The Otzi's Shoes Edition

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  I'm having a little crisis of the spreadsheet, I may know how Rumpelstiltskin felt.  Wait, I have no idea.  What's that story about anyway?  Spreadsheets into data?  Anyway, I've created a bunch of formulas that

are built on top of other formulas and on and on, and you get to the end, like 12 steps later and it doesn't work, and my attention span, as you've surely noticed, is 3 seconds long, which doesn't lend itself to backtracking.  It's kind of awkward, because I've spent weeks on it by now. 
And, every single time I mention Excel, someone says, "Oh, so do you do pivot tables?"  NO.  I do not!   And  I think, these good people have placed trust in me, I hope I'm worthy.  And then I look at my badge, and it's all good again.  Aries, don't back track this week.  Forward march, unidirectional flow.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Have you heard about this?  That dogs align themselves on a north-south axis in order to poop?  They noticed it because the canines align to magnetic north, not true north, which shifts over time and across the planet.  Could that explain how great dogs are?  Loyal, happy, always willing to go get the stick -- they never judge, they never say "Sheesh!  If you want the stick so badly, stop throwing it!  I am not going to enable this unhealthy, self-sabbotaging behavior.  Get your own damn stick."  Dogs never agonize, "Oh, what should I do with my day, my life, my chew toy."  No, they just pant and run, and bring the stick back smiling.  Anyway, Taurus, if you're looking for a money-making idea, I think you could sell something touting the benefits of pooping with the poles.  (No, that wasn't a reference to  eastern Europeans.) A book?  Workshops?  Toilets that pivot?  Oh, just typing the word "pivot" gave me a little shudder.  (NO, I do not do pivot tables.)  Let me know when you're rich from this idea.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Did you know that dolphins snack on puffer fish toxins to deliberately get high?  You really can't blame them - you'd need a little respite from reality too, if you knew your people were getting herded into a cove and either slaughtered or taken into cubicles captivity to do tricks, like pivot tables jumping through hoops.  Weird, it just struck me how much the humans love to make one another (and even the other creatures) jump through hoops.  Gemini, let the hoops spin around you this week.  More hula-hooping and less jumping through.   May it be so.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21) I've been on a little jag of reading books and articles about enhancing productivity, which, if you knew how little relevance that has in my life, you would undoubtedly find hilarious.  The basic premise of these books is that the reader is way too busy with way too much important stuff, and the trick is to prioritize.  Every advice starts out the same way:  DON'T RESPOND TO E-MAIL UNTIL THE IMPORTANT STUFF IS DONE.  But that's half my list!  They never mention my problem, which is:  I have about two, maybe three things to do.  Totally within reach.  I write them down on a list, and change the font a few times, save it to google docs, and take a long nap.  That's not addressed in these books. Cancer, do you have any advice for me?

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  Did I already say this -- that Shackleton has a twitter feed about his trip to Antarctica?  Now that I know what twitter is, I think that's a very cool idea and if I ever had the time, I would totally follow Shack.  Tell long stories about an arduous journey over time in 140 characters or less.  Bertha, the drill rig also has twitter.  I still can't bring myself to sign up for Twitter.  It feels eight-track-tapeish to me.  But Leo, if you tweet, I will follow you.  

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  If anyone has any tips about visiting Death Valley, bring them on.  I plan to do that last winter.  (Time travel.)  And, speaking of one of my favorite shows, Time Tunnel, I'm going to visit THE tunnel today with one of my favorite people, and I can hardly wait.  Cheers, Virgo.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):   Speaking of time travel, this struck me.  Researchers are searching for time travelers on the internet by pre-dating requests for contact via twitter.  Example, posting, on January 14, a request to tweet the resarchers by January 1 if they're from another time.  No time travelers have been discovered in this fashion, Libra.  Personally, I bet they just aren't answering.  Because duh, time travelers aren't on The Twitter.  (I listened to an interview with that Twitter founder, and he called it "the twitter," so it's not like I'm making that up.  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Have you heard of the Seahawks?  As I understand it, they're a group of grown men who tussle over a ball.  (There's only one ball -- I'm not sure why they don't just buy more, but maybe there's a shortage?).  At any rate, you should know this because everyone is not only talking about it, but dressing as it.  I know!  When will there be reality shows about paleontology, Scorpio?  Much quieter.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  So, I have this problem, and I know, it's total route talk, so skip ahead if you like.  But here it is:  I use hair ties because I don't like my hair in my face, and then I get that little headache from wearing it up, and then I don't like it in my face, and then I get the headache.  Up down up down, all day long.  And when the hair is down, the tie is on the wrist.  Here's the problem:  the circumference of the rubber bands these days are smaller than my wrist.  It's not like I have super big wrists or anything, right?  Give it to me straight, Sag:  do you think these sleeves make my wrists look big?  Me neither!  I think I'm perfectly perportioned in the wrist area.  Don't the people know that hair ties should be wrist sized?  

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  I started a little google doc to assemble information matching the native plant to its pollinator so that I can begin drawing the pairs.  I know what you're thinking, Cap.  "Does she have any work?"  This is my work.  (That, and reading about Otzi's shoes.)  But where to begin?  With the trees?  Herbaceous plants?  And why is it so hard to find specific information about the pollinators? Prunus emarginata:  insects.  That will never do!  You're almost halfway done with this difficult month.  The end is in sight. 

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  One of my pet peeves is when people call property "raw land".  It's just icky.  As if you could get e. coli from undeveloped property or something.  But we had a big windstorm here the other day, and I will confess that as I drove into town, I was thinking, "the roads are paved with firewood!"  Is that wrong?  Aquarius, accept things just as they are this week.  Don't look for added value because it has the opposite effect.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20) The other day I was in the coffee shop and this man I'd never seen came in with a huge umbrella, and it caught my attention.  For the obvious reasons.  My first thought was, OMG!  A plot is unfolding, my favorite plot, "stranger comes to town with mysterious object"!  So I was watching him, duh.  But he walked directly over to our table and said "Do I look funny?"  

I tried to explain that I spend my days looking for a plot, and being super excited if anything seems to be happening.  Of course he didn't get it.  How do you explain that to a random stranger with a giant umbrella?  Pisces, if you find yourself in that situation, make something up, don't try to explain yourself.  Here, put this in your pocket in case you need it this week.  "Oh, I was just admiring your remarkable umbrella!"  


  1. Better than saying, "I was just astounded at the size of your remarkable nose!"
    Which is probably what I would end up saying by accident and there you have why I try not to go out into public very often.

    1. Ha! I, having a rather undersized nose, would find that comment rather flattering!

  2. You made me laugh a lot here today, thank you! Sorry about your awkward encounter. I've been reading about random encounters with Bill Murray this morning, and wouldn't it be grand if more people were surprising and interesting and mysterious like him?

    I used to make functional excel spreadsheets, decades ago, and now I get so lost. I never made it up the food chain to Access or databases and I sure don't know what the pivots are for. I feel your pain, and would take some comfort in Temp badge #8 as well.

    Thanks for an interesting, surprising and mysterious post.

    1. Yes, we should all be more like Bill Murray. A stalker in a Taurus. (without the Taurus.) I'm glad I made you laiugh!

  3. I would really like to know if the dog/magnetic field/#1/#2 applies to cats as well, and if it does, if it applies to cats in litter boxes or just outdoor cats. Are cats as sensitive to the magnetic field as they are to the slightest change in formula of their favourite food?

    And is "umbrella" a euphemism? :)

    Once again, you deliver the goods, Betsy!

    1. Ah, good question! You should get a grant, do some research. Alas, umbrella is a real thing. Just a regular giant umbrella...

  4. Dogs align themselves along magnetic lines to poop? Amazing! I always thought they were just randomly spreading their scat.

    Science: bringing us all into a better world. I guess we can all just throw out our compasses and get a dog.

    1. Now that's a brilliant idea. If you call the dog an ap, you could probably make money on that idea!

  5. I don't get twitter, it's a sound a bird makes, right? And then there are 'twitter feeds', would that be putting a bird feeder in your yard? Although, grammatically, that is incorrect. It could be twitter food if you were using twitter euphemistically.

    BTW-I will be testing out the pole pooping theory today with my compass, which I also don't know how to use (like excel spread sheets) but what a time to learn!

    your friend,


    The hair tie thing is totally true. I have squish lines on my wrist ALL THE TIME.

    1. I am eagerly awaiting the results of your compass / pooping research.

      And is there anything we can do about the hair ties? Must we suffer so?


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