Mr. Mantis

I discovered a large praying mantis on my curtains last night.

I called Chris over to take care of this 6-inch insect. This seemed like a husband responsibility.

He is kind to mantises. He found a box and scooped the mantis in. then he released the mantis on the rose bushes.

This morning Chris checkec, and the mantis was still among the roses. It was alive.

It is good to find a man who is kind to mantises.


Glow worm Lyrics

Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Lead us lest too far we wander
Love’s sweet voice is callin’ yonder
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Hey, there don’t get dimmer, dimmer
Light the path below, above
And lead us on to love

Glow little glow-worm, fly of fire
Glow like an incandescent wire
Glow for the female of the species
Turn on the AC and the DC
This night could use a little brightnin’
Light up you little ol’ bug of lightnin’
When you gotta glow, you gotta glow
Glow little glow-worm, glow

Glow little glow-worm, glow and glimmer
Swim through the sea of night, little swimmer
Thou aeronautical boll weevil
Illuminate yon woods primeval
See how the shadows deep and darken
You and your chick should get to sparkin’
I got a gal that I love so
Glow little glow-worm, glow

Glow little glow-worm, turn the key on
You are equipped with taillight neon
You got a cute vest-pocket *Mazda*
Which you can make both slow and faster
I don’t know who you took the shine to
Or who you’re out to make a sign to
I got a gal that I love so
Glow little glow-worm, glow
Glow little glow-worm, glow
Glow little glow-worm, glow
Glow little glow-worm, glow

the ribbon-cutting of Christmas shopping

Today Claremont has The Village Venture. Sounds a bit like the townsfolks all going for a hike…Pitchforks and torches optional.

But no, it’s kind of equivalent to the art and wine festivals up there in Northern Cal. It’s a big crafty kind of fair. One day only, a bunch of people get out and sell their wares. There are also politicians and community organizatiosn distributing pamphlets(hmm…maybe that’s a selling of wares too).

It takes place on the last Saturday in October, and the close down the streets. It’s mostly an outdoor affair, so there are a lot of dogs in halloween costumes.

It’s fun, and with all the lovely little things for sale you kinda are looking for an excuse to buy them. Christmas is the universal excuse to buy lovely little things.

So we consider the Village Venture to be the official opening of the Christmas Shopping season.

Dispatched my civic duty

I finished deliberating in my first jury duty experience. Guilty.

The guy pushed his pregnant wife, holding their two year old, over a freeway bridge.

Pushed her once, she screamed, and he pushed her agian to finish the job. 34 feet down onto big rocks that surrounded the train tracks.

The unborn baby died. The mom and two year old survived.

Horrifically, the mother testified that the man did not mean to do it.

I was the foreperson for the jury. The ONE thing I had determined I would not do, and then I did become foreperson.

We deliberated for about a day, making 9 different decisions on 4 counts.

It was hard.

But the bad guy is going to jail-for attempting to murder his wife, for attempting to murder his two-year old, for murdering his unborn baby, and particularly because this was domestic violence and child-abuse.

I’ve been in this case since wednesday. I’m happy that we are done, and now I can sleep.

Last night, I woke up thinking of the dark walk up the cold overpass.

home improvement

In some ways, it’s good to know that things can be repaired. Some things get broken, and some things get raggy.

There was a spot along the front of my house that was getting raggy. The paint was peeling off, and even some ants were columning in and out.

So, I peeled off the paint the rest of the way. I cleaned it, and I sanded it. THen I cleaned it again. There were a lot of layers of paint. I figured i”d better put quite a few layers of primer on it. KILZ 2…Four layers.

Here is what it looked like:


The perspective is a little hard to see. That patch of white paint is about 8 feet long. Four layers still left a ridge, but it did seal off the wood and the inside of the house from the invasion of ants.

I let it dry, and then I put the color on it.

This is what it looked like when I was done:

A woman builds her house with her own hands, the proverbs says. And maybe she keeps it from falling down with her own hands too.

The justice league

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.

I’m serving jury duty for the very first time. It’s incredibly sobering, and it’s occupying a lot of my thoughts.

I am ORDERED not to talk about it.

Which makes it a little hard to do this blog. I am sorry readers. I hate to leave you hanging.

I’m not sure what to say.
…how bout these fires? Apparently,Southern California, including San Diego, is having a worse-than-usual fire season. Every year we have fires. but usual they dont’ happen all at once.

Chris, being a fan of both weather and the news, is glued to the TV.

I have a headache. Maybe it’s the hot, maybe it’s the smoke…Maybe i’m getting dehydrated from the lack of humidity.

What I’d like is a little escapist television. Since I can’t talk about what is on my mind…Let me get out of my head and relax.

I found some DVDs I bought on sale and hadn’t watched yet. Johnny Depp’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


I rewatched The Music Man. Always a delight.

Last night I asked Chris to watch with me (Step AWAY from the computer!) with the promise that he could pick any movie he liked.

Drums Along the Mohawk–IN TECHNICOLOR

that was pretty good. Although I did not find the main hero believable…Or Claudette Colbert believable. I did wonder though, if she was related to Stephen Colbert.

Well…That’s about all I can say for now. Maybe by the end of the week you can hear what all the fuss has been about. Maybe we’ll get to have a verdict then.

a tufa about talent

So I was listening to This American Life, and a girl was talking aboiut her terrible breakup. Her breakup was so bad that she spent months doing little other than listening to sad breakup songs. She was wallowing, and wanted to wallow. At last she decided that she must purge the endless wallow by compsoing her own breakup song.

She managed to get the email of Phil Collins, the author of her favorite breakup song “Against all Odds“. He wrote her back and they had a phone call about the tragedy of breakups and how to write a good breakup song.

I guess this is why the story is interesting enough to be put on the radio. Oh my gosh! Phil COLLINS! Giving this pathetic girl advice on how to write a break up song.

Phil Collins is very talented.

Talent can be debilitating to those around you. Like, after a concert, the incredible talent of the guy on stage can leave you weak kneed and speechless because you were that close to such an incredible talent.

And even a lesser talent…How about a school play, when the teenagers gave a killer rendition of “Our Town” or “Cyrano”? The other kids fawn and stand back with wide eyes, full of hero-worship.

There are kinds of talent that make people love you…That roll the red carpet out in front of you and make you a god.

But there are different kinds of talent. Or maybe different kinds of reactions to talent.

I ran across an article celebrating the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged.

I love Rand’s books. I was telling a friend about Atlas Shrugged, and how when I read it, the book had me by the throat. I like to read, but this book was above and beyond. I was so into it, I was reading it at stoplights while driving.

She talks about the other kinds of talent. How some people can respond to talent by denying it and persecuting those who have it.

The talent of speaking his vision got Dr. King killed.

And then Jesus…I suppose you could argue that he was different, because he was the Son of GOD, but then again, maybe he was exactly the best example of that sort of talent.

Dagny, the heroine of Atlas Shrugged, first felt how it was to be treated for her talent. Her father owned the railroad. She wanted to work there, and started at the bottom to do it.

I will never forget this part of the book:

She took positions of responsibility because there was no one else to take them. There were a few rare men of talent around her. but they were becoming rarer every year. Her superiors, who held the authority, seemed afriad to exercise it, they spent their time avoiding decisions, so she told peopel what to do and they did it. At every step of her rise, she did the work long before she was granted the title. It was like advancing through empty rooms. NObody opposed her, but nobody approved of her progress.

The thing was, she was young as she was advancing in her career. Later, she began to see more of the world and how this particular incidence she had experienced was much broadspread.

I am not sure exactly why some talents are lauded and some persecuted.

It does charge the air, though, when it shows up.

JFK is talking

So while looking for new podcasts to listen to, I found some great speeches…JFK’s inaugural address.

It was very stirring.

“…The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary belief, for which our forbears fought, are still at issue around the globe: the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the states, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.

Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this centruy, tempered by war, discplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”

I can’t help but wonder what those JFK and those people applauding his speech would say about the current sentiment of cut-your-losses in Iraq.

This speech is so full of strength and action. It is something to inspire before a battle, not to cover the shame of a retreat.

I always assumed that the people who held the peace placards were fans of Kennedy. But I have been hearing what JFK was about second-hard.

Makes me think