And they say outer space is a hostile environment…

Some days it feels just like this.

  • The plug and the USB are always the wrong way.
  • The thing you are looking for will always be somewhere else.
  • Small, critical things you drop will roll to the most inaccessible place possible, or be lost forever.
  • The drill bit you need will be the only one missing.
  • Your foot will always find that one Lego™
  • Your toast will always land face down, especially when coated with honey.
  • Drawer handles will jump out and grab you.
  • The child will always start throwing up at 2:00 AM
  • Beams will crack you on the head no matter how low you think you’re stooping.
  • The cat will vomit in your shoe.
  • Furniture legs will inexplicably move when your little toe comes near.
  • You will trip on your shadow (Really! there was nothing else there!)
  • Dental work will be done poorly, and you will have to go back.

And whether or not you believe in biorhythms, sometimes all of the above seem to happen in a single day.

When it feels like the universe is verifiably out to mess my existence up, I strive to recall the original quote from Jenkin Lloyd Jones:

Life’s Expectations

“There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks, to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear, the divorce courts are jammed.

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise….

“Life is like an old-time rail journey — delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

Or I eat macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is good too.

Ṯ͔̪̟̫͇͕̘͕̥͓̞̮̩̝͕̹͈̗́͠h̡͏̜̞̦͔̣̤̲͖͉̗͖͈̘̝͙͕̗͟͡è̦̫͙̪̗̹͙̦̺̺͕͖͞͞ ҉͞͞҉͔̲͔̜̝͚͍̯̙̞͓͔̻͚̤̯̦O̶̦͙̫͔͚̰̳͕͚͙̹͡ĺ̶̰̼̮̗̬̱̻̩̲̺̞͙̣͚̯́́͜d҉̸̨͇̬̮͉̦̫̥̥̪̝̖̠̗̺̮͓͈ ̸͡҉̯̯̼̬͖̲͙̲͚̙͞Ẁ̥͍̜̞͍̙̗͉͉͙̭͔̤͇͈̻̰̖͞ò̴̡͓͈̩̱̪̖̗̀l̵̳͉̼̮̟͞f̷̷̶̡̦͙̫̪̫͓̯̰̮͕̬̟̹͖̤̭̦͚̕ ̶̧̠̰̹̺̜̩͕̳̲̙̲̤̥͞h̢͎̟͖͔̗͎̙͓̹͓̦̱̝̩̯͓̀͟ͅá̡̦͓̮̗̙̜̲̜͢͡͠s̬͔̹̩̦̼͇̭̳͕̖̞̤͈͎͎͞͞ͅͅ ̸̫̩͉̝̰̫̭͇̠̮̘̭̘̪͘̕͢͡s̶̰̼͇͠p̢̡͚͔̣͓͔͔̭̺̝͔̻͕̞͓̱̫̝͘͜ͅͅǫ̸̡̺̪͎̻̣͜k̮̬̳͈͖͘̕͠e҉̦̮̯̲̗̱͍̫̠̘̰̲̪̲͘ͅn̸̸͇̦̖̳̱̗͎͍̤͇̮͙͉̩̬͕͢.̶͖̹̗͍͕̘̰̹͎͚͎̖̮̥́ͅ

Poland House Antiques – A recommendation, with a caveat.


Driving back from visiting the Shaker Christmas Fair at Sabbathday Lake in Maine today, we decided to stop in at the Poland House at 338 Main Street in Poland.

My senses were overwhelmed. I have never been in a more crammed, crowded, and fascinating panoply of home decor both old and new. Every single nook and cranny in that old home was stuffed to overflowing with things to look at and covet – one example below, which doesn’t do the place justice:


I loved so many things, and wished I were richer than Crœsus so I could decorate my own home with some of these treasures.


An adorable mini-nutcracker stand.

But beware: my enjoyment of the atmosphere was soured like vinegar added to milk – read below the review I posted at Yelp:

I was totally gobsmacked by the incredible selection of stuff (we came at Christmas time, the atmosphere was mind-blowing.) Much of it was new, but there were a lot of really, really cool antiques. As I was leaving I asked the proprietor if this was how it looked after the Christmas season, and he said, no, he takes it all down by himself and replaces it with the antique stuff.

Then he saw my phone out and asked, “You weren’t taking pictures, were you?” I said, “Yes, isn’t that all right?” He replied, “No. People who come in and take pictures without asking are beyond me.”

Fine, dingaling. You may think that owning a half-million-dollar house stuffed to the gills with millions of dollars worth of inventory makes you better than everyone else, but here’s a couple of tips:

  1. If you don’t want people taking pictures, post a sign on your door to that effect.
  2. If someone happens to be taking pictures, you could ask them politely not to – something like “I appreciate your coming in, but I’d prefer you not take pictures.”
  3. Don’t make people feel like an idiot. I was taking photos to show everyone what an amazing place you run. Instead, you get one measly star for being a turdcasket.

So if you like lots of amazing knickknacks and decorative stuff, by all means shop here. The prices are not too outrageous, some of them seemed quite reasonable. But be warned – the proprietor doesn’t give a rat’s south-40 for his clientele.

It’s clearly not just me: have a gander at this review left by another Yelper, Marie H, on September 7th:

Well I didn’t get very far although the shop looks interesting. I chose to take a bike ride and stopped there to look around. The guy was outside and never said hello, just” you’re not going to carry much with that!” Eying my bike. Against my better judgment I walked in the entryway and started looking. He said ” can’t be too healthy doing that on a day like this. ( he could use some pedaling). The atmosphere really felt hostile to me so I left. He said ” that it?”
Will never go in there again

Every moment is a choice, and every choice has prices and benefits. Treat people well, and they’ll come flocking to your door. Treat them like dirt, and they’ll never come back.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


This is the all-time favorite post from over at It can be amusing, and it can be depressing at the same time – sort of like Dilbert… you know, so true it hurts.  But I share this one here because I love the ending of the story.

We reap what we sow.

Every (Bad) Crowd Has A Silver Lining

(When I was in college, I used to work in the cafeteria. On this day, two girls are making fun of a third.)

Mean Girl #1: “Oooooh, a hamburger? So much for that diet.”

Mean Girl #2: “Are you kidding? She’s never been on a diet in her life!”

(The third girl who they are talking to is, for the record, very nice looking.)

Girl #3: *taken aback* “I…I worked out today. I need the protein.”

Me: “Come on, leave her alone. She can eat whatever she wants!”

Mean Girl #1: “Yeah, I guess you don’t have to worry about what you eat if you’re already fat and ugly!”

(One of my coworkers has been listening from a distance. He walks over, looks all three girls up and down, and then turns to the third.)

Coworker: “Excuse me, miss, but do you think I could get your phone number?”

Girl #3: “Are you serious?”

Coworker: “Completely! Who wouldn’t want a date with a beautiful girl who knows how to take care of herself?”

(This was five years ago. I’m going to be the best man at their wedding.)

The Old Wolf has spoken.