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Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, from Pride and Prejudice.
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A place where I fit.
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Link to the Poets.org article on poetry on poetry

And because I bitched on Facebook, here's the Gary Snyder poem. It's the reason I'm trying to learn the names of oaks.

Gary can be a bit more...."less":

How Poetry Comes to Me

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light

Note: the above piece I found at
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/snyder/onlinepoems.htm
at their Modern American Poets page. Meaning, 2nd half of 20th century or later.
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OK, among the few household plumbing problems I've mentioned in the last few months, here is the latest.

Bathtub refused to drain. Fortunately/unfortunately, this occurred after I took a shower, on Tuesday night, equivalent to Snuffy's Friday night. Yes, a shower. Yes, I had the drain switched open. No, we didn' think too much of it because the plumbing in that bathroom has been draining slower over the years. That is part of the 'we have to get pipes cleared out and new piping inserted' project that we've been trying to work to.

Note: this has been a problem since we no longer have equity to borrow on. But more on the pipes another time.

So, I did note there seemed to be more water in the tub after the shower than normal, but figured it would just take longer to drain. Didn't drain. After Snuffy toggled toggles and listened, we realized the drain mechanism had finally achieved FAIL and had broken/stuck/stopped working. In the stoppered position. Great.

Much plunging Tues night to shift the stopper mech (also to see if prior clogs were also affecting the drainage. Also draining of the tub. Remains of Tues night spent removing the top part of the stopper mechanism from the wall

BUT, we can't seem to get the rest of it out. And it seems to have shifted back into the closed position.

Now, per pics, the modern or 'seen within your lifetime' mechanisms have a spring at the end.

example of project, and pics

Now, a note about this. If you enlarge the pic, and look at the parts, we got most of the mechanism out. But,
1) our mechanism did not have a metal coil as the bottom of the pop-up linkage. We have short hollow tube. The part resembles an old fashioned scale weight--if one of those was hollowed out.
2) No waste arm came with it. Frankly, looking at the demo pic, we cannot figure out how anyone is expected to get that arm out of the horizontal pipe. I'm presuming its still in there, possibly with gunk still swaddled around it. (Yes, we popped draino down the drain this afternoon. Or, ore likely, it's still down there, but has shifted to "stopped" position.

Wondering if there was any flexible tool we could get down there and pull/shift/move that bar out, or at least move it from the stoppered position. He didn't see anything in Home Depot, but we are trying to figure out what to ask for.

Suggestions from handy folks?
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Not so much math as flaky crust goodness.

Brought to you by the [livejournal.com profile] 1word1day community/super hero squad:
Making the world more literate and amusing one word ("and use it in a sentence") at a time.
More or less.
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Has Mr. O'Keefe inspired anyone else to contribute to their local public radio station, whether NPR or another "independent"? (Sorry, much as I love my NPR, PRI and APM, the real independent stations are those such as Pacifica/KPFA Berkeley, but I digress...)

Anywho, am I the only one who is inspired to contribute to NPR, not just because the Republicans are trying to pull the rug out from under them,

but because a foolishly loose-lipped but honest admin stated the fucking truth that much of the Tea Party is pushed/backed/fronted by people who are racist idiots?

The urge to donate reminds me of the routine played out on the old Mary Tyler Moore show (1970's).

Mary discovered she is paid about $400 less a month than her predecessor--because she is a woman and not head of a household. Side plot: she's also been given the additional job of co-hosting a morning show with the obnoxious Ted Baxter.
At the end of the episode, she loses her tempter on the air, and tells Ted to just shut up.

In the office with Mr. Grant, she expects to be demoted or fired.
Lou Grant: Mary, I didn't think I was going to have to say this, but...you get the raise.
Mary: I...get the $400?! You'll pay me as much as you paid Frank?
Ted: Wait a minute Lou! She just told me to shut up! On the air! How can you give her $400 more a month?!
Lou: I'm sorry Ted, but my hands are tied. I'm not allowed to give her any more.
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From the Palms monthly email:

Get schooled by Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. Dan Hicks and the Hotlicks will premier their new musical revue Kollege of Musical Knowledge. This show is the latest in a series of Dan Hicks created musical productions that have paid homage to the great American music songbook which in the past has included his tribute to the Singing Cowboy and his salute to the Folk Years.

This evening Hicks honors the composers and artists he most admires including Duke Ellington, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Richard Rogers, Paul Simon and, of course, himself. Through the music and Dan's witty observations Professor Hicks and the Hot Licks will illuminate eager pupils to some music history, an impressive variety of musical styles, as well as present a repertoire of their much loved signature tunes such as "Canned Music," " I Scare Myself" and others.

Dan Hicks unique songwriting and blend of styles, masterful folk-swing guitar playing and unmistakable sense of humor have made him a cultural icon, landing Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine twice and provoking Tom Waits to say, "Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry" while Elvis Costello proclaimed him "an American treasure."

8.30pm $25. Winters
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Meaning: is there really any point to creating and maintaining a starter? Theoretically one doesn't need to add yeast--but everyone does. One should get that wonderful sourdough flavor from sourdough starters...but that's elusive. Most commercial "sourdough" breads are created with commercial flavor additives.

So, does anyone really use starters and batters?
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Language study expands and grows. Yes, I know all studies do that.

Premise: I've only studied 3 languages formally, and never used/created my own flashcards in any of those classes.

Latin is growing and picking up speed. Not finding that a problem as yet. Problem is how to incorporate flashcards as instructor recommended: not only does the information line lengthen, as more vocabulary is added, but conjugation and declension "widens" that line of knowledge.

For instance, in the first two small chapters, it was the introduction of 1st declension, all feminine nouns and adjectives as subjective complements, then demonstration of nominative and accusative cases. All verbs were 3rd person singular, mostly all first conjugation.

Add more words, including 2nd declension nouns, mostly masculine. All nouns are still singular.
Boomlet: more nouns, soon to add neuter, now with prepositions and ablative forms, add plurals, add more stems. Verbs in 1st, 2nd, don't forget plural....

So, when making a flash card for a word, say a noun. On the front of the card I'd put the the root form? The basic word, singular? On the back just the definition? Or definition and all the cases that I know so far? Write tiny so that I have room to add more cases?

Or I presume make new cards for all the past words when we learn a new case?

What was your strategy for language study?
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Sorry, about a week late on this, and never got my Google alert. But here you are, you little masochists.
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The Guardian posts the King William's College General Knowledge Quiz

Per the Guardian, answers will be available end of January.
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When I was in my teens, or coming home to visit in my 20's: staying up late with my mom on Christmas Eve and Christmas so that she and I could talk, and watch our shows. Two agnostics getting weepy listening to Pavarotti sing "Ave Maria" and "Panis Angelicus".
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(and by the way, the LJDQ is too much for ancient brains this week, one of you will have to do it)

...The King William's College 106th Annual Quiz (general knowledge) should be showing up in The Guardian later this month.
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Posting her per request from [livejournal.com profile] labelleizzy

**************
See, I get mail from Lemony Snicket ...well, me and every other idiot that signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel (or November) Writing Month.

I wisely decided to skip.
But I still get the periodic mass emails from known authors urging me to keep going. Mercedes Lackey was the first.

Most are ok or ignorable, but this one from Lemony Snicket is lovely.

* * *

Dear Cohort,

Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it's nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.

For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies - what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.

Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.

Besides, there are already plenty of novels. There is no need for a new one. One could devote one's entire life to reading the work of Henry James, for instance, and never touch another novel by any other author, and never be hungry for anything else, the way one could live on nothing but multivitamin tablets and pureed root vegetables and never find oneself craving wild mushroom soup or linguini with clam sauce or a plain roasted chicken with lemon-zested dandelion greens or strong black coffee or a perfectly ripe peach or chips and salsa or caramel ice cream on top of poppyseed cake or smoked salmon with capers or aged goat cheese or a gin gimlet or some other startling item sprung from the imagination of some unknown cook. In fact, think of the world of literature as an enormous meal, and your novel as some small piddling ingredient - the drawn butter, for example, served next to a large, boiled lobster. Who wants that? If it were brought to the table, surely most people would ask that it be removed post-haste.

Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down. Even your friends and associates will never appreciate your novel the way you want them to. In fact, there are likely just a handful of readers out in the world who are perfect for your book, who will take it to heart and feel its mighty ripples throughout their lives, and you will likely never meet them, at least under the proper circumstances. So who cares? Think of that secret favorite book of yours - not the one you tell people you like best, but that book so good that you refuse to share it with people because they'd never understand it. Perhaps it's not even a whole book, just a tiny portion that you'll never forget as long as you live. Nobody knows you feel this way about that tiny portion of literature, so what does it matter? The author of that small bright thing, that treasured whisper deep in your heart, never should have bothered.

Of course, it may well be that you are writing not for some perfect reader someplace, but for yourself, and that is the biggest folly of them all, because it will not work. You will not be happy all of the time. Unlike most things that most people make, your novel will not be perfect. It may well be considerably less than one-fourth perfect, and this will frustrate you and sadden you. This is why you should stop. Most people are not writing novels which is why there is so little frustration and sadness in the world, particularly as we zoom on past the novel in our smoky jet packs soon to be equipped with pureed food. The next time you find yourself in a group of people, stop and think to yourself, probably no one here is writing a novel. This is why everyone is so content, here at this bus stop or in line at the supermarket or standing around this baggage carousel or sitting around in this doctor's waiting room or in seventh grade or in Johannesburg. Give up your n ovel, and join the crowd. Think of all the things you could do with your time instead of participating in a noble and storied art form. There are things in your cupboards that likely need to be moved around.

In short, quit. Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep. I plan to quit writing novels myself, sometime in the next hundred years.

--Lemony Snicket
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This post is not to disagree or disparage many of the views I've seen posted on LJ and Facebook. Just wanted to see the light fall on the table from another angle.

I listen to the Barbershop segment on NPR, Michel Martin's daily show "Tell Me More". The Barbershop is the weekly segment where she offers the guys their turn to discuss the week's news. Lineup is always male of course, and mostly non-white--but don't ever assume the political, social or economic line up make up of the gentlemen each week. The dust ups are wonderful and witty.

This week, it was generally agreed that this is intrusive, and recognized on both political spectrums as an extreme privacy violation. But it was also noted by Arsalan Iftihkar that he's gone through many similar searches since 2001; this is not a new procedure for many Americans who have middle-eastern surnames, or who simply aren't white.

There was a wry summary of panel view: yeah, this is wrong--and this is the way it's been, America, and welcome to the party--didn't you know?
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Why are we answering questions Writer's Block has already answered?
I'll just sit at my desk and think happy snapey thoughts.
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Make up stories.
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Was going to make some grand post today, to my friends, along the lines of:

My aim is to believe in my own intelligence--
Your aim will help.

But after these last two post of yesterday morning, I believe that resolution has been shot down.

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