Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Yellow Violet

This is what's known as a "dog's tooth violet." Kind of a confusing name, since it's not violet and doesn't bear an immediate resemblance to a dog's tooth.

I bought it at the grocery store the other day and it's already been ravaged by the squirrels -- so even though this particular blossom is a bit past its prime, I thought I'd better photograph it. Who knows how long this plant is going to last? The squirrels love anything bulbous, and the dog's tooth violet comes from bulbs. I should have known better.

We've had some action on the seedling front! So far, two hollyhocks and one burdock have germinated. I don't see any activity from anything else, but it's only been 11 days.

This is how I spent part of my workday yesterday. Remember how, in years past, we've wrapped books for a library activity we call "Blind Date with a Book"? We've usually done it for the 8th Graders on Valentine's Day. Well, this year Valentine's Day came and went and the teachers didn't mention it, so we thought they'd moved on to something new. But no -- they merely delayed it until now.

Because the romantic connection is no longer as obvious, we've dropped the Blind Date concept. But the kids will still choose a wrapped book (obviously not knowing what it is) and when they unwrap it, they can either keep it or exchange it for one unwrapped by a previous student. In this way, we'll hopefully get kids reading new things.

So yeah, yesterday I wrapped books. Like, dozens of books. We're using newspaper and I tried to at least make it interesting by centering some kind of image on the front of each package. (The dog, by the way, is Snoop the staffy -- read his sad/happy story here.)

Last night I had another surreal customer service experience. I went to the grocery store to pick up some trash bags. But when I looked at the shelf, they didn't have the tall white kitchen bags we usually buy -- only very large ones or tiny ones for our food-composting caddy. I called Dave (who usually does the shopping) and he verified they weren't the right ones. So I asked someone at the store where the other bags were.

"Oh, those are the only ones we stock," he said. "We've never had any others."

I flashed back to my recent experience at the cleaners, where I was told that I couldn't get my shirts laundered despite having done it there for the past five years. Don't you love it when they tell you not only that your product or service isn't available, but that it's never been available?


  1. Maybe you are nipping in and out of a parallel universe.

  2. With regard to your last question, I don't know what you are talking about as no shop assistant has ever said such a thing to me. However, I recall that Old Frank from the local pub used to report such things. We didn't know it at the time but it was the beginning of his descent into the blurry world of dementia where he now resides. Poor Old Frank.

  3. Yeah, those shopping experiences just show how poorly customer service people are trained...No more "Let me check the back or speak to my manager and coming back with a real answer...

    Beautiful bloom.

  4. Stunning photo of the sprout with that one droplet of water.
    Yes, in fact we once were shopping for a particular mini SUV years ago and one dealer knowledgeably informed us that no, it wasn't made with a rear-window wiper.
    Low and behold, what did we find at the second dealer? Guess where we bought the car.
    In your case, I'm sure he couldn't be bothered to find out.

  5. I think the shop clerk meant to say that in all the two weeks he has worked at the store he's never noticed the item you were looking for. that's because his knowledge of himself and the world is about ten minutes deep.

    What a happy ending for dear little Snoop. He's got a much better life now than he could ever have had in Stoke-on-Trent which (I remember from a book I read in the 1970s) is the ugliest town in Britain. I've always meant to go there, but the closest I got was Birmingham. One day I'd like to go to Slough, too. The part of the story where Snoop was found, an hour after he was abandoned, in his bed by the side of the road kills me. What a sweet dog.

  6. I'm so glad I read that article about Snoop. Don't tell anyone but the Daily Mail is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. I go months without looking at it and then I remember it and go binge on it for awhile. And don't you love that Snoop Dogg (one of my main celebrity crushes) offered to adopt that pretty Staffy?
    I had heard of a dog's tooth violet but never saw one that I know of. Good luck with that one! And how lovely that you're starting to get seeds germinating?

  7. who selects the books? I need to get my zinnia seeds. and the dog's tooth violet, really a lily, is lovely.

  8. Nice job wrapping those books. I never knew library work had so many tasks like this. Beautiful flower too.

  9. I would choose the book behind Helen, because, HELEN! I knew better than to click on the pup story...I did it anyway and I am sorry. Humans !!! Well done on the wrapping job, clever idea!

  10. Some of these people do not hesitate to tell you a lie. Most of the time they get away with it. I had that experience with a call center recently and yes they got away with it.

  11. Good job wrapping those books. I thought that was Olga before I read your post. I'm also glad I checked the link. A sad story with a very happy ending. Snoop appears to be in a much better place.
    I've taken to asking "how long have you worked here" when I get those kind of comments from store clerks.

  12. How did you manage to find a newspaper with a photo of you trying to hide your face? (lower left)

  13. Wrapping lots of books in newsprint sounds like a job that would leave your hands pretty inky, but I love the whole concept of surprise books and how you made sure there was an interesting picture showing up on each one. I can't read the Snoop story. If you say it ends well, that's good enough; I get too many mental images of sad animals otherwise . . .

    The dog's tooth violet is very fragile looking - in a battle, I'm confident the squirrel would win. Dang critters!

  14. Briony: I feel like that sometimes!

    YP: I also feel like THAT sometimes.

    E: They definitely subscribe to the idea that anything said with confidence must be true.

    Marty: Good thing you went to another dealer!

    Vivian: I think your assessment is exactly right. He's probably a probationary employee! I think Stoke-on-Trent used to be a pottery town, where a lot of England's china was made, if I'm not mistaken.

    Ms Moon: The Daily Mail supposedly has one of the most popular news web sites in the world! It definitely sucks you in. I love all the pictures and video, but there's a lot going on, too -- and not always in a good way.

    Ellen: The 8th Grade teachers and the Middle School librarian put together a list several years ago, and we still work from that list (with periodic additions of new books).

    Robin: There are a lot of weird tasks involved in library work!

    Linda Sue: At least Snoop's story has a happy ending. I also love that picture of Dame Helen -- she's clearly doing a facelift for the cameras.

    Red: I think they'll say anything just to get us to go away!

    Sharon: I should ask them that too. Yes, thank goodness the Snoop story had a happy outcome!

    Catalyst: Are you saying all bald guys look alike? Isn't that profiling? :)

    Jenny-O: Yeah, there was some inkiness involved! Don't fear the Snoop story -- the happy images outweigh the sad (although there are a few sad ones).