Thursday, April 29, 2010

I have till June . . .

April is a weird month. Tomorrow is the last day and it feels unfinished. I do wish the humidity could be like the past few days have been, all the time. Feels like California but without the earthquakes, mudslides and fires. Like Arizona without the desert sand. Our sands are mostly beach-side, anyway.

I have been laying off the bike-to-nowhere and am paying for it. If I ride, the knee and hip are fine. No riding means Advil time. Simple yet forgetable fact when
errands books begin to stack up.

With ten unread here at home and two more waiting at the library to be picked up, I had better get cracking. Or stop reserving.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Full service cable . . .

We check the U-verse availability site at least once a week. So far, negative describes our status.

We had a storm yesterday that was almost strong enough to take the door out of my hands when I peeked out. We lost cable service during the battering and I called Comcast to report the outage. An appointment was set up for today. We suffered a spontaneous, miracle cable-cure about 5:30 or 6 p.m. So I called back to let Comcast know we were up and running. They were supposed to cancel the service call.

This morning, a giant spool of cable, which was towed by a Comcast truck, parked in our swale. It was a coincidental visit to repair a sagging cable which runs along our back fence.

Yes, Comcast, you can enter our back yard. Yes, Comcast, you can trim the Bougainvillea which has grown up, over the sagging cable and overhangs our yard. The roots originate in a neighbor's yard and J has been meaning to cut it back from our side.

Bougainvillea is nasty with thorns and the Comcast person used a chain saw on it. This was overkill but allowed him to avoid close contact. Nobody wants a hug from a Bougainvillea.

The final result was that we will receive a refund for the Comcast service-time lost and also received some free yard work.

I wonder if U-verse can top that . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2908100 . . .

Have you returned your Census Form? We did right after we received ours.

Our library is upgrading software in May. We will be off line for a few days and then we will be able to log in with user names and passwords like the big boys do, instead of using the number on the card.

I'm a bit sorry to hear it. Right now I have my library card's 14 digit number memorized. Also BigEd's is in the memory banks. I have clung to my old card because the number is so familiar. New cards have been issued with key ring tags that are usable on the self service scanner. Various librarians have offered to replace my (really) old card which involved receiving a new number. I may finally cave in on the issue.

Or not.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Playing with its mind . . .

I did not recognize the number on the caller ID but the name on the readout was our health insurance company. So I answered. The following is a verbatim account of my brief conversation with one of their automated systems (Well except for blanking out the name to protect the inept):

Voice: Hello, this is Blank Insurance calling for Ranger. Is this Ranger?

Me: Yes.

Voice: Okay, would you be willing to take a message?

Me: This is Ranger speaking.

Voice: All right. Thank you, anyway. Goodbye.

Then the call disconnected. I wonder if they even bothered to beta-test the voice recognition software. What do you want to bet it calls again? Perhaps I'll meow into the phone when the voice asks if this is Ranger. See what happens.

Heh . . .

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Or pixie dust . . .

I wish I enjoyed housecleaning more than I do. I do like to read housecleaning tips. There may be something in each new book, article, or website to make housecleaning fun.

Elbow grease in a sprinkle can. Now, there's a thought . . .

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eating out or in . . .

J: Did you know that Gloria and Emilio Estefan are having a fund raiser?

Me: Yeah, costs $35,000 to get in.

J: Ah, but two people get to go!

Me: Well, cancel the McDonalds. Lets get dressed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Give us your tired, your almond or biscuit . . .

Given the upcoming cash for appliances program, we looked around and assessed the kitchen and laundry areas. Fairly new washer, still working dryer, freezer working (shhh don't jinx it, it's full) range and fridge are the wrong color. Almond or biscuit - something of that nature. When they expire, we intend to go stainless.

We have never replaced an appliance because of color considerations. Just can't do it. Our
refrigerator is elderly but still functioning. Softer ice cream in the top freezer plus milk going bad before the expiry date were our indicators of fridge failure in the past. They were beginning to talk to us, now.

So, we scheduled a maintenance visit. The repairman's name was Roberto and we will request him in the future. He took the back apart and cleaned it thoroughly from there and from the front. The pile of dust bunnies was huge. More like dust hippos. Runs like new now. As he described it, it was gasping for breath even though it was cold.

I guess I am happy about it. Visions of Stainless were dancing in my head.

Fading, fading, gone . . .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yesterday, the crawl across the bottom of the picture told us that streets might flood. Water over the headlights is a flood. Water up to the middle of the hubcaps ought to have a separate name - a name that means something like: Drive Really Slowly, Stupid.

In fact, windshield wipers probably should chant a mantra to warn drivers that if wipers are needed, so is more distance between moving cars.

What about that small guilty thrill if you drive (legitimately, now) through a puddle when someone is tailgating your car on a wet street?
Admit it.

I can't be the only one . . . there, take that ya dummy. Back off.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Four hour nap . . .

Surprises come from any direction. Real ones. Expected surprises come from having reality meet expectations at times. Perhaps the least welcome surprise is the one during which eyelids snap open in the dark and refuse to relax.

Last night I read myself into sleepiness and barely managed to set aside the book and turn off the light. I expected an immediate drop off. Instead, my eyes opened and I realized that for some reason I was wide awake again.

After an honest attempt to drift off, I got up and decided to watch some DVR recordings. DVRed? Is that even a verb?

At four this morning, sneaking on little fog feet, sleep finally came. And at eight am, J inadvertently woke me up. I must have heard his eyelids open, or something.

I would not say that I am cranky this morning.

But others might . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Years in arrears . . .

We are behind. This morning, we watched the NCIS pilot. We have been catching up on all the various incarnations of CIS and CSI: N, LA, New York, Vegas. Also Monk. If it were not for reruns and marathons, our DVR might have more room on the disc.

But who wants that?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I am tempted to resign in favor of Facebook.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A consumer wish . . .

We are having Blue Bell sugar free ice cream issues at our local grocery. When Blue Bell first came to our area, we could select from sugar free Banana Split, Chocolate, and Vanilla at the very least. Other flavors were seasonal choices. Strawberry anyone?

We became accustomed to the actual half gallon size and the really supreme taste. Gradually the half gallons of sugar free disappeared. Now there are only pints and quarts available at much inflated prices over the half gallon size. Even the manufacturers coupons only apply to the half gallon and store specials are limited to the half gallon size - all fully supplied with sugar, of course.

I have written a letter to Blue Bell giving them a heads up as to our situation. A real letter. On actual paper. Can you imagine? Perhaps that will persuade them that we are serious representatives of others in our marketplace who are deprived of choice.

I will even be glad to choose the Country Vanilla which is now the only half gallon size in the sugar free variety which is listed on the Blue Bell web page.

Maybe it's the economy. Everything else seems to be . . .

Monday, April 5, 2010

A little dab . . .

I try to use the alcohol based hand cleaner (okay, Purell) after I touch anything at the doctor's office that is touched by everyone who goes there: doorknobs, the sign-in pen, an elevator button, etc. I believe I forgot about that elevator button, this last time.

Can't you just imagine the surprise sneeze creeping up on someone just before they decide if they want up or down? Politely shielding the sneeze with their dominant hand they then press the button using the same dominant hand.

I should be more like Detective Monk. Wipe! Wipe!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Coincidence . . .

We used to go for rides. Recreational jaunts that we all enjoyed and which tired us out as if we had got out and pushed instead of being passengers. Today, the weather was so gorgeous that we decided to waste some recreational gas. The Camry gets pretty good gas mileage on the road, so we packed a lunch and headed down toward the Keys.

The ocean water along side the roadway was almost silken looking and nearly flat when we went over the bridges. We had just got past Layton where the water is close to the road and Sea Grape and Buttonwood scatter along between the tall roadside grasses when I saw a tall dog ahead and off to the side. He was waiting for our car to pass, I thought. Smart dog.

Then he bounded across and we felt the sickening thud. It was not a dog, it was a Key Deer.

There was little damage to the car but the small Key Deer lay inert.

Because he was a Key Deer, I put him on my key ring and used him to unlock the door when we got home.

It is, after all, April the first . . .