Trial Balloon

Faulty Inferences

Posted at 5:30 AM on February 5, 2010 by Radio Heartlander (56 Comments)
Filed under: Guest Bloggers

From the Desk of the Heartlanders
Guest Blogger - Clyde in Mankato

Case #1
When I was a quiet and passive four- or five-year-old child, my family would frequently drive the 30 miles to Duluth for my brother to see an eye doctor. We would go to this mysterious building called the Medical Arts Building. But before we could go down the hall to the doctor's office, the five of us in our family, and sometimes a few strangers, would enter this small room. The door would close, the room would shake, the door would open, and then we were allowed to walk down the hall to see the doctor. It seemed clear to me why we did this: I knew what the word "medical" meant, and I knew there were these bad things called germs which had something to do with things medical. So I assumed we went into the room to have the germs shaken off of us. I did not know why we did it on the way out. Did we pick up more germs in the doctor's office?

Now I submit that this was a reasonable inference for a five-year-old who had never heard of elevators. The result of this on my life is threefold: 1) I still think of travel in 30 mile units. 2) When I hear the world "elevator" I picture the Medical Arts Building. 3) I am no longer quiet and passive, to the regret of all who know me, and am willing to ask questions, except for directions.

Case #2
When I was about twelve, without explaining why, my father told me to put the garden hose in the back of the pickup. He walked off do something else. After I had done the task, he came back and told me that he had changed his mind; that I should mow the lawn instead. Not knowing what "instead" referred to, I got out the mower. He drove up the rough track to our upper meadow, where we also had a potato field. I was wondering why he wanted the garden hose up there, where there was no source of water. Then I saw the problem. In a few minutes the pickup came bouncing down the track, much faster than it should. My father was a man of quick and hot temper. He got out of the pickup and snapped at me that I should pay attention. He had told me clearly to put the garden hoes in the pickup and I had put the garden hose in the pickup instead. Then it dawned on him. He stopped, stared at me for a bit. Then he went and got his hoe and drove slowly back up the track.

It was as close as he ever came to apologizing to me until I was an adult.

Case #3
When my granddaughter was three, she was afraid of my mother, who was missing a leg and confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home in Sioux Falls. One day her parents were driving to South Dakota to visit her other grandparents, who live near Sioux Falls. They told Lily that they were also going to go see great-grandma. Lily promised she was not going to be afraid of her this time. When they arrived at the other grandparents, they found a note on the door to meet them at a restaurant and that great-aunt Edith was there too. When they told Lily that she was going to meet great-aunt Edith, Lily asked, "Is she all there?"

It seemed a reasonable guess apparently that "great" meant you are missing a body part.

Have you ever been tripped up by a faulty inference?

Edited to add:

Enter TODAY by 1 p.m. CT! We have a drawing for Rosanne Cash tickets.
Obey the rules.
Good luck!

Comments (56)

Morning Heartlanders. Clyde - great ideas to start the day out with. Although I can hardly imagine you as quiet and passive, even at 4.

When I was little, I was terrified of those big Klieg lights (the ones that Hollywood used to use all the time for big premieres and car dealerships use for big sales). I was absolutely sure that they were lights from alien spacecraft searching for a place to land! At some point I figured it out, but I don't remember the "aha" moment.

Posted by sherrilee | February 5, 2010 6:06 AM

Good morning...I'm still afraid of stepping off escalators...those are teeth ready to grab at my feet...aren't they?

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | February 5, 2010 6:12 AM

I can't recall personal language snafus, but one comes to mind from my school.

When we were about in second grade we were asked to draw a picture of the manger scene. One kid's picture had the Usual Suspects, but then off to one side was a smiling fat man.

The teacher, thinking this represented an improper way of smuggling Santa Claus into a manger scene, confronted the boy. Specifically, who was that fat man over by the shepherds.

"Round John Virgin."

Of course.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | February 5, 2010 6:21 AM

My youngest sister remembers believing that dogs talked (They did on TV). Since our dog didn't talk to her, she assumed he was miffed with her. She spent a lot of time apologizing to him and trying to get back in his good graces. One day she realized he didn't talk to anyone else either.

Posted by Beth-Ann | February 5, 2010 6:23 AM

good Morning All

I must be good at supressing the memory of the kind of thing that you are describing, Clyde. I know that trying to get things done using a computer has probably trapped me in false assumptions many times. I do remember one that happen when trying to listen to Radio Heartland on my computer.

I could get the RH web site but couldn't get any sound. Adjusting the volume didn't help. I tried every thing I could think of and even emailed Dale. I thought there was something wrong with the RH service or something wrong with the service provider for my computer.

It turned out I just had the mute turned on for my computer. I assumed that the mute couldn't be on if I could adjust the volume, but you can adjust voume with the mute on. I guess that is something that is possible with digital techology that wouldn't be likely in the pre-digital world where volume level would not be adjusted when the sound was off.

Posted by Jim | February 5, 2010 6:26 AM

oh my, Clyde - what a delightful beginning to our guest-blog week! i don't think, as a child or adult, i ever was a creative as you or Sherrilee. i love the thought of shaking off the germs. thank you!
and i saw the "sheep become the shepherd" and Kay's kind comments and your stunning observations about appearances. this is quite a community.
the only thing i can remember to share is really a misunderstanding. my Mom collected salt and pepper shakers and it was my "privilege" to dust them each month (about 140 pairs). we would play with them as we dusted. one pair was a white and a black Venus de Milo (the exit points for the s&p were literally the points of their breasts) and we liked to dress them up and play dolls with them. we had no idea why the arms and legs were missing, but they had good figures that draped with scraps of fabric nicely. i was probably 4 or 5 and uneducated in the Arts, so i thought they were called "Meenus and Milo." when my Mom sold her collection it was this pair that i requested for myself. i still have them.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 6:27 AM

PEBKAC errors are a rich field for this blog, especially in those who came to computers in mid-life or later. PEBKAC is how techies refer to an error like yours. Problen Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

Posted by clyde | February 5, 2010 6:30 AM

oh i can't wait to get in from milking! such fun to read this morning - imagine being a sensitive child thinking the dog is not speaking to you... keep it up, TBloggers! thanks, Clyde

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 6:39 AM

Yes, Clyde, PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair) certainly applies to me.

Posted by Jim | February 5, 2010 6:45 AM

I led the pigeons to the flag
Of the United States of America...

Loved those Amelia Bedelia books when I was around 3rd grade age or so. ;-)

Morning, all. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Posted by elinor | February 5, 2010 6:53 AM

Greetings! As a chiId, I remember seeing my parents and other folks with eyeglasses breathing on them before wiping them. I always thought they were licking their glasses! It always struck me as odd ...

I'm sure I've had many faulty inferences in my life, but I'm not coming up with anything as clever as Clyde's examples.

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | February 5, 2010 6:59 AM

I think we are all the PEBKAC every now and then. Computers won't ever come into their perfection until the human element isn't around anymore. Of course, when that happens, I don't want to be around!

Posted by sherrilee | February 5, 2010 6:59 AM

Elinore, how many times were the pigeons led to the flag before it was discovered that that isn't how you say the pledge?

Posted by Jim | February 5, 2010 7:22 AM

When I was small, I always thought that "a quarter to" with regard to telling time, meant 25 minutes to an hour, since a quarter was worth 25 cents. There were four quarters in a dollar, and four quarters in an hour. I couldn't figure out where 15 came into the equation.

Posted by Renee | February 5, 2010 7:39 AM

I remember as a little girl making a card and creating much ceremony around giving this card to a friend of the family to commemorate some event or change in status (or maybe that person was sick) only to find out, much to the attending grownups chagrin - since they didn't know what I was up to and couldn't correct me - that whatever it was I had thought was horribly wrong. I still remember the sting of the embarrassment since I thought I was doing something grand and I was horribly wrong. I remember the embarrassment and all of the grownups trying to comfort me over my mistake - but the mistake itself has been clouded in memory by time (and least I'd like to think it's just time).

Posted by Anna | February 5, 2010 7:47 AM

With my theatrical training, I generally enunciate my words clearly. However, I notice a lot of singers don't -- or I've just always had a hard time getting the words correct in many songs even now. The wonderful Seals & Croft song with the line "yellow dirt down in his soul," I always thought said "yellow dirt down in his toes."

Just makes sense, yes? I hope I got the words correct ...

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | February 5, 2010 8:00 AM

morning, all! I'm starting a new job today, helping out in the sixth-grade classrooms of the local elem. school, so i'll be up early, regularly, once again---beware!

loved your examples, clyde---

closest i can come to that is a wondrous moment when i was in my sister and i were together at Christmas time, and upon hearing a famous Christmas song, i told her, "For a long time when i was a kid, i thought the line was 'up on the rooftop, reindeer paws'--much later saw it written and realized it was 'reindeer pause'..." She stared at me dumbfounded, and confessed she had thought it was "reindeer paws" until that very moment :-)

other than that, i remember being positive that i would have chewed gum in my stomach for all time, as well as potentially growing a watermelon there due to having swallowed a watermelon seed.

Posted by Kay H in Utah | February 5, 2010 8:05 AM

Kay, i thought it was "reindeer claws"
isn't it??? :-)
happy first day of your new job!! they are lucky to get you.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 8:18 AM

Jim, it wasn't how many times but how many years. :D Perhaps 2nd grade.

Posted by elinor | February 5, 2010 8:19 AM

Superstition and false assumptions are sort of closely related. I really don't think there are any unlucky numbers, but I still try to avoid the number 13.

Posted by Jim | February 5, 2010 8:21 AM

clyde, nice blog topic. i love the images. your 30 miles increments remind me of the time issue i had with my oldest when he was small. he was real concerned about what was next and how long it would take until it was time for that. we would tell him "an hour", then refined it to"4 aurthurs" in reference to the 15 minute long tv episodes. we ended up with using arms lengths. full arm is an hour, to the elbow is half an hour, mid forearm 15 minutes, knuckles on the hand is down to minutes. one time we were driving superior shores in northern wisconsin we gave him 4 or 5 arm lengths and his jaw dropped and you could watch the cogs turn. wow... thats really far.
i also wondered for years how come all those authors had a character named penny lope. it took a bolt of lightning to make me realize that is how you spell penelope.

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 8:23 AM

pebmaw problem exists between me and world. its a regular occurrence.

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 8:28 AM

To set the record straight, I was very kind to my father in my description of how he approached and spoke to me that day.

Posted by Clyde | February 5, 2010 8:31 AM

clyde are you the oldest?

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 8:35 AM

Iget it tim and glad you are back.
Clever time description. I will have to tell my son-in-law, who gets that question. He answers it in "Mankato trips."
Techies sometimes talk about hardware, software, and humanware. Our techie used to jokingly call me idiotware, and deservedly so.
Yes I was quiet and passive. My teachers used to tell my mother they seldom heard me talk. She would say that I was like that at home. Wonder what happened?
One of the pleasures of doing this is that I can brag "I WAS EDITED BY DALE CONNELLY!!" I pulled this from an article I wrote on the importance of context to language and thinking skills learning. I had five examples but Dale wisely suggested three, the magic number of art, music and writing.

Posted by clyde lasughing in Kato | February 5, 2010 8:41 AM

Happy Friday everyone!

When I was little I had a stuffed bunny that had a music box played My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean but I was sure it was my Bunny lies over the ocean. The other thing I remember is that when I ate my chocolate Easter Bunny I thought it came back together, good as new, inside my stomach. I was a lonely child and the bunnies were my friends so I never wanted them to get hurt, my imagination had them live on inside me….kind of sad really.
I don't think I've ever told anyone that before.....

Posted by Kate from Eden Prairie | February 5, 2010 8:41 AM

Nope, tim, the youngest of three. Ex-brother born in 1938, sister Cleo born in 1942 (yes, I do have a sister named Cleo, which leads to many stories of confusion)
Clyde 1944
We defie the generalizations about birth order, which I think genrally hold true.

Posted by clyde | February 5, 2010 8:46 AM

i was real lucky to have a dad who was always real kind. his dad was a tyrant and he took up the opposite end. i am more dictatorial than he ever was but try to do it with kindness. in your dads day the spare the rod spoil the child mentality took the spirit out of a lot of young people. that and the carry over from the depression.

you seem to have tourned out well though. i enjoy your contributions very much.

thank you for a wonderful start to the guest blogging.


see you monday

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 8:46 AM

oh, kate, loved your post---my bunny lies over the ocean :-) and your poignant choc. bunny memories...

Posted by Kay H in Utah | February 5, 2010 8:56 AM

Great topic, Clyde, these are really fun.

In Sunday School I learned a little song that went "Praise Him praise Him all ye little children, God is Love..." I came home singing "Got his glove..."

One of my favorite Far Sides shows a dog in the back seat of the car, looking out at the other dog and saying "Ha ha ha Spike, after we go to the store, I get to go to the vet to be tutored."

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | February 5, 2010 9:23 AM

I AM faulty inference. It's one of my dangers of being a fan of Sherlock Holmes. I start to think that I can put together the same chains of logic about people. Unfortunately, it rarely works.

Ah, Duluth's Medical Arts Building. Kind of a plain exterior, architecturally speaking, but very cool interior with some flashes of deco, particularly those beautiful brass/bronze elevators. Dr. Treacy was my family's optometrist. One of my brothers actually worked there as teen, delivering lenses that they made. This led to a 'practical joke war' between him and one of his co-workers. And also led to him setting his feet on fire once (that we know of). My brother used to be a bit of a klutz.

My Dad called me out to help him with some yard work that he did not elaborate on but stated it would 'only take a half an hour.' These were two signs (and still are!) that my entire afternoon was about to be spent. We had a skirting of chunks of limestone around the house, on top of black plastic sheeting. Dad thought the limestone was too dirty. So, we spent the afternoon picking up fist-sized pieces of limestone, brushing them off, and setting them aside. When one side of the house had been done, we put down nice, clean black plastic, then put all the limestone pieces back one at a time. When it came to the deck on the back, Dad had me do that alone because of his back. Now, mind you I thought this was a little nuts to start with but, fearing the wrath of my redheaded Mother, I helped nonetheless. When I'd finished tossing out all of the limestone from under the deck and pulled up the old black plastic, Dad's attention was drawn to the corner of the deck where we had a bird feeder. He said, "Hang on. Don't put the plastic down. I'll be back in a minute." He came back with his shop-vac and proceeded to vacuum the seeds and hulls that the birds had spilled. Rather incredulous, I went inside and announced to Mom that, "Dad is vacuuming the dirt because it's too dirty." She kindly acknowledged my concerns for Dad's grasp of reality and told me, "Well, go out and help him anyway."

Posted by That Guy in the Hat | February 5, 2010 9:28 AM

Kate, your bunny story reminded me of this: when our son was 3, we had really kept the lid on the sugar thing, so when my folks gave him a chocolate bunny for Easter, he opened it up and held it, looked at it, and said "Is it wood." Imagine his delight... We lightened up a bit after that.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | February 5, 2010 9:30 AM

tgith excellent. my dads expression was "make it up on the next one". his dad had been a bricklayer and when my grandfather was foreman on a job he would go by with a level and make sure it was right and if it wasn't he would knock the wall down and tell the worker to start over. grandpa snow shoveling had to be perfect where when you did the edge of the driveway the lifting of the snow had to leave you with a perfect wall edge not an uneven one. my dad went out of his way to make sure he was never that way. we laughed putting in the 4x4 fence posts in trying to get them lined up and if they were off an inch or two he would say " make it up on the next one" we lived in that house 25 years after that and every time i looked down that line of fencing i could hear "make it up on the next one"
not the best motto for life perhaps but then again....we could certainly do worse.

i love the dirt is too dirty line

welcome back k in utah looking foreward to hearing form you more regularly

bunnys in the stomach is pricelss. only a little kind of sad.

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 9:54 AM

Thanks for the good stories people. Keep 'em coming.
TGITH--Dr. Tracy was my optomotrist in the way back when. And then you get this story of mine about the MAB, that all the floors look alike and they were identical in the way back when.
Here is another of my stories:
At the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus one day my casual friend Paul told me he had been asked to review plays for the “Minnesota Daily.” He had just written his first review and asked me to critique it before he turned it in. We agreed to meet after the next class period.
Walking down the mall, I read his review. It started “Polish. That’s what this play lacks is Polish.” I was completely puzzled. What did “Polish” [pronounced “pOHlish,” as in from Poland] have to do with the play. Reading the rest of the review did not clarify it for me. When I got to Coffman Union, I bumped into a friend and talked to her for awhile. Then I went back to reading the review. I made 3-4 suggestions to improve a sound piece of writing, but I was still puzzled about that word “Polish.”
When Paul arrived, I said, “It’s very nice, but I do not know what . . . oh . . . ah . . . ‘PAHlish [as in what we put on shoes] . . .” I am sure I mumbled on for awhile incoherently.
Why is it that the flash of understanding sometimes comes at the moment when you open your mouth to talk? The next day his review was printed without my suggestions. After all, why should he listen to a jabbering idiot.

Posted by Clyde | February 5, 2010 10:01 AM

clyde can we we have the other two dale edited? maybe he is right about the length of the opening to the blog but i would like to have access to them anyway.
cut and paste what he edited will you?

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 10:02 AM

Late (as usual), but I had to say "Nice job, Clyde!"

I had a grandfather (whom I barely knew) who sounds much like your father, Clyde. My father, one of the kindest souls to ever grace the planet, said that his philosophy as a parent was to think of what his dad would have done, and then do the opposite.

Posted by Don in West St. Paul | February 5, 2010 10:13 AM

tim--one of the stories is the Polish story above.
My solution to not being my father was to not have my son work with me, help me, etc.. I know I would have become my father then. Of course I was not raising my son on a family farm and working in the woods where his help would have been necesary. My father was severely abused as a child. I spent my time with my son more on his interests. We used to write stories together when he was K-2 or so.
Here is the fith example.
A few years ago I heard a young actress tell this story; I do not remember who she was.
She had landed a decent role in a major TV series. The day after it aired, she was eager to walk through her New York City neighborhood and be recognized. She made sure she dressed very well, wearing a nice skirt and blouse for the mild day outside. As she walked down the street, many people would look at her and react, not quite the reactions she expected. Many smiled, or sort of smirked, many looked away, some looked a little puzzled, many looked back at her after they passed. She decided that these must be the reactions people make when they recognize a star.
At the next street corner as she waited for the light, an elderly woman stepped up next to her and said, “Honey, the back of your skirt is tucked up into your panty hose.”

Posted by Clyde | February 5, 2010 10:34 AM

TGitH -- very funny. Your dad and my mom are clearly from the same alternate universe. When I was a young adult, my folks sold their big ole ranch house to move to a small town home. The folks who bought the house were very upfront that they were going to tear the house completely down and build a big fancy house on the lot (which was huge). The day of the closing, my mom went back to the house to clean up some more. No amount of discussion or cajoling could keep her from cleaning up a house that they were about to tear completely down. She just couldn't leave it messy!

Posted by sherrilee | February 5, 2010 10:47 AM

When I was little I seriously contemplated jumping out my upstairs window, certain I wouldn’t get hurt as long as I landed upright on my feet. I thought that when you grew up, money for groceries and other necessities were supplied by the bank, and all you had to worry about was making sure you had some blank checks in your purse when you went to town. For a while I thought my father's pat answer to so many of my questions, “I doubt it”, meant YES. I wonder how many times he watched me skip happily away after asking him things like, “Can we go to Grandma and Grandpa’s, or to the park, or into town today?” and why he didn't bother to educate me. Not the most involved parent - sorry Dad, but it’s true.

Great reading, today! Thanks for kicking if off, Clyde.

Posted by Donna | February 5, 2010 11:46 AM

After two days focused squarely on me, I promise to return more to my 5-year-old self next week. Looking forward very much to those to come.
A comment--do you notice how often context, or lack thereof, contributes to errors in thinking/reading?
Since this morphed into parents and parenting--not surprising--let me post this, and you will see my granddaughter had a couple of things to fear in my mother. This all started when I was thinking about my mother a couple weeks ago (reading the poem will show you why), which reminded me of the article from which I then pulled the stories.

Wetter Eyes

The women of my mother’s family reach their 80’s.
Strong women, who weathered life well,
who tended well their looms,
and saw well to their husbands and children.
And drank and cold deep from life’s well.

Strong and of sure opinions, with minds alert for error.
If born in a later generation,
formal learning would have been their meat and dessert.
But by informal education they grew wise
and cynical of the foolishness of the elected, pulpited and professored.

When they reach some number in their 80’s,
they look alike, as if Wetter genes
know only one female prototype:
hair of fine spin turned pure white
framing a face of pale grayed skin, loose about the eyes.
Bone slowing emerging from within.

In the center, as a focal point in this pale field.
are the eyes, those Wetter eyes.
Once various shades of dark blue or rich brown
textured with flecks of lighter colors
that could glint or spark in joy or mockery
At deeds of husbands, children, grandchildren or beyond.

Then, almost at one with the slow retreat of the mind from contact,
the eyes grow darker until almost black,
the distillate of all their minds had been before senility slipped in.
It is the eyes you would remember, if you were brought before them.
Criminals would confess to all
if forced to face a set of Wetter eyes.
Wetter offspring now remember all their sins
And are not willing to look long into those dark wells.

But if you have strength to gaze long, something else emerges.
Head canted a few degrees to one side or the other,
held stiffly erect, a little beyond top dead center.
Wetter eyes lock onto you,
but as a glancing blow, not into your soul,
but out of the prison of lost contact.

As if they dare you to believe not
that the minds locked inside still hear, see, know.
Crying out, “How did I come to this;
is this what all has led to, wheeled about
by foolish children, who know not my tale.
Am I only this, can I not now think, remember, laugh, cajole, berate?”

But the bridge is broken forever;
Lost to us. Until the eyes finally close,
taking too long for real dignity to remain.
But we remember them each with their Wetter eyes
and all they had been and forgive them as we must.
Thank them as we must for what they gave to us,
fearing perhaps we will one day also grow Wetter eyes.

In Memorium: Adeline.
Born Anne in Jackson, MN, October, 1917.
Lived in Spirit Lake, IA, Lamberton, MN, Sebeka, MN, Isabella, MN, Two Harbors, MN, Duluth MN, Brookings, SD
Died in Sioux Falls, SD, January, 2008.

Posted by Clyde | February 5, 2010 12:24 PM

wow, Clyde - tears in my eyes...
and thanks for the great reading today, All
i, who do no high-minded things, am just in from playing with the Girls and Boys and trying to figure out how to get rid of those dang rats without poison or much suffering (on their part, but on mine also).

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 12:54 PM

i also have to say that this blog is a peaceful refuge from all of the "Who Dat" stuff i'm getting on email from my brother and his wife (in Louisiana)
i don't think anyone in the entire state of LA is working today. :-)

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 12:58 PM

Thank you for the lovely poem Clyde. Wow.

The earlier chocolate bunny discussion got me thinking on Easter egg hunts when I was a kid. My grandparents would hide foil-covered chocolate eggs for my brother, cousins and I to find. In order to level the playing field a bit (there was an age span of about 7 years from youngest to oldest), if an adult could see that a kid was close to an egg, they would cluck like a chicken. This of course meant that every kid would stop where they were and search madly for an egg. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why they would cluck - the eggs were from the Easter Bunny and bunnies don't cluck...finally as grown-up I put together the chicken cluck/chicken egg connection and it all made sense. Though I still prefer the idea of a clucking bunny.

Posted by Anna | February 5, 2010 1:55 PM

Thje Blackhoof Slaughter

Curse the rats and curse the mice.
as for killing them, do not think twice.
For if the shoe were on the other foot.
It would be you who would live on smut.

The rats will take over the stable.
Do not doubt of that they are able.
Feed them poison, set some traps,
Get yourself some great big cats.

Make your husband put them in the trash,
Then what you did will not seem rash.
When they are gone and the barn is clean,
Sing and dance with Dodger and Cream.

Posted by Cly de Macbre | February 5, 2010 2:00 PM

Oops, basrb, make that Dream, right?

Posted by Clky de booboo | February 5, 2010 2:04 PM

Cly di Macabre
thanks for the advice and the funny poem! we got a kick out of it. and yes, it's Dream, Dodger, Alba, Majority and Niblet. although i am thinking of naming one of Alba's (future) doelings "Crema" so you may be seeing into the future! let's hope.
ok. i think i have to find some killer instinct in me. somewhere. oh dear.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 5, 2010 2:43 PM

Just got word from my agent that I've got a 50/50 shot for another commercial early next week. Hope, hope, hope...

Posted by That Guy in the Hat | February 5, 2010 2:57 PM

Will keep fingers crossed for you TGiTH!

Posted by Anna | February 5, 2010 3:02 PM

barb: I listen to Tolkien on 2/3 of my daily indoor bike ride (other third to RH). That poem is right out of Tolkien.

I dub thee, That Guy with the Golden Voice!!

Posted by Cly de Toolkien | February 5, 2010 3:14 PM

wetter eyes and curse the rats. gotta love the ability to fit the moment with great stuff. the wetter eyes is a beautiful rememberance. curse the rats is great stuff. how long is the bike ride?
barb there is a product called critter out. safe non toxic. may be worth a try for you.
the guy in the hat. polish up those pipes. (not like stanley kowalski). we will be sending good vibes your way.

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 4:48 PM

wetter eyes and curse the rats. gotta love the ability to fit the moment with great stuff. the wetter eyes is a beautiful rememberance. curse the rats is great stuff. how long is the bike ride?
barb there is a product called critter out. safe non toxic. may be worth a try for you.
the guy in the hat. polish up those pipes. (not like stanley kowalski). we will be sending good vibes your way.

Posted by tim | February 5, 2010 4:48 PM

tim: thanks for the compliment. I do about 90 minutes a day--about 35-40 at about 7 while listening to RH. About 20-25 minutes at lunch. And the rest at 3:45. I have the huge advantage that I can have my bike set up in the office because I am the only on here now. What do you do for winter riding and how much?

Posted by clyde | February 5, 2010 5:04 PM

Wow, the poems and the family stories, everyone. I wonder if we could write a book? Put together the Best of the Blog sometime... Who would buy it except us?

Yep, good luck to you next week TGITH.

Barb, what is the "Who Dat" stuff mean? You may have explained it before, but I've forgotten...

Pleasant weekend to you all, glad I'm not in DC.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | February 5, 2010 5:17 PM

Ha - thought of some more of these when I couldn't get to sleep last night:

My parents were both teachers, so once we were solvent financially and my dad didn't have to get an extra summer job, they always had summers off like us (we?) kids did. It got lodged into my psyche, and the first "adult" job I had with its puny 2-week vacation... it just felt WRONG. To me, everyone was supposed to get the summer off! (Europe has had the right idea, although I've read that too is eroding.)

I can play "by ear": hear a song and repeat it on the piano or guitar, simple chords and melody. So can my mom, much more than I, and my sister a little too. So until I was in college I thought that everyone who played music could do that.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | February 6, 2010 10:17 AM

glad you are "on" today, Barbara -
people in Louisiana say "who dat?" about their New Orleans Saints. my brother says it means "who dat says dey gonna beat dem Saints?" which i guess is a challenge to the other team. - the other team being the Colts tomorrow, the other team in the Super Bowl.
the entire state is engaged in this - the first time their team has ever gone to the Super Bowl - and it really has united them in a positive way. maybe this is an aftereffect of Katrina - i don't know.....
there are "Who Dat" signs all over the city, in any year. i can't imagine how it must be in NO right now - Mardi Gras AND this Super Bowl frenzy . even though the game is in Miami.
enough football stuff :-)

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | February 6, 2010 10:33 AM

Thanks, Barb, it's fun to know a little NO culture. And I'd forgotten about Mardi Gras coinciding with this... I'm rooting for the Saints..

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | February 6, 2010 11:35 AM

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