Sunday, July 21, 2013

Not My Usual Sunday Afternoon Viewing

Mr. Fixit is still on vacation so today I had time to do something I seldom do. I watched a whole mini-series in one sitting.

My favorite genre of television is British mysteries. The one I chose today was “Five Days,” an HBO film made in association with the BBC and written by Gwyneth Hughes. It was enthralling and disturbing. I won’t sat I enjoyed it. It is quite like the “The Deer Hunter.” It’s not a film you “enjoy.” They are both disturbing movies that touch your emotions in ways that few movies do.

“Five Days” tells the story of a young mother’s murder. There are so many conflicts and changes the characters go through. The victim is white, her husband is black. She has a white daughter from a previous marriage and two mixed race children with her husband. The story details how her death almost destroys everyone concerned--her husband and children, her grandfather, her parents, the perpetrators, a good Samaritan (maybe) who becomes overly involved, and the police officers involved in solving the case.

I have to admit that I cried more than once. There was one scene with her mother (Penelope Wilton) and her father (Edward Woodward) that left me intensely affected. The grandfather said some very unkind things to his daughter. She said, “I only wanted to come first with somebody.” Wow! There must be very few people who live their lives without coming first with someone. It could be a parent, a child, a spouse or a lover. It’s remarkable that there are other people who feel they are forever on the outside looking in. You could see the pain on her face when her father said that she must have been born into the wrong family. It must be devastating to finally admit that you never have and never will “come first.” It was intense for me, to say the least. I suppose people can care about you, but you don’t necessarily come first.

Aside from Mr. Woodward and Ms. Wilton, there were some other outstanding performances. Patrick Malahide, who played Inspector Alleyn in a series based on Ngaio Marsh’s books, was excellent. As was David Oyelowo in the role of the victim’s husband.

Now I have to find something distracting to get this series out of my head. 

The Future Is Now

Using the scan-it-yourself check out lines is not one of my favorite things to do—for a variety of reasons that I touched on in previous posts. If we have no produce and just a few items, we sometimes use them as we did recently in Wal-mart.

There is always a hand-written sign on each register indicating that gift cards cannot be used at the scan-it-yourself register. There was another sign also posted on one or two of the registers recently. It stated, “Cash Cannot Be Accepted.”

Writers of science fiction usually describe a future when cash is obsolete. Will my paper money go the way of phone booths, surgeons, and landlines? Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the future; what next, the Jetson’s will move in next door?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Sound of Silence

This morning I sat at the breakfast bar with my book waiting for the tea kettle to boil. I heard a rhythmic sound, thika, thika. I listened. The faucet wasn’t dripping, the AC wasn’t running, and, of course, all the televisions were silent. What the. . . ?

I looked straight ahead listening, listening with my head cocked like a dog’s trying to understand what his human is saying. There it was right in front of me—the electric wall clock in the dining room. Thika, thika with each passing second.

I never realized that electric clocks could be so noisy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Garbage Rebellion

The town furnishes our trash receptacles because a few years ago new garbage truck was purchased that featured the lift thingey. The guys no longer have to lift the bins manually. Clearly printed on each container is the instruction to place the handles toward the street. I guess this is so they won’t have to turn it around to fit it on the lift mechanism.

The town also passed an ordinance that required the residents to move their containers from the street-side within 24 hours. Lots of people ignore that one completely and their containers stay there all the time. But all the containers within my view have them positioned correctly with the handles toward the street.

Every Wednesday morning when I take ours to the street, I notice that our neighbor across the way always leaves his container backward. Hmmm—I wonder if this is his small quiet rebellion. There is small part of me that admires him. I’m such a wuss. I am compelled to be a rule-follower.

(I don’t quite understand why the garbage guys can’t turn the containers. I understand how lifting them is difficult, but just turning them?)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Enough Already!

We have had so much rain this year. I think it has rained every day for weeks. Last Friday night there was a big storm that caused quite a bit of damage in the area. There is a small creek that runs behind the house across from our house. It flooded and washed away about 4 feet of one neighbor’s yard causing their fence to collapse and the dog to escape. The run-off from our house ran into another neighbor’s yard. The water running down their driveway pushed their little plastic shed with holds their lawn mower and yard tools about 8 feet. It just missed their new car.

We had a bit of a mess, too. The water came in under our garage door flooding the garage and destroying some the 700+ paperback books that I was storing there. The water ran under the door leading into the house. The bathroom directly across from that door had quite a bit of water, but the floor covering is linoleum so there wasn’t much damage except to the vanity. The water also went into the extra bedroom that we use for storage. It is carpeted. We dried to dry it out with fans after using a wet/dry vac on it. It smells horrible still. I don’t think it was mildew because it smelled bad on Saturday morning. I didn’t know rain water could smell so bad. I guess the carpet will have to go.

Removal of the carpet will have to wait until Mr. Fixit comes home. He is on vacation and will probably be gone at least a week. He flew out this morning. I don’t think I can move all the stuff in there by myself.

The sun is shining a little bit now, but I think thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon. On the bright side, the grass and trees are very green.

I’m having a little trouble coping with no TV. Mr. Fixit bought an indoor digital antenna for his set. It works pretty well. He can get several local channels and the programming is HD. Wow! I didn’t realize what a difference there is. He put another antenna on my set, but it doesn’t work very well. I can only get one or two channels, and, as my luck goes, those channels aren’t the ones I watch much.  The under-the-counter set in the kitchen doesn’t get anything at all. The quiet is wearing on me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It Takes the Sting Out

Some weeks ago, I turned off my television to see if I could bear to be without it. It worked out very well; I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. But I did realize that it wasn’t a true test because all I had to do was push that little button and I would once again be entertained and informed.

Circumstances have dictated that we are now without broadcast television, and it’s more of a problem for me than I thought it would be.

I was checking to see if I could watch my favorite shows on line. I found most of them, but it’s not the same as being able to channel surf to pick and choose. Then I found something that brightened my outlook considerably.

I found on the CBS site  “CBS Sunday Morning” with the soothing sound of Mr. Osgood’s voice. My favorite part of the program is the nature video at the end of the program each week. The photography is the best, and I love the video with no narration or background music. You simply hear birdsong, the rustle of the leaves and tall grass, water tumbling in streams,  and the croak of frogs and the buzz of insects. Sometimes if you listen closely, you hear the breathing of the cameraperson or traffic in the distance.

I have been a little peeved lately because they seem to have shortened these segments in the last season or so. The video I found on line was almost four minutes. It was a segment done at the sight of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was lovely!

Now I don’t feel so deprived!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tip of the Day

Some things are best left to the professionals, i.e. hair cutting.