About me

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am no fan of the Canada goose

Not a fan, not in the least, and my litany of complaints is long. I might feel different if they were not federally protected, and if I lived out in the way back somewhere, it's likely that the occasional specimen would be hanging would be hanging by the feet from a clothes line while I warmed up the oven and fetched the pruning shears.



Surely, these things can be made tasty with enough butter and, perhaps, some dried pork sausage stuffing, and I can't help but think that a few hours in the oven at, maybe 400 to 425, would go a long way to improving that alarming attitude, which does not improve even with cracked corn.

No, not even the gooselings seem worth the trouble, though they can be cuter in their ungainly ways, that, as adults, do nothing to improve them in my sight, at least not like a good butter sauce would. And a bottle of red. OK, shredded and stirred in an omelet is not all that bad either.

Of course, none of the ways these gnarly beasts are pleasing involve flapping around in the world dropping crap all over creation while attacking anyone who might have the audacity to walk to the car.


How these things got past the border patrol, I have no idea, but I suspect it had something to do with Mabel telling Earl that he'd better bring something home for dinner.

Two days later

Above average heat. I'm loving it, but the roses, not so much. The buds burst open, and soon the petals will hit the ground.

For as sad as that surely is about the petals, your heart should be warmed from my use of the r in bust, just like a good college boy should.


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Monday, May 30, 2011

One more tobacco plant

After visiting with Alice and Ben Saturday afternoon, I stepped over to the tobacco field beside the church. I spent the first 30 summers of my life working in these things, and I'm no stranger to the plant.

This one has been in the field maybe a month. The warm evenings and recent rains have jump started it to the five or so feet it will become.

If I had a garden, I'd have a specimen just so I didn't forget. However, I do not have a garden, and I'm sure I don't miss it. Maybe a tomato in a bucket one day, but more likely, my gardening will continue at Food Lion.

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Finding Alice and Ben

Years ago for Mother's Day or Easter or some other undefined event, my parents would drive the 30 miles east to visit the graves of my Mother's parents. Grandmother died when my mother was about three, according to family tales, and my grandfather died about three years before I was born. This latter fact, I never knew, or had forgotten, until I found the graves.

Some 30 years ago on a bike trip, I stumbled upon the church and cemetery, but I could not remember exactly how I got there. I couldn't even remember the name of the church. I only remembered it was in the Broadslab Triangle bounded by Goldsboro, Benson, and Smithfield.

So off I went, figuring old memories would take me along. Five hours, one dead snake, and an open grave later, I knew it was a hopeless mission. There are millions of small churches in that area, and they all look alike. I went back to Smithfield, parked at Holt's lake BBQ, and called Buck. A half-hour later, he had told me where the church was, offering directions that I'd never be able to follow, but then he mentioned the crossroads nearby and, oh so much better, the remembered name of the church.

Selah. I immediately recognized the long forgotten name (and vowel sound).

A quick Google search solved the problem. Yes, Google knows everything, even about Selah Christian Church. Go figure. And my GPS could find the address. Well, after I have a BBQ dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Thirty minutes later, I'm there. And yes, it's a Christian Church, not a Baptist. I didn't know that was possible in that corner of the world.


and



I remember a different picture from 30 years ago, with a smaller church, but I suppose things can change in three decades of my absence. The well with the hand pump is gone from the front lawn. They have automatic sprinklers now. The church has grown and is also further back from the road than I remembered.

They even have a mailbox.


The rest was mostly where I left it, not having substantially changed since we visited in the 60s, driving there after lunch, after church, in a pink Nash Rambler with no AC. Those endless drives and subsequent driving are likely what motivated Mama to get her own driving license.

My family on both sides cultivated dysfunctional behavior to extremes. I suspect they hauled Alice way across the county not only to be with her parents but also to take advantage of a plot that was already paid for. With the children off in the orphanage, there would be less inheritance to split.

Here is the marker.


Here's the foot marker for Alice.


And Ben. I had forgotten Ben was here.


Notice that only the year is given. These people had some trouble with official records, and my mother had to have her sister attest to a birthday to receive Social Security. The people in the county courthouse did not bat an eye, and they proceeded with the paperwork as though most people did not know when they were born.

Alice was born a Howell. Here are the markers for her parents. The taller is for the husband. Imagine that.


Ages ago, my brother visited some ancient family with my mother and aunts. One of the older men in the house took one look at Bro and pronounced, "That boy's a Howell." Bro never did make it to a codicil, however.

And so now we know, and Google knows, where my maternal grandparents and great-grandparents rest. The knowledge is as secure as it needs to be, and I can quit dreaming about it being lost.

Clear and present danger

They usually keep sharp things away from me, though I'm not sure why other than to make more videos of me sitting in the corner growling while gnawing pork chop bones.

In this case, I simply opened a plastic Coke bottle. Diet, as is my custom. And refilled it from a generic three liter bottle from Food Lion.

You'd think I was sharpening alligator teeth or something.


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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moving in

I explored several cemeteries yesterday not finding my relatives, though the names were so familiar I thought I was at a combo high school and family reunion. And where did all those Jernigans come from?

At the next to last cemetery, we had an apartment being prepared for a new tenant, a husband joining his wife who moved in a decade earlier.

If you could see the gap between the plywood and the dirt, you'd see that the vault of the one will touch the vault of the other through the eternal rejoining.


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The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

One of my fave bloggers published a thing about some turtle doves that setup housekeeping in her house. Here's the link.

In the matter of a very few days, the birds hatched, matured, and flew away. She remarked about the swift passage of time.

I spent yesterday thinking about passing time, especially as I took a trip to visit the grave of my maternal grandparents. There'll be more about that later, but for now, I remember well the interminable trips of my youth. All of one hour, after lunch, after church, on a Sunday. Usually.

Fast forward fifty years, grown children of my own, and time is a twinkle. Yes, I recognize I'm not the first to see that, and it's not the first I've thought of it. It's just poignant this day, after yesterday, with fresh doves on the wing. Learning what my grandfather meant when he said the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak is not particularly pleasant most days.

I hope those doves learn quickly the thrill it must be to spin through the world at what are, surely, breakneck speeds, at least for the rest of us, and that they avoid the playground bullies hellbent to make short that thrill.

But for now, I need some lake time. The Diet Cokes are packed, but now a beer or two seems a reasonable addition to the cooler. Yes, I'll walk there more slowly than some others.

I felt so welcomed

I was returning from the cemetery at Selah Christian Church, working my way over to 701 south of Smithfield, when I saw this sign as I crossed from Wayne county to Johnston.

Do you suppose they know the rapture has been rescheduled for 21 October 2011? I thought of knocking on the parsonage door to ask, but then thought better of it. Besides, the preacher's kid was just taking off on his four wheeler.

It's going to be an interesting Halloween this year.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dead snake in the road

I was a few minutes behind the local downpour trying to find a church in the wrong county. The land is very low, and the roads are crooked. As I rounded a curve, I saw and dodged a dead snake. Coming back, I stopped to take the picture.

Yes, I waited to see if it would wiggle before I got close. I really don't much like snakes.

This beast appears to be an adult, if young, eastern hognose adder. Harmless, but quite capable of stopping your heart in pure terror. I think for a fact as I met a live one nose-to-nose in a corn field years ago.

Yes, I know. I should have moved the snake from the road to the ditch where it could return to the earth in peace. However, that would require that I be touch it, at least by the tail, and I generally leave snakes alone unless I have a stick or a hoe or something. This one could have been playing possum, don't you know. Dead snakes can be treacherous that way.

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I burned a fritter

Just like Mama would have done, the difference being that Mama had a kitchen full of excitement and I had a Twitter feed.

We might also say that I burnt that fritter, but only if we are thinking Down East or north of the border.

Now, I gotta find me a bunch of syrup or something. A big mess of figs would be about right, but the house is devoid of figgery products. No honey either.

And people think I'm spoiled. Spoilt too.


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Thursday, May 26, 2011

A splash of red: Day 2

One day later. I do not promise to stop by each day until the petals fall. But then I might. The days are running a little slow lately, and we have a long weekend coming.


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Defeated

Defeated. At lunch. By a Diet Coke. No matter how I approached the danged thing, it spilled. It also spilt, but we are not in Canada, so stop thinking like that, and hand me some more napkins.


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A splash of red

Or a splash of rose.

I was noodling along, ignoring the loud traffic, ignoring the ugly machinery, ignoring about everything outside my own head, you probably know such moments, when a splash of fleeting red called my attention, urging me to back up, to turn my aging head, and there it was. One bud opening in a frame of buds soon to open.

I'll want to pass by here again soon, perhaps over the long weekend, to keep track of this progression. Someone needs to see it.


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The Fice Dog

The question arose regarding the nature of the Fice dog after I used a colloquial phrase during my work last weekend: Like a fice dog on a snake.

That's the way I grew up hearing the name of this odd bread of small ill-tempered dog. Faulkner wrote it as "Fyce" in The Bear, a center-piece section of Go Down, Moses.

It turns out that the bred is real, if spelled differently, and a product of the southern United States. I had no idea, and here at the tender age of 57, I stand a small bit more educated.

The link is here. The Wiki article needs more citation, and I'll speak with Lester regarding a few details to add. Now, what we'll do for written references is another matter that I doubt we address, unless I write them here after the conversations. Lester doesn't write.

Dictionary.com (here) uses a definition that seems far more appropriate: "a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog"

And of course, fancy people must become involved, and we have the formal breed. Someone needs to tell these people that their fice dogs are TOO BIG!

Meanwhile, Pauley Perrette lives with a rescued fice. Here's the picture for as long as TwitPic allows. He seems about right. She says he's a chihuahua and rat terrier mix. Let me be clear: The dog is a fice dog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flower Moon is up

You might think that all we have to do some days is work, and this moon, there certainly was enough work to go around, and to do so several times. That's probably a good problem to have. Nonetheless, we each finished our part of the project on time, and then I traveled and phones rang and this and that and so forth. You probably get the idea.

And then it happened, even with a stiff editorial review, and we all know just how much I benefit from a strong editor, even when she does ask for details that I'm (sometimes) not so willing to share.

Click the it above, or that one right there, and see for yourself.

ArcSoft MediaImpression for Kodak is not for YouTube

Sometime back during a sale of some sort, I bought a Kodak Zi8 video camera, and as you might know now, I sometimes make videos to put on YouTube. Like most hardware designed for easy use by people like me with little or no skill beyond pressing one button or another in a somewhat less than random order, this little camera is intuitive and easy to use.

Such hardware often comes with it's own software, and the Zi8 is no exception. ArcSoft MediaImpression. It loads on your computer when you first plug in the camera through the USB port. What's hidden from most users is that the file formats are proprietary, or at least odd, and not accessible to most other forms of software. This is not an issue for most of us because the built-in software is quite sufficient. I'm not likely to make any kind of video presentation beyond my usual stitching of several short clips into a single short movie.

And then it all breaks.

ArcSoft updated the software about a month ago. Last Monday, I made a few clips of the excessively loud cicadas at Jordan Lake, which I stitched together per my usual. The upload to YouTube happened. The YouTube convert failed. Twice.

As you surely expect, the built-in helps offered no help. Do you ever wonder why bit patterns are wasted there? I have not been helped by built-in help in a decade or more. So I type my question into the Google search bar. Oh yes, there's a discussion board at Kodak. With a little more searching, I discover an extensive thread regarding my YouTube failure. It's a known problem with no anticipated fix. Lovely.

The blame is assigned directly on YouTube. YouTube changed the way it handles videos. The blame is assigned. Well, that certainly solves my problems. The blame is assigned. Yep, I'm good now. It's YouTube's fault.

Never mind that Kodak outsourced its software development to a third party, and likely the third party with the lowest bid. Never mind that proprietary formats are involved. Never mind that any update has to be coordinated through layers of corporate profit margins. Never mind that the people who pay for all this now have something that is quite useless outside the limited capability of the home computer running the proprietary software. Never mind that the world is denied my scintillating of howling cicadas out of focus in close-ups.

The problem has been known for over a month now with no fix in sight. To announce a fix would be to also announce a problem, and we just don't admit much to problems anymore, not in public forums anyway.

So what's the real fix? I could put the camera aside and wait. How I would know the problem is resolved is a question we might never answer. I suppose I'd make a video and see if it worked on YouTube. Or I check the discussion board every month or so. I'll need to recharge the battery every few weeks while I wait.

More likely, I'll replace the device with something else, though I'm not all that excited about spending the additional money. Of course, if I don't, the world will be denied those scintillating videos of howling cicadas. If I do go down this road, rest assured that the file formats will be compatible with other software, whatever that might be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cicadas

Yes, we have cicadas in abundance this year. This is the loudest year I recall. You could hardly hear the jets taking off over the lake of the bugs, which are the size of large hummingbirds. Too bad more people don't fish with the grubs. Even sadder, the bugs do not appear on anyone's menu, not even the fish. Odd, because they should be crunchy.


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It didn't kill me

And I doubt it made me stronger. Nonetheless, I'm still here to whine about it.

If you travel enough, you come to expect one of several things to happen, and you prize the purely boring trip, especially if you travel by plane and for work.

My recent trip to Chicago was a little different.

I chose to take Southwest to Midway instead of the other carriers because (1) Southwest works better than the other carriers, and (2) I have no status now on the other carriers, and that means that when something goes wrong, I have few options beyond finding a nearby Hilton and waiting a day.

The flight up was packed. Every seat full. And bumpy. The train ride from O'Hare to Midway was longer than I remembered and, yes, bumpy, The taxi ride from O'Hare to the burb was as long as I remembered, the driver got confused because he had no GPS, and it was, yes, bumpy.

Have I mentioned that the newly sprouting arthritis in my petite little neck makes it harder to accommodate those things that set off my motion sickness? Yes, I arrived woozy.

The work went fine as I expected it would because this particular group of professionals take understand and accept their role in the process, if they do start at 7 a.m., oh yes. And there were Fiber One snack bars. I heart those things.

The ride back to O'Hare was shorter and not so bumpy. The train to Midway was equally long as before and, yes, bumpy. Midway was full. I suppose people were leaving Chicago on the cheaper carriers for post-rapture vacations.

I had a four hour wait, and I took my time checking in. My boarding pass gave one time. The wall sign gave another. Regardless, I had a five hour wait.

The security lines were long but moving. Especially for the one harried businessman who was playing Frogger in the lanes. At some point, his eyes met mine as he changed lanes again, and I mentioned how the other line always moves faster. Always. He agreed and continued playing Frogger.

The concourse was full of people who had never been anywhere and never done anything. At any given moment, the person walking in front of me wold stop, turn, change course, all without ever looking and all with surprise when I would fall all over them. Our number system is insufficient to count how often this happened.

Oh yes, I now have a six hour wait.

Food in Midway is a challenge. Two of the restaurants will not let you out pay they will arrest you if you leave without paying. The places with a bar were packed as people watched a basketball game. I finally got a burger from Mickie D. I ate it sitting on the floor by a closet door that never opened. The adjacent door opened often, and everyone appeared worried about security as I sat there. I suppose terrorists now eat fries.

I walked a bit, watching my phone battery charge slip-sliding away. As is usual, the Southwest gates had the shiny long tables, but this time, there was not a single power outlet at those tables. I did find a 220 outlet for a floor buffer, but I didn't have an adapter, not that I ever would.

Finally, someone died, and I kicked the body to the gutter so I could have the seat. It was at one of the two bars still open. I sat there with my Bud Light draft, and watched my CDMA cell signal move from five bars of 3G to 1 bar of 1X, and then back. All with me sitting very still and the phone not moving in front of me. Then I managed to offend Virgin Mobile by uploading one too many tweets.

Three beers later, it's time to find the plane that's late but coming, and I do, only to notice several chairs with electrical outlets, every chair filled with tired people, not one electrical outlet being used. When I rule this land, people sitting in those chairs not using those outlets will be eaten by alligators. Scout's Honor.

An hour later, the plane landed, boarded, and left. Yes, with me and my cerebral supernova in 23D. Not one seat open. The pilot said he expected a smooth flight. He was lying. I didn't puke, but I'm not sure why not.

2 a.m., and I'm home, in body if not soul.

Friday, May 20, 2011

So you've got it bad

Imagine you're the lovelorn daddy-wannabe bird that built this nest, only to lose it in a storm. Your DNA goes fallow this season.

This fellow has it bad.


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Love on a Southwest plane

I fly Southwest a lot always sitting in the last row by the aisle. This is why.


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Honeysuckle

Second only to kudzu. The arb keeps two gardeners with trimmers at the ready, one on each side, so this specimen doesn't take over the county.

I am not genetically disposed to tolerate honeysuckle, what with growing up on a farm, but I do like the honey the bees make after sniffing the blooms.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

A rare lily

I found this rare treasure at the arb. Mama would not like it, and she would say it looks like a funeral flower, but I'm going to secretly disagree with her.

This rare and beautiful flower is known as the White Hangy Down Lily. You may purchase registered cultivars next spring.


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You probably didn't know this

It is possible to slice open your finger on an ancient nose hair trimmer, and by ancient, I mean three years old. It needed a jump start, what with a fresh battery AND a fresh spritz of WD-40, and yes, it clogged on the third hair.

It is so going to the landfill today, likely by special courier.

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Mushmoons

Mushmoons. There, I said it. Linked it too. It's a quick blog for something that intrigues me as I walk through this world with my head down. Yeah, I picked up that habit in the fields with a hoe where missing one weed meant sure discipline and follow-up pain and screaming.

Something about mushmoons,takes my attention, and yes, I do know the preferred spelling, but I'm working on another project where Serendipity has required that I create a new word. They live every so briefly in death. Usually deadly. Occasionally tasty. Generally, too expensive to be on my grocery list. They pop up unexpected, live, bloom, and leave, often without leaving a trace beyond the next generation.

For all the slinging

For all that slinging of fertilizer and herbicide at me last month, the minister might want to review his results. I'm thinking doing nothing is about what he did, at least for the yard. Let's hope his ministry is going a little better.


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Next

A late bloomer just coming into its own. Not do much green in these petals. Will we see the red later? Perhaps in another week, as it has already entered that downward spiral to death and mulch.


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Fade to brown

Once white with an annoying shade of green, then the green gave way to a red. The red now fades to brown, and soon these petals will be gone with the wind. Or more likely, a late spring thunderstorm. I suppose that counts for wind also.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garner and the bear

I'd like to say someone has written a derivative of Faulkner's Go Down, Moses, but that is not the case. Garner has a bear. A wild Bear. A running free bear. It's also a tweeting bear.

Yes, about an hour after the first news report, the first tweets came out from @GarnerBear. About 30 minutes later, the news chopper from WRAL was in the air and mussing my hair.

There are a lot of animals in Garner, and some of them have four legs and a lot of hair. Most communities have some compliment of wildlife, though usually, it's not the type that would make a meal of you.

Word was that the local federalies were working to shoo the bear back into the woods, leaving me to ask just how many bears do they think live in those woods. More than one?

I seriously doubt there's been anything more noteworthy than an irritated possum lurking about Garner lately, with the exception of that fruitlooped older uncle of mine, the one who won WWII by jumping out of a plane and stabbing Hitler in the face, but this is another story, one that'll likely be repeated this 4th of July at the Bell Tower, unless that bear eats Graham. In that case, I'll be all over making Mr. Bear a local celebrity, maybe like that Scotty guy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So I changed my mind

I've been not admiring this dogwood for a few weeks because it's blooms were tinged with green. Maybe that's how they all are, but that's not how I remember them. They are supposed to be white, mostly.

Here, after a few weeks, the blossoms with the green cast are turning red, and the green is fading. I found myself preferring the new color.

And then I realized the new color is due to the death of the petals.


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

What is your secret?

Who do you remember? How do I learn what you know?

I consider this stone from many angles. None yet have told me a thing. At one time, I thought the weathered carvings spelled "DAU," and that would break my heart, but I believe now I'm wrong.

Not even the poison ivy is speaking.

And then I turned sideways and a little upside down. I dug some around the side. The letters CHH become apparent. Or is it GHH?

I'm not sure that helps, but it feels like a step forward.


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Different week

Different week. Same deck. Different bottle of the same drink. A new foundling penny. Seven days closer to the grave. That about covers it.


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A mushroom

In the failed sun of yesterday, a sprout, a raised head, an unfurling. Waiting for destruction by intentional foot or returned sun. Either way, crumbled, shriveled, forgotten if ever noticed.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Customer service and Twitter

I doubt many would disagree that customer service is a dying commodity in this world, especially among the larger organizations that are so quick to explain how important your on-hold call is to them. Mostly, I lay this on the laps of consumers who want it cheaper and cheaper, which is all well and good until something goes wrong, and then you learn the hard way how it got to be so cheap.

These days, a lot of customer service happens online, usually though a web site of some sort, and often that web site is Twitter, though there are others. Let me add here that I've heard far more than one corporate manager wonder aloud about how to use Twitter to make a buck, and if that's also your wonderment, you should leave Twitter alone because you'll only make matter far worse. That comment usually gets me that knowing your-don't-really-understand look in an airport, and I would really like to secretly follow-up with those guys to see how it worked out for them.

Here are four examples, two good and two bad. First the bad.

@CLEAR and @VMUcare: Both are equally useless, and both organizations would be better off not using Twitter, not unless they can learn how to do it. In both instances, any tweet sent is, generally, met with a response after some four to six hours. That is not exactly what one expects from Twitter where world events are broadcast in real time. When a responses does arrive, it's usually a request for some minor bit of information. In time, there will follow another insignificant request. In a few days, most people like me just give up, and often whatever the problem was now no longer exists.

Customer Service by wearing us down, which is exactly what happens when you call CS, except now your blood pressure is spiking. And don't think Clear and Virgin Mobile are special in this case. AT&T, both wireless and broadband, and Time Warner Cable use the same script. I hope they bought said script at a discount.

Now consider two successes, Zappos and Southwest Air. I'll take them individually because each is outstanding in their own way.

First, Zappos, the online shoe company that is known for it's stellar customer service. Zappos tweets at @Zappos_Service, and the staff rotate frequently, almost hourly, each person bringing different flavor to the messaging, and this is no problem. It's exactly what Zappos wants, for the gift that is each person shinning through. We have a Jessica Rabbit who is prone to show off something she just added to her online closet. Another guy is all about online gaming. There are countless others, and when they come online, you can tweet a hello, have a quick chat, and feel that you've connected to someone real, most likely because you have, which was the underlying intent.

Mention that you have a problem, and watch the world stop until the problem is resolved. Success like Zappos is no accident, and this is just one reason why.

Second, Southwest Airlines or @SouthwestAir. I wouldn't fly Southwest until they started offering EarlyBird check-in because I could not tolerate standing in line to get a decent seat. Now, they are my preferred airline. So, why is that? In Nashville, I was having a problem with my iPhone battery. As you surely expect, it was going dead. I couldn't find a working outlet in that area of the airport because of construction. Not being one to suffer long in silence, I tweeted my dismay. Within moments, I had a response AND a live person walking down the hall to show me where I could recharge. I cannot measure how far that one incident went to promote my staying with that airline and being more tolerant of the occasional hiccup because if they go to that much trouble for me and that sorry excuse for a cell phone, just imagine what's happening behind the scenes when a plane is late.

Talk about connecting with the customer.

@CLEAR and @VMUcare apologize for problems, ask for useless details, retweet the occasional happy tweet, and advertise stuff they wish I'd buy. In both cases, I will likely change service providers because of the exceedingly poor customer service that is obviously designed to obfuscate problems, not correct them.

@Zappos_service and @SouthwestAir connect with me personally, and pounce all over any problem. For that, I pay Zappos about 10% more than I would in a store, and I pay Southwest an extra $20 per roundtrip for Row 23, Seat D, yes, in the vary back to facilitate boarding. And both are my first choice when it's time to spend their kind of money.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dead turtle is dead

You might recall my mention of finding a wayward snapping turtle a few Saturdays back when we had the tornadoes.

Here he is now, dried, desiccated, quite dead from the traffic. He was mashed a few days after I first found him.

He is not alone in turtle death. I've seen several more in the last week. It must be turtle season.


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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Flowers for Mama

It's been a relatively dark several days, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, so I went out on a second walk about today. It's Mother's Day if you missed it.

I found myself wondering how many of the moms at Oak Grove were remembered today, or at least in the last few days. As I approached, I had the sinking feeling no one remembered.

Fortunately for my mood, I was wrong.

Mostly, the cemetery was as I left it. It is reasonable to expect human memory to fade after a century, and that was, indeed, the case here.

But there were exceptions. Some people still remember.

One set of graves was even lightly landscaped, with one exception, leaving me to wonder why the one was left unraked though the family name was shared with the rest. There might be a story there one day.

I doubt seeing the collection of fresh artificial flowers did much to lighten my mood, but I did smile over the one with live plants freshly set. Do you suppose the caretaker will also smile?

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I expected these Ents to move

Here on the edge of an office park, I fully expected these fellows to have picked up root, and relocated to the adjacent arb. They'd be a lot safety there.

People probably say that about me.

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Sitting by a gas station on a Sunday afternoon

Will I ever become that slow walking old man moving from the lottery table to checkout as though time itself was a forgotten commodity?


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hushpuppies

Mama was on a hushpuppy kick today. She would take one, break it in half, keep one of the halves, and then go around the table to give away the other half. The picture is of the half I took.

She did this six times, each time explaining how the whole hushpuppy was too big for her.

I suppose Lil comes by her fondness of hushpuppies honestly.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

This is so sad

About a year ago, I was having substantial foot trouble, and I bought some boots and inserts that I hoped would have a therapeutic effect. I was very mistaken about that, and I learned the extent of my mistake right here by this bed of irises.

I sat on the sidewalk and cried, wondering if I could get a taxi home, remembering I had a dollar and some change in my pocket.

That was a Saturday evening, and those boots hit the laundry room give away pile the next morning. The feet got a little better after they got a lot worse, but there's no reason to go into that here.

Sadly, the bed of iris has been dug up, probably in a failed effort to do something called landscaping.


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