Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Things that are Stupid

Verizon is stupid.

A week or so ago, our underground phone line was cut during some drainage work. I reported the problem to my local phone service provider. Here's a partial transcript of a message they left last week, on our home voice mail:

"Can you give us a call back and let us know if you're still having a problem? I'm not quite understanding exactly what is going on with your line. I understand, maybe, did they cut a wire or something, when they were doing the excavating? If you're still having the problem please call us back."

Hmm. Self healing wires. Great idea. Can you hear me now?

At least they eventually figured out to try the callback number I left them when I reported the problem.

Baby Einstein is stupid.

There's a video called Baby Shakespeare that is supposed to introduce infants and toddlers to language, poetry, literature, etc. The problem is, they picked the worst poetry imaginable. One poem mixes metaphors in a single sentence:
"Snow is a mind falling, a continuous breath of climbs, loops, spirals dips into the earth like white fireflies..."
Wait, is it like a mind or like breath? Or fireflies? I'm confused.

Another one, talking about a frog says:
the same one who probably announced the spring floods...
I think you mean, "probably the same one". I don't think you can probably announce something last spring.

They also get one poem wrong - a great old Ogden Nash piece about Custard the Dragon. He had scales underneath, not spikes. Scales.

But the kicker is probably the little Mirror Me book that has a cow who puffs his cheeks. His cheeks? I grew up in suburbia, and even I know that cows are girls and bulls are boys. These things are supposed to make kids smarter?

Our goats are stupid.

Okay, that's a little harsh. I guess it's our ignorance, rather than theirs. Goats have a heirarchy. They have a herd queen who leads them out into pasture and decides where to graze. Our "herd" consists of a timid two year old and two little ones. Betsy went from low on the totem pole to having her own herd. Only she's not ready for it. She doesn't go out grazing. She just stays by the gate, pining for one of us to go out and lead her. And the two little ones stay right there with her. When we go into the pasture, they chomp like mad. Hunger apparently hasn't persuaded them to change course yet. We may have to add a more assertive goat. Maybe the donkey will be their leader.

It is interesting to wander around and stand by different plants, to see what they like, and what they don't like. Too bad I don't know what half of the plants are yet.

I'm stupid.

In the past two weeks, I've lost two different tools, to the point of having to buy new ones. The tin snips, were found in the back seat of my car. I don't know why. I suspect the jack is hidden under some tall grass somewhere out there. Unfortunately, I couldn't just cut the grass to find it, because I needed the jack to fix the flat tire on the tractor, and I needed the tractor to cut the grass. I've also misplaced any number of other items and had to spend three times as long wandering back and forth looking for them. Someday I will learn to put things away when I'm done with them. I hope.


At 5/17/2006 5:32 AM, Blogger madcapmum said...

If you find some method for learning to put things away properly, please let me in on your secret. I'm still misplacing my stuff willy-nilly, replacing it after a couple months of despair, and finding it as soon as I have the new item in my hot little hand. Very aggravating! I have fewer bald spots than I used to, so apparently I'm not as daft as I used to be, but still.

At 5/17/2006 8:29 AM, Blogger Mia said...

Maybe you need to stop watching Baby Einstein! I thought Baby Einstein would be great stuff. We got some flashcards for the kids, and I was shocked that the pictures that went with the kids were all so awful. "Duck" would be a little plastic duck wearing some random article of clothing. "Cat" would be one of those weird baby einstein animals. There were no pictures of real objects to go with the words. It just goes to show how we're being taught to let our kids learn about an artificial world through artificial methods! Hopefully Betsy will come into her own soon. Good luck with misplaced objects. I hear if you put something back where it belong when you're done with it, it's easier to find. I wouldn't know.

At 5/17/2006 9:58 AM, Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

When we first bought this place we were called on by a neighbor to put up "our two wires" on the fence. Which we did. During which we painted the handle of the hammer because even when you know EXACTLY where you laid it, you cannot necessarily find a wooden handled hammer in leaf litter.

So, painting things bright colors helps. Being able to reconstruct exactly where you were the last time you were using it helps. But nothing seems to be infallible except being nonplussed by it.

On the babyeinstin crap, life for kids is always better than anything artificial. Hmmm, that goes for food, for parenting (artificial parents you know are babysitters, teachers, nannies, the like), for about everything. We are not video free, we just don't try to be "educational".

On the goats, they need help before they get weak. See if you can get a queen.


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