Keep the math simple

What the heck is this, you are asking? It is the parking lot outside Barry Bagels. It is also an out-take of sorts. There was a truck there with an AZS logo on it. And no, you have no clue what AZS stands for. We’ll get there.

The last name (beginning with S) was also part of the logo and I was peering at that making out the spelling and a voice in my head said, “Hello, Mr. Shmina” and with that I was transported back to my MacMu granddaddy’s funeral. What year was that? 1979? I think so. I think he was 93. It was over at the Sullivan funeral home on 11 mile. I think that was the first time I set foot in that funeral home but it was certainly not the last.

It *was* just about the last time I encountered anyone from two generations above me though. There was Bolette (my step-grandmother), putting a folded paper note into my granddaddy’s suit pocket. “Dear Emily, I give you Ralph.” And something I can’t remember about thanking Emily for lending Ralph to her for the years she was married to Emily’s husband. Emily was my biological grandmother who died in a car crash long before I was born. Bolette was a good grandma to me and I loved her. (Bolette went on for quite a few more years but she was quite a bit younger than granddaddy.)

And then there was Uncle Cy. I think he was Emily’s brother so he was my great uncle. An ancient farmer wearing what my brain wants to say were overalls but more likely he was wearing an old-fashioned suit. I had never met him but I had encountered some of his grandchildren (my 2nd cousins) ONCE in my youth. The Commander’s cousin Johnny-Paul (I *think* that was his name) took his family to Sault Ste. Siberia one summer. He knew that my dad and granddaddy Fin worked at the 1st National Bank so they went in there to enquire about our whereabouts. My dad was apparently not there but my granddaddy was and he told them how to get to the cabin. I do NOT think The Commander was terribly happy about having to entertain them (I suspect the family might have been “religious” in a way mine was not). I don’t remember tooooo much about the kids but later on I overheard The Comm tell Radical Betty or someone that one of the boys would NOT leave meeeee alone. I suppose I have blocked that. Like, they’ll be gone tomorrow and I can hang out with my regular cousins again.

Finally, another ancient man walked in and The Commander said, “Hello, Mr. Shmina.” I’ve never been too sure what my MacMu granddaddy did for a living but it was something to do with a building contractor’s association and I believe Mr. Shmina was a building contractor. I didn’t talk to Mr. Shmina or anyone who was with him but for years after the funeral I would see signs with AZS on them around the area. But it’s been a while, so when I saw that truck yesterday, I did a double-take. Obviously AZ’s dynasty has lived on. I scrambled my phone out to take a pic but, as I was doing that, a guy came out of Barrys and I just knew he was headed for that truck so I waited for a minute, pretending to check text messages or something. Darn it all, he WAS heading for that truck and I wasn’t cagey enough to get a pic. How awkward would that encounter have been? Driver: Why are you taking a picture of my truck? Meeeee: Because I saw [long-dead] AZ Shmina at my long-dead grandfather’s funeral. Roight. Instead, somehow I got this loverly accidental pic of the pavement. (I probably wouldn’t have posted the AZS photo anyway, just wanted to capture it.)

So odd how something totally off-the-wall can trigger a trip down memory lane. I have NEVER had ANYTHING to do with the Shmina family except for seeing the old man at a funeral once and a few signs for construction prodjects here and there over the years.

But let’s keep the math simple, okay? That was one of my mantras at work today. (Another was something like vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary but that’s like grinding an axe.) If you are trying to describe a complicated concept involving operations with numbers, choosing to make an example with numbers like $183,798.38 and $23,323.12 only confuses people, especially if you add those two numbers together to get a total. I mean, if you are mocking the whole thing up in html, which means you are *typing* the total in, rather than letting a spreadsheet tot it up, you are likely to get it wrong. $10 and $10 please or, if you need to show commas, $1,000 and $1,000.

One Response to “Keep the math simple”

  1. Margaret Says:

    There are so many pictures that I want to take (sort of like yours, just interesting connections) but don’t have the talent/guts to do so.