August 30th, 2006

Bruce, Caroline

Chronology Psychology, or, Timey Kangaroo Down, Sport

I realy don't know what it is with me and kitchen timers. I just don't have a good track record with them.

It started in, I think, grade 6. Mrs. Rannard, my consultant teacher person from the Department of Education, told me that there was such a thing as a braille kitchen timer. So she arranged to have me borrow one from CNIB (that's just CNIB, folks, not the CNIB, or the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, because that would be too easy.)

It was really cool! Dots and stuff, and it went ding ding ding when the timer reached zero, as timers are wont to do.

I'd had the timer for less than a week. It was sitting on my desk in school. I used it in gym class to time myself. Timing myself with a timer, now there's a concept!

So anyway, there the thing was, on my desk. I picked up a book. A sliding sound, a thud combined with a ding, and the timer was now on the floor, inoperative.

Mrs. Rannard came back a few weeks later with a replacement. Whew, saved. I put it on my desk, pick up a book .... slide, thud/ding, bleep. This last from Mrs. Rannard, who saw the whole thing. "Why Bruce," she didn't say. "How utterly amusing the way you've broken this timer too," she failed to add, neglecting to pat me on the shoulder in a friendly, it-could've-happened-to-anyone sort of way. And the worst part was, that was the day I went to stay a few days with her family, and her happy-go-lucky nature did not assert itself again until well into the two-hour car trip.

That was when I was eleven. No more timer experiences were to be had until I was 34, some two years ago. My roommate was always asking me to tell him when twnety minutes was up: either he wanted a twenty-minute nap on the couch, or something he was making in the oven took about twenty minutes to burn and he wanted just the right consistency of charcoal. I got tired of playing timer, especially since I had lost my watch and the only way I could get the time was to call the correct-time number.

So I marched downstairs at work one fine day, into the store, walked up to the guy behind the counter, and said, "Michael"--for that was his name--"Michael," I said, "do you have a talking kitchen timer?"

"I sure do," he said, or words to that effect. and soon I was walking away with this really cool kitchen timer that had all sorts of sounds you could have it make when the countdown went to zero (oddly, ding ding ding was not among them).
I gave the timer to my roommate. Now, having fallen once too often, already losing a battery case, the timer no longer works. Why can't kitchen timers and I just get along?
  • Current Music
    hodge-podge
Bruce, Caroline

Summer Jobs

Last night I had a rather spirited, if totally unserious, argument with funblindsinger about summer jobs. It brought back some memories. Mind if I share them? You might as well answer yes, because I am going to, anyway. Why? Because I can.

1989. I had worked as a counselor at a computer camp for the blind, and I was spending the rest of the summer engaged in that most important of tasks, getting as many episodes of the Flintstones in as possible, preferably two or three times. My dad had had enough. "Stop watching the Skinflints and get a job," he insisted. It wasn't going to happen that year. I'd done my stint, enlightening and watering the minds of kids whose minds would otherwise have been darker and dryer (no, that line isn't mine).

But the next summer, I determined to accomplish two things for myself, viz., I would avoid the argument with my dad, and I'd get the heck out of the house.

I did both. Fortunately, I had an easy start because our choir was doing a tour of England and Scottland. Aye. (Make fun of my accent all you want, Allison, I'm above all that. ) Where was I? Oh yeah, in the UK.

So when I got back, I had a summer job lined up. They turned me down as a long-distance trucker (I wonder why?), so instead I scanned books and went through them with a fine-toothed word processor. Oddly enough, and I don't know if this will work for me or against me, it was at the Department of Education, that wondrous sector of civil-serviceosity to which I am currently applying for a job. Where was I? Oh yeah, scanning and teeth and computers.

I had this job during the summers of 1990, 1991 and 1992, and there were a lot of memorable times.

Second summer, I climb into the Handi-Transit vehicle, and my pants rip at the crotch. By the time we get to work, I have completely forgotten about said rip. I sit down, not realizing that there's this gaping hole in the crotch of my pants. Cheryl (I forget which way she spells her name), the Majordomo, walks up to me and very tactfully brings this hole to my attention. Red-faced (I assume), I go into her office, remove said pants, hand them through the door, and she very kindly sews them up for me, leaving me sitting in a respectable government office, in my underwear, while my boss sews up my pants. It was a good summer: not as good as last summer, to be sure, but it was a good summer.

Remind me to tell you, sometime, about what it's like toing a comedy show on the most powerful FM station on the continent ... well, it was that at the time.
  • Current Music
    A parody I used to have re. Clinton
Bruce, Caroline

corner Gas Withdrawal

Twenty more days. Twenty more days until season 4 of Corner Gas hits the airwaves. It can't happen soon enough for this fan. I've been going through severe withdrawall. I need my Corner Gas fix, and I need it now now now now now now now! It's tough. I've watched every episode heretofore at least five times, I've fantasized about my favorite CG character (I keep it clean), I've played the trivia, I've bought copies of the DVD's for my American friends ... I've done my part, but I need a new episode! I need a new show, just a little one. I won't get addicted, honest I won't, but I've gotta have a new episode!
  • Current Music
    Along Comes Mary
Bruce, Caroline

Victor Reader Classic Plus For Sale

Anyone want a Victor Reader classic Plus DAISY talking book player? This baby's in excellent condition, I still have the box and packing stuff. It's upgraded to the latest firmware revision. I'm asking $250 or best offer, preferably paid via Paypal. My only reason for selling is that a new unit has been released, and I want to be able to put some money toward it. This unit works beautifully. Please send me an e-mail if interested.
  • Current Music
    Rum and Coca-Cola
Bruce, Caroline

Stale Sandwiches, the Nemeth Braille Course, and You

As I've been doing quite a bit of lately, I am working late tonight. Fortunately, this time there was a little respite from the routine, in the form of some stale sandwiches left over from some species of meeting that must've taken place here. Thanks, Sean, for bringing the sandwiches to my attention, end eventually bringing the sandwiches to me. Dead animal on whole wheat, yum yum yum!

Congratulations to my friend toonhead for finding love. I'm a bit jealous, to be honest, but I hope it works out well for you and that the two of you find true happiness.

Anyone want a spare DVD ROM drive? Twenty bucks payable in looneys or toonies, and it's yours.

Another hour before I get back into this course.
  • Current Music
    Oh, I dunno
Bruce, Caroline

Tribute to Coca-Cola

I hold the Looney in my hand,
It really is a thrill,
For it will buy more Coke that's canned
than pennies ever will.

I wouldn't say that coke is great -
Well, actually, I would,
I will say this, at any rate,
That darned stuff sure is good!

And now I'm at the coke machine,
The Looney soon will drop,
The button that I'll push will mean
That I'll soon have my pop.

The clicking of the relays in
This magical device
Preceed that glorious time I'll win
Tha prize as cold as ice.

And now the Coke is in my grasp,
I feel the condensation,
It opens with a fizzy gasp
Which mirrors my elation.

The liquid trickles down my throat,
The carbonation's great,
Coke will always have my vote:
For more I just can't wait!
  • Current Music
    Lucky Strike Cigarette Commercial from the Jack Benny Show