The blue book value on cars with a bunch of crap glued on them is probably not very high.
I feel sorry for the 16 year old who inherits one of these cars when mom and dad are ready to buy a Range Rover.
It must take a lot of self-confidence or some severe attention-seeking behavior to drive one of these vehicles.
I would suggest not letting your 4 year old see these cars. They might begin to see your Taurus as a blank canvas.
I wonder if these vehicles are ever cited for disturbing the peace, public disorder, or inciting to riot.
How do you wash a car like this? How do you wash the memory of "That Car" (see photo above) from your mind?
NOTE: There is no additional 4th of July post today because it rained on the 4th of July and instead of watching fireworks, we recaulked the girls' bathtub.
Incidentally, you can change the last line of the national anthem to "Near the place where you pee, is the place where you bathe." I don't recommend making this change, it's just something I thought of while trying to patriotically caulk.
I love barns. I think I am a little bit psychic and can tell when something exciting or interesting happened in a barn just by driving by it or being near it. For example, I can tell that fun things happen in the barn in the photo for this entry. It isn't really a barn, but still, I can tell.
Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.
~ Masaru Ibuka
There are surprises everywhere if you just take the time to look. For example, you might wake up from a sound sleep one night with a great idea for a new product or a poem or something and you go to turn on the light to write down your idea and you glance at the window and - SURPRISE! - there I am watching you.
I love a good sign. And this is one of the best I've seen. It is at a store in Des Moines called Raygun. It claims to be the best store in the universe. I think it just might be. It is basically a store dedicated to Iowa and to the fact that most Iowans don't care what non-Iowans think of us. We are confident this is a good place to live.
If Iowa had an ocean, it would be about perfect for me in terms of a place to live. Of course, that would mean either the eastern or western half of our country would be flooded which would probably make for some additional challenges. However, living in unflooded, ocean-front Iowa would be better than living in submerged someplace else.
Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
~ Amy Lowell
I still say that American Gothic should have been on the Iowa quarter. I use visiting the American Gothic house as a key selling point to encourage my out-of-state friends to come and visit me. Maybe I should change my tactic since none of them ever come to visit me.
For the last few days, I visited Ohio where I worked about 10 years ago. It was nice to go back and talk about the "good old days on South Green" and the iconic FRANK ROBINSON. Frank is the person who taught me how to think about my work (not just react and do work) and also how to have fun with / borderline haze my co-workers.
As an example, he once put a note in another HD's box that was written to look like a jury summons. The time of the summons coincided with our annual training, which she would have been excused from. She was ecstatic that she would get to miss out on training. Then Frank told her it was a joke.
Perhaps this quote best capture's Frank's work (from a Michael Collins review of Lost Souls), "Lost Souls... a dark, violent mystery spiked with some cruel humor and plenty of social criticism." You could replace "Lost Souls" with "Frank Robinson" and that pretty much sums him up. Except not really so violent, dark, or mysterious.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
~ Lao Tzu
We this summer's adventure is a road trip to Ohio. My hope is that the girls get along. Kind of like they did in this picture. At least they posed like they were for a moment. Of course moments after this, Elizabeth started to fall backwards off the tube and grabbed Maddie around the neck and started choking her.
There won't be any inner tubes on this adventure, so maybe that won't happen.
All of us every single year, we're a different person. I don't think we're the same person all our lives.
~ Steven Spielberg
Maddie is a teenager. I remember the exact day that she became one (though I didn't write down the date. I think I was hoping it was a fluke). The photos in this entry were taken on her first day of fourth grade and the following year on her first day of fifth grade. If you look closely, you can see that she changed.
Since it is not granted to us to live long, let us transmit to posterity some memorial that we have at least lived.
~ E. Joseph Crossman
If I got to have something dedicated to me when I die, I think I would like it to be a bridge because I like bridges. I don't know anything about Harriet Bishop, but I wonder if she didn't warrant more than a ramp.
It may have been mentioned before, but Maddie has the best reactions of anyone when it comes to receiving gifts. In the photo above, she is having one of those amazing reactions and it's not even for a gift for HER. It's a gift for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, on the other hand, is not so great at receiving gifts. On Sunday I gave her an early birthday present. Because we will be driving on her birthday (to Ohio so they can spend a couple of weeks with their dad), I thought it would be nice to give her an iTunes card. That way she can download some music or shows or games or whatever before the trip. Her reaction when she got the iTunes? "What is THIS for?!" I explained my thought process. She said, "Okay, I guess." I said she didn't have to have it if she didn't want it. She said, "No, I wanted this." I don't understand her.
It was, however, a nicer reaction than when -- a couple of Christmases ago -- she opened a package from her grandmother and said, "What?! Do I look like I NEED socks?!"
The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.
Almost ever since I have known Elizabeth she has had an interest in treating physical injuries and ailments. And this interest extends to the point where she wants to experience these treatments (though not necessarily the injuries behind them).
In the photo above, you can see her wearing a "cast" she fashioned from toilet paper.
In a previous blog entry there was mention of an eye patch she asked Sally to make for her after an incident where she was hit in the eye with something from the freezer.
She would like to have both braces and glasses.
She has attempted to learn to walk with crutches "just in case."
I hope this means she will be a healer when she gets older and not someone who fakes injuries for personal gain.
I made some signage to help decrease littering on campus. I used an online sign generator and some lies to make the signs (lies such as the statistic in the one above). I don't think we ever used the signs. Needless to say, littering continues.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
~ Sun Tzu
If you walk away from a fight, the person swinging fists against no one looks like a fool. If you walk away from an argument, the person screaming at no one looks like a fool. If you walk away from a giant pile of free money, you look like a fool.
In all institutions from which the cold wind of open criticism is excluded, an innocent corruption begins to grow like a mushroom -- for example, in senates and learned societies.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I have a cold in June. That isn't right. Just last week I was wondering how anyone gets a cold when it's not winter. I'll tell you how. They ride on a airplane with a hacking person three rows in front of them for an hour. That's how you get a cold in June.
Or maybe someone is conducting an experiment on me that I don't know about. Hopefully it's an experiment that will give me super powers like the ability to write in APA & MLA styles without referencing any materials or the ability to clean the house in one minute or the ability to make people disappear. Wait, I already have that last ability, I guess. I just hardly ever use it.
Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not.
~ James Taylor
I love boats. I like the riding and the looking at the water and the wind and the sun (if it's windy or sunny).
Let me tell you what I don't like though and that is a submarine. It's like the opposite of a boat. I would not like to work on a submarine. I don't think I'd even like to ride on one. And, I know that you can stand on top of them when they're above water - or at least on some of them you can do that. But with my luck, someone who knows I don't like submarines would push the dive button when I was standing on top and then I'm even more the opposite of boating than if I was inside the submarine.
So, I saw these ducks swimming in a harbor. As you can see, several of them are following the mom and in a line and being obedient. Then you have those other yahoos off to the side swimming is a less organized fashion. My guess is that they all ended up at the same destination, but took different routes (some not following the path made for them by the mother duck - not to be confused with Mother Goose).
If they all get to where they're going, does it matter? Who had the better swim of it?
Now, if that straggler off to the side got chomped up by some sea beast, well then there's a totally different moral for us, isn't there?
I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
I was recently in Baltimore and discovered that the grave of Edgar Allan Poe was only a few blocks from our hotel. I set out to find it. After a detour to a part of Baltimore that did not look like the part where there would be a cemetery, I found the place.
In reflecting on this adventure, I realized that Edgar Allan Poe has the same initials as our Employee Assistance Program. What is EAP, you ask? It is a program which provides assistance to employees. I should think you would have been able to figure that out on your own.
On a very loosely related note, thanks to Dr. Terry Mason in the Student Counseling Center who provided me suggestions on sights to see while in Baltimore. As a small gratitude, let me offer the following EAP quote of which I am guessing Dr. Mason might be very fond, "Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them."
At the end of the day, I like to gaze upon the sunset and think, "Another day done. Good work, Michelle." And then I realize I forgot to go to work again and think, "I cannot wait for dawn and the opportunity to start a new day." Then I mostly go back to sleep.
I figure that if you want to be a leader but are not in a position of legitimate authority, you should be a subversive. That way you can be a leader even if no one is following you and pretend that the other followers wish they could follow you, but are too afraid to do so. Then, you're practically the leader of everybody and it's awesome.
What is success? It is a toy balloon among children armed with pins. ~ Gene Fowler
I used to hate balloons as a kid. They would pop and be loud and I hated that. I still hate it now, but I feel like I have more control over when balloons are in my environment. Being a grown up is awesome.
Every time I plant a seed, He say kill it before it grow, he say kill them before they grow. ~ Bob Marley
If you could only have one kind of plant in your yard, what plant would you choose? I would choose a plant that made money. Some people might call that a mint, but what is a mint? According to Wikipedia: Lamiaceae or Labiatae, also known as the mint family.
And I would want it to be legitimate, too. Not some counterfeiting place.
For the record, the plant above is neither Lamiaceae or Labiatae.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
~ Albert Camus
I was driving through part of Ames today. The streets there are all named for authors. I thought to myself, "Would I buy a house on a street named for an author I didn't like?" We also have a part of town where the streets are named after states. Right now, I wouldn't be interested in living on Arizona Street (or Avenue or whatever it is). We also have an area of streets named after presidents. Our house is on Hayes.
Rutherford B. Hayes is one of only two presidents with the first name of Rutherford. Based on my research, I think he was an okay guy. I am okay living on this street.
I wouldn't want to live NEAR Sesame Street, though. People would always be stopping me when I was mowing the lawn or washing the car to say, "Can you tell me how to get -- how to get to Sesame Street?" And I'm way too busy for that.
My table seats eight, so that's my maximum. Having a small number of guests is the only way to generate good conversation. Besides, your whole house doesn't get wrecked that way.
~ Paul Lynde
Whoever came up with the idea of putting tables in parks is (was) brilliant. It's like intentionally planning little areas of coming together to break bread and enjoy the outdoors with one another. And you don't really hear about people stealing these tables. Sure, they're awkward and some can be heavy, but they're easy enough to stash in the back of a van if you take out all of the removable seating and fold down what's left.
No poet is ever completely lost. He has the secret of his childhood safe with him, like some secret cave in which he can kneel. And, when we read his poetry, we can join him there.
~ Peter Ackroyd
When Maddie and I went to Hannibal, MO, we toured Tom Sawyer's Cave. I asked her if it was how she pictured it. She said, "Not at all. There are tons more places to hit your head here than I pictured when I was reading the book."
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
~ Joseph Campbell
The treasure above is something I got out of a candy from some other country. Julie gave it to me. I don't remember what anyone else got, but no one else got a toaster man who toasts bread out of his own self.
And, really, don't we all toast our own bread out of ourselves? I think we do. I think we put the bread of knowledge in our heads and pull out something different. Mainly because so many of us have bad memories or we choose to disfigure knowledge to suit our own purposes.
That is what this toy means to me and why I've kept it for so long. Because toast is knowledge.
Me: Elizabeth, are you doing anything fun in school today?
E: We have a kickball game against the other 5th grade class. We're going to beat them because they think they're all good at everything and they're not. They play a lot of fantasy games - like pretending they're vampires and stuff.
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
Being happy takes work. I hope that happy is our natural state, but letting go of the unhappiness and not getting sucked into the negativity is really hard.
Actually, I think Arkansas is the natural state, now that I think about it.