Monday, March 22, 2010

Simon Says ... #3

I can't believe it's been over four months since I last published one of these! (And I promised you one each month, too! I lied.) I am a bad, bad, bad, bad girl.

This next one has a lot of letters in it and you might find some of the directions a touch confusing. The important thing to remember is to take your time and follow the directions exactly, doing the steps in the order presented. If you do, you should end up with an amusing word or phrase that is apropos to where you started. I'm including this one, even tho it's a little complicated, because I am so fond of the answer.

Ready? (If you're not quite ready, go here, where my directions might have been a little more precise.) Now are you ready? Hope so! Here we go and good luck! ... ... ...

1. Print the phrase A SEMINAR ON TIME TRAVEL, omitting the spaces.
2. Move the last letter in the row to the immediate right of the S.
3. Insert a D in the exact center of the row.
4. Change the letter that appears latest in the alphabet to a G.
5. Exchange the second letter from the left with the eighth letter from the right.
6. Change every M to a W.
7. Delete the third vowel (A, E, I, O, or U) from the right.
8. Double the first consonant from the left.
9. Change the center letter in the row to an I.
10. Move the S two positions to the right. (Watch out here. When I first started working these, I ALways got this kind of direction wrong! If you end up with some sort of gobbledygook, this is probably where you started erring. Remember, if you get an early answer wrong, it affects all of the succeeding ones adversely. :( To give you a little hint of what I was doing wrong, I never moved the letter far enough!)
11. Change the last letter in the row to an O. (This kind of direction always means 'as you are reading, from left to right'.)
12. Move the first W from the left to the very beginning of the row.
13. Insert a Y to the immediate left of the first T from the right.
14. Delete all R's.
15. Replace the last I from the left with HE.
16. Move the first vowel from the left to the immediate right of the Y.
17. Change the leftmost A to a B and then move it three positions to the left. (As with #10, be careful!)
18. Exchange the fifth letter from the right with the seventh letter from the right.
19. Delete all N's.
20. Change the third vowel from the left to an L and move it to the immediate right of the next vowel. ("Next" means moving along the line of letters to the right.)
21. Insert an O between the seventh and eighth letters from the right.
22. Change the first T from the right to a D.

Well, how do you think you did? If you ended up with WILL BE HELD TWO DAYS AGO, hooray for you! I'm absolutely amazed and delighted to tell you that I got this one on the first try. Not trying to brag, mind you. Just conveying my astonishment!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A neat thing

Do you enjoy the precision of silent drill teams? I do!

My friend Marty ("ucancallme") - from BBO - sends me one or two e-mails daily with enclosures or attachments. They're ALL great, but this one cannot (or should not!) escape my posting it today.

If you have about four minutes to spare, go here to see the routine our US Navy Ceremonial Guard Silent Drill Team recently used to win an international competition. It's amazing!

Monday, March 8, 2010

News from Wendy

Remember her? One year ago, give or take a month or so, I told all of you that I very much doubted if she would attempt another summit climb of Everest.

Well, it appears that I was wrong. In fact, if I can get this link to work right, you can read her latest newsletter. As you will see, she's planning to leave for Tibet on March 24th. More later.

PS. I have published many posts about Wendy. To read one or two, simply go to the top of this page, type Wendy Booker into the rectangular box at the left and hit Send. That will get you started.

When I was young and stupid,

I thought that old people never had any fun. Now that I'm old, but not that much wiser, I realize how wrong I was.

I was just reading two of Barry's posts, autobiographical sketches gifted to him by his mother twenty-some years ago.

Do you enjoy reading true stories from the past? I do! In particular, I enjoyed reading about the lamplighter that his mom wrote about in this first excerpt. Barry published part two of this a day later, just before his mom was buried.

As always, Barry does not invite us to grieve. On the contrary, his posts often show the 'up' side of things, a celebration of life.

When reading about the past, I am most appreciative of old-timey type photos that best illustrate the era, and Barry includes a few of those in these two posts.

I was reminded of another of my favorite bloggers, Audrey Kaminski, who seldom publishes, but every once in a while has a real lulu, like this one, which includes photographs from the era.

I got to thinking about my mother. Did they have electricity where/when she was growing up? I don't remember her saying anything otherwise, so I suppose they did.

I asked her once what she did "for fun" when she was a kid. (I wouldn't want to be a parent nowadays. I'm too old. There are too many temptations out there.) Do you know what she told me? She said they played with metal hoops and sticks. Whomever could make the hoop go furthest with the stick before it toppled over was the winner. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But a whole lot of fun, I'll betcha!

Friday, March 5, 2010


I'd known for some time that I needed new glasses, but had been putting off going to the optometrist because I thought he'd check the status of my cataracts again and I'm just not ready to undergo that surgery.

However, push finally came to shove. Two things were bothering me in particular. 1) Driving ... ... I was getting around "just fine" only because I know Houston so well. I really don't recommend fuzzy distance viewing. 2) Working at the computer ... ... My bifocals didn't work at all - neither top nor bottom portions of the lenses - and, because my eyes were receiving no help for the astigmatism (right) or floating 'stuff'* (left), they quickly became tired. I gave in and called for an appointment.

This time around I had two different types of glasses in mind, trifocals and driving glasses. The driving glasses were a no-brainer, but the trifocals idea stemmed from the three different distances I focus on most often ... a) reading or solving word puzzles/games, (b) working at the computer (2') and c) watching television (3') at the kitchen table while doing the latter part of a). Sounded like trifocals to me!

[I've had bifocals for over thirty years. I remember getting my first pair. My husband went with me, because we'd been warned by the ophthalmologist that they'd take a bit of getting used to. It's a good thing he went with me and was holding my arm. I'd have fallen on my face more than once! Took a while to get used to them.]

I really like my optometrist. Have been going to him for years! The exam is usually quite thorough, and initially done by one of his interns. He gets them on three-month rotations from one of the local schools. I haven't met a bad one yet, altho there was one I thought was a little suspect a few years back. The optometrist does the final exam ... asking questions of me, correcting and making suggestions to the intern all the while. Kind of fascinating, actually.

I was relieved when he didn't mention having a closer look to see how fast my cataracts were developing, and I wasn't about to bring up the subject, so there you have it. The only question we had was whether or not to order trifocals with demarcation lines.

The driving glasses were made while I waited, and then (By the way, I love them!) the doctor had me try on this gizmo, showing me how graduated lenses w/o lines would be. I didn't like it at all, so we ordered ones with lines.

When I got the call a week or so later, however, telling me my trifocals were in, I didn't immediately trot my body on over there to pick them up. I was really nervous about it, even though I had been assured that we could easily go another direction if I didn't like them. (He wants no unsatisfied customers!) But, I finally went - four days later and brought them home with me. I didn't even try them on. I just looked to see if they were trifocals. They were.

Well, ok. Showtime. I sat down at the kitchen table, put on my brand new trifocals, turned on the tv and began working a puzzle. So far so good. The top and bottom lenses appeared to be correct. I didn't need the middle one unless I was working at the computer, but I wasn't in any hurry to try that out. Chicken. Yes, I was!

I was due to mentor Thursday evening at the bridge studio. As I was parking the car in the lot, I thought, "Boy, this'll be a great place to try out the whole range of my new glasses!" For months, I'd been putting on my bifocals to sort and bid my hand and then placing them on the table for the play and defense. I thought this would be just a fabulous test, and couldn't believe I hadn't thought of that when the idea of trifocals first occurred to me.

The whole evening was spent in wonder and total clarity of vision. What a wonderfully pleasant surprise! Never took my new glasses off the whole time (except when I left the table to walk around). My goodness!

Since then, of course, I often wear my trifocals when working at the computer. In fact, I have them on right now. It takes a while to get used to that narrower middle lense, but eventually it does happen and you get to the point where you don't even notice the lines. One of my smarter moves in recent years.


*See this post for more info on floating 'stuff' in my left eye.