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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lazy Sunday


I'm feeling relaxed and lazy this Sunday so I thought I'd ditch the political writing and instead offer you a couple of alternative ways to waste spend your time.

For political junkies: Try fooling around with the presidential delegate calculator, courtesy of Forbes.com. Delegates already won by Obama and Clinton are built into the calculation, and the tool allows you to punch in the results you predict in outstanding primaries and caucuses to get revised delegate counts and a myriad of permutations. What combination of wins will propel your candidate (or the opponent) to victory in the delegate count?

For aging tech enthusiasts: Check out this detailed wiki of obsolete skills related to computers, electronics and other things that require some degree of technical acumen. You can edit the entries or add your own. How many obsolete practices can your overloaded, deteriorating brain remember? Be honest. For starters, I confess that I remember changing the ribbon on a typewriter, dialing a rotary phone and operating a ditto machine.

I also clearly remember the aroma of ditto ink permeating a classroom that had wooden floors and large windows that were opened and closed by a human using a long pole with a hook on the end. This same classroom of a certain era often had what was called a "cloak room" for hanging coats and jackets. Its door panels pulled down and had dusty blackboards on the classroom side. There was usually the sound of a pendulum clock ticking in the background. The library down the hall featured an index card catalogue to help you locate books and a microfiche for scanning old newspaper articles.

For dog lovers: That's Boz up top. He's my friend John's new black lab puppy, and a master at spending his own time and that of his "master's" romping and relaxing. He's a bit more than three months old and is reportedly exploring life on planet Earth with zest. When he's not napping.

March 2, 2008 at 11:41 AM in Open Thread | Permalink


Awww. My Bozzinator is a star! Does this mean I get to be a stage dad? Boz went to his first puppy socialization class yesterday and had a grand old time. When he's old and gray (and I'm older and . . . well, I can't get any grayer), he will be reminiscing about the funny clothes people wore there, and his first classmates, and how everyone got there in "cars", and all the treats were wrapped in this material called plastic that everyone thought was harmless. Ahh, memories.

Barb, your memories of a classroom correlate with some of my own, except I also had nuns in mine, with a rare visiting priest. I remember the smell of chalk dust in the air from when we got chalkboard duty and had to clean the board and the erasers. And the desks with the lift up tops, inside which we could put our books and pencils and assorted contraband. Comforting memories, oddly since I never found the school experience very satisfying socially. But I liked the learning. Learning has always been good and satisfying.

Posted by: John McAndrew | Mar 3, 2008 9:35:41 AM

So has Boz gotten a movie contract yet? Probably better to wait until he's at least in his teens though.

I only had nuns at my Wednesday catechism classes. They were quick with rulers on knuckles.

I used to love to wash down the blackboards, which we'd take turns doing once a week using a bucket of water and a wet eraser. It was considered a reward if you can believe it.

I remember getting a fountain pen from my parents one summer and practicing cursive handwriting for months. When I tried to write instead of print at school the next semester, I was told it wasn't allowed. Rules are rules!

Get any gold or silver stars lately?

Posted by: barb | Mar 3, 2008 3:04:12 PM

Stars! I remember stars! Amazing, how such a simple thing could make it an extraordinary day at school. And I remember being cloak room monitor, and traffic crossing monitor, and those things were wonderful to me, because they were a practical statement of belief in my worthiness on some level, in someone's estimation.

This reminds me of Fulghum's book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Posted by: John McAndrew | Mar 3, 2008 8:59:23 PM