Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy . . .


Today is Zeta's and M's anniversary. They went to see Cirque du Soleil on the 28th. What a great way to celebrate. I'm not saying how many years: it might be inaccurate . . .

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Re-gifting . . .

Mew has some tough tissue paper that she got for Christmas. It isn't really made from paper although it rustles most satisfactorily when she jumps on it. Mew should thank Zeta. She's the person who used it for packing inside a gift box.

When the stuff is sufficiently shredded and worn, It will disappear. This happens to her own personal boxes, too. They have to be spirited away while she is occupied in another room. If she is watching when one is picked up, she is devastated. If one just disappears, she does not seem to miss it. Of course, every box that comes into the house automatically becomes her own, personal property.

We rotate her toys so she is used to the occasional disappearance. Some of 'em just don't get rotated back . . .

Friday, December 26, 2008

Do I hear five?

I haven't ridden the stationary bike since an attack of the crud fell upon us. It is time to return to it before my audio book expires. I will give it 25 minutes today.

Okay, 20 minutes.

I promise, 15.

I'll try really hard for ten and that's my final answer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ah - Merry - choo

Merry Christmas! God Bless Us, Every One!
. . . to quote a very tiny person.


For J and I this is our most quiet Christmas in many mango seasons. We are not sharing our recent acquisition with anyone if we can help it. All should be truly thankful.

So far, we have much to be thankful for, too. Remember: during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew when people were saying things like, "We lost everything but we're still alive."

We can say we haven't lost everything and we are still alive, too!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry and Joyous Christmas

Cough. Sniff. Wheeze. J and I are each taking a Z Pak, apiece. I don't think there is enough miracle cure in them for us to join the family celebration. We will see.

Perhaps we should consider that the coming of Jesus as God's Son on earth is miracle enough. It is enough for me . . .

Friday, December 19, 2008

Production, southeastern style . . .



After a panic-inducing dry spell, the orange Hibiscus went nuts when it rained a bit. These are various views taken this afternoon. There were even more flowers than are visible in these shots. Yes, the Hibiscus are over-grown. They are supposed to be cut back in January and as this is late December, we might do it. We have yet to remove the Alligator Loppers from the box and charge the battery. No sense rushing these things . . .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The cherished CARD

The cards are ready to mail, including the one that 01 doc and I have been mailing back and forth since nineteen-seventy something. We skipped the year our mother passed away and combined 2007/08. But other than that, it has gone faithfully back and forth each Christmas. We should have started that practice with everyone we know. Think of the trees we would have spared.

That card is so faded that the front has to be held to an angle against the light to actually read it. Our personal messages to one another, sent year after year, cover both sides of the folded card and then one has to unfold it completely and read more messages on the white (now yellowed) interior. Thank heaven it has so much room. 01 doc sent it to me the first time and we both liked it so much that I returned it to her that next year.
The message of that card is copied below:

THE FINAL WILD SONG
OF YOUR BIRTH-NIGHT
CAN NEVER BE WRITTEN;
THE LAST SHINING WORD OF YOUR COMING
CAN NOT BE SAID.
ROUGH, SLOW-MINDED SHEPHERDS WILL RUN,
ANGEL-DRIVEN, FOREVER,
BY NIGHT TO A CAVE
AND A CATTLE SHED.
AND YOU, BEYOND BONDAGE OF TIME
WITHOUT END OR BEGINNING
WILL WAKE IN THE ARMS OF A MAID
ON AN UNENDING NIGHT.
YOU, THE UNUTTERED WORD BECOME FLESH
AND FOREVER NOW SPOKEN
WILL BE HERE, BE OUR LIFE, OUR ACCESSIBLE LIGHT.

TONIGHT IS YOUR NIGHT,
YOUR INCREDIBLE SONG-SPANGLED STORY.
WE SHEPHERDS AND FLOCKS WAIT ON FIELDS
BEYOND BETHLEHEM PLAIN;

O ANGELS, O SHEPHERDS, O JOSEPH, O MARY,
O JESUS,
O GOD, TELL YOUR CHILDREN THE STORY AGAIN!

by Evaline Wolf

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It was pretty to look at . . .


There is a braised red cabbage dish that was presented by a woman in the Netherlands who is an occasional contributor to The Pioneer Woman's cooking site. She wrote about the love she has for the dish and that she craved it when she was pregnant
.

It did not seem difficult so I tried it today. J said he liked it. He came back for seconds. BigEd and I were not fond of it at all. I can not explain why one third of our number voted yes and the others voted no.

As an experiment, I offered a shred of it to Mew. She is not a Holland-ese and asked (Silently . . . she is a cat, after all.) if I were trying to drive her away from home. J saved the leftover bits. More for him.

I am going to try this one, next. But with chicken stock instead of vodka and using Dreamfields pasta. We'll see . . .



Friday, December 12, 2008

Cat's burglars . . .

Today, a resident thief stole the cat's favorite new toy. It was a large box that had to be removed from the living room while she slept. She was atop her cat condo, curled up and asleep, maybe. Looking as if she is sleeping while actually not doing it is something she has raised to a fine feline art. J gestured to the box and nodded in the direction of the recycle bin, outside. I nodded yes (we dared not speak) and held a piece of paper between her face and the thief's activities.

Long ago, when a battered box (it had been hers, but they're all hers) was being removed by J, she ran to him, reared up and put two paws over the edge of the box while meowing piteously. She could not have written him a letter and been any more clear in her meaning.

So now, to avoid heartache and pleading or feline legal action, we remove them by stealth. No cats are harmed during this process . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shhh . . .

In 2006, Tom Tancredo (Republican/Colorado) termed our end of the state a "third world country." We resented his effrontery but also understood what he was trying to say even if it was an offensive way of saying it. Our own republican governor at the time resented it publicly but, hey, he was supposed to.

So, isn't it nice of the governor of Illinois to take some of the heat off of our part of the country? I mean, how "third world" an action is it to try to sell access to a senate seat appointment? It sounded almost like he wanted to auction it off.

Rod Blagojevich, that Illinois' Democratic Governor, looks so boyish and candid in his interviews. Naive? Either that or he has gotten away with so much misbehavior that it seems like the norm for him.

At any rate, even though we deplore his actions, the eyes of the media are focused elsewhere for a change.

What a pleasant respite . . .

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Remembering . . .

Today is 01 doc's birthday. I am four years older than she is and I remember the day she was brought home from the hospital. The four year old me wasn't very impressed by the crown of the little head that showed above the blanket in the baby's bed. But she grew more precious to me over the years and is now my best friend as well as my sister.

How do such sea changes happen in the heart? They involve sisterly interaction and memories treasured by both of us. She loves all kinds of animals and is the best grandmother a child could have. Just ask Nathan, Matthew and Michael . . .

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good vs Evil . . .

"is there coffee left?" BigEd asked. Then he checked the pot and said that there was. "Is it the good kind or the evil kind?" he asked further.

Well, BJ's had a coupon off Dunkin' Donuts coffee. We have both that kind and Starbucks packages open. Upon being told it was Dunkin' Donuts today, he informed me that was the evil kind.

Next time, I will ask him to guess which kind he thinks it is . . .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cuga . . .

This little sweetheart is a talking parrot named Cuga (sometimes pronounced lovingly as Cooooga). She belongs to 01 doc's family and I am positive she will outlive me. She used to live just down the street from me before she abandoned me by moving upstate. She had no choice, considering she spends her nights in a comfy cage, and had to leave when the rest of the family did.

The fingers, if you noticed them on the perch, belong to my niece who is Cuga's person. Or one of them. I think that parrots are similar to cats in that you don't own them, they have you. Aside from the niece with the two visible fingers above, I may be the only person who can say that Cuga hasn't nipped at me. I don't see her very often any more. But when I do, she lets me scratch her headfeathers after I talk to her for a while.

When she did live just down the street, she also acted as an announcer. If the family was out in the back doing the pool thing, one way or another, I only had to call Cuga and she would definitely let them know someone was at the door.

Parrots multi-task well . . .

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lets share . . .


It's amazing how alike the eyes are. If they were not in the same picture, one would think they were sharing one pair between the two of them. Susan and the little one, he's almost ready to take your picture, too.



Friday, November 28, 2008

A special time . . .


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Zeta's and M's. The food was so good that I could not even eat another crumb. AA really has cooking the turkey in the deep fryer down to a science. It was so juicy and full of flavor. Zeta gave us a separate broccoli casserole of our very own to take home. M made the best key lime pies. There were sweet, baked, and mashed potatoes, corn and cornbread, green beans, squash, stuffing and gravy, cranberry sauce, and more.

Everyone surprised J and I, after we ate, with lovely gifts. It was our 50th anniversary. We spent a special day with family.

That was the best gift of all . . .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You!



Happy Thanksgiving!




Monday, November 24, 2008

Decisions, decisions . . .

During these days leading up to the I-ate-too-much holiday, supermarkets are narrowing the aisles with additional displays of timely, tempting, goodibles: money-making, edible, goods. There wasn't much room to maneuver the grocery cart on those days before all the extras were shoehorned in. Now, if one encounters a shopper who has been entranced by an item's special display and who parks the cart haphazardly, indoor gridlock becomes possible.

It can be unfortunate when the haphazard shopper is traversing the aisles in the opposite direction of the one being traveled by the more aware, sensible shopper. One can encounter that haphazard shopper at almost every turning unless, being willing to forego a whole aisle, the smart shopper skips ahead of the dawdler.

For the rest of this month, I hope to avoid making any more trips to a supermarket of any sort. But you never know . . . and there's always Black Friday. That, however, is gridlock on an entirely different scale . . .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The messenger bearing flowers . . .


These roses are some of the ones planted this June for Father's Day. There is a pink variety, too, but it is not showing off, right now. I took these shots this morning. It has been so windy that the petals are a little beaten. This is proof that they are still alive, though. Also, they prove the roses could use spraying. Did I mention it has been windy? That's my excuse.

SouthWest? Lost in the first round of the playoffs. There is still some pride preening itself for just getting as far as they did.

The Eagles flew higher than they have in a long time . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making preparations for . . .

Today, I have an appointment to have a hairtrim. Why do we use a blow dryer to reset the "do" when we're going to see someone who will re-do it anyway?

It's like vacuuming the house really well before the carpet steamer people come to do it thoroughly. Not very useful, but we do it anyway.

Or, how about brushing the cat an extra long time before she goes to the vet's office for boarding. The first thing they will do is give her a bath. Well, I can see a reason for all that pre-brushing. Who wants to be responsible for embarrassing the cat
?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nearly the last resort . . .

Sometimes it does pay to read the instructions. I had downloaded an (unabridged, free) audible book to my computer from our public library's web site. I looked all over my computer for that file. Couldn't find it.

After going back and reading some more instructions on the library site, I found that Windows Media Player could be used to organize, open, license, and move the file to a portable mp3 player. Windows Media Player knew exactly where that book file had been stored. How charming.

Tonight, I rode the stationary bike while being entertained from between my ears. At least that is where the voice seemed to be coming from.

Next, I'm gonna rip some music! That sounds so daring . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the ooze-time zone . . .

Last night, we had discussed arriving at the auto mechanic's door early this morning. This is an inconvenient time for a car or microwave to opt for service. It is always so; there is never a really convenient time.

But, this morning was especially inconvenient as the ambient temperature was in the low 50's per our digital thermometer. I needed to layer . . . should have laid out the clothing the night before. Decision making is hard when thought processes ooze instead of synapse-ing.

We had agreed, I thought, that Big Ed would leave at 6:15 a.m. and I would follow him a little later. He actually wanted to leave at 6:45 a.m. My bad.

Half an hour one way or the other usually makes little difference. The exception is when it cuts into sleeping time. Thank heaven for coffee.

Our good mechanic said he would call us after he had looked at the car. Big Ed and I traveled over to Mickie D's drive up window before going back home. Egg McMuffins are two for $2 and we are no fools.

Not after we wake up, anyway . . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I bring you . . .


Please, do NOT shoot the messenger . . .

Gables defeated SouthWest. I refuse to give the embarrassing score.

There is good news though: SouthWest is still in the playoffs. Even better news: their first opponent is not Gables.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not blond, either . . .

Every once in a great while, one of us gets vertigo. This time it is J's turn to live in a whirly-world. When that happens, the other of us searches out our bottle of Meclizine, which is what we keep on hand for those *seldom* occasions.

It has
indeed been a while since we have needed it. The old bottle is dated 2004. Thanks to our doctor's office, we now have a new supply on hand so that the unneeded remainder of the new tablets can age gracefully out of usefulness.

We hope . . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This just in . . .

Tomorrow, SouthWest plays Gables. Both teams have an 8 and 1 record. The game will be at Tropical Park. Kickoff 7 p.m.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Update . . .

SouthWest is now 8 and 1. Heh.

They beat Braddock. Heh, heh.

Who ya gonna call?


Advice for the day:

Say, you have a small appliance that breaks and, say, it's a GE Profile microwave. And say also, that you had put it under an extended service contract with Sears when the original guarantee expired.

Don't contact GE for a service call. Next time, you might not check the Sears file in time to cancel the service call from the wrong company. Whew.

Just saying . . .

Who is Justin Case . . .

We admit to using up most of our emergency food supplies because we thought we were fairly safe this late in the hurricane season. Paloma gave us a reality check.

She brought to mind that major storms do not read the calendar nor do they pay attention to storm trends of previous weather years. The Dove acted like a hawk as it approached Cuba and then had its wings clipped by the mountains and high level winds.

With the Dove being reduced to a tattered low, I guess it is safe to use up the gallons of water stored in our spare room. They are useful to cook with and make coffee.

'Course, we have the rest of November to go 'til the end of hurricane season.

Maybe we should wait, just in case . . .

Friday, November 7, 2008

GE Profile Haiku . . .

Nuking a bowlful
Microwave stopped and smelled burned
Convenience has died . . .

We have a five year guarantee on the magnetron. What do you want to bet that the repairman will diagnose an unrelated problem. He comes on Monday, between 8 am and 5 pm. That's as narrow a window of arrival as GE could come up with. He will call before he comes however. It's a pretty appliance - when it works.

Our old analog Sharp lasted a lot longer than two years before requiring a diagnosis.

ESPNU, where are you?

For some reason related (of course) to money, our local Comcast does not carry ESPNU, the College Sports channel. This is a real bummer for fans. And for those who have to switch the surround sound to mono and tune in to the AM station which carries the games.

What a step back in time. It makes you want to nuke a hot dog or pop some popcorn just to have something to look at. We are so spoiled from watching the action on the big screen.

Well, not we're not being spoiled by Comcast . . .

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Haiku of hope . . .

Blue and red, please merge
Blend into a whole country
Votes are colorless

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We now return to your regular programming

Hey, possibly "Bones" won't be preempted tonight. How refreshing. We can get our weekly fix. It tickles me that author Kathy Reichs created the character nicknamed Bones and that the Bones character writes about a forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs.

We like "The Mentalist." The first few episodes were similar to finding a S. Holmes character in modern dress. "Life" is also one that we hit the DVR so as not to miss. Is there a pattern developing here?

Probably . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Big Day, Vote, y'all . . .

Someone asked me if I had voted already or still needed to vote today. We had the absentee ballot discussion. The funny thing is that he had requested an absentee ballot but left it a little late to make his request. So, if he votes with the absentee ballot, he has to take the ballot to voting headquarters in person. Long lines there, too, we conjecture. So he might as well vote at the precinct.

VOTE. No matter where, just do it! Does that seem overly emphatic? Just go give yourself a voice. Each vote is a whisper adding to the shout of acclamation by the people.

I wonder what is WRONG with the 40-something-percent of eligible voters who won't do it. I know there are illness and accident to prevent some votes being cast. But, It is important to have a voice in the decision so you can deserve to voice a complaint any time in the next four years.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Retardant . . .

The night before Halloween, I had determined to get up early next morning and go buy gas before my gauge bounced on empty. I usually don't wait that long but this time it got away from me. I told J that I planned to get up early to beat the morning rush and fill the car.

Laziness struck. Big Ed said he would go along and pump the gas so we didn't go until the afternoon. Our station was blocked off with crime scene tape and was still the focus of hazmat vehicles and police units.

This was the reason. Good thing I didn't go early, after all.

Breaking news . . .

For those with a vested interest in knowing: SouthWest is now seven and one. They have (drumroll here) made the playoffs. Can you believe it?

Unless J is making it up, of course . . . naaah.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are we there yet?

Why does a one hour time change leave me reeling as if I had flown to California and landed at midnight after being up late the night before, packing for the trip. This would include a 3 hour layover in Atlanta or Charleston. Like that.

At three this afternoon, I began to preheat the oven for dinner. Ah, that was a little early so I turned it back off and went to lie down for a while. Good thing I set the timer. I would still be asleep otherwise.

When nearly asleep, I respond to: "Why is the timer going off?" much more kindly than I do to: "What's for dinner?" One is a reminder generated by my own actions. The other is a reminder of a different texture, altogether.

The difference between the two questions really wouldn't matter so much except for the effects of that flight to
California . . .




Saturday, November 1, 2008

Take a position?

That position we are going to assume being: Fall Back. We'll reset the clocks to an hour earlier before we hit the hay tonight. One year J and I were so efficient that we, independently of one another, reset all the wall clocks so that they were each set two hours early .

Now we divide up the duty. Our watches are our own responsibility but J takes care of the wall clocks. I do the clock in the stove, microwave, and coffeemaker. I do my alarm clock and his while I am thinking about it. Big Ed does his own whatevers.

The computer, bless its heart, is independent enough to do it for itself and so are most televisions. 'Cept for the one in the dining room and I don't know why it is so backward about it.

The VCRs? They can fend for themselves. Who cares?

Blink, blink, blink, blink . . .

Friday, October 31, 2008

She bit me, aaggh . . .

BE AFRAID.
BE VERY AFRAID.


Are you afraid now?

Have a safe Halloween, everyone.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Advice for the day . . .

It is not a good thing to put the coffee basket back in place without a filter of any kind inside it.

It is a good thing that the coffeemaker sits in a
tray with sides. That confined the area that had to be dealt with. It seems that the wet grounds slowed the rate of flow through the bottom of the basket. Water flowed over the top, carrying some of the grounds with it. And some of the grounds passed into the carafe, as well.

This morning, I'm pouring my cups of coffee through a fine mesh strainer so I don't have to strain the grounds out with my teeth.

The upside? We now have a super-clean coffeemaker.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where would you keep it?

If I am the first to rise in the morning, my routine is to pass through the house turning off the outside lights, then push the *on* button if I have risen before the coffeemaker is awake. After that, I turn on the computer along with the AC in the main part of the house.

This morning, on auto pilot, I did all of the above and then realized it may have been too much activity. The thermometer told me it was 71 degrees inside and even lower outside. So I went back and undid the AC thing.

We are supplied with some pretty good chocolate candy for giving out to neighborhood goblins. It came from BJ's and is hidden, like the scarlet letter, in plain sight. Almost.

It's in the living room, stuffed inside my library bookbag . . . unopened. Yet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

There's Misery and then misery . . .

Eight more days of campaign adverts. Eight more days and then out of our misery. Well, that's one sort of misery.

It tickles a funny bone elsewhere than my elbow that the financial market pundits have made such expensive mistakes. Even T. Boone Pickens, who has bootstrapped himself through other losses is bathing involuntarily.

This may be the largest global-market-economy disaster since Ancient Rome when the grain crop failed. At the very least, it is the best publicized. US financial experts have found that there are other forces at work than ones controlled by ourselves. How refreshing in a way.

Guess what? Warren Buffett is human, after all . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For the alumni . . .

Another SouthWest report: J says that SouthWest played Sunset. Both teams had a 5 and 1 record. Now Sunset is 5 and 2.

SouthWest trounced them 20 to 6. One has to wonder what kinds of teams Sunset had been playing, doesn't one?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Watch the grass grow . . .

If you live near the southern end of the south-eastern-most state, best do your errands early if possible. I understand that our end of the state will be dipped in rain and not spun dry, later today.

We (by whom I really mean BigEd) are mowing the grass once a week and sometimes more frequently. It grows almost as fast as bamboo. If J had to mow it, we would probably acquire a riding mower. Heh . . .

Friday, October 24, 2008

Peel me a grape . . .

The only semi-sentient being in this house who has not voted is Mew. She doesn't care. Her habit is to nap through debates and name-calling political ads. She yawns at rhetoric, then turns her ears inside out, and cleans them instead of following the candidates. As long as she can get brushed, combed and fed in the mornings, it's all good.

As far as she is concerned, inflation is for bicycle tires. Just don't run over her tail as you push the bike outside to go and ride. 'Cause she's certain that any of her stray body parts has the right of way. It's just the way her world works . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No waiting . . .

Seeing the long lines for early voting makes me glad that we voted via absentee ballot. The ballots came with an information card that explained how to reach the web site which displays the date your ballot was received. I checked and we all three are in the system to be counted with the rest of the votes.

This makes one inclined to be a little smug about using the absentee method. Smugness is such an ugly quality, isn't it?

Adult, maybe . . .

I am not a *crafty* person. Usually, I would rather read than voluntarily engage in crafting something. But, origami? That is not your usual craft. I haven't done any fancy paper folding since last Christmas' gift wrapping. I have books on the Art of Origami that I look through occasionally. I remember mountain and valley folds. I also remember directions that were so confusing that when 01 Doc and I were trying to fold a three dimensional Easter Lily, success was almost an accident instead of by purposeful intent.

The library book discussion group finished the series of meetings. The group turned out to be the librarian and me. One of the group dropped away because she just did not have time. Others never came at all, after saying they would. Perhaps the book turned them off. It was "The Thief and the Dogs" by Naguib Mafooz. It provoked interesting discussion but we "rabbit trailed" quite a bit. The librarian, Jean, has lived all over the world with her engineer husband and children, now grown. She has such fascinating anecdotes that I asked her when her own book was coming out. She just laughed.

It seems as if I am rabbit trailing myself, here. But in January, Jean will conduct an adult class in Origami. I plan to be there.

Fancy paper and bone folder at the ready . . .


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The cat can't help . . .

The monitor screen still jumps, occasionally. Rats. I thought I had figured it out.

Position the li'l' mouse cursor over a link, click and it is a toss up whether the link opens or the screen jumps up slightly and the cursor has to chase it and mouse-click again.

I wonder if this is symptomatic of an epidemic or if it is just that my mouse is vicious and hard on links. I wish the mouse could talk like, say, Mickey . . .

UPDATE: SouthWest is now 5 and 1, having recorded only one loss
(to South Dade: 21 to 20, heartbreaking). Plus, SouthWest has the number one rated offense in the county. That's the good news.

Gables and Columbus are 6 and 0.
SouthWest has not played either one of them. Yet. That may be the bad news, we'll have to see.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Slow math . . .

I wonder why my monitor screen occasionally jumps up about an inch or sometimes longer. Doesn't happen very often. When it does happen, I have just positioned the cursor over a link and the screen moves up.

Strange. I may move the cordless phone away from the CPU. Duh, why did I not think of doing that before now?

I just moved the phone. It is an auxiliary set which does not require a wall jack and just plugs into the electrical socket. When I repositioned the phone plug to a power strip closer to the other side of the computer desk, the monitor made a little snapping noise as I plugged it in. I think I'm on to something here.

The fact that I have been putting up with the jumping for a long time says something about the fact that it took me a while to connect 2 and 2.

I'll dial the house phone and see if the answer is a 4 . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

And dumber . . .

Today, as I was headed toward home down Sunset Drive, I decided to continue on to BJ's and pick up one of their large rotisserie chickens for dinner. I called home and let J know what we were going to have.

BJ's is where we can buy whole pork loins to bring home and carve into chops and roasts; where we can buy the black ink for our printer; where they have LCD - HD televisions that I don't buy and won't until our large, old fashioned Toshiba dies the death. It is still going strong and I can't even jinx it by saying so.

Normally, someone comes along to do the heavy lifting when we make a BJ's run. How much could one chicken weigh? Well, BJ's is addictive. I spent almost two meandering hours (and slightly sprained my left wrist) horsing cases of things into the cart, then onto the moving belt, and finally into the trunk. And they weren't large cases, either.

How dumb can you be? Maybe this is my demonstration for the day. I hope so . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chica . . .

She was an English Bulldog, squat, strong, and sweet. She first met Mew through the window, three days ago. Yesterday, she went into our back yard and set up residence in front of our rusty (yucky) garden shed. In the afternoon, I walked up to her and she rolled over to have her belly rubbed. I went to get her some water. On an impulse, I called out "Chica," and she whipped her head around to look. Aha, she spoke Spanish, then. "Chica, veng'!" seemed to motivate her in my direction, but barely. She was a Bulldog, after all.

A neighbor had seen her, the day before, coming down 107th Avenue from the north. So we surmised she was from farther away. She was footsore and limping on her left hind leg. And hungry? All we had was dry cat food but, from all evidence, it was just delicious.

We left her in the yard, happily snoring in front of the shed until it started to rain. We sequestered Mew, and brought "Chica" in to sleep in our bathroom off the bedroom. She moaned a bit about being left in there but when no one responded, she settled down. This morning, she yipped to go outside to take care of business.

Animal control had no calls about a Bulldog being missing, so this morning I started out asking more neighbors. The people directly behind us wanted to see her. The man came around in his van and looked at her. He thought she had been traveling a long distance, too. He looked at her teeth and eyes. She had something in her eye he said and when I looked, it was a little red. Then he picked her up and she lay belly-up in his arms wagging her tail at him. He kissed her on the side of her muzzle and said he was taking her straight to the vet to see about the eye. If animal control doesn't come up with an owner who is searching for her, I think she has found a good home.

Don't you just love a happy ending?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The visitor . . .

Mew has her evening routine and she adheres to it. J or BigEd will tell her that it's "time to go to bed, little kitty," (little, she no longer is) and she will come out from wherever and head for her sleeping quarters. Last evening after calling, no cat. We looked behind the sofa and there she was, watching intently out the floor length window. J raised the curtain to see what she was so focused on.

Lying pressed up to the window and watching her placidly was a bulldog. It was wearing a harness and trying to sniff noses with her through the glass. Mew was not all *haired* up and evidently the dog had been there for a while giving her time to calm down. There were no vocalizations or threats either. She was fascinated by this phlegmatic dog.

It was a good thing that J did not surprise Mew, however. You never know . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting punctures . . .

We feel so virtuous this morning. We kept appointments to get flu shots - J and I both. We were waiting in the treatment room together when Evelyn brought in the syringes and laid them down on the sterile field. Then, she went across the hall and I mentioned to J that he could give himself his own shot. Evelyn heard me and asked if she needed to give me a time-out. I told her she could just give him both shots, in that case. Didn't work that way, though. Evelyn believes in ladies first.

We will go back in a month or so for the pneumonia shot. I have heard of folks taking them together and getting reactions to them. Of course there are reactions to just the flu shot by itself but we have been fortunate there.

BigEd got his last week. We are not flu-proof but closer than we were before . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's a crock . . .

Okaaay, I found a blogger whose obsession with slow cookers exceeds my own. Stephanie at A Year of CrockPotting has resolved to use hers every day for a year. The recipes are all available even though the year is well along its way. And some of them sound/look/seem as if I could anyone might benefit from trying them.

I had to share these. I just had to . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

How do you spell relief . . .


There is an ironic twist in the housing marketplace.

Banks find that they, too, have a hard time unloading foreclosed homes in this sea of falling values. Housing prices sink even while the forecloser is paying good, bank-earned money to a third-party firm which prepares the vacated homes for sale. At a minimum, yards still have to be maintained and plumbing/electrical repairs done.

The only ones with a positive income flow are those third parties being paid by the mortgage lenders.

Some banks, those old softies, are now helping foreclosure-risk owners by voluntarily re-financing homes. Those adjustable rate mortgages are being turned into low, fixed rates.

One homeowner, here, was the subject of a news report. She had been notified that her home was in foreclosure and she had one month left to pay up or vacate.

Then, she got another letter saying that the bank had voluntarily refinanced her mortgage to a fixed and much lower rate. Her monthly payments went down by about $1,700. She could now, she said, afford to buy shoes and orange juice for her son. She had been hopelessly borrowing money to do those kinds of things. (I thought that if you
had dug yourself into a deep hole, you were supposed to stop digging.)

According to the newscasters, those in the neighborhood who were still making their rising mortgage payments were not receiving such drastic relief.

So those old softie banks are not so soft after all . . .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Uncle Chek
























Uncle Chek passed away Tuesday. He was Dad's brother. The picture above is of Lt. (J.G.) Chester W. Williams during WW II. The one below was taken on his 96th birthday, last December. He used to joke with me that Williams's don't get wrinkled and ask if I had any wrinkles, yet. He loved people, as you can tell from the picture below. And his courage was beyond question.

I know that he and Dad are having a lovely reunion, with all the rest of the family gathered around, slapping backs, telling stories, and making home-made ice cream on the back porch.

'Til we meet again . . .


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Riveting, just riveting . . .

After burning the candle at both ends, middle, and then some, I have to miss the debate in favor of sleep. I watched the first two questions and answers. I decided the candidates are not going to answer the actual questions that are asked of them but use the queries as jumping off places to the message that each wants to expound, instead.

I
can't
stay
awake.

One of them would have to set himself on fire to get my attention at this point. Besides, tomorrow I can examine the hash and rehash on any of the media you care to name.

So there I go . . .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

YT means your truly . . .

While surfing, I often check in with Alda at the Iceland Weather Report which is not just a weather report. It is a look at everyday life in (N)Iceland written in a style which is readable and intelligent. As a not well-traveled-abroad citizen, I relish looking into the everyday life of, say, Icelanders.

In today's post, the state of her stake in Iceland's economy is foremost. Her source of financial advice is one of a group in an Icelandic hot pot. Go find out what that is for yourself.

If you visit, leave her a comment. She likes comments. They demonstrate that she is not writing for just a select few.

Southwest Bulletin . . .

For those who graduated from Southwest HS (or who attended SW but graduated elsewhere), the football team has won five games in a row. The miracle begins, again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Widening my world.

In our local library, a week ago, I was asked if I wanted to join a book discussion group that they were trying to form. When I said that it sounded interesting, I was handed a bookmark, a 16 page readers guide called The Big Read, a CD, and a slim book by the Egyptian author Naguib Mafooz. All of these were from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The book is The Thief and the Dogs. It is written as stream of consciousness and is not a book I would have picked up to read of my own accord. I suppose the purpose behind The Big Read is to get me to do exactly that.

I did not know that Naguib Mafooz received the Nobel Prize for Literature. After reading this little work of his, I can understand why.

And I can't wait to discuss it with the group . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just a little tip . . .

I had never heard of "Works For Me Wednesday." I surfed my way to a site called Rocks in My Dryer which is hosting Works for Me Wednesday, today. Today's theme is all about kitchen organization. Lord knows I am fascinated by this one.

You can check it out here. There are some useful and not so useful tips. I especially like the ones where pictures are posted.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brother can you spare . . .

The economy reminds me of an egg that has been cracked and poured out on the sidewalk to see if the day is hot enough to cook it. Bring your own knife and fork but be wary of those who carry their own utensils.

There is enough rue and guilt to season this giant omelet (or omelette if you prefer) really well. Dig in, this is a self-serve dining experience.

Antacid anyone?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Different kind of alligator . . .

Last century, after Hurricane Andrew left almost every standing tree strewn all over the city, someone offered to loan us a chain saw. It was so useful that we bought a smaller one of our own. The one we had borrowed was a huge Stihl. It was powerful enough to use on a forest if there was one around here. Which there isn't.

We wore out the little one. It was actually too lightweight. So the people
, in this family, who would like another one have been dropping broad hints suggestions about needing a chain saw. Personally, I am wary about the occasional use of a machine that could kick back and divide a torso right down the middle, or sever some useful bodily attachment, say an arm or leg.

During a cable program called "I Want That," something called an Alligator Lopper was demonstrated. It is a
safer kind of chainsaw which is scaled to use on 4" branches.

I did want that. It is being shipped out this week. And the reason I had to order it from Amazon.com instead of just going out and buying one? Aside from the no-tax, no-shipping,
gas-saving reasons?

Those demanding family members specified that they want the more rare, more portable, 18 volt, cordless model . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hot enough for ya?

We are always looking for lower sodium alternatives. I read the sodium content on containers first, then go to sugars and carbs, when browsing. We have been using Classico's Tomato and Basil sauce as a spaghetti sauce base for adding things like meat/meatballs, garlic, onion, spices, etc. The only thing available locally that is lower in sodium is Flora salt free which I have a hard time finding, lately.

The last time I made spaghetti, it was really spicy-hot. I had added some chili to it as a secret ingredient and had to confess to the diners that the chili must have been really hot. It was almost too spicy for us.

When I went to buy more Classico yesterday, I realized that the jar had an addition to the label: "New, Spicy Tomato and Basil." Whoa, I never buy spicy anything. I must have missed the label changes last time I shopped.

I ended up trying Classico's Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic as a low sodium choice, instead. We actually like it better.

I did confess that it wasn't the chili, last time, that spiced things up too much. It was the inattention of the cook . . .


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Every day, they want to know . . .

Dinner? What are we having for dinner? Like Scarlet, I'll think about that tomorrow. Let 'em eat cake doesn't work. They might do it.

Pork chops? Pulled
pork barbecue? Tuna macaroni salad? Meat loaf? Eggs and grits? Well, every once in a while we do that for dinner. Spaghetti and meat balls? Perhaps we could, or

Somethin' easy . . . like KFC. Heh.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is there no end . . .

The calendar says that summer is gone. Google's logo announces, cleverly, that this is the first day of fall. Our car said it was 94 degrees at noon. The thermometer announces 95 degrees on the shaded front porch a couple of hours later. Rain is a non-starter. The Dusty Miller is wilting but it often does, thirsty thing.

I am beginning to believe that global warming had its start here, in our yard, while we weren't looking . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Mensa candidate . . .

I really do need to get out more. I went to visit someone who lives in a gated community. I had the gate code which would let me reach the owner who would then let me in electronically.

In my defense, I have to say that the first time I went there, a gate code had not yet been issued. I telephoned the owner who actually had to meet me at the gate and let me in. This time though, I drove up to the gate only to discover that there was no push button array on the entry box. Just a slot into which to insert a key card.

I backed the car out of the gate entryway and looked around. Luckily no one was waiting to get in behind me. A man
who had been mowing the front area drove his riding mower over and asked if he could help. He pointed out the intercom box far behind my car. It was partly surrounded by decorative greenery and fronted by protective uprights which were painted bright yellow. Oh. That box.

Leaving my car, I walked back and punched in the code. A voice which I did not recognize answered me. I apologized and disconnected. Then carefully punched in the correct code. I was so sure I had the right number that I hurried back to the car and belted in. I could hear, faintly, a familiar voice hello-ing from the box, well to the rear.

I was not about to go back to the dratted box with the gardener watching and trying not to seem as amused as I think he was. Luckily, the gate started moving and I started up.

Next time, I will be so
blasé
about it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Morning y'all . . .

I had just handed out the copies of the daily crossword. We each get our own scanned and enlarged copy, mostly because I don't like to share mine. I was sitting at the computer, surfing quietly, when BigEd sneezed explosively from behind me. J and I both jumped and exclaimed at him. It got quiet again and then J started sneezing repeatedly.

That stopped. Then they started asking questions about the crossword answers. Enough surfing, they seem to say, get busy on your own crossword.

Yes. Good idea . . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

A little gift . . .

Late Friday, BigEd backed his car out and just missed the new recycle bin which the county had, in its wisdom, set in the paved area of the swale behind the parked cars. We are so pleased to get it as now we don’t have to separate recyclables.

No more toting and stacking the two, wheel-less, separate bins. Everything goes into the new bin which looks like a smaller, darker colored version of the county-suppled E-Z Go Trash Bin. Wheels go toward the house. Bins must be placed at least three feet apart. That’s all we have to remember.

If we are so pleased to have it, why are we still putting cans and papers in the separate bins which are so conveniently located in the utility room and just outside the back door? Are we lazy? Creatures of habit? Or are we out-waiting one another to see who will take the step of consolidating everything already separately recycled into the one receptacle?

I am taking no bets on this one . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brookstones, waiting . . .

Five smooth stones. Brookstones smoothed by the running water and destined to be picked up by a youth named David, whose belief in God banished his fear. Besides, he had had practice. He even took his sling along with him during his visit to his brothers in the Israeli Army. So he must have carried it with him everywhere: for constant practice, surely.

When the lion and the bear had come to raid the flock of the lamb, the lad “smote” the beast. He said so in just those words. I do not think he smote it with his fist or his foot.

After he whirled his sling and stoned the beast, it rose against him and he seized its beard and slew it. Perhaps he bashed its head with another rock. More likely, to me, he carried a knife with him for eating, cutting sheep free of brambles and cleaning fish. I would bet it was sharp enough to dispatch a lion whose head was already damaged by a slung stone. I mean, where would you have aimed?

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice. David must have been gifted with wonderful hand/eye coordination by the Lord. His work ethic must have also been strong to allow him to practice with that sling until he was a deadeye with it.

Poor Goliath. In all his pride, he never had a chance . . .

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A rose, by any other rootstock . . .

Monday, the best of the day had gone by when the Ira feeder bands started. Rain came in bucketfuls followed by time for it to soak in. Then more buckets. Today is overcast and humid. One would think we were living in the semi-tropics, somewhere.

The roses J planted were dancing with the wind and losing a few petals. They seemed to like the exercise, though, and put forth more blossoms to get into the spirit of the thing, the next day. The two roses that are on Jackson Perkins rootstock are not much subject to black spot. The third, a different stock, will need some attention. I told J I felt like digging it back up and replacing it with another from the JP rootstock. He just looked at me. I'm not the one who would be doing the digging.

Spraying or dusting, though? That would be me . . .

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What we need . . .

Yesterday, we went to the Rockfish Grill for dinner. It was such a delicious feast: on shrimp in my case. We were celebrating, very belatedly, a long-past birthday. It is probably the most drawn-out birthday on record.


We may not feel any effects but minor ones from the hurricane named Ike. My niece had written to me that it was probably our turn. I agreed with her. And yet, perhaps not, after all.

We follow the advisories at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm most intently because the new tracking computer models are available at those times. After one sees the track for oneself and hears the explanation, then the scare tactics of some of the forecasters are not nearly as effective. We have learned which forecasters are more lurid and dramatic. We tend to avoid those channels.

I feel sorry for the people in islands to the south of us who are feeling the real lash of the wind and water intrusion in mountainous or coastal areas.

We need a rainbow, don't we?

Friday, September 5, 2008

What time is it?

Currently, we are living on storm-time. That is the hiatus between having provisions laid in and actually needing them because the power is out. It is the antsy time of loose handles (as in flying off of) and watching the cat to see if her fear escalates. So far, our company is comforting to her.

When she seeks a black hole to hide herself in, it's duck and cover season. Time to hunker down.

We're pretty well hunkered, already . . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

East . . .

Downgrade is the word to hope for when considering weather reports. This morning, I heard something so unusual that it sounded unlikely to be true. If it were not for the source being the Weather Channel, complete with storm track, I would not believe that the tropical storm, formerly hurricane, Hanna was moving east. East, I ask you?

East is good considering the matter from our perspective. However, the islands down in the Caribbean may not like the trend. And I do wish them a safe endurance.

East is good for us, however. Let's hear it for EAST . . . however unlikely.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Not for me, thanks . . .

A site which I visit frequently has undergone some visual changes. The changes are fun and funky. But, there is a also a new widget that announces the locations from which visitors come. I was surprised to find that my city and state were announced as being the source of my visit. If I wished to announce to the world where I live, and from what city I blog, I would put that information on my profile.

I won't visit any blog that seeks to publish any of the personal information of its viewers. This is different from showing a map of the world with pins stuck in it to indicate the sources of traffic. This new widget strikes a little closer to home than is comfortable.

No thanks, I won't be using one on my blog . . .

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Five, four, three, two, one . . .

We are in a holding pattern. One storm has passed us on the west and another system is trying to take aim from the east.

I remember during a flight to Washington DC, we were in a descending holding pattern which took us repeatedly over the Pentagon. Because of its regular shape, it was hard to tell when we revolved around the building. As it appeared and disappeared, through gaps in the cloud cover, it seemed to be growing in size, all by itself. Our approaching nearer seemed to have nothing to do with its changing size. It was like sitting in a parked vehicle and watching a moving train or bus nearby. The car sometimes can feel as if it is moving backward instead of the other vehicle going forward.

Our lives are stationary like that, at present. Traffic is light, shoppers in the grocery store almost non-existent, no one in our neighborhood is mowing or edging. Home Depot is busy but not extraordinarily so.

We are watching the images of the storms and hoping that as they approach they will shrink away, all by themselves . . .

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Storm story . . .

We are all relieved to see the people of New Orleans making evacuation moves. There is a self-preservation area in my psyche that breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that there are proactive preparations underway there.

We experienced Hurricane Andrew's coming ashore and passing directly over. The southern end of the county experienced the calm in the eye and the eyewall winds on both sides of that calm area. We, as a population, became famous for the widespread destruction that was visited on us.

There were stories, though. At Florida International University, the parking and traffic department was then housed in a temporary trailer next to the public safety building. That building is a real aircraft control tower which still remains from the time the whole campus was nothing but an exurban airport.

The walls of the that tower are made of poured, reinforced concrete. By sheer luck, the trailer was situated on the leeward of that control tower. The wind-shadow of the building gave shelter. It was one of the few trailers in our whole county that suffered very little effect from the storm.

The aircraft control tower, itself? All of the laminated, inches-thick, safety glass was blown out of the observation room at the top of the tower.

But, none of it hit that trailer . . .

Friday, August 29, 2008

Part two of two, I think . . .

One has learned. One surfed to the library web site, saw that book two of the series by Gene Wolfe was on the shelf in a nearby branch location and called them.

The nice man,
with whom I eventually spoke, kept entering my card number in the wrong window and telling me he could not find me as a patron. I offered to close my own computer screen which was showing my account and showing the shelved book, clear as could be.

He sheepishly told me he was in the wrong window (which is how I know) and then proceeded to walk to the stacks and find the book. He canceled a hold order which would have sent the book to a different (my default) library. He also told me the book would likely be in a back room, but in alphabetical order, since I wanted to pick it up the same day. I am so glad he did.

When I went to get the book, it was indeed in the back. The older lady at the checkout desk said in discouraging tones that there were over four hundred books in the back, waiting to be shelved. (This is the first passive/aggressive experience I have ever had at any library.) But, surely all those books are in alphabetical order, in that back room, I said in encouraging tones.

The person who was sent to find my reserve came back immediately with it. I would just bet that the nice young man I spoke to earlier knew who
would be at the checkout desk, that afternoon.

Forewarned very nicely, for real . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Part one, of how many?

Years ago, I bought a paperback book that I did not realize was part one of three parts. It ended, not in mid-sentence, exactly, but in suspenseful mid-events that left me exasperated with the author. I only knew the name of the next volume. Had never heard of the author, at the time. Of course, it was the first volume of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy that had entranced my imagination.

There is this relatively new book out by Gene Wolfe entitled: "The Knight." I have read about half of it and it has turned out to be one of those books you wish could go on forever. I know this is the first of a series.

One would think one would learn, wouldn't one?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

As you wish . . .

Who knew that an orange and white cat could disappear in a dark bathroom, on a light tan, fluffy rug? I scared myself silly when I walked in, turned on the light, adjusted the fan and then looked down into a pair of golden eyes looking bemusedly at me.

I was very entertaining, she seemed to say, but as she could hear distant thunder it would be better if one of us left. She decided she would like to stay and her determined body language, plus a decided glance at her paws, settled the matter.

She can, on occasion, make her wishes extremely clear . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rinse, repeat . . .

Brother R says it's raining sideways in Tallahassee. I believe every word of it. While Fay was with us, before she went meandering, our side door sounded like someone was throwing buckets of pebbles at it. It was sideways rain, seeking entry. Fay has managed to *launder* every family member in our state. How impartial.

Today the grass that grew like bamboo, with all that rain, is being mowed. Well, the front is. The back was sheared yesterday. It is almost too hot to do the whole thing in one day. Big Ed just requested three bottles of water after finishing up.

Hot and dehydrating, oh yes. I offered to turn the water hose on him. He just laughed at me . . .

Friday, August 22, 2008

Duuh . . .

Today, as I was out and about with J, he suggested stopping for lunch. No, I said, let's go home for lunch, instead.

I had a motive. We have so great an amount of storm supplies that I would actually have felt guilty going out and letting someone else do the cooking. Sitting down and being served. Having choices I didn't have to go out and haul home, myself.

That was really dumb . . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Because he said so . . .

I have to admit that I received my orders this morning. I went to the almighty physician because he changed a med and wanted to follow up. I mentioned a hip problem and he said to lose some weight, for starters. Then he looked at my record, looked back at me and opined that I had lost some weight recently, hadn't I?

Yers, I have, and thanks for noticing. He said to keep it going. Guess it's goodbye to cookies, sugar free or not.

'Course, we have to finish off the supply on hand . . . waste not, want not?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tropical storm . . .

We still have electrical power at 6:30 this morning.

Implied in that statement are: safety, hot water, warm food, coffee - plus fresh milk for my coffee, bountiful ice, comfortable sleeping (and reading) conditions, telephone service, contact with the outer world, and being able to watch the Olympics.

Oh, and being able to scan and print a copy of the daily crossword for each of us.

Plus we have some sugar-free cookies yet to eat. We bought them as storm-treats to console us for loss of some of the things that disappear when power goes.

Thank you, Lord, that we don't need that cookie love this morning . . .

Monday, August 18, 2008

Coconut Sky . . .


This is what it looked like this afternoon around 4:30. The clouds present a confused and changing skyscape. Thank goodness they are not organized. Organized clouds are serious. So far, these are just wet. They have gifted us with a steady rain. Only. So far. Thank the Lord . . .

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Home grown menace . . .

If the wind becomes too frisky, we will have to remove the coconuts from the palm tree in the side yard. They may ripen so we will save them if we have to do surgery. I would rather the weather cooperated enough to let them drop from the tree on their own. But we don't need any home grown, windborne bombs aiming at us.

Maybe I'll just go out and tug on one to see how loosely they are attached . . .


Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's an ill rain . . .

This morning, after sleeping until 8:30, I telephoned our Publix and asked if the lines at the registers were long. Yes, she said, they are really bad.

After we had a midday rainstorm, I called again and asked if the rain had made people stay home. It had, and I went for a few things, nothing major. There was no line at all.

This is a highly unusual situation for a Saturday in normal times, much less when a storm is in the vicinity. I can only guess that people who still needed school supplies/clothing had gone to the malls after storm-shopping in the morning.

Better them than . . .

Friday, August 15, 2008

This just in . . .

Thank you Big Ed and Zeta for our trek to get storm supplies this evening. We even topped up the car's gas tank. It was Zeta's idea to get such a head start and Big Ed was the iron man in lifting and loading all that water. The distant threat is only a tropical storm, at present, but I stood in some major last-minute lines before hurricane Andrew. I swore I would never be so lax again.

Complacency, thy name is Ranger. Not . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warning . . .

Today, 01Doc telephoned to see how we were doing as we were under a tornado watch. J knew about it but it was news to me. I looked out and it was looming overcast but not threateningly so. I have claimed to be able to tell the weather by looking outside. I will no longer honor that claim.

A small tornado touched down, briefly, in the city. No one was injured although one youngish, female human went outside to see why everything was shaking. She was just in time to actually see the tornado
shove a pickup into a car and a white van. She said that kind of stuff doesn't scare her. On television, she said this. Perhaps, she is like a great many male and female youngish humans, who seem to believe they are invulnerable and immortal.

Poor baby . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reverse, U-verse, Reverse . . .

Ah, the Olympics. I am recording the equestrian events for my sole enjoyment and have been lucky to find out on what channel and when they are presented. The events have been moved from one obscure (to me, anyway) channel to another and so far, I have been able to catch the announcement and set the DVR. The Cross Country event was held yesterday and today is the jumping, which is the final event.

AT&T’s new offering, U-verse, has a DVR which records four programs simultaneously. I am envious as the DVR we have from Comcast only records two at a time. I checked the AT&T web site and our area does not yet have the capability to receive U-verse.

The same thing happened with DSL internet capability. I think AT&T finally added our area to their DSL capable sites just to put a stop to my repeated requests.

We all want U-verse, so I’ll do the same thing and annoy the dickens out of AT&T. This is just the beginning . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Name Game . . .

Out of sheer laziness, I stole borrowed this from Bluegrass Mama:

The Name Game

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car)
Mickey Camry

2. Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe)
FudgeTraks ESpirit

3. Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal)
Teal LOLcat

4. Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born)
Doncha Wannaknow

5. Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name)
Willy (went with my maiden name)

6. Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
Aquamarine soda

7. NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers)
James Madison (really)

8. Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
J’Adore Godiva/Russell Stover

9. TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Johnson Johnson City

10. Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Fall Pansy

11. Cartoon name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now)
Mango Tunic

12. Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Kashi Mango

13. Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived)
Micky Court

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lock step . . .

We saw the opening ceremonies last night. China? Twelve hour time difference? I thought the group of 2,008 Chinese men, all pounding as one on electronic pads which produced a light and sound show, was daunting. I could imagine them marching in total sync, bearing weapons of choice. Why? I suppose it was the military precision of their movements and the implied control that lay behind that determined performance.

Or perhaps, possibly, I read things into the performance that were unintended.

I hope so . . .

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fresh canned . . .

The good news is that this blog was not one of those classified as spam by Blogger. There was a slight meltdown and lots (a specific term) of sites suffered that fate. Blogger openly acknowledges this situation and says it is now all better. They also state that if it's not all better, let them know. Heh.

The bad news is that I like spam. The canned sort. Am I strange to occasionally crave a slice of fried mystery meat? Probably. I call it fried when one can place a slice or two in a dry, non-stick pan and it will generate enough of its own juice to turn itself a golden brown. The flavor changes when treated that way, much as frying chicken changes its flavor.

And no, I haven't eaten fresh, raw chicken to make a comparison . . .

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I can haz rubies?

The ruby-red brake light, on the dashboard, came on in one of the cars. Tomorrow, if we are first in line at our trusty mechanic, we will find out what's what. Rollie is like a family friend whom we trust to tell us the absolute truth.

In Proverbs, if King Lemuel had been evaluating auto mechanics instead of quoting his mother on wives, he might have said: "Who can find a virtuous mechanic? His price is above rubies." Instead of paying rubies out the nose for repairs, we ask Rollie.

He almost has more business than he can handle. Zeta, Big Ed, and I know where he is.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ssssizzle . . .

August. At last. It's the final month of unbearable desert sun in a tropical setting. No dry climate here to shield the sensibilities and make believe that it is not so hot, after all. The sun volunteers to sear your hair several shades lighter and mandates, at least, polaroids to protect your old-age vision.

I will wish August away and hurry in September. It even sounds refreshing. And October? Remember? Sometimes the children have to wear pajamas under their Halloween costumes, outdoors, in the evening. I'm wishing for an October like that.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Living memory . . .

When older family members pass away, their unrecorded memories of family events pass with them. My brother sent an email to us in which he asked that memories of early family life be written down and circulated within the family circle. Then he recorded some of the memories of our parents which he had acquired during his own childhood and teen years.

What a brilliant idea. I added to his email record in the same vein using a different (but readable) color for my additional text and passed it on.

I included a cousin with whom we grew up when I sent the email traveling on in its quest for family memory. A great deal of what we wrote was told to us by our mother. Some was personal experience. And, believe it or not, she told him some things that she didn't tell me. Or, more probably, he remembered them and I did not.

I can hardly wait to get the other replies which add to the story . . .

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Believe your eyes?

Earthquake coverage is in saturation mode on CNN. It seems there is much to be thankful about. I remember asking my mother years ago if we ever had earthquakes here. She said we don't. I took that as a fundamental truth for years. I am sure she thought it was.

A few years ago, when I was sitting in the dining room and staring vacantly at a glass of water, (trying to wake up) the water rippled. It just shivered. It was as if someone had vibrated the table, but no one had.

Next morning, the newspaper said we had felt the faint effects of a 'quake. I felt nothing. But I saw it.

Close enough . . .


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Getting better, slowly . . .

Last night I forgot to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. I was reading a mystery and pushed the lights-out timing envelope so far that I just put down the book, hit the switch, and conked out. I did this pushing because I was reading near the end and close to finding out whodunit. Usually, since J has been coughing, I switch down to the foot after lights out so I don't hear every little clearing of his throat. Not unsympathetic, you understand, but I like to get some sleep, every night.

This morning, I discovered the reason, all over again, why I do that while he is recovering. Sniff. Hack.

At least I was up first in the bathroom . . .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Connections . . .

S has a picture of a tiny, black-toed, hatchling on her blog. Could it be that the dog which lives below S's sister might like to keep some chickens company? Similar to transportation to Australia in the olden days. Just a thought.

The new horse, Shenandoah? Cleveland? No, Savannah, I went and looked. That horse might be looking for someone who wouldn't try to change the equine pecking order. Someone Savannah, herself, might boss around or keep company. Just another thought.

Tape the yapping and play it back at night? Say 3 a.m.? Forget that evil thought. Wars have been started for less.

I have been reading too much Lee Child and am beginning to channel Jack Reacher. Can you tell?

Aside to 01 doc, Jack Reacher is the new Travis McGee. At least in my opinion . . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Well, later'll do . . .

We postponed the trip to Outback for health reasons. J is not feeling quite 100% due to an upper respiratory infection. The Dr. gave him some good meds and he feels better when he takes them. No operating heavy machinery for him, however.

Last night, he slept better, too. The whole world did, I think.

The cat must feel the difference, too. She has slept all day except for trips to the pantry which is her dining room.

Yawn . . .

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Looking up . . .

Threats of rain today but we went to the grocery store, anyway. No rain. Overcast. It was ten degrees cooler today, but the humidity might have allowed a venturesome fish to have some beach time. I am ignoring the weather reports and just looking up when I need to go somewhere. I am just a accurate, locally, as the weather person.

Right now, there are three umbrellas on my car's rear seat. Two of them were left inadvertently and one is a permanent resident. There may be another short one waayyyy underneath the front seat as a short one is missing. That would bring the count up to four that I am taking for rides.

I finally remembered to cash the tiny checks from TastyKake at the bank. Collectively they would buy about a gallon and a half of gas. We were given reimbursement for some unopened packages that had developed internal mold. The dates on the packages were in code, which the representative decoded for me. I think we will pass, thanks, in the future. Mold really got my attention.

I do miss them though. The un-moldy ones were delicious . . .


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All star consequences . . .

We are usually up early. Mew has a morning routine of being brushed and combed as soon as she sees us, which is then followed by her breakfast being served right away.

Last night, the All Star game tied and went extra innings. I caved in and went to bed about 12:45 and J came even later. We still did not know who won when we got up this morning.

Because we woke late, Miss Mew's routine was shot all to, I mean, was interrupted. She was ticked at the world, refused to cooperate and finally ate under protest.

Having such a late breakfast was her idea of a desperate hunger strike . . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One nevah know, do one?

Every once in a while, the number lock gets struck. This can set me up to log in as someone not known to the free world, much less Blogger. Who could be doing the deed? It's a "UR doin' it rong" moment.

Today, the soft rain down is falling. Thunder rumbles distantly and our cat is sleeping through it all. She raised her head and looked at me accusingly. She thinks we humans are in charge of the thunder thing. If we fail to perform adequately, she will disappear, as I have mentioned before. I gave her three soft strokes between the ears and told her to go back to sleep.

Sometimes, she does listen to me . . .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Renewal and expiry dates . . .

This evening, we celebrate A's birthday at Zeta's and M's home. We will be one fewer this time as David N. has his military obligation calling him back. I think. He may still be in country, elsewhere and I have not heard.

The birthday person chooses the menu. Except for the barbecue which is everyone's favorite, there are different items on the agenda. All good, though. A also likes the things we all appreciate. So did S, last week.

As I said, July is a month of renewals for quite a few of us. There are days, though, when it seems as if I have already passed my expiration date . . .

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Out of the mailer . . . or not?

Back when we were having confused issues and lengthy wrangles with ATT and its cross pollenation of our telephone accounts, we were sent a free upgrade to our DSL account as an apology of sorts. The modem is still sitting in the mailer in which it arrived. I do suspect that *free* services and merchandise are worth what they cost.

Our present DSL speed is fine with me. Still, I wonder.
Am I wrong in this case?

Friday, July 11, 2008

All better . . .

This morning, a screen popup told me that ZoneAlarm had a fix for the problem with the Windows download encountered yesterday. Did I want to download it? Why not? I could only get into more trouble.

It downloaded and installed, requiring a restart. Now I am running in stealth mode again and feel invisible.

That's a powerful feeling . . .

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ready, Aim, Firewall . . .

This morning, the internet was not accessible from this infernal machine. I spoke with our ISP and discovered that if we turned off our firewall, we could see the 'net. Not a good solution, but a tiny hint, almost a clue.

Trial and error led me to discover several things: The newest security download from MS Windows causes problems for ZoneAlarm users. Accepting automatic downloads from MS Windows: bad idea. Formerly, they had to ask me for permission and I used to evaluate each download. I got lazy. No more lazy for me.

The ZoneAlarm site has a couple of easy fixes displayed on their home page. I had already found one of these fixes for myself. Otherwise? I would still be trying the toll free number and grinding my molars.

The automated voice at the toll free number for ZA said that there were no free lines, so call later. I would guess they have an overloaded system. This is a definite Catch 22. You have to find a fix before you can get to the site with fixes displayed.

Hello? Microsoft? You out there making friends, again?