Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Running and Playing

Dogger had her best visit to the dog park in months. Not only was she in the big dog park, but she was in the big dog park off leash! Imagine! Off Leash at the Off Leash Dog Park! She was visibly excited.

How did this happen? I had another a dentist appointment, my last scheduled until next November Please Gawd, and instead of being a good girl and going back to work, I went home. It was a beautiful day, sunny, damp but not wet and it just wouldn’t have been right to go back to work to sit there for an hour and a half. Also, I worked through lunch because I was leaving early.

At first I was disappointed that there were small dogs in Doggers small dog park, One? Wasn’t even all that small and only seemed to be there to keep his beaglely friend company. A approached the large dog park with some trepidation. This was the three-thirty dog park group. We’re never here that early and we know not one of these dogs; fortunately, the three-thirty dogs stay pretty close to their people and their people were hanging around the middle of the park. Dogger and I had the whole back end of the park to ourselves and after a brief leashed walk around, I let Dogger go.

She was so excited!, she hasn’t been free to run at the park in a very long time. We both had a good time wandering the fence line and generally being off leash. Walking around the Off Leash Dog Park with my dog on a leash isn’t exactly fun for me either. I hate it that people get the impression that Dogger is a mean, dangerous dog when she couldn’t be further from that, it makes me sad that the other dog people and the other dogs don’t get to know the real Dogger. It used to be that everybody knew Dogger and everyone loved her, dogs and people alike. I guess that was then.

Now, I get tense when another dog approaches her. I restrain her whenever another dog comes within lunging distance. I have noticed that the few times a dog has gotten close to her that she tries to move away from it - Not exactly the best response, dogs see this as a weakness. Even “nice” dogs think weakness smells like hamburger.

But today that wasn’t a problem. The three-thirty dogs are mostly younger and smaller and have not been coming to the park long enough to pick up the aggression that can be a side effect of habitual park attendance. The oldest dog there was a very elderly female basset whom very politely snuffed Dogger while Dogger very pointedly ignored her. And the then the basset started barking and scared us, while alerting every other dog in the park to the fresh meat she had uncovered. Fortunately, the three-thirty people pay attention to what their young dogs are doing and they called their dogs off - Not that the dogs were doing anything “wrong”, but Dogger and I were both more comfortable when the herd dispersed.

And then I talked to one of the people! Who was not smoking or wearing a “Kill all the Democrats” tee-shirt or smoking and wearing a “Kill all the Democrats” tee-shirt. It was refreshing to talk to someone at the park who wasn’t trying to kill both of us. We had a nice chat about dog behavior and I got to pet on her dog.

I got to socialize with other dogs! I almost never get to pet other dogs anymore, which is odd, because it’s a dog park and I haven’t really pet another dog in months. I think I need to change when I go to the park. I can’t come at three -thirty, as nice as that would be and I don’t really want to go at five anymore, so I’m going to start checking out how the park is later. We only changed out time in the first place because of Drama Dog and I’m not sure Drama’s people are even going there anymore, a lot of the old-timers have stopped going. We can try six and see how we like it then.

Oh, speaking of animals. Caption this!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday Photoblogging

Random Raleigh

There would have been more of an entry today but when I came home from work I had to dig a trench in the backyard. In the rain. You would be surprised how tired you are after shoveling muck and draining your yard. In the rain. I also discovered that leaves and branches aren't the only things the neighbors tree has left in my yard - it has also left very large roots that neither I or my shovel are butch enough to cut through, fortunately I did run across a smaller one while I was further along my trench that I was able to make pay for it's transgressions. My basement is still wet.

I'm not cut out for that kind of work. I just finished reading A Painted House, the John Grisham book about a poor family of cotton farmers in 1952 Arkansas and their trials during harvest season. Yesterday, I got blisters on my both my hands from playing on a swing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Get a plan, Stan

I was busy two weekends in a row and I'll be busy next weekend so I decided that this weekend I was going to do nothing.

I didn't have any plans going in and I wasn't going to make any, not a pla. Except my laundry and mowing the lawn. I could handle that. If was trying to be really efficient, I could even do the two simultaneously. But that sounded like work. I wasn't going to work. My plan Friday night, and now I had one, was to go to bed whenever I wanted to and wake up Saturday whenever I woke up. But first I had to feed myself. I wanted something good.

Dogger and I were tired, we didn't go on our Friday Adventure Walk. Instead, Dogger accompanied me on a trip to go see how much of dinner I could buy at Poverty Barn. There was a story in the paper this week that local foodies were discovering that Shock and Awe, that Poverty Barn and other dollar stores sell food as well as household cleaners and picture frames. I all ready knew this. I wanted something interesting for dinner. I all ready had the boneless-skinless chicken breasts, so dinner wasn't going to be, you know fascinating or anything but I decided that I wanted fancy pasta and a decent white sauce and I thought Poverty Barn would be a good place to start - as long as I wasn't picky about which former Soviet block country supplied the noodles. Pretty much as it wasn't China I wasn't going to worry. A good policy is that if it comes from China and you find it at your dollar store? Do not ingest, that goes for little race cars, fake Barbie Dolls or things sold as "food". Weird greenish soup from Bizericstan? How international! You just have to pick your countries of origin carefully. Read the wrappers even if you have to ask for translation - If you're at a dollar store, trust me someone there speaks Bizericstanian or Polish, they're very close.

Anyway. I found noodles but no white sauce. I also found some promising plastic bins for planting flowers, I did not buy them . Remember, plan free! I went next door to Food Lion where I found the spinach noodles of my dreams as well as $3 a bottle white wine to fix the bottle of white sauce I settled on. My stir fried chicken and spinach noodles with white wine sauce was fabulous. And then I watched a very good doc, Helvetica . Yes, the type face. A documentary about a type face. It was good, you should check it out. You would think you would be more curious about something you see around you all the time, Helvetica is almost the visual equivalent to air - Everywhere around you all the time yet invisible.

Movie watched, still no plan. I stayed up late reading my book and work up Saturday whenever I woke up. I over slept. Sometime over night, I developed a plan : Go to the Farmers Market, and away I went. I looked at every flower they had. I found the right flowers and went to go pay for them ... and went...home, the Farmers Market doesn't take plastic. A "plan" might have been a good thing.

Once home I was in the direction of the dirt store, Poverty Barn, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. I was at Home Depot when a woman stopped me in the parking lot. If central casting was asked for Country Club Woman, they would have sent this woman. She was perfect, I hated her on sight. And she wanted to ask me a question, and in the same tone of voice you would use to ask the time she asked what she should do about the, excuse me, I do not know the correct word, the outside window sill on the drivers side of her car.

The paint had bubbled and chipped and she wanted to know how to fix it. She asked me this. If something happens to my car I take it to the garage and I tell them I think my car has a boo-boo and then I ask where the waiting room is. Don't ask me about your car. My car gets owies. I told her I would call the dealership and see if there was a recall and failing that, I would just pay them to fix it. I would not go to Home Depot to find auto paint for my car. She said thank you and disappeared into the Home Depot.

And I went back to the Farmers Market and bought my flowers and went home to plant them. But first, I had to unload my bins of dirt, drill out drain holes for the ice tubs cum planters, dump drainage pebbles into the tubs and finally, fill the tubs with dirt store dirt. Then I planted my flowers. And mowed my lawn and did the laundry. So much for no plans.

My flowers.
My first try
Second time's the charm

The whole gang

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why, yes

That sound you are hearing is my basement flooding. I'm so glad I vacuumed all those leaves up last weekend. Instead of eight inches of standing water sitting in the bottom of the stairwell waiting to gurgle under my door and into the basement, there is only six inches. And it's still raining.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


I went to a book sale a couple of weekends ago. I lurve books sales. So many titles for so little money. You really have to love $1 hard backs. Where else are you going to find Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in with the travel books – Although an argument could be made as to whether or not it could be read as a travel log and if you were really into cross references, it could also be under pharmaceutical books as well, it is narcotic reference book albeit with more of a narrative than you find in more traditional drug reference books.

This sale was a fund raiser and space free-er upper for a small library in a smallish town, the sale I go to in Raleigh is much larger and has more books but has less over all quality available. Never in a million years would I have been able to find a all-but-pristine A Painted House for a dollar? Well, Amazon had it for a penny but add s+h and it’s going to be well over a dollar and even used at the Raleigh sale, it would be more than that if I was able to find it all. Stuff like that goes in the first ten minutes on the first day. For more than a dollar, thank you very much, of course, by Sunday afternoon they are paying people to haul books out but you have to ask yourself, how many romance novels do you really need?

But how many people really need a book detailing a man’s odyssey through India in search of a mythical pink-headed duck? but I did. So who am I to look askance at people who collect romance novels? They may very well make good eating or maybe they are put to use as insulation or as an alternative fuel source. Who knows? Now, Detective Novels on the other hand are, those should be bought in bulk and stock piled.

Back to my book sale booty. I picked up a couple of paperback detective novels to be sure, I mean, how could I not? I think it’s a rule or something, but I also looked through the hard cover books. True, hardcover detective novels but, I strayed.

I was looking at the titles and not seeing anything I needed, even for a dollar when I saw a name I recognized Rube Goldberg. “Hmm, didn’t he invent a better mouse trap or something? is this is his Autobiography. It’s kind of little, I didn’t realize he died young.” And then I read the rest of the title I made My Bed… . “Oh”. Hmm. I decided to bring it home. And it was old, even older than I am as I am merely a collectible, it’s an antique. And after I came home and finally really looked at, a first edition. I looked around online and I don’t think there was a second edition.

I read a little of it and decided Mr. Goldberg should have stuck to his inventions. But I’m going to take good care of his book.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


You know what the really sad moment in my grand survey of sympathy cards? I was standing in the aisle at Hallmark thinking snarky thoughts about the universally weak selection of sympathy cards available and generally being annoyed and then I noticed that the woman next to me was looking through the same cards and crying.

The store wasn't exactly sensitive to the fact that some of their customers weren't there to peruse jokey birthday cards. It was a sea of pink. The whole damn store. And they were all good cards, shiny and sparkly and bright, even the confirmation cards were decorative. I had to really search for the gray area. The most masculine cards in the building were the ones in the sympathy section, these cards all looked cheap and drab. Did you know I saw one that was illustrated with a single black tulip? If I wasn't in tears before I opened that envelope I would probably end up needing to be sedated by the time I got the envelope open. They all seemed designed to be looked at once and discarded, created to be express a pin prick of sadness as unmemorable as possible.

There was not a single sympathy card marked "humorous". Hasn't Hallmark ever heard of gallows humor?

It was a giant relief to finally settle on a damn card. It meant I could stop thinking about death and turn my attention to murder. It was time to go and buy a very powerful poison to kill just about every naturally occurring creature that have the bad luck to naturally occur in my back yard. I check IDs and if you aren't on the guest list, you gotta go and if you won't go on your own, I'll kill you. My own home made Home Land Security. Michael Chertoff would be proud.

The only insects I want to see have work permits, you don't got no job, you don't got no business in my yard. It's how it is. Bumble bees are all right, Lady Bugs are all right, Daddy Long legs are okay, as long as they stay outside, garter snakes are all right if they wear reflective clothing. Spiders are allowed as long as they eat mosquitoes and avoid me. Anything with more than four legs that venture inside are subject to death-by-house cat or vacuum cleaner. They both leave me satisfied that a lesson was learned.

You know the best thing about the advent of digital cameras? You no long have to catch whatever it is you think may be eating your stuff, you don't have to interact with it, transport it or deal with disposing of it. You can take your camera to the nursery and have them identify the little bastards for you or you can take a picture of the damage and have them tell you what did it and how to best fatally visit your revenge upon them..

I think something is all ready eating my plants. On some of them the old leaves are round and pretty but the new leaves are sharp and pointy, even the newborn leaves. Does foliage do that? Start off looking one way and then as it ages look another way? I mean, they don't even look like they belong to the same plant.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hallmark could give a damn

I had to run a sad errand today. A friend at work had to put her dog to sleep this afternoon, after surgery uncovered cancer as the root of her dogs intractable pain. The poor thing was on three different veterinary grade pain killers and nothing was helping, it couldn’t walk anymore. They had taken the dog to rehab in hopes of helping it ramp up its strength before surgery. The rehab people suggested an MRI. The MRI suggested the surgery be done now. The end came sooner than they had hoped. The surgery was supposed to end the dogs pain and in a way it did, just not the way they had hoped for.

They are of course broken hearted. They are childless and their dogs are their family. They are like many other Americans, we don’t just give lip service to the phrase “Like part of the family”, our pets are our families. In researching this entry I found articles detailing the ins and outs of setting up trusts and guardianships for your pets and that some 37 states allow animals to be named as beneficiaries of wills. Leona Helmsly may have left her dog more money, $12 million, then the rest of us would, but she is hardly the only one to arrange for her pets care into the future.

The Pet Economy, Americans now spend $41 billion a year on their pets—more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world. That's double the amount shelled out on pets a decade ago, with annual spending expected to hit $52 billion in the next two years, according to Packaged Facts, a consumer research company based in Rockville, Md. That puts the yearly cost of buying, feeding, and caring for pets in excess of what Americans spend on the movies ($10.8 billion), playing video games ($11.6 billion), and listening to recorded music ($10.6 billion) combined. "People are no longer satisfied to reward their pet in pet terms," argues Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn. (APPMA). "They want to reward their pet in human terms."

Okay. We spend a lot on our pets. Americans care very much for our animal companions and want only the best for them. WHY did I have to make three different stops to find an appropriate pet condolence card?! The folks at work wanted to express our sympathy to our friend and I volunteered to go pick up a card. I tried Target because once upon a time I thought I remembered seeing a series of very sweet sympathy cards for pet owners there. Well, once upon a time I might have but that was then, now I found two cards that were frankly, less then touching. “Sorry Your Pet Died” and “Sympathies that your Pet Died” . PET? That’s really sensitive. They couldn’t stock something a little more specific? I’m not asking for breed spesfic here, I’m only asking for somthing that conveys sympathy for a dog. From my own very sad and thankfully short period of visiting pet mourning sites I learned that not only was I not alone but I was part of a huge number of people mourning their dogs and cats.

Where is the dedicated section for cheering up these people and helping them cope?

I tried Hallmark after Target failed me, and after an exhaustive search found a card I found minimally acceptable because it at least specified the pet that had passed away was a dog. I had a choice of two such cards. One I hated on sight and the other I bought. I had to search for a card for a mourning cat owner and found only one. For every other loss the cards were specific to the point of discomfiture. Oddly, there was only one card dedicated to the loss of your soldier, I would think that sadly, this would be more of these during war time. Not everyone dies in bed, I did find a card that was very specifically worded offering sympathy for a “sudden death”. As I said, to the point of discomfiture.

Then I tried Petco. Lots and lots of cards for birthdays and adoption announcements and post spay/neuter healing, but only a handful for less happy occasions. They did have sympathy cards for dogs and I was glad to have a choice but all four cards I featured the image of a single dog posed by itself looking out towards an empty horizon.

Think a happy thought for my friend Renee and her husband and their much loved dog, Smokey, they all need it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours...

Go to Earthlab and find out how big your carbon foot print is.

I don't know about ya'll but I started my celebration early. I spent the weekend with earth in my hair and lodged under my finger nails and ground into my carpets . I was one earthy chick and not "earthy" in lets-break-into-groups-and-talk-about-our-periods-and- then-make-home-made-kotex-out-of-old-socks way that's so popular with the kids today . I was in the shower all damn weekend. Getting down with Mother Gaia is a dirty business.

I smelled good though. I was in the front yard after work on Monday and I could smell my new dirt. I hope the neighbors like the eu de par-fum of fresh soil. In my world it brings to mind honeysuckle and happy cows and baby goats and hope and bumble bees. In reality "fresh country air" smells like dung. My dirt smells like a scratch and sniff ad for California cows.

It's not a big garden. It's really an itty, bitty little thing. I'm sure it's over planted and I know there is some sort of established pattern or order that the experienced gardener instinctively plants his seedlings in as to guarantee a good harvest, but I just sort of tried to keep the varieties together until I began to run out of space and my shoulders started to hurt; And then I was just happy the stragglers got into place. And when I say "stragglers" I mean the eggplants. I don't even eat eggplants. Alphagal has been living eggplant free too, I found out, next year she gets her three year cup cake, in a few months I get my life time pass to the Golden Corral desert kiosk. So I don't know what's going to happen with the eggplants. Maybe I'll hold back the "organic" fungicide/insecticide at that end of the garden. With my luck I'll get a bumper crop of eggplants and all my green peppers will get eaten by moles or voles or whatever eats vegetables. Maybe deer. Tough, inner-city deer. It's not going to be bugs though damn it. I'm on the list for Bug bags at Home Depot and I all ready dosed my little friends with the "organic" insecticide.

It says it's "organic" but it could be malathion. Malathion is "organic" compared to some of the stuff I looked at. One suggested that prospective users of child bearing age wear appropriate protection while reading the directions and really, should just look elsewhere for pest control, and that fertile women of child bearing age should not even know the product is on the market and if users have children in the home, they should just give up hope for grandchildren and all users should be using a birth control method they had confidence in before exposing themselves to the spray. Another suggested that the end users no longer fertile or outside of their child bearing years not fraternize with fertile women and anyone of child bearing age for twenty-four to seventy-two hours post exposure.

And that was just the stuff they had a eye level. The really kinky stuff you had to ask for staff assistance to get at. The product I bought for my vegetables is more or less not all poisonous, although it does promises to be both an effective deterrent as well as being able to kill just about everything with an exoskeleton.

The shit I bought for my rose bush must actually work. I had to sign a HIPPA waiver and give my doctors name and number and I still can't pick it up for five days so I can have time cool off and really think about what my actions will mean to the aphid community and the ground water of the entire eastern seaboard. Did I mention that last year I got two blossoms? The eastern seaboard can just invest in bottled water.

True organic gardening is for folks whose heads are just not in the game or rich hippies with MBAs who are in the game who can afford to plant three acres of cabbage to net four heads per acre and the gall to charge $143.50 per surviving cabbage head to other rich hippies. I'm using an "organic" poison. I have eight feet of air-able land and I planted two tomato plants, this year I would like to net more than one tomato for my troubles.

I planted more than just the grape and Goliath tomatoes, I have slicing cucumbers, straight and crooked beck yellow squash, green sweet peppers, black beauty egg plants and collard greens.

So go forth today and sniff some dirt. The good stuff smells like happy cows.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Saturday, what did I not do on Saturday? The laundry. I did not do the laundry.

I did go to the County Democratic convention . Do you know why the Democratic party can’t win an election? Or establish a cohesive base or manage to keep their agents On Message? Because we suck. And why do we suck? Because we fail to see the big picture. We can’t see the forest for the trees. We can’t just let anything go. Nothing can just be, we have to make every damn thing about us. I heard entirely too much about what I want/need/think. We’re all about feelings. The second longest time waste of the day concerned how we felt about a TYPO.

The Chair introduced the Minister who said the (long) invocation and the Mayor of Garner who gave a stirring speech called Why Am I a Democrat, short answer: Because He Could Tell Which Way The Wind was Blowing . The Chair was in the wind before the speech even started.

We reached the part of our agenda where we were to be voting for the resolutions from the precincts and the longest time waste of the day. This portion of the meeting was being led by the chairman of the resolutions committee . Fine. But no, someone had to bitch from the floor that the 3rd vice chair appeared to be chairing the meeting and shouldn’t the 1st Vice chair be running the meeting in the absents of the Chair? The 1st vice chair pointed out that we were discussing resolutions and the 3rd vice chair is the Chair of the resolutions committee and to shut up. But in a very Roberts Rules of order way.

And it just went on and on and then we had to argue about whether a resolution from Wake County that concerned Granville County should be discussed at all since it didn’t actually affect Wake County and who was Wake County to make resolutions concerning conditions effecting another county?

I’m reasonably sure that everything got shelved or sent back to the resolutions committee. I’m not certain, I left so that I would not follow though on my desire to kill everyone in the auditorium. If you really want to punish someone, arrange for them sit through a Consideration of Resolutions from precincts.

I would be willing to bet that Republicans don’t go through all that shit. They may be soulless, hateful, Borg-like and evil, but they stay on message and get their people into office, damn it. No fuss, no muss no bitching from the peanut gallery. The bastards.

And then I went home and I got to my real work for the weekend. I went to the city dirt store and bought some dirt. Why buy dirt? My backyard dirt is actually a toxic mix of dust, pollen and dog hair. To grow things you need real dirt or very expensive hydroponic equipment. Really good dirt. Rich, thick, black dirt that smells sweet and fertile and comes from the city dirt store. The last time I went to the dirt store I went in my truck and they dumped enough dirt in the bed to damn near destroy my suspension. Time has past, I don’t have a truck anymore and I only needed a little bit of dirt. I went for the bag option. I thought they supplied the bags. They don’t, and as to “bags” they suggest trash cans as a good alternative. If you can lift it, you can use it.

I went to Wal-Mart came back with 41 gallon plastic tubs. Do you know how much dirt weighs? More than you think. Do you know how much a plastic tub full of high-grade dirt weighs? Too much.

And then at home, I had to get them from the back of Minnie to the back yard. So close and yet so far away. The first bin wasn’t that bad to carry - it was a mix of what looked like leaves and detritus and good dirt. Bin two was all good dirt. The heavy dirt. Those nutrients will kill your back. This presented a problem. I called Alphagal, solver of problems. Alphagal suggested a wagon or other wheeled object, perhaps my desk chair. I don’t have a wagon and my desk chair specifies it is for indoor use only.

I cast about things with wheels. And my eyes fell on my trash bin. My giant trash bin. My giant wheeled trash bin. Eureka! It was too tall for me to heft the box’o’ dirt on top of it but if I turned the trash bin on it’s back it was perfect and would still roll. And roll we did! I got the dirt into the garden and planted two varieties of tomatoes and a couple of morning glory seeds before I read the fine print that suggests the seeds be immersed in water over night to assisted in germination. Whoops.

And then I cleaned up and went to Alphagal and Broskeys for dinner and after I left there I went to the grocery and bought meat loaf ingredients and some cake mix. I got home made two lovely meat loafs and 18 orange flavored cupcakes. Note to Alphagal, the suggestion to add chocolate chips to the batter was BRILLIANT.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Saturday, April 19, 2008


Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Cat Blogging returns LIVE next week

The office has a new scanner, and there was rejoicing throughout the land! actually, in real life I have scanner since it taking up counter space in my office and I'm the only one who knows how to use it and I did not rejoice. The unit has its own scanner, I have a new item for my job description.

When we first got the scanner, I liked the scanner. Mostly because it spent its first weeks boxed up outside my door because we have been trained to not touch anything that plugs in. There is an addendum to that; we also do not unbox anything without express written permission from our immediate supervisor, IT, and the vendor from which it arrived.

So I waited. And one day the guy who brings our mail made a special trip to the hallway outside my office to break open the box and manhandle the machine out so he could adhere some kind of inventory seal to it. It was like watching an OB nurse manhandle a minutes old newborn: Shocking but necessary. I knew then my scanner free peace was not going to last forever, that yes indeed someone had noticed that it was there. It was another couple of weeks before the IT person appeared to formally take the scanner out of the hallway and into it's new home in my office. She got it out of the box, plugged in its various plugs and fed my computer its software, right before she disappeared she said that some hardware geek from IT would come by and teach us how to use it.

Weeks passed. Scanner sat on my table and blinked little blinky messages of love to at me all day. Occasionally my boss would ask when the IT guy was going to be there and I repeated what out IT person had said which was “soon”. Soon as defined by several weeks. One day my boss sent me an email stating that she and a woman from upstairs who all ready had a scanner in her office were going to be at my office at four the next day to “play” with the scanner. I emailed her back and reminded her of our weekly staff meeting, she was disappointed but undeterred, she and her playmate rescheduled the office visit until the next day.

And they played with it. I played with it. We learned that it does matter which way you feed the documents in because do it the wrong way and they turn out upside down and this is bad. Stuff that is never ultinatly going to be looked at again should not be upside down! After the documents are scanned and attached to the investigation, I mail and or route to whatever division they belong to. I thought scanning was supposed to save steps? It’s not saving anything; we’re still paying to mail these things all over hither and yon. What’s the point? The "point" is, more work for me! Yea! lets waste Diana's time! She can scan, fax and mail the same document! The more copies the better!

Then why scan them in the first place? If there is a hard copy the hard copy is what will be used, it will be added to the packet and live there until it is ultimately shredded. The scanned version is just going to sit there and take up virtual space. Forever, since there is no timetable for destruction of scanned material. Since I have been scanning, my computer runs slower. The program the docs are stored in runs slower. And let’s not talk about the icky photographs – Which I know have to look at! I liked it better my only interaction with icky pictures of abused people and their various bruises, cuts, scrapes and bedsores - was just to shudder and hand them off to the people whop get paid enough to look at them. Now I still shudder and hand them off to better paid people, but now those people give them back so I can scan them. Have you ever tried to scan something without looking at it?

I hate the scanner.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here We Go Again, Gawd, I hope not.

I just finished up some much needed housekeeping, I finally cleaned out my inbox. It had been a while. A long while. Octoberish.If you think dust bunnies are bad, 1289 emails are like dust Hippos!

I was really proud of myself last September when I last did this. I put everything into the files I set up, made a vow not to save missives from groups I don’t honestly care about and deleted crap until I got a cramp in hand. I give money to the groups I do care about and they return the favor by selling my addy to any lefty cause that asks for it.

Not anymore. I made the vow because my mail box got very full and while it doesn’t really matter, I get to where I really begin to take the presences of each other them personally and I start to feel picked on. And my mail box gets fuller and fuller and I start to start other files on my web based mail and I start getting File Room flash backs. I totally feel for Jim Brady and he and his group are doing Gawds work, really but , please, stop sending me updates. I too, have issues with handguns and their availability but, please. Impeach Now!, Answer and about half a dozen other groups that all want something for me. I’m looking at you Code Pink.

So far Election 2008 has less than a hundred pieces of mail in it. Election 2004 has about a thousand.. I believe that at some point I had files for Dean and Kerry but I think I had a tantrum and got rid of them. I still have a vestigial Kerry file but it can’t be the original version, from April 19, 2004

Dear Diana ,
Thank you very much for registering at -- your support is instrumental in the success of our campaign -- and you have made the first step by signing up today. Now that you are a supporter, have you checked out our Online Action Headquarters? Want to hit the road and canvass on behalf of the campaign? Or, if you want to help us raise money for the crucial next phase of the campaign -- come to the Kerry Core and help build the campaign with your enthusiasm and support!

I was a Dean person and I kind of remember getting lots and lots of missives from his campaign, months and months before anything really started up. I saw Kerry as the enemy because he was so slick and well funded. How dare he be slick and well funded! Those aren’t progressive values at all. I should sign up to get email from all the campaigns this time around, but the whole thing is making my head hurt so much.

Victory Celebration

Sheraton Raleigh Capital Center Hotel, 421 South Salisbury Street.
Join the Unity Campaign and our Wake County Democratic candidates on
election night starting at 7:30pm at the Sheraton Raleigh Capital Center
Governor's Ballroom 1 & 2

-- President Bush declares victory in 2004 presidential election telling supporters "America has spoken."
-- Sen. John Kerry tells supporters, "We cannot win this election," congratulates President Bush.

But I’m putting that behind me. That was then this is now. At the very least George H. W. Bush can not be elected again. So score one for the good guys. Or the less than completely evol guys. In the past I’ve been a Daily Show John McCain fan. He seemed funny and self-deprecating. He used to be against the war and wasn’t fond of Republicans, running as I remember as an Independent - which is bull shit, it’s just Republican-Lite and where Republicans who lose elections take their toys to and pout until the next election cycle . He has always been nominally Republican even if he wasn’t donating to the RNC. He didn’t seem to be cut from the same Dangerous Loon cloth as the rest of the GOP.

But then he decided to run for President. Again and he began courting the far right wing crazies because Republicans can’t get elected if they don’t kow-tow to the clinically insane. He went into a meeting with the chief wackos and came out in a suit made from Dangerous Loon, was pro-war and more pro-torture than the former torture victim had been before he donned the crazy suit. No Democratic candidate would go and have a sit down with the leaders of A.N.S.W.E.R. or Code Pink to ask for their blessing. Because they are wacky! You take their money, not their advice.

In 2004, I had was Kerry sign in my window - I was afraid of insulting my neighbors.2008, I have a yard sign for Obama. This time around? They can worry about insulting me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cha, Cha, Changes...

I went back to my dentist to get my permanent crown attached? Adhered? Placed?. Whatever, The bionic mouth has a new piece.

Before I could get anything, I had to get to the dentist and I missed my turn. I’ve been there two or three times and while I tend to get lost on the way out, I’ve never missed it from the highway. I don’t know if I missed it or failed to go far enough but it was clear that I had left my map. I had to go it alone. A tiny town can go Mayberry to Manhattan like that if you don’t know where you’re going. It doesn’t matter if it has three cross streets or three hounded, if you can’t find where you are going, its like being in hell.

And I was getting confused as to what time my appointment was. There as the actual time, the time I put on my calender as a reminder and the time I told my boss it was. There was not a lot of over lay there, pretty much it was after 2:30 but before 4:00. I could have dug around my purse at 60 miles an hour but I decided that was contra-indicated.

Fortunately the tiny town is pretty proud of its historic downtown and I remembered driving on some historic-y streets - but In between the last time and this time the one store I really remembered either went out of business or changed their sign because I couldn’t find it, and? All of a sudden the place is festuned with garlands and signs hawking some town breakfast or something and all of a sudden everything looked different and it appears the towns lauded historic municipal sewers were getting a last minute make-over as well so there was also a lot of one way streets all of a sudden.

Not happy. Not happy at all. And I’m driving around trying to find a land mark, anything. The one downside to lovely historic downtowns? Somewhere along the way the city fathers inevitably decide to freeze time, it doesn’t matter when this building was built, it’s going to be frozen in 1889 or 1920 and within a few years everything looks the same: The same painted down spouts, the same awnings, the same signage and very likely about three street names. Ye Olde Avenue North/South/East/West, with cross streets Cutesy-Wootsy Lane and Historic Personage Boulevard. If you want to go anywhere developed after 1975, you are going to have to go back on the freeway and not miss your damn turn off.

I finally found the city hall and got two different sets of directions, in stereo, to my dentists office. Score one for the small town.

Later, crown in place, I drove home deciding what my plans for the evening were going to be. I thought about taking Dogger for a walk, but there was a pretty stiff wind blowing and Dogger hates wind, so then I thought about taking her to the park since we hadn’t been since late last week but I really needed to stop by the grocery and that would make us run late, but at the same time, I’m not entirely happy with the dogs there when we have been going so a later time might work better for us,but maybe the devil dogs I know are better than the devil dogs I don’t. Keeping up with the doggy politics is exhausting...

It was a moot point. As I drove into my drive way it struck me that the abandoned house nee’ the drug dealers, looked different: The lawn was mowed.

I suddenly knew how my evening was going to go. I had to get my lawn mowed and I had to do it now. It’s one thing to live next to the over-grown mess it’s another to be the over grown mess. The only good thing about living next door to the blocks lone over-grown mess is that by comparison, your yard always looks pretty good. Until the over grown mess gets a buzz cut. They even did the edging!

I changed my clothes and decided that instead of a walk, Dogger and I would mow the yard together. I thought this would work, the mower is a manual, it doesn’t make much noise and I thought Dogger would just trot next to me or at least bring up the rear - And she did fine for about ten minutes. She didn’t really know what to do and she was shocked, shocked that I didn’t think every three steps was a good time to take a minute to stop and eat the grass or chew on a twig. In her mind, these are integral parts of lawn care. I used her tie down for the first time since last summer, and while I mowed, she flirted with Singer under a shrub.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It seems like only a really long time ago...

Happy 5th Anniversery to Me! Go, buy me a salad set or a picture frame or a driftwood lamp!

April 15ish through the years.

April 16, 2003, my first real post.

April 16, 2004

April 15, 2005, the post that has the most hits, bar none. Who would have thought "tail bone" would be such a hit magnet.

April 19, 2006

April 17, 2007

Why that Monday sucked

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday morning photo-blogging

Yeah, and about Bill... I am a bad democrat, not bad like Joe Lieberman bad, but "bad" like lacking the desire to stand in line for six hours The folks who got in lined up at noon. I would have but

And that's not the whole line, I would have needed a wide angle lens and I would have had to be standing, say, on Pluto . Long, long, long long line of folks lined up for hours in the unseasonable heat to see Bill Clinton, in New Bern, NC - eight years after the neocons tried to impeach him. Sucks for them.

And as for me? Tryon Palace had free entry to their gardens this weekend and I didn't have to stand in line. Pretty Flowers .
And... Tiny E said my name for the first time! WooHoo!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Saturday, April 12, 2008


Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging


Well that was unsatisfactory. A whole flock of tiny dogs had taken over the small dog park - Don’t they know? That space isn’t just a small dog park, it’s Doggers dog park sanctuary! And later, when we tried to play at the baseball park? There were a whole bunch of kids waiting to get into play kickball. The nerve. It’s a baseball field or my big dogs park. I am sure a memo went out, people need to check their email more often. Hmmph.

All that means that Dogger did not get an adequate recreation period earlier and I’m going to have to take her out again - Which is fine, we like exercise, but. Still. Now I’m annoyed. It’s not like I don’t have enough to keep myself busy. For instance? I have three shows that are airing at 10pm! I have to plan ahead. I’m going to watch E.R, probably upstairs, tape Ace of Cakes in the living room and Without a Trace in the office. I went months without having three things to watch in a week and now three at one time! That’s not even mentioning that 30 Rock is back finally! and I have all this running around to do because I’m scheduled to leave town after work today so I have all that to do as well. I was hoping to be able to cross off : Exercise Dogger from my list of things to do. But right now she doesn’t look like she really wants to exercise, she was stunned to day to face actual heat when she went outside, she was like What the hell? What is this? I’m panting? That’s it, I’m going back inside and I’m staying there until November. Global warming sucks.. Dogger doesn’t really like being warm, she is at her happiest when things freeze to her nose. That isn’t going to happen, she’s going to be in for a big surprise when it really becomes A/C weather and I still expect her to go outside .

List, list. Like right now for instance? If I had a list, it would probably say that right now I should be making sure I have adequate video tapes for the evening. It’s been months, they might have all rotted away from disuse. Do I have any functioning tapes? If I had a list, I would know this. I suck.

I thought I had packed everything I would need, but then I found out that Bill Clinton him own self is going to be in my parents town on Saturday and so of course I had to find my official Democratic Party Tee-shirt! I packed away most of my tee-shirts a few weeks ago, yeah, well, better late then never and I was pretty sure where it was but then I had to unpack most of my tee shirts and that took time, but I did find it and then, I even remembered after I had found it? to pack it in my bag. Woo. Unusual dedication to follow through for me. I’m not really excited about a HRC rally, but a chance to see The Big Dog? I am so there. I also signed up for the lottery for the presidential debate they are going to hold in Raleigh at some point. I don’t think there is chance one of getting in, but would it be cool? It would also have been cool if there had been a place to write on the application that I am after all my precincts vice chair after all... I think my luck ran out for these things when I got kick ass standing room when Kerry/Edwards came to town the last time around. No, that was a once in a life time thing, no one gets that lucky twice But bad seats are why they invented the zoom function on cameras.

Maybe if I told them I tabled for Dukakis/Benson back in college in the deepest, darkest reddest Frat boy heart of Texas that they may cut me some slack? I still have my tee-shirt. And my scars.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why we have pets

I took Dogger back to the vet for her third electrolyte check and drum roll please : We don't have to go back for another electrolyte check for three months! Her electrolytes were perfect and the rest of her blood panel was equally wonderful! Her ratio this time was 30.8. The first time it was thirty even and the time before this was 31.0. The vet is just thrilled! She said every other time she has seen an AD dog they had to keep changing the dosage and messing around and it's very frustrating. I feel it's really a blessing that Dogger is doing so well and I am thankful every day.

We did have to add a smidge of pred to her routine after her last check, but that is very common and she's on so little, I figured it out, she's on a point or so less then 2/3s of a milligram a day something like point 73 and a half a day over seven days. A dose that low it doesn't cause any of the undesirable pred side effects she's suffered when she was on the higher doses - But it does effect her, she's got more energy and a lot more stamina then when she was on none at all.

And more Yay for Dogger! Our weight loss plan worked! She's lost three pounds through eating less and exercising more. She could still lose a pound or so more, so we aren't going to slack off yet but we don't have to feel obligated to walk in the rain either anymore. Go Dogger!

The Kitty on the other hand, can be a royal pain in the ass. For real. Boy cat works my nerves, and he does his best work between 1- 3am. He loves the night life, he's got to boogie. I do not love the night life I do not need to boogie.

This is irrelevant to The Kitty. The fact that I need my sleep does not factor into his plans. it doesn't matter when I happen to wake him up in the morning, he's going to go right back to sleep as soon as I leave, or even before if he can. I do get even with him though, he gets a half a pill every morning. He does not love this part of his day, never mind that it repeats every evening, he really hates that morning pill and he will do anything to avoid it. He now spends his mornings running and hiding and cursing me. Over the past few months he has really developed thing about taking his pill. He's been taking this pill twice a day every day for eighteen months? And suddenly I have to play hide and seek with him before I can leave for work in the morning.

This is where all that sleeping at night pays off. I am rested and ready to go, he on the other hand is tired from hopping around for eight hours and doesn't think as quick on his feet as he thinks he does. He also thinks he is invisible - Which a black cat hiding in an unlit room is certainly in the running for, but he forgets, he is too dark! The very dark thing resting on a kind of dark thing is going to stand out, even in the dark. I just look for the slowest moving black hole and make a dive for it. Usually, I miss, but that's when I pull out my secret weapon : Food.

The Kitty can not resist fresh kibble. It doesn't matter he just got up from a meal, new food is new food! There is nothing better than kibble right out of the container. That swill he hoovered up fifteen minutes ago was like an hour old! Survivor Man has nothing on The Kitty, Sure, he'll eat bugs and worms but has he ever tried stale kibble? I think not. Kitty is the man when it comes to bravely facing sub-par rations. He's really hard core.

But I always get him. So far. It's funny, he fights me tooth and nail in the morning but in the evening he submits right away. He's a weird guy. But, yesterday he redeemed himself. I woke up gradually, before my alarm went off, to the sound of song birds trilling in the tree outside my window and The Kitty purring back up in my ear. It was really nice. He pisses me off, wakes me up in the middle of the night and then he goes and pulls the baby kitty card. He's really good.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Food is not Love

I was flipping through the channels Monday night why isn't there anything on? click! why does everything suck? click! why isn't there anything on Monday nights? click! and I ran across Animal Planet.

Fat Pets
. Oh Really? They think they know from fat pets? I decided to tune in. It was set in Great Briton, where ,the show told us, is the highest concentration of over weight pets in the world. I don't remember being polled, I could have shown them fat pets. But anyway. One of the fat pets was a fat cat. A very fat cat and it looked just like The Kitty. Just like The Kitty when The Kitty was fat, in fact, I think it may have been fatter then The Kitty. It was hard to say because they kept saying X number of stones - Which was fine for the Brits but the voice over person could have said "X number of pounds" when she was voicing over. They gave the dogs' weight in pounds but not the cats, perhaps because there aren't that many stones. I'm not even the only one to post about it, Tuesday there was a flood of entries about it. It was a veritable pet blogging meme.

The animals they featured, two rottweilers, the kitty's cousin, and some sort of spaniel were all patients of a special clinic for over weight pets and where the pets were getting care and a lot of tough love. The rots were really sad, there is no reason for a rot to be 160 pounds! The spaniel person and one set of rot owners totally took responsibility for their dog being huge. The rot people also were totally having to pay for the dogs new knee (four hours of very expensive, dangerous, surgery) because the old knee couldn't hold up the animals fat body anymore. All the owners except one really felt terrible about their dogs weight and embraced the work to get the pets back into shape. And it is a lot of work. Dogger needed to lose about three pounds just for aesthetic reasons and it's been hard work for both of us. I put her on diet food, cut about 1/3 of a cup out of her daily allotment and started an exercise regime for her. For three pounds! and I'm not sure she has lost it. I know she looks a little better but she may have just tightened up a little, maybe just redistributed the weight. I think she looks better. And girl dog was not fat.

The poor people on the show had to change their lifestyles. Have you ever tried to make a cat work out? Tried to explain about getting up and moving around to a creature that naturally sleeps 23 hours a day? They don't make kitty sweat suits for a reason. Cat beds, cat blankets, cat pillows yes, cat treadmills? cat work out videos? cat Pilate's? Not so much. Once a cat gets fat, it's pretty much going to stay that way. The cat's people didn't let that stop them though, they really did everything they could and it paid off.

I didn't work hard for The Kitty. He had to develop a gluten intolerance on his own, because that was a diet plan that worked for The Kitty. It worked too well. I don't have any pictures of him when he was starving because skeletons don't photograph well. He photographed well when he was fat, mostly because he moved so slowly and couldn't get away from me and if he did manage to waddle away, he never got far because he was too fat and it limited where he could hide, he couldn't fit under anything, behind anything and there was no no space smaller than an open door he could wriggle through. He pretty much flomped in the middle of the room and dared you to pick him up.

Old and Busted

The New Hottness

The show followed the people and their fat pets through their weight loss program. One of the couples went so far as to hide in their room if they wanted a snack because they didn't want the dog to see them eating! They also stopped buying junk food of any kind for themselves so they could set a good example for their dog. The cat owners also worked really hard for their pet and saw some good results. All the people lost weight too. All except the one dog person who would not stop feeding her dog. The poor animal weighed 180 pounds! She said she didn't want to deprive her dog. She's going to be deprived when the poor thing dies years too fast because it's organs wear out. It's poor eyes were so sad, it's person was too busy stuffing it's mouth to ever bother looking into it's eyes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


When I was driving home yesterday I wanted to walk in the door with a plan. I have to hit the door with a plain because the park requires a bit of time massaging.

My options as I drove along were:

1. Go to park now.
2. Do nothing and take a short walk later
3. Go play fetch soon.
4. Go to the post office.

If I’m going to the park I have to hit the door running. I decided we were not going to the park. It was Monday, we don’t usually “do” the park on Mondays. That helps me narrow down our options. So. There was a walk in my future. I had scored tennis balls and I was looking forward to popping open the pink ones and going to the baseball field. It was shaping up to be a plan.

I also had bills. Bills that wanted to be paid. Dogger and I didn’t need to play fetch, we could go to the post office... True, it requires a trip down Moderately Mentally Ill and Clearly off Their Meds Street, but Dogger allows me to cut through that mess like a hot knife through butter or like a very big dog through a crowd people having bitter arguments with dumpsters.

Dogger has decided she is afraid of New Bern Avenue, joining clouds, leaves, over head wires, jet trails and cell towers to her list of buzz kills. She will do Edenton though. And I thought about it, but after taking the time to actually pay the bills, I didn’t think I would have the light to make the round trip. Because even with gentrification, I’m not stupid.

Several years ago, pre-gentrification, Dogger and I were coming back from our walk and we had gone down Edenton, at that time it was really Crazed Junkie Street. I had to plan ahead as to which sections of which blocks I felt comfortable being on and which sections of which blocks I needed to avoid at all costs and head back to New Bern Ave., where I felt safer.

Anyway, on that day Dogger and I were almost home and on a section of a block I felt very comfortable on and this huge car came screeching into the parking lot we were crossing. The car came to a stop and the door opened and a voice said What the hell are you doing here? Are you stupid!? and I’m thinking. !@#$, why haven’t I taught Dogger the command for attack? She sits all right and can lay down, what was I thinking wasting my time on manners! Take down! Tear out throat! Eat his heart! or even the classic, kill And the voice repeated Girl, do you know who I am?. And I’m thinking "Death drives a seventy-four caddy?". In reality it was the drug dealers father and he threatened me with a kidnaping if he saw me on Edenton again. He was willing to commit a felony for my safety - Which I know totally came from the heart - I would have made sure he served serious time for it, but he would have done it out of concern for me.

As I drove into my driveway another option presented itself : Mow the Lawn.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday morning Photoblogging, again

Friday night, Dogger and decided that we didn't just need a walk, we needed an adventure.

Once upon a time I lived next door to Lake Johnson. Literally, it was on the other side of my parking lot. It's a really nice city lake and it's mostly unknown by the city - Which is both a shame and blessing. But Dogger and I weren't going to the lake. Dogger and I were going to the stream.

When I lived in the apartments it didn't take me long to discover this really nice path that ran behind the complex and along the stream. In the spring it was like Disney's greenroom. Rabbits, song birds, deer families, the odd beaver - Not to mention the veritable forest of blooming trees that hid anything less lovely from sight and thickets of pink and yellow and white honeysuckle varieties that made the air smell heavenly and thanks to the burbling stream, the street noise is very effectivly camouflaged. It's gorgeous and no one was ever there.

There is still no one there. Dogger and I were along the stream and on the path for two hours and I saw only five other people and one other dog. If you were walking at Lake Johnson there would have been dozens of other people and twice that number of dogs. The only people in Raleigh who take advantage of Lake Johnson seem to be the a select number of in-the-know dog people and a handful of college kids who live in the student ghetto that surrounds the lake. Damn nice ghetto.

Before I left the house I had a last minute thought that I should take my camera with me. The light was great, but when we left the house we only had about a half hour of viability left. It also reminded me of the weakness of digital cameras. There is no such thing as high speed film in digital photography. When the light fades so does the quality of the images. You can mess with the settings all you want, you can not magically make the camera think it's using 1400 speed film.

But I preserved.

Sadly, most of what I saw looked absolutely gorgeous in situ, I mean stunningly beautiful, like not even real, didn't read the same after I got the images home. Sigh. You have to trust me, it was really beautiful. This is what it looked like after I got those images home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

HAPPY SUNDAY !!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

In some kitchens the cat fur is considered a nuisance, in other kitchens it is considered an ingredient

Not party favors after all...
Follow the bouncing ball

I want ya’ll to know that before I had to stir myself to write this, I was luxuriating in the ambient warmth of a big dog in the comfort of the soft chair and now the big warm dog is using that ambient heat to keep her bed warm and my desk chair is not all that soft... I am sad and I am cold. Brr. But I am dedicated. D-e-d-i-c-a-t-e-d. Sadly, dedication does not keep you warm. Wednesday I wore a short sleeved tee-shirt to the dog park and today I had to exploit my dog for her warmth.

While we were at the park, I decided that I was going to get Dogger a new tennis ball. She only has the one and it has a hole in it. It’s a real sad tennis ball, it has some waft to it but it doesn’t bounce anymore. I keep thinking I’ll just pick up the wrong tennis ball at the park and “forget” our tennis ball there on “accident”, but I feel bad about taking a new donated tennis ball and leaving the used, tennis ball in its place. It just seems wrong I’m having real tennis ball issues. I found a brand new one at the baseball field at the rec center but after Dogger was through with it, I threw it back over the fence so its owner could find it again. Tennis balls don’t grow on trees you know. They look like lemons but they don’t grow on tennis ball trees, as nice as that might be. They would resist bugs and disease real well too and they would be very drought resistant as well, I would expect, being tennis balls and not actually living things. But then they wouldn’t “grow” per say, they would just kind of “be”. They would spring out fully formed! Like baby flies only nicer and bouncy and not disgusting. Dogger would love a tennis ball tree though. She would especially like a tennis ball tree that produced pink tennis balls, that’s her favorite flavor of tennis ball. Even when they are kind of old and chewed on and not at all bouncy and with questionable wafting, she likes them as well as the brand new bright yellow ones that still bounce and have superior wafting. I haven’t had a chance to see what she thinks of the more orangy tennis balls. The dog park people who bring and leave tennis balls at the park seem to pretty uniformly favor yellow ones and a handful of the pink ones - And they may have been party favors or something because the few pink balls are baby pink. I’m not sure you could play at Wimbledon with them. But they are pretty and Dogger loves them.

Anyway. I have not one but two Tv shows on at 10pm so I have to keep moving. My plan for Thursday night was to go to Wallgreens and get some pictures then go to Wal-Mart across the street and get some dishwasher detergent and tennis balls. Wal-Mart must seel tennis balls right? Well, I never found out. I went to Wallyworld and obediently picked up some dishwasher detergent, phosphate free thank-you-very-much, imagine at Wallyworld, phosphate free dishwasher detergent. I didn’t think poor white trash really cared that much about water quality. I also noticed as I checked out the frozen desert isle ( trying to remember why I was still in the store post detergent scoring) that the cooler cases at Wallyworld have the cooler lights on an electric eye. The lights only turn on if you are directly in front of the case. When you walk down the aisle they all turn on as you walk past. It made me feel like a Disney princess.

I kept wandering around Wallyworld and I found a couple of things I really needed. One was even not edible. I congratulated myself at sticking to useful things and I got my stuff and went back to the car. No tennis balls! Damn it. Did I mention that it is not only cold but rainy? Have you ever been in a Wallyworld parking lot that was less than 45 acres? Have you ever been able to park within sight of the store? I couldn’t go back. Did I mention that Dogger was waiting in the car for me and that she somehow knew I didn’t have the promised tennis balls? Have you ever seen a grown dog cry? Okay, she wasn’t “crying” but on the way home she turned herself so she was looking out the passenger side of the car. This weekend? I get the tennis balls. 4+4=08!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ya Think!?

Memo Sheds New Light on Torture Issue

A newly disclosed Justice Department legal memorandum, written in March 2003 and authorizing the military’s use of extremely harsh interrogation techniques, offers what could be a revealing clue in an unsolved mystery: What responsibility did top Pentagon and Bush administration officials have for abuses committed by American troops at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and in Afghanistan; Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; and elsewhere?

Some legal experts and advocates said Wednesday that the document, written the month that the United States invaded Iraq, adds to evidence that the abuse of prisoners in military custody may have involved signals from higher officials and not just irresponsible actions by low-level personnel.
Computer Issues

You can't tell by looking at this but this is being written in Blogger In Draft. I had been hoping for something a little more haute , but sadly, there isn't anything new or interesting or beta to be seen here. Bummer.

Okay. I changed the setting to "compose". This is the setting for people you don't have the HTML-fu that I possess. In this setting the program makes things italic or bold for you. I think this is a pussy setting. If you can't learn to make things bold or italicized your own self, well, AOL is still in business.

I was really hoping for some super secret way cool new things to play with. There isn't anything here that isn't on the non-draft version. How sad.

And I am not sad for thinking there would be. Nope. Not at all.

There would be a real entry today but my computer and I had issues. I was fine, the computer was having seizures or strokes or was possessed or some other malfunction that actual machines suffer from. I had to start and stop the damn thing five times over a couple of hours before it would function. It was like a personality test. How many times will subject repeat the same sequence over and over before before the subject grasps that the sequence is not solve the problem? Very frustrating and it cut deeply into my available entry doing time.

CSI-NY is back tonight. It's about setting priorities and after many, many, many months of reruns and Food Porn, I really need to see some network scripted drama. So. Yeah. Ya know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Making a list

Yesterday I praised Netflix, today I’m going to bury them. Not really, but they annoyed me. I have a Que. Gah. I have a list it is a LIST. You have a list of titles you want to see. British people stand in que’s, the rest of us wait in or our New York brothers, on line. ANYWAY.

I have a list. First on my list is the first DVD of the first season of the not-very-good British Lawyer drama. It is marked as “very long wait”. I am assuming that some rabid John Hannah fan has the DVD in a place of honor in her John Hannah shrine and she is not giving it back. I watched DVD 2 and was waiting for DVD 3. I assumed that once I sent back the two DVDs I had, that I would receive the next two DVDs on my list - which would be DVD 3 of season one and DVD 1 of season two. You would think. Neither DVD 3 or DVD 1 of the not-very-good British Lawyer drama is coming to me. The Simpson’s Movie is coming and so is something called Suburban Girl or something like that. I don’t remember why I added SG to my list, sometimes I do little film festivals for myself and I’ll watch a lot of the work of a single actor. Fine. Sometimes you wind up with Brick sometimes you wind up with titles you can’t remember why or for whom you are watching it.

I went to investigate why SB was coming my way and got no satisfaction. It has Sara Michelle Geller and Alec Baldwin. Further research reveals that it may be a treatment of Lolita with Lolita being in her twenties and Humbert being a geeky, glasses wearing Alec Baldwin in full Canteen boy mode - My research being limited to the cover art of the DVD. It looks dreadful . I must have been in an Alec Baldwin place. If so, why didn’t I go with The Hunt for Red October? Buffy as Lolita?! What was I thinking?

Speaking of Baldwin. Where is my TV! Why am I still watching hours of home improvement and food porn every night? Instead of 30 Rock and Boston Legal It’s not fair. And what could I be watching on network TV? Well tonight, I could be watching The Biggest Loser: Couples, Big Brother 9, Just for Laughs, Dancing with The Stars, Beauty and the Geek and CSI-Miami seven hours of reality TV and an hour of CSI-Miami, the single scripted drama on network TV after 8pm on a Tuesday . The strike ended, a good month ago and still it’s six hours of reality every night. I don’t care which set of rich people won the strike, the poor viewers LOST.

If my TV shows would come back I wouldn’t have to spend my free time reading the crews from Anthony Bourdin , No Reservations blog. How sad is that? Reading a blog about back stage goings on at a food porn TV show - on The Travel Channel!. A food show that’s not even on The Food Network! And don’t give me shite about “You should be reading books instead of watching Food Porn!”. I’m a reader, bud, I read a lot. I watch TV for a break from my busy reading schedule, really working on getting the most out of each issue of Entertainment Weekly can be really emotionally draining. I need the break.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More Power

Did ya’ll remember to turn your lights off Sunday night? Yeah. I totally forgot too. Also, I thought it was kind of dumb - But I was going to do it because it was one of those hands-across-whatever things and I think those are always worthwhile. Dumb, but worthwhile. I totally would have taken part but sadly at 8pm I had just started watching my movie, upstairs and I didn’t think about the outside lights downstairs. In reality, I think I had a lights on that I shouldn’t have, apart from the porch light I was supposed to turn off in solidarity. I was bad.

Canada, though. Canada went dark for an hour and then they all went out en mass and bought energy star appliances and compact florescent light bulbs and rain barrels and electric cars.

Last week I got a letter of apology from Netflix. They were very sorry they didn’t send me a movie as soon as they were supposed to. They had a glitch. Not that I would notice, I’m a long term costumer, my stuff always takes a long time to get to me. I would never have noticed if it didn't appear to be the slowest news day ever. But lets look shall we? What else was going on in the world on March 25, 2008, apart from Netflix getting constipated. Hmm. Some people couldn’t get their season 2, disk 4 of The Ten of Us while other folks:

Iraqi Crackdown on Shiite Forces Sets Off Fighting
Heavy fighting broke out in Basra and Baghdad as Iraqi forces mounted a major operation against Shiite militias.

Unrest at Shuttered Gateway to Tibet
Chengdu, China, feels like a border outpost, tense and anxious, at the edge of what several Tibetans called a war.

Outlook Remains Bleak for 2 Programs
The Bush administration said that Medicare and Social Security are still losing financial ground, but that they had not deteriorated significantly in the last year.

So, not actually the slowest news day ever. The War, unrest in Asia, Bushco sponsored medicare/medicaid issues and so much more! And yet. Netflix having the vapors made CNN

As you may have heard, our shipping system was unexpectedly down for most of Monday. We should have shipped you a DVD but were unable to. Your DVD was shipped today, Tuesday, March 25th, instead.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We will issue a 5% credit to your account in the next few days. You don't need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

Again, we apologize for the delay and thank you for your understanding

I kind of want to know what really happened and why they feel so bad about it. I think something really bad happened and they tried to get in front of it. But. I think the lady doth protest too much. I would never have noticed! They had to send out a press release to tell everyone they had a boo-boo.. They should have just kept their mouths shut.

A water main breaks and leaves my apartment without water for three days? Nada! A couple of years later, another winter storm took out power all over Raleigh and Durham. I all but cried over the phone to Progress Energy - I wasn’t really crying, but I thought tears or the impression of tears, would help grease the wheels to get the trucks out my way to turn the power back on. I told the unlucky person answering the phone a story about my poor, ill, elderly, bedfast neighbor lady and how this was probably going to hasten her no doubt (for my purposes) imminent death if they didn’t get her and by extension, my power turned back on right now. You use your MBA your way, I use my BFA my way. As long as we use them for good not evil, I don’t see a problem and my electric company still didn’t apologize. No Letter! Nothing but a significantly higher electric bill that month. They dunned us for not using electricity for a week. My neighbor lady did not freeze to death, she waited until the summer to die.

I think I might have been more excited about turning my lights off if I hadn’t all ready spent enough time in the dark.