Thursday, December 31, 2009

What'll y' have?


The image above is all about being safe: bags packed in case a quick getaway becomes necessary; umbrella at the ready in case of an indoor shower; looking sleepy while being totally alert

May your New Year's celebrations be equally safe. Y'all have a:

HAPPEH NEW YEAH!!!

(She's a southern cat.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crack and the kitty . . .



We used to keep Werther's candy in the house more frequently than we do now. And, occasionally, we used to find one with the wrapper torn off and the candy sticking to the floor. We finally identified the guilty suspect by catching her furry self in the act of thievery. She had torn apart a whole, unopened package which I can tell you is difficult.

Once a year at Christmas, we buy a package. This year, I forgot to do it until today when, in the pharmacy, I was lured to the candy aisle. They put those pharmacists in the rear just so we have to stroll past the good stuff to get there.

Mew had not forgot about her kitty crack.We hold it for her so she doesn't carry it off somewhere and stick it to the floor. Her tongue should be tired after this:

Monday, December 28, 2009

The lost mid-week . . .

This week is a no-mans-land. The days between Christmas and January first seem less important, less weighty, than other weekdays. The emphasis on the bookend holidays seems to make the days between them a slippery slope down which we slide toward the new year.

My inclination is to write the coming year on this year's last few checks. I have to stop myself from doing that this week. It seems that time is englobing us like an amoeba ingesting a mote of food.

A soft pop, some fireworks, and there we are: eligible for another birthday . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A good time was had . . .

What a get together we had on Christmas day. Excellent food, better than excellent company, watching five, squeaky-clean, little dogs plus one visiting puppy playing, sitting by the screened pool and feeling the evening come down while the breezes rose to meet it.

It was a Blessed day, all round.

Thank you Marcia and Ron for hosting this year's gathering. Thank you Zeta and M for seeing that we made the trip in one piece.


Most of all, thank you Jesus.



Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas
May God Bless Us, Every One!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Label goes here, no there . . .

Who needs re-positionable labels, I asked myself. I did this quietly because I was standing in front of the label section at Office Depot.

The
four digit number used to identify my labels has been changed to a five digit one. And the newer labels are re-positionable. The catch in all of this is that my software does not have the new five digit identifier.

But the Avery people are smarter than I thought. The new labels worked just dandy with the old four digit identifier. Actually the new labels have the exact same last four numbers as the old labels did. You just have to intuit that they might work.

Also, I have actually lifted off one and placed it elsewhere. They really do re-adhere.

I have become an adherent, pun intended . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

For the iPhone enabled . . .

The following information is target specific. I am not one of the targets, sadly.

For users of the iPhone, there is a new (free, always a good thing) app called Dragon Dictaton. I just saw it demonstrated by
David Pogue who is, among other things, the New York Times technology columnist.

He called up the app and spoke into his iPhone inserting punctuation as he did so by saying the words comma, period, etc. His voice was turned into a perfectly spelled and punctuated TEXT message. Honestly.

And this is free? It is made by the Dragon, Naturally Speaking people who make speech recognition software. Free! Did I mention that?

Now, I don't have an iPhone or even a 3G phone at all. Being retired, I have access to the internet most of the day, anyway, from home. (That's my rationale for being cheap). So if I am so excited by the demonstration I witnessed, imagine what the iPhone user will be like.

Just had to share. Consider this a public service announcement . . .

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who are you and why am I?

Today, I actually did become take on some vampire-like characteristics. Well, one characteristic. Sunlight did not kill me. It just blinded me so that two pairs of sunglasses were needed. One of the two was a stylish pair of the old-guy, goggle-like, heavy sunglasses similar to the ones that cataract sufferers wear post surgery.

I was delighted to be able to peer at the world through them without my eyes watering. All this whining is the result of having my eyes dilated and then having one of them dilated again. I feared it might be stuck in the open position like a broken camera.

The world around me is slowly assuming its usual appearance. It seems that the tripped circuit breaker has reset itself.

Phew . . .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Changes . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

01 DOC

Mphmphm years ago, my life as the only living heir was disrupted by the birth of a baby. This event put me off playing with dolls and started my appreciation of the role of a pest in one's life. A pest will follow even if unwanted at the time. A pest will teach patience whether the spoiled only child wants to learn to be patient or not. A pest will always be there for you and will morph into a best friend for life.

That's the way it happened for me. I still miss my other self, living just down the street. My other kitchen, my tea buddy, my shopping companion. I miss the person who would listen to everything I had to say, no matter how foolish.

Life has changed, the neighborhood, the city, the state, all changed. There is one constant.


01 Doc is still the person she always was. And even though distant in miles,

Love is unchanged . . .

Vampire shopping . . .

A new hobby? A better way to buy? PiccPipper said it first. Zeta confirmed her opinion of the idea.

Vampire shopping (an hour or two before closing time) will ensure that all the normal people who shopped earlier in the day are tired out and have gone home. It means that the store is stocked out well in anticipation of tomorrow's opening hour. It means that there are no crowds and that a pleasant meander through the aisles is a possibility. Even a probability.

It also means that two large pork shoulder roasts (@ 39¢/lb.) came with a price tag of seven bucks plus change, and came without our suffering long lines and crushing crowds.

It also means that the possibility of sun-caused skin damage is diminished and that it is cooler. Where we live in the semi-tropics, these are positive side effects.

Shh, this is a piece of knowledge to keep to oneself - like a good fishing spot, say. Fellow shoppers just don't have an urgent need-to-know.

Do they . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why us?

We were among the forgotten, yesterday. We were the missing ones. Our E-Z Go cart was placed streetside, wheels toward the house per instructions, on Sunday evening. Today, it is still there, stuffed and sated. It can eat no more.

Poor thing. I would feel even more sad about this situation if it were lonely. But, it's not. It has the company of like-minded carts all up and down the street.

So, not one of us received the gift of an empty E-Z Go cart yesterday. We all were skipped. I have a confirmation number from the department which is supposed to pick up the gar-bahj.

That is some consolation but I'd rather hear the big trucks a-comin' round the corner.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Come one, come all . . .

We have been monitoring, off and on, the razing and rebuilding of a shopping center at Bird and 87th. The closed, leveled, and now rebuilt Office Depot opened first, larger and much modernized. Later, we drove by and saw trucks loading merchandise into an airy, arch-fronted supermarket. We received a flyer in the mail, in due time, and decided to check it out on our way back up Bird.

We really should have known. The flyer listed things like pork shoulder at 39 cents a pound and loads of buy-one-get-one deals. We didn't even try. Both entrances were backed up with cars sitting on both 87th and on Bird, waiting to get into the full parking lot.

Cars making a left in front of us at the light kept turning after the green arrow became a firm red one. They parked across the intersection in two lines of determined bargain hunters and ignored the horns asking them to think about what they were doing.

It took us two light changes to get through the intersection.

That pork shoulder is tempting me, though. It would be great for barbecue in the slow cooker . . .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reflective . . .

For a while, life is not as fast moving as it was just before T-giving. There is time to reflect. Time to savor the gracious life.

Okay, that's enough savoring. Time to gear up for Christmas. Twenty minutes between holidays is all the down-time we will get.

Two major family-gathering events weighted at the tag end of the year is just poor planning. One would think the Pilgrims might have been thankful in, say, late September. That's after the harvest, isn't it? What were they thinking?

The only household member who has any leisure wants to play with her bird toy. And now, please. Da Bird is her new obsession. Mew is on her third refill of feathers for it.

It's such a gracious and reflective gesture for Pet Supermarket to have sent us those $5 coupons . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Breezing out . . .

Today should be a State Holiday. Today should be celebrated throughout the coastal US. There are slightly more than six hours left until the end of hurricane season.

This is our weatherly watershed for the year. Our continental divide of winds. The end of having to duck and cover when named storms take aim.

We can give a heartfelt sigh, but not all together. We don't want to start any major wind moving . . .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just a bit early . . .

Our Black Friday turned out to be pale gray. Target ran out of the three dollar, 1.5 quart slow cookers that would have been handy for keeping gravies and sauces warm. Things improved when we went to the tall and big man's clothing store. BigEd received his January birthday gifts early and he got to try them on, too.


Having a birthday two weeks, more or less, after the New Year is poor planning from a gift standpoint. The selection is abysmal and sales are non-existent. So this year, for the first time, we decided to gift him early. Not a bad idea if the recipient doesn't mind.

And he didn't . . .

Eat now, sleep later . . .

Thanksgiving was spent at Zeta's and M's. They absolutely do know how to throw a great party. There were contests and a raffle, too. I won a box of sugar-free Russell Stover which I forgot to bring home. That is an indication of absent mindedness which is almost painful. Me? Forget candy? The only excuse is that the blood needed by my brain was elsewhere entertaining all the other goodies.

Those included turkey, ham, and beef, with the attendant fixin's, including Zeta's much demanded Broccoli Casserole. Choices? have a little of each!

So I did . . . thanks to BigEd.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

As good as a mile . . .

There was a small, black and white feline hunter stalking across Zeta's and M's back yard. Their grass is carpeted with small, pale lavender floral cups which make the grassy expanse look like a meadow. A butterfly was swooping over the little flowers as if trying to decide which among those spread below was the most appealing.

There was a puddle of black fur spread in the butterfly's erratic path. With an explosion of effort, the small cat launched itself up and clapped its front paws over the space where the butterfly had been. It was a near miss. The butterfly knew. It flew away in as straight a flight as it could manage.

The little black and white hunter strolled away. Happy Thanksgiving Day, butterfly.

And to everyone else, too . . .



Monday, November 23, 2009

Forget driving . . . try walking

Our supermarket has flexible plastic strips that slide out sideways and across the end of a closed checkout aisle. The word "closed" is clearly stamped in large black letters across the face of the strip, on both sides of it.

I was standing in line at an adjacent register and happened to notice two young women coming up the closed aisle toward the store's interior. The first one skipped a little sideways and slipped through the opening at the end of the strip. The second one, who was texting, walked right into the strip, bent it into a right angle, and almost fell over it. Truly slapstick.

But, Lord help us if she ever gets behind the wheel.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

U-what?

Today, I got to see what U-verse looks like. Learned what all the fuss is about. Now I know what the installation process is and how one finds the various services and tutorials in the system.

It was fun. It was instructive. Too bad that it was not at our house. We are still not eligible because of "distance from the box" issues.

It was a vicarious thrill, however. We are happy for those who do have it . . .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Plaid shirt, no sleeves?

Now, I'm not taking the Cable Guy for a role model, but this time of the year, "Git 'er done" is becoming a mantra.

Black Friday, anyone?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Camry express . . .

I must plan a campaign. The library is holding five books for me to come and collect. We are almost out of paper towels and need black, plus color, ink cartridges for the printers.

We have in hand, a $5 coupon for Pet Supermarket which Mew demands we put toward toys for her use. We are on our last bag of cat food. I used up all of the apple cider vinegar. I saw an ant on the counter so it's time for new Combat to be put out for them.

The front yard needs mowing. No, that one is on BigEd's list.

Thank Heaven . . .


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gobble-de-alas . . .

There once was a time when, because I had brown hair and brown eyes, I was sometimes addressed in Spanish by those who did not know me. Now that the brown of the hair has been replaced by another natural color closer to that of pale limestone, it seldom occurs. Today, I did it in reverse. At Publix I addressed the butcher in Spanish asking if he, " . . . tiene alas de pavo."

He looked at me doubtfully and said slowly (in English) that he thought soooo.

"Turkey wings, I clarified, do you have any turkey wings?" Yes he did, taking me to the part of the meat case where they were and extending his open hand as if he were demonstrating a product on television, he beamed at me. I am stll not sure whether he spoke only English or if my execrable accent in Spanish confused him totally.

I know the word alas means wings because when I order a bucket of the Colonel's fried chicken, I always ask for no alas.

I need these alas because I intend to put them into our largest crock pot and cook all of the liquid goodness out of them and use that goodness to make stuffing and gravy. I have four packages of alas, meaning that there are some turkeys, somewhere, who are strangely minus some limbs. Or alas . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Useful life . . .

I have been thinking back to those days when I used to occasionally install new computer equipment and troubleshoot software before I retired. I was a first responder, so to speak, who did triage and dealt with things like dire lockups and blue screens. I was the one who called in the experts when things were beyond dire.

Those days are long gone. Now we can have new drivers for the asking. Just visit the manufacturer's web site . . . unless. Unless a new operating system comes along and compatible drivers no longer exist for older peripherals. Sad. Really sad to see perfectly useful things like our deskjet have to be surplussed because it doesn't have USB capability.

I am beginning to identify with it. I don't have USB capability, either . . .

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mew waiting . . .


BigEd has gone upstate with friends for the weekend. They left yesterday and Mew was in the back bedroom asleep when the luggage left the house. She was unsettled by its appearance when he pulled it out of the closet. She knows when those close-able, fancy boxes get filled with stuff that they mean change is coming.

She misses BigEd and has been just inside of the front door Saturday, curled up and waiting for him to come back.

It's not only dogs who are faithful . . .

The ice, not tagged

During hurricane season, our freezer becomes less fully stocked than it is the rest of the year. We are inclined to ignore the buy-one-get-one-free sales until we are pretty sure the winds will not start to circulate around us like a Tilt-a-Whirl gone mad. We store extra ice, pack rat style.

This year, because the season was quiet for us and is nearly over, I released the extra ice back into the wild. Of course, now we are watching the progress of a storm in the Caribbean. The meteorological models don't really show us under threat. But the weather people probably did not factor in the state of our freezer.

You never know . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Da what?

Our nearby Blockbuster Video rental store was replaced by a Pet Supermarket. We are not too happy over the switch but Mew is ecstatic. You see, because I asked about it, they now stock Da Bird.

It is a cat toy that mimics the flutter of bird wings as it swoops through the air. She absolutely loves it and has lost at least six ounces of weight due to increased exercise.

Now, I have to admit that for the first two days, I did not realize it had a string which was wrapped around the whippy wand. I was merrily waving the wand around and she was chasing it just fine. Then I realized there was a navy blue string wrapped around the navy blue wand and secured by a navy blue piece of tape. When I undid the tape, the (excuse me) da bird was liberated to fly. Now we are doing feline ballet and human wand wielding in sync.

Much better . . .

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Carded . . .

We have . . . there is a . . .why is there a . . .

I don't know how to ask this:

Do greeting cards have a mind of their own? Do they disappear for other folks the way they do for us? Do other people buy birthday cards and graduation cards and baby shower cards which silently disappear?

Do we buy too early? Probably. This gives the cards more time to plan their getaway. There is one beautiful card which has an eagle on it. Somewhere. We lost it before the scheduled birthday arrived. We found it some months later and it again disappeared. If it turns up again, I will capture it and hand it to the recipient whether it is his official birthday or not.

I am beginning to feel that cards might be an unnecessary evil. Unless, of course, the birthday in question happens to be mine . . .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Now where . . .

Ever put something away carefully to keep it safe until you need it? I am in the middle of one of those situations, now.

I would write more about it but I have to keep searching. I have looked everywhere except the freezer and the garden storage shed. The scary, rusty one. I don't like to go there so perhaps there is a tiny shopping trip in my future.

Oh, Hall-(oween).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No celebrations . . .

This was a sad sports weekend for our football enthusiasts. There were hard contested losses-by-inches. Close, they said. Tried hard, they said.

The cat, at least, remains calm. Not too much triumphant yelling going on. She gets a little fussed when that happens. BigEd says she just needs to get used to it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Echo of the Echo . . .

Just closed An Echo in the Bone. Knowing that there would be loose ends left unbound at the finish of it helped greatly. I do not have a feeling of outrage at the way the book closes because there are foreshadows visible to allow the imagination to voyage on past the written word.

People are separated and some find one another. Even the wolf finds his happiness. All in all, there was plenty to savor.

It was like an excellent banquet at Valentine's Day with the dessert promised for Christmas, probably.

Maybe two-three years or so away, though . . .


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Silence is . . .

Our house is not totally quiet with the air conditioner running and a television on in the living room. We are used to these background noises and think little of them. Unless they are not there.

Day before yesterday, I cracked one living room window and cooled the whole house. Fall had dropped by without calling first and brought some friendly winds from the North.

I sat alone in the living room with my newest, long awaited, library book. It was quiet, peaceful, silent.

I couldn't stand it. I had to turn on the ceiling fan . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Falling into books . . .

Finally Fall fell. It took its time arriving down here.

I R reading "An Echo in the Bone." Will not be doing much else but wallowing in it. I am trying to make it last a while, but it's difficult, once I get going, to remember to slow down.

o1 Doc, I did finish "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and am waiting for "The Girl Who Played with Fire." Did you know the author had died? And that there is a third book of his that was sent to his publisher but who knows when, or if, it will be released.

I was thinking the girl was mildly autistic but did not tumble to Asperger's Syndrome. "Tattoo" got better and better as I got into it. It is sad that there is only the possibility of three books in this run.

D. Gabaldon had better not *finish* before her series does. There would be some ticked-off readers, no? :p


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's the little details . .


Charlie's Auto Glass has amenities such as fresh coffee, snacks, huge HDTV, lots of hard but contoured chairs. Charlie's tech said that the crater in the Camry's windshield was too deep to repair and so they replaced it this morning.

They also vacuumed the car and washed the side and rear windows. Can you imagine how clean it looks? Window-wise, I mean.

The rest of it is receiving a free rinse courtesy of some semi-tropical squalls moving in.

All I need is a Sham-Wow to dry it off when the rain stops. It will look like we had it detailed.

Maybe . . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No whine with dinner . . .

I don't need any whine, thank you. I have a sufficient amount for myself. We (meaning I) are tired of feeling like cwap.

Yesterday, we (meaning BigEd and I) went to the (big box) store.

It was too soon. We are all worn out. Today, J (who put
away what we brought home) is back to sleep on the couch. Today, BigEd went back to sleep in his room. I (yawn), after loading the washing machine, am headed for a nap also.

For the evening meal, there is left over spaghetti with Dreamfields pasta and I don't think they had better wake me up to ask what's for dinner. Not that
they would ever do that, but, especially not today . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wa-Hoo!


* * * HAPPY BIRTHDAY * * *
ZETA!

This is as close to cobalt as I could get.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vroom, vroom, with regrets . . .

We all three received our flu shots. Not the Swine/H1N1, but the regular, garden variety, only-one-available-now, flu shot. Mine didn't sting when injected, J's did, and BigEd felt his too, he said. Strange, no?

The day after BigEd got his, and waaayyy before any immunity could have built up, BigEd began with a sore throat. This was late Friday afternoon and on Monday he went to the doctor, who gave him an antibiotic.

Of course you can guess that J and I came down with it sequentially, J first and me afterward. Antibiotics for all. We're an equal opportunity family.

The worst aspect of this commonplace tale is that Zeta's birthday is Sunday. The family, minus the three of us, is meeting at the coal fired pizza place on the Dixie, tomorrow.

Not wanting to provide the family with a total equal opportunity experience, the three of us have text messaged our regrets. We texted because Zeta and M are at an event and the noise can prohibit conversation. They usually are that close to the cars. Nice, huh?

Believe me when I say we really regret not helping Zeta and M
to celebrate. Her birthday will, therefore, be extended for a week or so.

Still, we regret . . .

Friday, October 9, 2009

INCOMING . . .

Be it officially recorded, via this document, that no one asked me if we should bombard the moon with a rocket. It's not my fault.

I know it has been dry, here in our end of the state. Temperatures have been above the norm and bouncing against the glass ceiling of becoming a record. Personally, I don't blame the moon.

Poor thing . . .

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Echo in the Bo- . . .

Yeeeeaaars ago, when I bought the first book in Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring" trilogy, I had never heard of it. I read to the end and was completely indignant at the idea of such a cliff-hanging finish. It was as if the last sentence was not intended to be the end of the book at all. As if the publisher had made a mistake in the book-binding process and omitted the final few pages.

Of course, I finally clued up and, as of now, the whole world has heard of Strider (well, Aragorn), Gandalf, and Frodo. They no longer belong
just to me.

According to the reviews by readers on Amazon, author Diana Gabaldon has done a similar thing with the latest book of her "Outlander" series: "An Echo in the Bone." She even put a (sort of) disclaimer on her web site which I quote:

A word about the ending...I did say, did I not, "Nobody's going to hit the end of _this_ book, and think it's the last one?"

One of the reader/reviewers on the Amazon site recommended that people not read this one until the next one comes out.

If it were not already in transit to my account at the library, I might think about doing that - for about two seconds. I do appreciate the heads up, though. I won't gallop through it in order to find out what happens next. I will savor and enjoy as I go, in the knowledge that the end will indeed leave me a-la-Tolkien.

Forewarned, and all that . . .

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Little, bendy-legged . . .

It really is all o1 Doc's fault. I blame her, completely. She has a link to Woot on her website and I clicked on it, today. They had a little, bendy-legged tripod. I have been thinking about getting small one because when we went up a mountain, I became shaky from the altitude. I am never shaky. As long as I reman near sea level, my hands are steady enough to perform brain surgery. If I were capable, that is.

Up high, say 3,600 feet, I needed a tripod and probably a keeper for the first couple of days. This particular Woot item is not for heavyweight cameras. But then, neither am I.

So little bendy-legs and I were made for each other. Thanks o1Doc.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fold up the tent . . .

Today's Origami class was a little different. We finished three projects when we usually do one or, at the most, two. We listened. Those inclined to take up time with jokes or questioning kept quiet.

There is one lady who is a bit of a a control freak. Even though she needs instruction and admits the fact, she still rebels when told to wait and not get ahead. But today, even she kept quiet for the most part.

We were all a bit subdued because we discovered that our county's head librarians are all being transferred to other locations. This is in an effort to even out the coverage, so to speak, and prevent job/budget cuts. We could not argue with the reasons behind this action.

Since our Origami instructor is also the head librarian at our branch, next Saturday will be our last class.

I dread to think that we might be folding a penguin as the farewell project . . .


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outta the way . . .

Mew is nine-and-three-quarters years old. She seems a bit less active than she used to be but not by much. She still plays tag. By her rules you are almost always *it*. If you hide and peek, she will chase you although she will run for a short distance if you *fluff* yourself at her.

Yesterday, she demonstrated how
easily she can recover the steps we thought she may have lost. It wasn't raining. Yet. Seemingly out of nowhere a crack of thunder hit. This was immediately followed by an orange and white blur which may or may not have been using its feet to move. We couldn't tell, it went by so fast.

Our orange and white middle-aged cat was heading for sanctuary. Lose a step? Not when its thundering . . .

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another duh moment . . .

Yesterday, I turned my cell phone to vibrate when I was going into church. Then I dropped it into my purse instead of putting it back in the side pocket. Of course, it migrated to the very bottom.

You would think I'd know better, by now . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Squash fold, water bomb, flapping bird, frog . . .


Origami classes have started at the library, again. Origami does require practice to get the folds precise. There is a geometry involved which ensures that any uneven small fold will provide a major skew to the final result. There is no standard deviation in Origami.

Sometimes the paper is not cut exactly square. Or we insist that it is not. Worse still, the diagrams are almost impossible to follow on a step by step basis. Many of them illustrate the fold lines and leave it up to you to decide how to achieve that result. We are taking baby steps and our teacher is an excellent guide.

When we try to go ahead of her, or try to figure things out too soon, she threatens us with the dreaded penguin. I saved the one I folded in the previous class.

Who knows when I might have to prove I know how to do it?

Or rather, that I used to know . . .

Friday, September 25, 2009

Open wide . . .

Yesterday, the truck came to pick up the results of the story of BigEd and the Alligator Lopper. As BigEd said, I should have taken a before and after picture of the yard. The only things not cut to 3 foot lengths were the fronds from the large palm.

They weren't very heavy and the truck only had trouble when the bucket picked up the tip of one frond along with its giant mouthful. The truck managed to swallow all of the stuff. Thank you truck.

And thank you, BigEd . . .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Read any good . . .

Word of mouth recommendations for books are a prize. 01 Doc has recommended so many that we both have enjoyed. Today, I found a new source for recommendations.

Our doctor recommended an Icelandic author,
Arnaldur Indridason, and said he was, at present in the middle of one of Indridason's books which I understood to be: Jaw City. I came home, looked up all forms of Jaw City. Google gave many references to Peter Benchley's Jaws. Nothing for Jaw City.

So I looked up Icelandic authors and recognized
Arnaldur Indridason, who, it turns out, wrote Jar City. My recommender is originally from New York, hence the misunderstanding between his faintly northern pronunciation and my decidedly southern ears.

At any rate, I put it on reserve and will let 01 Doc know what I think. Strangely enough, she likes well written police procedurals, too . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of my best buds . . .

Our library system escaped county budget cuts again. Programs for senior citizens and children also escaped. It is a little sad to list the library's escape first, but that is the line item in the budget that would impact my life most immediately.

I depend on the library system. Reading is not an interest nor an avocation, in my case. It is a vice, carried to extremes. I could not buy all of the books I read in a year. Nor would I want to. Some of them are not keepers. Others are and those I may buy for they become old friends to be revisited time after time.

I have gift certificates to book stores which I spend as carefully as if they were gold nuggets being traded in for gold ingots. Since the advent of the 'net, the library and I are closer than ever.

I expect to find it on Facebook, any day now . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wielding an alligator . . .

The Alligator Lopper: Chain saw for the non-chain saw user. It grips. It bites. It demolishes. It spits sawdust. It is altogether satisfactory.

BigEd, wielding the lopper, has been a deadly force to our hibiscus hedges, small palm trees, and overgrowth.
The only thing that refuses to bow to its superior power is a tree with full girth, such as our sickly palm which reached full adulthood before developing the blight. Still, the fronds are destined for lopping.

And then, we'll see . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Please, I just want to know . . .

I was standing in the parking lot, in the shade of a tree, and focusing a camera on this. A gentle voice interrupted my professional-type concentration through the viewfinder.

"May I ask you why you're taking a picture of a CVS pharmacy?" it asked. "I hope you don't mind my asking?" she invited a reply with her upward inflection.

Talk about feeling sheepish. "The brick tower." I explained, "It doesn't look like a pharmacy and . . " I trailed off.

She laughed and made pleasant conversation, telling me where she and her husband had come from. Turned out she retired from the other university in my home town. You know, the famous one where S-the-guru was on the drum line. That one.

For a second it had crossed my mind that she thought I was taking photos for a terrorist group. But, it was only a pharmacy, not a bridge or a tunnel.

Guess not. She was just nice and curious . . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Defunction and stuff . . .

It has become evident that our appliances missed us while we were away. One air conditioner committed seppuku upon our return. A replacement was ordered yesterday and it is being installed, even now. No sentiment there.

Bless Scott Appliances and Air Conditioning. Bless air conditioners with remotes. Bless the coolness both are providing, or will soon.

Our car, which went along with us, was wounded in the windshield by a rock thrown up by a passing truck. I will call the insurance company this afternoon to see which auto hospital takes the walking wounded. Rolling wounded?

I hate to see the windshield go. I had bought Rain-X windshield washer fluid and discovered that it is marvelous stuff. The current windshield absolutely sheds water and bugs. One hardly needs the wipers.

I guess the new one will learn that trick, too . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who's bigger?

Isn't Buttercup a mouthful of a name for tiny white poodle? It does rather roll off the tongue, though. Especially when shouted.

Buttercup's owner is J's (87 year old) mother. We spent some time with her and Buttercup on the way back from North Carolina.

When we arrived, we took our luggage in through the opened garage, up the steps, and into the back hall to our usual bedroom. Buttercup ran barking to greet us while cries of: "Buttercup! Come back here!" rang after her. Buttercup had to be shooed back into the living room before she thought about answering the frenetic calls.

We found J's mother ensconced in her throne-like recliner which has extra cushions on the seat, the better to rise from it. Sharing the chair with her was the newest member of the family: a small Cocker Spaniel named Molly. Unsure of Molly's temperament, I held out my hand to let her smell the back of it. She sniffed and then licked it with a dry (thank you) tongue. Molly, it turns out, is a sweetheart.

She is also not trained completely. Housebroken, yes. But she considers herself top dog, after Buttercup. J's mom comes in as a distant third in the canine hierarchy.

It was interesting when we took Molly to the vet for a checkup. I walked her, not allowing her to pull me, nor to lead me through doors.

When we departed after three days, Molly would (most times) sit at the back door and wait for permission to cross the threshold instead of bolting.

We'll see . . .

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What do you think this is?

I took a picture of this brick structure with the tower entrance because it was being put to an unexpected use. It is deceptive because, taken from the side as it is, one can't see the sign with the name and function of the building. Any guesses?

I confess, before this picture was taken the camera was set to video by accident. I have some very moving video of my shadow and my hand.

And no, I won't post it . . .

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There and Back Again



J and I have been gone for over two weeks. BigEd was away for part of the time and Mew boarded at the vet's office while he was away at the same time we were.

A week of the time was spent at 3,600 feet, in Roaring Creek Cabin between Maggie Valley and Waynesville, NC. The cabin was halfway up the mountain via a gravel road with winding (and one hairpin) turns. But it was beautiful being up on the side of the overlook with trees originating well below us and stretching the canopy up to surround us with flowing, light-spattered green. We rocked on the screened porch and felt the stress melting down between the floorboards under our feet.

Being sea level dwellers, at first we felt the effects of the altitude. The local populace calls it mountain sickness. After we acclimated, we did not want to leave. There was no cell phone signal in the cabin but there was a land line, satellite television and wireless internet.

My kind of roughing it . . .


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Better than asking directions . . .

We have decided to look into owning a GPS. Not knowing anything about the differences between types, research seems appropriate. The easiest sort of research, asking around, is my method of choice, today.

Any ideas? Would Zeta ask the Guru what he thinks? I value his pronouncements immensely.

Meanwhile, if WOOT dot com would hand me one, I'd be happy . . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who's that knocking at my door . . .


AT&T is teasing us without mercy. Another of their representatives came a-knocking, well, ringing our doorbell, to offer us U-verse.

We explained that a previous U-verse purveyor had actually written up a work order. We had happily chosen the service which was a good fit for us. There was even a rebate offered to us for signing up.

But we had our hopes deflated when. first the automated system, and then a live customer service person, said U-verse is not available where we live.

Where we live
is a Twilight Disappointment Zone.

After we explained he was not the first to bring us such an offer, the second visitor then asked if we wanted him to check on the availability status.

We said, "Sure you can."

We said, "Come back if you find out that it is available, here."

No one has contacted us. No one came back. Sad . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do you believe . . .


The Camry is not a mode of transportation so much as it is a mobile thermometer. One-hundred-and-three-degrees, day before yesterday. When I came home, J said to me that, after all, this is August. You'd expect it to be hot.

Yes, you would. But I think I was better off not knowing exactly how hot it really gets in our immediate vicinity.

Maybe, if we could get the car to fib like the weather people do: Report, say, a few degrees lower . . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dum, da duh-duh

This was another extreme temp day. I went out in the early (well, 7:15) coolth to take a car to the Mac Genius of mechanics. He is a car whisperer who knows us, the vehicles, and his business. Among other things, I asked him to check the valves on our tires as there has been a spate of cracked valves on some tires.

Want to feel like a naive infant? Have your mechanic tell you that the valves in your tires are metal and contain sensors which let you know when they are low on air. I knew this, I swear.
After he said it, I even recalled what the picture of the icon looks like in the manual.

He said that kind of valve almost never fails.

There was no extra charge for the education . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Second, Best . . .

Many mango seasons ago, J and I bought a console stereo which, upon delivery and set-up, was discovered to be broken. The store exchanged it for another one which worked for years.

Similar experiences have happened with various other purchases: an air conditioner lost its coolant a week after installation, new television set with a lovely picture but no sound, a refrigerator would not get cold enough,
the A/C on a brand new van quit while we were taking it on its first summer vacation. It began to be funny. We began to laugh about it as the circumstances were enacted again and again with a clothes dryer, coffee maker, toaster and blender.

But now, it is not so funny. The wonderful washer that we have had for two days and which cleans our clothes so well does not approve of me, personally. There is a sharp area on the underside of the door that actually grabbed my nylon robe. The robe was dangling from the base of the door in a strange manner - as if it did not want to be washed. I freed it and I now have a little cut on the tip of my thumb as a souvenir of the encounter.

I telephoned Best Buy and they are going to exchange it for another one.

What do you want to bet that the exchangee will last forever, almost?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Adventures in laundering . . .


This is Ole Faithful. It is of a venerable age and would still have a good home if it had not decided to succumb to stubbornness.

It notified us by a burning electrical odor. We had never smelled that before, in all its life. It was more likely to remove than to produce smells.

It was a Maytag when it worked. Now it is one of the largest paper weights in the world. It died
(moment of silence) yesterday around mid-day.

J said it was not revive-able due to its great age. Also said that perhaps I should decide on a new one. Huh, comparison shopper is one of my middle names. So is emergency shopper.

Now, this is the unbelievable part: a Maytag, which used to live at Best Buy, is being adopted by us and will is scheduled to arrive today between noon and two. Today? Yes, the next day.

There is more goodness. The specs on the 'net site said that the new one does not have a hand wash cycle. Other cycles yes, but not that one. Except, except, when BigEd and I went to actually meet it in person, we found that it does! Same model number. I checked.

Oh, yes, someone who had rated a washer for Best Buy bragged
wrote about having the delivery and installation fee waived at the register. I printed the review and showed it to the salesman. He took it to his manager. They waived my fees at the register, too.

It is ironic
that, after being so pleased about the hand wash cycle, the first load is going to be a bunch of towels . . .

Monday, August 17, 2009

Unpaid pronouncement . . .


We have always liked to watch Julia Child do her cooking thing. We used to watch the live programs where kitchen accidents were incorporated into her performance with superb aplomb.

Recently, our PBS channel reran an episode in which she touched a casserole, with her finger and thumb, after she had just removed it from the oven. She said, "Oops, I forgot." and stuck the burned hand behind her back while continuing the demonstration. Occasionally it sneaked out from behind her but was quickly tucked away again. I am sure she had blisters.

Late in her life, Julia wrote My Life in France with the assistance of her husband's great-nephew: Alex Prud'Homme. (I should add it to my favorite books list.)

There is a blog which details the effort of a young woman named Julie to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook.

The biography and the blog, together, are the basis for the new movie Julie & Julia, which I have yet to see.

How-some-ever. I have located the blog and am working my way through the archives. Reading the first few entries with the knowledge that it will eventually provide a sort of freedom for the author is fascinating.

Click on Julie/Julia Project to reach the first entry, dated August 25, 2002. Use the navigation calendar, on the right side of her page, to read additional entries. The further you read, the better it gets.

PS: Julie throws the F-word around some, on the blog. Not sure why. I try to ignore it, though. Maybe it's a New York thing and not understandable by southerners who would never . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Supermarket Serendipity . . .


Sabor
is a Spanish word for flavor or taste. So it makes perfect sense to name a food market Sabor. The newest one is on our way home from church if I take the route down 87th Avenue toward Coral Way. Sabor is on the southwest corner of a mall that used to contain a JByrons and KMart. Also, Sabor is run by, or is a subsidiary of, Publix.

The whole, eastern, half-or-greater part of that same mall is razed to rocky ground level and fenced off. There are the beginnings of construction visible but nothing is posted to let anyone know what is being built.

I stopped at Sabor because, being new, the restrooms should be nice and clean. Correct. Being new, the selection should be varied until the management figures out what sells and what doesn't for the neighborhood. Also correct.

I may do this agan. The ice cream (sugar free) did not melt by the time I got home so I know it is not too far to carry perishables. And I even stopped
afterward at a BK Steakhouse for Juniors to go, heavy onion.

It is fun to find a new foodie place where the layout is semi-familiar while actually being different. The eye seems to see more with each sweep.

Perhaps the powers-that-build are going to erect a Wal-Mart at the other end of the property. I'll just have to contain myself.

Oh, and keep going
home from church that way . . .


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Is there a doc in the house?


There is a new sheriff in town.

I am such a Sherlock myself (and who is Watson?) that it took me four days to tumble to the fact. The new sheriff is ol doc and you can discover for yourself by clicking on the link.

There is so much fun ahead. o1 doc is funny and wry in person and I expect the blog to be no different.

So, let's hear the sound of one hand clapping: In welcome . . .

Rainy day . . .

There is something in the air, today. Something that makes sleeping so seductive that I could almost sit upright and do it. Having better sense than to try, I succumbed to a flat-out nap attack.

Our cat suffers from that malady, too . . .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Jeopardy category for today . . .

I had a spot on my forearm that needed to be looked at, I thought. So I made an appointment with a dermatologist for this morning. I was a new patient. Didn't have a regular dermatologist. I do have one now.

She was thorough and reassuring. It was just a benign keratosis. Age related, she said. And then she did a skin patrol. No result there, either.

This is just another fun milepost for my younger siblings to anticipate reaching, down the years . . .

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where coffee . . .

We heard the alarm at six this morning. One of us had an early eye-check appointment, which went well. The only thing not well was getting up at six. If I wake up that early and can't get to snooze again, that's one thing. Having to rise on command is quite another.

Former years of early rising formed a habit that has taken me additional years to break. I consider myself a morning person. It's just getting to be mid-morning on some days.

Mid-morning does not come at six . . .

Friday, August 7, 2009

From the twilight zone . . .

As I got older, I developed a head of hair that reacts in a strange way to salon products. De-tangler makes it lie totally flat. Root lifter takes away any body that it might have possessed. I can not persuade new-to-me hair stylists of this fact. I take along with me the product that I found works best. They use it but they also sneak in some de-tangler which defeats the purpose. Then they struggle to create an effect that does not fall over my eyes if I tilt my head down.

It takes me two shampoos to return to what passes for normal. Right now, my hair is so light and airy that I might as well be on the space station. Gravity has little effect on this result. Wisps float around when I turn my head. Hairspray slides away from it as if repelled. If it isn't floating around, it is hanging straight down or flipping sideways instead of turning under.

It is so annoying. Next time I need a trim, I will make the stylist swear that she will not try to de-tangle me.

I am not exaggerating. Much . . .

Thursday, August 6, 2009

She must use a pocket watch . . .

We are now doing Mew's mouth irrigation three times a week. We moved it to mornings instead of evenings so we could get it over with, for the day. That way, she doesn't have all day to dread the procedure. Believe me, she knows when the appointed day arrives. She keeps her calendar with more regularity than we do our own.

Routine is paramount with her. One could set a watch by her eleven a.m. morning nap.

Funny thing. After a week or so, she adjusts to the time change when we move away from standard time or back to standard.

I am sure that, for a while there, she thinks our watches are broken . . .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Too hot to title

The temperatures here makes one believe the global warming warnings. Perhaps everyone could take a deep breath and blow some cooler air in our southerly direction? If you are in the triple digits, never mind.

Yesterday, a lady at the library came out of her office and said it was cold back there. I invited her to step outside and warm up. I told her that our exterior house thermometer (in the shade) and our car's thermometer agreed at 97 degrees F.

And to think I was complaining about rainy days . . .

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Not cold fired . . .


* *Happy (Extended) Birthday Mark* *


Tomorrow evening, we shall gather. No, not at the river. J and I will try again for a coal fired pizza. Last time, BigEd went but J was below weather level and I stayed behind with 'im.

This is Marks's choice of venue as he is the birthday person.

I expect to enjoy it, too. We all have to do our share . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

Used breaker panel, cheap

The electrcian just left. Doesn't that sound ominous?

Our circuit breaker panel is a mere 33 years old. It has given its all and requires replacing. We do have restored service until the ominous appearance is necessary, again, for the full face-lift.

We started life here with a fuse box in the good ole days. Moving up to circuit breakers felt so modern, 33 years ago . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Parlez vous?

Evidently, it is not wise to ride a stationary bike while watching the Tour de France peleton horsing their bikes up a ten to twelve percent grade. They were in the Alps. Climbing. Accelerating.

I helped. Found myself pedaling faster in sympathy. Only remembered to slow down during commercial breaks.

Today, I pay. Taking Advil and using mineral ice on a hip. Today, it is annoying.

But, for a while there, I was on a roll . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Never satisfied . . .

Being a dinosaur, I do not use RSS feeds. I may be the last remaining person on the planet who prefers to surf to my virtual destinations and see for myself whether someone has recently posted.

I use twitter in a limited fashion. I have an account on facebook but
seldom check it. I prefer a good book to good television (there's always the DVR, anyway).

But, there is one piece of technology for which I long. For which I wish avidly. It is U-verse from ATT.

We currently have Comcast Cable. With our one Comcast DVR, we can record two things at once. But, while recording, we can not watch a third program unless it is a previously made DVR recording. We can't watch something from the ON DEMAND list while making any recordings at all.

U-verse allows four (not two) things to be recorded at the same time. The best feature is that anyone can watch any recording from any other set in the house, manipulating the recording as one pleases with pause, rewind, or fast forward. This is done without regard for whether someone else is doing the same things to the same recorded program.

Eventually U-verse is coming to our neighborhood.

Please AT&T, I would like it sooner than that . . .

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Take me out . . .

The attendees of the professonal baseball game had a wonderful time. The stadium, I was told, was immaculate. The grass looked as if it had been combed. They got a deal on the tickets which included food and programs. All that was extra to the experience of being at the game. Being there. Roaring with the rest of the crowd.

The seats stayed crowded until the 6th inning.

Now, we had looked up the weather on line before they left for the trek to the stadium. But the seer into the future did not depict the blowing clouds of rain that dumped on the field (and caused a fan retreat into the corridors) during that inning. The rain delay lasted so long that J arrived home just after it abated enough to allow play to resume.

We watched the rest of the game on television. It went to 12 innings. We lost by one point.

There was an article in this morning's paper. A new minority owner of the team had been given a personal tour of the facility before the game started. No wonder the place looked so good.

They were ready for inspection . . .

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off we go . . .

Happy Birthday

Adam

Today is the "synonym for the first man's" birthday. So, a celebratory group of guys are going to a professional baseball game. My assignment, should I wish to accept it, is to search the faces in the stands to try to identify them, during the TV broadcast.

I will.

Briefly . . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who said organizing was easy . . .

We had to move the computer desk temporarily. It was in the path of an air conditioner repair person.

In moving the long-standing accumulation, I winnowed through it and made some discoveries. The reading glasses (which I used only to read miniscule [4-6 point] type or blue-on-white lettering) were found. I didn't miss them much but was annoyed with myself over misplacing them. They had dropped between the side of the desk and the printer table.

I finally threw out the last cardboard container of stuff from when I retired. I haven't yet thrown out the CD which contains the procedures I originated while I was working. It has a sentimental value which has something to do with nostalgia. Haven't quite figured out why. When I do, I will probably cut 'er up and discard the pieces.

The surface of the desk should be easier to keep free from dust now that the laptop and docking station are the major occupants. Well, except for the pen holder (an old empty square candle jar), several boxes which were folded using mad Origami techniques (holding business cards, whiteout, staple remover, and a Creative Zen with earbuds. I don't have speakers yet, so there are Delta Airline earphones attached to the docking station. The cord is short but at least I can hear sound with 'em.

Various cables snake over the backside of the desk from the docking station, too. Scotch tape dispenser and stapler. Then there are the router and DSL modem with their cables. And occasionally, the cat, who is independent of cables.

Actually, I guess dusting isn't as easy as I thought . . .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Smart as a crock pot . . .


I have been sleepy for most of this day. I got up at 7:45 this morning and that is practically sleeping until noon. Tomorrow I would like to do it again so I can put the crock pot on early. Ribs are thawing in the refrigerator and should be ready to slow cook tomorrow.

This slow cooker that Rival sent when my old one cracked is such a nice size. You think that, being the size it is and also smart, I can get it to go grocery shopping?

Someone should . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Best of wishes !*!*!*!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

STEVE

Today is his actual date of birth but the official celebration will happen on the eleventh, which is this Saturday. Today seems strange, almost like ignoring the fact that he was ever born.

We will make up for this on Saturday. I sent him a text message earlier today wishing him a happy day.

May it last all year long . . .

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oh, the little guys . . .

I should have taken a camera to church. My two grand-nephews had grown so much that when I saw the younger of the two, I thought he was his older brother. I really needed that camera.

We went to lunch nearby afterward and I sat with the two boys who told me about some of the events they had met with over the holiday: spectacular fireworks, Ice Age 3, swimming. They are such delightful little personalities that we just picked up where we left off from the last time we saw one another.

Yes, I was happy to see my niece (their mother) and their father. We had a nice visit, too.

But, oh those boys . . .

Saturday, July 4, 2009

At least it wasn't a 'gator



* * *
Happy Fourth of July
* * *


Yesterday, on the third, we suffered an invasion. When I opened the side door, a small toad hopped past my feet and came inside, sure of its welcome. It was so wrong. It went under the freezer and we could not find it, thereafter. Believe me, we looked.

We feared fatal results should the cat find it because, in passing, it looked like a miniature Bufo marinus (or Cane Toad) which exudes poison when frightened. Mew can be pretty frightening in predator mode. So we locked her away (with sustenance and sandbox) and watched some television.

J jumped up with his shoe in hand and attacked the rug at the baseboard. Bringing him paper towels and windex was my job. He had seen the culprit hopping across the rug. I had missed it completely. Mew is safe, now.

I can't say as much for the toad . . .


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Let there be (flash) light . . .

Zeta was saying the other day that she's going to start stocking up on hurricane supplies. I have already started: two tuna pouches. Does that count?

We use more AA batteries than one would think. Between the digital camera which eats them like candy and remotes getting weak, ours don't last long enough to age in the giant package from the big box store. But D cells? That's a different story. We have some that are two years old. They are old enough to toddle around and order their own happy meals.

As soon as the beams of the flashlights turn faint, I pop in new D's in an effort to use them up. Perhaps I should just let them leave the nest on their own . . .

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh Frabjous Day . . .

How does a one-day turnaround on A/C repair sound? Sounded well to the ear. Appeared most favorable to the eye. Felt like the Winter of Our disContent had arrived.

It was indeed the fan motor. Scott Appliances had one in stock. It was installed at their location and returned to our location in one afternoon. They are the most efficient (family run) appliance business.

Ahhhh, A/C in the semi-tropics. Artificial breezes. Canned air.

How did the older pioneers not melt?

The necessary coolth . . .

Yesterday, I had a duh - AHA experience. Our A/C is making an intermittet noise. A screeching, if you will. Fan? Motor? Intermittent?

If it's not making the noise all the time, how can a repair person (Oh, how very PC) tell what is wrong? So we waited. Then realization struck. While the screeching made itself audible, I switched the unit to "Fan Only." Screeching kept right on happening.

Calling the lucky repairman this morning with our pinpoint diagnosis. Heh . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Oo-oo-oh, it's magic . . .

Mew has always been absolutely sure that if she could just get both front paws on the knob, any door would magically open for her. Here she is seen, after finally achieving her fondest objective, peering at the upper corner of the door to watch for the first widening of the seam.

Mew remained here, hopefully, for some time before uttering a bitter cry and giving up. She finally realized.

She doesn't know the magic words . . .

Friday, June 26, 2009

Here today . .

Occasionally, a house-fly gets, inside. And on those occasions, I can usually swat the intruder using a diversionary technique. When the intended prey lights, I hold the deadly swatter in my right hand and stick my left out to the side (or up, depending). Then, I wiggle the fingers of the left hand like the legs (in my imagination, anyway) of a web-challenged spider.

See, I know that flies have much faster reaction time than I do. But, they don't divide their attention very well. My technique forces them to try and while they are trying, the deadly right hand acts.

Usually. This morning, Mew was staring intently at a dining chair's back. When I asked her what she was doing, she glanced quickly at me and then resumed her stare. Moving closer, I could see a fly that had been elusive since yesterday. Grabbing the swatter from its hook, I went into my act. Between my twitching fingers and Mew's twitching whiskers, it was truly distracted.

It took two of us to hunt this one down. Cooperation between the species . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, Fathers, celebrations . . .

We had a special time on Father's Day. J and I met Zeta and M plus their kids and kids' spouses at the Rockfish Grill. E's parents came also. Zeta and M got there early and had the tables re-arranged so that we could all sit together.

Afterward, we all went back to the house where the most desserts were. That was Zeta and M, again. She had made little spice cakes and brownies. There was 6 carb cheesecake for those who wished to go that route. Ice cream? Oh, yes. Several varieties both leaded and unleaded. Plus fresh ground and brewed Starbucks.

Dinner at home. later, was practically non-existent that evening: snacks and grazing for the most part.

You could tell everyone was having a wonderful time by the noise level.

No ice-breaking necessary.




Sunday, June 14, 2009

We keeping you up?

There have been many attempts to take a picture of Mew during a yawn. Her whole head seems to split in half and the fur on the back of her neck climbs toward her ears at the height of the operation.

Our camera is a Fujifilm that has to think for a while after you press the button to tell it there is a picture it might want to take. She usually gets her mouth shut before the shutter decides to operate.

This time, the stars were in alignment. Now, I have to try this from the side. It only took me nine years to come up with this one.

Plenty of time . . .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How hot is it . . .

Umm-kay, this is not August. This is June, all right? So, what's going on?

I went out to the car about 3 p.m. and the interior was way too hot. I touched the window control and had to use a crumpled paper towel to hold it down and open the windows because I couldn't bear to touch it. I needed a potholder. At first, the A/C blew air straight from the Negev via the Sahara.

I glanced at the car's thermometer readout and it said 97°. Whoa, where did that come from?

When I returned home, the first thing I told J was that it was so hot, outside. He said that after I left, he looked at the readout from the front porch thermometer. It read 101°. When I got home, it had dropped to 98°.

Practically a cool wave . . .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gasseous . . .

I can remember when gas was twenty-nine cents a gallon. Dad would drive up to the pump and tell the attendant that we needed 10 gallons.

And the attendant would clean all of the car's windows while the pump was working. Then check the oil and water levels. Then say, "How about the tires? You want 'em checked this time?"

Be still my heart . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009

All sorts of do's . . .

To do:

Feed Cat: She slept in this morning. Wanted much brushing before food.

Buy Gas: Yikes. $2.53 a gallon at BJ's

Visit Library: Free. Thank heaven that free is also so much fun.

Pick up prescription: It was ready, too.

Do Crossword: I resent that the answer to the clue "bookish" was nerdy. I told BigEd that I don't consider myself nerdy. He laughed and laughed.

Remind someone pick up his cleaning: No names. It has been a week.

Decide what to have for dinner: Fish. And?

I haven't done it yet but I need to call for an appointment to get the locks scissored. I am dreading the locks. (Heh.) Last time, it was layered up the back. Wouldn't turn under naturally but wanted to wave in an independent manner. I hope to wave goodbye to layers. Have I let it grow out enough?

Probably not . . . I may be (snicker) locked into layers.

I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not . . .


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where?

We might as well not even have a cat, right now. I believe this because right now, thunder has rolled. Mew rolled with it - into another dimension possibly. She is invisible at the moment and crouched under the dining room table.

Lightning can't see her when she is invisible. The fact that I see her? Irrelevant.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rewards for having fun . . .


I stopped by the library to pick up a long-awaited hold, this morning. While there, I learned there will be a summer reading program for adults, beginning this month. This time will include prizes like tote bags, water bottles, etc. What fun.

Who needs incentive to read, thougn? It's like being rewarded for having a birthday.

Oh, wait, we do that, too . . .

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not this time?

It would be unfair to adopt a young puppy now and then go on vacation for two or three weeks in August. Wouldn't it?

I can't envision taking a young one along (or rather, I can and it is not pretty) plus I don't think it would be wise to interrupt its training/upbringing at such a young age, for three whole weeks, by boarding it with our vet. It would be costly, too.

I am talking myself out of going to visit a six weeks old terrier mix which was posted on Freecycle. I did email the owner to see a picture and, like all six week pups, it is the cutest thing. Socialized too, because her children help her take care of it, she wrote.

Doggone it . . .

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mod tech . . .

Zeta taught me something, yesterday:

Did you know that you can look up doppler radar for your area, on line, at a weather site? If you have an internet enabled cell phone or laptop with you, and you are caught in a sudden summer storm, the radar display lets you know how large the bad area of the storm is and you can see whether it is moving away. Or whether you are in for more
windblown drenching.

Our local television channel 4 has doppler radar available. I discovered that if you look at the time stamp for the beginning of the radar loop and at the time stamp at the end of the loop, you can almost guestimate how long it will take for that little hole in the clouds to open up over you so you can run to your car. Our radar display is about five minutes behind real time which isn't too bad.

'Course you could always stand out in the rain looking up. But, I don't recommend it. . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Please not . . .

Today, we had a little preview of hurricane season. For some reason, the wind came straight out of the west, causing the hard rain to tattoo our side door like a highland drum. The folded, bare mast and spars of our neighbor's boat were lifted above our hibiscus hedge, waving and oscillating as if at sea. Capsizing was not out of the question.

Smaller items were flung into the hedges and the tall palms turned inside out like broken umbrellas. I opened the front door a crack to experience it firsthand. The wind nearly took the door from my grip even though it was only opened enough to peek out. I locked it shut although I don't know what good locking it could do. It just felt safer. Silly.

We guessed the wind gusts might be between 50-60 mph and we have been through enough 'canes to be fair judges of gust speed. These were not altogether steady, though. The wind would moderate between gusts instead of hitting a steady 75 or so and howling up from there. There was no singing of the wind through the wires and chain link fences. No listening to that howl climb in height and volume as it approached. No hearing the trees crack and groan as roots gave way or branches twisted loose to fly.

I had better stop. I'm scaring myself . . .


Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy . . .

During WW II, we received a telephone call that devastated Mommas. She threw herself across the bed in the downstairs bedroom and cried like an injured child.

Dad explained that Watson had been killed when the wing came off his flying boxcar. Watson was her sister's son and Mommas had a colored portrait-style picture of him, wearing his uniform, on her dresser. He was a better looking version of a young John Wayne.

I didn't know that a flying boxcar was a cargo plane. I didn't know why he had been flying in a boxcar. I only knew what I could see: that a telephone call like that one could distort one's reality into awful, new directions.

People are living with that knowledge, today. And today, we honor those who have given all they posessed so that we may be free to keep this holiday however we wish.

God Bless them and those who love and honor them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It isn't a big deal, but . . .

U-verse is just a speck on our horizon, I would guess. I went to see if there were two boxes on Miller as Zeta suggested. One was standing solo like the monolith in 2001, A Space Odyssey, only not so large. No little box off to the side, behind it, or in front. We have promises only, so far. At least they're talking to us about it.

Today, I go for another shot into an eye. I have become an expert in explaining that it doesn't hurt and that the most annoying thing about it is not being able to get water in the eye for two weeks. Plus the retina specialist's office is so busy that built-in waits are expected.

However, those things are a lot less annoying than not being able to see . . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To boldly go where noONE has gone, before . . .

Today, was a Star Trek day. I want to see it again in order to take in more of the details or, at least, I need to have my own copy as soon as it is released on disk.

Will I tell you anything about it? Oh, no. Do I recommend going to see it on the big screen?

Oh, Yes . . .

Can you hear me now? No?

We had a most welcome visit from an AT&T rep to discuss U-verse. We don't know how long it will be before the service actually reaches our area but we have signed up. Installation will be at no charge, when it finally does arrive, which was a pretty good incentive to change to that different horse, midstream or not.

The kicker was that we will double our internet speed. Now I really do need some small, inexpensive, external speakers.
I have to disconnect from the docking station when I want to watch something on hulu.com (or anything else with sound) because connecting the laptop to the docking station disables the internal speakers.

There's always something . . .

Friday, May 15, 2009

it's time to . . .

It is such freedom. My battery needs a new wristwatch. Or the reverse may be true.

I don't know the accurate time unless I glance up at the bedroom clocks, dining room wall clock, three clocks in the living room, three in the kitchen including oven and microwave, or the computer screen.

I guess I'm not as time-free as I thought.

We have too darn many ways to find out what time it is . . .

Follow that car . . .

When we left to visit J's mother, our grass was brown and crunchy. We were gone for six days and it did not rain a drop while we were away. At least, it didn't on our grass.

This was one of the few trips during which not a drop of rain fell on our moving vehicle. Nor on any parked ones that we could see, either.

However, we must have towed a vortex of moisture laden air behind us as we returned home. Perhaps it was lost and needed a hint. Because, last night it rained some - just enough to make the brown grass supple and give the occasional greenish blade some hope.

This morning it is spattering rain again and the ground is loving the idea of slowly taking it in.

So now we know. It must be true. If there isn't rain down here in the southern end of our state, we have to travel up there and guide it down . . .

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More plans . . .

Today, our faithful transportation feels abandoned. We haven't been near it since we got home yesterday. Tomorrow, perhaps, I will climb aboard and see if it remembers the way to the supermarket.

Don't you just love planning ahead . . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Plans . . .

The day we arrived at J's mother's home, we went to bed early because we wanted to. Well, okay, we needed to. In fact I could have put my head down any time and been gone. Thank Heaven for Starbucks.

On Mother's Day, we took J's mother and sister to a fine restaurant which gave each of the mothers a little something. It was a gift certificate usable on the next visit.

The day after Mother's Day, we had big plans. We were going to the bank and the post office.

I couldn't wait . . .

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Most of the time . . .

Tomorrow we are Rock Fish Grilling for lunch with Zeta and M.

Since we are traveling on Friday, BigEd and Mew will be keeping each other company. She is pretty easy company. She mostly does this:
She is on top of the condo that J's mother brought her. She tried the various levels once each and decided she prefers the penthouse. We don't bother her while she is up there and she visibly relaxes when she jumps up.

I know, she is visibly relaxed most of the time unless she wants something . . .