Archive for category Personal
Yes, it is mother’s day, and I admit to becoming a bit more mushy about the event this year. It could be the long hours and stress I have been putting up with lately have softened my inner core. It often works that way with me. I decided to write a poem for my wife for mother’s day.
Honestly, she deserves more than that, and if I had it I would give it to her. Well, here it is:
She had dark hair and dancing eyes.
Her cool hand warmed my heart.
When she smiled I knew she was for me.
Fifteen years she has been a mother.
Caring for our chromosomatic mites.
In good times and in bad;
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When my son read it, he said. “But it doesn’t rhyme!” I told him that it was really a very long Haiyku. He wasn’t impressed. Maybe he didn’t like being called a chromosomatic mite. Not sure where that came from, but it made me laugh when I wrote it. At least my wife got the joke.
Well, I hope all you mother’s out there have a great mother’s day. With what I know you put up with, you more than deserve it.
I just got a new Toshiba laptop for work. I love Toshibas, and one of the things that I always liked about them was that the delete key was down near the space bar. Well, naturally, the engineers at Toshiba had to move it up to the corner, about as far as you can get from the where the real word processing takes place on the keyboard.
The first thing I thought was, “Hey, I’ll just move the key!” It certainly is not as simple as taking the actual key and switching it – as anyone with common sense could tell you. I thought there would be some utility on the control panel that would do the trick. No. there is not. I then found that Microsoft has a utility that you can download. It would not remap any of certain reserved keys. Of course, the one I wanted to change was one of the reserved keys.
Finally, I searched the web for the way to do it and ran across SharpKeys. I downloaded it and it worked great. Re-mapping only took about five minutes including the download. I donated a little something for the gentleman’s troubles (the software was free) and I am as happy as can be.
I thought about moving the INS button back down near the space bar to where it was on the old keyboard. But truthfully, it was just in the way down there. I would hit it by accident once in a while and suddenly I was wiping out previous work. Better to leave it out in the cold.
I’m just glad to have my delete button back from exile.
I am not sure what possesses me to do it. It is not always considered a manly pursuit, but the fact is, I occasionally like to write poetry.
Today, while I was at my wife’s toy store, I decided to pick the most unlikely topic I could think of for a poem. Since I was already writing an article on apoptosis – which is programmed cell death – it was a likely unlikely choice.
I scribbled it on the back of an envelope, so I am including a scan of the original work for the gratification of biographers and historians at a later date (certainly not right now).
Here is the text:
A cell causing halitosis,
Went to a doctor for diagnosis
Said the doctor, “You ought’a know this.
The best option is apoptosis.
Well, you can tell me how you think it turned out! Don’t feel like you have to show any respect for my false modesty. BTW, all unfortunate remarks and comments will be deleted.
Well, I try never to waste good words, especially when I have labored over them for a long period. I was going to enter my Grezundl and the Frog Prince in a contest. But it turns out that the book is a tad bit short on words. The min number is 50,000. Grezundl is a bare 17,000 or so. An excellent book, though. Why didn’t I make it longer? You try writing 50,000 words of sparkling wit!
Truthfully, I have done it before and it took me a whole year to do it. Suffice it to say, that Grezundl and the Frog Prince is a great story. By the way, the words I intend not wasting are contained in my application blurb. Here it is:
Near a black-water swamp sits a forlorn prince with bulging eyes, webbed feet, and a wickedly fast tongue. He contemplates with grim delight the delectable crunchiness of a blue-bottle fly. Meanwhile, across a moat and up three stories in the corner tower of a castle, a princess, with hair so long she must tie it around her waist, contemplates a blue bottle of her own. It is filled with a scent imported from the best shop in Paris. She regretfully dumps the perfume out the window and stuffs in a meticulous, closely written note. “To whom it may concern…I am a lovely princess trapped in a tower…need rescue… — … et cetera and ad nauseum…Yours forever, Grezundl.” She tosses the note-in-a-bottle from the window. The frog, without thinking, flashes out his tongue at what he mistakenly believes is a blue-bottle fly. So the adventure begins.
Written with keen psychological insight, intense characterization, light humor, and some really big words, “Grezundl and the Frog Prince” is an adroit blending of two familiar fairy tales. The story reeks of alliteration, smells to high heaven of metaphor, yet exudes a mere whiff of moral. Grezundl is short, sweet, and entertaining (the book, not the princess). A great read for all ages.
Well, if that doesn’t make you want to rush out and purchase a copy, nothing will.
Yesterday, I took the opportunity of a few spare minutes to quit my ivory tower and do a bit of leaf raking. We have two ash trees, an apple tree, a maple, and 12 grape vines. They all shed their leaves in the fall, but they don’t have the decency to drop them all at once. No, they make certain that I must rake the entire yard twice.
Sure, I could take the easy way out like the neighbors and run a lawnmower over the works. Of course, I don’t because, because, well, because I didn’t think of it until just now.
In any case, while I was raking I waxed philosophic as is my want in the midst of manual labor. I was thinking that if I left this carpet of leaves on the ground it would eventually kill off the grass. I could not let this happen, as I need the grass to provide me something to mow in the spring and summer and autumn. It reminded me of an article I read long ago that hypothesized that wheat has us enslaved. It uses us to coddle it, protect it from insects, plow fields for it, kill off its competition, and distribute its seed every spring.
Indeed, it is the same thing with the lawn, a close relation of wheat. I rake, fertilize, and give it a periodic hair cut. I am a servant to what? grass. I suppose it is the destiny of man to become a slave to a plant. And when we are done, we ourselves are planted six feet under it.