austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Go right to the source

Shortly after getting up -- I was approaching the shower -- I got a phone call. It was my sister, the horse enthusiast, warning that she was going to be down in about an hour. This is a rare event; normally, I only see her around Christmas, and that's not an artifact of my spending the last six years in Singapore. She just lives somewhere north of here in New Jersey, I never quite got exactly where (it took her moving in with a friend of my brother's to get anyone to know just where, and she had a goofy sitcom neighbor-esque set of temporary homes before that), and will disappear for months at a time without making any contact with our parents except by the occasional Google Message dispatch. She does something with horses, though, and we never got just what, but she never seems to be short on money, and she's reasonably comfortable, and she only tells us about her latest horse-related injury after she's healed from it.

It turns out she, and some friends, had brought a pair of horses down for some horse show event starting at 7 am, which given the distance they had to travel meant they had to be up at 4:30 and on the road an hour later. After getting the horses loaded, transported, unloaded, and set up, and was then notified that her horses would be shown at 6:30 pm. She assures me this non-literal approach to time is traditional when horse people get together. But rather than stand in the cold and imminent rain all day she brought her friends over and we stood around a while, trying to find the cats who were hiding, and they tried to figure out some problem with an order, and I helped them print out a receipt that came out to zero, and which my father's laptop (I figured whatever this was would probably best be done on a Windows computer) refused to print, initially. They mentioned they completed the registration process in only 24 hours total, and after they left I discovered they'd left behind a ``competition'' card.

One of the horse-related people was the woman who gave my mother her new, younger cat, the white one with the great attitude. She reported that this cat's habit of jumping onto things was not unique, but that every member of the cat's family will jump on laps, shoulders, counters, tables, anything horizontal that can be found. The cat's habit of playfully rubbing against one, setting paws on any foot, then doing a head-stand on the other foot is also fairly normal, although the cat's baring her teeth and claws to bring this play to an unhappy end is a personal quirk. I think that's good to know, although it doesn't help the skin heal.

Trivia: The variety of coal stoves offered in the 1897 Sears Catalogue ranged in price from $5.97 up to $48.00. Source: Coal: A Human History, Barbara Frewse.

Currently Reading: The Old Post Road: The Story Of The Boston Post Road, Stewart H Holbrook. Holbrook gains entry to a library even though it's normally closed that day, but can't find data on the obscure local figure he was hoping to study. He observes: Despite which, I applied the almost automatic rule used (by writers) to grade Coventry's Public Library; and ranked it better than good. (It had no less than four of my own books.) He's such a pleasant read.

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