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.

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
. 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 ....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blame her ...

Susan posted a survey and asked us to complete one ourselves. I am nothing if not lazy, so here goes.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Christmas at McCrorys
2. Summer at Shells City
3. Apparel Studies Department at a State University
4. Office Manager at a State University Police Department

Four places I have lived:
1. Where
2. I am
3. presently
4. planted.
(Evidently when I leave the semi-tropics, I snap back here like a rubber band.)

Four places I've been on vacation:
1. Chicago
2. San Francisco
3. Los Angeles
4. Hawaii

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Roast turkey
2. Six Carb Cheesecake (from the Cheesecake Factory)
3. Starbucks coffee (it gets consumed, it's a food!)
4. Slim A Bear by Klondike

Four places I would rather be:
1. Under my own Mango tree
2. Under my own Key Lime tree
3. Under my own Sapodilla tree
4. Under my own Avocado tree

The tree thing is very true.

The food thing is culled from a much more extensive list ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not Jojo, the other one ...

I went to the store for milk and Eggo waffles. The Eggo's were a special request. I needed the milk for my coffee. I'm the only family member who drinks a homemade latte by preference.

The coffee is from Starbucks, and was part of a gift to J, from Zeta and M. I love those events where one of us receives the brown beans. It really
is the gift that keeps on giving.

We ripped off the idea for
our own coffee maker from Zeta and M, too. The one they have grinds the beans and drops the coffee into a filter before brewing starts. We waited until a one-day-sale came out and pounced on one like theirs.

J fills the pot with water, I fill the bean reservoir and change the water filter as needed. I marked the kitchen calendar when the old filter expires. It's that important an event.

For a wonder, I didn't forget to buy the milk ....

Monday, July 9, 2007

If she needs you, she'll call you ...

Mew was inconvenienced due to E's sleeping in the spare bedroom while his a/c was being repaired. Each morning during the hiatus, I could not step into the living room without her announcing that she was waiting for breakfast and urging me to hurry about it.

The first morning after things returned to normal, I waited for the summons which never came.

Finally I opened the door and called her softly. She raised her head from the pillow (her pillow, on the desk) peered at me and then put her head back down. She no longer needed my services and could not have said that more plainly if she had written me a memo.

I guess my promotion was temporary.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Events ...

The new a/c in E's room had a compressor event. It is not even a month old and had replacement surgery. The vendor picked it up on Monday the 2nd, had it over the holiday and asked if we would be home to receive it Saturday. But, we will be away Saturday, all three of us, which is unusual. S is having his own event, at Zeta and M's.

So, we expected E's a/c to be returned to us on Monday instead of today, Saturday.

Yesterday evening, E telephoned to say that his battery had died so J and I were headed out with cables when the phone rang. It was the a/c vendor. The a/c could be returned to us that evening. The vendor said he couldn't see keeping it until Monday because he knows how people need their a/c. Wasn't that thoughtful?

I stayed home and J went on the mission.

Turned out E's dead battery was 34 months old. The guarantee on it was full replacement for 36 months and pro-rated replacement after that. E's car now has a new battery. E's a/c now has a new compressor.

And most importantly, Mew is happy that there are no longer strangers in her room, working on the a/c ....

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Journeys through time ...

After the holiday, it was easy to write the correct date on a check to Publix. The calendar on my check register is light blue print on a white background. The print is close to minuscule. My eyes are close to not being able to make out the numbers when in a hurry. The holiday, numbered as it is, makes a convenient reference.

I think, as the boomers follow me through time, small blue print on a white background will be encountered less frequently. Also a block of gray print on a yellow background, which some printers just love to use for emphasis.

Consider the changing demographic ... and adapt.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Honor ...

Happy Independence Day! We hope everyone has a safe and celebratory Fourth of July ... with barbeque on the side.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Drip, drip, dry ...

It's after dinner and the clothes dryer is whirring in the background. It somehow made me remember our early married days when we only had a washing machine and it was inside a separate utility room which required going outside to get to.

Typically, our
semi-tropical weather has been clear in the mornings. It looks as if rain were the farthest thing from its mind. By midday, that mind has grown darker and evening has brought hail to some locales.

I remember doing laundry so early that sometimes it was already on the line and it waved the sun awake. Miscalculations could cause a frantic dash to the line in an effort to yank the dry laundry down before it began to drip, again.

Now, we just wait for the annoying tone to call us.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The past reaches forward ...

A trip to the post office turned into a surprise encounter with B from my workplace of old. We held up the patient line while we caught up a little. Occasionally we still "reach out and touch" but that is becoming a Christmas ritual instead of a commonplace.

It was good to see one of the Dream Team, again.