Saturday, January 30, 2010

What is it about that number?

After attending a summer science program in high school, Ricky adopted "47" as "his" number, the "mystical number of the universe."

I am not kidding. I have pasted below the FAQ page from the "47 Society" which documents how often this prime number shows up, and in what capacity. Check it out!

There are of course other meaningful numbers. From the Bible you have the numbers 1, 3, 7 and 12. Each number has its own consistent significance.

I offer another number to the list - 491. That was the number of vehicles we counted off-road on our Christmas Day ice encrusted journey. On a somber note, a news report this afternoon reported 491 Haitian police officers remain unaccounted for after the earthquake. Does 491 have a tragic life of its own? Or is it mere coincidence?

Now back to the number 47.....................

P.S. I am hopeless at changing colors. I was trying to highlight the words below that are links to other pages. Instead, you'll probably have to move the cursor to get the links to show up. Deal with it. I'm done!


Frequently Asked Questions about 47 and The 47 Society

What is 47?

In short, 47 appears to be the quintessential random number of the universe. In other words, when a number appears randomly, more often than not, that number is 47. In other other words, if you asked people to pick a number at random, more often than not, that number would be 47. Of course, if 47 shows up more than any other number then it isn't truly random, but using the word random makes the whole phenomenon easier to describe.

What is a "47 Sighting"?

Anytime you notice the number 47 anywhere in your life or in the world (or elsewhere). There are a variety of interpretations as to what constitutes a bona fide "47 Sighting." Whatever your definition, we encourage you to share your 47 sightings and stories with the 47 Society Mailing List.

What is the 47 Society?

The 47 Society is an international interest-group that follows the occurence and recurrence of the quintessential random number: 47. Many suspect that the coincidental nature of 47 carries some mystical, metaphysical and/or scientific significance.

The phenomenon may have first been documented at Pomona College in 1964, when Professor Donald Bentley proved that all numbers are equal to 47. Coincidentally, 47 seems to occur on or near the college campus with amazing frquency, even by enthusiast standards.

But make no mistake: 47 is everywhere and people were noticing it long before 1964. The 47 Society Web Site is the global source for 47 information.

Aren't You Just Seeing 47 More Because You're Looking For It?


Still not convinced? Try this simple experiment. Pick another number. For the next three to six months keep your eyes open for both. 47 will show up more. If you find out otherwise, please let us know!

What's The Pomona College Connection?

In the 1960's, Pomona College's Professor Donald Bentley completed a mathematical proof that stated that all numbers were equal, therefore all numbers were equal to 47. Since then, students at Pomona have been quietly indoctrinated in the ways of 47. Some believe, some doubt. But it is listed in the student handbook right after "Glee Club". At this date, we have been unable to obtain a copy of Professor Bentley's proof, however, 1968 Pomona Alumnus Wayne Phillips corroborates its existence.

What's the Star Trek Connection?

A Pomona College alum has been a writer and producer for the various Star Trek TV shows and films. He indoctrinated the other writers several years ago (while writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation). Since then, nearly every Star Trek episode has included some mention of 47. Some "Trekkies" have put together their own excellent pages dedicated to these 47s. Since these are more frequent and deliberate than randomly-occurring 47s, we generally discuss only the most cosmically significant of these sightings in our own forums. Kirk would have wanted it this way

What about OTHER numbers?

Our research indicates that numbers have lives of their own. 47 appears to be the most playful number, frequently showing up in unusual and/or surprising ways. Other numbers have their own characteristics, and we have heard heated testimonials from followers of some of these numbers, including 3, 11, 19, 23 and 42.

Keep this in mind: 47-spotting is fun. There is no need to make 47 your favorite or lucky number in order to appreciate its synchronicitious ways. Just relax, observe 47 as it reveals to you, and share your experience with the 47 Society.

Return to the 47 Society Home Page

This site Copyright ©1995-2001, All Rights Reserved.
Email Webmaster

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The rest of the story

Starting about eighth grade, our older son started wearing his hair short. With clippers we were able to keep it trim and avoid the time and expense of hair cuts. I was pleased when our younger son started doing the same this school year. In November we replaced the old, now rusty clippers with powerful new ones.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving Wiley sat on the back porch as I started his haircut. High school soccer tryouts were the next day and he wanted to make a good impression. I took the first big swipe through his thick hair. "Oh no, oh no, oh Wiley, I'm so sorry." I had forgotten to put the Number 2 guard on the clippers so he basically had no hair instead of hair about a quarter inch long.

There was no recovery. The first stripe was so long and wide I had to finish the hair cut to match. So in the middle of winter he ended up basically bald. He didn't take it badly. I don't know if that made me feel better or worse.

I picked him up at the junior high that Monday afternoon to take him over to the high school for tryouts. Oh, my!

Classmates had written on his head during the day. One of his teachers called him "Bathroom Wall" in honor of the grafitti. I couldn't believe he had let boys mark on his head the day of tryouts. He shrugged it off.

Well, he definitely stood out on the field. At the end of tryouts, the coach talked to him for a few minutes alone. Wiley was invited back to the second day of tryouts, but was warned never to look like that again.

After a second day of wet, freezing tryouts, Wiley made the team, the only freshman from his school to do so.

A couple of weeks later, at the initial parent meeting, the coach was joking with us about that day. It seems during the private conversation with the coach, Wiley confessed. He wasn't trying to be disruptive, he had fallen asleep in class, and so his friends marked up his head.

I don't know if he has fallen asleep in class since then. I do know he triple checks the clippers now before we start a haircut.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time does fly when you're having fun

I was never much of a glue and glitter mama. So when my girls, both toddlers, were old enough to help with the Christmas cookies, I decided that it would be a great daddy/daughter activity. I made the dough ahead of time. Ricky then rolled it out, cut the shapes and moved then onto the cookie sheet. The girls decorated with colored sugars, with lots of hilarious results.

Then we added a boy to the mix. I continued with the best job of all - photographer.

This picture is about seventeen years old. The older daughter turned twenty-six today. The younger daughter is married, making her own cookies. The boy is in his own apartment, learning to feed himself with his new cookbook "A Man, A Can, A Plan." The cat died of old age about a year ago. The younger son was not even in our wildest dreams when this picture was taken.

Last month during the annual baking, for the first time, only the youngest was there to help Dad. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still a shock to have such a calm kitchen.

Decorating solo was hard work for one person, but he persevered, taking breaks when needed. He cheerfully did a great job. Not bad for a young man in high school!

Here's hoping he'll stick around for enough Decembers that I can keep my job as photographer for many more years. Don't tell the kids, but every now and then I do wish they wouldn't grow up quite so fast.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Now back to our regularly scheduled program

If only that were true! Do you remember, when we were kids, the television schedule was predictable? Shows started in the fall, took a break around the holidays, resumed in the spring, then did reruns in the summer.

There was order and rhythm and predictability. The "Wonderful World of Disney" was Sunday at 6:00 pm. (Bad timing for those of us at church nearly every Sunday night. I was one of those kids who prayed to get sick on the weekend.) On Saturday nights my dad and I settled in with our bowl of popcorn and watched "Mannix." And when I had a favorite weeknight show, I had extra incentive to be on my best behavior and have all my chores done, so the privilege would be allowed.

We kids also learned to snitch our parents' newspapers near the end of each month, particulary October and November. There would always be an issue that included a schedule for the TV "events" scheduled for the next month. Maybe there would be a "special movie presentation" or you wanted to make sure you did not miss "Rudolph."

You had a few favorite shows that were worth watching and could set your schedule by them. And no one tried to watch them all. In fact, someone who watched television often was accused of spending too much time in front of the "boob tube."

Now the TV schedule is just nuts. Shows start in the summer, the fall or the spring. Or they have a "pilot" teaser and then actually start months later. Or the series kicks off on one night and then runs regularly on a different night. (Or at least it would be regular, it there were no award shows or athletic events or "urgent" political messages.) A show might have four episodes and then skip two months. Or switch time slots. Or switch networks. Or disappear. And the reruns start while the new episodes are still going.

Thank goodness for DVRs. We (that would be my husband) can set the DVR to record a particular show or a particular series, with or without repeat episodes. We can watch favorite shows at our convenience. If there is a new series that might be interesting, we can wait to see if it is going to continue before watching the stored episodes. If it's a bust, then we haven't wasted our time.

Depending on a DVR does have its drawbacks, though. A game in front of your show may go into overtime and throw the timing off. If that happens, and you did not pay attention and adjust the timing of the subsequent recording, you have to watch a truncated show and read an on-line summary for the ending, wait to catch the episode on a rerun, or watch it on the computer, having to sit in front of a small screen and wait through commercials.

Then there is the mild dismay of forgetting to record something or having the DVR break. That happened to us last week, losing all our recordings. But we are so overloaded now with choices, I can't even tell you what we had and will now miss.

Watching TV has become a job, it's wearing me out. A few years ago I dropped out of watching the long complicated series like "Lost," "Heroes" and "24." I don't want to have to think that much, or fret over missing a key episode in a continuing story line. I'm going back to a simpler approach. I am picking a few favorite shows to keep up with, shows that if I miss an episode, it's no big deal. I'm going to watch "Chuck," "Psych," "Glee," "Royal Pains," "Community," "America's Got Talent," and college basketball. That looks like a lot of shows, but with today's year round scheduling, they don't all have the same season. Every now and then I'll add in something new or take something out. If I'm missing anything important, let me know.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's all in the timing

Our family had quite a year in 2009. I intended to write about it in more detail but was overwhelmed last week with the peaceful death of my mother-in-law, and all the corresponding details of her funeral service and having our home be "family central" for several days.

Those 2009 recollections, along with the lessons learned last week, must keep a little longer. Even though I could put some thoughts together and share them now, it's probably better to wait a while.

One thing I've learned, from significant trial and error, is the value of picking the right time to share my opinions. Too many times I have been anxious to tell my side of a story, not considering the feelings and concerns of others. Too many times I have dumped my news or hurts on a friend or family member without proper consideration for how it would affect him or her. And if I'm honest, I must admit there have been times I did consider the impact and chose to verbally hit my dear ones, anyway.

I wish we all, whether in private or public discourse, would take more time to settle our own opinion before sharing it. Is my position correct? Is it justified? Is it selfish? Am I just reacting without thinking? Also important, is what I want to say even relevant?

My need for better discernment became clear a few years ago, once it was just me and the boys hanging out here at home. If I want to make a point, it needs to be brief, well thought out and brought up when the recipient is in a reasonably good frame of mind. I could go on and on with lots of examples, but I'll spare us all that tedium.

The bottom line? A little patience and judgment can save a lot of angst. I'm convinced. Now it's just practice, practice, practice.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lucile Balthrop (1920 - 2010)

Betty Lucile Balthrop, 89, a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010.
Funeral: 3 p.m. Saturday in Lucas Funeral Chapel, 1321 Precinct Line Road, Hurst. Interment: Following committal prayers, Lucile will be laid to rest with her husband, James, in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Visitation: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
A native of Fort Worth, Lucile was born Oct. 7, 1920, to Luther Lecil and Edith Lou Adams Bostick. She was a longtime member of Meadowbrook Church of Christ, where she taught children's Bible classes. An avid gardener, she loved growing African violets and roses. Although Lucile lost her speech and mobility from a stroke 33 years ago, she never questioned her Christian faith and lived life with humor and dignity. After retiring to Granbury, she and James continued to enjoy traveling to such places as Hawaii and Branson. Even though her voice was quieted, her smile and gestures continued to brighten every room she was in. She will be lovingly missed.
The family would like to especially thank Kathy Jones and the staff of Jack's Place for their love and care for Lucile for the past two years.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 69 years; infant daughter, Betty Lucile; and brother, Harold Bostick.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The nose knows

Working out of my home, I am responsible for the day to day operations of it - the package deliveries, service calls, doggie duty and following up on the mysterious bumps and crashes during the day. I've done it long enough I usually know when to check on things later and when to run to the source of the sounds.

Today, it was a case of the odd smell. It smelled rather like gas. I've smelled gas before in this house. When Brian was in elementary school, he accidentally turned the living room fireplace gas key left instead of right. But the weather was nice, so a couple of hours spent outdoors waiting for the gas to disperse was no big deal.

We have three gas furnaces that heat our home, so today when I smelled gas, I checked all of them to make sure warm air was coming through all vents. It was. I checked with my daughter, home from work, to see if she smelled anything. Nope. I worked a little while longer, then headed out to drive Wiley from one campus to the other for soccer. Coming back into the house, I definitely smelled gas.

We have three gas fireplaces. Living room....check. Den.....check. Master bedroom.....oops! This is what I found.

I can reconstruct. It was a real Mousetrap game. Addie, the devil cat, taunted the orange cat(s) and started a chase. Through the living room, into the master bedroom, then bathroom, then a full reverse back to the bedroom. Launching herself up to her normal queenly perch, this time Addie's momentum tipped the desk chair, causing it to fall against the wall, where it hung on the fireplace gas key, ripping the key loose from its connections inside the wall.

(I am sure this generated noise at the time, but only at the normal hub-bub level of our wacky cats. Now if it was the dog chewing (usually important) paper, I would have checked on it within thirty seconds!)

Now I call my husband and leave a message. I call my dad, like every daughter instinctively does during a household emergency. My dad and I agree that the gas leak is IMPORTANT. Nervous, having had a house fire fifteen years ago, I call 911. The operator instructs me to get out of the house and he will send a truck. My daughter and I and the dog get out of the house and wait. I decide the cats are on their own. I'm sure they're indestructible and, if not, they are somewhat replaceable, hard hearted as I am. The dog, on the other hand, I have way more invested in, subject of a future story.

The firemen arrive, identify the leak, and shut off the gas to the house. A couple of hours later, I'm back at my desk. The plumber, sheduled for in the morning, has managed to make it here today, so we should have heat back before the sun goes down.

I do have a couple of concerns for the future. First, the fire truck took well over five minutes to get here and originally stopped about a block away, looking for our house. We live in a big house in an established neighborhood on a somewhat busy street. I guess if there had been smoke pouring from the roof they would have found it quicker? Second, when I directed them to the location of the gas meter near the front of the house outside the master bedroom they were just in, they could not find it. Hmmmm.

But again, our minor gas leak was just that, so I must trust they would have been quicker in a real emergency.

The bottom line? A prayer of thanksgiving that I work at home during the day and can prevent inconveniences from becoming cat-astrophes.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writing It Down

It has been many years since I considered New Year's Resolutions.

When you are younger, your path is fairly set - get an education, get a job, get married, have a family. Sure there are a thousand details, but the destination is always viewable on the horizon. The path can be winding or straight, but ultimately leads to the same place.

Now I've done those things.

I always joked that I had four kids so that it would keep me busy. But in my fifties, if that is what's keeping me busy, I am meddling. My starring role of "mother" is mostly a supporting one now. Sure there are a thousand details left to wrap up, but it's time to pick a new horizon to become the big picture.

So what do I want to do with the second half of my adult life? (When I first wrote that sentence I used "last" instead of "second." I think "second" sounds less maudlin, don't you?)

Do I want to be creative? That could be tricky, considering I am a Certified Public Accountant and I like it.

Do I want to be intellectual? Doubtful, as that would require me to study.

Do I want to be athletic again? This sounds like more fun, if I could do it without the requisite pain of using muscles I haven't thought about in a long time.

Uncertain as to the future, I am writing down things I can do this year to steady my drifting and get me moving again. So here 2010 New Year's Resolutions:

Take reasonable care of myself. That means actually getting a physical checkup and a long overdue colonoscopy and mammogram. Whether I get braces or not, I will at least get my teeth cleaned. And I will go to the dermatologist and have my moles checked and some of those irritating age related spots removed. This all sounds simple, but it will be a trial for me. I avoid going to the doctor or dentist because I don't want to waste my time. I know, I know, it's not a waste.

Keep my office neater. Somehow over the last couple of years I have totally lost control and spend too much time paralyzed by the clutter. I can't fix this all at once, so my goal is to have my office neat more often than it is a disaster. Who knows, maybe it will rub off on the rest of the house. Prayers are appreciated.

Write or post pictures at least 10 times a month. I need to keep writing "remember when" stories to make up for all the kids' baby books I never finished!

Play racquetball and golf (and walk the dog.) I have a nagging concern I must either "use it or lose it." I loved raquetball in my twenties and as a racquetball court is relatively small, I don't have to be in shape to get started again. I have golf clubs and a membership, so it is ridiculous not to use them, especially since I can use a cart for the front or back nine (or both) if I'm tired. And a brief walk with the dog in the middle of the day will make her naps and my work afternoons more productive. Best of all, the racquetball and golf and some of the dog walking can be done with my husband!

Find a horizon to set out for. None of the other things I've listed above are monumental goals. I won't ever have the perfect office or a scratch golf game. Heck, I won't ever break a hundred twenty. In March and April my blog posting will be minimal. My dog will sometimes be neglected and let me hear about it. But if I work on the list I have set out, I should gradually have a more well ordered mind. Then maybe I'll be able to figure out that next horizon to head toward.

Boldly optimistic about 2010, I wish you all a Happy New Year!