Friday, October 31, 2008

She bit me, aaggh . . .


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.


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.