Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random Thoughts

As I was walking to work today, I had the following exchange with a retired gentleman who lives about two blocks from me.
Me, pointing to some small, orange flowers with purple centers in the yard we were standing beside, "Do you know what kind of flower that is?"
Him, "Well, my wife never objects when I get it with the weed whacker, so it must be a wild flower."

On, in the Daily Diversions section, is "A Game A Day". It is for folks from 9 to 99 and has two levels of difficulty. There are games to play each week day for the month. A number of kinds of word games: opposites and rhymes and crossword and things like this month's "Triple A" which has words like Alaska, that have 3 As in them. I discovered this when I was having a bad stretch of sleep problems last year. Between restless legs keeping me twitching and blocked sinuses making it impossible to breathe, I spent a good deal of time out of bed in the middle of the night. I didn't want to read, because if I get into a book, I can sometimes read until dawn. Better to play computer games, and then at the end of each game I could see if I was breathing and if my legs had calmed down. My favorites in "A Game A Day" are Inquiring Cartographer, which is a child's level geography puzzle, and Gemini, a game of clicking on pairs of tiles to find matches. Both are topical – Gemini might do umbrellas in April or jack-o-lanterns in October or like this month, fresh fruit. Inquiring Cartographer is often a map about countries currently in the news, or like now, the original 13 colonies. Now, if these games are for folks between 9 and 99, obviously they aren't very difficult. This was perfect when I was killing time before I could go back to bed, because I never got as involved with it as I would in a standard computer game. It doesn't take any great brains to do them. And yet, how satisfying I find them. Oh, I still can identify all 13 colonies! Hey, I remember where I saw the red and blue kite! I have noticed, sadly enough, that I am fastest at Gemini (it has a countdown clock) the first time I do it. After that, I keep remembering where I've seen that one last time and it slows me down. So, Gemini is good only about every fourth day.

Every Wednesday our paper, like most papers in the US, concentrates on food. One of the things the Juneau Empire has is a column by the owner of the local health food store, Rainbow Foods. This week he wrote about fresh figs. Yum. And since my office is just across the street from his store, of course I went over yesterday at noon and picked up a basket of black figs. And it reminded me of when my kids were in junior high and we lived in Campbell, California. I had a huge and generous fig tree right outside my bedroom window. The birds loved it. Because my brother, Forrest, once climbed a cherry tree and ate sprayed fruit and went into convulsions, I don't believe in spraying fruit in backyards. Besides, there were more than enough figs for the birds and the ants and us. Every morning, the birds would congregate and sing and feast. And our cat of the time, Evenrude (pronounced Eve en rude, and named for the outboard mosquito in The Rescuers because her purr sounded just like him) would lay on the window ledge and watch them and do bird calls. A bird would sing, "cheaper, cheaper, cheaper" and Evenrude would chortle, "meowder, meowder, meowder," and a bird would sing, "chip, chi, chi, chi, chip," and Evenrude would chortle, "meow, meo, meo, meo, meow". I have no idea why she did it, but it was a pleasant sound to wake to in the early morning.


J said...

Not a big fan of the fig. Did I eat them in Campbell? I don't remember. I do remember Evenrude trying to coax the birds down so she could eat them, singing them songs. I've heard other cats do the same thing once or twice, but none so well. ;)

Maya's Granny said...

Nah, the one who mostly ate figs was me. I think you ate them on rare occasion and Richard may have eatten them a little more often.