am

I have, but I seem not to value it much because I tend to have to learn the same thing over and over.

TPBM gets it right in one.

Mar 11, 2021, 4:35 pm

Looks like nobody does so we’re apparently all in the same boat. I’ve never been that keen on perfect people.

TPBM rolls with the punches.

Mar 11, 2021, 5:24 pm

Close enough. It's more like I reel from them rather than roll with them.

TPBM follows the credo of the late philosopher Tom Petty, and won't back down.

Mar 11, 2021, 11:40 pm

There are hills that I just won't die on.

TPBM is ambitious.

Mar 12, 2021, 12:17 am

Ya. I hope that one day, in the near distant future, I will finish all (or most) (or at least some) of the projects I've started which are lying around the house half finished.

TPBM is feeling grouchy.

Mar 12, 2021, 9:02 am

Stay off my lawn!! Does that answer your inquiry?

TPBM is a fellow curmudgeon.

Mar 12, 2021, 9:33 am

You betcha! Before you get off my lawn, you damn well better clean up your dog's crap. If you don't, when I find out where you live, I'll reciprocate.

TPBM goes the extra mile.

Mar 12, 2021, 1:34 pm

I can barely get down the block.

Between anxiety, depression, and ADHD, I have issues getting started and finishing any project. (Planning and the middle parts (once I get going) are just fine.)

TPBM is a fellow neurodivergent.

Mar 13, 2021, 7:31 pm

I wouldn't have it any other way, normal is for chumps.

TPBM will confess!

Mar 14, 2021, 4:09 am


TPBM know the reason why.

Mar 14, 2021, 4:10 am

//Where was the confession?//

Mar 14, 2021, 12:07 pm

//Well, there's an ironclad NDA involved, so I can't say anymore.//

Mar 15, 2021, 9:30 pm

Navigating among the facts in a particularly inspired way?

TPBM danced in an unexpected place.

Mar 17, 2021, 8:46 am

I used to ball room dance and our group was asked to do an exhibition at a local mall. I don't know, is that an unexpected place?

TPBM is Irish.

Mar 17, 2021, 10:48 am

Maybe in a more recent wave, but definitely a 7th great-grandfather, born in Limerick, in 1652, died in New York in 1743, George Sexton II.

TPBM is Irish today, regardless of their genealogy.

Mar 17, 2021, 10:50 am

There’s enough red hair and freckles in my family to be firmly Irish despite the German surnames. I even remembered to wear a green sweater today.

TPBM will swig some green beer today.

Mar 17, 2021, 3:20 pm

Does Guinness count? TPBM knows how they dye the Chicago River.

Editado: Mar 17, 2021, 5:12 pm

They drink a lot of green beer and then they piss in it. That's the word in the street, anyway.

TPBM knows what the luck of the Irish is really about.

Mar 18, 2021, 6:22 am

Charm, blarney, and the mystical Orphism that so often accompanies remote locations with a prevailing mythos and low population density? Oh, and they're God's chosen.

TPBM will make today a parade.

Editado: Mar 18, 2021, 9:13 am

Newp, don't need to - the talented folks at LEGO already did it for me:

LEGO St Patricks Day Parade

edited to add:
TPBM is tripping the light fantastic.

Mar 18, 2021, 8:38 am

>304 Darth-Heather: Ahem. Discipline! If you will add your TPBM you may go back and watch the parade.

Mar 18, 2021, 9:12 am

>305 2wonderY: oops... {hangs head in shame}

Mar 19, 2021, 2:34 pm

um, ok then.

TPBM is a giver.

Mar 19, 2021, 2:52 pm

I am! I give, and give, and give and what do I get? Bupkis! The big Nada! Has all my charity let me win a national lottery, you know one of the big ones? Have my hours at the soup kitchen led me to date a supermodel? Random acts of kindness to strangers, picking up trash along the side of the road, not passing along really, really good gossip? No! All that time I wasted doing good deeds has brought me nothing. Nothing! I am a Christian martyr I tell you!

TPBM is grounded.

Mar 19, 2021, 3:03 pm

//>308 SomeGuyInVirginia: Now, be honest. Did you actually do any of that stuff?//

Mar 19, 2021, 3:17 pm

Don’t worry Larry. I’ve got your back on this one.
>309 humouress: Yes! He’s a saint!

I refuse to be grounded (What did I do to deserve it?) unless I have chocolate. Lots of dark chocolate, with caramel and cherries and, oh some strawberry ice cream.

TPBM can vouch for Larry too.

Editado: Mar 19, 2021, 7:24 pm

Yeah; sure, that's the ticket!
Signed, Danny Flanagan (pronounced Flan-A-gun)
Team leader
President of the National Pathological Liar's Club

TPBM can also vouch for SGiV.

Mar 19, 2021, 8:10 pm

No, he owes me money!

TPBM has the greenest grass.

Mar 19, 2021, 8:11 pm

//>309 humouress: Hell no, I'll write a check.//

Mar 19, 2021, 9:52 pm

>309 humouress: //And he's most likely Jewish not Christian as he claimed. He said "bupkis" after all.//

Editado: Mar 20, 2021, 2:04 am

//>313 SomeGuyInVirginia: I’ll look for your cheque in the post. Although, given >312 SomeGuyInVirginia: I may be waiting for a long time ... //

//>314 Morphidae: ... For a very long time.//

Mar 20, 2021, 9:06 am

I do have the greenest grass. And the brownest grass. It depends on which part of my yard I'm looking at.

TPBM has a beautiful indoor plant that they've been nurturing for years.

Mar 20, 2021, 12:23 pm

H. E. Double Hockey Stick. No.

Plants come to my house to die. It is the house of no return. They are sacrificed to the god of lack of sunshine and goddesses of over and under watering. Usually the former. Maybe I should try mold.

TPBM really does have a beautiful indoor plant that they've been nurturing for years.

Mar 20, 2021, 12:37 pm

My mother boasted once that she had managed to NOT kill a plant; and it was sitting perkily on the windowsill over the kitchen sink. Somebody had given it to her. She’d been watering it faithfully and it hadn’t died.
A close look revealed that it was a good fake plant. Should I tell her? Nah!

TPBM kept secrets from the parents too.

Mar 20, 2021, 10:33 pm

Who hasn't?

TPBM might very well be the exception.

Editado: Mar 21, 2021, 5:15 am

//>318 2wonderY: Reminds me of the time that my dad was packing up the house to move countries. My mum had a calabash hanging up with a fake plant in that she was very proud of because it fooled a botanist who wondered how she managed to water it (a calabash being a dried out gourd that would have disintegrated with too much water) and she specifically asked him to bring the calabash. So my dad packed the calabash. But not the plant.//

Mar 21, 2021, 9:43 am

Dad never minded a certain amount of wild behavior, but the only way to keep tranquility with Mom at home when I was a kid was to keep everything on the down low. So newp.

TPBM consults the stars.

Mar 21, 2021, 9:55 am

No, but a dear friend does and explains everything in my life, my husband's life, and my daughter's life in terms of our astrological sign and what houses various entities are in.

TPBM doesn't believe in any of it.

Mar 21, 2021, 10:52 am

This short song from Flanders and Swann sums up my feelings quite well:-

Jupiter is passing through Orion
And moving to conjunction with Mars.
Saturn is wheeling through infinite space
To its pre-ordained place in the stars.
And I gaze at the planets in wonderment --
At the trouble and time they spend
Just to warn me to be careful
In dealings involving a friend.

TPBM walks under ladders without first crossing their fingers

Mar 21, 2021, 12:56 pm

Now that would be downright stupid. I’ve watched enough cartoons to know I’d be boinked on the head or drenched in paint. I also always keep an eye out for pianos being hoisted.

TPBM has seen stars like in the cartoons.

Mar 21, 2021, 2:08 pm

Not stars and planets; more like black dots or rain.

TPBM has recently spotted wildlife for the first time (like seeing a new-to-them species of bird, I mean).

Mar 24, 2021, 8:48 am

Yes. Since we are back to 75% capacity in eating establishments I notice the Bar Flies have returned.

TPBM has eaten a buddha bowl.

Mar 24, 2021, 8:54 am

yes! I make mine with chickpeas and avocado.

TPBM has an Instant Pot.

Editado: Mar 24, 2021, 10:24 am

I do, and have been making a variety of risotto and chicken recipes. The best is chicken thighs with sun-dried tomato cream sauce. My one attempt at beef was mixed - excellent beef, mushy vegetables. Today's plan is to make chicken soup in it with a recipe from my sister.

TPBM has an air fryer.

Mar 24, 2021, 11:17 am

Nope. I'm not a frequent fryer.

TPBM knows how long the Little Big Inch is.

Editado: Mar 25, 2021, 5:26 am

Well now, you learn something new every day (thanks to Wikipedia). The Little Big Inch is a gasoline / natural gas pipeline built during World War II from Texas to New Jersey to avoid the U-Boat threat to oil supplies. It is 1475 miles long with another 239 miles of secondary piping.

"Am I right, Sir?" as Wylie Watson said in his (probably) most memorable film role.

The Little Big Inch and its bigger brother were great examples of U.S. 'Can-do' engineering.

TPBM recognises my movie reference.

Editado: Mar 26, 2021, 9:27 am

I did not, so I looked it up. For those, like me, who didn't know, it is a line from "Mr. Memory" in
The 39 Steps by Hitchcock" .

TPBM is experiencing high winds today.

Mar 26, 2021, 2:50 pm

Not too much. The wind chimes are sounding, but it's not the cacophony that is associated with wind sheer or tornadoes. It's a pleasant, sunny day here in central Texas, but going forward, there's several days of rain heading this way starting tomorrow.
I'm avoiding being outside for now. Last Sunday, I got sunburned to a degree (no pun intended) that I haven't experiences since my age could be expressed in single digits. Neck, head, arms, ears ... yeah. I'm flaking a lot.
Hadn't planned to be outside as long as I was.

TPBM could fly a kite today.

Mar 29, 2021, 1:15 pm

I've never managed to get a kite off the ground, but with wind gusts up to 40mph today it might be worth a try. My patio chairs already went sailing across the yard, and I can't find the cover to the grill.

TPBM has flowers in the garden.

Mar 29, 2021, 3:48 pm

I do! My orchids are blooming really well. I’m quite excited because I don’t have the greenest thumb and I’ve never had any success with orchids in the house. So I hung some on the back fence and they’re flowering this week.

TPBM played cricket this week.

Editado: Mar 30, 2021, 9:50 pm

Yeah, but I got picked up for not wearing a mask when I wore the costume on the subway. I pointed out that my whole head was encased in a damn cricket head mask but I suppose the cop was having a bad day. I only got released when I pointed out to the admitting officer that I noticed a distinct anti-cricket bias.

TPBM would never wear a cricket costume on the subway.

Mar 30, 2021, 2:25 pm

well, no. We don't even have a subway. I'd have to take the bus.

TPBM has never lost a bet.

Mar 30, 2021, 2:39 pm

I wouldn't bet on that if I were you. I've lost several, and despite how ThiMs depicted me during out divorce trial, I have very often (not always) graciously (when I had) admitted errors in my understanding of things.

It took a few years with MrsHouseLibrary to work out the kinks in that aspect of my development.

TPBM has a personal hero.

Abr 4, 2021, 4:11 am

The deathly ‘ush on this thread may, I suppose, indicate Easter preoccupations taking precedence but I fear it confirms my considered view that the Age of Heroes is dead and gone. I struggle to think of a nominee.

TPBM has stormed the odd barricade, even if not led by a hero.

Abr 4, 2021, 5:00 am

I only storm odd barricades, I can think of too many reasons not to storm the rational ones. But yes!

//Dolly Parton.//

TPBM reimagined the Paris Peace Conference using marshmallow Peeps.

Abr 4, 2021, 8:14 am

I have not, but oh my goodness, what a brilliant concept!

I have 4 packages of 8 yellow chick Peeps each. One package is already opened in order to let them 'age'.

TPBM cannot imagine spring/Easter without Peeps.

Abr 4, 2021, 8:33 am

No idea what ‘Peeps’ are. :0)

TPBM is celebrating some other festival this month.

//>337 WholeHouseLibrary: My mum (on the occasions she’s not annoying me. What is it they say about distance?).//

Abr 4, 2021, 8:43 am

//Nina, From Wikipedia: Peeps are marshmallows sold in the United States and Canada that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. There are also different shapes used for various holidays. Peeps are used primarily to fill Easter baskets, though recent advertising campaigns market the candy as "Peeps - Always in Season", as Peeps has since expanded to include Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day; since 2014 it has been available year-round with the introduction of Peeps Minis. They are made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, various food dyes and a pinch of salt.

That description is deceptive, since the chicks, etc., are covered in a very finely-granulated sugar so that when you bite into one you get a combination of soft marshmallow and crunchy sugar. Definitely not good in any food way, but emotionally satisfying to those of us who love them. I bought some on Amazon for Easter.


Abr 4, 2021, 10:00 am

Indeed - April has a lot of great celebrations coming up! National Beer Day is on the 8th, followed by National Cheese Fondue Day on the 10th and Ramadan starts on the 13th.

Earth Day is on the 22nd - time to go pickup roadside trash.

TPBM is ready for a sporting event.

Abr 4, 2021, 10:06 am

//>342 karenmarie: Thanks :0) //

//>343 Darth-Heather: And you’re going with ... National Beer day?//

Abr 4, 2021, 10:23 am

//I’m confused. I’ve always celebrated International Beer Day on the first Friday in August. Not complaining, y’know; my calendar is wide open.//

Abr 4, 2021, 11:36 am

>344 humouress: //it's nice to have an excuse... both for beer and for cheese fondue :)//
>345 2wonderY://I think there's room in my life for both National and International Beer Days :D//

Abr 5, 2021, 11:16 am

Could National Beer day also be considered a sporting event? If so, that's what I'm ready for (since I don't participate in or care about traditional sporting events).

TPBM is celebrating.

Abr 5, 2021, 1:32 pm

Maybe. I've just been tested for Covid-19 (negative), so I might be able to get a time tomorrow for having my hair cut. On the other hand it's been snowing here today (on this second month of Spring!) so it might be wiser to wait?

TPBM is undecided. (Maybe?)

Abr 5, 2021, 8:58 pm

>337 WholeHouseLibrary: //I was really excited to answer your question. A few days before I had decided on a personal hero for the first time in 55 years.

But I forgot who it was...

Le sigh.//

Abr 5, 2021, 9:44 pm

>349 Morphidae: Hey there! Glad to see you participating here more.
Very glad that you have one; also kind of sad that you don' recall who.
Perhaps it's the person running these memory enhancement seminars.

>348 bnielsen: Personally, I'd wait. But that's me.

TPBM is still waiting for the ice to crack.

Abr 7, 2021, 12:37 pm

No, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

TPBM has a good spring tonic.

Abr 7, 2021, 2:11 pm

It’s mainly composed of sunshine and dirt. But, yes, it’s time to brew some sassafras tea.

TPBM has a truck I can borrow.

Abr 8, 2021, 9:58 am

Sorry >352 2wonderY:. I used to have a truck but now I am driving a 15 year old Pontiac Vibe (which I love because I can fit my kayak in it). When I put the back seats down I can haul quite a bit so maybe I can help you.

TPBM would love to lend >352 2wonderY: their truck.

Abr 10, 2021, 7:23 pm

I'd be glad to but there is a problem -it's awful small and I'd have to get it to you by rail.

TPBM has never taken the time to slow down so they can get caught by a train at a grade crossing and spend some time watching the train go by

Abr 12, 2021, 8:09 pm

If I were to answer yes to this, I'd be lying.
I have, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I have also done this because my side of the tracks was deserted, and I took the opportunity to get out of the car and pee. Not ashamed to admit that, either.

TPBM is thinking long and hard about what the next TPBM thread (109) might possibly be titled (once we hit post #400), because I've got nothing.
You don't have to say what it is, just that you might (or might not) have something.

Abr 13, 2021, 9:09 am

Sorry, I got nothin...

TPBM will respond with a good message that will accelerate this thread quickly to #400 so we can have an new title.

Abr 13, 2021, 10:01 am

Assert yourself.


Abr 13, 2021, 10:07 am

... lives at 109; so is pleased we are all going there soon.

TPBM hasn’t had enough sleep.

//>354 alco261: there is a rail line at the end of my block; but nothing stops in town now. Can you handle a slowdown unload?//

Abr 13, 2021, 4:09 pm

>358 2wonderY: to do that??? I guess I could get the railroad to connect this car to the end of the train with the missile pointed in the direction opposite of travel and firmly clamped to the launch rail so it wouldn't go anywhere.

Then I would have to get permission to ride in the truck until the train got to your town. As the train approached your town I could fire the missile which would act like a brake on the train and hopefully slow it down enough so I could just drive the truck off of the flat car with minimal damage...would that be ok?

Abr 13, 2021, 4:17 pm

//alco261 - your railcar pics are so much fun! Thanks for sharing. //

Abr 13, 2021, 6:38 pm

>360 karenmarie: glad you like them - here's one based on nothing but fun - Looney Tunes style

TPBM is a fan of Marvin the Martian

Abr 13, 2021, 11:51 pm

//Is anyone else worried that >354 alco261: >359 alco261: >361 alco261: has all this equipment readily to hand?//

Editado: Abr 14, 2021, 2:46 am

// >359 alco261: made me think that I didn't know that SpaceX had spawned a TrainX company :-)

Abr 14, 2021, 10:09 am

// >362 humouress: Nope! You don't want to see my library with all the RR stuff AND my friend's basement with his layout that takes 10 people to run it! I'm the dispatcher and "King of the cornfield meets." //

TPBM knows what a cornfield meet is!

Abr 14, 2021, 11:18 am

Collisions? Nothing good ever comes out of a cornfield.

TPBM can verify.

Abr 14, 2021, 11:41 am

Sweet corn comes out of a corn field. I've eaten fresh-picked sweet corn exactly twice in my life and just about swooned both times. Corn mazes, on the otherhand are sheer evil.

// >361 alco261: I am a fan of Marvin the Martian. So much fun detail on this one, especially Acme Invasion Rentals.//

TPBM has another fresh-picked-from-the-field swoon experience.

Abr 14, 2021, 4:51 pm

Pineapple. Ermahgerd! Ditto la peach

TPBM has another.

Abr 14, 2021, 5:18 pm

Macintosh apples.

TPBM -- same question.

Editado: Abr 15, 2021, 9:08 am

Oops beaten to the punch line but I will keep first response too.
No but I have picked my own at local farms.

Many years ago I was in Barbados and walking on a dirt road on the less inhabited side of the island and a man was there gathering bananas. My companions and I chatted with him and he picked us each a fresh banana. It was so good. Such a small act of kindness remains in my memory still.

TPBM has experienced a memorable act of kindness.

Oops again! Just noticed we both have the same number 369 so must have timed it exactly right!!

Editado: Abr 15, 2021, 9:05 am

I thought I knew strawberries until we visited the Finger Lakes region of NY. The area is known for wine vineyards, and that same fertile soil grows the most amazingly huge and sweet strawberries I've ever seen. We stopped at lots of farm stands.
oops! coincidental timing posts!

my new cat still won't let me pat her, but she did very kindly bring me her favorite mouse toy.

TPBM has committed a memorable act of kindness.

Abr 15, 2021, 3:34 pm

Not me but my 12 year old. We had his parent teacher conferences over Zoom this week and his French teacher wasn’t interested in discussing his academics (she’s very happy with them, anyway) but she wanted to tell me that she’s very impressed with him as a person. She was holding a bingo competition one lesson and one of the prizes was a white tiger which one particular kid wanted really badly. However, that particular kid was a bit of an abrasive personality so whenever someone else won, all the others would tell them to choose the white tiger as their prize. Finally my son won the overall game and chose his prize and then the teacher said he could pick another, so he chose the white tiger ... and walked over to that boy’s desk and gave it to him.

TPBM has a story of a time they got embarrassingly emotional. (I really should have got a proper night’s sleep before the PTCs.)

Abr 17, 2021, 9:17 am

At one of my daughter's high school band banquets - it hardly bears thinking about except to say that I got my feelings badly hurt and had to keep the tears at bay until I got into the car to go home. Bill and Jenna rallied around and once we got home I was fine.

TPBM sang in a school chorus or choir.

Abr 17, 2021, 2:55 pm

I did; and thought we were pretty good. Joining voices is a glorious experience.
I attended an all-school reunion and got to chat with alums 20 to 40 years my senior. THEY were taught to sing opera in choir. The singing in the church service after our dinner was the best music I’ve ever participated in.

TPBM has a strong opinion on dandelions.

Abr 19, 2021, 10:40 am

I think on a sunny day in a field (or yard) of green they are beautiful. They are also edible and can be used to for medicinal purposes (just look on Pinterest for recipes).

TPBM has eaten dandelion greens.

Abr 19, 2021, 11:13 am

yes, according to my mom. As a child I apparently would eat all sorts of stuff. I remember in first grade I liked to eat little pieces of that grey paper they give you in math class; all of my assignments were missing the corners.

Turns out that kids who have pica (eating non-food stuff) are often iron-deficiency anemic. Once they put me on iron pills I stopped eating odd stuff. Dandelions, like other leafy greens, are rich in iron so I probably should have kept eating them.

TPBM has a green thumb.

Abr 19, 2021, 12:35 pm

They are purple at the moment. I’m decanting last year’s blackberry cordial. But I will be planting flowers later and my thumbs will be black. What is this green thumbs? Silly phrase.

TPBM will inform us if “green thumbs” ever really means green thumbs.

Abr 19, 2021, 5:11 pm

You will get green thumbs (and green fingers) if you pinch out the side shoots from your tomatoes regardless of your horticultural talent.

TBPM talks to their plants.

Abr 19, 2021, 8:28 pm

What?! I'm no necromancer!
I'm in the process of removing seven more trees from my property. They died during February's glacier, and all their limbs snapped when I tested them last week.
I talk to the deer, though. My last best-guess count was approximately 30, with 5 very pregnant does. They move around too much, plus several act as guards and remain in the shadows, so I can't capture them all in a picture even. And, the ones that were used to my presence (last year's twin fawns Things 1 and 2, and their mom) are indistinguishable from the rest of the herd.
Plus, the three hummingbirds that were around all last summer are back.

>374 morningwalker: I have some friends that, in the 32 years I've lived here, have never mowed their lawn. During the growing seasons (kind of, sort of), they make salads every night from whatever grows in their yard.

TPBM keeps an impeccably neat yard.

Editado: Abr 20, 2021, 8:57 am

That is impossible! A flower bed always needs weeded, branches always need trimmed, and there are several places grass refuses to grow and other places where I don't want it, it grows like crazy.

//>378 WholeHouseLibrary: I love foraging. I have found 2 locations where ramps grow and used some last week in a couple recipes (my brother and I are the only ones who know where they are). I have a patch of stinging nettle near my house and have made nettle pasta with them. Also found 1 morel mushroom on the trail where I walk.//

TPBM has foraged.

Abr 21, 2021, 12:58 am

//>379 morningwalker: Maybe you should move the location of your lawn?//

Abr 26, 2021, 8:43 am

Yes I have.

//>380 humouress: Haha. That sounds like a plan.//

TPBM reads poetry.

Abr 26, 2021, 9:04 am

Yes, I do. Irregularly but quite often. Judging by tags approximately one in twenty of my books on LT is a work of poetry.

TPBM prefers to read poetry out loud (and has a favourite work to declaim)

Abr 26, 2021, 11:40 am

I do, particularly around a campfire. James Whitcomb Riley lends himself to this, as he wrote 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves,
An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers ther’selves!

TPBM now wants a S’Mores.

Abr 26, 2021, 3:48 pm

I just ate two chocolate chip cookies and am too full, but later on, oh yes!

TPBM was in a youth organization when they were little. (I was in Camp Fire Girls)

Abr 26, 2021, 11:57 pm

I was a Girl Guide. Somehow, I've never managed to get around to signing my boys up for Boy Scouts.

TPBM feels time slipping away too fast to do everything that needs to be done.

Abr 27, 2021, 3:11 pm

Indeed. Not just the needs either.

And my to do list gets longer... and Mount TBR gets higher... and my to be watched list gets bigger...

TPBM never skipped school.

Abr 28, 2021, 8:05 am

Only one time, when I was a senior in high school. It was pants day, I hated the clothes my parents always made me wear, and the pants they always got for me were ridiculous. I lied about having a sore throat and stayed home rather than wear embarrassing pants or, worse, wearing a dress when I could be wearing pants.

TPBM wishes there was some kind of dress code at their work or school.

Abr 28, 2021, 8:55 am

I don't, but I can see the advantage of saving time because you would never have to wonder what you were going to wear.

TPBM pays attention to the latest fashions.

Abr 28, 2021, 11:16 am

//>389 2wonderY: The first one looks like what I wear in the winter to go get the mail.//

Abr 28, 2021, 5:30 pm

>389 2wonderY:
No, I would not. It clashes with my taffeta.

TPBM would like to say something.

Maio 1, 2021, 10:18 am

I would like to say that it's a beautiful day here in central NC and I'm happily working on my 3rd cup of coffee.

TPBM has made an exciting purchase recently.

Maio 2, 2021, 4:45 pm

I don't get excited about too much of anything anymore, so I guess it depends on one's POV.
Had to go to Best Buy yesterday - for a same item for two different reasons.
1) The SD card I'd been using in every phone I've owned (the first being of the candy bar style back in the early '90s) failed two weeks ago. I do monthly backups to any of three removable hard drives, so it's only very recent pictures that I've lost.
2) I've got still-quite-liquid plans to attend my high school 50.1 class reunion this fall, in New Jersey. The decimal denotes that the anniversary was actually last year. I'm fully vaccinated now, so sure, I could fly, but as I have no restrictions on my time anymore - retired (says my accountant) and single (widowed, against both our wishes) - I'm thinking I may just take a long, meandering road trip. So, I decided to update the maps in my Garmin device. The update required 5 gigs of storage, and my device had a 2-gig chip in it. And now that I had 2 reasons to go to BB, I did.

I also decided to scope out a new laptop. The one I'm using lost sight of its SD card reader, for example. I used to use it every day, and even the techs can't figure out how to get it back. It turns out, laptops have gotten pretty damn expensive, and they don't come with DVD drives or SD card readers anymore. You have to buy them as external devices that plug into one of a wholly inadequate number of available USB.3 ports. I use 2, full time; external keyboard and a wireless track ball. Le sigh.

Regardless, since I haven't been in any stores (except the grocery store) in over a year now, I took my time and browsed, just looked at what things are on the shelves now. I came upon a rack of tool kits, which made me go "hmmm." I've got (literally) tons of tools, and I've used them all several times, but what I don't have is a set of drivers that feature all these formerly non-standard bits that are being used in everything now -- especially electronics.
I've got a coffeemaker that will grind the beans just prior to brewing. Fill the water reservoir, set the timer, and wake up in the morning to a freshly brewed pot of what I call life-blood. Except, for the past several months, a good half cup of water leaks out of the reservoir overnight, and there's a good deposit of lime on the vents in the bottom of the coffeemaker -- despite having a maintained water softener, plus the water passing through two more filters before it goes into the coffeemaker.
I prefer to fix things rather than just replace them, but the coffeemaker has these tiny screws with odd-shaped drives. So, this tool kit has got a variety of driver heads in different sizes. Guess what I'm doing in about five minutes!

TPBM knows.

Maio 3, 2021, 9:40 am

Yes, and I can relate to things needing repairs. The air conditioner in my 15 year old car quit working so I asked my brother (who can fix anything) to see if he could repair it. Between the two of us watching UTube videos (what did we do before UTube?) and eliminating causes, and with a UV light I discovered a leak in the condenser and he was able to replace it. Also, my freezer door decided to not close or pop open when the refrigerator door closed. So after getting a part suggested on Utube video I took the door off and discovered it was the wrong part. Put the door back on, unchanged, and now the door works?????

TPBM has used UTube to fix something.

Maio 3, 2021, 9:49 am

Yes! To discover why my car key wouldn’t budge in the ignition and how to remedy. I was the last one out of work, and the building is isolated. So, yeah. Saved me a night in my cubicle.

TPBM has also used UTube successfully.

Editado: Maio 7, 2021, 6:36 pm

Yes I have! I needed to build some rolling hills for a model diorama and, since I will toss everything once I have the picture, I didn't want to spend money on the usual expensive mountain/hill building methods which involve purchasing and shaping styrene foam, or hydrocal dips, or plaster impregnated cloth. I rummaged around on UTube and found a modeler who showed how to make the mountains out of scrap cardboard and newspaper (or any other kind of paper of similar thickness) using brushed on dilute Elmer's glue and a hot glue gun for cardboard positioning. The results were everything I could have hoped for.

TPBM knows someone who likes to dabble in model building.

Maio 6, 2021, 8:10 pm

I used to. My Dendrology (tree identification) professor from college -- a brilliant and eccentric, pudgy little fellow who hailed from the Bronx. College was northwest of Saranac Lake, NY, by the way.
He reconstructed a now defunct railway line (in the Adirondacks) in his second-floor rented part of the house. The tracks spanned four rooms, and whereas he couldn't recreate the elevation changes nor the actual layout, everything was to scale -- the size of the towns, the distances between them, the terrain (as best he could), even rivers. He'd run trains according to their posted schedules -- had six or so schedules from various decades.
Last I heard, he had retired from the college and worked as a conductor/tour guide for a nostalgic tourist trap running a steam train along a not-yet-torn-up span of those tracks -- the real ones, not the ones in his apartment.

TPBM prefers to rent rather than own.

Maio 10, 2021, 8:52 am

Maybe as I get older and can't keep up with things, renting will appeal to me, but right now I prefer to own.

TPBM had snow yesterday too.

Maio 12, 2021, 10:34 am

There was some snow in the UK last week but not in my bit. We have had an unusually cold April but hopefully will be free from night-time frosts in the south-east.

TPBM has had tender plants outside for weeks.

Maio 12, 2021, 10:51 am

Yes; I’m establishing new gardens. Put the plants in several weeks ago and then left town for a week. The hothouse forced hydrangea got frost burn, but seems to be recovering. My other hydrangeas were smart and had not leafed out yet. T
I thought the nasturtiums had died, but they came back and are blooming already.

TPBM has snacked on flowers.