Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Favorite Thing

My favorite thing

I don't get too caught up
in the material things around me.
While I am fascinated with technology
I don't own an IPOD or a flat screen TV.
I don't have lots of channels
on the TV that I do have.

But I bought a piece of newer technology
this week
that is simply THE BOMB.

I bought an Amazon Kindle.

This light-weight device
downloads books electronically
and holds them lightly for easy reading.

With a computer and internet connection,
there are thousands of FREE BOOKS
at your fingertips.

The secret to free books
is that they are frequently old
and beyond their copywrite dates.

I've been reading "Around the World in 80 Days."
I've also downloaded the journals of Lewis and Clarke
and the journals of John Wesley Powell
from his epic journey through the Grand Canyon.

You can download, for free,
all the writings of Shakespeare,
and hold them lightly
in your ten ounce package.

Or, for a few bucks,
you can push a couple buttons on the Kindle
and zap a current best seller
instantaneously into your hand.

No fuss, no muss, no driving, no shipping.

No dead trees, no petroleum based transportation.

This is the most Harry Potterish
thing I've found...

It will deliver The Wall Street Journal
or the New York Times to you daily...
or you can just buy today's edition
and read in comfort with no ink stained fingers.

This thing rocks.

Did I mention the built in dictionary?
With two clicks I can look up unfamiliar words--
handy when your book was written in the 1800's.

Or the link to Wikipedia?

Or the free news links through the internet connection
that you can use almost anywhere
with no wires,
no computer,
just with the Kindle in your hands?

My friend Sparky is writing a book
and emailing me chapters.

I emailed the chapters to a free link
that then emailed them back to me in Kindle format...
so now her book is right there
with the Classics.

I also have the King James Bible...
the Amazon Kindle version with easy
referencing of book and chapter.

Less than four bucks.

So...perhaps I don't love my Kindle as much
as my chickens,
but I am mightily struck
with the way the world has changed
since Jules Verne's characters
traversed the globe in less than three months.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Office in the Woods

On our "hike" at the Cradle of Forestry
led us to the office of the man
who ran the old Forestry school.
I liked it a lot. One thing I've missed these past six years
is having an office.
At hospice I work primarily out of my car
and occasionally land in an available cubicle
back at headquarters.
But there is something about having
your own space.

Sometimes when I get to wondering
about looking for other work
and other jobs,
I think part of it is that longing
to have my own desk.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Real Smokey Bear

We attended Smokey Bear's birthday party
last Saturday at the Cradle of Forestry
with goddaughter Julia and family.
Smokey is in his early sixties. Julia is now three and a half.
She wanted to know if this was "the real Smokey Bear."
We said yes.
She thought for a minute, and asked,
"Is it a person in a costume?"
We said yes.
She thought for a minute, and asked again,
"Is it the real Smokey Bear?"
Again, yes.
I could tell that there was cognitive dissonance,
but Julia decided she could live with
this confusing real fake bear....
as long as there was birthday cake.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Drought + Pests = Bountiful Harvest

These are the worst looking beans we've ever grown.
The summer has been EXTREMELY dry,
and those two right hand rows
were decimated by the groundhog.

Our tomato row looks scraggly and limp.

But today I harvested ten pounds of food:
Huge tomatoes, lovely green beans,
bright and tasty yellow pear tomatoes,
and lovely butterstick squash.
We've watered periodically
with rain water collected
in our rain barrels off the garage roof.
The beans and squash have produced steadily
for weeks now.
We've fed ourselves, and had lots to share.
A bad summer gardening
is still a bounty of really good, organic food.