a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: February 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Crosswords as Trivia Games

SUMMARY: If I can't do dog agility, I gotta do something

I do a lot of crossword puzzles. (Well, not compared to some people.) Average 2 a day. To get through puzzles, you need not only a good vocabulary but also the ability to free associate, recognize puns, trust your instincts, and know a lot of stuff.

Note for fun: There's a whole world of vocabulary that seems to pop up almost entirely in crossword puzzles, so it helps to have done many many of them; they're almost conventions that one could memorize! For example, "mine entry" or "cave access" is almost always ADIT. "Kimono sash" or "Japanese accessory" would be OBI. Definitions that include "front" or "end" or "back" or "finish", especially with a question mark, often refer to the word itself, not its meaning (e.g., "Road's end?" is STER).  "Oreo" is a favorite word, used in so many ways, e.g., "sandwich treat" or "crumbled ice cream topping" or "favorite snack"...  

In this Sunday's New York Times crossword, just in the numbers 1 through 25 (both across and down, out of 124 numbers), here's some of what I figured out without any letters, or only one, already filled in. I'd classify 8 as trivia, 4 as essentially vocabulary, 1 that could be placed into either category (specialized knowledge), 1 as foreign language. (Answers are at the bottom)

How many can you get?
  • Parabolas, essentially (4 letters)
  • Trophy winner (5 letters, last is P)
  • He planned for a rainy day (4 letters)
  • Sled dog with a statue in Central Park (5 letters)
  • Jewish month before Nisan (4 letters, 2nd is D)
  • Result of a foul on a long basketball shot (15 letters, 1st letter T)
  • Band leader Shaw (5 letters)
  • Architect Mies van der ____ (4 letters)
  • Poi plants (5 letters)
  • Printemps follower (3 letters)
  • Yamaha competitor (8 letters, 2nd letter A)
  • "The Marvelous Mrs. ___ (award-winning Amazon series) (6 letters)
  • A sharps (6 letters)
  • Aer Lingus destination (4 letters)
Some I didn't get until I had more than 2 letters. Here's some of what I knew so far when I started this post; can you do better than I did with just this info?:
  • Start of Euripides signature (7 letters, starts EP)
  • Does, as an animated character (6 letters, last 2 ES)
  • Chaiken who co-created "The L Word" (5 letters, 1st 2 IL)
  • Source of a deferment in the 1960s draft (4 letters, 1st 2 RO)
  • Big fan (6 letters, 3rd letter O)
  • Tim ____, frequent collaborator with Adam Sandler (7 letters,1st letters H _ R)
  • Ancient Greek State with Athens (6 letters, 1st letters A _ T)

Scroll for answers

  • ARCS
  • NOAH
  • ADAR
  • ROHE
  • ETE
  • EIRE (OR ERIN, needed to see a letter other than E to know which)
2nd group, some of which I needed many more letters...
  • Epsilon
  • Voices
  • Ilene  (Never heard of her or The L Word--the risk of trivia!)
  • ROTC
  • Adorer
  • Herlihy (Never heard of him)
  • Attica

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Academy Awards 2019

SUMMARY: Just a diversion--I like what I like, and Oscars don't affect that...but I do like to see all the noms because in theory there's something excellent about them!

Update: Feb 24, 8:20 p.m., added winners (well, I got 7 of the ones I voted for).

Summary: As usual, a fairly small number of films make up the full list of films with nominations.

(Notes Key: M= Was on my list to see; missed it.
? = Don't remember seeing anything about it
N = New, just recently saw previews, not in theaters yet
0 for # noms means was nominated for Golden Globes but not Oscars )

        (Bah, I messed up the table once, so counts might not be complete...)

# NomsMovieSaw ItNotes
0A Private WarM
1A Quiet Place---
8A Star Is Born*
1At Eternity's Gate*
1Avengers: Infinity War*
3The Ballad of Buster ScruggsM
0Beautiful BoyM
7Black Panther*
5Bohemian Rhapsody*
0Boy Erased*
3Can You Ever Forgive Me?*
1Christopher Robin*
3Cold War?
0Crazy Rich Asians*
0Eighth GradeM
10The Favourite*
4First ManM
1First Reformed?
1Free Solo*
5Green Book*
3If Beale Street Could Talk*
1Hale Country This Morning?
1Incredibles 2*
3Isle of Dogs*
4Mary Poppins Returns*
2Mary Queen of Scots*
1Minding the Gap?
2Never Look Away N?
0The Old Man and the Gun*
1Ralph Breaks the Internet*
1Ready Player One*
1Solo: A Star Wars Story*
1Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse*
0Stan & Ollie*
1The Wife*

Short Films: I don't think they're ever nominated for anything except best short, so I'm leaving them out of the preceding table.
  • Documentary: Black Sheep, End Game, Lifeboat, A Night at the Garden, Period. End of Sentence.
  • Live action: Detainment, Fauve, Marguerite, Mother, Skin
  • Animated: Animal Behaviour, Bao, Late Afternoon, One Small Step, Weekends

Key below: "GG win"= won Golden Globe; "P" = My pref for Oscar; "W" = actual Oscar winner

Best Pic: Lots of good choices. I think Vice is the least of them. I still think Bohemian Rhapsody is just a shallow skim on what could've been a deep story, but Golden Globes gave it to them for the Drama award. My own favorites are Black Panther, Green Book, and A Star is Born, but I'm giving it to Green Book again.

Pref/WinGG winBest PictureRelated info per wikipedia
"Black Panther" Kevin Feige
"BlacKkKlansman" Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee
G (drama)"Bohemian Rhapsody" Graham King
"The Favourite" Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos
P WG (com/mus)"Green Book" Jim Burke (film producer)|Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga
"Roma" Gabriela RodrÌguez and Alfonso CuarÛn
"A Star Is Born" Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor
"Vice" Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin J. Messick

Pref/WinGG winBest DirectorRelated info per wikipedia
Spike Lee "BlacKkKlansman"
PaweB Pawlikowski "Cold War"
Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favourite"
WGAlfonso CuarÛn "Roma"
Adam McKay "Vice"

Best actor--same comments as before the Golden Globes: They are all pretty amazing. Very hard to narrow it down to 2 (which I finally did), let alone one. I could agree with any of these 5 as the winner.
Pref/WinGG winBest ActorRelated info per wikipedia
PG (com/mus)Christian Bale "Vice" as Dick Cheney
Bradley Cooper "A Star Is Born" as Jackson "Jack" Maine
Willem Dafoe "At Eternity's Gate" as Vincent van Gogh
WG (drama) Rami Malek "Bohemian Rhapsody" as Freddie Mercury
PViggo Mortensen "Green Book" as Tony Lip|Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga

Best actress, tough choices. Lady Gaga did a great job, particularly considering that she's essentially a newcomer. Glenn Close's portrayal of a woman gradually coming into her own was wonderful. Aparicio had me believing almost that we were watching a documentary, she was so real.  Melissa McCarthy I also thought did very well indeed, stepping out of some of the characters she's done in the past. Colman was excellent as Queen Anne, but she was really just one of 3 women in the film.  So, dunno. Stymied. I'll narrow it down to 2.

Pref/WinGG winBest ActressRelated info per wikipedia
Yalitza Aparicio "Roma" as Cleodegaria "Cleo" GutiÈrrez
PG (drama)Glenn Close "The Wife" as Joan Castleman
WG (com/mus)Olivia Colman "The Favourite" as Anne, Queen of Great Britain
PLady Gaga "A Star Is Born" as Ally Campana or Maine
Melissa McCarthy "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" as Lee Israel

Grant stole the show every time he was on screen, but Ali and Elliot were even deeper. Can't decide. Any of the 3 would make me happy.
Pref/WinGG winBest Supporting ActorRelated info per wikipedia
P WGMahershala Ali "Green Book" as Don Shirley
Adam Driver "BlacKkKlansman" as Philip "Flip" Zimmerman
PSam Elliott "A Star Is Born" as Bobby Maine
Richard E. Grant "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" as Jack Hock
Sam Rockwell "Vice" as George W. Bush

The Favorourite noms showed their talents, and King was excellent in Beale Street, but for my money, Adams fully inhabited Lynne Cheney like a virtual reincarnation; in fact, her version seems more real than the real one.
Pref/WinGG winBest Supporting ActressRelated info per wikipedia
PAmy Adams "Vice" as Lynne Cheney
Marina de Tavira "Roma" as SofÌa
WGRegina King "If Beale Street Could Talk" as Sharon Rivers
Emma Stone "The Favourite" as Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham
Rachel Weisz "The Favourite" as Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

Pref/WinGG winBest Original ScreenplayRelated info per wikipedia
"The Favourite" Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (writer)|Tony McNamara
"First Reformed" Written by Paul Schrader
P WG"Green Book" Written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
"Roma" Written by Alfonso CuarÛn
"Vice" Written by Adam McKay

Pref/WinGG winBest Adapted ScreenplayRelated info per wikipedia
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" Screenplay by Coen brothers|Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, based on the short stories "All Gold Canyon" by Jack London, "The Gal Who Got Rattled" by Stewart Edward White, and short stories by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
W"BlacKkKlansman" Screenplay by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, based on the memoir "Black Klansman" by Ron Stallworth
P"Can You Ever Forgive Me?" Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, based on the memoir by Lee Israel
"If Beale Street Could Talk"Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, based on If Beale Street Could Talk|the novel by James Baldwin
P"A Star Is Born"Screenplay by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters; based on the A Star Is Born 1954 screenplay by Moss Hart and the A Star Is Born 1976 screenplay by Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne & Frank Pierson; based on a story by Robert Carson (writer)|Robert Carson & William A. Wellman

Spider-Verse is hands down the best of these in every way.  GG agreed; I wonder whether The Academy will go with Isle of Dogs or Mirai because they're not superhero movies and are pretty stylish.  However, my 2nd favorite is Incredibles 2.
Pref/WinGG winBest Animated FeatureRelated info per wikipedia
"Incredibles 2" Brad Bird, John Walker (film producer)|John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle
"Isle of Dogs" Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales|Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson (producer)|Jeremy Dawson
"Mirai" Mamoru Hosoda and Yk ichirM SaitM
"Ralph Breaks the Internet" Rich Moore, Phil Johnston (filmmaker)|Phil Johnston and Clark Spencer
P WG"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Foreign Language; I saw only Roma so far, so I can't vote.

Pref/WinGG winBest Foreign Language FilmRelated info per wikipedia
"Capernaum" | Arabic Directed by Nadine Labaki
"Cold War" |Polish and French language|French Directed by PaweB Pawlikowski
"Never Look Away" |German Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
WG"Roma" |Spanish and Mixtec language|Mixtec Directed by Alfonso CuarÛn
"Shoplifters" |Japanese Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Documentaries: I've seen only Free Solo and RBG. Latter was excellent. Former was amazing.

Pref/WinGG winBest Documentary FeatureRelated info per wikipedia
P W"Free Solo" Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill
"Hale County This Morning, This Evening" RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim
"Minding the Gap" Bing Liu (filmmaker)|Bing Liu and Diane Quon
"Of Fathers and Sons" Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme and Tobias N. Siebert
"RBG" Betsy West and Julie Cohen

NOTE ABOUT SHORT FILMS: I don't usually get to see these unless some theater plays a collection of them after oscars are announced. This year some of them are playing at local first-run theaters, but sadly only while I'm stuck at home post-surgery. Most likely to see Animated ones along with animated features. UPDATE: I found all the animated shorts online, so I've seen them all now. Others, didn't look yet.

Pref/WinGG winBest Documentary (Short Subject)Related info per wikipedia
"Black Sheep" Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn
"End Game" Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (filmmaker)|Jeffrey Friedman
"Lifeboat" Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser
"A Night at the Garden" Marshall Curry
W"Period. End of Sentence." Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton

Pref/WinGG winBest Live Action Short FilmRelated info per wikipedia
"Detainment" Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon
"Fauve" JÈrÈmy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon
"Marguerite" Marianne Farley and Marie-HÈlËne Panisset
"Mother" Rodrigo Sorogoyen and MarÌa del Puy Alvarado
W"Skin" Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman

Pref/WinGG winBest Animated Short FilmRelated info per wikipedia
"Animal Behaviour" Alison Snowden and David Fine (filmmaker)|David Fine
P W"Bao" Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb
"Late Afternoon" Louise Bagnall and Nuria Gonz·lez Blanco
"One Small Step" Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
"Weekends" Trevor Jimenez

Pref/WinGG win*Best Original ScoreRelated info per wikipedia
W"Black Panther" Ludwig Gˆransson
"BlacKkKlansman" Terence Blanchard
"If Beale Street Could Talk" Nicholas Britell
"Isle of Dogs" Alexandre Desplat
"Mary Poppins Returns" Marc Shaiman
* Won by "First Man"

I like the Mary Poppins Song, but although Shallow's lyrics feel at times shallow, still, it pulled me in emotionally.
Pref/WinGG winBest Original SongRelated info per wikipedia
"All the Stars" from "Black Panther"
Music by Sounwave|Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar|Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith; Lyrics by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and SZA (singer)|Sol·na Rowe
"I'll Fight" from "RBG"
Music and Lyrics by Diane Warren
"The Place Where Lost Things Go" from "Mary Poppins Returns"
Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
P WG"Shallow" from "A Star Is Born"
Music and Lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
"When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
Music and Lyrics by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Pref/WinGG winBest Sound EditingRelated info per wikipedia
"Black Panther" Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
W"Bohemian Rhapsody" John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
"First Man" Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
"A Quiet Place" Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
"Roma" Sergio DÌaz and Skip Lievsay

Pref/WinGG winBest Sound MixingRelated info per wikipedia
"Black Panther" Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter J. Devlin
W"Bohemian Rhapsody" Paul Massey (sound engineer)|Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
"First Man" Jon Taylor (sound mixer)|Jon Taylor, Frank A. MontaÒo, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis
"Roma" Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and JosÈ Antonio Garcia (sound mixer)|JosÈ Antonio Garcia
"A Star Is Born" Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve A. Morrow

Pref/WinGG winBest Production DesignRelated info per wikipedia
W"Black Panther" Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
"The Favourite" Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
"First Man" Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
"Mary Poppins Returns" Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
"Roma" Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: B·rbara EnrÌquez

Cinematography: Again, have seen only 3, and none of Favourite, Roma, or Star struck me particularly in this area--in fact, Star did way too much herky-jerky video for my taste.
Pref/WinGG winBest CinematographyRelated info per wikipedia
"Cold War" A ukasz
"The Favourite" Robbie Ryan (cinematographer)|Robbie Ryan
"Never Look Away" Caleb Deschanel
W"Roma" Alfonso CuarÛn
"A Star Is Born" Matthew Libatique

Mary, Queen of Scots' costumes, hairstyles, and makeup put me into their reality more than any others. I know that it's a costume film so more obvious, but I'm going with it.
Pref/WinGG winBest Makeup and HairstylingRelated info per wikipedia
"Border" Gˆran Lundstrˆm and Pamela Goldammer
P"Mary Queen of Scots" Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
W"Vice" Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney

Pref/WinGG winBest Costume DesignRelated info per wikipedia
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" Mary Zophres
W"Black Panther" Ruth E. Carter
"The Favourite" Sandy Powell (costume designer)|Sandy Powell
"Mary Poppins Returns" Sandy Powell
P"Mary Queen of Scots" Alexandra Byrne

Pref/WinGG winBest Film EditingRelated info per wikipedia
"BlacKkKlansman" Barry Alexander Brown
W"Bohemian Rhapsody" John Ottman
"The Favourite" Yorgos Mavropsaridis
"Green Book" Patrick J. Don Vito
"Vice" Hank Corwin

Visual Effects: Still haven't seen First Man at time of voting. They included Christopher Robin but not Black Panther? Interesting.
Pref/WinGG winBest Visual EffectsRelated info per wikipedia
P"Avengers: Infinity War" Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick
"Christopher Robin" Chris Lawrence (visual effects)|Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould
W"First Man" Paul Lambert (special effects artist)|Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter (visual effects supervisor)|Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J. D. Schwalm
"Ready Player One" Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and Dave Shirk|David Shirk
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Crunchies! (is Humans Peoples calls "bottle")

SUMMARY: The best toys are the cheapest and come from the recycling bin.

Note: Another post rescued from the Drafts pile in my Blogger account, started in Sept. 2016.

Oops, actually DID post a nearly identical post in 2016

Thanks to Squink's Human Mom for the summary line and the idea for the post. Dogs love plastic bottles!  Well, mine always have, anyway.

Squink - September 2016  (Photo by Squink. Or maybe his Human.)

My first dog, Amber - 1981

How could I not have photos of Sheba, Remington, or Jake with bottles?? Well, maybe I do in a photo album somewhere.  

Tika - 2011

Boost - 2009 (can't find bottle photo, but still, nice recyclables toy)

Chip 2015

Zorro - 2015

And just happen to have one of a friend's dog--

Future World Champion Dash (TBD) - 2008
(He has been national champion in multiple venues several times and was on the World Team representing the US in 2016.)

Friday, February 22, 2019

Hit a kitty cat with a brick bat and sing nonsense songs

SUMMARY: And I don't mean the ones that I make up.

I often sing to myself, and also to whatever dogs happen to be around at the moment. The other day I started singing:

"...hit him with a brick bat
sing song kitty cat chi-kymeo
Chikeemeo chi-kymeo my deereo my dell
Hi ho income paddywinkle
something something something something
hit him with a brick bat
sing song kitty cat chi-kymeo"

I thought:

  1. Where did that come from?
  2. What does it mean? 
  3. It's so garbled! Maybe something from when I was a young child and I've completely forgotten the real lyrics because most of that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever?
  4. I should look it up on the "interwebs"!
  5. What did we ever do before the WWW?

And, so, I found out:

  • It *is* just nonsense, because, after all, kids love nonsense songs... or at least I know *I* did. And, OK, still do.
  • It's an old Appalachian folk song, origins unknown, meanings unknown. This is cool, because my home territory from most of my childhood includes the Appalachians (northern).
    Lyrics similar to what I remember.
    Web site with many versions.
  • (And because this is an educational blog [???], if you want to know *really* what Appalachia is--you're out of luck, because it's pretty nebulous.)
  • Wow, so where did I learn it?  Didn't find it on the couple of childhood records that I still have, but my recollection is a male voice on a record. I perhaps will never know...

    BUT... I'll keep on singing it!
Gratuitous kitty cat, not singing a song (Los Gatos Creek trail, February 2010)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

About teaching tricks

SUMMARY: Do I work on more than one at a time?

(Started this post back in 2018 sometime in response to someone's question and left it as a draft. I have over 40 draft posts that I never finished! Maybe I'll keep working on clearing them out and queueing them up for weeks in advance!)

I work on more than one trick at a time for various reasons. This includes keeping me from getting bored and keeping them from thinking that Trick Time means only [whatever we’ve been working on in recent days/weeks]. If the tricks are different enough from each other, dogs shouldn’t get confused. For example, I started with crawl backwards with Luke while he was still learning left and right (which he’s still a little iffy on). I started blowing bubbles in a water bowl while working on other things.

Like anything else, I try not to do more than 3-5 minutes or maybe 20 treats for one dog, depending on where I am in the process, then switch back and forth with maybe 4 or 5 turns for each dog. Other dog(s) are supposed to wait quietly on their bed or in a down while I work with that dog; this is good training for staying in one place even with distractions. So I'm training two dogs at once! (Early in the wait/stay/go to your bed stage, I need to reward that dog periodically, too.

I might work on the same trick all 4 or 5 times in a session if I’m looking for some kind of breakthrough or if the dog is progressing rapidly and I want to reinforce or push it just a tiny bit farther. If dog looks confused or starts seeming stressed, I quickly go back to a couple of trick that she already knows well (often a hand touch and a Shake) and let her lie down to relax while I work with the other dog. I usually finish with a play session at the end, which is, of course, always a little bit of training (Give, Down, Bring It, do a trick and get the ball again, etc.).

I will concentrate on more repetitions of things that they’ve more or less started to grasp to build the skill, and possibly fewer repetitions of something that’s completely new (so not to stress them out or to give myself a chance to think about how i can chunk it differently or present it differently to help them) and of something that they know well. But, still, I'll mix in a few instances of more familiar tricks.

I always try to end with things that they know. (Anything, even if it’s just at the “I know how to Sit and nothing else” stage—then it would be a couple of sits (with rewards, of course)and done.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Confined to Quarters After Receiving a New Hip

SUMMARY: [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday 

Tip: There's rollover text on photos for those who like words.

First week: Confined upstairs

Feb 5

Feb 7

Feb 8

Feb 10

Feb 11: OK to go up and down stairs!

Feb 11

Feb 13

Feb 16

>>  Visit the Wordless Wednesday site; lots of blogs. <<

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Levy's Law of Level Surfaces

SUMMARY: Mystifies even the most advanced quantum physicists

My dad (maybe started with my grandparents?) defined the Levy Law of Level Surfaces.

My sister stated it in 2018 as: "Any level surface will immediately be covered past capacity."

I remember it as being multipart, something like:
  1. Any clear level surface will attract items within 10 microseconds to the point where it is no longer clear.
  2. If someone is attempting to clear a level surface and there is more than one person involved, the additional people will add things to the level surface in proportion to the clearing of the level surface so that the surface is never completely clear.
  3. There are no clear level surfaces.
(Sad that Dad isn't around to remind me any more of his wordings. We'll need to refine this description.)

From a Dad email in Oct 2014 to an adult granddaughter:
"You haven't developed symptoms of 'Levy's Law of Level Surfaces'.  One symptom of it was when I was moving a piece of furniture from one place to another, I had put it down because something else had higher priority. When I returned there were two  small piles of papers on the top level surface. I had to the move them before completing the move. "
And it's a famous Law! (At least, in a certain circle of cognoscenti.) November, 2018, on Facebook in a chat mostly of family members, a friend of my sisters (Thomas DaEarl Taylor (Earl Thomas the Incomplete in the SCA)) said:
"I still quote the 'Levy Law of Level Surfaces' to my friends. Oh, and [I] give your dad citation credit."
In the meantime, I can guarantee that there are no level surfaces in my house that don't have things on them, no matter how often I clear them off.  My brother-in-law was just describing a couple of weeks ago that, after he completely clears the kitchen counters, things (e.g., salt & pepper shakers...) appear there as soon as he turns his back.

Recently I completely cleared off a small computer table and the shelves beneath it to get it out of the house. But my hips were too sore at the time to move it, and so it sat there. Now, instead of holding a neat assortment of things that belonged there (including a printer), it holds random piles of things (not including anything even vaguely computer related) that need to go somewhere else but somehow were attracted to the empty surfaces. Amazing how well the law works.

More research is needed.

The morning that wasn't

SUMMARY: Pain meds for new hip, or dreamy state, or wish fulfillment, or...

This is what led me into accidentally coming across parents' obits yesterday. Posted on Facebook 2/18/19.

I awoke this morning, tucked into my comfy and warm recovery bed between my new flannel sheets, hearing a sound at my bedroom door. I opened my eyes, and the room flooded with brilliant morning sunshine and a feeling of well-being came over me. Dogs were quiet in their crates, not disturbing me. Mom was standing in the doorway, hand on the doorknob, tall and slender, in an apron as always, her hair pulled back into a short pony tail, just checking up on me, saying something about letting my hip heal and breakfast would be ready when I was ready. I could smell breakfast and I could hear my little sisters downstairs playing. All was right with the world. Then I awoke, tucked into my comfy and warm recovery bed between my new flannel sheets. I opened my eyes, and the room flooded with brilliant morning sunshine. Dogs were quiet in their crates, not disturbing me. My bedroom door was closed. No one else was in the house. I lay there in my delicious bed, loving the sunshine, floating between contentment and grief and contentment again.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Goodbye to Mom and Dad --

SUMMARY: Two years after the actual final goodbye.

I just posted their expanded obituary, now here at Taj MuttHall dated Feb 25, 2017. That was an early draft after several edits from all of we sisters five. But obits in the San Jose Mercury News were so expensive that we eventually edited it down to bare bones for publication there.

We ended up posting separate, slightly different, obits for each of them in the SJ Merc.