Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Less than three tenths of a second ago I was doing something cute.


The best thing about living alone is that if you say, doze off on the dining room floor while playing with the cat, no one is going to run across you and attempt to drag you off to the ER. It just looks bad, sleeping on the floor when you have any number of more appropriate bed substitutes at your disposal. Its a good thing that I have never done that. It would also be nice if cats would say, act like pillows as they share many of the round and soft and fluffy attributes.

Another thing I like, since it is getting darker earlier, if I get peckish after dinner and I think it sounds like a really good idea to say, go to the store and find something dessertish to eat, I usually find myself saying "its dark, don't bother, here, have a protean bar instead".

I bought a new sump pump today. It was a dark horse contender from a different big box store. It means that my tiresome trips to the basement to change its nappies will be over soon. I am hoping that new point once working will make less noise than old pump. When old pump is working it makes a sound like something large and angry is trying to eat its way up through the floor. It also makes the walls shake. I am expecting new pump to be less needy and has fewer self esteem issues because I all ready told it that I do not need to have the china rattled to be secure that it is working, I  will know it is working when I do not have mussels growing on the water heater.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Up and Out

<i>Sigh</i>. I pulled out the last pepper plant and blanched and froze the last of the peppers.  I've been watching the peppers and every day and  I'm thinking <i>Still? You're still here? Damn. Aren't you tried of all this?</i> I am.

I'm not at all ambivalent about pulling the plants out, in fact, I'm <I>happy</i> about it. I get a thrill every time I yank another one out by the roots. I was <i>giddy</i> when I was finally able to get rid of the tomato plants.

 I really want to pull up the hoses and the weed barrier and put in the winter cover. The green beans are slowing the whole thing down, but I'm not complaining - they are themselves begin to age out and I think they  have about another week to ten days of productivity before its time for them to go too. Ready or not. I'm running out of space in the freezer. The watermelons are down to two small melons in the yard and one big one in my refrigerator. I've already decided that the smallest, least viable melon is going to grow up to be a pumpkin.

It can escape this fate by <i>growing</i> over the next month but since it hasn't grown applicably in the last few weeks, and a <i>good</i> watermelon grows like crazy, that this guy is going to make a great smallish pumpkin.  <i>Other</i> watermelon might just end up getting eaten, possibly by the people at work if I decide they deserve it. A lot of them suck and I'm not sure I want to waste a perfectly good melon on their suckiness.  I might use the rind for a pumpkin too.

This should not be too hard. The rinds are thick but not too think to be manipulated and I'm pretty sure I can scoop out the meat without damaging the rind.  It turns out I am not being particularly original here, "green" Pumpkins, clearly I am not the first person to have this thought.

My options are  make the two remaining unassigned melons into pumpkins or learn to enjoy watermelon rid <i>pickles</i>, I've found many, many, many recipes for it. Good to know. I still think that watermelon pumpkins sound like a <i>lot</i> more fun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dear Walmart, I hate you. No Love, Me.

I went to Wallyworld to buy a Christmas gift and I am now <i>officially</i> all ready over budget <i>and</i> homicidal. I am ahead of schedule.

On the upside, the very, very bad,  day old, discounted creme pie I wanted to buy did not make the trip home with me. I would like to say I shoved  it in the face of the  inept clerk who made me wait 45 minutes in line while he <i>slowly</i> bagged each item in separate bags while the the central casting calibre whore-y, tat covered, hot pants wearing hoochie mama at the head of the line put her enormous order on forty-seven different cards and argued with the clerk about payer source all while she made phone calls and laughed and laughed while every one else in line took turns covertly sending her picture to <i>Americas Most Wanted</i> to see if they were looking for her.

I would like to say that forty-five minutes later shoved I the pie into his face as I cackled and bathed in the applause of my peers, but  sadly, the pie did not make it home because yet again, I was charged for it but they didn't give it to me. Those wheels of bags at the foot of the check out area where Wallyworld really makes money, they sell everything in the store <i>twice</i> because they, unlike every other store I shop in, will never run you down to bring you whatever they "accidentally" left on the other side of the bag station.

Now, I am hungry and angry, to add insult to injury, I bought Halloween treats I don't believe are edible. I <i>think</i> they <i>may</i> be some form of fruit roll up, regardless of what they are called, I <i>know</i> they are all roll and no fruit and even I won't eat fruit flavored plastic. The neighborhood kids on the other hand do not have the advanced palate that I do.

And <i>no</i> I did not get a receipt so I could call and verbally eviscerate whoever had the bad luck to answer the phone. In the haze of my post-check out fury I split from the store too fast to grab it from the clerk.

Is it wrong that I bought a card for my best friends wedding at Wallyworld? The first time I went to Hallmark, the second card I got from a grocery and now the third time around I picked one up at Wallyworld, on the upside, it  has a lot more sparkles  than the other two cards combined and I think the sparkles speak to hope and faith and bravery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumping away

Well, I think I met my one true Sump Pump. It was love at first read of the life time warranty. It costs more than I wanted to spend but its cast iron and its just about what I have now. The other choice is a submerged version that the handyman was excited about <i>but</i>, its very plastic and I think I like the idea of the pedestal version... its what I have now and it has very few moving parts.

I can't believe I spent time standing in the big box store really being serious about sump pumps and going over the pros and cons. I learned things about sump pump specs that I did not want to know about. There are things about sump pumps that are not good clean family entertainment.

The nominees are:

At the top of the pedestal class, for @$178 we have more or less the below. Pictured  is not "the" pump because this one is <i>plastic</i>  and costs about $78, the cheaper pumps are all plastic and have at best a two year warranty and I don't want plastic in this application. I want cast-iron and I want a life time warranty.


In the submersible;e division for @$108 we have the above. The handyman likes these better than the others because they start pumping faster <i>but</i> they are so plastic and I imagine a lot of moving parts.

We shall see. The last thing the handyman said to me before he left this afternoon was that it looked like rain... Smart Ass.

Monday, September 26, 2011

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Blogging from my phone

Shopping for sump pumps is the least sexy shopping ever. To get the sexy back, I am going shopping for Barbies.
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To do list

I did some coupon shopping this weekend - Not "extreme" coupon shopping because I only bought what I would eat and the only reason I bought <i>four cans of soup</i>  and <i>two boxes of protean bars</i> was that my coupons <i>demanded that I do so</i> , I was only following orders.

I only got soup flavors I know I like and I did not clear the shelves. I am not a hoarder or greedy. Also, I don't have the storage. I would have bought a couple of very sexy dollar off frozen pizzas but my freezer is sadly, full of green beans and meat loaves. I have too much healthy food  on standby to store unhealthy pizzas. Even thin crust pizzas, the healthy alternative.

I also bought single bags of dog and cat food as well as a single box of diet dog cookies. I saved so much I was bale to pick up a brand new, deeply discounted, food processor. A <i>small</i> food processor, I didn't get crazy. I did decide to replace a very old, grungy processor that didn't like me very much. Ha.

In addition I ended the season for the coleus. It was time, they <i>could</i> have hung on a little longer but they were getting leggy and I, frankly, am getting a little tired of the early morning watering routine. I'm also very into getting this work done before it gets cold and I have to do everything in a sloppy rush. After I got rid of the plants I got really crazy and hosed off the out door furniture and put it in the basement.

Speaking of watering and putting things away, I decided that I am very tired of re-inventing the wheel every spring with the drip hoses. Every year I sweat and curse and work <i>really</i> hard to get the hoses right and it takes a lot of time and effort to re-create whatever I had last year. I <i>know</i> it worked last year and now in the spring I can't remember how I did it <i>last</i> year

This fall, I took pictures of what it looked like. I didn't do proper forensic shots of it but I think I got enough to remind myself of what it should look like next spring. I even drew myself a little map of where the hoses went and where they connected to each other. I still have a pepper plant out there with <i>a</i> pepper growing and of course the beans are still producing, albeit less and less but there are still many baby beans plugging along. I can't take out the rest of the hose system yet. My plan is to hose off the hose I took out and then let it dry out and then bundle it up with  an ID tag and map of where it went. I would like to do this with all the hoses and I would like to do it <i>soon</i>.

When I do get the plants out and the hoses up, I'm going to till the garden and get in some peas and grasses for the winter. This year I won't make the same mistake and just let it grow and grow until I can't till it under.

Oh! Speaking of joy from the garden! I <i>finally</i> scored Liquid Smoke! I can make the BBQ sauce! Woo! I'm going to leave watermelon in the garden until next weekend and that will leave two small melons to find other fun stuff to do with.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Find a penny pick it up...

I was walking Dogger to the ATM so that I could take out some cash so that I could be a good little state employee and  buy lunch at my divisions' State Employee Combined Campaign kick off on Friday. It promises cold hot dogs and warm off brand soda and  access to many, many free pens! I'm psyched.

Its going to run me a $3 donation to get to those free pens and I had no cash. I was going to get out a $20  and then later, go to the dollar store and pick up some dishwasher detergent and possibly some liquid smoke. There is no liquid smoke. Anywhere. Even at the dollar store where stuff like that goes when it is suddenly not seasonal, you can't have liquid smoke <i>and</i> Christmas lights on the shelves at the same time, except, in theory if you are a dollar store and in that case you can have Christmas lights and  coolers and Halloween masks  and Easter eggs <i>at the same time</i> it is retail chaos!, but no liquid smoke.

 The aliens came and took all the bottles away! There is no other explanation for there being <i>no bottles</i> at any store anywhere for any price. The bigger my watermelon gets the more my concern grows and my concern  is swelling like a rain soaked melon as we speak.

Back to walking Dogger. I was walking through the DMV parking lot and I see a $5 bill just laying there! I scooped it up and did not go to the ATM because now my lunch is covered! Yay! I still ended up going to the dollar store but I only spent like $10 - Yes, I bought more than the dishwasher detergent, but still I spent less than $20 so I come out ahead. Find and pick up enough pennies and eventually you will find and pick up a fiver.

To keep myself even, I found a house key in the dollar store parking lot and I turned it into the store, because someone might come looking for it. There was no one to turn the $5 over to but its going to a good cause.

Oh and for those of you keeping track, the basement flooded <i>twice</i> in the last twenty-four hours (a plumberesque person has been alerted and will be here Monday to fix it) and by "it", I do not mean the pump, the pump works just fine, it pumps like a son-of-a-bitch. The "it" that needs attention in the Rube Goldberg-geri- rigged-spit-and-bailing-wire contraption that <i>surrounds and controls</i> the pump. If Santa is reading, I need new rubber boots. Mine have sprung leaks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Smoke does not get in my eyes.

I have not given up the liquid smoke fight. I looked online for it and  while it is <i>there</i> and cheap, the shipping charges render it obscenely over priced - which at this point is saying a lot because I would spend just about as much as any one asked at this point. It just feels like I've come so far, I've found the actual dry sherry, I  have a bag of brown sugar, I bought the tomato paste and I have this huge melon coming ripe any day now. I mean, once you've agreed to buy an entire bottle of wine for a recipe, you're in too far to substitute ew! <i>molasses</i> . I mean, really and if it was only say, a quarter teaspoon or even a teaspoon I wouldn't sweat it but its <i>two tablespoons!</i> that's like a huge amount in tablespoons measurement. There was just a single tablespoon of honey in my ice cream and that is <i>all</i> you can taste.

I don't want to mess with the recipe until <i>after</i> I discover the liquid smoke is a <i>nothing</i> flavoring. And? did you know how they make liquid smoke? It is water that was held over smoke and got smokified. Period, that is <i>all</i> it is. I imagine that I <i>could</i> make it myself...  But isn't that a lot of trouble? and I am <i>not</i> a fan of open flame. On the upside, I <i>do</i> have some twigs and branches that would make lovely smoke if burned. The DIYness of this idea appeals to me.

But how do you keep the water near enough to the smoke to get smoky without causing the water to evaporate in the heat <i>or</i> burning through whatever the water was in? You couldn't very well use a standard pot because their wouldn't be direct contact with the smoke and  you couldn't put it in say, a cloth bag because the water would leak out , perhaps even putting the fire out or burst into flames itself- too much contact. Is there such thing as a water-tight, flame-proof mesh bag?

Perhaps this is what we <i>buy</i> liquid smoke. And if this is the case, <i>why</i> can't I buy it at the store now? Is there a liquid smoke season? Is it like cranberries or fancy extracts? Things that only appear on shelves at a certain time for a certain time? Do we not BBQ year round? What is the Super Bowl without some good BBQ?  I think its a year-round food preparation method and isn't this prime tailgating season?  Why am I being denied my basic right to BBQ! I blame the vinegar based BBQ culture here. Losers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chef Me

Well, <i>that</i> was frustrating. I've gone to two different Kroger's and a Walmart and I have not found Liquid Smoke! I couldn't get away from it this summer when I was hunting for almond extract - Now? <i>everywhere</i> And forty-five different varieties of  vanilla, even at Wally World. On the upside, I <i>did</i> find the dry sherry I was looking for. The melon isn't going to be in the garden forever and once its ready to go I want to be able to <i>go</i> with the sauce. I'm not sure the grocery industry is working with me on this.

Speaking of things to do with watermelon. What did you cook this weekend? I made <i>two different kinds of watermelon ice cream</i>. I win.

 Four cups of watermelon, seeded and mixed with a cup of sugar, pinch salt and lemon juice.

 Mixed with heavy cream and blender-ed.

Just before freezing.
Frozen. Perhaps too hard. I blame too much gelatin. Still, very tasty once you get to it.

The other recipe substituted lemon and honey for sugar and dispensed with the heavy cream and about half the gelatin. The consistency was better but it doesn't taste like watermelon. In the future when I make watermelon ice cream I'll use the ingredients in recipe #1 and the directions for recipe #2.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yay for TV

I just discovered that the DVR is recording <i>nothing</i> today. The schedule skipped from Monday to Wednesday.Nothing. There is not a single show I watch on  a regular bases airing a new episode. When does this new TV season start again?

And speaking of the "new season", I don't think I'm going to be picking up a single new show, well, <i>:maybe</i> that show with Maya Rudolph and Christina Applegate but I don't remember what its called so its hard to find on schedules, and <i>maybe</i> that show called <i>Whitney</i>. There <i>might</i> be another drama in there but I'm not betting on it. The older I get the fewer shows are marketed to me and the fewer in general I want to watch despite the studios desire for me to just die and stop being so old. My fear is a future made up entirely of <i>Ice Road Trucker</i> and <i>Law and Order</i> reruns.

I am looking forward to <i>Community</i> coming back and <i>30 Rock</i> and <i>Bones</i>, clearly I am a big fan of Thursdays. I was trying to remember what <i>exactly</i> I watch on network TV anymore and it was <i>hard</i> So I went by day, <i>House</i> is on Mondays, although I am getting a little tired of House, he never changes or learns or moves on and in that he reminds me of Tommy Gavin on <i>Rescue Me</i., another show I used to like much more than I do now. I don't want  "very special episodes" or big changes in the charactors but come on, a decade or so later let there be <i>some</i> growth.  Ennui in fifty year old men is boring. Tuesdays. NO clue, I think maybe <i>Southland</i> is on Tuesdays when its on, which is rarely, Wednesdays? I think there wasn't anything on Wednesdays, and that night is Netflix night or should I say "Quickflix" night. Blah. Thursdays I'm NBC's bitch and Friday I watch <i>The Soup</i> and <i>Fashion Police</i>. Shut up.

If you are interested and if you're here, you are, today Dogger cut her walk short because she was frightened by a pile of newly ground stump - Good going on that, by the way! The storm was in April, the tree had just been laying there for months.I was hopeing that some enterprising urban yut would spray paint it and we could all pretend it was Urban Art or if we didn't like it, we could scream about the graffiti  and at least then the city would disappear it as is there want.

I figured the house is a rental and they didn't bother taking care of it until the school year started and they wanted to get the place rented and <i>that</i> would be hard to do with a dead tree all over the front yard. I really don't understand Doggers reaction,  she lived with a pile of ground stump in <i>her own yard!</i>. Poor dog, maybe the whole thing was more scaring than I thought.. A few minutes later in that same walk as she was double timing it home a city bus went past and after that we were <i>triple timing</i> it back to the house. On the upside for Dogger her electrolyte test came back normal and she's good for another six months, Oh! note to self! I need to call the vet  and remind them to call in a new six month script to the pharmacy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Emmy (tm) Winners 2011

The Emmy's went to:

Outstanding Supporting Actress Comedy - Julie Bowen, Modern FamilyOutstanding Supporting Actor Comedy - Tye Burrel, Modern FamilyOutstanding Directing Comedy - Micheal Allen Spiller, Modern FamilyOutstanding Writing Comedy - Steve Levitan, Jeffery Richardson, Modern FamilyOutstanding Lead Actor Comedy - Jim Parsons, Big Bang TheoryOutstanding Lead Actress Comedy - Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly
 Outstanding Competitive Reality Show - The Amazing Race
 Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Show - The Daily ShowOutstanding Directing a Variety, Music or Comedy Show - Don Roy King, SNLOutstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Show - The Daily Show
 Outstanding Writing Drama - Friday Night Lights Outstanding Supporting Actress Drama - Margo Martindale, JustifiedOutstanding Directing Drama Series - Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk EmpireOutstanding Supporting Actor Drama - Peter Dinkage, Game of ThronesOutstanding Actress Drama - Juliana Margelies, The Good WifeOutstanding Actor Drama - Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
 Outstanding Writing for Miniseries or Movie - Julian Fellowes, Downton AbbyOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie - Maggie Smith, Upstairs/DownstairsLead Actor in Miniseries or Movie -Berry Pepper, That Distasteful,Historically Inaccurate, Right-Wing Smear Job of JFKOutstanding Directing of a Movie or Miniseries - Brian Percival, Downton-AbbyOutstanding Actor Movie or Miniseries - Guy Pierce, Mildred PierceOutstanding Actress Movie or Miniseries - Kate Winslet, Mildred PierceOutstanding Movie or Miniseries - Downton Abby
 Outstanding Drama Series - Madmen
Outstanding Comedy Series - Modern Family

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

I know you aren't really chipmunks.

The return of the hero

When I came home it took me twenty-five minutes to find Small Cat. I don't think he's happy to be back.

He was <i>hiding</i>! Small Cat is <i>not</i> a hider, he greets me at the door when I come home every day and today of <i>all</i> days he's not waiting for me! He doesn't want to see me. It was a little depressing. I rushed home, I didn't even go harvest green beans first, I went right inside and looked down and there was no Small Cat. I went upstairs, I looked under <i>everything</i> and I was about two more failed attempts before I called my parents and made sure they dropped the cat off at the right house and if they did drop him off where there were supposed to, did he follow them out the door? Where was my cat!?

And there he was. Hiding under a dresser. He hasn't gotten under a piece of furniture since he was a kitten and there he was making like a lost shoe. He is by the way, <i>not</i> fat. Not at all.

I think he had pretty much decided that my parents were his new people now and he lived in this new place and he had a little cat friend to hiss at and things were looking pretty good. It was certainly cooler there <i>and</i> there were chipmunks!

And all of a sudden, he's scooped into his box, shoved into the truck and spirited away. It must have been very confusing to the little guy. The car lasted long enough that he might have decided that <i>this</i> was his new home because there were his people and his little friend and they were all together. It was cramped but his family was around him. He gets comfortable with his new digs and then he gets dumped <i>here</i> and he was a little confused about why they were dumping him at this place and then <i>leaving</i> him, like <i>I</i> did. Poor Small Cat and his abandonment issues. I'm just lucky he was just hiding and not banging his little head into the wall and rocking.

He's still keeping his distance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome home. Small Cat!

I didn't actually manage to get an entry written this evening but I did get my house tidied up ahead of my parents arriving with Small Cat. I haven't mentioned Small Cat lately because I've been jealous as hell of him having more time in Marquette and on vacation than I did so I've been giving him the silent treatment.

Anyway, you can spend the time you would have spent reading today's entry by thinking up creative recipes using watermelon. I picked one of the today in a fit. I should not have, I'm not entirely sure it was ready to leave the nest but what's done is done. I left the larger melon and two small ones on the vine.

objects in frame are larger than they appear. In real life it isn't a massive melon.

Why I garden.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Garden Update 21 2011

We have garden update! I know you have been breathless with anticipation <i>How are the tomatoes? what about the peppers? How 'bout them watermelons? The beans? How are the beans?</i>

Well. The tomatoes <i>were</i> quite lovely, right up until they aged out and I pulled them out. I didn't feel bad about it, I was over them and their shaggy, tangled messiness.



I feel so much better now. So much tidier, well, so many fewer tomato plants. A lot of the peppers went away too, if the plant wasn't producing it was <i>plucked</i>. I decided it was <i>September</i> after all and the toms from my experience will hang on making  fruits for as long as you keep them in the ground <i>none of them</i> are going to ripen.  The peppers that are still busy but living on borrowed time - I have been more than happy with them but even their time is growing short. I think I have four peppers out there that have a future and once they come ripe, well,  its a garden, its not year round work.

The green beans however, <i>Wow!</i> Who knew? They just kind of plodded along all summer. I got a total of <i>two</i> meals out of them and I was beginning to wonder what the big deal was. And then I went on vacation. I came home to <i>all the beans</i>, and I picked them and like any good farmer, I "put them up". I thought the plants were kind of over, right up until I went for a casual pick on Sunday and came away with a boat load of beans. I decided that I should always wait awhile between harvests. Great I said, I'll pick again, say, Friday.

<i>Monday</i> I did a quick look see and came away with <i>another</i> load. I was very thorough. I wasn't going to poke around after work today, because well,  <I>how many could there be? I picked a l l of them all ready</i>, well I found <i>more</i> and there are lots and lots of baby beans out there maturing by the hour.

That is a gallon storage bag and oh, in a couple of days when I have filled it, I will blanch and freeze more beans for the winter. Speaking of eating what comes from the garden. How do <i>you</i> feel about watermelon by say, <i>October</i>?  Yeah, that's my problem. So. I went and looked for recipes that would utilize the melons that did not include the words <i>slushy,Margareta</i> or <i>salad</i> I wanted foods that I could store for the long haul. A challenge. I found recipes for sherbet, ice cream, <i>pie filling</i> and BBQ sauce. All of them look very doable and will let me celebrate my harvest all winter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I would have checked in here earlier but I was shopping for <i>just</i> the right ring-tones for my friends and family and vets. I also downloaded a selection of dog whistles that when I auditioned them for Dogger, she didn't seem to notice. It was a free ap, if I had paid for it, she would have actually noticed it. There is the possibility that she like other old people I am most certainly <i>not</i>, simply can't hear the higher pitched noises anymore.

It was a real struggle to find just the right ring tones. I am not totally happy with the selection that I was able to round up and I am not done looking for Brosky. The world does not have adequate free UT themed ring tones, I will tell you that. I do now however now possess a rich and varied selection of Christmas themed ring tones. I know you care.

You can spend <i>hours</i> downloading aps and widgets. I now have an official ap for finding my car in the parking lot. Pre-R2 I was limping along with my memory or the occasional picture of where I parked the car. I mean, really, how <i>quaint</i> right? I also have a number of aps that will save me from dealing with <i>numbers</i> of any kind! Discounts can no longer hide behind percent signs, wait staff will no longer rejoice in my weak math. No more 50% tips for you Watron!

I have a new  appy"in" for Black Friday sales, bar codes, yard sales and those weird squiggles-in-boxes that have sprung up. I am also going to somehow, be able to keep track of my holiday shopping.I tested it, and <i>that</i> was frustrating. I <i>thought</i> I figured out the program and filled it out and put everyone in and then <i>everything</i> disappeared. Blink. Gone. I did learn that even downsizing my list, I'm going to need to down-market shop even more than all ready. I also should have started shopping all ready. My goal is to be donesky by the middle of November to spread out the credit pain. I was shocked at how fast the total went up, even with my hopeful, thinking positive low balling I indulged in.

On the upside, I <i>do</i> have that yard sale ap...
I am hopeing that the increasing number of young, unleashed dogs we are encountering on our walks <i>will</i> notice and be deeply affected by them in negative run-away-now ways. We can be ever hopeful. On the upside, there is a setting that is quite audible and alarming and would scare away unleashed animals of the two legged variety as well. Not that they have been a problem.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Friends

Today I'm being honored for ten years of service to state. I'm getting a indoor/outdoor thermometer and a ham sandwich from Subway. I'm supposed to dress up. I am honoring the day by foregoing my usual polo shirt and replacing it with a  button up the front white blouse that is only <i>slightly</i> yellowed under the arms.

The phone and I. I went from thinking <i>This is the greatest phone of all time!</i> before I had even used it to <i>Fuck this. I should have just gotten a blackberry.  At least they come with a keyboard!</i> when I had. It took a while come to a detente with New Phone. New Phone has a name now, after I spent most of Friday night into Saturday morning calling it <i>You fucking piece of shit</i> I decided I needed something a little less wordy. I settled on R2, not particularly original but its better than Fucking Piece of Shit. If I am going to live with a droid, I am going to live with the <i>best</i> droid.

I have learned some things. I <i>can</i> text with it, I'm just not as fast as I was but I do have to say its a lot more <i>elegant</i> than with my old phone. I just had to slow down and learn how to make everything work. I wanted to know everything now and when it took a lot longer than I thought it <i>should</i>, I got very frustrated. What was <i>not</i> frustrating?

APS! I have access to APS and WIDGETS!  I can almost forgive the lack of a keyboard if I can get aps! I now have an ap for letting me triage by own symptoms - Answer? <i>Cancer!</i> Everything is cancer. Paper cut? cancer, Headache? cancer, Eye floaties? Eye Cancer. Its not very helpful but it makes whatever really is wrong with me seem really minor. I also have one that says it can check my heart rate . It wants me to out my index finger on the camera lens and letting it do its thing. It measures <i>something</i> but I'm not sure how accurate it is. I also have a couple of translators and a series of Spanish flash cards and IMDB and two magazines and a restaurant finder and a <i>whole bunch</i> of others I can't even remember!

I am the most happy with my trivia game. I am finding that my first thought is almost always the right answer. When I second guess myself I get it wrong. I also got Angry Birds because its a law.

Sunday I went to the flea market and picked up a "bumper", a screen cover and two wall chargers. I really wanted to get a blingy cover for the phone but I decided that if I wanted bling I could download a sparkly wallpaper or something and not go with the kind of tacky blingy case choice they had at the market. I settled on a  white cover I could easly find in my purse. Perhaps Santa could find a tasteful blingy cover. R2 and I are going to be fine.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Small Cat on vacation.

Row, row, row your box...


New Phone!!

So much better than the old phone! Isn't it gorgeous? and not only is it pretty it is also <i>smart</i> and has a great personality. If it were a person it would have to pay it to be around me.  Oh, I <i>do</i> have to pay it to be around me.

Which leads me to : Changes had to be made.  First off, change the dial up plan to something cheaper. Check. Saved myself $17 a month - clearly should have done this a long time ago. Next? cancel the long distance ( I hardly use it any way and it will save an additional $14 a month) and cut the extras from the land line. Oddly, AT&T does not make this easy.  I'm jumping through a lot of hoops to cut about $7 a month but every penny counts. Ideally, I would cut the land line all together but I need it for the dial up and my alarm system. I am however planning to find out if the alarm system <i>really</i> needs it and as far as the dial up, well, its days are numbered. I could save an additional $40 a month without it.

I'm hopeing my early next year to switch to wireless service, not cheaper but it might be worth it, although it would mean losing an email addy I've had since 1999! Shut up, its important to me.

<i>Any way</i> my morning trauma.

At 1am I was awoken by a keening from the basement. My first thought was <i>That damn sump pump battery! !@#$% I am so tired of this!</i> I went groped around for my glasses and went half asleep to the basement to re-set the button and hopefully go back to sleep. This was to dream.

I plodded down to the basement and saw water. A lot of water. The entire basement floor was submerged under what looked like several inches of water and clearly it had been in that condition for more than a while. Now I'm awake. I remembered that I was down there over the weekend and everything was fine, so it must have happened during the heavy rains on Tuesday. It was now <i>Thursday</i>.

I reached over the stair railing and plugged in sump pump #1. It roared to life and the tide began to go out. This took an hour. While this was happening I grabbed a broom and barefooted - ew! dead cockroach bodies float!  I tried to hurry the process by sweeping the ankle deep water out of the corners and towards the pump. I also picked up several now ruined but thankfully empty cardboard boxes and watched Tex's old little box float merrily around the floor. Fortunately, before I left for vacation I had cleared everything that could have been damaged by flood to higher ground,  so the damage was hugely minimized. The actual  real life hurricane did not cause the basement to flood. The ragged edge of the vestiges of a tropical storm flooded the basement. It pays to be prepared.

Still no fun though and even less so at that hour of the morning - but better to discover it at 1am than as I was walking out the door to work or go yet another day without discovering it.  After the floor was just puddly and the worst was down the drain I clicked on the dehumidifier and unplugged the pump and went to bed. It was 2:15am. Three hours later I was up and dressed and walking Dogger. Two McDonald's mocha frappuccinos kept me alert if not awake at my desk all day.

My plan for lunch was to run no errands and eat a quite meal at my favorite Chinese restaurant, as one of my co-workers gave me cash for my birthday ( not sure of if I am comfortable with that) and I was going to treat myself . Instead I rushed home to continue to take care of now merely damp basement.

Why was there a keening in the basement? It wasn't  the pump battery whining about being stupid. It was a worn out  smoke detector I didn't even know was there, telling me its battery needed to be replaced. I marched myself upstairs and did as it asked. I got lucky, even with nothing to get damaged by the water, it would not have been good to let it sit there any longer than it did.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new.

I'm getting a new phone. Or, by the time you'll be reading this I'll have a new phone. A new Smart phone.  I thought my old phone was smart but apparently it was really not as smart as I thought it was, it was in fact merely smarter than I am.

My old phone aging out means that I have to rescue my contacts from it before it effectively dies sometime Thursday morning. I had no idea how useful it was going to be when I got it, I haven't had to
 remember phones since I got it and I'm not always having to keep track of endless numbers on endless slips of paper either. I always have doctors numbers, vender's numbers, <i>any</i> number at my finger tips.

It wasn't until I had to fill pages of little slips of paper that I realized how many I had collected! A number to a cab company I used once two years ago, the number of my bank, the numbers of all the vets I've used over the last two years, the numbers of my doctors, my upholstery guy. I had no idea I was this organized.

I also had to upload all the pictures.  A couple of years with my phone.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The thing I miss the most about vacation is that  <I>miss my dog!</i>

 I got really used to reaching down  anytime and finding a fuzzy nose or floppy year or furry flank. There are no dogs back at work and if you do work in  an environment where you can take your dog to work you either work too hard or too long.

Dogger seems a little sad too. She knows that things are different and she's back to sniffing used condoms and smashed bottles. On the upside, she really, really is glad to have her futon back, as much as she loves being on vacation, she's really fond of her own bed. A traditional dog bed or gasp! having to <i>sleep on the floor</i> is kind of a hardship to a dog accustomed to the finer doggy things.

As much as she loves her futon,  while on vacation she got used to going on  several really interesting walks a day through exciting places

.... and snuffing really interesting sniffs:  skunks! chipmunks! beavers! coyotes! deer! and having this neat terrain to experience - beaches and swamps and wetlands and rock out crops and ponds and deep forests and creeks - but not too terrain-y or uneven because neither of us are too in to <i>extreme</i> dog walks. We live downtown, any ground that isn't crumbling concrete seems like terrain to us.

While I was communing with nature, moss is awesome by the way, they cleaned my desk while I was gone. I'm not sure what I think about that. I was going to clean before I left but I didn't end up finding the time. Also, I didn't think that the ladies who would be sitting at my desk in my absents would have the ovaries to do it. As it turns out, at least one of them clangs when she walks. I'm not sure how I feel about my stuff being molested, but my desk is clean now. I did notice that the interior of my desk is as grubby and kind of gross as when I left it. Good.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I'm back and I hit the ground running.

The garden "before"

This is the garden "after"

I cleaned house. I came home and did a quick census of who was still productive and who was taking up space and when the dust cleared, literally, I was like a plant-ripping-out tornado, I was left with  three pepper plants, the green beans and a watermelon plant.

The productive plants were <i>very</i> productive and I was able to "put up" a lot of peppers and green beans.The watermelons were not ready to be harvested, but what am I going to do with all those watermelon anyway?

(clearly for display only, this little guy was DOA)

My franken sprinkler worked after all and my  policy of benign neglect, turned out to not be very negligent at all! You can hardly tell they suffered neglect at all, benign or otherwise. I should have started to neglect them months ago! The pumpkin vines died back but that had started before I left, the plants up the front stairs got leggy but their season is ending anyway, and I think they will be the next plants to get yanked. The impatience's  are still going strong.

I also put away all my stuff from the trip, did a mountain of laundry for the <i>dog</i>, took care of some residual laundry of mine from before the trip,  trimmed back all the shrubbery, got pictures made for the folks at work and cleaned out the car.

For those of you keeping track of the natural disasters that happened while I was gone, there was no real damage. I did lose the chimney topper but it fell into the yard - where it did murder a watermelon! but otherwise, everything was fine. I had been hopeing score a good case of food poisoning or flu to prevent my return to work, sadly I am healthy and its back to work I go.