Hot lava for old dogs

In this summer of learning new tricks, the ceramics class has been a down-to-earth meditation each Thursday evening. I'm very sad it is over, and have to admit I'm still a Beginner. No point pretending to be Intermediate.

Thinking, of  course, of summer swim lessons in the chilly mornings at the Eastridge pool as a skinny kid. If ceramics were swimming, I could consistently float on back and front, blow bubbles, flutter kick, and tread a little water. The swimming cap with rubber flowers and chin strap, and the terry cloth swim robe only appear in this analogy peripherally to add texture to my slab and pinch pot pieces.

Applying glazes to bisque-fired pieces is volcanic trial and error. Must keep a notebook of results...

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


eBay before breakfast

Nothing like waking up and finding one of my offerings on eBay sold while I slept. Rushing to kitchen to make coffee so I can work my way through the invoice and shipping process. Then posting a new oddly fabulous item on the auction block.

Found this postcard in the stack, and it held a special curse. For two days now I've had Barry Manilow stuck in my head. The postcard is from about 1960, but the earworm is from 1978.

1978 was a strangely peculiar year. Join me for this really rapid review:

Cowboys beat Broncos BeeGeesFantasy IslandMoonies wed Texas Instruments patents microchipLarry Flynt Eric Heiden  Nancy Lopez Richard Dreyfuss Diane Keaton Nolan Ryan Bjorn Borg Tom Seaver The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as "spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United StatesSteely Dan "Peg" You Light Up My Life  First Class postage 15 cents  Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue Ayatollah Khomeinifirst test tube baby"Evita" premieresGarfield, created by Jim Davis, 1st appears as a comic stripJimmy ConnorsGeorge BrettSid ViciousReggie JacksonLee Iacocca"Taxi" premieres on ABCBegin, Sadat & Carter sign Camp David accord Legionnaire's disease US Commerce Dept says hurricane names will no longer be only female"Dust in the Wind" by KansasPete RoseOh, and nuclear weapons were being tested by several nationsPolish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla elected Pope John Paul IIEqual Rights AmendmentRunning on Empty Jackson BrowneIn Jonestown Guyana 918 members of Peoples Temple are murdered/commit suicide under leadership of cult leader Jim Joneswomen sportswriters cannot be banned from locker roomsShort People Got No ReasonSupreme Court orders Cal medical school to admit Allan Bakke a white man claiming reverse discrimination when application was rejectedDolly Parton "Here You Come Again" 
No fact checkers were harmed in the creation of this post.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Binary out of the ordinary


Thomas Jefferson on the two dollar bill.

Fanny Osborne and Robert Louis Stevenson in Nancy Horan's novel, Under the Wide and Starry Sky.

Listening to the audiobook on commutes,
and then wishing I could drive more,
 like maybe to San Antonio or Lincoln or Albuquerque...

Nonfiction books of interest

Being special is a burden. Being not special is freeing.
This book is on my bedside table right now.
Here is the video that started it all.

Intriguing review in Kirkus 6/15/14 issue.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Nightcrawler prices fail to skyrocket

Extra, extra, read all about it! The leading vermi economic  indicator says "Ah".

Each summer I purchase enough nightcrawlers in one check-out to raise eyebrows of the minimum wage Academy cashiers.

Bait packaging has changed. The units per package have changed. Still, the price per nightcrawler has stayed remarkably contant since the summer of 2011.

Each summer just before their big performance the red wigglers in the vermicompost bin get stage fright and do something whacko. Never before had they staged a mass break-out. It wasn't pretty. Coaxed them back into the bin and calmed their jitters. Bribed them by promising to check out "The Great Escape" with Steve McQueen from the library Saturday.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Miss Emma's Murder Mysteries

Auntie Em, far right, would have been up for solving Roaring Twenties murder mysteries. Pierce, Nebraska was not quite the hub of crime found in Phryne Fisher's fictional Melbourne, Australia, but my great aunt had plenty of smarts and hats.

I'm working through Season One of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on library dvds. It's unlikely Pryne and Emma had anything else in common except being two intuitive, deductive, single women after the Great War.


© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Albert Eisenia Fetida and Bacon Justification

I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'll play one at next week's worm presentation. Costumed one of my tie-dye red wigglers as an Einstein Eisenia Fetida. This year's summer library reading program is Fizz, Boom, Read.

I'm not a pharmacist, either, but I'm charged with safely disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medications for a dear friend. Searching websites of several nearby cities has not yielded a take-back event. Now I'm scanning safe DIY Rx disposal recommendations.


Flushing drugs down the toilet is not the right answer. We don't want to pollute the water stream. So I'm not a foreign policy negotiator, either, but the transfer and disposal of Syria's chemical weapons at sea makes me queasily uneasy.

If you can wait until a local pharmaceutical take-back event, that seems to be best. Otherwise, these DIY disposal instructions come from AARP, and the Medical Center of Plano. Since I have no kitty cats to provide disgusting litter, I'm going with Plan B. The pills are in the Trader Joe's coffee can with some soggy coffee grounds and some bacon grease. Peeled the labels off the bottles and recycled the pill bottles. [Yes, removed those darn kid-proof lids!]

And now? Now I must get bacon and lettuce and tomatoes for BLT sandwiches. Why? Because I need more grease for the Rx disposal! Never mind that it is summertime and we all need homegrown tomatoes. This is a civic bacon emergency. I am willing to step up.

Trash Disposal
You can throw away expired or unused medication in the trash. First you will have to “prepare” the medication so that it will be in a safer form. These instructions apply to both pills and liquids.
  • Remove the medication from its original bottle. Mix the drugs with something that would make them unappealing to people or pets who may go through the trash. You can use kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Next, place the medication in a plastic bag with a seal or in a container with a lid. The goal is to make sure that the medication does not spill out of this packaging. You can also use tape to further secure the bag or container.
  • Do not forget about the original bottle that the medication came in. Your privacy is important. Remove the label or use a black marker to hide your name and any other information. Before placing the bottle in the trash, check to see if it has a recycling code on the bottom. If it does and your city or town’s recycling program accepts this type of plastic, place the bottle in your recycling bin.

2014 Nancy L. Ruder