Category Archives: Mysteries

By Any Other Name…

Names are a big deal in my business.  You have to have legal names for air ticketing, names for namebadges, nameplates for dinner seating, names on awards – sometimes one person can have four different names in these situations. 

Over the years, I’ve seen some doozies.  One couple asked for “Chief” and “Boots” on their badges – the client said no.  I’ve had requests for Princess, Houdini, Sport, even the Big Lebowski.  Several times participants have “exaggerated” their titles when they register for programs.  It’s always pretty clear when someone’s title shows up a President of their company.  I did have someone once type in “Grand Exalted Poombah” – guess he thought we didn’t really need the information and he could have some fun. 

The best name I ever came across was Waightstill Scales.  His nickname was Booger. And the company that he worked for had an award named after him since he was their top salesperson of all time.  The Booger Scales award.  And his namebadge?  You guessed it, Booger Scales.  I kid you not.  I think you’d have to be really confident to carry that name your whole life and then to give it to your son, whose nickname was Waighty.  Waighty Scales.  I swear, I am not making this up.

What’s the funniest actual name you’ve heard of someone having?

Rock Bend 2021

Today’s post comes to us from tim.

this years rock bend was a solo trip for me

it had been mentioned earlier that maybe a group effort would be fun and i responded with a yes but as groups sometimes do it got lost in the shuffle

i am not as good as i could be at putting x on my calendar when i’m doing something so without a reference i signed up to do my delivery ditty on saturday night. i get dibs early because those spots tend to disappear quickly and friday and saturday nights are prime time so i had committed for 5-7 & 7-9 on saturday which would mean leaving rock bend about 4.

i looked up when it started and who was playing and discovered that the family who does a nice foot stomping version of old timey and appalachian banjo kind of stuff started things off at 12 and city mouse which is mike pengra’s band was at 1 with special guest pat donahue and then pat was to play on the little stage where krista used to work at 3.

the first group was good city mouse was great and pat donahue was a treat as an addition and pats solo performance on the songwriters symposium on the little stage was fantastic

i really like him and his songwriting talent is something i really admire

i went in packed light. i had a thermos of tea and a tea cup that’s it. i walked in 15-20 minutes early and looked to see if vs or linda might be there and not seeing them plunked down in a similar front row position to what we usually achieved. this was easy with one butt and a thermos as the required space criteria. after i got steeled in i noticed i recognized that many of the surrounding faces were familiar from years gone by.unfortunately the way these memories were tweaked was by the fact that after i was seated a bunch of folks showed up and set their folding chairs up in front of the front with no regard for the views they were blocking out who had gotten their prime spot by showing up on time and choosing unobstructed site lines.

i have a problem with the people who are so self important that they just do it and never think about what a crappy thing that is to do to someone else. bad enough on the freeway to line butters who go up to the front and cut in line in front of all us minnesota nice wimps who let them in but at a concert to block someone view is unforgivable . this was followed by an observation that maybe had been going on previously but i hadn’t noticed because of being there with a group but all around me people were in conversation while the music was playing. if the music got loud they had to raise their voices to be heard over the music. this combined with folks who stood and chatted with someone who they knew in front of a group they blocked the view of.

i felt like an old curmudgeon who was spoiling my own fun but it really bothered me

at the final ditty where pat donahue was on stage with two other songwriters i had front row seats and had talkers laughing and exclaiming and paying no attention on either side of me.  there was empty turf between me and the stage and so me and my thermos went and laid down in the grass and a couple little kids cam and the their moms and sat down closely with me ans i thoroughly enjoyed the show glad i letting the talkers back there as they continued to expound

sunday i have scheduled a football bar b que get together at my house carte blanche this year an hour before kick off so my mom at age 92 has somewhere to celebrate her football enthusiasm, she had to leave at halftime to go to another meeting called by someone who is not football sensitive. it was a good gathering and i thought about heading over to bbc afterwards but as sometimes happens these things drag on and it was 430by the time things wrapped up

too late for bbc

too late to go catch the end of rock bend

i’ll probably put an x on next year and tri it again now that i know it’s the weekend after labor day but i may be

setting myself up for misery

it was easier with friends and wine but isn’t everything

what kind of calendar are you using these days to keep yourself on track?

Dangly

Pre-pandemic I used to go to two craft shows a year in the Twin Cities – one on the State Fair grounds and one out at the Shakopee race track.  Hard to believe but with 40 vendors or so each, there wasn’t much duplication.  Except for Craft Fantastic.  They sell the makings for jewelry and they always have an inexpensive “make `n take” at each show. You start by choosing a piece of artwork, then you glue a glass tile on top of it.  After the glue dries, you trim off the excess and stick your tile onto a tray.  Then if you want a necklace on which to hang your goodie, they’ll give you one and if you want more components for other jewelry, they certainly have those as well.  I’m sure at some point I signed up for their emails but I don’t remember seeing them before pandemic. 

I have at least 10 of these necklaces from over the years although I don’t wear them often.  I like rings and I adore earrings, not as big a fan of necklaces and bracelets.

The emails started to seep into my consciousness a few months into pandemic.  Every month or so, they offer a “weekend designer” kit.  It is all the items you need to make a variety of things – usually in a theme.  I’m having a hard time keeping away from these, especially the earring collections.  They must be assuming that folks are making and selling these items because each kit makes WAY more than anyone needs.  I have given away quite a few pairs of earrings, necklaces and bracelets but that still leaves me with at least 30 more pairs of earrings than I had at the beginning of pandemic (and believe me when I say, I already had way too many earrings at the beginning of pandemic).  All dangly.  Chinese New Year earrings, Fourth of July earrings, Valentine earrings, Winter/Christmas earrings, Halloween earrings and then a large assortment of floral patterns.  Did I mention that they are all dangly?

I’m trying to cut back – most of the emails get deleted without being opened – but every now and then I spot a kit that is a little different than a kit I’ve had before.  I’m hoping that now I’ve made earrings for all the major holidays, I won’t be tempted.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

What would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?

VS versus VR

Two days ago I got the following text message from Nonny:

P a little surprised what a sweetheart I couldn’t remember the old Club was asking her about her interest but they seem to only be about the lieutenant who was across the room at the time she told me she thought you was hot start I agreed you could look at it and then she asked if I’d ever fantasize about sleeping with him sorry the TV is is making this I’ll hang up.

Now Nonny struggles with technology so as I began to read, I was trying to guess what she might be trying to say.  It wasn’t until I got to the fantasize part that I was really confused.  Then the last line about the tV made me laugh out loud.  She couldn’t figure out how to make the voice recognition stop recording when she realized it was picking up the tv.  Phew… my mother has never asked me about fantasizing about sleeping with anyone – and I don’t want that to start!

Then the same day I started VR for something and didn’t realize I had my phone set to Italian; normally it switches on by itself for my daily Italian lesson and then turns itself off when I’m done.  But I must have accidentally changed to Italian.  I don’t even remember what I was trying to say, but this is what I got:

Anonymous game ex fan Week and Hugh know Cost Wearing Nice T-shirt il Renzi stasera mangiare cioè stop period and Best me va bene anche a me Kiss Snapchat Giusy shorts T-shirt c’è in CAPS ormai Favorites schiena biologico Birthday Office

It must be a voice recognition foul up kind of week.  Two more on Wednesday that I caught on the blog right before I hit Post.

“And jam is also easier to make” turned into “And Jim is also easier to make”.

“I’ve never had a guy stand at the end of a row with a stick. Turned into “I’ve never had a guy at the end of a roller coaster”

I’m a little worried about what VR is thinking about me… fantasizing, making Jim and having a guy at the end of a roller coaster.  Yikes.

But when you think about the technology involved in these little tiny circuits being able to hear your voice, search the database for a match and then enter it as text in your application – it’s amazing that it works as well as it does.  What I really need is some kind of a cattle prod to zap me right before I hit “Post” to make sure I doublecheck what VR has done for me!

Do you have a technology currently bugging you?

Crime Scene Investigators

Last Thursday in the late afternoon, Husband and I went to our church to water the vegetables that we and others have been growing there. All the produce is taken to the local food pantry. The veggies are grown in six, 3 ft. high raised beds that you can see below. The rest of the garden is taken up with flowers and shrubs, with walk ways and benches for rest and contemplation.

Thursday, everything looked good. There were six nice cantaloupes about the size of soccer balls but still needing to ripen. The squash bed had one hill of bush butternut squash with four nice but still ripening fruits. We had reseeded in the carrot and beet bed as well as the sugar snap pea bed after harvesting the first crops, and all those had germinated and were growing well.

Husband went back to the garden on Friday, and texted me at work to say that half of the cantaloupes were missing. I am sorry to say that when I got to the garden after work, the Lord’s name was taken in vain and a tool was thrown down in anger as we discovered that three of the butternuts were gone as well. You can see the remaining ones.

Nothing else was missing or damaged. I covered the cantaloupe bed with bird netting and stapled it onto the wooden bed so that it would be more difficult to abscond with the remaining melons. Then, we started to hypothesize.

The incident occurred Thursday night. It would be a lot for one person on foot to carry all the melons and squash, so we figured it was either more than one person on foot, or perhaps one or more persons in a vehicle. We drove around the surrounding streets and didn’t find the produce smashed.

Husband wondered if the fact that they didn’t take any cucumbers or green beans, both of which take time to pick, spoke to urgency, which to him suggested possible amphetamine addiction. It was also presumably dark, so that the beans and cucumbers would be harder to see. I wondered if they knew little of gardening, as they took produce that wasn’t ripe. We have two Little Free Pantries on the edge of the garden, I wondered if people availing themselves of the food there thought that the produce was for all to take. We continue to speculate.

We had beets and carrots disappear in the night at times this summer. They were ready to harvest. My reaction to that was “Bless you. You need it more than we do”. I think the reason this recent event made me so angry is that the melons and squash weren’t ripe, and so they were wasted. As James Crockett comments in his Crockett’s Victory Garden, there is no remedy for finger blight.

What have you investigated recently or in the past? What kind of detective work would you like to do? Who is your favorite literary detective?

Double Take

Last weekend when I was in Madison, my girlfriend and I got a huge cinnamon roll to take back to her place to share.  She cut it in half and put each half on a plate.  Admittedly I don’t think I’ve ever cut a cinnamon roll in half – I’m not much on sharing when it comes to cinnamon rolls.  But since we’d already shared a big doughnut at the market, I was acquiescent. 

When I looked at my half, I saw Stonehenge.  Well, not exactly Stonehenge as it looks now, but the stones that make up the henge.  I mentioned it to my friend, who said she could “kind of” see it.  She thought it looked more like Legos.  Since I’m the traveler and she’s the grandmother, I suppose that makes sense.  We see the world through our own filters.

What filter do you look at the world through?

Plants on the Move

We grow shell out beans and green beans on poles in our garden. It is fun to watch them vine up the strings that we lace from top to bottom for them to cling to. By the time the beans are to the top, it looks like we have a collection of Cousin Its in the front yard. All they need are bowler hats to complete the image. Those are kohlrabi and orange beets in front of them.

The beans always grow beyond the top of the poles. This year I was amazed to track the highest tendrils as they moved from pointing one direction to completely the opposite direction in the space of 30 minutes. They weren’t following the sun, by the way. Husband thinks they were growing and twisting because they are vines, and they grow in a circular fashion. I have no idea. I just liked finding them pointing in a different direction after turning my back for just a few minutes. I hope the following pictures give you a sense of their movement.

The beans pointing southwest at 7:54 AM
The same beans pointing northeast 8:26 AM

I know that sunflowers follow the sun until their heads get too heavy and stiff. I have seen our bush cucumbers appear to tilt with the sun. The beans astounded me, as I never saw them rotate so fast or so surreptitiously.

What is your favorite plant to watch as it grows? What natural mysteries have you noticed lately? Any hypotheses about our moving beans?

Setting the Mood

Our daughter was excited to drive us around the Olympic Peninsula when we visited in July. She was equally excited to explore Olympic National Park, not only for the rain forest and the moss, but because of the podcast she chose for us to listen to as we drove.

Daughter thought that a podcast about true stories of people murdered by serial killers in National Parks would be entertaining. It really was, I must admit. There was very little traffic, and we were in pretty remote areas, and it seemed cozy, somehow, like listening to ghost stories in a nice warm room with a fire going and a storm raging outside.

How do you set the mood? What do you like to listen to when you drive or work around the house?

Decisions, decisions

Son and Daughter in Law successfully bid on a new home last month. They close in early September. They matched an existing bid on the home, and the home owners picked Son and Dil. We are all most grateful.

I asked Son why he thought the owner picked them. He said he thought it was because they liked the bank they were working with better than the bank the other bidders were working with. I thought that was reasonable.

A couple of weeks ago Son and his wife took another look through the house, and ran into one of the owners. The owner, a very religious person, told him that they chose Son’s and his wife’s bid after concerted and serious prayer because they both had Old Testament names. How random, but again, we are grateful!

It is said that William Lyon Mackenzie King, an early 1900’s Prime Minister of Canada, used to make important government decisions by flipping open the Bible with his eyes closed and taking as an omen whatever verse his finger landed on. I find that alarming. I tend to use my head and my heart to make decisions, but mostly I decide using my heart. Sometimes, though, following my heart and instinct has led to disaster. It is only through a timely intervention by my head that I can proceed.

How do you make decisions? Tell of important decisions you or others have made that worked out or didn’t work out? Why or why not?

Buy Me Some Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

You all know I am not a big sports fan.  In fact, I think I’ve probably only been to 10 baseball games in my life.  Maybe 15.  I do enjoy the games when I’m there, but like Monday night, I come away with more questions than answers.

    • Why so many huddles? Visiting team did this six times.  Six!
    • Why don’t the outfielders get to huddle?  Don’t they feel left out?
    • Why is Hansel Robles called Caballo Blanco?
    • How many times can you actually hit a foul before you’re out? Seems like way more for some than others.
    • What’s with all the fidgeting on the pitcher’s mound and on the plate?
    • Why don’t relief pitchers get much of a chance? Four relief pitchers for home team, each only pitched 1 inning each.  Visiting team sent in one relief – but at least he didn’t mess around on the pitcher’s mound and just threw the ball!
    • Why do much spitting?
    • Why do they need to replace the bases halfway through the game?
    • If the game is tied at the bottom of the 9th and the bases are full when you come to bat, why do you keep swinging? Why not just hunker down and let the pitcher walk you?  Especially if you’re not all that tall?
    • Why do people go wild when they see themselves on the big screen?
    • Why, after paying so much to get in and then paying a boatload more for food, drink and merchandise galore, do so many people depart before the game is over?

Obviously none of these are burning, social-issue kinds of questions (well, maybe the spitting), but clearly not everything makes sense to me.  However, questions aside YA and I had a great time even when it went into overtime.

What is the meaning of life?