Random bits of my so-called life.

Bow wow!

March 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

Maybe we should change the sign to “Beware of KW”!

I’m not a total grump today. Although I reeeeaallly neeeeed some, ahem, space at the Landfill at the end of the day. And if there isn’t some nice folk music streaming when I get home I’m likely to turn on NPR and talk to the radio. On top of that, today I had to reset my bank password. I won’t go into the gyrations involved in doing that but I suspect it was because my current pw did not include a “special character”. I suspect (but am not sure) that my company handles consumer online banking for this particular bank and I am intimately familiar with the password rules. Fortunately I was able to change the pw via my phone and not have to call anyone.

I am grumpy about a couple other things. One is that Linked In continues to send me suggestions to connect with someone who disconnected with MEEEE a number of years ago. Hey guys, she’s the one who disconnected from me. Is your system not smart enough to figger that? I don’t want to connect with her and I don’t want to see her sh*t-eatin’ grin every Monday morning.

The other thing is that every year on St. Urho’s Day (do the google), various people tag me with cute little facebook memes to wish me a happy St. Urho’s Day. That’s all very nice except that I am not Finnish. I am not Finnish! I AM NOT FINNISH! I have [technically] blonde hair and blue eyes and my surname begins with the letters “Fin”. In fact I would bet you dollars that there are Finnish people with darker hair than mine and brown eyes and most Finnish names do not begin with “Fin”. I have nothing against Finland or St. Urho’s Day. I have some lovely Finnish friends. It’s just that I hate when people (some who have known me for many years) presume I am something I am not and send me memes that don’t make any sense to me. If you care enough about me to tag me with something, at least get to know me enough to know if it’s appropriate or not.

Yes of course these are all first-world problems. It sounds silly even to me to be grumpy about being a person of Caucasian northern-European heritage being stereotyped as a person with, uh, Caucasian northern-European heritage… Er, some of my best friends are Finns? (That was a joke albeit a VERY BAD one.)

We won’t talk about the Orange Baboon today except to say Bow wow! Arf arf arf. Yip yip yip.

And Bow wow to y’all except in a friendly way.

In which I made it to Mars and back

March 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yes! I am at the back of the Landfill backyard. I took the compost out today. I did not have to wear Yaktrax or big rubber boots or carry a staff. I. just. walked. In Keen sandals. And dumped the compost. Getting to the back of the back yard the last few weeks was a feat just about equal to traveling to Mars. At least it felt that way. So much ice!

I did a lot of jumping around this morning but sometime in the afternoon, I settled in and finished reading “The Martian”. I shed tears throughout the end albeit mainly of stress. I don’t think Mark Watney would want me to cry over him. Am I ready to watch the mooooovie? Probably not tonight. I parlayed what I thought might be a book hangover into something different, which was to re-read Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”. Why not switch from hard science to poetry?

I read The Martian Chronicles when I was in high school. I remember almost nothing about it except that Martians have golden eyes…

The Martian is totally science. The Martian Chronicles, not so much. Atmosphere on Mars? In The Martian you can’t breathe outside. In the Chronicles, the atmosphere is thin but earthlings can breathe it. Also in the Chronicles, there is/was/whatever a civilization on Mars.

I love both books for what they are and I am having fun reading the chronicles in quick succession after The Martian.

Ray Bradbury represents one my few close encounters with a celebrity. Our YAG theatre group was producing Fahrenheit 451. I was taking community college classes and hanging out at the WCC library before class. I received an email from an friend/assistant of Ray. I was kinda like aaaaaahhhh whaddo I doo… Ray was interested in our production. I carefully replied that it would be best if Ray communicated with our executive director. They did connect to great success. I think Ray wanted to attend one of our performances but was not healthy enough to travel to The Planet Ann Arbor.

Ray is gone and so is YAG (alas) and I miss those days so much. Sometimes…

Love y’all, KW

Do you need tape? I have tape

March 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

I cannot figure why I have this much tape.

I almost never use tape in this day and age. I used to use it all the time when I was managing the young actors guild. I spent a lot of time at office supply stores back in those days. Not so much now.

I’ve got all this tape. I think the Scrap Box will take it. I am not gonna use it. I am not following Kon Mari here. This is just a mini-bit of the flinging I’ve been doing on and off for years. Fly Lady is more my mentor than Kon Mari. But whatever flotes yer bote 🐸

I woke up to an unexpected layer of snow and was glad I didn’t have to drive the Ninja anywhere this morning. The roads were reportedly horrible with critical stretches of the freeway totally iced over. Snow squalls happened throughout the morning but by mid-afternoon, the snow and ice had melted. I will be oot and aboot tomorrow morning.

I hung out at the Landfill all day, doing various laundry and cleaning chores. It was fun vicariously watching a trip to the Scaup cabin via text messages and beginning about mid-afternoon, I made my way through a good chunk of The Martian. I began that book with quite a bit of trepidation but I am having a great time with it!

Hail! Hail! Michigan!

March 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yer fav-o-rite blahgger on Monday: Thursday is supposed to get really warm so it’ll be a good day to grill some kinda beest for our dinner/laundry guests!

Thursday night? Pouring rain, hail, lightning, and a tornado siren. Bada bing!

As you can see, the GG is in his element out there in the, uh, elements. Grill out we did. Pork tenderloin for our dinner/laundry guests. I thought of this as a kind of throw-away pic, a quick little point-and-shoot bit of iPhoneography to document the weather during a Thursday evening grilling session. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. There’s ‘hicken waiting patiently to begin his duty as Garden Sentinel. And there’s our big old snowblower, which needs a name, I guess…

Apparently there was an actual cyclonic storm to the west of us somewhere. There hasn’t been a big bunch of news brouhaha about it so I’m sure it was a small funnel, as most of our tornadoes are. At most, there might be isolated bits of roof damage or a few trees down or whatever.

Nevertheless I have a few tornado stories up my sleeve. I’ll spare you the Toilet Tornado for now. Instead, I’ll retell the story I told last night in an attempt to embarrass a beach urchin. It was years ago. It was late afternoon at the Landfill and rough weather was heading our way. The sky got really dark (but not green) and the tornado sirens went off. Dum de dum de dum.

Outside, life went on as if there wasn’t anything unusual going on. 1) Across the street, there was a LOUD woodchipping prodject going on. The workers continued throughout the storm. 2) Moths were mating in a crack in our sidewalk. Hans and the GG were watching intently, with the GG taking pictures (this was before digital photography but not toooo long before). (I love the neighbors who bought Hans’s house but OMG do I miss Hans.)

To save them from the tornado…

…Which never happened… At least not in our neighborhood. I don’t even remember what happened in that storm. I know it didn’t do anything to us.

In defense of the Aminal Flingers, they had fairly recently survived the Toilet Tornado, which was actually a pretty scary event.

Just another day at Cubelandia

March 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

One of those crazy kind of work days where all kinds of unexpected things happen. For the most part not anything terribly exciting.

Our research team meeting was all over the place. Although I did get some good info out of it, we kept veering off on tangents, movies for one. I don’t really watch movies that much. I’m not crazy about going to theaters. I’d rather watch them at home but that usually happens at night and one of the quickest ways to put me to sleep is to turn on a movie.

We went from there (somehow) to pi…. I wonder whi? All of a sudden Amazon Woman interrupted our meeting to I/M Building Mom. How many pis do you want? How about ice cream? And Redi-Whip? What time? You know that it is Π Day today roight? So we had pie for Π Day. Somehow this tipped me totally over into an trip down memory lane and I reported that my fave pies as a kid were cherry, lemon meringue, and blueberry, in pretty much that order. I reported my [vague] memories of my grandma baking pies in the wood cooking stove in the Old Cabin and how we would pick blueberries right there in the woods surrounding the cabin. I think my friends were rather impressed with all of that and so I didn’t tell them that my fave pie back then involved cherry pie filling from a can.

And then… I fergit what time it was but I heard somebody yell “RAINBOW!” so I looked out through the lunchroom window (which I can do from my cube) and WOW! This iPhone photo does not do this thing justice. Not at all. Tok was out there with his ubercam and I’m sure he’ll post his pics on our internal drive but you are stuck with my photoshopped iPhone photooo.

A while later I was walking out to the Ninja and I heard an unfamiliar cracking kind of sound. Thunder! I scurried out and into my vee-hickle and a radio alert reported that severe storms were rolling through The Planet Ann Arbor. Fortunately I was pretty far to the south of the major activity so my commute was uneventful.

Astronomical winter is not over yet and it’s gonna get colder again but I’ll take any harbinger of spring I can get at this point. I am so over Black Ice.

News break maybe?

March 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

Once upon a time I listened (somewhat attentively) to the news on NPR and read the Ann Arbor Snooze every afternoon (the dead tree version). I am not a TV news watcher although if I happen to be in a place where the TV is blaring news sometimes I have trouble keeping my eyes away from it. I loved watching TV 9&10 News when we went to the Moldy Old cFam Cabin back in the Jurassic Age but that’d be a whole ‘nother story.

Nowadays I listen to EMU’s NPR in the morning. I like to get the news but I am mostly interested in the weather and road conditions, especially at this time of year. EMU’s NPR station does a better job at reporting local stuff like that than UMich. For some bizarre reason UMich always begins weather by reporting conditions on the west side of the lower peninsula even though UMich is *on* The Planet Ann Arbor.

Nowadays… I also get the news from Twitter. I subscribe to the Orange Baboon’s “fake news” sites like the New York Times and the Washington Post and a number of others including things like the WSJ, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Breitbart (yes), and I fergit what else. I appreciate the flexibility this offers me. I can look at the news whenever I want to (like if I am in a feet-up-on-desk thinking mode at work) or I can ignore it (like if I am in a mad coding mode at work).

But. On the other hand, today (during my FUOD thinking hours), I was bombarded with the same stories over and over. Desperate Housewives star pays to get her kids into Harvard (or wherever it was). We all know this kind of stuff happens. How do you think the Orange Baboon got any kind of a college degree anywhere? Fred Trump paid for it! After reading a few disjointed unintelligible stories about this, I wanted it all to go away. Again, it ain’t news. I hope shining a light on it changes things but it won’t.

Paul Manafort? He gets an additional sentence? Ho-hum. Okay. I know that taking down the Orange Baboon’s henchmen one minor sentencing at a time MAY EVENTUALLY lead to the OB’s demise. But I am sick to death of hearing about Paul’s woes and sentencing and whatever else. He should’ve known better than to hang his fortune on a thug like the OB. I am with Nancy Pelosi in that the best demise for the OB is for him to lose the next “presidential” election.

Grounding the planes? Oh, please. I think it should’ve happened a lot sooner. I knoooooow how many successful flights have happened since the second 737MAX8 crashed. Blah blah blah blah blah. I remember a convo between my old coot and Uncle Duck about a crash out of O’Hare a billion years ago. They both flew in WWII and Uncle Duck became a Full Bird in the USAF before he retired. They were talking about a plane that crashed during training exercises. Someone who had recently flown the plane had noticed issues with controlling it. That pilot returned safely to base but the next person to take it up was not so lucky. That was only one plane but those hardened WWII pilots also had a hunch. No matter how many of these modern planes have made successful flights, pilots have reported difficulties with controlling the planes.

So, good for old Trumpty Dumpty for grounding those planes except that I suspect someone with an actual brain must’ve turned off Fox News and pried his fingers off his frickin’ phone to make that announcement. Ivanka maybe? Or Jared? Probably not but whatever, his words must have been scripted by someone with a working brain, which probably wouldn’t be Ivanka or Jared…

Enough ranting for tonight. I cleaned Gertrude’s top oven six weeks ago or so, one of the days I was working from home in subzero temperatures. So I was surprised that when I put it on preheat this afternoon it started smoking a bit and I found some stuff on the bottom of the oven. It’s okay, I have the Retro-Fan on and I will clean Gertrude’s top oven again this weekend.

Mrs. Malaprop

March 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

My ears pricked up today when I heard a couple of my fave co-workers discussing what is apparently a common malapropism.

Those of us who write, whether we write for a living or for fun, often fall victim to any number of errors. I write both for a living and for fun. As you might be able to guess, I do not write novels for a living. I write functional specifications for a web application. I love this work but I write for a very limited audience and y’all would be bored to tears by the writing I do in my career.

I have always been good at spelling/grammar/syntax so when I make errors, they are usually copy/paste things where I end up with extraneous or missing words or sometimes run-on sentences. I mean, MS Word flags spelling errors and some grammar/syntax errors. But Word Salad? I am a master at Word Salad, at least when I am writing a first draft of something. My rule of thumb when I am starting a prodject, especially one that isn’t well defined, is to just start getting it all down. I can rearrange it later.

One of the folks in this convo was FZ. He is a stickler for spelling/grammar/syntax and he always GLEEFULLY points out any typographical errors I have made and revels in politely pointing out Word Salad. He is my best reviewer and proof-reader. I am always happy when he reviews my documents and I love him for it. I mean in a work-buddy kind of way.

Rocks was the other convo participant. She told us that one of her brother’s life goals is to make as many malapropisms as possible. I actually think that’s kind of a good goal.

My fun writing is mainly my blahg. It’s my own place to rant and rave or document my boring day and sometimes explore a bit. And sometimes a certain, ahem, amphibian gets drunk on “londry” detergent with a chaser of Listerine and takes control when I am not paying attention.

I have always been pretty careful about what I write about in this space in terms of subject matter although sometimes I cannot control my outrage at who/whatever and yes I do sometimes subtweet. (Do The Google.) I don’t have a proof-reader for this thing. The GG reads it on and off and has been known to say things something like, “I can’t figure out what the heck you’re talking about.” And that’s okay. I’m doing this stoopid blahg more for meeeee than anyone else but I don’t mind errors being pointed out 🧡🧡🧡

Bitten by bit9 (or was it ice9)

March 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

I did not have a wonderful day at Cubelandia. No I didn’t get laid off or yelled at or anything of the sort. An application that I use CONSTANTLY to edit html files suddenly went on the fritz and wouldn’t let me open any files. Fortunately one of our Super Wizards helped me troubleshoot the problem. Actually, he took over and dredged around in the bowels of my musheen and I knew better than to try to follow everything he was doing. He did sort out my problem. I think. Unfortunately, it was taking sooooo long to repair that I had to bag it for the day. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Other than that, one of the beach urchins and I were Kexting yesterday about booooooks. We were both thinking about what to read next and she asked me about the book I had just finished (which showed up on Goodreads). I don’t usually rate books when I finish them. I’m not sure why. Partly I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough to rate books or review them. Partly I often feel like I need to “process” a book before I can give it 1-5 stars. I liked the recently read book just fine but it didn’t really make me go WOW or even give me a book hangover.

Then, in my own flailing around to find What To Read Next, I came across an author I have only recently tried out even though there was a paperback or two of hers hanging around our shabby little Superior Street bungalow when I was a kid. Daphne du Maurier. I read Rebecca a while back and it was a combination of WOW and hangover with a little “processing” mixed in. A while after that I stumbled upon a modern “retelling” of the story (modern enough that people were texting each other via smart phones). I had pretty much the same reaction to that as I had to Rebecca so I mentioned both books to the beach urchin.

I toyed with reading another du Maurier but eventually settled on The Martian for my next book. I have barely started it so it hasn’t “grabbed” me yet but I am optimistic since I have read another book by this author (Artemis). I just hope I can keep up with the science! And it is up to the beach urchin what she reads next. I’m sure that it won’t be the infamous traveling funeral book.

Speaking of bit9 and science and ice (in the pic, backyard frozen solid this AM)… If you have read Kurt Vonnegut like I did when I was in a high school sci-fi phase, you may have heard of ice 9. Cat’s Cradle. Do the Google.


March 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

I made the executive decision to put some compostables in the garbage today rather than navigate this landscape to take them to the compost bin. That stuff is *ice*, not slush, and toward the back, there are several inches of water. On top of ice. Nope. Not doing it. Not even with Yaks.

But this is just the grass. The sidewalks and streets were easily navigable at 35-plus degrees and I was able to walk and get over to the Plum with no problem. And there I ran into Goosemom for some good gossip and my fave cashier Joyce was about to close her till out for the day when I got in her queue but took me as her last customer! Yay! According to the Plum Market gals, the streets were indeed iffy last night with heavy rain and temps hovering around freezing. I’m glad I didn’t need to go anywhere.

I’ve been off-and-on binge-watching the Handmaid’s Tale series for a couple weeks. I was on the verge of finishing the last episode in the first season and I was, well, tearing up. And then… My frickin’ phone rang. It was the GG. Such goooood timing. What doooo I doooo? Do I decline his call? Okay okay. I picked up. He wanted to know what I was doing. I was pretty sure he didn’t want to know that I was watching the Handmaid’s Tale but I decided to suck it up and tell him exactly that. Ridiculous polly-tickle discussion ensued. Um, I was watching it because I love a good dystopian story and I have now read the BOOK *TWICE* and I guess I just couldn’t get enough. And yes the series was hard to watch but it was good. It was *hard* to watch because human beings were enslaved.

Anyway, I do not like the Orange Baboon one iota but I am not willing to believe that our society will devolve into the fugly kind of patriarchy depicted in the Handmaid’s Tale because of his idiocracy. But more on that some other day. I am sick to death of being accused of being a communist (I am NOT) or a socialist (I am NOT) or a Bernie Sanders supporter (I am NOT) or stupid (PLEASE!). Nevertheless, when asked the question (as I was today) if I had to choose between Bernie and Trump, I’d vote for Trump, right? Well, I hope to HELL those two will not be my choices in 2020 but NONONONONONONO NOOOOOOO, I will not vote for Trump. Not ever! And I won’t vote for some marginalized third party candidate either. I WILL go with Bernie if it comes to that, at least he cares about something besides himself, which is all Trump cares about. But I’ll be in the voting booth holding my nose and praying in my own godless way.

In other news, one of my goals for the weekend was to ferret out all of the pepper and salt shakers in the Landfill Chitchen because it seemed like we have a LOT of them hanging around. Final tally? Four pepper shakers and five salt shakers. That’s just containers purchased from the grocery store. There are also the wooden mid-century modern salt shaker and pepper grinder I grew up with and probably a baggy of peppercorns to use in that pepper grinder.

You’re welcome

March 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

No I did not manage to post a blahg entry yesterday. I am not sure I have anything much to say today either. I am here. It was a Saturday. I spent a lot of time mending my fave skirt and doing small cleaning chores. I did take the Ninja out to the post office to drop off a letter and then drove by Swan Corners. Lotsa geese but no swans that I could see. They have been there.

I did see pairs of geese over at Cubelandia this week. I think they were scoping out nesting territory. And so another cycle of geese begins. I have been working down there for so many years now and I have been watching their life cycle for all that time. I have driven into the parking lot just as a flock of geese takes off to migrate south. And yet some of the geese hang around all year.

It is wet outside but I’m not sure if it is rain or ice. The predictions were for rain this afternoon/evening but it is 32 degrees and my weather apps are showing freezing rain. I do not have to go outside so I won’t.


March 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

A couple weeks ago or so, I chopped up some onions for a future prodject and left them sitting on the chitchen counter kinda lightly covered. I had to use Onion Goggles to cut them up and then I had to wash my face after it was all done to, well, get my eyes back to normal.

An hour or so later, the GG asked, “Do you smell anything?” I have a Super Nose so Landfill folks often ask me this kind of question. Well, I didn’t smell anything much but the GG was complaining about his eyes and stuffed up nose. Was it a smoky smell? Is the place on faaaar? It wasn’t. It was pungent onion fumes permeating the entire house. Yes.

I secured the chopped onions into a container and put it into the refrigerator and it was all good.

Tonight I cooked coq au vin for a couple of visitors. My mouse and I texted about visiting tonight and at first I was thinking something like “what could I cook?” I figured it out and I used My Dear Uncle Harry’s recipe, more or less. It doesn’t seem to be on my laptop. I know I have it on a handwritten recipe card but I didn’t feel like looking that up. Anyway it is simple. Chicken thighs, onion slices, mushrooms, Greek olives, a few herbs (I used thyme and tarragon tonight). All of this gets sauteed and then simmered in white whine, whatever kind of white whine happens to be around.

So, good day today culminating in dinner/laundry visitors. Love y’all, KW!

Shut the Front Door!

March 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

A while back Building Mom brought in a kind of a dice game that is played on a wooden frame. The name of the game is Shut the Front Door. I actually think the phrase Shut the Front Door means something not very polite but the game seems popular. Since I am near the lunch room, I often hear people playing it for a few minutes while they take a break from work.

At any rate, the GG was gone ALL DAY and when I came home this afternoon, I touched Disco Lock, hoping like heck it would UNLOCK without a problem. It was COLD AGAIN today and I didn’t want to have to put all my crapola down to dredge my phone out (which is what locks/unlocks Disco Lock). I do have a regular key on my key ring but c’mon, the point of installing a Disco Lock is so you don’t have to use the key.

Sooooo. My phone actually communicated with Disco Lock. Unfortunately, it LOCKED the door. Yes, the door had been left unlocked ALL DAY!!! !!! !!! Miraculously, after one false start, my phone actually unlocked it again. Whew!

I have not actually played Shut the Front Door. I am really not much of a gamer, unless you count the xword. I did go through a few phone game phases. Angry Birds to de-stress while The Commander was in rehab, etc. Candy Crush (yes really and C*Q*L caught me at it once🐲) for a while after The Comm died because for a while I needed, well, I dunno what, mindless activity, I guess. Two Dots and that gradient game I played endlessly for a few days at xmas, both courtesy of Lizard Breath. And then there was that cat yard game. Hmmm, also courtesy of Lizard Breath. We were ALL playing that and even TEXTING each other about it. I haven’t done anything with my cat yard in forever so I guess my cats have all moved on.

I am pretty much done with phone games for the time being and on to READING actual books (on my phone) and even watching mooooovies (also on my phone). I still avidly do the xword but I have done xword puzzles on and off throughout my entire life, starting with buying random puzzle books at the Red Owl grokkery store when I was a kid. I cannot get enough xwords and I even kind of hoard them so if I am (for example) in the passenger seat on an LSD trip to Crazy Old Fla, I have something I can de-stress with. I can’t usually get lost in a book while *anyone* else is driving.

All that said, I am not sure phone games are totally mindless or categorically bad for people as long as playing a phone game isn’t the only thing they do in life. Phone games do require various fine motor skills and I personally believe they exercise your brain. I’m sure there are PhD folks out there studying this stuff.

Large Meat Lover’s Pizza

March 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

Er, not exactly although it does have pepperoni on it as you may be able to see. This pizza has a shredded zucchini crust, topped with some pretty normal stuff. I do not have a recipe for this. I was talking to one of my fave NCT gals over the weekend and she mentioned she had made some zucchini crust pizza and I immediately jumped onto my computer iPhone to Do The Google.

Hmmm, I wonder if there is a dance called The Google, like when I was a kid there was The Twist and The Mashed Potato and The Freddie. These dances were actually a bit before my time although I was a wannabe. By the time I was old enough to go to junior high mixers and things, it seemed like dancing (for most of us anyway) was sort of stepping back and forth from one foot to the other and waving your arms around. Anyway, I wonder what The Google would look like if it were an actual dance. Dooya think George Dubya does it? I haven’t done The Google so I don’t know the answers to these questions.

Anyway, a plethora of recipes for zucchini crust pizza turned up. I picked one and it turned out pretty dern good.

What else? I finished Mrs. Caliban and I started (dun dun dun) The Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book umpteen gazillion years ago. I wanted to say that I read it before I had children but since it was written in 1985, that would be an Alternative Fact. Boy oh boy, there are so many things I do not remember about this book. I remember the overall theme and some of the [horrific] things the handmaid went through as a “breeder” (that’s my word, she wasn’t called that in the book).

I’ve only just started the book but I wanted to make sure that I read it before the sequel is published, which is next September (I pre-ordered the ebook today). And I think I will try to download the TV series. I’m not sure it’s a series the GG and I would enjoy watching together and that’s okay.

I can’t imagine living in a society where being “a protected woman” meant that I could not work at any job I chose, read books (any books!), walk out my front door to get into my automotive vee-hickle and drive wherever I want. Or walk, if I so choose. And cook whatever the f*ck I want to, on my own stove. And choose whether or not to have children… I did choose to have children and then I chose when to stop, after two, even though I was probably built for the “assembly line”. I would have welcomed any subsequent “surprise” babies.

Sorry to get all “women’s lib” on y’all but I do have opinions and certain things about today’s political climate scare the hell outta me. Love y’all. KW

Zippity Zappity Deer-deer-deer-deer-whomp

March 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

The forecast today was for occasional flurries. I’m not sure why Old Man Winter saw fit to dump 90% of those “flurries” on my morning commute. The roads were pretty okay but they were not clear and I had the Ninja and most people were driving below the speed limit. So I was REALLY IRRITATED when someone passed me, apparently in a “Fit of Pique”, on the squiggly little road into Cubelandia. The speed limit is 25 there and I was going maybe 23. Why? Because I have seen sooooo many people spin off our squiggly little road in the 11(!) years I have been working down there. You wanna spend your morning dealing with a tow truck and auto insurance? Fine, go for it. I will take a pass. Plus there are ponds everywhere, fer kee-reist.

Some people around here felt that it was brutally cold today. Yes. I don’t think we got up over 15 degrees all day. I was so completely comfortable over at Cubelandia that I didn’t even think about the temperature. I credit Amazon Woman for that. We have been having building HVAC issues for years. AW is an engineer and she Bird Dogged our HVAC contractor into sending someone out who actually knew what they were doing. She understands all of this stuff and climbs up ladders to look at what’s above the ceiling. So nice to work with/for intelligent people 🐽

My job toady today became zipping up big folders of files in order to move them to a new location. Because I am a systems analyst, this meant that every time I zipped one of these folders up, before I moved it, I unzipped it in order to make sure it still “worked” (don’t ask). Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And I will be revisiting those that didn’t “work” again to try and figger out why. Did the “system” just get “taaared”? I won’t report back about this. You do not want to know.

Oh yeah, while I was sitting around baby-sitting zipping and unzipping stuff today, I finished the book Mrs. Caliban (novella really, it’s short). Big green ocean man walks into bored housewife’s chitchen and, well, love ensues. Some people have said that the recent novel/movie The Shape of Water plagiarizes this book. I don’t agree with that. If anything, The Shape of Water kind of riffs off of Mrs. Caliban. At any rate, Mrs. Caliban will take me a while to process. I loved it but some of the stuff that happened was pretty dark (or maybe it was Black Comedy? (or maybe it didn’t even happen…)). Not sure if this book would be everyone’s cup o’ tea but if you like kinda weird stuff, go for it.

Sinking spells

March 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

So last night we were having dinner at Pizza House and strategizing where to eat breakfast this morning with a few North Country Trail friends before we all split up to travel in different directions.

I don’t remember the East Lansing area being devoid of breakfast restaurants when I lived there umpteen gazillion years ago but that might be because I didn’t eat breakfast at restaurants very often. Or eat breakfast at all. I’ll omit a bunch of crazy breakfast-seeking gyrations we went through last year culminating in Utility Food at a McDonald’s drive-thru.

*This* year, our Lansing buddy Greg came to the rescue by suggesting the Fleetwood Diner. At the mention of “Fleetwood Diner” the GG’s eyes immediately lit up like somebody had just served him a Large Meat Lover’s Pizza! “Is that the same outfit as the Fleetwood Diner on The Planet Ann Arbor?” Yes, yes, it is. The GG walks downtown for breakfast at the Fleetwood Diner regularly. It is an Ann Arbor icon that serves food 24 hours a day. It is not the fanciest restaurant around but the food is good, the clientele can be “interesting”, and hippie hash is on the menu!

I knew that there was a Fleetwood Diner in Lansing but I didn’t know how close it was to where we were staying so didn’t think of it. On Greg’s recommendation, six of us had a great breakfast there. Our friend Greg is not a morning person and so did not join us. It’s okay, we love him anyway.

The Lansing Fleetwood is 14 years old (I asked). I have no clue how old the Planet Ann Arbor Fleetwood is. It certainly predates my 30-something (er, more like 40, yikes!) years of residence here.

After breakfast our friends went north and we meandered southeast via the Dexter Trail. We had NOOOOO food here so I went over to the Plum to get food (and a hug). When I got back, the GG was having a sinking spell in the back room. I did a similar thing even though I did not do any of the heavy lifting throughout the weekend. Or much of anything really.

Orange is the new Red Plaid

March 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

Red Plaid is suddenly EVERYWHERE! Just a few years ago I was looking high and low for Red Plaid stuff that would be bizcaz-able. Nowadays there is all manner of Red Plaid wear out there on the market. I personally own two Red Plaid skirts and a Red Plaid jackety kind of thing. I wore one of my Red Plaid skirts to help staff our North Country Trail table at the Quiet Water Symposium today.

And then there are the Stormy Kromer hats. Everywhere you look, there is a guy (or a woman) in a Stormy Kromer hat. A lot of them are Red Plaid (the GG owns TWO Red Plaid Stormy Kromer hats) but not all. They come in all manner of colors. It’s fine with me if people want to look like Elmer Fudd but I also don’t understand why a Stormy Kromer is *warm*! At least not without a balaclava underneath it. I am sure that I don’t totally understand the technology surrounding a Stormy Kromer (even though there are probably 10 of them in my house) but how do you keep your neck warm?

Red Plaid was fashionable when the Veteran Greenhorns (my dad’s high school/college friends pre-WWII) romped in the yooperland back woods. It has become fashionable again in the last decade or so, almost de rigueur among the hiking crowd I hang with. The Quiet Water Symposium was a sea of Red Plaid today and I spied some really CUTE Red Plaid *accented* articles of clothing. As much as I loved those, it made me wonder if Red Plaid is on the cusp of fading out as a fashion trend…

…and then there was this Orange Person out there doing his/her/their thing. This was the only pic I took at the QWS today. Could this kind of thing replace Red Plaid? I think more likely it’s just one person’s expression of their individuality via an article of clothing 🧡🧡🧡

So, another good QWS is in the books. I attended three presentations. One about visiting the islands of the Great Lakes, another about paddling (more or less) from Lake Superior to James Bay, and a third about paddling the Yukon River to the Bering Sea (or not…). And then Pizza House for dinner with our Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore chapter plus the Jordan 45. At the end, the Jordan 45 gals had kind of absorbed the GG into their booth and I had to pry him out 🐽 Red Plaid or not, may the North Country Trail live forever. Good times and g’night.

A journey, complete with the usual marital discord 🐽

March 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

Oh don’t worry. It’s nothing more than the usual GG/KW crapola. It’s just that today is the day we made our annual pilgrimage to the Quiet Water Symposium. The GG was behaving in a bit more of a frenetic manner than I was comfortable with but that was because we had the Frog Hopper full of stuff to set up a North Country Trail booth here at Moo-U, where the symposium is held. But look! Here is a sandhill crane! Moments before this, I had been yammering away about slowing down on this icy, washboard-y back road that is part of our normal route to East Lansing. And then *he* slowed down because this guy and his partner were taking their time crossing the road.

Next up, lunch at Dagwood’s, an old Lansing/EL barroom we remember from our years as students. We sat at the bar where we could watch the cooks do their thing. Somehow I managed to sneak a pic while they were momentarily away from the stove or grill or whatever you want to call this apparatus. Very good food and we’ll be back.

From there we set up our booth at the pavilion. That is to say, the GG set it up. Me and our Lansing NCT friend Greg sat around and kibbitzed. We both know that the GG has some sort of plan in his head and there’s no point in us trying to interfere. I did help straighten a Hudson Bay blanket on the table and Greg went on an extension cord snagging expotition because the GG (somehow) fergot one. Here are Froggy and Froggette practicing their pole dancing for the event tomorrow. I snagged them when we left and they are safely ensconced in the Frog Hopper with the other aminals for the night.

We met up with Greg and some other NCT friends for dinner at our fave Beggar’s Banquet where much gabblety gabblety gabblety ensued.

And now we are back at our hotel, which is the Candlewood Suites this year. This is a much better hotel than the one we stayed in last year, which I will not name 🐽 We won’t talk about the room number confusion we had upon our arrival 💩


February 28th, 2019 by kayak woman

We put the beach urchins on skis at an early age. X-C skis, that is. I stopped doing downhill after I was about 25 or so.

So, one of the beach urchins began her ski career a few months before her third birthday. We went to the [beloved] Moldy Old cFam cabin at Hoton Lake one weekend and skied at our fave X-C Ski Ranch HQ. We rented her the teensiest-tinesiest cutest little pair of red skis for the weekend. I wish I had a pic but I did not have an iPhone in those days. She went Great Guns all day Saturday, burning up the trails and having a great time.

This was early enough in our parenting journey that we were naive enough to think that she would absolutely want to ski every day after that for the rest of her life. Or not. Sunday morning we headed up to the Ski Ranch to ski a bit more before we had to head back down the I75 SUV Speedway. This beach urchin did NOT want to ski. Not at all. I gave the GG and others permission to ski without me. Then I made a fatal parenting mistake. I said something like, “We’ll just go and ski on the Little Kid Loop.” Little Kid Loop? Bad idea. Full-blown 2-year-old tantrum ensued. I picked up my child, skis and all, walked into the Ski Ranch, and turned the skis in. I was cheerful when I said something like, “I guess we are DONE!” Bob (the owner) was at the counter and since he had a few young children of his own, you know he laughed.

That kid *was* done for that year but (of course) she wasn’t done forever. By the time she was 13 or so she was leaving me in the dust on skis. As an adult she doesn’t get out skiing as much as she might want to but tonight she is hanging out at Hoton Lake after skiing under the brilliant sunshine and summer-like blue skies that we sometimes get here in February (when we aren’t being dumped on by Old Man Winter). A promise for a warmer season but who knows how long it’ll take to get there. Mr. Groundhog was certainly wrong this year when he promised an early spring.

This is a pic the beach urchin texted me earlier today. I didn’t exactly ask permission but I said I would use it and she was okay with that.

We’ll talk about volcanoes another time 🐽

“Busy news day”

February 27th, 2019 by kayak woman

I think I will pass on commenting about any of the news today. Instead I will list every item of clothing I wore walking this morning, top to bottom, more or less. The temperature was something like 16 degrees Fahrenheit and there was between one and two inches of newfallen snow on the ground, some of it hiding crappy old ice underneath.

  • smartwool balaclava
  • Sparkly hologram bomber hat
  • Wool scarf
  • An undergarment that gets worn to Cubelandia and flung upon returning home.
  • Turtleneck sweater
  • Polartech vest
  • Feather-weight smartwool jacket
  • An undergarment that gets worn to Cubelandia and flung upon returning home.
  • Tights from welovecolor.com
  • Smartwool leggings
  • Long wool skirt from I fergit where
  • Smartwool socks
  • Keen sandals
  • YakTrax

The only one of these items that is not washable in a washing musheen is the Yaktrax.

Apparation app? Please. To the yooperland.

February 26th, 2019 by kayak woman

My brain has apparently used an apparation app to separate itself from me and is now talking to me from Some Great Height somewhere. That is indicative of a very successful workday during which me and FZ emailed and yelled over the wall ARDUOUSLY about a little piece of functionality that neither one of us totally understood. At the end of the day? We aren’t done yet but yer fav-o-rite systems analyst (emphasis on “anal”) got to the point where she THINKS she might be able to make a PICTURE. If only the person who wrote the original spec had included a pic but she didn’t and guess who it was… She is going to make a picture TOMORROW!

I wish I could apparate to the yooperland even just for an hour or so to check things out. I don’t wanna driver there. I don’t wanna drive back. In the yooperland, they have the tools and personnel to deal with huge dumps of snow. Sault Ste. Siberia was largely closed for business yesterday but today roads and restaurants were opening up and people were posting pictures of their plowed out driveways, etc.

The point is that the yooperland has snow removal equipment up the wazoo, both public and private. Once I was walking along Portage (by the Soo Locks) after a snowstorm and a huge snowplow came along and it was able to lift its BIG rightside plow blade totally over a parked (and buried) car. I wish I had a pic of that. I didn’t not have an iPhone then.

Our moominbeach road seemed to be pretty well plowed out today based on FB photos. I glimpsed our mayor in one pic standing beside a truck with a crazy looking plow on the front of it. Yay!

The Jesus pic is from when we went to empty The Comm’s safe deposit box and I walked up to my old south side neighborhood and this statue is in the St. Joseph Catholic church block. I walked through St. Joe’s campus whenever I walked to my grandparents’ house on John St. or Helen’s house on Court St. It is where my grade school friend LPing went to school so we would sneak into the church and look for holy cards for her collection. It is where where I received my first cat-call from a man as I was walking by the church on the sidewalk. I was 12 or so and I actually liked it. Somebody thinks I’m pretty? Oh, all the things I did not understand then…

So here’s the Postal Service’s Such Great Heights [Youtube and probably has an ad]. This song was on a mix CD that one of the beach urchins made for me way back when and I remember listening to it after she went to study abroad while I was walking in the early dark morning when I could see Ursa Major/Minor on one side of the sky and Orion on the other side. I stopped listening to music while walking a long time ago but I have always loved this song.