Monday, December 29, 2008

At the Pobble House...

...the holidays looked like this:

...and this:

...and this:

...and this:

So...what are your plans for New Year's?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25,2008

And a very merry Christmas to anyone who happens by today.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Speed the Plow

Apparently, it doesn't often snow like this in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. The mountains? Sure. Of course. Down here in the flat lands? Not so much. As the snow began and the numbers started adding up, I smugly rolled my eyes as schools and businesses and roads were closed after only a few inches of snow. Lithus and I tucked in, deciding to stay in, not because we or our vehicles couldn't handle the snow, but because, honestly, we didn't trust the other people on the road. Driving in snow is an art, people. Don't forget this.

Even once the numbers started really wracking up and it became a "real" snow (anything over 5-6 inches in my book), it still didn't merit the reaction. Yes, we all know that the weather stations and news reports always pick the most dramatic way of telling a weather story they possibly can and urge people to stay off the roads. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the reactions from people who were bailing on meetings because "the snow *might* be here by then"; who were stripping the stores of necessities; who were forgetting that 4WD helps you go but not stop.

Then...I learned something important. They don't plow here in my lovely little town. See, it doesn't snow like this here. They don't plow. They don't put down salt. They don't sprinkle sand. Nothing. And you know what? There's a lot of fucking snow out there when it's not taken away. Seriously. No matter which coast you happen to be on.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seasons' Greetings

Blessed Be, Everyone!

~ the Pobble

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shout Outs

Cracker Lilo tagged me a couple days ago. So, here we go!

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.

THING THE FIRST: "It is the same with people. The best judges never miss the mark. And from the very first." "What has this to do with me?" I was anxious to get on with my lesson and impress him with the many facts I had memorized for his benefit since last time. "Everything. First you must develop this skill within yourself, just as you have developed your skill at riding or music."
The Autobiography of Henry VIII ~ Margaret George

And yes, I am honored to be officially dubbed a Bookworm!

THING THE SECOND: The tag. If you have the time during the holiday busy-ness, I'd love to read a few lines from the books closest to Dennis R. Upkins, Mike C, $$, Wolfgrrrl and Cam Pike. Just for shits and grins, people. :)

Now, if you'll look back at the subject line, you'll see the shout outs are plural. Which means there's another one.

Especially for Get Off My Lawn!....

Now, next time I sign off weirdly, you're not left out of the coffee loop. The very thought makes me shudder.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will, indeed, get you coffee.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

And One More

This showed up in my inbox today. Seems reasonable to me. :)

I've been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren't known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don't lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn't in the cards.

We don't want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let's mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas presents, but that's just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!

There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; they're easy to wrap: buy those books now. Buy replacements for any books looking raggedy on your shelves. Stockpile children's books as gifts for friends who look like they may eventually give birth. Hold off on the flat-screen TV and the GPS (they'll be cheaper after Christmas) and buy many, many books. Then tell the grateful booksellers, who by this time will be hanging onto your legs begging you to stay and live with their cat in the stockroom: "Got to move on, folks. Got some books to write now. You see...we're the Authors Guild."

Enjoy the holidays.

Roy Blount Jr.
Authors Guild

And in case you were concerned, this followed it shortly thereafter...

The Guild's staff informs me that many of you are writing to ask whether you can forward and post my holiday message encouraging orgiastic book-buying. Yes! Forward! Yes! Post! Sound the clarion call to every corner of the Internet: Hang in there, bookstores! We're coming! And we're coming to buy! To buy what? To buy books! Gimme a B! B! Gimme an O! O! Gimme another O! Another O! Gimme a K! K! Gimme an S! F! No, not an F, an S. We're spelling BOOKS!



'Cause, hey, soldiers need books. Kids need books. Elders need books. Who doesn't need a book, right? Right.

Those are someone named Roy's thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you a bookstore still open in two months!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Annual PSA

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat;
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.

Yes, Pobble Thoughts readers you fabulous few, it's that time of year again. You're (perhaps) thinking about giving. I'm (definitely) thinking about the fact that we are thinking about giving. Times are tough this year for more of us than usual so if you're not giving this year, I'm not judging. Truth be told, I'm not giving in the amounts I usually do, either, and consider myself beyond blessed that I can do anything. Last year, I posted a list of suggestions beyond Barbies, action figures, Stovetop stuffing and green beans (which are worthy donations and always welcome). I've reposted that list at the end of this if you want to check it out. But I don't want to just repost that list so here are some other thoughts beyond the Barbies and last year's list (which is still as valid as the Stovetop!)

If you haven't got a penny
Then a ha'penny will do.

First, in case you haven't heard about them, let me tell you about an organization called Toys for Troops. No, that's not a typo. Toys for Troops ( was created by Lori over at This Just In. Talk about a little idea growing beyond all possible expectations. This organization sends Beanie Babies and soccer balls to soldiers to pass out to the kids of the respective countries year-round. This time of year, they have sent holiday packages to the soldiers themselves. But did you read that previous sentence? They do this year-round. Which means shipping costs. And postage. And gas for the cars that drive to the drop off locations to pick up the toys to be postaged and shipped. Year-round. While it's too late to get in on the actual holiday package events this year, it's not too late to donate monies. For our soldiers. At war. Year-round. And the coolest thing is I can promise you (PROMISE YOU) every single penny you send will be spent actually on postage or shipping. Seriously. No explanation I can write will make this sound as amazing as it actually is so go check out the link.

Second, remember that kids aren't the only ones in need. Or lonely. Or alone. Which is bad enough in March but really, really sucks this time of year. Elders in your community are in need, lonely and alone, too. Think I'm wrong? I just googled "Christmas donations for elders" and came up with over 100,000 hits from community papers all over the country. I wish I could link something generalized here that would be applicable to all of us and I'm sorry I can't because Pobble Thought readers are so scattered. Still, it's something to think about. Be in touch with your local senior center, YMCA/YWCA, shelters, nursing get the idea. As much as I have always loved doing holiday donations for kids, the one year I remember most was the year we "adopted" a senior. All he wanted was "warm pajamas, please." He got a little more than that Christmas morning ~ and his warm pajamas.

Third, for my more misanthropic readers who have basically given up on humanity (you know who you are), remember the animals. Donations of dog/cat food, heartworm meds, pupy pads and kitty litter are always welcome at animal shelters and rescue organizations. Some food banks are even accepting them these days.

Finally, consider going to your calendar right now (okay, finish reading so you know why you're going to your calendar but you get the idea) and picking a day between March and September. Add some nonperishables to your grocery cart that day. Pick up an extra tube of toothpaste and a thing of deoderant then. Volunteer an hour of your time when no one else is bothering. Toys for Troops isn't the only organization that runs year-round. Nor is it the only one that tends to be forgotten the other nine months out of the year. Organizations love the people who give this time of year. Really. They do. But the ones who remember the other times of the year are the people who keep the organizations up and running to be around at this time of the year.

And, if what you really want to do is give to a child or family right now, keep reading. The list is there at the end. And thank you. From someone who did this for a very long time and is still grateful to the people who helped make it possible.

If you haven't got a ha'penny
Then God bless you!

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will give someone a happier holiday.

The List (with thanks from some of last year's contributors)
wrapping paper, ribbon and tape
artificial Christmas trees and ornaments
stocking stuffers
gifts for teenagers ~ especially teenage boys
full-sized toiletries (because guess what? people still need to brush their teeth!)
gift cards for gas stations
board games the whole family can playbooks
adult-sized underwear ~ especially men's
AA batteries
ballcaps for your local team
t-shirts with funny sayings on them
posters of bands or cars or sayings (not religious, please)
clever boxer shorts
art supplies
books (novels, action, sci-fi or How-To just to name a few)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

For The Rest of My Life...

My winter holiday decorations will include lighted, glowy penguins.

So much for my trademark understated elegance.

I guess I can live with this. :)

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.