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WITandWISDOM(tm) - August 30, 2002
It takes a good man to prevent a catastrophe, but a great man to use a catastrophe. - Richelieu
Source: Peter's Pearls, http://www.peterspearls.com.au
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
THE SPINNER PLATE
It was defective and should have been replaced when we first bought the dishes, but by the time we discovered the dinner plate's flaw, the packaging and receipt had long been discarded. Whenever anyone applied the touch of an eating utensil to the plate, a small bulge on the bottom caused it to spin freely. This required the unfortunate diner to hold the plate in place whenever he or she tried to manipulate fork and knife in unison. Even though it was one of eight, and there were only four of us, the plate turned up on the table with annoying regularity.
We began to devise sneaky ways of avoiding ending up with the dreaded Spinner Plate at our place at the table. The children began to "offer" to set the table as a ruse for appointing both the plate's place and theirs at the table. The last one seated would automatically test the stability of his or her plate, which often set off a series of cries: "Aaaww! I had it last night. Aren't there any other clean plates? I didn't want to sit here anyway!" I can even admit to a few lapses into self-pity myself when landed with the wretched thing.
Having heard the whines and complaints one too many times, my husband decided one evening to try to put an end to the sniveling, or at least compensate the plate's unlucky recipient each time it came into use. "From now on," he announced, "anyone caught with the Spinner Plate will receive extra kisses." He then turned to that evening's recipient, our daughter, and kissed her heartily all over both cheeks. He invited our son and I to do the same. No longer feeling like the helpless victim of defective dinnerware, our daughter felt special and it was the beginning of a complete about-face in our attitudes toward the Spinner Plate.
The children still tried to manipulate the plate's positioning, but now for a different reason. After everyone was seated, one of them would smile smugly and proclaim, "I've got the Spinner Plate" and give the plate a whirl, as if someone might dispute it. If one of the family was known to have had a particularly trying day, the Spinner Plate was purposely set at his or her place. After a round of kisses, dinner would begin with troubles eased, and perhaps even forgotten.
The Spinner Plate eventually met an early demise, perhaps from its more frequent use, and so ended the ritual of extra kisses at the dinner table. I hadn't realized the significance of the plate's loss until recently. We were dining out with our children and as the waiter placed my husband's plate in front of him, it gave a familiar spin. The children's faces lit up as I bestowed "extra" kisses to their father, and I resolved to find a replacement for our Spinner Plate as soon as I could. An everyday "something" that would serve as a reminder to express the affection we feel for one another. We all need extra kisses from time to time.
By Lori Broadfoot
Source: Mr. Mom's Mailing List, http://mrmom.amaonline.com/
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
Why is an alarm clock going "off" when it actually turns on?
If love is blind, how can we believe in love at first sight?
Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?
What do you call male ballerinas?
Why do you get on a bus and a train but get into a car?
Why is the alphabet song and twinkle twinkle little star the same tune?
I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you just be whelmed?
Source: Gentle Humor, mailto:email@example.com?subject=GHSubscribe
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
When a woman in my office became engaged, a colleague offered her some advice. "The first ten years are the hardest."
"How long have you been married?" I asked.
"Ten years," she replied.
Source: Colorado Comments, http://coloradocomments.com/
Volvo is currently showcasing its $10-million Safety Concept Car across the US. It's curvy, flashy, very red and very electronic. A short list of its features aim to justify its price tag.
Sit in the driver's seat, and an eye sensor adjusts the seat, floor, steering wheel, console and floor pedals for optimal comfort and accessibility. Stray over the center line on the highway, and a beeper warns you. Headlight beams narrow for longer, better night vision on the highway; a wider beam is used when you slow down, to help you see a wider swath of territory. And the beam turns with your steering wheel. A video screen on the dash shows a live image of the back seat. Sensors warn you when you're tailgating. They get angry when you change lanes without using a signal. (In fact, the car theoretically could radio the transgression to a nearby cop, but we wouldn't want that, would we?)
On a more practical side, we get a see-through A-pillar - that's the post between the windshield and the driver's side door. Volvo engineers created a lattice shape for the pillar, with plenty of see- through clear glass. The pillar directly behind the driver, which separates the driver's door and the rear door, has also been moved, so it appears to sit directly behind your left shoulder. It nearly eliminates the "blind spot" which can be blamed for so many driving mishaps. With these changes, the driver has a field of vision that's over 180 degrees. There's also the "Volvo Personal Communicator," a device the size of a cell phone that locks and unlocks the car based on fingerprint recognition. Thanks to wireless technology, it can sense if someone is inside the car, or even leaning on it, and warn the owner - even if the owner is eating in a restaurant. It can even tell if a child has accidentally been left behind inside the car.
By the way, the car has five separate computer systems running Windows 98. Uh-huh, 'nuff said.