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.