Watchout for the blind guy

There you have it. The day before Halloween. Well, we didn’t get to the store to look for costume for Liam. I wonder what the fallout will be from that.
Last night was kind of ugly. Actually afternoon and morning, too. I took the dog for a walk–down to the river by Saint Thomas and back. Then Quakers. I sat down in what I realized was more or less Ralph’s spot. I realized this after I sat down. But it seemed that Ralph was late, maybe he wouldn’t be there today. But, about ten minutes late, he walked through the door. I moved around to the next open spot on a bench along the wall. Realized at that point that I am a backbencher–mostly, buy not entirely, because that is where the benches are–along the outside walls.
Then, at the end of the service, an amazing thing happened. And, turned out that the event was related to Ralph’s late arrival. People just stood up and started to greet each other. At first, I wasn’t sure what had happened, But there had been no announcement about things to say that hadn’t risen to the level of worship. It was spontaneous and kind of neato. A natural end. And, as I was leaving, which some were doing and others not, Ralph apologized. Being late meant that he hadn’t had the opportunity to double-check with anyone about whether or not he supposed to do anything today. Of course, he can’t read the bulleting.

The Monastery

I am now the proud owner of a myofacial roller. The concept is sort of masocistic. But the end result of an hour was sort of like having a massage.
I look at the pictures that I posted from Duluth and Grand Marais. Brown, gray, desolate. But I guess that I like that sort of thing.
I watched episode one of The Monastery, per Dorothea’s recommendation. Beautiful setting–it is a Benedictine monastery in, I think, New Mexico. Note to self: is an interview, the abbot says that the universal reaction of new monks is disappointment in who the other monks are.
Also thinking about the nuns that I know. Pretty much they’re out and about, not living in convents, unless they are really old.

Myofacial self massage

I made an impulse exercise buy this morning at the Y–a class in self-myofacial massage. When I first saw the sign, the date seemed to be in the distant future. But, turns out, it is tonight. Dorothea has her class. I will have to bring Liam with me to the class.
My boss is taking a vacation day, so I feel like I can linger this morning. This is the first time since June that I have done this. Hmm. I am waiting for them to bring me oatmeal. I realize that I am hungry. I am trying to remember the little bits that I want to jot down. Like this: the old guy from Bread and Chocolate with the little white dog in the bag is now sitting in the entryway of Nina’s. I mentioned to June, the owner, about Bread and Chocolate and the guy and the dog and the bag. Otherwise unprompted, she blurted out “and they kicked him out, right?” Well, maybe she didn’t blurt. But no, actually I think they’d ignore him on really cold days. Most otherwise they’d be outside on a bench. There is no bench outside here, just the patio furniture that they’ve taken in for the season. And I suspect that this wouldn’t be an issue in France.
My mother doesn’t call often, hardly at all; far less than I call her. But she did call the other day and left a message with Madeline, telling me to send a birthday card to my 97 year-old aunt, the nun. I have that note in my pocket now. And getting my aunt’s address was a final reason to work on resurrecting the Palm Pilot, which had languished with a dead battery for sometime.
This morning, solid freeze, the first of the season. My pager just went off, and, speaking of dead batteries,

MEA weekend (Thursday and Friday eachMEA weekend: Thursday and Friday each late October, for “Minnesota Education Association,” when teachers are to get together and parents are to go on expensive trips with their children. We went to Duluth and Grand Marais. On the way back, we stopped at Tettegouche State Park to visit another family that was staying in a “walk-in” (as in “walk-in 1.7 miles”) cabin there. The following pictures are either from our walk on the Grand Marais breakwater or to and from their cabin.
Magically, the walk to the cabin was through an late autumn snowfall. Pleasant.
Someone made a cairn at the Grand Marais breakwater. Saw lots of these in Ontario last summer. Yuna say they’re in Brittany, too.
A foggy look across the water back toward the Sawtooth Mountains.
A nice picture that Dorothea took.

Comment Zero

OCD, a bit, are we? I find it very difficult to not check my blog’s traffic with xtreme tracking. And taking a Sunday bath. (And taking a Saturday bath.) And referring to articles from The New York Times, especially on Sunday.

Oh, well. I am nothing but predictable.

I have some pictures from our drive yesterday to Nelson, Wisconsin, and back. And some commentary about monatic living queued from an article.

Yesterday, we–Dorothea, Liam, Yuna, and I–went on a drive south. It turned into a “stop and eat” adventure. We went to the Jenny Lind Bakery in Red Wing. Ruth, the proprietress (is that a word?) was there, and we chatted with her briefly. She was really busy. Turns out that Red Wing was having its arts festival that day. The food we had was wonderful. It is a truly rare experience to eat out and everything be superb.

Next stop was the Smiling Pelican Bakery. We had some great chocolate chip cookies. The pictures were all taken there.


And now for my apparently weekly diatribe, a la the newspages. The two articles that caught my attention were about Honeycrisp apples and religious response to environmental issues. The apples article is located here.


And here is the article about the religious response to global warming.

The last bit is about a five-year and a ten-year plan. Dorothea asked me about that the other day. She has to come up with such for her St. Kate’s nursing leadership class.

Here it is. Five-years–probably still working for the bank, but want to be ready to leave and do something else, possible live on a lot less. Consider transferring to Portland, Oregon. Ten-year: I want to research the idea of a monastic-like lifestyle. “Secular-Buddhism” comes to mind, if there is such a thing. I think that I could live a moral life, have hope for “retirement” or old age. More to follow, perhaps.

Woolgatherer sent me

Now it is official–most of the people visiting my blog have been referred by Woolgather. Which is cool. It is an amazing phenomenon. And I recently received about twenty comments, though they are all spam. I found the other day that my junk comments was full of over one thousand comments, and I had a couple of hundred other spam ones. I run my mt-close.cgi program then and again this morning. If thiis continues, I will have to consider other messages.
I got our Sears clothes dryer salesman to apologize and give a $60 discount on our dryer. That was satisfying. The message is saved on my work voicemail. I played it for Dorothea last night. The troops are getting restless, though; even the Frenchie is complaining.

To: CAROLFORTUNE First snow in Minnesota

As always, I am not sure that this email is going to get to you. But I
figure, if I don’t hear back from you, I will turn it into a blog
post. Might just do that anyway.
For some unfathomable reason, for the last couple of days I have been
obsessed with getting kubuntu linux running on my (now getting old)
laptop. I should have been studying for my PMI certification. Classic
procrastination. Maybe it was an article I read about Microsoft Vista.
I always get messed up burning the ISO to CD. And then, for the
finale, my wireless connection works. (Granted, I turned off my WEP.
Have to turn that back on.) But here I am in bed, emailing on the
Just got joined by the dog, Stella, a cockapoo. I guess that she is
getting too heavy and we’ll have to cut back on her food. I feel bad
for her. She has made herself comfortable.
Tonight it is snowing. Our house guest is out at her night class and
she biked. So she is pretty tough, perhaps getting tougher by the
Here, we are all good. How are you? (Ping, pong.)


I “spritzed” with WD-40 for two days, but still the shutoff valve to dryer, no budge. On Friday, a guy came to checkout our furnace as a yearly maintenance thing, and he tried and couldn’t move it either. It became clear that any efforts related to that valve would have to be undertaken with the main gas valve shut. Plus, while I did get on the phone with Mary’s handyman, he’s busy, and clearly unable to come to the house twice–once to unhook the gas and again to re-hook it up. So I called Sears. They’ll now be doing the hookup–for $140. The dryer should be delivered today, and the Sears hookup contractors should be here next week.

News item: Stocks shatter records. Corporate profits soar. [The New York Times, 10/7/2006]
News item: Our neighbor library to be closed on Sundays. [Hand-written sign taped to the library door, 10/6/2006]

Sorry about the heavy use of The New York Times. But–one thought that I have is this:

Even if we (in the United States, and/or Europe) did conserve energy, I would expect that then India and China and others would use more, just picking up our slack.

I was reminded of this by the following quote [The New York Times]

Even if the United States were independent, hydrocarbons would remain a limited resource. We have a total interest in using that limited resource to increase our efficiency, lengthening the life of the fossil fuels, for environmental reasons.

…which reminded me that, unless the whole world were to undertake conservation, conservation won’t work. Plugging up one leak won’t stop the ship from sinking.