Friday, February 27, 2009


In one's dottage often toys reappear. It is said we sometimes become childlike in our thinking or our actions, and after you finish reading this little story about our new toy, you may think we not only have arrived in our dottage but may be on the other side of passing through. However, I also think maybe each of you will want one of these toys, too.

Several years ago Santa left in Jerry's stocking a two-piece indoor-outdoor thermometer; the sensor was to be placed on the front porch (which incidentally our apartment management calls our "private patio!") and the inside digital readout screen remained inside, aimed at the sensor. At any time we could see not only what the outside temp was but also the inside temperature. It was a nice little gadget and we used it all the time. Its only drawback was that Santa only had pink ones left, so we were stuck with that wretched color.

Anyway, about a week ago that gadget died, and in replacing it, we found that technology had sufficiently evolved so that with the replacement thermometer we got plenty more weather information. We had no idea about how much fun we would have with this new one.

First of all, you will see that we get an outdoor temperature reading across the top. The next "section" tells us if the barometer is rising or falling (shown by an up or down arrow in a box), the visual condition outside (in this case sunshine with a few clouds), and the humidity (41% and a somewhat sad "happy face" that indicates it is a little bit too dry. The happy face smiles if the humidity get higher.) The temp inside our living room is 77.1 degrees, the date is 2/27 and the time 7:50am. Armed with that information we can be as accurate as - or perhaps more accurate than - either our friendly Channel 4 weatherman or

But what makes this a toy, and lots of fun, is the little man. He drops or adds bits of clothing as the temperature changes. When we got up yesterday morning he had on boots, an overcoat, a scarf and a stocking cap. We laughed ourselves silly, because no one in Southern California hardly ever has need to dress this way, and certainly not at the degree posted. But since this was a generic little man he had to be useful for everyone who thought 42 degrees might be long-coat, muffler weather. Anyway, as the day goes on, his pants go from long, to bermuda shorts, to a bathing suit. His arms can have long sleeves, short sleeves or, I supposed in the heat of the summer he can go bare chested, although we haven't had a chance to see that yet. The man also scowls or beams, depending on what he is wearing!

Jerry and I have had so much fun watchng this little man, who of course seems to know everything. And after two days of calling hims "the little man," we decided to give him a name. A few names were tossed around, but none had much significance. Finally I said, "We need to give him a name of someone we know who is a little man who thinks he knows everything." Quick as a flash Jerry shouted "Ivan" and we both burst into laughter. "Ivan" he became.

To be honest with you, the man we named him after is not really named "Ivan." It is unlikely the real Ivan would ever find my blog, but if he did, he would recognize his name because it is unusual. He also would take great umbrage at our thinking of him in such a way. He does not recognize that failing in himself.

For any of you who might be enticed to get an Ivan of your own, it has a Weather Channel logo at the top, we found it at WalMart and paid the small sum of $25 for it. We've certainly gotten our money back in fun since we purchased it.

As we creep into our dottage, we find it harder to remember things. Jer and I have had some verbal set-to's over whether I said this or that, whether he did this or that, and Jerry is prone to think he is right all the time. By means of this blog I'm reserving the right to change Ivan's name to you know what if Jerry keeps on thinking he's right all the time. And I don't think they make this with a little woman, so I'm safe.

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