Monday, August 30, 2010

Watch it . . .

I really need to have coffee first thing. This morning, I had a roast to get going in the crockpot. Actually two of them, a small pork and a small beef to slow cook together with chicken stock, onions, mushrooms, and spices. I almost forgot to add the tapioca which thickens the sauce. Duh.

And then? Then I pulled down my coffee cup, tore open a package of Splenda and dumped the Splenda into the cat's enpty water bowl which I had previously set aside on the counter after washing and drying it with paper towels.

Oops. Dump the Splenda, re-rinse the bowl, dry it, and set aside. Again.

On the second try, the Splenda made it into my cup. I slid the slow cooker aside on the counter and poured the coffee. Delish.

But, I had slid the slow cooker into a pair of rubber gloves which were set out to dry on the countertop. I pulled one glove away from the hot cooker and the second one resisted but finally came unstuck without tearing or leaving residue behind.

After the second cup of coffee, I am sure I will be fine. Unless the sound of the teeming rain sends me to sleep here at the laptop.

Which it may . . .

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Little mango factory . . .

Today, we received a letter from the power company to say that crews will be in our area to trim trees near power lines. When we had the mango tree in the back yard, it grew near the electrical feed to the house. We asked that the branches be trimmed. No one responded. This was years ago. During a sustained high wind, the tree blew over in such a direction as to fall away from the electrical lines and straddle the fence without damaging it. It was kind to us.

When my brother and his wife gave us a baby mango this year, he and J planted it in the side yard away from the lines.

Of course, the power company crews are going to trim trees now. If the tree that blew over was equal to a post-grad student, our new one is still in kindergarten but going into first grade. Growing well. Putting on weight and height, it is.

The power company better not touch our new baby . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Calling all fans 'cept the cat . . .

Everyone in our house, with the possible exception of Mew, is looking forward to seven p.m., when the next-to-last pre-season game for the Dolphins begins. I except Mew because she objects, occasionally, to raging cheers from the onlookers.

She makes her objections known by leaping off her pedestal (yes, she has one) and making her way to another, more quiet, room. Just because it is pre-season does not signify that there will not be cheering.

Or loud groans, if called for . . .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open or closed . . .

Someone I know, mentioning no names, is trying to set up a network between two nearby dwelling places. I have to wonder how this is going. Well, I hope.

I don't like being a pest about asking. But still, is there hope? Can the speech across the airways via telephone be duplicated via written word through computer media?

My grandmother would not believe it. Telephones were hardwired and lines were shared, called party lines, in her day. A private line? Why, when the party line could provide so much information to fellow users, intended or not.

The old telephone party line was similar to an unsecured network is in the present day: open to anyone who picked up a connected telephone handset and listened. Except that now, unsecured networks can be open to anyone who cares to park close by, log in, and look around. There is not a click to alert the user that someone else is "on the line."

Password protection. It's all good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do as I say and not . . .

Words to snack by, heard today from a nurse practitioner:

Hard and fast rule: No carbs should be eaten in the evening, after dinner. Especially no potato chips or potatoes or bread. (Ah-HAA)

Oatmeal, made with water and not milk is a good thing for breakfast. It really does lower cholesterol. Sweeten with Splenda, she recommended.

If a snack becomes absolutely necessary after dinner, try an apple with peanut butter. Or (again) oatmeal. Anything that hits a protein button instead of a carb button is a better snack. A ham and cheese sandwich or a couple of hot dogs are
not snacks. They are a meal. (Dang)

These are things I often don't do, myself, (she said) but I'm supposed to.

I especially liked the honesty of her last statement . . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Feeling cross?

Our newspapers had accumulated while we were gone. We had a bunch of crosswords that needed to be scanned and enlarged somewhat so that we each had our own easy-to-read copy. Yesterday, we completed them and it almost felt like homework. We should have spaced them out a bit instead of grabbing the next one as soon as the previous one was filled in.

Today's crossword felt like a breeze after the puzzle marathon. We have discussed that our newspaper may be using a less expensive source for puzzles. We always complete them, now, and the current puzzles do not have quotations that have to be completed over a two or three row span like the old one used to.

I'm not sure whether I miss that aspect or not . . .

Sunday, August 22, 2010


We still can not get U-verse at our house. I just checked again. No, we can not have it sayeth the site. Would we like to be notfied if that situation changes so that we can? Have it?

I clicked yes and added the information required of us. We are the have-nots of our county. If you are following Big Brother 12, you are aware of how sad it is to be a have-not.

I like the ATT service for my phone. It lets me talk to just about anyone I need to. But, evidently, our small enclave is not important enough in the ATT scheme of things to warrant U-verse service.

I know. I should just keep checking and hope for a surprise. Hello, my dear Comcast. We are still joined at the hip.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From the recliner . . .

We're baa-ack. Thank Heaven. Tennessee in three days means three days in the car, heaving it along the road by sheer will. Well, the engine helped.

It was a sad trip. We were, however, glad to see J's brother and his wife. She is now in the hospital with a broken leg and finger. This occurred as a result of a fall which happened two hours after (we thought) we left them safely at their home.

They have an adorable little dog (designer dog: cross between Bichon Frise and Poodle) which loves to chase its toy rabbit if you will just please throw it one more time. And one more, ad infinitum. That wee dog has a lot more energy than I do.

Especially now, when our 10 year old cat has more energy than I do. It takes us about a week to get back to normal.

Whatever normal is . . .

Monday, August 9, 2010

Clouds are melting . . .

Rain coming down steadily. I need to go out for errands. I wish our pharmacy had a drive up window. Publix, too, while I am wishing. And the library.

I may save gas and not go . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cash or . . .

When you buy gas, do you pay at the pump with a debit or credit card? Perhaps you should consider going inside and standing in line to pay.

Consumer Advocate Clark Howard advises that all gas pumps use a standardized key and that some of these keys have fallen into the hands of people who open the pumps and install a magnetic device inside which copies credit/debit cards exactly.

Not the outcome one would wish . . .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How far from the tree?

The world of the Apple computer user is not a familiar one to us. Considering that we learned to use a PC back when a graphical user interface was a vague notion somewhere in the ether, it's no wonder. Back then, everything came with a mandatory power cord. When we spoke of a portable computer, we meant taking the CPU or monitor in for repairs.

Now we have laptops, albeit of that same PC variety. I have looked into the battery compartments of them just to be sure I could find the locations. There they were, batteries all snugged in!

I recently read a post wherein the writer had discussed the switch from PC to one of the MacBooks. That awakened a battery-replacement curiosity. How do they do it?

Turns out, the user doesn't. Apple must, itself, change the defunct battery out. It can take a day if you take it to the Apple store after making an appointment. Or, if an Apple store is not conveniently at hand and the user has to send it to Apple, the turnaround time is estimated to be four days.

Data backup had better be current and although it is not mentioned on the Apple site, I would wager it would be possible to lose all of the customization and add ons, too.

This may not seem like a deal-breaker. But this situation, plus the cost of an Apple, are for me. (The learning curve has nothing to do with it, y'understand.)

I prefer to bite my own apples - not have the Apple bite me . . .

O course, this has nothing to do with the iPad or iPhone. I would gladly put up with the battery-inconvenience for either of these little gems.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Step-cat

Yesterday, I was BodyGuard's only source of companionship. He met me at the door and announced that he needed some special attention - which he got, right away. When I made his food, he showed me where to put it by leading me to the utility room and watching to be sure I followed him with it.

He needed his real people, though. He told me that, too. We are both happy that they are back.