Monday, December 31, 2007

A happy ending to a perplexing problem ...

A huge thank you goes out to, Mr. Bill Skags of AT&T Wireless. He resolved our customer service problem with the telephone to the satisfaction of all concerned. He placed a credit on our wireless phone account far in excess of the value of the telephone we purchased - in order, he said, to make some reparation for our trouble. He didn't just go outside the box, he set the box aside to do his thinking.

AT&T Wireless should be proud of an employee who puts customer service above matters of policy. I am glad we persisted until we found someone who listened creatively. I asked Mr. Skags if he minded my using his name to thank him here. He didn't mind at all. So I repeat:

Thank you, Mr. Bill Skags.

Of the best ...

Thinking back over the year ... never mind. I don't want to do that. I just want to remember the highlight for me, which was the wedding. It was so special, for two special people.

This year, we are having steak and blackeyed peas for New Year's. No ham. This is not because we are superstitious. It is because we really do like blackeyed peas when they are not capable of singing.

Most importantly: We wish a Happy Anniversary to Zeta and M, with many more to follow!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Customer Service ...

AT&T is making a distinction between telephones bought as Christmas gifts from bricks-and-mortar stores and those bought from the AT&T internet site. In November, we ordered, via the AT&T web site, a Motorola KRAZR which was destined to be opened December 24th. It gets a strong signal and sounds great. The interior display works just fine. The exterior display, however, is so dark that it can be seen only indoors while tilting it to a light source. I say "seen" advisedly because it certainly is not possible to actually read it.

A customer service representative at AT&T told us that if we had bought it at a local store, AT&T would replace it with another new phone through their "buyers remorse" plan for Christmas purchases. Since it was ordered via the web more than thirty days ago, it can only be replaced, under warranty, with a refurbished phone. Refurbished? Hello, it was activated on Christmas Eve!

What wonderful customer service ...

Friday, December 28, 2007

On the way, a detour ...

Big Ed had a routine medical test after which he had some complications. He is mostly recovered, now, but spent some time in the emergency room on the route to this recovery. He is a good patient, and I have this on excellent authority.

Thank you, Zeta, for all your help with the ins and outs while he was waiting and afterward. Your parents must be so proud of you. I can testify to that! It is such a relief to have "inside" help which is so freely offered.

Big Ed and I
actually spent 30 hours awake with two/three hours of sleep tucked in somewhere, not a planned activity. We also spent from before midnight until noon the next day without eating. I lost one pound. He lost ten.

Life can be so unfair.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Inadvertent gifts are good, too ...

This box was destined to be put in the trunk of the car to corral groceries and keep them from migrating beyond reasonable reach. It was raining when I opened the door to take it out, so I put it down on the couch, temporarily. When I returned for it, a life form had taken occupancy. Evidently, it was the nicest thing she got for Christmas and was excellently placed for maximum feline satisfaction.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Eagle has landed.

I have been reliably informed that the stars of the recent family wedding are back in town, this evening. Merry Christmas and welcome home!

I can't wait to see the tropical tans they have acquired. Or not. They are used to the tropical sun and so may not have changed skin hues.

Pictures will be welcome, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bits 'n Pieces from earth ...

The quiet issuing from o1 doc's direction is due to a knee injury suffered in a bad fall. She has to stay off her feet and keep it elevated. As our brother told her, the fall wasn't bad but the landing was terrible.

The wedding pictures are up at zeta's. I still get all clouded up and tend to rain over them. I was determined not to cry at the wedding but I surely am making up for it now. May need a new keyboard if this keeps up.


Where's Waldo Mew? Still helping, in a supervisory capacity.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Big Day finally arrived ...





The wedding cake was stunning; the red flowers between the tiers are roses. The filling was dulce de leche. Yum. Note the photo in the silver frame ...








Each table bore candles and flowers like the centerpiece at our table.




There were dulce de leche cookie-shaped candies in keepsake containers marked with S and E's names. Votive candles were wrapped with netting and persona
lized with their names. And the food was the best I have ever had at a wedding, including my own.

This was a wonderful wedding, with perfect weather for it and was truly a joyous time for us.

Zeta will have pictures up soon, I am sure.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One large step for man ...

We're taking our digital camera to the wedding for sure - it is hanging inside the front door on the handle. I am so excited that the pictures may reflect it ... blurry springs to mind. If I get any that are semi-recognizable, I will post tomorrow. Zeta will probably do much better.

We are leaving two, or two and a half, hours early - just in case. Jams, accidents, etc., are being allowed for and we know that no one will be allowed in after the bride's processional.

Let me shout it: may God Bless S and E on this special day, and always!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

C-napping on the job ...

Turn your back for a few minutes and the helper goes to sleep. She has been helping at every step of tree-dom except for the actual setting the tree in the stand. That looked uncertain enough that she watched from the safety of the hallway. Smart kitty didn't get any sticky sap on her paws.

It appears that she may have been in charge of arranging the lights and retired without finishing. Sometimes efficient help is difficult to find, at Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Coconut info

The coconut palm, that Big Ed brought home and J planted, has twelve or thirteen developing nuts around the crown. This makes the two that we already took from it look less valuable for planting and more edible. This palm believes in feast or famine. Feast is on the way.

It just has to get ripe.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thank you ...


It says something about J and I that both of our grown children thought of some form of food as a gift for our anniversary. Big Ed took us to dinner at the Roadhouse and we pigged out on steak, appetizers, baked potatoes ... It was a lovely evening. Not having to cook is always a thoughtful gift. Good food, not cooked by us, is even better!

The following weekend, we received a visit from M and a recovering Zeta who, thoughtfully, had not wanted to be near us while she had a horrible cold. She and M brought a beautiful gift basket filled with our favorite things: Russell Stover chocolates (sugar free), Starbucks coffee, Flora pasta sauce and three kinds of Dreamfields pasta. We were astounded at the appearance of the Flora which we had been looking for with no success. M found it, they said. What a mission that must have been.

I would claim that we unwrapped the basket so as to photograph it, but that's not exactly true. We wanted to get to the good stuff.

Thank you Big Ed, Zeta, and M, for a lovely remembrance.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What fun, real tears ...

Good thing we're almost finished with Christmas shopping because this week there is something on our schedule every day. It is either eye checkups, medical checkups or stuff to put out for the Salvation Army.

The wedding is just around the corner. Zeta told the tale of what we did listening to the music. Instead of a tissue, perhaps a bedsheet might do ...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blowing in the wind ...

The county has "improved" our trash collection system. We now make runs to a local waste collection station if we have items too large to fit into the one, the only, the official, wheeled, EZGO, 64 gallon waste cart, which was forced on us provided by the county. If a household wants an additional cart, the county gets $50 for it. Big Ed and I did just such a run, this morning. The item that would not fit into the EZGO cart was a truly defunct gas lawn mower.

The associate at the collection point treated it as if it were made of gold, setting it carefully aside after lifting it from the trunk for us. "Good for parts," he said.

It is indeed an ill wind ...

Monday, November 26, 2007

A little metaphor goes a long way...

Today seemed to be patterned after that phrase of Ramses (and Seti), in The Ten Commandments: "So let it be written, so let it be done."

My last wild Christmas gifts were hunted down and brought to the fire, all in one morning. I only wish it were: "So let it be written, so let it be wrapped." That's next.

Well, to be truthful, I need some gift cards but that's an easy hunt. The warriors should be back at their quarters by noon.

Unless there are surprises along the way ...




Sunday, November 25, 2007

Goodness ... gracious

A positive thing about reserving books online, for pickup at our library, is that one can delay the date for the books to arrive. A less positive thing is that if one doesn't watch carefully, the reserve date can creep up and guess what?

One can be notified of eight books being held, with two more in transit. If this happens just before a family wedding, with Christmas to follow, one can find oneself in a "so many books, so little time" situation ... with books that can't be renewed because they are on someone else's wait list.

:-O
dear!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thank you, Zeta ...


Black Friday.

This year, which is the first time we participated in this post turkey-day sport with full intent and planning, it was by invitation. Zeta and Last Chance (Nordstrom's outlet) seem to have an unadvertised standing appointment on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Zeta shared her enthusiasm with us and so we left the house at 7:35 AM. This meant rising even earlier but that is implied in the statement: "left the house." J declined to take part in this exercise.

I have to say, we had a great time. When we left, Zeta was still finding bargains that were amazing. We would have stayed but my staying power is much less than I had imagined it was.

And
Black Friday?


I never realized that the name is derived from merchants moving their annual bottom lines from being "in the red" to "in the black" on this one day.

Who knew? Probably everyone but me ...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Not so happy for the turkey ...


Happy Thanksgiving!


Up early this morning filling the slow cooker with the part of the turkey that goes over the fence first (besides its beak, that is). The coffee is hot and waiting. We're not out of milk which used to happen regularly but I'm getting better at keeping it on hand.

I like a home-done latte which involves microwaving the cup after adding enough milk to the right amount of coffee. The amount of milk which constitutes "enough" is subjective. Other family members consider it a form of environmental pollution to pour milk into perfectly good coffee.

More for me ...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Please, no more ...

This is how at least one cat looks after having too many pictures taken. Whataya mean, smile ...

Waiting for the photographer to focus? Disgusting, evidently.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Revue noir ...

Finished "Bridge to Terabithia," don't recommend it for kids under the age of, say, 75 or 80. Disney movies surely have changed.

Remember Dragonslayer, which was the first Disney film noir? The little dragons snacking on the princess? Well, Bridge is a film noir of a sort, too.

Heroine dies. In a Disney movie, I ask you. They tried to cobble together an ending to lift the spirits and it doesn't work. I am bummed and I'm old enough to know better. I would not recommend it for young'uns. Old'uns either ...

I need to go hug the cat.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mew has an upgrade...

Mew is on the penthouse of a three level condo that J's mother gave her. She barely fits but she is so flexible, sleeping curled into a ball of legs and tail is not a problem. She turns her head upside down when she wants the world to go away.

Ignoring the camera's flash is a feline art form.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I have become fairly consistent at riding a stationary bike for thirty minutes, every day. If I don't, the blood sugar will creep upward. I like to watch part of a DVD or watch something that holds my attention on TV such as Jeopardy. The time flits by mindlessly and so does the bike ride.

In this vein, I am watching Bridge to Terabithia in half hour daily installments. It really is a children's film and I am probably the only one in our house who would watch it. I won't inflict it on the others. But I do want to find out if the two kids fell in the creek they were swinging over and the rest of the movie is a coma-dream or something.

Such a twist would make it similar to, but not exactly like, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, in which the protagonist was not in a coma but was hanged. Twilight Zone, remember that one?

I'll let you know if the end is that depressing. Hope not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not only books ...

The Hollywood Video, on the road named after a bird, closed its doors last week. It is sad to the the jumble of shelves turned every which way inside, as we drive by. But it did remind me of a service we have not used recently.

I went to the local library's web site and reserved three DVD's: The Bridge to Terabithia, Transformers, and Spiderman 3. The first one is already awaiting pickup at our nearby branch.

Hey, free is good ...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dum-de-dumdum to youuu ...

This balloon first appeared in my life in July, thanks to Zeta, M, and the boys. It is the largest of its kind that I have ever seen. Although not quite as plump as it was four months ago, it still floats at the full length of its tether, just short of the ceiling.

This is the longest lasting birthday I have ever had ...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This just in ...

Southwest racked up 33 points against Gables. Unfortunately, Gables replied with 48. From the high scores, it seems as if the defense for both sides phoned in their efforts. But, Gables had the louder ringtone.

Speaking of ringtones, I downloaded the "angry cat" from the Bellsouth (now AT&T) website. It is set to respond to calls from Big E because we both think it's funny. (Mew thinks my phone sometimes has a bad attitude.) The other day, while sitting by myself in an optometrist's inner waiting room, the angry cat wailed from my purse.

When it's the cat, I always know who's calling ...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dooom time?

J says that Southwest will play Gables on Friday, the 9th, at 7:30 pm. Dooom time? We'll have to see. Zeta has been looking toward this one, I know.

Upon consideration, the purple pride banner is waving proudly. There is such a thing as a moral victory and I believe they have achieved one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How to break the news?

Big Ed let the Southwest cat out of the bag, in his comment. Yes, they lost in the first round. The first string q-back was still hurt and didn't take the field.

I was going to break it gently. Maybe this was the better way: it's just one clean cut, rip the bandage off, yank out the loose tooth, dig the thorn out of your paw, and howl.


Monday, November 5, 2007

There's water in the tank, can you tell?



This broke a while ago and J asked me to go and buy a new flapper, i.e., the orangey looking thing in the middle of the shot. I took this picture to a plumber supply and, even with this image to refer to, there was a lot of discussion behind the counter as to which one would do the job. I finally came home with a blue one that works just fine.

I was thinking how the digital age has changed our lives. Before being able to take this image along, I might have made several trial and error trips back and forth. When we unhook sound equipment, which is not very often, we take a digital shot to be sure we know how to redo the hookup.

If only people could take a digital shot of life experience and show it to the young'uns.

That might also save some trial and error trips ...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Almost over? Oh, ye of little ...

The Herald announced that Southwest, Sunset, and Braddock will participate in a Kansas Tie Breaker on Monday. J says that the quarterback for SW hurt his arm against Varela.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Home Depot or Lowes, which one?

We went to Home Depot to look for a ceiling fan plus light. I was so impressed by the way the nearest store (on the street named after a bird) has been remodeled and re-organized. Evidently, the threat of Lowes, whose advertising we see locally even if a visit to the store requires us almost to leave the county, is enough to make Homey pull up its sox.

Competition is a wonderful spur. I wonder if all the stores in the semi-tropics are scheduled for a remodel and re-organization?


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Establishing a factory ...

Zeta's mango factory is really growing. I am so impressed with its progress. They are taking great care of it and I am sure it appreciates this and will reciprocate with a plentiful supply of fruit.

If our wishing will make it so, they'll have scads of 'em.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

People in high places ...

On Thursday of last week, J hung up the wall mounted telephone in the dining room. Not with force or even a little banging. The top of the mount came loose from the wall. So we unplugged the cordless base and notified the telephone company. They sent someone, the next day, who replaced the jack. We assumed we were back in business.

Friday and Saturday were quiet days. I checked my cell phone messages Saturday afternoon and found that callers who tried the house phone had been hearing a "busy" signal and had assumed we were using it.

That doesn't happen with our setup. Either callers are invited to leave a message on our machine or, if someone in our house (and I'm naming no names) is ignoring Caller ID while using the phone, incoming callers hear an interminable ringing. One never hears the "busy" tone. I tried from the mobile line. Busy, busy, busy.

Aha. This was not rocket science, right? I called Zeta from my cell phone and asked her to report it as I didn't have the number for the repair service on my cell. She said she would.

They didn't report it, however. Zeta and M went back to his work, got his bag of tricks, and brought it over after dinner. M (who gently took us to task for not calling him in the first place) performed some benign magic and presented us with a working phone system.

Thank you so much M. We're back in business, again, for real.

Oh, it's nice to know people in high places ...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's only a game ...

Another news flash for the alumni. SWHS beat Varela making their record is 6 wins and two losses. If SW beats Holmes Braddock next weekend, they will win their division. I asked J about when SWHS plays Gables. He says that Gables and SW are not in the same division. Also, Gables has only lost once. Gables is looming in the future.

Hel-lo. Time for a prayerful silence?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Did you notice ...

On the New York Times Best Seller List, numbers 11 and 12 are listed one below the other, like this:

RUN, by Ann Patchett

SHOOT HIM IF HE RUNS, by Stuart Woods

I’ve been laughing to myself for a while about this unintended humor. Last week, they were numbers 8 and 9, in the same order.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Change is in the air ...


These pictures from A's and Bro-R's vacation were taken in the most beautiful locale. The picture of the mountain and lake were taken in the same area. I really like the black leather jacket.







I seem to be the only member of my immediate family who hasn't acquired the black leather look.

Black is the color of the day, no? Worn against a background of changing color in the mountains ... priceless.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Confession is good for the ...

I have been crowing about SouthWest's impressive football record. In fairness, I have to make an admission about our HS alma mater. When J and I were there, they were on top. Now they are peering up to see bottom. MHS lost 40-zip, this week - to Columbus.

Luckily, it has been so long ago since J and I were there that we just sigh. Heavily ...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blogger, play nice, now ...

Blogger's been having issues, problems, challenges again. I tried to log in and got an error code. This happened previously when I could not post multiple pictures. I sent the new code to Blogger's bug fixers, yesterday.

And I'm back in. For now.

Tonight, we have been watching the Red Sox's Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell (well, there
are more guys than just those two) against the Rockies. Colorado's old uniforms had the "Roc" right next to the front button closure of their shirts which seemed to close the "c" and make it look like an "o." We have referred to them as the Rookies, ever since.

I don't have much emotion invested in who wins but it's nice to see Lowell and Beckett doing well, again ...


Monday, October 22, 2007

Take that, WalMart ...

A county to the north of ours, with which we share a common border, has snagged itself an Ikea. The opening was actually featured on our local television news for two days running. People started lining up, at the entrance, a whole day in advance of the scheduled opening because the first hundred people into the store were to receive a free chair. On the second day’s news, I saw some of them triumphantly carrying chairs out to their vehicles: nice wood, minimal Swedish design.

This definitive big box store is located near Sawgrass, if you know the place: name brand outlets, discount stores, booksellers, etc. Of course, Ikea is not actually in the Sawgrass facility, but nearby, I understand, and huge.

Our Sunday newspaper contained a 2008 Ikea catalog. Not a little insert - the whole book, valid until June 30 of 2008. Ikea probably included catalogs with the delivered newspapers for both counties, or maybe even three or four surrounding counties. It probably cost them, like, say, half the national budget of Sweden ... for half a day, anyway.

The only thing I have discovered, so far, is a folding, stainless steel, steamer insert. Not going to travel that far for one, though. My old one is still serviceable.

I will put the catalog away carefully. You never know ...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A grand beauty, a little mystery ...

This gorgeous picture, taken in Grand Teton National Park, was shared with us by Bro-R and A. It is an ideal mountain but with a little mystery. The left side of the mountain seems to have a structure climbing up the side of it until one realizes it is probably a tree limb that was perfectly sighted along the rim of the peak. There is even a dip in the end of the (probable) branch that flows along the unevenness of the mountain top.

I think ...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Your books are ready ...

Today is Friday and has seemed like a Saturday much of the day. I am pleased that I remembered that the branch library which we frequent is closed on Fridays. The automated system likes to telephone me on Fridays to let me know to come and pick up the newest arrival(s). It did that again today. Ahh, I will wait until tomorrow to visit.

This would be unlike last Friday, when Big E offered to go and pick up books that were being held for both of us and I gave him my card. He came home without them and was amused because the library had called (again) on the day our branch was closed.

The automated system never sleeps ... well, perhaps it takes the occasional nap during a hurricane.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gimme an "S"

Today, I got two pictures into a post along with text. However because I had saved it as a draft, it seems to have placed itself where it wished to. Oh, well.

J showed me the news which I am sharing: SW beat CPark, 17 to 14. This puts them in gasp first place in their district. A moment of stunned silence seems appropriate here.

Followed by the sound of alumni cheering, in the distance, coming closer ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If at first you fricassee, fry, fry a hen ... sort of

Evidently, Blogger does not want multiple pictures in one post along with text. Zeta and I are both struggling with this situation. I have an idea that uploading the pictures first and then adding text might work. I was able to upload two pictures, added a third and could not move text around without destroying at least one of the pictures.

I deleted the draft of a post I was massaging/tweaking and will try again tomorrow. Blogger announced it could take up to 24 hours to delete the photos I uploaded. So tomorrow is a fresh start, no?

Oh, do say yes ...

Success, of a kind ...



Mew is not necessarily always an innocent bystander. I had never before taken a picture of J doing a puzzle. But, I took the one above a few years ago. He had a backboard set across the coffee table and was working on a puzzle of eagles.




In the evening, I saw Mew put her front paws on the edge of the backboard and tilt it off the table. She then went around and scrabbled her paws in the puzzle. The above was the result.


Of course J forgave the little imp. She was just playing with the puzzle, the same way he was.

She didn't do it again, though ...



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mom, I didn't touch him ...

The Siamese cat, that we used to have, figured out that if he cried foul before someone touched him, that someone might get into trouble. That someone was a little boy who at times mistook the cat's tail for a handle.

The little boy grew up into a kind, cat loving person. Our present cat considers that grown up little boy a buddy of the best kind. In fact, that darn cat will sit up for its breakfast the first time Big Ed asks her to. It's problematic for J and me.

But, the (long gone) Siamese is remembered as the cat who got him into trouble by yelling for help when the little boy came near.

That was a smart cat ...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Plecostomus anyone? Tetra? Gourami?

We haven't been to a yard sale or a flea market in the longest time. We watched the 2007 HGTV special on the flea market that spans several states along the same highway. It made me nostalgic.

I just refuse to watch any programs on going fishing, or owning an aquarium. Nostalgia has its limits.

Although, way back when we had aquaria, I even enjoyed cleaning the 55 gallon tank ...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Most excellent pilot ...

We took the most relaxing drive home from a bridal shower. Zeta was our pilot on this run and showed us the route she used to de-stress on the drive from down town. The foliage overarching the road from mature trees made a charming green tunnel for a major part of the trip.

I was, as I said then, lost but happy.

I need (insert gaping yawn here)
a nap.




Saturday, October 13, 2007

It matches the cabinet handles ...


The picture above is of a light fixture which had resided in its box, in our dining room, awaiting someone to take it to the kitchen and liberate it. I’m not saying how long it languished. It has now been freed and works as if Someone had said, “Let there be (more) light ... “

J and Big E performed the miracle installation on Thursday. I can see well in the kitchen, again. The bladeless fan/light has been replaced and is no more. We had to take the blades off when the taller cabinets were put in.

Big E now has clearance to walk beneath this recent effort without bending his neck although he still ducks, at times, from habit.

Enough light is a joyous happening ...






01 doc requested to see the cabinet handles ...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Respect for purple and white ...

I am disappointed to inform alumni, and others, that SWHS lost to SMiaHS, 14 to 17. The purple and white now have a record of four wins/two losses.

Moment of silence, please ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hair, really ...

I just got home from having my first hair cut in months. It really needed it. I did, too. Really.

It is moderately unnerving to go to a new person for a haircut. The one whom I had been going to for years moved suddenly to North Carolina. Talk about abandonment issues ...

It was so nice of Zeta to introduce me to Melissa who is just the sweetest thing and knows a lot about hair.

Thank you, Zeta. Really.

It is Zeta's birthday and I got the gift!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Are we ready?

On September 26th, a digital cable box declined to operate as it had been doing and we had the repair technician out the very next day. The tech replaced some cable and the problem seemed to be repaired. Everything worked great for one additional day. Then another box declined to show us any pictures, at all, at all.

It took another day to get someone to look at it. That someone did a lot of fiddling with equipment, unhooking stuff, testing. He determined that the signal was set too high. A different type of someone would have to reset the signal - not his job.

Resetting of signals is not done at one's home, and the cable company declines to inform you when they do it. They seem to assume that if your cable suddenly begins to show you stuff, you will know they did something that repaired it. Customer information is not really a priority, evidently.

We waited until another day went by, not seeing anything through the bad, bad box. I telephoned to say we were still not happy and was informed the signal had been reset and we should be repaired. NOT, I said.

Today, per early morning appointment, the third repair tech showed up and isolated the problem within a few minutes.

The second guy, who did all the testing, unhooking, etc., had forgotten to connect the cable box and the cable back together.

At last, someone else with a duhhh.

Monday, October 8, 2007

At the curb ...

I called S, our computer's guru, to tell him that a windows box had magically appeared that said our computer is locked. It wanted me to input the password. I followed his instructions and the computer opened like a flower. The box kept returning after the screen saver came on. That was a clue. I recognized it as one. I finally followed it.

While setting the screen saver to show nothing but pictures of Mew, I had inadvertently checked the box in front of the following sentence:
On resume, password protect

These computers are so literal minded ... GI, GO. It was the nut behind the keyboard.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Update, Important, in some circles ...

Oh, I forgot to mention that SWHS now has a four-wins/one-loss record. J read it to me on Friday while he was going through the sports section.

Next thing, we'll hear the sky is falling ....

Eureka ...

My cell phone took really dim looking pictures. It has taken dark pictures ever since I got the RAZR, nearly a year ago. Today, while playing with the camera to use up the little remaining battery juice, I discovered why.

There is this small circle which appears on the left, bottom area of the screen when you turn on the camera. Sort of reminded me of the circle in the middle of the dial. I pressed one side of the circle on the dial and a scroll bar, labled "brightness," appeared on the screen. It was on the next to darkest setting. I am sure the manual mentioned this adjustment, but....

Don't you hate finding a new duhhh?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Once more into the ...

Our power went on vacation, again this morning, for about four and a half hours. The automated system accepted responsibility for the power company's equipment being damaged. I guess it was. At the road named after a bird, the traffic was being directed by the authorities instead of the traffic signals.

How do I know this?

We had not had breakfast and I visited Mickie D- to forage, so to speak. Our morning coffee was only half made when
water stopped trickling through. The microwave declined to operate on the basis that if the coffee maker didn't have to go to work, it must be a holiday. Sad.

Power is back on, now, and the automated system checked to see if we were okay with it.

That computer really likes us ....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Time minus weather equals ...

October: the opal-ine month. No ruby-ric as in July. No peri-doting as in August. No blue, blue, saphire-ine September.

The weather seemed to relent, for a little while, when the month turned. There have been a few cool mornings that were de-humid-ized into comfort.

But the ruby of July seems to have boosted us back into the nineties. The calendar is false if the weather can be believed. We long to sink into the opaline days that have fire at the heart only around noontime.

Even the coconut sought to come into the air conditioning. Must be why it left the tree...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Where shall we ...

One of the coconuts has fallen from the tree. It is dry and brown, but full of liquid. It is a near thing whether to plant it or eat it. I think we are going in the direction of creating more missiles for hurricanes to play with.

The cat was intrigued by it when J brought it in. Right now, it is sitting under the coffee table until she has inspected it enough that we can have it back.

The web tells me to soak it in a bucket of water and plant it on its side with two thirds of it above the ground. The web also says that it must have liquid inside and this one qualifies. When I was growing up, we called the liquid coconut milk.

I'll get out the bucket ...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dad, can I join the Cub Scouts?

J and Zeta's M have gone to visit their past haunts. J was invited to make a presentation on railroading at a Scout meeting and M went with him. It was like having a fire horse smell the smoke and paw the ground. He never turns this kind of event down unless he is absolutely unable to be there.

Class A uniform, oh yes.

He just got home ....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bulletin ...

Southwest won a football game, today: sixty-three to nothing. Yes, that is not a misprint. Sixty-three. It made the evening sports report, highlights included.

They must have saved up their winning efforts, over the years, and used them all up in one game. Congratulations all you Alumni.

Savor the moment ....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Listen to your inner cat ...

Today was our turn in the flashback barrel. The sky was overcast but not rainy. The A/C was cool. I had clothes in the washer that needed loading into the dryer but I was in no hurry to put 'em there. Coffee first, priorities in order, no?

The electric power stuttered, came back, went off totally, came back and then went out with a bang from down the street. Transformer? The usual suspect.

The power company has a new customer service wrinkle. After making the call to them and getting a time of repair estimate (which they tell you up front is soooo subject to change), we received an automated call to let us know the technicians had arrived and were assessing the problem. We knew that: we saw the two huge trucks go by our house.

Still, it was nice to have the computer call and let us know how much it cared about our power loss. A second automated call provided the information that it was the power company's equipment that had suffered damage and the time of completion was revised to just after midday, today. Hey, great.

Then clouds drifted in from the north and thunder scared the cat to safety in the back of the hall. No windows in the hall = safety in her mind. It's one of her open safe places: she has darker ones.

Sprinkles came, then real rain and more distant rumbling thunder. I expected the repair people to be off the job like the cat was. The trucks had driven away. Big E had brought home lunch because we didn't want to open the refrigerator unnecessarily.

The rain paused and a look out the side door showed they had driven the cherry picker around the block and come at the transformer from that side.

Meanwhile, we had located the battery operated fans and were sitting in the ambient light reading. Twenty minutes after the estimate expired, they got it repaired. This was also ten minutes before the football game which J and Big E had been waiting for.

Except for the flashback to two weeks of no power, there are no effects.

Only, I am doing every bit of laundry I can find while the dryer still runs. You never know ... the cat could be right.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Look, up in the sky ...

Local commuters got another heads-up on Friday when a small plane landed crashed into the space between the edge of I-95 and a railroad track with a raised roadbed. How the commuters on I-95 did not run into each other while gawking and evading is beyond me. They actually didn’t need to evade, but with the necessity of such split-second decision making, it is a marvel that someone didn’t kill someone else trying.

The news cameras showed the pilot, still strapped into his seat, confused and seemingly wondering where the rest of the plane’s nose had gone. He will be okay, I understand, but the trauma to the poor commuters can not be overestimated.

A few years ago on a busy street, here, that is named after a Bird, I saw a helicopter rise over the power lines next to traffic, and buzz the cars ahead of me. I suppose he was buzzing as the rotor kept turning the whole time. I never forgot it and he didn’t even crash.

If he had, I might still be evading ....

Friday, September 21, 2007

How many fingers ...

Hello world. Yesterday, I had another eye injection and today someone washed the world. The blur of dilation is gone. We ate Mickie Dee last evening because I was "beat up on," as the retina specialist says. That's his technical term for the testing process.

Today I look like an alien from Dune when seen from the left side: all colored eye, no white. At least there are no sandworms around.

If I had blue eyes, they'd be patriotic, I have the red and the white going ...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What time do we get up?

I set the clock for really early this morning. Getting up when the clock beeped, I brushed m' teeth and hair. (Not with the same brush.)

Then I wandered to the dining room for coffee and noticed I had picked up half an hour, somewhere. I even called the time number and the dining room clock was correct. I must have set the b'room clock half an hour ahead sometime, somehow, somestupidly.

It was even earlier than really early.

Sad ....

Monday, September 17, 2007

To do ...

Finish the Monday crossword: Check
Finish "New England White:" Check
Finish "The Killings at Badger's Drift:" In process
Take a nap? Oh, yeah ...

The cat is a shining example, right now.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Can't get there ...

This has been a rough week for commuters so far. Yesterday, the Turnpike and major arteries to the south end of the county were completely closed in an attempt to corral a deadly criminal.

This morning, the northbound lanes of the Palmetto were shut down completely due to a multi-vehicle pileup, including semis. Who knows what tomorrow holds. Drive watchfully, y'all.

I think the library is as far as I care to travel, today.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What'll you have?

Big E and I did some extreme shopping at BJ's. Despite all the "good" food, chicken, fish, etc., that we brought home, I had two hot-dogs-in-buns which were slathered with baked beans/onions alongside some Brussels Sprouts tonight.

I enjoyed my eccentric dinner.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Use of threats in repair protocols ...


The above pictured countertop dish drainer was bought for use during a two week power outage, after we suffered a hurricane. The useful little drainer was packed away for use during future outages. J had to go dig it out and we have (poor us) been washing dishes manually. On Friday, our (almost) two year old dishwasher had refused to even try to empty itself . We had to bail the soapy water as if it were a rowboat without floorboards.

It sat, dry and silent, over the weekend. Evidently, it was considering the threat of repair intervention that we had scheduled for today. Given one last chance this morning, it decided to drain itself without aid. I can only think that whatever blockage prevented water removal dried up enough to move on through ... like a shattered kidney stone.

An intermittent problem is the worst, no?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Nappy-time ...

Today, I have consumed three cups of coffee and one cup of tea, so far. Why is it that all I want to do it take a nap? Maybe the dark and threatening sky has something to do with it.

When E was driving he told us he'd let us know if he felt nappy-time. That perfectly describes this feeling. Move over, cat. Let me into the kitty condo and I will curl up, too, while placing my paws over my eyes to shut out the light. Yeah, right.

They cut Mew's front sharpies while she was being boarded. Last time they asked if we would give permission to have them trimmed. This time, they just went ahead. Safer for them, I guess, being that she has a red dot on her card. To her way of considering, she is defending her honor or something. She never acts that way with us.

Using the sharpies on us is verboten ...


Saturday, September 8, 2007

The only way ...


According to Zeta and M, this is the only way to fly.



Friday, September 7, 2007

Miracle? noooo ...

After we returned from the trip, I have been combating a sore throat with peroxide rinses. I gave up, yesterday, and made an appointment for the next day at my doctor's office. Today (which is that "next day") the peroxide showed its effectiveness. I felt so much better that I called and canceled the appointment. One just has to be careful not to swallow the stuff.

I am careful, believe me.

Even so, at such a celebration, one kisses a lot of frogs, relatives, people.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Birthday celebration ...

This is the special lady whose birthday we gathered to celebrate. Happy 85th, and many, many more!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

'Ome, James and don't spare ...

Mew is so glad to be back into her usual routine. However, she wants attention, any time, which she usually accepts on her terms, only. I carried her on my shoulder and she purred in my ear. What a nice welcome home.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Briefly away ...

We are moving, en masse, tomorrow and Saturday, to celebrate J's mother's eighty-fifth birthday.

Our cat went, protesting softly and pitifully, to board while we are gone. She doesn't want to go and she doesn't want to get into the carrier to come home, they tell me. She comes already installed in it, when we bring her home.

We will be glad to see her, Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Welcome edge ...

J does not know his own strength. Proof of this is the fact that he snapped the pull-rope on the gas edger. He claims the rope was old and fragile, which may be. It was in the repair shop and returned today, new rope, new blade, repaired handle, and all.

Grass runners are preparing to shake hands across the front walk, so the edger is a welcome visitor. If only it would Rumba itself out front and roomba the place.

it is too hot, right now, for human beings to try it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some days ...

My cell phone was crying so I put it on the charger. Incommunicado is not good. I should have known this.

There had been errands to do early this morning and when I got back home, we found an ad for a really neat folding ladder that is rated for 300 pounds. The ladder was deeply discounted. It also would not fit readily in either of the cars, we thought.

Now, there is a problem with the van. The air conditioning
and the two front windows had quit working simultaneously. It is a 1990 Dodge conversion that needs a harness plug for the ignition switch and also a new switch. The switch is available but the harness plug (cable) is a part that I am still trying to find on the internet. We may have to get a complete wiring harness just to lay hands on that pesky ignition cable. You can imagine that the van sits, mostly, waiting for succor.

That being the case, I asked E if he thought we could go in the van to buy the ladder because the day was overcast and gloomy - not too hot, for a semi-tropical summer day.

"Sure", he said. We could open the triangular vent windows and the side and back windows, hoping for some exchange of air as we drove.

This should not be too bad an experience because the vendor is close by. We drove over, purchased the ladder, and I waited with the wheeled pallet while E went to bring the van up so we could load the ladder inside.

I waited for longer than it should have taken him to drive over to me. I regretted my phone left charging. I could have changed to the spare battery.

I saw E walking back, talking on his phone, and assumed he might have locked the keys in the van. Nope, the battery to the alarm's remote control had quit working. E had telephoned J to bring a spare remote.
While we waited, it started to sprinkle; then it really began to rain.

We waited. It rained even harder. When J arrived with the spare remote, I wetly traded places with him in the car and he and E put the ladder in the van.

I have to admit that, while we were standing at the car window, talking to J about how we should work out the logistics, the car behind him began to honk.
Before I got in the car, I faced the honking driver and gave an exaggerated hands-out shrug and a huge fake grin.

The honking stopped. That, at least, had worked.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Can you hear the wooden leg tapping?

Today is a little pirate's first birthday. Happy Birthday, Michael! He is having a themed party: aarrrr, matey. It's a shame that a parrot named Cuga can not attend and sit on Long John Silver-haired Grandpa's shoulder.

I am the world's worst at remembering birthdays, but this one was announced on his mother's web site. So, I would not have any excuse. I still had to use priority mail, plus prayer, to get the remembrance there on time.

At least, I hope.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Safe as coconuts ...

It looks as if Daniel is headed elsewhere but I can not be happy about it. Just relieved for us and sorry for those in its path. Plus, if it headed this way, we'd have to go out and pick those two coconuts that are still on our tree.

We still haven't made a firm plant 'em or eat 'em decision. There is a pair of coconut palms that leans over the road, on the other side of the canal. They are almost ready to drop their coconut bombs and I skirt around the target area when driving by.

I mean, why ask for it?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

From the corner of the eye ...

We have been glancing sideways at the weather reports for a couple of days. Did you notice Flossie fall to pieces, in the Pacific, when she caught sight of the greenly folded mountains in Hawaii?

Daniel is our little focus of the moment. I bought four more cans of no salt added chicken and twelve boxes of no sugar added cookies. We are prepared. Well, somewhat.

We ate most of the low sodium spam from two years ago. Stock-up time.

On another irrational note, a growing city where an air base used to be (down the 'pike) is going to have a planned power outage tomorrow at seven a.m. They are on their own, separate grid. Could they have planned it any more inconveniently? Either the citizenry has to be completely ready for departure by seven or the hair dryers will stop in midstream. Can you imagine showing up at work with the back half of the hair looking great and the front gel-combed into a 50's Elvis 'do?

Doesn't everyone dry their hair back-to-front? No?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Recycled food... not bad, either

Our crockpot rocks, occasionally. I like putting in all the food at one time and eating when we get the impulse. Frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts will cook to doneness on low heat in eight hours, but also to dryness. The recipes all say that you can cook them for six hours on high but I never did that until a couple of days ago.

I layered veggies in the pot, then layered the frozen chicken, sprinkling with spices of choice as each layer went in. Lastly, I used drained mushrooms, two cans of soup, (one cream of chicken w/herbs and one regular cream of chicken, with one water refill for each can) pouring the mix over the top of the layers. Then, we waited six hours, while the high setting did its work.

The chicken, when I took it out of the crock, was just as we like it and was moist. The most interesting result was that the veggies smelled like the best chicken and dumplings, without the dumplings.

We did have some Dreamfields elbow macaroni, though. So, while the chicken rested outside the crockpot, I added a box of macaroni and some boiling water for the pasta to absorb and let the high setting work for 20 minutes more. It was really a winner. But, it gets better.

Next day, we had a huge volume of the veggie mixture
left over, Recycle time. One can of cream of mushroom soup with a can of milk went into a wok-shaped skillet to heat. Adding a cup (more likely it was nearly two cups, I didn't measure) of grated parmesian cheese to the hot soup I stirred until everything was hot through. Then it was mixed it into the cold, leftover veggie with elbows. I chopped the two leftover chicken breasts into it, too. All of this went into a wide, shallow casserole dish which had been liberally sprayed with Pam.

The fridge yielded some no-fat (American) cheese slices along with some garlic/cheese croutons that had been pounded to crumbs and saved for who knows what.

The experimental mixture, topped with the cheese slices, baked at 350 for 30 minutes and then I rotated it in the oven and added the crumbs. Another 20 minutes and it was bubbly with a crusty top.

I have to say, I have never been good at making up recipes on the fly, although sometimes substitutions work out okay.

This was really different on the second day and it didn't feel like eating leftovers. J and I are having leftover-leftovers tonight and really looking forward to it.

I know I mentioned it before, but Dreamfields pasta does not elevate blood sugar. Thanks again to Zeta and M for turning us on to that information.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rear window ...


Before:









After:












It is completed. RV called at two this afternoon to say that the right part (in both senses) had come in. We took the car right over and went back to pick it up an hour later.

Wonderful to be through with this mission.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The prodigal returns ... sort of

We spoke with our mechanic about wedging the car's window up and taking it home until the window part arrives. He readily agreed and propped it up from inside the door. He left the door cover off (in the back seat) so he won't have to take it apart a second time.

The injured vehicle is now at home doing light duty until the cast comes off. We don't ask it to use the broken wing - so the right rear door remains shut.

Now, there is no negotiation with other drivers before running errands.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Seek cover ...

Here in the semi-tropics, today's sky is overcast and what a difference it makes when you have to go out. No rain, just lovely thick water vapor between me and the sun. Despite the cloud cover, the umbrella was left in the car during the whole excursion.

Do I live dangerously, or what?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Not factoring in the humidity ...

It is 85 degrees at 10:36 p.m. The thermometer on the front porch is probably correct and it would be a bleak situation if we had to sleep without our artificial winter.

When we were youngsters here in the semi-tropics, air conditioning was unheard of in homes. Back then, we were skinny kids who didn't have video games. We could not wait to go outside and play during those long summer days when we weren't cavorting at the beach, fishing in the bay or slinging a baited hook off a causeway.

I caught my first shark and the first of many barracuda, before I reached my teenage years. That was much more exciting than a video game.

Open windows and night breezes ... open windows and the ten o'clock morning easterly. Fans stirred the air in public places. The first air conditioners in theaters and places of business were the beginning of a lifelong addiction to comfort.

We are so much smarter now. Or are we?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sometimes trash is just trash ...

We recycle. I was reluctant at first because we had to shoe-horn extra space for the bins. Now we're in the recycle groove.

Well, okay, I admit to throwing the occasional plastic bottle in the trash, by mistake, not thinking, by old habit.

In the spirit of keeping still-good items from being heaved into a landfill, I joined our local Freecycle
TM group. There is no barter, no strings are attached and absolutely no money can change hands. Trash or treasure is a personal decision.

I have successfully freecycled a glass coffee carafe from a defunct Mr. Coffee. A nurse who had broken the one used at her workplace was delighted to meet me and take it. So when our microwave died of old age, I saved the carousel tray to offer on FreecycleTM
. It is still out there, falling ever lower on the list, unwanted.

I should have realized that people break more coffee carafes than carousel trays.





Thursday, August 2, 2007

Being of service ...

We are in the process of helping a manufacturer correct a (possibly) defective numbering system for parts. Do we want to do this? We would not have volunteered ....

Twice, the manufacturer has sent the regulator for the left rear window rather than the one we need on the right side. Today, they are overnighting the part numbered for the
left side, to see if the part numbers are reversed in their system. If it is the one we need, the system needs reversing.

I doubt if we will be given any credit for our assistance, monetary or otherwise.

Stay tuned ....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Just for laughs ...

Do you think cars get together at night and discuss what should go wrong next? And how that might be accomplished with the most inconvenience to their humans?

Four days ago, I drove E's car. The heat buildup inside it mandated that the windows be rolled down to let some fresh, hot air circulate and give the air conditioner a boost. When I rolled the rear windows up, the passenger side gave a loud crack and then sounded a rapid: whap, whap, whap. At least the window broke in the "up" position which was considerate of it. When I got back home, I told J about it but forgot to tell E when he got home, later.

Next day, E came to tell us his window had slid half way down during the night. At least it hadn't rained. I confessed (mea culpa) and we called our mechanic who agreed to keep the car inside until he could look at it, the next day. He still has it as the window regulator is coming from across the country. California, to be precise.

In addition, the van's windows and air conditioner had stopped working. It is not a fuse (which I was hoping) but is a new ignition switch and harness plug, which I ordered on line.

The van is an elderly spare vehicle and only used for local trips. Still, this is the semi-tropics and the triangular front vent windows just don't do the job. To be honest, in high summer, it takes a long time to cool the van even with a/c. Opening all the doors for a while, and allowing nature to blow through helps. No, before trips ... not during.

We are still waiting for parts for both vehicles. I am relatively positive they conferred before they "pranked" us.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back to ...


Oddments have been returned to storage. The HWH is back to normal.

Yahooo ...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tagged, I'm it ...


Okay, already. Here they are: eight secrets. I could do part two tomorrow, but I won't!

1. I am typing in my bathrobe and it is 7 p.m. I like naps almost as much as Mew does. (I will post this tomorrow morning.)

2. I am obsessive/compulsive about furling an umbrella neatly back into its original pleats after drying it while it is open. Once, I loaned my very own, personal, neat, furled umbrella to a colleague at work. It came back, wet, wadded together with the velcro band around the wad. I was barely able to save it.

3. I read, without guilt, when I could or should be doing other things. Life is too short for guilt over choosing things that are good for your spirit.

4. I did not start to keep the interior of our car spotless until a few years ago. Actually, it is still not spotless, but now there is no clutter.

5. I wear shoes inside our house only if my feet get cold, or if someone comes to the door. My slippers will sit in the closet for the whole summer. A pair of my shoes is in the living room, right now. Sorry, Zeta ....

6. In sugar free chocolates, I have discovered that I prefer a Russell Stover assortment over Godiva, Godiva only offers plain chocolate or crunch, rounds or bars. Go figure.

7.
I never email from my cell phone. I don’t go on the internet from the cell phone, either.

8. However, I am a person who taken the car into a 180o turn to retrieve a cell phone when I left home without it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The further adventures of HWH (not HP) ...

The hot water heater has a beautiful, new regulator valve, with a PVC pipe run, which empties itself (when it chooses to do so) outside.

Hopefully it will not be doing that in the near future. But whenever it does, the water will be useful in the environment, not collected and poured down a drain. Recycled, no? Very correct.

The plumber recommended not storing the oddments back in the room with the water heater, for about a week, juuust in case the regulator was not the complete answer to our problems. He knew how much work it took to shift all those necessary oddments. It would be awful to have to do it twice in a week, he opined.

We opine, too.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Someone with a situation ...


This has been stored inside the back sliding door since yesterday when we thought we would receive a visitor. We sure did have a lot inside that little store room. And this does not include the stuff hanging from the pegboards ...

The real
plumber just called. He should be here in twenty minutes.

Yesterday, he had an emergency which involved a household where the water was turned off completely. We agreed that was a worse emergency than ours. At least we can take hot showers and use the dishwasher. We just have to keep emptying the container under the overflow pipe.

Bail, bail, the water is rising.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Who's in hot water?

Our hot water heater is acting strangely. Among other things, the overflow is dripping. Not a good sign according to the plumber. The injured heater sits, elevated on a wooden platform, in the back corner of the doll-house sized utility room. The washing machine is in front of that platform, near the door.

To access the heater, oddments stored in the small space had to be removed so that the washer could then be taken out of the way. These oddments are now decorative items in front of the back sliding door. Shelves that used to hold some of the oddments are artistically placed there, also. It is a wonderful collection of 20th and 21
st century indispensable artifacts. In the process, we discovered items we forgot we had ... also, the occasional item of no discernible utilitarian value.

We are waiting for telephone notice that the plumber is on the way. Evidently, the wish is so strong that when my brother telephoned from his car, I was positive that I was speaking with a very friendly plumber who actually remembered my first name. My only defense is that the telephone connection was distant and hollow sounding.

If he had not possessed so much "insider information" I might still be talking to the plumber ....




Monday, July 23, 2007

Sorry it's over ... or is it?

The best thing about finishing a book is that one can ponder over the ending. The worst thing is that one knows how it ended: a paradox worthy of a Hogwarts graduate.

The final door in the 7th HP book is not as tightly closed as it might have been. There are 19 years worth of material that the reader must infer, before the actual
dénouement
. And what about the next term at Hogwarts?

I have a privately held suspicion that the last of it is not ....



Sunday, July 22, 2007

Favorite pastime ...

When I was a child, reading was something no one interrupted except to call me for meals or a bath. I could spend a whole day, except for lunch, up in the cherry tree with a book and nothing disturbed me except the occasional cat or annoyed Mockingbird.

Today has been almost as satisfying, even if at a lower elevation. However, the cat has left me strictly to myself.

She seems to know.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Welcome insomnia ...


The HP buddies were successful and each is possessed of a first edition, pictured above. We admit that they are but two of the many "firsts" out there. It took determination, perspiration and comfortable shoes, but attainment is ours.

We shall probably read on into the morning until the doses of Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (with sugar free syrup) wear off and we can sleep again.

Fun? you betcha.

(To: 01 Doc, do you want a last-page-scan sent to you, via email?)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back, back in time ...

The book written by the author with no middle name will be released at one past doomtime, tonight. These are the only books I can recall that have been individually boxed to
prevent ... what? Mice nibbling? Or illicit eyes nibbling at the final pages ...

This is also our only book transaction which requires that we wear comfy shoes as a mainstay for the purchase. We don’t really have to buy the book tonight. But, each time we have participated in the past, it was so much fun.

A treasure hunt for a vanished childhood. Okay, maybe entering a second
one ...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Attention please ...


While we were in Orange Park, we received a parking ticket. We
had neglected to display the parking permit for the special space we were occupying. (Not specifying what kind of space it was, you understand.)

There are hoops to jump through while protesting the penalty for this stupidity lapse of common sense. Jumping through them will be a strong reminder not to do it again.

Finally, we received a letter from the Clerk of the Court, up yonder. They had reviewed the case. I hadn’t known we had one. "Case" sounds serious.

The letter said our case was dismissed. Case? Dismissed?

There really should be separate terminology for a simple parking violation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hey, presto ...

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is being released when, boys and girls? Anyone not know? Okay, this weekend. Okay? I will be doing business at Borders, this weekend.

Two copies are also reserved at the public library, in case of glitches. My HP buddy and I are numbers seven and eight on the reserve list.

This is a marvelous time to misplace my library card ... which I did. I have the number memorized due to the sheer repetition of using it to log in to the web site where I am just a number. A cipher.

Today, the web site told me that I have a couple of reserves waiting. I had planned to go in, recite my card number, show ID if necessary, and check them out. “Forgot” to bring the card with me I guess.

I have actually forgotten it before and don’t even have to show ID unless someone at the desk is new to the job.

See, I am only a cipher on line. In person, I am most likely, “Hey, how ya doin'? What’s your card number?”

Tappety, tappety, tap, tappety and I get my books. I planned to wait until after Saturday and then confess and replace my card. I have one of the old white ones. Everyone else that I encounter pulls out a multi-colored beauty with much higher numbers than mine. Getting a replacement card means acquiring a new, higher account number. Oh the shame!

When pulling out my bookbag, which I only use when I plan to really stock up, I discovered the little dickens hiding in the bottom.

It was like, like, magic ....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An impressive ...

The balloon at the right is believed to be one of the largest in captivity. It had to be placed against the drapes in order to stop it revolving and present its best side. Otherwise, you might be able to see that it reaches its present height from the floor.

We understand that we should not feed it, lest it grow more. The recipient does not fear it but is grateful for its imposing presence.
Thanks to Zeta, M, S, and A for allowing me to adopt it

The cat at its base graciously agreed to step into the picture in order to provide scale ...



Monday, July 16, 2007

Depends on what you're used to ...

The climate has been toying with our sensibilities. No triple digits have appeared in our semi-tropics, yet there are exhausting heat waves elsewhere. It is a feast of irony that folks who wish to get away from the stifling heat go north. It was worse there, last week.

A few years ago, J and I went to Chicago. When we checked into our hotel, the afternoon temperature had hit 105 degrees. After unpacking, we went down to sit on a terrace overlooking the river and bask in the air conditioning that poured over us from the double doors of the hotel. The staff had propped them open so that the heat outside would be bearable. Actually, we enjoyed the experience. The humidity was not even a quarter of what we were accustomed to, at home.

We met some people from Arizona who complained to us about the uncomfortable humidity.

We just smiled.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Take a break ...


This is the month of the breakdown breakdance. Air conditioner repair, automobile battery replacement, you name it. The van had its own moment of drama when E went out to start it. The engine refused to turn over, much less get out of bed and go for a run.

E took its battery to the same place that he had taken the battery to the car, with the same result: a replacement battery, under the guarantee. So far, the cost for all the repairs and replacements amounts to $1.50. Not complaining mind you. Just nonplussed that July is so active a month for rebellion on the part of mechanical entities and for so little financial penalty.

Don't give me a break. Please ...


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Puzzled ...

I left early today, before the computer was even turned on. When I got home from the eye appointment, I tried to copy the crossword puzzle. We each like our own copy. J and I prefer ours enlarged. Scan it into Paint, tweak a bit and there you go: large puzzle. E doesn't care what size his is.

J put the newspaper page on the scanner's deck and hit the button to boot us up. We both left the computer to its own muttering devices. The monitor was dark when I wandered back by it.

"Did you turn the computer off?" I asked J.

Strange, E had asked him the same question while I was gone. Not a good omen for surfing.

I called zeta who contacted S for us. He said he would come by after work. Since he built this computer, he is its guru. And mine.

Then, the stunned brain kicked in and we tried the extra monitor from storage in the spare bedroom. The computer liked the change.
Zeta kindly let S know that his baby, or one of them anyway, was in operation again.

Sooo, it's not the graphics card. Considering the size of the replacement monitor, I'd almost rather it had been the card. That would have been a step up.

This smaller monitor is definitely not ....