Random bits of my so-called life.

I will ride bus

July 22nd, 2016 by kayak woman

Here we are sitting in the Oscar Tango at the edge of downtown celebrating the start of an “epic” 2-week vacation for me. It is the first time I have taken off two consecutive weeks in the nine years I have been working over at Cubelandia. We are at our usual Friday night spot here on the Planet Ann Arbor, the Oscar Tango, and we are with our A2 / Birch Point Beach buddies of porterization, as usual. We will all be making our way north tomorrow morning, although morning has a different definition for us than it does for our friends, i.e., we will be up and outta Dodge as early as possible with Lyme Lounge in tow.

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We had to walk through a couple blocks of art fair to get to the bus station to catch the 32A (yes, they have changed the routes) back over to the west side so I guess you could say I went to the art fair.

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“I will ride bus.” That is what the King of Cryptic Text Messages sent out to a select group this afternoon. I received it just as I was setting up for part two of one of those meetings from hell this afternoon. “Let the madness continue, straight jackets will be handed out at the door” was included in the invitation the Tall Boss sent out. W1.5 and FZ were in there and when I read it to them, they totally cracked up. It doesn’t take much for those of us chained up over in Cubelandia. Anyway, the KofCTM did indeed ride the bus downtown (and subsequently sent me another text “in bus” with a pic of being “in bus”). I walked down but we both “rode bus” home.

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The contention didn’t continue into today’s meeting. The Benevolent Despot had been recruited to actually attend it as a squelch factor but he was playing with his phone the whole time. I was able to publish the document related to *that* meeting as well as another rather more squishy one by the end of the afternoon and I think it was enough to get the dev team rolling for the next couple weeks so I will not have to telecommute. The Benevolent Despot seemed ready to get rid of me for a while, i.e., here’s a HIGH defect for you but it can wait until you get back [yawn]. And yes, it will wait and two weeks will go toooooo fast and I’ll be back butt in seat before you know it.

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And so farewell to The Gorgeous Garden Planet Ann Arbor. For a while. We’ll be back. It is so hard to leave our beautiful home down here on the Planet and yet it will be equally as hard to leave the moominbeach when it is time to return here. 💜

P.S. I cannot believe how many typos I have already corrected in this post of blather. If you find more, lemme know. Sigh…

Do not read without holding your nose

July 21st, 2016 by kayak woman

outhouseI’m just kidding. But my work day defied description and there were elements of Outhouse Functionality involved. I knew the meeting I needed to lead would be contentious (although we were *all* polite, even Mr. Nyet). I had expressed my concerns about it ahead of time but I got support from my [new] manager so I just plunged in, starting it out with a disclaimer and, uh, an unfortunate OS crash when I moved my [new] work laptop to the meeting room. Nothing like starting out a meeting with having to re-a-start your computer (multiple times…) and then my new manager dialed the wrong number when trying to loop the remote participants in. Fortunately she did not [accidentally] call the police. My former manager once did that and my current manager was the one who met the poleese at the door to explain that there wasn’t anything for them to do in our building.

I got a lot out of today’s meeting but, as I expected, there were contentious issues. We sorted some of them out but not all of them. I was [mostly] having fun at this meeting. I have been doing this job for a long time and I am pretty damn good at it (I think) and I managed to get folks to come to a consensus about some of the issues but not all of them. We have a new meeting scheduled for tomorrow to deal with the rest of it. We’ll get there but I may have to put in some hours next week during my vacay time to do it. That’s okay because we will be chilling anyway and if I put in some work hours next week, I will have more vacay time available in the fall when we are going to want to hike, etc. 🙂

Oh and then, I had to navigate home from work. Jeebus. Westbound I94 was hosed. State Street from Cublandia to I94 was hosed. I managed to get home at a reasonable time but it was not easy and I had to take a rather unusual route to do it. It’s Art Fair week and I knew traffic would be hosed today. I managed to take back roads to get home in only a half hour or so but it was not fun except in the flying by the seat of my pants kind of way that I enjoy when driving a motor car, especially my Ninja with its 6-speed manual transmission 🐸

Love y’all,
KW

Switching to Daz

July 20th, 2016 by kayak woman

twoshoesThis wasn’t exactly the start to my morning but it threatened to define the working part of my day. Things were rolling along smoothly for the early part of the morning. I took my walk (I wore blue Keen sandals like the red one on the left). I came home and emptied the dishwasher and flung some laundry around and watered what few plants there are to water this year and took the compost out and ate a bit of brek and then I got into the Ninja and took the usual slow roll over to Cubelandia, dropping my absentee ballot into the mail along the way. Parked at Cubelandia and walked halfway across the parking lot and… Hmmmm… “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Oooooooooooops, two different shoes. How the heck did I do that?

You guys, I am not a fashion plate. I wear a “uniform” to work every day. It approximates some version of bizcaz. But I actually have enough pride to decide that I could not wear that particular “pair” of sandals ALL DAY at work. So… I schlepped ALL THE WAY HOME AND BACK to change my left sandal. Jeebus is about all I have to say.

The day did not improve for a while as people were uncharacteristically worried about us being in a “crunch” with all kinds of people including yer fav-o-rite blahgger taking vacay in the imminent future. In the interest of getting work done before vacay, I almost *missed* a twice-rescheduled meeting about some stuff I need to write up. We won’t describe how I did that. I *wanted* to be there. But I had to be sought out (weren’t you on the invite? yes I was🐽) after it started. I couldn’t dredge up my current paper notes on that project from the mess on my desk and so I was somewhat unprepared and for a while I was hanging out on the Tower of Babel listening to a couple of (beloved) people who are more familiar with different institutional vocabularies than I am.

Translation was painful but in the end I got what I needed outta that meeting and when I turned it into functional requirements (informal ones) and sent it off to Mr. Nyet (who had asked me to send him a “summary”) and some others, I received a one-word response. The word had an exclamation point on it. The word was “Perfect”! I yelled out “DAZ” and all I can say is that hilarity ensued.

Reflections

July 19th, 2016 by kayak woman

I was looking for pictures of me in the Methodist church basement for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. I know they are out there. I remember that I wasn’t all that crazy about the dress we bought for that. I was partial to a floral design with puffed sleeves. The Commander talked me into a more “elegant” design. Me? Elegant? Not so much but I can be but not in the usual way that you are thinking of.

Anyway, I didn’t find pictures of me in the basement of the Methodist church basement for that party but I did find pics of me and some cousins at Jeep and Pan’s wedding, which was around the same era.

First there is me and my brother. I am wearing a dress that I don’t think I liked.

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Here is one of the kids’ tables down in the basement of the church. You can see me and my brother and my Regen cousins and our good friends, the Mullin twins.

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Here is The Commander aka my mother with the cake that she made for the wedding.

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And here are the beautiful bride and groom. What can I say? I loved them then and we love them now and that is kind of all I can say.

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Big Bang

July 18th, 2016 by kayak woman

bangIt was 10-something AM at Cubelandia. The Inimitable KennyP was at her station collecting lunch orders.

Pause… Cubelandia is far enough away from any restaurants that our building mom orders lunch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for those who can’t take a long enough lunch hour to go out and obtain food. I am not one of those people. For one thing, nobody really cares much how long my lunch takes. Also, I am an inveterate packer of leftovers for lunch. I fill a very small container with leftovers, almost always stuffing some salad in on the top and some sort of fruit as a side. Oh, and sometimes some little chocolate pieces but I seem to be on an off-phase with those, at least for the moment. I could say I save money that way but given that I spend lots of money on the food my leftovers come from, it probably doesn’t work out that way.

Lurch. People were ordering lunch and life was humming along when BANG!!! Everyone in the building heard it. Except meeee because I was outside taking a quick loop around the building. When I came back various people were kind of agitated and GoGrannyGo was circling around in QA/BA row looking stressed out and whispering about birds flying into windows. What happened here?

I walked around to KP’s desk to make an inquiry and what had HAPPENED was that two Canada Geese had crashed into the windows of Cubelandia. TWO!!!! KP turned around in time to see them fall down into the bushes outside her window, where they thrashed for a bit and, uh, died (sorry). She called animal control and after a couple hours they had been removed. I grew up on a beach (in the summer) and when you grow up on a beach, dead things wash ashore all the time and sometimes they die *on* the beach. I can deal with walking around dead decaying fauna on a beach. Sitting in an office with dead geese in the bushes at eye level? No. Please no. The Inimitable KennyP handled it all with aplomb as usual.

So yes, today’s pitcher is of Cubelandia’s exterior where the geese crashed into the window. This is where I work, folks. I love it there. This place and the people I work with have so many times been a respite from some of the other parts of my life. Not that my life is all that bad because it isn’t 💜

In which some fin/cFam gals manage to navigate Ikea and not come out with *just* *one* stuffed rat.

July 17th, 2016 by kayak woman

Can I just say that this morning’s trip to Ikea was probably my fave ever. I have a love/hate relationship with that place. We won’t go into detail about that but can I just say that the place makes me dizzy. I can’t exactly explain why but it is in the same way that I felt dizzy when I was in kindergarten and my class went up the steps at Stinkin’ Lincoln to parade our cute Halloween costumes to those Big Graders. Of course I eventually became one of those big graders and I probably ran those steps two at a time. Anyway, I felt a bit of that kind of dizziness again today when we got to the top of the Ikea escalator but I got over it, especially when I saw this cute l’il birdie tucked into one of the showcase displays. After that, I was okay. I didn’t even get dizzy in that last huge warehouse type self-serve place!

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I took a wonderful trip to my mouse’s new apartment and then to Ikea today. I loved her new apartment (although I will miss the Prince of Denmark’s encampment at my house). She needed something like the Frog Hopper to haul home the kitchen cart/island and a few other things and I am always happy when my very independent adult children ask me for help with something.

Her new apartment is lovely and here are a few little vignettes from it and then good night. Family dinner in the back yard here on the beauteous Garden Planet Ann Arbor tonight with Bequet’s lawnmower on the other side of the arbor.

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Eating processed food and playing Pokeyman Go

July 16th, 2016 by kayak woman

spinachThat is, I haven’t yet eaten any of the food I processed today. Lemme see…

Pulverized two big bunches of basil and friends into a couple baggies of pesto for the freezer. Gotta have that stuff on hand!

Washed lettuce. Duh.

Gazpacho! (Tomatoes, green peppers, onions from the farmers market, little cukes from Farmer John at work and other ingredients from the pantry or Plum Market.)

Cleaned and trimmed teensy tinesy zucchinis and summer squashes. Enchiladas tomorrow? And maybe other stuff, def salad.

Trimmed brussel sprouts and cut up a wee red cabbage to saute with dried cherries and pecans tonight.

Husked corn for tonight with an extra couple cobs for leftovers or to use the kernels in enchiladas or salad or whatever.

Trimmed strawberries (last ones this season?) for shortcake tomorrow.

Trimmed and peeled carrots for future use, not sure when. For the longest time I thought carrots were just kind of blah. And guess what, they are! When they’ve been sitting around on a shelf for a while. Fresh outta the ground? Not so much.

I think that’s about all… Whew! Good thing I like to be on my feet moving around ’cause I sure did a lot of that today. More to do tomorrow and a family dinner tomorrow night (exotic veggie enchiladas if I can pull them off) but the day will start with an Ikea run. Don’t worry, I’m just driving the getaway car.

No, I’m not playing Pokémon Go although I am strangely intrigued by it. As one person said, “I want to say I’ll never play Pokémon Go but then I said I’d never play the cat yard game too and…” Something like that anyway.

It’s kind of funny though how fast life has changed since Pokémon Go even if you don’t play it. I was meeting Mouse at the farmers market this morning and I was engrossed in adding something to my phone grokkery list when Mouse found me. “Hey Moom, are you playing Pokémon Go?” “No, of course not, perish the thought!” Or something like that. A little later, I was over at the Plum and was standing in the bulk food aisle texting with the Grand Poohbah (subject rodent poop and chewing, etc., I know you wanted to know that) when a nice young employee asked me if I needed help. I probably need help but not the kind she was offering so I politely declined but also felt compelled to say that I was not playing Pokémon Go because there I was, staring at my phone. I mean, only a little over a week ago, I had never heard of Pokémon Go…

I cannot make myself pronounce Pokémon correctly as hard as I try (or not). Every time I hear the word, I think back to when the beach urchins were in middle school and Pokémon was all the rage (but not for the beach urchins, that I know of) and I can remember our principal MrMad standing up on the stage during the Odious Gift Wrap Fundraiser prize “celebration” and talking about “Pokeyman”. Note that MrMad managed to rope MEEEEE into standing up on the stage for that dog and pony show too. To this day, I can’t remember why I as PTO treasurer needed to be up on the stage but fortunately he did not make me talk ’cause boy oh boy, that was NOT my fave fundraiser.

Oh yeah, a little postscript to the day. I got a strange email late this afternoon from the replacement china place notifying me that they had some odd pieces in my grandmother Margaret’s pattern. When we dragged the huge box of that stuff outta The Commander’s attic a few years ago, it was 98% intact but one of the few broken pieces was a covered serving dish of sorts. I made an inquiry at the time but haven’t heard anything since. I think I found it today and yes I ordered it. I want this china to go to someone in the family. It is gorgeous but it isn’t my style and doesn’t match my house, not that anything in particular matches my house. I need to get off my duff and make that happen somehow!

Love y’all! -KW

I’ve drinken the Koolaid

July 15th, 2016 by kayak woman

greenieYes “drinken”, not “drunk”. Yes, the LSCHP has been known to use “have drinken” as the past participle of “drink” (I had to Google that). Y’all know what a past participle is roight? Most of y’all prob’ly do anyway. I had to Google it. I remember getting all of that stuff drilled into my head starting in grade school and it intensified in junior high with the sisters Loye and Pratt of Kleenex in bra fame. I actually loved those ladies. I loved the part of English that drilled us on things like verb conjugations (I had to Google *that* too!). I loved Drill-and-Kill in general but that’s me and it’s part of why I was always a straight-A student even though I struggled *mightily* for the first couple years of high school not to be. “Cheating” on tests to get lower grades? Yes but why…

I can’t claim to be fluent in terms of grammar and syntax any more hence all of the stuff I had to Google. I still don’t really understand the subjunctive and I’m sure I violate it all the time (don’t try to ‘splain it to me🐸). Here’s an old (2007) post about the damn subjunctive, not to mention an interesting trip to Chicago O’Hare to catch a plane to Senegal.

I can tolerate people who haven’t learned English grammar rules for whatever reason. I mean some people didn’t have Mrs. Loye or Mrs. Pratt for teachers or The Commander for a mother. Like if you were born from my mother and you wanted to use a word like “ain’t” you had better be over in the schoolyard or someplace where she couldn’t hear you. And some people use English as a second language. I’m okay with that. I wish I knew more languages than English. Me? Latin but it’s dusty (but I will *never* think of Latin as dusty! Just my knowledge of it). FORTRAN and some other computer languages.

Yeah, so the person who I have heard say “drinken the Koolaid” is the LSCHP and he is well aware that this particular past participle is not the correct one (he is fluent in more languages than I am). He uses this kind of language with those of us who understand whatever the heck he is doing to make our careers as cozy as he can without project manager nit-picking, etc. But he also uses “pitcher” for “picture” and “set” for “sit”.

The grammar stuff would annoy me if I were in a different situation with a different person but with my particular place of work, I associate it with a benevolent despot who creates a safe place for a whole bunch of folks to do their jobs without heavy supervision. He makes those “mistakes” on purpose. I love him for that 💜

Who can I manage to misidentify today?

July 14th, 2016 by kayak woman

tiedyeroseI do not know how the heck I did that. The facts just do not add up. I have known my aunts Betty and Bubs my entire life. I know what they look like. I know the HAT Bubs was wearing in the pic (I have one just like it except mine is purple of course). I remember the hats Radical Betty wore. The *shirt* is a Bubs-like shirt, not particularly a Betty style. I know what *year* I took the pic. I know that Radical Betty died the year before. It’s been a rather unusual topsy-turvy week and I was dead taaaarrred last night but that was a pretty egregious error. I am sorry!

So, randomness from today. Three of us are celebrating a return to empty-nested-ness. Well, I’ll qualify that a bit. I’m not precisely celebrating. I absolutely loved having The Prince of Denmark around here for a month. It was fun. It was summer. She bunked [usually] in the Lyme Lounge or a hammock in the back yard. I loved bumping into her in the morning before work. In the long term though, I know she will be happier in her own space and I want to continue my flinging prodject (so she and her sister don’t have to do it for me some day🐽). I won’t give you a detailed description of the other two families. In one, the last child at home has found a job with bennies in her field. She is a “creative type” and that is not all that easy, as I understand because of my own journey. Please please please don’t start babbling about STEM and all that crapola. Artists are valuable to our culture and society and we need them. Delete rant. Finally, another friend has had daughter and husband, baby born here, and several aminals (LARGE dog) for a while. New aminal friendly (within limits) apartment for daughter and fam.

There was a forest faaaar on a portion of the eastern Yooperland North Country Trail that we have hiked many times. It was pretty quickly contained but I think our group will be avoiding that area for a while. Last time I was anywhere near there, we were slodging through a couple feet of snow… … …

That is about all. I telecommuted this afternoon but you do NOT want to know about the archaeological dig I got tangled up in. I love those digs but not when I’m telecommuting because connecting to the work server from a non-work location is s-l-o-o-o-o-w. I’ll bug FZ tomorrow. I’m sure he’ll know. (And he has a dog named Tigger…)

Oh, the Schoolteachers gave me this little fleur at their garage sale at Houghton Lake on 4th of July weekend. They are longtime friends of the CFam. I think it looks wonderful in a cute li’l cactus shot glass on a [wrinkled] tie-dyed bandanna.

Love y’all,
The imperfect human being sometimes known as Kayak Woman

Apropos of nothing, the cat was on the buffet today

July 13th, 2016 by kayak woman

Let’s see. What kind of trouble can I get into today? We have birdhouses all around our house including three that are hung at eye-level on the north wall. Sometimes during nesting season mooma bird will kind of freak me out by flying into or out of one of those birdhouses, like a few inches in front of my face. Those little birdies are FAST! This afternoon I was taking out the compost and one of the birdhouses was just rocking up a storm with little cheeps (I think the other two are empty at the moment). As I was walking by, I managed to get the pic below. I then skedaddled because I’m pretty sure I could hear mama nearby. There are at least three birdies in there because that’s how many were hanging out when I came *back* from the compost but there was no way I could get that pic.

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I also went into a kind of a time warp type thingy today. It started when both facebook and my cute little Timehop app served up this picture of my 1st cousin once removed (son of my cousin) being towed into shore by an Amazon Woman after a li’l boating accident. He *does* know how to sail and he was familiar with that boat but he did dump it that day. Fortunately our little bay off of Gitchee Gumee was not too cold at the time. (I doubt he reads this blahg o’ blather but if he sees this, I hope he doesn’t mind that I posted the pic.) Those windmill thingies in the back are in Cananananada.

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After that I kind of got going on the old photos and I came across a few more. Like these two Bettys sitting in the sun. The one in the white sunglasses is still alive and living down in the city of Detroit. Man oh man do I miss the other one. I love all the Bettys and I miss all of those beer afternoons with Radical Betty. And Lizard Breath has a lot to live up to since I named her after her great aunt Betty (and a whole other bunch of Elizabeths in the fam) PLUS her grandmother Frances. Fortunately she does that with aplomb. I wasn’t as good at naming my second child but I have always loved the name she chose for herself 💜 and she also lives her life with gusto and emulates her ancestors with aplomb.

Oops! As npJane has pointed out in the comments, I’ve confused sisters in the pic. That’s Bubs, not Betty. Also, given that the pic is from 2010, Betty was no longer with us. 🐗🐗🐗🐗🐗

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And finally, here is The Commander threatening her fav-o-rite [not] daughter with a doggamn cane.

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Love y’all,
KW

I’m kind of taaaarred tonight but here’s some bee balm

July 12th, 2016 by kayak woman

bebalm

You are not gonna get much from me tonight. Man oh man, did I get a good hike in today and some wonderful time with an uber cousin and some work at the end of it all. But that’s about it.

Except that can I just say how much my family means to me. My own little nuclear fam but also my extended family of cuzzints, etc. I love you all, the aunts and uncles who remain, nieces, and cousins of every degree. I am not excluding any of the GG’s wonderful fam at all, just focusing on my own for the moment. 💜

P.S. Looks like big storms are moving in. We do need rain.

Sunday morning at the river

July 11th, 2016 by kayak woman

I do not have a whole lot today. It is hot and humid here at the Landfill and my Mouse (lately the Prince of Denmark) is trolling the Landfill Dungeon for whatever she might find for her new apartment. It is going to be a carefully curated apartment. She is moving in slowly and only taking things with her that will work well in her new space. That’s kind of how I felt when we bought the Landfill, uh, 32 years ago. Alas, my beloved parents-in-law moved to Crazy Old Florida not too long after we bought the place and I ended up with a whole crapload of furniture that I didn’t really want. I have made peace with the Green Couch* but there are some other things I want to get rid of.

*The GG’s pitch to me about taking the Green Couch was that every person in his family had been sick on that couch. I was dubious about his reason but friends, I am here to tell you that *I* have been sick on that couch multiple times. It’s not going anywhere any time soon.

A lucky-shuckial situation took our lives over yesterday. Well, the Pool Boy Pensioner’s life anyway. I did not see the sparkies and was largely oblivious, which was probably a good thing. I did things like shelling peas and walking and cleaning but not as much cleaning as I needed to. So, without further ado, a bunch of pics from our urban hike down by our beloved Barton Dam early yesterday morning. I do not know what all of the plants are 🐗 but it is a beautiful summer here and I hope your summer is wonderful too.

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A lucky shuckial kind of day… And a guest post from the Grumpy Growler.

July 10th, 2016 by kayak woman

Hydro Power:
It was an electrical kind of day. We started out the day with an early morning hike down at the hydro power plant known as Barton Dam. That is not the electrical stuff that I’m going to talk about.

Circuit breaker box:

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I want to put a new outlet outside on the North wall of the house. In the process of looking for a way to route electrical wire through the basement rafters, I discovered a disconnected and “Unused Electrical Wire” near the electrical box. So I began to work through the ceiling and walls to trace out where the “Unused Electrical Wire” was routed. Lucky me! It was routed towards the North side of the house.

Sparky Fireworks:
Tracing wire resulted in investigation of a switch and an outlet in the North basement. Removing the cover-plate on the electrical outlet resulted in FIREWORKS. Sparks and smoke. Yes, it tripped the electrical breaker but I was still very nervous about the possibility of a fire. No fire.

Fix Dangerous Outlet:

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Well, I couldn’t just leave the outlet as it was – it needed to be fixed immediately.

The wood paneling and ceiling tiles had to be removed in order to get at the wiring. I did manage to make corrections to the wiring, the outlet junction box, and the outlet.

Hit the Jackpot:
Good news! I discovered the other end of the “Unused Electrical Wire” while fixing the outlet. The previous owners had installed the “Unused Electrical Wire” with the intent of installing an air conditioner – they never finished that project.

It was a bit difficult, but I managed to run the “Unused Electrical Wire” to the outside of the house, AND to install a new circuit breaker in the electrical breaker box. The only remaining work is to install a new electrical outlet at the end of the “Unused Electrical Wire”.

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Three beer afternoon

July 9th, 2016 by kayak woman

It’s okay. The Pool Boy Pensioner hardly EVER does that kind of thing EVER but he did today and he had a designated driver, namely yer fav-o-rite blahgger.

But before the three beer thing, we did the farmers market for the first time in four weeks. We were outta town for three blasted weekends in a row. I almost (but not quite) missed the pea-shelling season! And here we are chilling a bit with our coffee strategizing (sorta) grokkeries for the next week or so.

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Here is my haul, which includes lettuce (of course), tomatoes, a big cuke, little potatoes, broccoli, basil (but need to harvest my own too), peas (to shell), carrots. I fergit what else. Oh yeah, sweet corn. First I’ve seen this season.

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We scurried around doing all kinds of chores this morning and then we schlepped ourselves over to DayTwa to visit Lizard Breath. I have not been over to Detroit since January, which is toooo long. The GG wanted to eat at the Green Dot Stables and so we did. My favorite thing about the Green Dot is that their specialty is sliders. They are small, so I can order three and get a variety of things to eat but not feel overfull. Today the sliders I got were the quinoa, Korean, and black bean. And here is the friendly horse that greets people when they come out of the bathroom.

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We didn’t have a particular agenda over in Detroit today (besides visiting our beautiful child and having lunch at the Green Dot), so we went back to Lizard Breath’s apartment to regroup a bit and then we took a walk through her neighborhood. That was a good thing. Every time we go over to visit, I want to walk the neighborhood but we always have some kind of an agenda (or the weather is awful, etc.). Today? Neighborhood garage sale. So much fun!

So we walked through the neighborhood and stopped at various garage sales and wouldn’t you know that we who are deacquisitioning found a couple of things to purchase. Like this cane that the pool boy / pensioner bought for three dollars. The seller knew that there was a compass in the cane but we are wondering if she knew there was a flask.

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And then there was this. Cane plus stormtrooper?

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We drove my beloved Ninja over there today and I drove us home with aplomb even through the long construction slodge by Metro while my buddy slept a bit.

Five on a very Purple Friday

July 8th, 2016 by kayak woman

I don’t have much to say today. Work at the end of a week without almost no one there was as draggy as all getout. Except for the moment that we realized that KennyP, GoGrannyGo, and I were *again* all wearing purple on a Friday. I mean *royal* purple, not just some insipid grayish mauve color. And then GoGrannyGo and I both got spammed with about the third “security” training session since the beginning of the year so we both took that and passed with flying colors. I mean, we *all* know what phishing is (even as opposed to fishing) and piggybacking too. And even the difference between malware and spyware.

I even got to demonstrate my knowledge of piggybacking in real life a while back, a rare event in the sleepy backwater office where I work. A new employee’s badge would not let him in the door so he was “hovering” outside when I got to work. My gut feeling was that he was “okay” but I didn’t know who he was so I followed my training and told him I couldn’t let him in but I would [try to] find his boss. After a few minutes of me and FZ trying to figger out where his boss “sits” (not our division or whatever), that esteemed person materialized out of nowhere and let his new employee in. I dunno. I strongly believe in security measures in my business but a dose of common sense would solve some of these issues.

Anyway, since I am pretty much brain dead, here is a smattering of my day in pics. First up, some purple (and a lot of green (and some sorta blue)) from my walk this morning.

friday1

It rained a bit while we were being Porterized in the Oscar Tango. There was an old car show going on downtown and the GG used my phone to get this artsy fartsy photo of raindrops on I fergit what kind of vee-hickle before its owner wiped it off. I’m sure The Engineer could tell you what it was.

friday2

This was a cutie but I am not enamored of old cars in general. I like automotive vee-hickles that I can trust to get me up north and back without having to hang out at the side of the road waiting for a tow or whatever. Still he has a nice face.

friday3

This is what the sky looked like when we turned westward to trudge up the hill. In other words, we had a dry, lightning-free walk home. I think we bought a lottery ticket at the party store along the way. I doubt we’ll win but if we do, I’ll vote to give it all away because money is the root of all evil, don’tcha know. (I’ll probably be out-voted.)

friday4

Someday I will get a decent pic of this catsa.

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And so love y’all and g’night.

Prince of Denmark

July 7th, 2016 by kayak woman

queenanneI never was much of a stage mother. On the other hand, I have been a stage mother for so long that I am particularly ho-hum about it nowadays. I am happy when Mouse is in a play because she loves it but I stay out of the way.

So, six weeks ago or so, I received a text message from the Prince of Denmark. It consisted of three photos of fabric. One was fabric for a 1920s men’s suit, the other two were a couple of fabric possibilities for an accompanying shirt. The question was which shirt fabric would be best. I was not sure how to answer the question. I said something like, “I like the more colorful one better but I think the other one would coordinate best with the suit fabric.” It turned out that was the right answer and after thinking to myself “1920s men’s suit?” a few times, I realized that Mouse was probably in another play.

Because I find that asking too many questions, bragging about their accomplishments, and trying to shove my personal opinions down my adult children’s throats is a recipe for a totally dysfunctional relationship, I refrained from asking things like “What play?” and “What role?” and even “Are you in a play?”. It was weeks later that I deduced from a rare facebook post that it was Hamlet and that her role was none other than Hamlet. Still, I kept quiet about it, although I began sneaking a few references to the Prince of Denmark into my conversations with her and sometimes others.

I can barely read a Shakespeare play in a book (my relationship with Shakespeare (or not) is waaaayyy too long for this post). Mouse, on the other hand, was maybe 13 when she got hold of The Commander’s complete works (I’m too tired to look up the exact book but I found it at the moomincabin when we were there last). I don’t know how many plays she read but she was immersed in it for much of that summer’s sojourn at the beach and I believe The Commander subsequently bought Mouse her own copy. I went to Wiki-pee for a little heads up on Hamlet. It wasn’t perfect but I got enough out of it to be able to follow the play even though I couldn’t always follow the words.

The version that Mouse performed in tonight had an all female cast (I learned that only a couple days ago), 1920s costuming, and was staged at the Carriage House Theatre down on Third Street here on the Garden Planet Ann Arbor. We had dinner downtown at the Griz before the show and were joined for both events by Lizard Breath and the Grand Poohbah, who is in town for one of those Been There Done That Duration things. (Hopefully the Poohbah will remember to turn off Horsey’s A/C before she shuts off his automotive vee-hickle.)

As a little bonus, Lizard Breath’s old girl scout leader was there (the play’s director is married to her daughter) and that sweet friend provided the remembrance that “all the other girls” wanted to be fashion designers when they grew up but Liz wanted to be a paleontologist. And yes, she did, and no, she is not, but she has an interesting career that relates to her theatre arts degree (yes, really) and is a responsible member of society and I am proud of her.

Oh, and I almost fergot! It turns out that Queen Gertrude lives catty-corner across the street from us!

Oh BTW, bravo to the Prince of Denmark and everyone else in the cast and crew!

And because Thor trump[ity-trump]s all, I hope the rumbly thunder I am hearing right now brings some rain because boy oh boy do we need it here!

Free food

July 6th, 2016 by kayak woman

harvestIt turns out that I don’t even always have to pay money for food. And yes, I did take a zuke outta this basket. Do you know how weird it feels to be walking along with a penis-shaped object (albeit green) in your hand on your walk. Still, I’m cooking my zuke with onions and mushrooms. If we don’t have another brownout, I’ll be able to cook the rest of our dinner.

Last night we had a brownout for maybe 4-5 hours. It didn’t start up until we were done with dinner but we couldn’t watch Shameless last night. This is apparently the third brownout in about the last week. We were not hit by the first one but other neighborhood friends were. I dunno about the second one but we were up at Hoton Lake for a few days so maybe I missed something. This one we got. I dunno what’s going on. We are not prone to power problems in this neck of the woods. My own *personal* *uneducated* opinion is that all of these old ticky-tacky houses have been fitted out with central air-conditioning in the last 20 years or so (like ours) and when it gets hot out, everybody (but me) turns on their central A/C at once and the DTE infrastructure in this neighborhood is not up to the task. We certainly survived and we can cook just about anything on our gas grill if we need to.

Where was I? I had to schlep over to Cubelandia today and that was fine except that what I really wanted to do was help The Prince of Denmark move stuff into her beautiful new digs. It wouldda been fun but I asked her (in jest🐸) if I would just be in the way and after a bit of erudite b-dah b-dah-ing, she admitted that YES, I would prob’ly be in the way. I knew that! 💜 I remember asking Lizard Breath if I could help her with her move down into Detroit a couple years ago. Yes. She encapsulated me into a particular job, which was packing the billion dishes she has from The Commander. She knew that I could bubble wrap all that stuff with aplomb and it would keep me out of “trouble” 💜

Then, in the late afternoon at Cubelandia (which is very sleepy this week), I received a text message that someone had withdrawn another bunch of money from an ATM. That was okay but I was puzzled because that person did the same thing yesterday. Is this unusual activity? It wasn’t. When I arrived home, The Prince of Denmark was here and she reported that the person of ATM withdrawal had left to drive to *Jackson* to buy a used computer. What? It has to do with the webcams at Hoton Lake, which are currently being run off a 12-year-old laptop with a “Double Trouble” sticker on it. The new one is a Mac Mini. My fingers are crossed that it’ll solve our slowness problem there.

I have to say that I am reluctant to buy things on Craig’s List/eBay if you have to meet people at their homes or a parking log lot. But waaaaayyy back in the day when @BigBandGuy (trombone player) was still alive, he would buy and sell trombones via Craig’s or eBay or whatever. I worried about him meeting people in parking lots at first but then I thought, “TROMBONES”. I have known more than a few trombone players in my life and believe me, those folks are not generally the people you need to worry about shooting you or cutting your throat or whatever. Stuffing donuts down the tuba maybe? Yes. And other weird nerdy practical jokes. Love.

Duck Duck, uh, what rhymes with duck? Oh yeah, Goose!

July 5th, 2016 by kayak woman

reardenA weird day or not so much. I got to work after the holiday weekend and pretty much nobody was there except for our loverly prodject manager. We’ve had prodject managers off and on since I have worked over at Cubelandia. They don’t usually last but I can tell that this one will. She just “gets it”. That’s about all I will say about that.

Anyway, my beloved supervisor retired last Friday. Man oh man, she CRIED when I hugged her goodbye. I wasn’t quite prepared for that but I squeezed her extra tight. I love you Queen Bee. When I was first hired as a student intern, I arrived at Cubelandia and The LSCHP (boss to both of us then) was not there yet. But he had given instructions for the Queen Bee to take me under her wing. The last intern the LSCHP hired sorta got assigned to The Queen Bee even though she wasn’t a manager at that time. He was a HARVARD student and I was thinking something like, “this guy is gonna be a hard act to follow”. The Queen Bee didn’t know what to do with me my first day but she somehow managed to keep me busy with html work on the hi-fidelity prototype that I am nowadays very protective of.

But follow the Harvard guy I did, and at the end of my internship, they hired me! Full time salary and bennies boogity boogity. The Queen Bee and I worked side by side for a really long time but eventually the LSCHP got kicked upstairs to become the Benevolent Despot and I began reporting to the Queen Bee.

Why I call her the Queen Bee is because Broooosie (who LOVES the Queen Bee) came by my old cube once to talk about the Queen Bee and the Worker Bees. Those worker bees would be me and Cube Nayber. Is this kind of thing politically incorrect? Yes. But. It’s Broosie. Broosie of stuffties and glass and stuff. I took some of Broosie’s stuff home during our recent Cubelandia renovation and it is still in my cube so he can get it back whenever he wants it.

Missing my beloved supervisor but I am part of a new work family now, working for the Tall Boss. I have also known her for years and I’ve been sitting in the aisle with her “family” since our renovation so I think this will work out. But I will still miss the Queen Bee because friend.

Waterbike and no negging

July 4th, 2016 by kayak woman

Our 4th of July weekend was just about as good as it gets. We were at the Cfam cabin at Houghton Lake with the Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay and their dogs Chloe Belle and Daisy, who make an occasional appearance here on this blahg of watching paint dry. And our beautiful daughter Lizard Breath and her wonderful friends from Albuquerque. Chloe Belle and Daisy have different reactions to faaaarworks. Chloe Belle doesn’t give a flying flip about faaaarworks. Daisy not so much but doggie Xanax works. And yes it was prescribed by a veterinarian and even then I think Daisy got a half dose. But it worked and as much as I hate the pharma industry and how drugs are pushed on people whether or not they need them (I think that was a “neg”…), a wee bit of Xanax for a few hours so a sweet doggy can handle some faaaarworks might not be a bad thing.

Yer fav-o-rite blahgger actually likes faaaarworks. She grew up watching them at Brady Park in Sault Ste. Siberia. And one time waaaay back in the day, she and her friend Kev took a bunch of kids in from the beach to see the faaaarworks and all of the kids plus KW rode in the back of the truck. Their father told us over and over and over about how happy he was that we took his kids into the faaaarworks. These days I think it might be illegal to even put a dog in the back of a pickup truck. Not to mention on the roof… … …

So last night we were tooling around on the Pontoon Bote up the Cut River and we saw this kid on a water-bike pulling his sister (or cousin or friend or whatever). I want one of those. Here is where we first see him. Kudos to his parents for making him wear a life jacket!

waterbike1

This is a bit better pic but I never did get a good one.

waterbike2

But here they go.

waterbike3

Love y’all.

Bang!

July 3rd, 2016 by kayak woman

I don’t have very much tonight. It was another day of botes and faaaarworks and walking and here is our flote bote this morning when I got up earlier than I wanted to this morning.

morning

The “kids” went out to canoe the South Branch Ausable for the day and we “fished” and boted and walked and whatever. Friends from New Mexico are here and they report that all of the greeeeen makes them a bit dizzy. Green almost never makes me dizzy but I have lived my life in big forests. But I kind of understand. For one thing, I grew up on the great lake we know as Superior. It’s big water. But when I first went to visit Liz in SanFran, she took me to see the Pacific Ocean at Point Reyes and I got soooo dizzy with all that big water.

In the evening we took the flote bote over to the Cut River and here is the sunset shot I got on the way back across to the cabin. And I am kind of done.

sunset