Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pretty, pretty ... fragile

This Poinciana is right outside E's window. It was more loaded with blossoms yesterday but the rains have knocked most of them off. The tree is in my neighbor's yard but a great deal of it hangs over ours. These things are so brittle that if I were to tug on that lowest branch on the right, the whole thing would break off nearly to the trunk.

This is the voice of past experience speaking.

Personal digital ...

When I retired, I had to buy my own cell phone for the first time. In those prehistoric days, an AT&T contract seemed to offer the best deal in our area.

Time passed, then they morphed into Cingular. I hung out with the AT&T contract longer than Cingular thought possible. Because I refused to migrate to Cingular for so long, they finally offered me 200 additional bonus minutes to join up.

Hey, free being good, and my mobile phone no longer AT&T-replaceable, I consulted Zeta's M about it. M is the phone guru. He 'splained about the benefits of rollover in conjunction with mobile-to mobile free minutes. Yay, Cingular.

Belatedly, E and I both switched over.
As of today, my Cingular account shows 5,341 rollover minutes. Then again, Cingular has morphed back into AT&T.

My cellular phone is chasing its tail ....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I bin workin' on the software, all the livelong day ...

Seldom do the technical support representatives at Symantec receive a surprise. They have, after all, seen most of what the world can set wrong with their software.

I confounded two of them, today. I tried to renew my Norton AV subscription by clicking the "renew" button in the automated reminder notice. Seemed logical.

The software offered me the option of paying for a renewal in Canadian Dollars or in Euros. Neither of these options seemed appropriate for a
native of the semi-tropics. I closed the box and started over.

NAV started its download ... without collecting any money or passing "go." My remaining days of subscription remained at zero, even after I had paid properly on the Symantic site and communicated with two different techs via "chat." I discovered that when one is really annoyed, one can type faster than the tech can.

Counting the original attempt that was sooo wrong, I have downloaded the software three times. I have generated
three different Symantec case numbers.

I decided to dispense with "chat" and located an 800 number buried deep in the menus. After waiting half an hour by the speakerphone, I spoke, realtime, with an unpronounceable name.

He had really paid attention in class.

I have a year before my sentence is up, again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Move along, move along ...

The procedure for obtaining a discounted SunPass was well thought out. Each person in line was issued two numbered tickets from a double roll. The duplicate tickets which remained on the roll were used as a check, at the door, to ensure the accuracy of the person's place in the queue.

Neat, huh? The line was long but moved quickly after the doors opened. It took about 90 seconds to pay, get a receipt and collect the SunPass.

FEMA should only be so efficient!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Andrew Redux ...

We watched a special entitled "Minute by Minute." The event that was limned in excruciating detail was the landfall of hurricane Andrew. I should not, should not have watched. It was like having a flashback.

I got angry all over again at the delay, numbered in days, before our (then) governor asked for National Guard assistance. I remembered going to the bank and having to pass a National Guard checkpoint by showing a DL to prove we lived in the area. I was grateful for the armed, alert, courteous, young man who protected us.

It is a commonplace act to visit a bank. Back then, it felt like a first step toward normalcy.

What repellent?

E's car is back from the body shop. They did a beautiful job on the bumper and detailed the interior, too. They even touched up the places on the hood where paint had been chipped by driving behind trucks on the Turnpike.

Too bad they can't make a SunPass that would repel rocks shed at high speed by dump trucks and such. Another good idea?

Follow the yellow brick road ....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cinderella in the semi-tropics ...

On this day of rest, E is going to mow. He just announced it. I am thrilled as the grass is doing its best to jungle up.

I admit to laundering some area rugs. It feels like cleaning, even if the washer does the heavy lifting. And I did mop one of the bathroom floors. Which was the cause of doing the rug stuff. Can one put the same rug back on the clean floor? Guess not. The washer gets off balance if just one rug is washed so two others were added for symmetry.

That's what comes of doing
a little cleaning. It's hard to know where to leave off. Although, leaving off is becoming an easier decision ....

Saturday, June 23, 2007


This has been a disorienting weekend, somehow. All yesterday, I was persuaded it was Saturday. Today feels like a Sunday except that the television is convinced it should run the Saturday schedule today. How absurd.

Tomorrow, the SunPass will be available at a deep discount, locally. No, wait, tomorrow is not Monday, so the SunPasses will be on sale the day after tomorrow. Currently that day is an unknown quantity.

Fixation is a funny condition, no?

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm gon' build me a boat ...

Printed with ol doc's permission, this rain gauge illustrates the amount of rain that accumulated on their property in about 24 hours. I love the theme of the device which is that particular vessel which carried pairs of animals for Noah. Click to see more detail, it is really cute.

The gauge has collected nearly four and a half inches of water. No wonder it looks a little soggy around it. I would, too.

This is our second day of summer, low 90's, no rain, locally, except what falls from one's brow.

The MAN scheduled to repair our bedroom A/C is not here as of 3 p.m.
I was told that we are his second call when I telephoned.

His first call must be a lulu. I don't want to consider the alternative ....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Not a Roomba in the bunch ...

The truck went to Home Depot. It brought home some plywood and a ceiling fan. A comforter went with it so as not to scratch the loadbed. The truck was not strained to carry the load. I can't say the same for the loaders/unloaders.

Some of our possessions have minds of their own and the bedroom A/C went on vacation last night. The fan was still working but the compressor was away from the office.

On Friday, the man, the Man, the MAN is scheduled to appear and, we hope, will not tell us that the news is terminal . The MAN makes his own schedule so we are scheduled to wait from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lucky us.

It is not as dreadful as it sounds. A fan in the bedroom doorway pulls air from the main unit and makes sleeping bearable. But, still ....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Weather cat ...

Yesterday, an unexpected rumble of thunder sent Mew flying through the house to take shelter. You could hear her Velcro-cornering and Velcro-accelerating all the way. She's like a sports car: corners like she's on rails.

It's lucky for her there is carpet for most of the route, plus it''s a straight shot through the kitchen with no turns until she hits the carpet again. If I took corners like that, I'd have whiplash.

Sometimes she shelters at J's feet in a storm or sits halfway between us. This time, only a dark cave would do.

Monday, June 18, 2007

If an ill wind blows you a truck ...

E took his car to a body shop to have the rear bumper, and who knows what else, repaired. I went along as wingman. He had been rear-ended while sitting in perfectly still traffic, on an interstate access ramp. The shop expects to have his car at least three days, depending ... you know about depending.

We had determined to be there when they opened at 7:30 this morning. Because I misset my internal, virtual alarm, I first woke up at four. Ah yes, four.

In its current mode, our external, actual alarm clock sounds like an ocean breaking on the shore. Don't ask why the sound of an incipient flood wakes me up. It just does.

E is now driving a rental Chevy truck. Very Enterprising and it fits him pretty well, too. It is his for the next three (or more, depending) days and I am already calculating what we can use a truck to do.

I see, at the very least, a trip to the trash collection center (dump) in our future.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh, happy day ...

Happy Father's Day to every guy out there who ever changed a diaper or bandaged a knee. Happy Father's day to those who ever felt responsible for seeing that a child had a day of fun, whether he wanted to or not.

HFD to all those guys who hauled themselves out into the world, day after day, to feed and clothe the munchkins; also to provide other necessities ranging from cell phones and ipods to new-to-us cars.

Some necessity is, after all, in the eye of the provider.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Well warned ...

We are used to storm warnings, hurricane warnings, tornado warnings and love-bug sightings. Today, there is a new silent warning crawling across the bottom of our television screens: an urban flood warning. As far as I can discover, it is for drivers who are enroute and find a puddle stretched across the street. Deep puddle? Requires a warning to all who are tucked up safe at home.

Who watches TV
while driving a vehicle? Are we homebodies supposed to contact those who may be outside and warn them? Who shares the guilt if someone stalls out?

Not me, baby! I'm telling everyone I know. You've been warned...

Friday, June 15, 2007

In the eye of the beholder ...

I had thought ahead and put a pot roast in the slow cooker before I went to the eye doctor. My new follow up instructions from the doc's office said to lie down for two hours, nose pointed at the ceiling, after arriving back home. Not in those exact words, you understand, but close. So as not to expire of boredom, I turned on the television. The room was dark. I could only listen, not view.

When I woke up (I defy almost anyone not to fall asleep under those circumstances), my mouth was dry and the house smelled like dinner. The cat thought the aroma was some
new kind of air freshener.

Before my next eye appointment, I really should get an audio book from the library.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Welcome Ho-hum

After I took a two hour nap today, even the Hibiscus blossoms brightened up. The world seems washed and dried, folded and put away. The television is shining brightly and there are packages of vacuum-sealed turkey, for lunches, in the freezer.

Routine has settled back over us after the seven hour drive on Wednesday. However, we
discussing Father's Day preparations in whispers.

If I could only teach the cat to use the vacuum cleaner ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mileage ... weather

It is possible to experience an evanescent range of weather by means of starting your car and leaving. Going. Fleeing the scene.

Moving along an interstate highway, one can experience having a dirty, low-lying swirl of vapor recede in the rear view mirror. Fleeting blue rises ahead only to give way to what appears to be the greenish sky of a tornado front. The car moves through whole day's experiences for the roadside dweller and chooses a different climate, just down the road.

But, one must finally arrive at a destination and the weather there might make you wish to look for calmer air.

We were treated to a
lightning storm which was our own experience for the afternoon. We were finally stuck; our house gets zero miles to the gallon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Away ...

A short trip in my future means a break for you unless I can get to a computer. Going to the computerless wilds of Orange Park.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

No nap, after all ...

There was soft music playing, after lunch. One of us almost went to sleep on the couch, but a quick cup of Starbucks Kenya put things right. (Thanks Zeta!)

It rained softly for a good part of the day. There was no outside activity but lots of quality time inside. Is nearly dozing off considered quality time?

I'd say so ...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

No lines, no waiting ...


Pork chops baked with Hawaiian barbecue sauce
Blackeye peas
Green bean casserole

Bread 'n butter pickles
Black olives

Steamed Chicago rolls, with B & B and Guava jelly

Sugar free ice cream sandwiches

's mom is coming for lunch, tomorrow. Green beans are her favorite vegetable. The chops should fall off the bone. If all goes well, I hope we can waddle away from the table afterward.

Monday, June 4, 2007

One neeever know, do one ...

The dash thermometer in the car read 91 degrees at noon. When I got home, in mid afternoon, the infra-red thermometer on the shaded porch lied to me: 98 degrees. I think the battery needs replacing in the readout from the porch.

This was a wonderful time to have had an A/C stop producing anything cool. Night before last, the one in E's bedroom had done just that. Next day, we called the place where we bought E's A/C. They did not have a unit similar to his available.

E slept in the (cool) spare room last night, which has a daybed that is waaay too short for him. He slept on the floor on the wall-to-wall carpet, an area rug, two folded sleeping bags and a folded blanket. He said he was comfortable. The cat was upset. She doesn't like change.

I called Scott Appliances . . .
this morning. This afternoon, a truck drove up with a replacement, reverse-cycle A/C and it was installed in the wall, in about an hour. Well, maybe two hours. Scott's was less expensive than the quote from the other vendor, which had been for straight cool only, no reverse-cycle.
Plus, Scott's took away the body of the dead A/C.

E doesn't know it has been done.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ready or not ...

Mew used to play a game when we kept the newspaper recycle bin in the kitchen. She would hide in the bin and seek us around the corner. We eventually moved the bin to the utility area and she now plays hide and seek, all over the house. Peek at her quickly, from around a corner, and then run like the dickens because she will probably go into chase mode and she's faster than anyone we know.

She will also arch her back and fluff her tail in an invitation to play. If you "fluff" back (stick out your elbows and rise up on tiptoe) she will run like the dickens, herself. She can play this game a great deal longer than any one of us has the patience or stamina to endure.

She used to wear a collar. However, she took them off and hid them so often that we gave up on the idea.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Free water ...

There is no pleasing everyone when it comes to weather, no? We have been bemoaning the dry central part of the state and viewing televised shots of cracked-mud lake bottom. Then arrives the first day of the hurricane season and bingo, a tropical storm is on its way to relieve at least a part of the low water situation.

Am I happy about it? In a remote way, I am pleased that the situation found some remedy. But right now, we are getting wet and windblown.

Some solutions are just not convenient.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Figure it out ...

This was dug out of its resting place because of a request from one of the two people in the picture. Can you guess the year it was taken?