Friday, May 26, 2006

SUKI in Vermont!

Well, and for those of you who have been wunnering about how I pass the time in Vermont, here's proof that it's not all fresh air and emus ...

Yep. I felt Suki needed to be taken out for a run amongst the lush hills and fields of the Green Mountain state. She seems to be enjoying herself! I plan to upload fresh strips every couple of days. I wanted to add screens to this one, but it was proving too much effort to wrestle the image into AppleWorks so I thought I'd just go ahead and post this as-is and maybe if I'm feeling energetic I'll edit it and re-post latah.

Those of you who are feeling especially alert will notice that there's a slight change in my signature ... I'm experimenting with the notion of adopting "Magnolia" as my nom-de-web. Comments welcome.

Meanwhile, in other news, I've been dying to post a message about a GREAT restaurant we all had dinner at (exactly one week ago today!! Just shows you the current rate of time-lapse around me) -- called RAINBOW SWEETS, it was a haven of wicked deliciosa!! The owner is Italian, ex-Brooklyn (NYC), been in business for the past 31 years. The restaurant looks like a small private home just by the side of the road. You enter a warm interior, scented with bakery fragrances and Bill (the owner) greets you like a horde of hungry Huns! His appetite for customers is infectious: quite aside from wanting to eat because the food's good, you begin to want to eat to please HIM! He's part of the experience -- this is one place where it WOULDN'T work to take the food home because then you'd miss Bill's inimitable commentary.

He and his family go away to Europe for two months every year and always (so I am told) come back with wonderful tales of their travels. This year it was Croatia: so -- history, geography, architecture were all part of the evening's dishes! And the dishes were just OOOOOZING. He keeps the desserts out where everyone can see 'em and it doesn't matter WHAT you eat for the meal, you've just GOTTA have dessert by the end of it! I had a succulent Greek spinach pie and avocado salad, and for dessert, two sugar-glazed profiteroles smothered in fresh Vermont cream -- collectively entitled Johnny Depp's B**ls!! If you're a diner of the male persuasion, you get Gina Lollabrigida's B**ls ... just so you know.

ANYHOW! That was last week, right? So this morning, I woke up in an absolutely gleaming-sparkling mood coz I had a dream in which -- despite many obstacles and terrors -- I pushed through and came out smiling!

The dream involved being somehow stranded in Chandni Chowk -- not the REAL CC, but a sort of make-believe nightmare place in the vicinity of the Red Fort. Ruined buildings competed with crowds of Haryanvi rickshaw pullers and sleazy snake-charmers (all right, all right -- turn those Freudian laser-probes off!) and herds of wandering cattle to make my search for a taxi in which to get home utterly impossible. HOWEVER, in the course of the dream, NOT ONLY did I successfully find taxis, but I also (instead of just going home) CHOSE to wander into the heart of the old stone building which appeared to be a haven for snake-charmers and tourist-trapping cobra-wranglers and instead of being oppressed by them, relaxed, was friendly, and was shown their secret methods of frightening the weak-hearted -- which, once they were shown to me, no longer frightened me, of course.

It was a very long dream, so I'm not going to be able to go into all the various details, but I came out of that place not only with no bites, but one of the snake-charmers gave me a (he said) traditional ornament, like a kind of ring/bracelet, which looked as if it had been made from tissue-of-rubies(a kind of pastry-layered gemstone). Towards the end of the dream, I was showing this object to some friends who were knowledgeable about traditional crafts and one of the girls confirmed that it was indeed a very rare and old-style jewel -- not especially valuable, but precious for the craft.

It isn't unusual for me to direct the events of my dreams -- I hardly ever have really bad dreams coz I usually manage to force out the nasty bits before waking up -- but the thing that made this dream especially satisfying was that it didn't require the usual effort. There were the scary bits and then an easing of the fear followed by a calm, philosophical acceptance of whatever-happens-is-okay. And it was (okay, I mean).

And yes, yes -- I am STILL learning to drive ... am STILL struggling up and down the driveway ... But the trees are looking a little more relaxed. Maybe the dream was a message from them??

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cellular Help ...


There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.
Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for
survival. Check out the things that you can do with it: -


The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find

yourself out of coverage area of your mobile network and there is

an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing

network to establish the emergency number for you, and

interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is

locked. *Try it out.*

Have you locked your keys in the car? Does you car have

remote keys?

This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone:

If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call

someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your

cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your

home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end.

Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to

you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away,

and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your

car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk). Editor's Note: *It

works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a cell


Hidden Battery power

Imagine your cell battery is very low, you are expecting an important

call and you don't have a charger. Nokia instrument comes with a

reserve battery. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your cell will

restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50%

increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge

your cell next time.

>>> And to all this, I just have to add: ... if only I could find my cellphone!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FINALLY ... here is the emu that I've been trying to upload all these days. It turns out Internet Explorer doesn't function well on Macs and AOL doesn't function well on anything. So: while using the iBook which I borrow from my friends when I'm at the "office", I haven't been able to upload on IE. And at home, using my own ThinkPad, and dialing up via AOL, no action there either. But all is changed -- because this office iBook has now been installed with FireFox -- and ta-daaaaa! Emu surprise.

All good.

Meanwhile, on other fronts (mentioned in the title), I am learning to drive. Okay, okay -- no hysteria in the audience, please -- better late than never and all that ... so it's been a stressful time for all the young trees along the driveway at my friends' home, where I am gaining valuable experience, and losing much sweat. S, the particular friend who is teaching me, has shown enormous reserves of patience, wit and serenity as we rattle up and rattle down the driveway, scaring goats and dogs and occasional (no doubt) field mice. It's only been about 10 days and there are faint glimmerings of understanding appearing in my cerebral cortex (or wherever. My liver, perhaps. I don't know where the Driving Gene is located).

The reason I am making this effort, after nearly-53 years of non-driving existence, is that I am tired of being a sort of animated parcel, in the US, always having to be collected and delivered from one location to the next. It is an immensely humbling experience, to suddenly be immobilized for lack of taxis/scooters/camels/dog sleds in which to move around. Also, when one is living in a rural area in the US, it becomes positively dangerous to be actually UNABLE to drive -- it is so much taken for granted that every normal adult has this basic skill that it could cause panic and riots if it were to be commonly known that I am Automotively Challenged.

I am discovering all kinds of interesting facts. Such as: I have two feet -- and ONLY two feet -- rather than the three most people seem to have, or SHOULD have, so that they can rest one appendage each on the Clutch, Brake and Accelerator pedals. Such as: there is such a thing as slipping backwards into oblivion when the parking brake is released. Such as: some cars DO NOT HAVE A (functioning) PARKING BRAKE. Such as: yelping and letting go the steering wheel -- mysteriously -- does NOT result in the car coming to a dead halt. Such as ... ohhhh. Never mind. I think I've said enough.

But I haven't yet actually hit anything. Which seems to me to be a good sign. At least till my next lesson ...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

98 or 2? Which one r u?

At the end of this message, you are asked a question.

Answer it immediately. Don't stop and think about it.

Just say the first thing that pops into your mind.

This is a fun "test"... AND kind of spooky at the same time! Give it a try, then e-mail it around (including back to me) and you'll see how many people you know fall into the same percentage as you. Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2%. You'll understand what that means after you finish taking the "test".

Now... just follow the instructions as quickly as possible.

Do not go to the next calculation before you have finished the previous one.

You do not even need to write or remember the answers, just do it using your mind.

You'll be surprised.


How much is:

15 + 6

3 + 56

89 + 2

12 + 53

75 + 26

25 + 52

63 + 32

I know! Calculations are hard work, but it's nearly over..

Come on, one more...

123 + 5


Scroll further to the bottom...

A bit more...

You just thought about a ... (okay people -- unless I see a minimum of three responses here, I'm not posting the END of this amusing message that came to me by e-mail. Just follow the instructions and post the FIRST RESPONSE that comes to mind.)

---and a mere half day later, five responses -- CONGRATULATIONS, people! You've just proved something to me -- i.e., that there are many more 2%ers than the original testers thought there might be! Here's the end of the message:

You just thought about a red hammer, didn't you?

If this is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different, if not abnormal, mind.

98% of the folks would answer a red hammer while doing this exercise.

If you do not believe this, pass it around and you'll see.

Be sure to put in the subject line if you are among the 98% or the 2% and send to everyone, including the person that sent it to you.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I have been trying to post the photograph of an avian friend for several days but the various computers I have at my command (? did I use that word, COMMAND? I wonder what it means ...) have been misbehaving, each in its own way. Currently, I believe I have uploaded a pic, but at this moment, cannot see it anywhere. Maybe it will be here, magically, when I click *publish*. And then again, maybe it will not ...

I have discovered much further information about the Emus since I first became fascinated with them. For instance, I now know that the person who owns them keeps them for THEIR OWN SAKE. Not for food, not for emusement, but just to give them A Room Of Their Own. Maybe I should apply for a home? Wearing an emu-costume of course.

Emu-factoid for today: their eggs are a gorgeous deep green colour. I have not yet seen one (egg, I mean) but the lady across the road from Emu Heaven told me.