Random bits of my so-called life.

Summertime sky in February

February 6th, 2016 by kayak woman

These are not the best pics I have ever taken. Although I sometimes try to take beeyootyful artistic type pics, as my nine reglear nucular taggers may know, I am (at this point in my life, that could change at random), solely an iPhoneographer. The 6S has a dern good camera but still, you get what you get. And sometimes I am not really trying all that hard. Like today. This post is a “this is my life” type post. You are gonna get what you get.

So, I was blathering yesterday about walking down to the farmers market. And I did. Since it doesn’t open until 8AM during the winter months, the sun was working its way up to the horizon as I was walking down.


What on earth could a farmers market up here in the Great [not-so]White North offer its customers in the dead of winter? Well. Onions, potatoes, red cabbage, winter squash (small ones!), cheese, LETTUCE!!!, pasties, rainbow trout, chicken, lamb, fancy stuff from “Wan OO’s” stand. And I fergit what else besides coffee and a doughnut. And friendliness!

It felt sooooo good to be at the farmers market today. I haven’t been there since before xmas. I love that place and I was missing it. Did I mention friendliness? We scuttled about doing chores for the rest of the morning and then we walked downtown for macaroni and cheese and beer with Janell at the Griz. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time downtown after that. Peaceable Kingdom (only because the last time we were there, a Baw Beese NCT person was working there), the Ark, and Downtown Home and Garden. Note to self. This angle of sunshine is a harbinger of summer.


It was a beautiful day today but it felt chilly even though the temperatures were above 30 and it took us a bit of time to warm up on our uphill trip home. This memorial bike commemorates a cyclist who died in an accident a few months ago near this spot. I think it ended up that he rode out in front of someone in the dark and the person who hit him couldn’t see him. But sigh…


The GG wanted to continue on up Dexter instead of walking through the neighborhood. I knew that he wanted to check out his coin donation center.


I kind of wanted to walk up that way too, partly because of the coin donation center but also because I figured that the skate park might be buzzing and it was.


That was all fun and then we got some stuff at the Plum Market and I guess we’ll see what we do tomorrow. Something about running the current gas outta the Ninja and putting regular in it… Road trip in any case!

Parental guidance suggested aka no thigh gap here

February 5th, 2016 by kayak woman

oldtownladyIt’s not me. I don’t have a thigh gap according to the strict definition and I could be a lot thinner (and younger and richer and blonder) but no way on earth do I have the beautiful thunder-thighs, etc. that this woman has. They just plain don’t happen in the Fin Fam and my legs seem to have received that DNA. This is a painting at the Old Town Barrooom, where we go every Friday we’re in town and aren’t at the folk festival and no one has an entire arm in a goddamn neural block etc., etc. [snort] It is a barroooom but it is also a family-friendly restaurant at least before 9PM or whatever and so people of all ages see this pic. Or ignore it or whatever. Like I usually do except when the dern GG texts it to me…

We were kinda thinking of driving up to Houghton Lake tonight. I was reeeeeealllly reluctant for reasons I can’t even totally explain to myself let alone to y’all. I love to go north but I *hate* driving up there on Friday during the rush hour or even a couple hours before it. Yeah, we used to do that when we were young. I’m just taaaarrred of it now. I miss the days when I was unemployed (by choice) and we could drive up there whenever we wanted to, since the GG had umpteen gazillion hours of paid time off. As much as I miss those relatively carefree days, I like money a lot too. To work and have money or to not work and have carefree time to take road trips. Hard choices.

I was grumpy and cranky about going north (I have been grumpy and cranky a lot this week but don’t worry, it’s because I am revisiting an ugly, extremely painful time in my life and sorting a few unblahggable things out) but I packed my suitcase and left it by the door *anyway*. And then, halfway through the day, the GG texted me asking if I really wanted to go north. Well, duh. No. But I packed, roight? I called. He was having second thoughts. I was totally undecided. Feeling bad about being so grumpy and cranky. Wanting to go north but wanting to stay down here. For various reasons, we ended up staying down here on The Planet Ann Arbor, where we walked down to be powterized at the Old Town. Of all things, we are talking about hitting up the farmers market tomorrow morning. We are usually on hiatus during the winter. Mostly because it doesn’t open until 8 and I like to get there around 7 but we’ll work that out. I miss the farmers market so much.

G’night, KW

P.S. Book recommendation of the evening: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Yes it’s a children’s (apostrophe correctly placed?) book but it’s a good one!

I dunno why people bother to follow me on Pinterest since I never post anything

February 4th, 2016 by kayak woman

homeI can’t remember the last time I posted something on Pinterest. I think that Pinterest is a really cool concept. Sometimes I actually search for recipes out there. By the way, does anyone have a recipe/plan for making macaroni in TWO individual ramekins? Like a *few* noodles and just enough cheese/etc. I *hated* mac ‘n’ cheese when I was a kid but that’s a complicated issue involving fluorescent orange powdered “cheese”, etc.

I think the idea behind Pinterest is wonderful. Curating pictures (etc.) that capture your interests? Why not? I tried. At one point, I even set up a private account to deal with my chitchen prodject. I dunno. Pinterest didn’t really help me renovate my ugly chitchen. What helped me with that is to connect with a wonderful woman who sorta “got me” and my design ideas. (She is pretty close to my beach urchins’ age and thinks it would be fun to hang out with them and I’m not sure I disagree.)

I first joined Pinterest back in the year or so that The Commander fell ill and eventually died. I was still active on Pinterest when The Commander was living at Freighter View in hospice care. I spent a lot of time sitting there in her beautiful room listening to the music of her oxygen musheen as I checked my email and tried to hang out with my work folks. I was not very productive during that time and I will never forget my employer’s empathy and patience during those days. I would get email pings from people who liked my posts and sometimes just getting email from anyone made me feel somehow still connected to the world.

Alas, in the long run, email pings from strangers do not float my boat. I still have an account and some “boards” on Pinterest. I will probably still search for recipes and things out there from time to time. But if you want to talk to me about anything serious, please TALK to me.

So back in the day I used to watch Dallas and Dynasty. We’re watching Shameless tonight. The Brit version, thank you very much.

Time traveling tonight

February 3rd, 2016 by kayak woman

First there’s me eating my breakfast in our loverly but shabby house on Superior Street way back in the day. You can’t see it because the pic is cropped but the stove behind me is the original stove that I remember when I was really small. A year or two or three after this pic was taken, my parents scraped together what little bit of money they could and bought a new stove.


And then there is me and my brother in huge snow country. I *think* this photo is down by my grandparents’ house on John Street. I can almost remember when it was taken but not quite. I wish I had the original photo of this but sadly I have only a copy and probably never will be able to obtain the original…

anne jim snowbank

And then there is last year, two days after a big snowstorm, when I got up and shoveled everything on earth.


By the time the GG was up and ready to go to work (and that was EARLY), all of this crap was shoveled and I think some of the people he works with were envious and maybe incredulous that the GG had a *wife* who had done all of that shoveling. Snort. I am a blasted Yooper and I do know how to shovel snow…

This morning? 50 degrees. Yes really.

We’re listening to Unchained Melody [you tube link] and other songs tonight. Love you all so much. <3 <3 <3

Red Screen of Death

February 2nd, 2016 by kayak woman

mooseowlsI have been blessed with the blue screen of death and the green screen of not-exactly-death (but hold onto your shorts while the Mothership reaches in and does stuff) and the Deep Sh*t Noise and here is a whole twitter play about the Talking Moose.

Setting: The Landfill Computer Room (later Lizard’s room, now a junk room with the Bureau of ATF in it and way too many file containers but it also has the Raspberry Pi computer and ISS Above🎇)

[KW tries to start up the MacPlus]: Brrrrrrrrrppp Brrrrrrrrp Brrrrrrrrrp. CRASH!

Brrrrriiiiinnnnnnnng! Brrrrriiiiinnnnnnnng!

KW: Why does the computer crash every time I boot it up?

tmotu: Oh! The Talking Moose must be in the system folder again.

KW: k2*3%#2}@

So, the red screen of death is when you work for a company in an industry that needs to totally lock down every computer it has access to and if your company issued laptop dies and you try to using a decommissioned computer that is using an old operating system, you will be red-screened after a certain number of days. Believe me, you are happy that my company does that kind of thing but it is not always that easy for those of us who are working behind the scenes when our assigned computer decides to crap out. It would be nice if we had some kind of on-site tech support for those moments but we don’t, so we generally have to send our musheens out into the ether to get them fixed. Broken computers usually come back pretty quickly but there has got to be a better way. That is all. [This is not my laptop, which is brand new and works fine. It is a co-worker’s computer.]

Heavy rain tonight on the Planet Ann Arbor and enough wind that my umbrella was not all that useful on my walk to the Plum Market after work. Not the usual early February weather here but not unheard of and I am soooo happy to be able to drive my beloved Ninja to work in wintertime.

The cake is a lie

February 1st, 2016 by kayak woman

sunnyskyI have been time traveling in many ways recently. Some of this travel is ugly and non-internet-able, although I am finally (after both parents’ deaths, as their only living child) able to face it all with the intelligence and cynical sense of humor that my DNA seems to have blessed me with.

But what the heck?! This morning I was sitting in my cube and the LSCHP came in and I heard him talking about portals. I mean the kind of portals where you escape a room through one and get catapulted into another room according to some algorithm…

I don’t always insert myself into work conversations unless I absolutely know that folks are heading down an incorrect path and I have the facts to sort it out. I do insert myself into truly fun convos. I almost never insert myself into water cooler discussions about TV shows* or sporting events or video games. I couldn’t suppress myself today. Um, didn’t the LSCHP describe this game about a gazillion years ago? Yes, I was thinking he did. How long ago? I dunno. I have been there for more than eight years. Before he became our Benevolent Despot, the LSCHP used to talk about some game about portals during meetings way back when. Today I heard him talking about some siren (or whatever) enticing him with a party at the end, with cake and everything. At that point, I knew how it was gonna end. The cake is a lie. (Anyone know that portal/cake is a lie game?)

*TV shows? We are watching the 6th season of Downton Abbey when it is broadcast every Sunday night. We watched the rest via Apple TV or whatever. We have watched as much of Twin Peaks and Fargo as we could get our mitts on and we wanted more, violence be damned. After those, we struggled to find something that both of us would like and we are now watching Shameless. We’ve generally been watching the Brit version. Last night we accidentally tuned in to the American-ized one. We prefer the Brit version but it might be interesting to eventually watch both.

The cake is a lie but love y’all anyway,

P.S. Me? I’m playing a blasted cat yard game on my phone, thanks to my daughter 🐱💩

The Grumpy and Cranky Show

January 31st, 2016 by kayak woman

banner1Who? Yer fav-o-rite blahgger? aka Little Miss Sunshine? Well, my eye, and if The Commander is tuning in from the other side, she is gathering lightning bolts at this moment (but not for the same reason as my grandfather is and I’ve heard tell that he could be a lot scarier than The Comm albeit never to me).

Yes, I was grumpy and cranky today. I heard the GG tell our guest (his beautiful sister Lizard Breath), “She’s crabby!” I was! Not because of any of the people in my house though, well, except when the GG tried to “help” me with an ongoing prodject after gruffly rejecting my “help” on a prodject *he* was doing. Eating my words [ulp] his interference actually *did* help me. I was just annoyed. I can’t really tell you much about my prodject except that about the only *good* thing about it is that I got to walk over to Staples (in the rain) to buy a small packet of filing-related supplies. I miss office supply stores. They were once regularly on my “beat” back in my non-profit org admin days. These days I do without paper if at all possible (and paper is one of the things I do NOT miss buying). Still. Is anyone else as big an office supply aficionado as I am? (And jeebus, it took some doing for this spelling geek to get rid of the wiggly line under “aficionado”!)

banner2He apparently thought that I hadn’t had enough of him this weekend though 🐗, especially since he was out two nights in a row with different lovely ladies. We’ll just call them LB. But. Did I want to go to the Tractor Supply store? Uuhhhh, not really. Nothing against the Tractor Supply in particular. Just that I am a flinger, don’tcha know. Most stores nauseate me. Oh, not the Plum. I was there twice today. The second time, I carefully chose a different cashier but I ended up with the same bagger and hilarity that I could not describe if I tried ensued. But the Tractor Supply? Oh, we’ll just be there for a few minutes. I just need some hooks (or whatever it was). Yeah. I made a couple circuits of the store. I perused the large stuffed horses and did a quick scan of the clothing department. I did not look for the dog cages. I need to get rid of one of those. I finally said, “I’m going out to the Frog Hopper to sit and do the xword.” And I did. 50 degrees? No need for heat.

It was all okay. After the Tractor Supply we went driving around on the back roads of Washtenaw County. We both *love* to do that and it helped me slodge through this warm ugly rainy last day of January. It was beautiful in its own way but I couldn’t see that for a really long time because I was busy starring in the Grumpy and Cranky show.

That pay phone pic from the first floor Rackham bathroom yesterday? I’ve figured out that I take a picture of that thing EVERY year. I *think* it works but I have to admit I haven’t tried it. Maybe next year, I will try to remember to bring a quarter (?) with me and call my iPhone with it. Probably more fun is the phone booth on the shores of Gitchee Gumee. I have a photo of that somewhere although I almost *never* visit it (alas). I think that phone probably does work over POTS because most people don’t have cell service in that area.

Anyway, I am babbling. Love all y’all,

Cat herding

January 30th, 2016 by kayak woman

rackhamThe Ann Arbor Folk Festival means different things to different people. I was almost considering going to the Saturday night show this year. Joan Baez was the headliner. The problem was that I would have to sit through a whole ton of acts before Joan took the stage. I. Cannot. Sit. That long. I like to listen to music while I’m dancing around doing chores in my house.

Still I have learned to enjoy folk fest weekend. The GG seems to have come to understand how hard it is for me to sit and listen to other people make music (“Keb Mo” is an inside joke here). There’s an early Friday dinner at the Red Hawk followed by a glorious solo walk home. And there’s the pre-glow party at Rackham that the GG’s expensive tickets pay for. I don’t think I am *technically* entitled to this perk since I don’t attend the show but I’m a pretty light eater and I’ve learned that nobody much cares if I’m there (they make me a name tag) and I do my introvert’s best to blend in. After the pre-glow, I bound down four flights of marble stairs at Rackham and hit the women’s bathroom (in which one of the few pay phones left on earth resides) and galumph home.

That’s more or less what I did tonight except that the walk was unintended. It’s all complicated but I had a birthday engagement to attend and, in order to *not* spend an hour and a half wandering aimlessly around downtown between the pre-glow and the birthday party, I decided to make other arrangements and those involved me walking home lickety-split and the birthday person picking me up at home.

It was all good except I had been feeling kind of wonky all day. Hungry mostly and a wee bit more caffeinated than I wanted to be. That’s a bit unusual for me. I mean the hungry thing, not the over-caffeinated. I love to eat (pass the potatoes please) but I don’t tend to shovel big piles of food into my mouth even on the hungriest of days. I won’t go over the entire day in detail but I was fading fast at the end of the afternoon and although I had more than enough energy for my unplanned [second] walk back over to the west side, I wasn’t sure whether I was gonna be any good as a birthday companion or not.

But then we were seated at the Real Seafood and there was an empty water glass in front of me and suddenly I could not *wait* for our server to come around and fill it. When he did, I glugged that thing down like nobody’s business and then started working on the extra glass of water for the “ghost” person that never showed up. Eventually I began to feel more like myself. Dehydration? It’s a real thing and I know better. (Oh and this is the Great Lake State where we have lots of good clean water unless you happen to live in Flint or over a certain dioxane plume but those are whole other stories).


P.S. There was a ghost ‘hattan too but fortunately, the RS ‘hattans are a fraction of the size of Knights’.

January sunset

January 29th, 2016 by kayak woman

It’s Folk Festival weekend. Tonight the GG’s date is our own beautiful daughter Lizard Breath. I left work early enough for once today that I didn’t feel like I was scrambling to get downtown in time to eat with the folk festival attendees.

I took a chance about walking through Miller Woods on my way downtown. There were a few places where I wished I had YakTrax and/or a hiking pole but I made it through without incident and it was so beautiful.


I met up with the GG and Liz at the Red Hawk and here is a pic of my beautiful kiddo wearing a Yooper hat, borrowed from her dad, the dad who wasn’t born a Yooper but has certainly earned his status as one, given all of the times he helped The Commander out with things and his work with our beloved North Country Trail friends up there. Clap for him.


I walked outta the Red Hawk and, as I turned south onto Liberty at State, I saw this beautiful sunset view. I didn’t see anyone else take pictures of it. I do not know why.


This view was the beginning of my beautiful walk home. My phone proclaimed that it was 6:11 PM. The sun is traveling north again and so the north shall rise again.

Love you all,

Where Demon Drop Chairs go to die

January 28th, 2016 by kayak woman

poleI wanted to blahg about blahgging today. I got over to Barry’s to meet MMCB2 and I was a wee bit early [miraculously], so I opened up my email and there was a message from MMCB1. That was a wee bit odd because I expected her to walk in the door any moment but it turns out it was about blahgging or actually journaling in general (google Charley Kempthorne, very interesting person).

Just then MMCB2 arrived and I mentioned that I received the email and an interesting discussion ensued about blahgging and other social media. They both know that I have a blahg but they don’t read it, at least I don’t think they do. Or if they do, not regularly. Which is fine for a couple reasons. The first is that I see them all the time and we *do* know each others* business, even sometimes stuff we don’t tell most other people [snort] and I *certainly* don’t post on my blahg, and the second is that I am well aware that reading my blahg is almost always pretty much the equivalent of watching paint dry on most days, especially lately. Except for when things happen, oh, you know, like great big trees fall down and such.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post about blahgging today but I really didn’t have much time to sit down and write out my thoughts, let alone turn them into something that might *not* be like watching paint dry. The thing is, I don’t usually get around to writing my blahg these days until after work and a few chores and often a short walk (to boost my steps up over 15K) and by then the GG is home and we are talking about our respective days (or arguing if it’s one o’ *those* days) or whatever and I am distracted even on the best of days.

demondropAs it was, on top of everything else, we dropped the Ninja off for scheduled maintenance tonight and that was delayed by the GG’s attendance at a retirement party at which the guest of honor was “late”, which probably doesn’t matter to the retiree (why should it?) but it mattered to meeeee because I had to go pick up the GG after he dropped off the Ninja and I couldn’t really start dinner until we got home and we couldda gone out to eat but we are gonna be eating out a LOT this weekend [folk festival] so eating out tonight didn’t quite seem like the right thing. Don’tcha love that long sentence? And it was snowing but since it was in the mid-30s, it wasn’t slippery in any way shape or form but it still made traffic slow and crazy as hell.

So we’re home and salmon is in the oven and rice is on the stove and salad is hanging out on the counter and all y’all are stuck with images from my work today. The top one is the cube next to mine. It has a POLE in it. This is a good thing. Don’t ask why [shame on you 🐸]. It also has a PRINTER in it now. Not one that I have been able to connect to yet although for a long time in another life, it was the ONLY printer I could connect to. It’s okay. The only printer I can connect to NOW is far enough away that I get approximately 150 steps going over there and back to pick up a printout so it’s all good. The QA party team also scavenged some other furniture, as you can see. There is a table for Louie-Louii’s Keurig coffee maker (that he won playing euchre at a company-sponsored casino-type event a few years ago) and any Baked Goods that people might be inclined to bring in.

And finally, the second pic is where Demon Drop Chairs go to die. Such innocent looking chairs. Do NOT be fooled!💀

* Each others business? Each others’ business? Each other’s business? Grammar mavens? 🐸

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

January 27th, 2016 by kayak woman

huroniceBut yaknow, today, after a long day of work, I got home and walked over to the Plum Market. Milk was on my list. We don’t drink a lot of milk around here. I have never been all that crazy about milk and the huge eight ounce glasses The Commander served us at dinner back in the day was almost more than I could stand. Nowadays I buy a quart and when we are almost out or the GG leaves an empty quart container in the sink after using it on his morning cereal, I buy another quart.

I like to stay ahead of the Milk Supply Situation but I don’t always manage it but that’s okay because it gives me an excuse to walk over to the Plum to get more. What I don’t want to happen is for the GG to pour spoiled milk on his cereal. That *has* happened and I was appalled when I returned from my 0-Skunk-30 walk once last fall and saw the remains. Jeebus!

Today when I got home from my walk it was still dark and there was an empty milk carton in the sink. There was also some cereal in the compost bin and I’m not sure what that was about because it was dry and therefore not adulterated by bad milk. But who knows. I was excited to have an after-work mission to the Plum to look forward to. Milk and a few other grokkeries. Alas… I thought I reached for 2% milk this afternoon but when I got home I had definitely purchased *skim milk*. Sorry buddy. I hope you can deal with skim milk on your cereal for the next week or so. Fortunately I buy milk in small quantities now. Gone are the days when I bought at least two gallons per week with small beach urchins in tow.

Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

Chair kings (and queens) of data drive

January 26th, 2016 by kayak woman

trucksThe highlight of the day was the delivery of New Chairs! Wazoo!!! We didn’t think that New Chairs would be a part of our recent office renovation. We were *told* we would not get New Chairs. It wasn’t in the budget yada yada (sorry moom). Today the Chairy Godfather blessed us with new chairs. I cannot tell you how much excitement surrounded this event. King Louie-Louii sat in the middle of Our Street *in* his chair for quite some time after it was delivered, surrounded by supplicants harassers.

In the short number of years I’ve been at my job (eight) the chairs have been an issue. My cube chair was always fine but for all of those years, whenever I’ve gone to a meeting, the challenge is to not find a Demon Drop chair. Like you sit in the chair and the seat drops down suddenly and your eyes are level with the table.

New Chairs were exciting for a lot of folks today but it was New Neighbors that made my day. I’ve been happy with my new cube over at Cubeland. I’ve moved around the corner, sorta. I can see out a window from my cube. I am not across the street from my manager but that’s okay because she knows where I am. For the last couple weeks, the cubes across the street from me have been empty and filled with junk. A certain Hissy Fit finally got things going across the street and today the QA team moved in. Man oh man, I love having those folks across the street from me. It’s not that the business systems analyst and research teams are not capable of fun conversation or hi-jinks but we are geeks and we can run out of conversation pretty quickly. I can’t explain this exactly and you don’t wanna know. But I am now living on the “party” street. The one where people are serious about doing their jobs but go out of their way to have fun. Plus now, when the QA folks have questions, I am right there on their street!

New chair at work and new chair at home. And utility trucks across the street. But we do have power and internet so I dunno what’s going on.

Good morning America, how are you?

January 25th, 2016 by kayak woman

rockyDon’t you know me, I’m your native son neighborhood raccoon.

Walking in the dark. Something was moving a few feet away. Hello! Cat? Skunk? Rabbit? What? It was this guy climbing up that tree. Or maybe gal? Big raccoon. Pregnant? Maybe. Not sure. I stopped in my tracks and slowly pulled out my iPhone. Could I get this critter before it skedaddled? It did skedaddle but then it peeked it’s little face back around and there you go. And, by the way, do not travel above 25mph on Duncan Street because that’s the speed limit.

It’s fun when your young adult children and you get little glimpses into some of the things you probably didn’t know happened when they were children.

There are two events — that I remember — that I am not sure I *ever* told my parents. One was when my friend Helen’s older sister Grace Anne drove us up to Searchmont to ski. Along a twisty, windy, often snowy road (google Searchmont Ontario). The roads were sunny and dry on the day we were traversing this route but, going home, we somehow left the road onto an ice-covered lake. We were all okay. A log truck pulled us back onto the road and there was no damage to the vee-hickle, which was an OLD 1957 Buick. I didn’t tell my parents what happened that day. I don’t know if Helen and Grace Anne ever told their parents. Sadly, Grace Anne is no longer with us. I don’t regularly communicate with Helen but we are facebook friends, so I know how to get hold of her.

And then there was the time I was a new driver and I got into a bit of a pickle with my grandmother’s old Ford Fairlane down by “the pond”. I needed to turn around for some reason and The Gate was still there and in backing around to turn around, I backed [very slowly] into a fencepost. It left a wee bit of damage to a tail light and my parents were flummoxed about how that could have happened. I lay low even when they called the police! I was TERRIFIED! Yeek! (Even though the police had no clue.) They will never let me drive again! But they did. Even after my only accident ever (knock on wood) when I was 17.

Well, actually, maybe I did tell about this “horrible accident”. At some point, I think I blahgged about it. My brother was still alive at the time and I think he commented that the parents always blamed him for that wee bit of damage to the tail light. I know that he didn’t do it because he was too young to drive when that happened. 💚

Guinea Pig poop? Whatever 🐸

That warm fuzzy sunburnt kinda feeling

January 24th, 2016 by kayak woman

We did have a lot of sun today. Until about 2:30 or so when Lizard and I walked over to the Plum with sunglasses on and then, when we got back, the sun had disappeared. It’s okay. I got enough sun to get that loverly tired kinda burned feeling. Of course I also walked a lot today. I took myself down to the river for a walk around noon.

I don’t really think I look like a birdwatcher birder but a young couple had spied the hawk-like entity in the pic below (can you see it? embiggen it) and stopped me to ask what it was. Not an owl, they thought. No, not an owl. Hawk? I thought hawk too but I could not for a bazillion bucks tell you *which* hawk. By the way, this is my fave tree down at Barton Dam. Also, I was called a Troll today. That’s not totally accurate but I played along.


I came home from my hike and scuttled around pre-making dinner(s) because people were coming over. Mouse was the first to arrive, then MiaPet and her fairy godmother.


And then the Guest of Honor arrived. That would be npJane. As it turned out, Liz and I were over at the Plum Market when she arrived. We are such good hosts! 🐗 But we’re all family so it’s all good. As we walked back up the street to the Landfill, we knew that she had arrived because we could see her loverly new blue vee-hickle! Alas, I didn’t get a pic of this vee-hickle but I did find a pic of her last new vee-hickle. One in which my dad and brother were checking out the engine. This took place in the moomincabin “parking lot” and after they checked out npJane’s then new vee-hickle, they checked out every single other vee-hickle in the lot, including Jay and Carl’s rental car. I have a series of pics of this event but I’ll just post this one and I will note that this is an Ugly. It does not show any of these people in their best light.


Good sunny [mostly] day and time spent with beach urchins and cousin. Love.

When the sun is in a perfect place

January 23rd, 2016 by kayak woman

Sometimes when I haven’t done anything worth blahgging about (or blahggable) and haven’t taken any photos for a few days, I wonder why the heck I bother to blahg. I don’t necessarily have a whole heckuva lot to blahg about tonight but, when I took a Winter Sunset Walk today, I was greeted by this schoolyard view of the setting sun.


It reminded me of a photo that I took more years ago than I care to count. My dad was still alive and so was The Commander. We were visiting them in Sault Ste. Siberia and I got up early to take my morning walk down through the LSSU campus and along Portage and back up the hill. By the time I got back up to the Dillon house, The Commander would have breakfast pretty much ready.

But here I was, walking up Sheridan or whatever it is. I turned around and the rising sun was framed by the Ashmun Street bridge. Man oh man.


I doubt that I will ever a get a picture of that again.

Flirting at Knight’s under a full (fool?) moon

January 22nd, 2016 by kayak woman

I think I have posted about this before but somehow when the GG is not in town to snag a table at the Oscar Tango on a Friday night, the whole walking downtown to the Oscar Tango thing does not work out. For a few years, I could use some of these off-Fridays to snag some Mouse-time but Mouse is working a couple of jobs nowadays plus all of the other stuff Mouse does and the only time I have seen her since xmas (I think but could be fer-getting something) is last Friday night when we watched her in Macbeth and I got a quick (but more than adequate) hug after the show. (Which is okay, if Mouse gets around to reading Abby in the near future. Love you ANYWAY!) (I’m gonna find aNOTHER mother. -Mouse at about age two. Always smarter than all of the rest of us.)

This is all okay. For one thing, I am happy enough hanging out at my own beauteous landfill alone but I also figgered that our friends of Porterization might like to hang out with company (me?) at our fave neighborhood pub aka Knight’s Steakhouse. And so we did. You know I walked. I didn’t have to suit up too terribly much but I did need double-stuff on my head and my ski jacket. I did NOT need boots or YakTrax (thank you weather gods). I tried to talk about layering and walking outside at 0-skunk-30 with a woman in the bathroom at the end of the night. She was lovely but she didn’t really understand the concept of going outside in the winter other than the occasional snow-mo trip. Sigh…

I think that Knight’s is about the only bar/restaurant in town that lets people stack up hip deep at the bar while they are waiting for their table. It is a fun fun fun friendly environment in which we almost always start talking to somebody at the bar. Tonight I ordered drinks for me and my Friends of Porterization. It’s a long story but there was a minor kerfuffle when our table was unexpectedly ready before we received the cocktails we ordered at the bar and that is what got me talking to the guys at the bar. It all worked out and we had a wonderful dinner and I had a *loverly* walk home under the same beautiful full moon that guided me *to* the restaurant.

Dooya think I can claim the time I spent printing out work documents at home as work hours?

January 21st, 2016 by kayak woman

flowersNot really. It’s kind of a moot question because I’m an exempt employee. Or is it non-exempt? I can never remember the terminology. You get paid for overtime work or you don’t and I don’t but whatever.

Life is still kind of crazy over in Cubeland and all of the printers are lined up on tables in the lunchroom but they are not hooked up to anything, so nobody can print anything at work. Not that we necessarily need to print anything but I often like to make printouts of web pages and/or requirements and/or whatever so I can then write on them with an actual pen during meetings or whatever. I can’t do that right now. In order to get a printout of something, I have to email whatever it is to my personal email address and print it out here at The Landfill. We won’t talk about whether that scenario is secure for the online banking industry but I will point out that I have absolutely no access to anything resembling anything real so…

The cubes “across the street” from me are still empty but some progress was made today. Maybe it had something to do with a certain Hissy Fit that happened yesterday. KP was walking by my cube at the time and she ducked in to “hide”. I loved that KP felt safe in my cube. Mooma duck here. But I was also laughing my you-know-what off at the Hissy Fit. Jeebus.

I printed some stuff here at home tonight. I hope we have a working printer soon. Rocks and a few other folks were working on that today but we’ll see…

P.S. Wishing I was up at the Driftwood tonight.

21st century banking

January 20th, 2016 by kayak woman

bankI want one of these. That is all.

I have spent many a day collecting coins, rolling them, and taking them to the bank to deposit them. Mostly for PTO-type non-profit school organizations but occasionally back in the day, I would collect enough coins around the Landfill to roll them and take them to the bank to deposit. Or I would have to cash out Trunky but that’s a whole ‘nother story. These days I am lazy enough that, when I have collected more change than I can manage, I dump it into a Coinstar musheen and donate it to a charity.

I come from a banking family, at least in the last three generations. Before that we were fur traders in northern Saskatchewan and grocers and not sure what else. But banking… We were not one of those rich fancy banking fams that you might hear about in the news or maybe there is a rich banking family in your town. My banking fam? Not rich although I can’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t enough to eat or warm clothing to wear or any of the other things that children need when they are growing up.

Long story short, my dad joined his dad in the banking business back in the day and I grew up playing with adding machines and visiting the children’s teller window that you see here in the next photo. I do not know these beautiful girls but that’s my grandaddy serving them for a publicity shot.

bank2I got to run around all over the insider part of the bank including the vault and I remember going to annual xmas parties there to put up the xmas tree (gold ornaments) and a Santa in a gold suit.

The First National Bank morphed into 1st of America and then National City and eventually PNC and PNC ended up closing the local bank a year after The Commander died. My dad was long dead by that time but when I went over to empty out the safe deposit box, the bank manager (also The Commander’s next door neighbor) gave me a whole bunch of old photos of my dad and granddaddy that had been dredged up from the basement. (I believe she took some time off but has landed a job in a branch in a different city.)

It never fails to crack me up that I have ended up working in the online banking industry. My granddaddy died in 1968 (when I was in 8th grade), before the banking biz began to switch over to computers. That switch began in the late 1970s and early 1980s and my dad got caught in the middle of it and it was not fun for him. I understand why since I got involved with computers around that time.

Computerized banking was in its infancy then and yet here I am, making a darn good living designing online banking functionality. Who knew?

Just say no.

January 19th, 2016 by kayak woman

woolTo gaslighting.

I am back working over at Cubeland these days. Things are still kind of a mess over there but we’re getting back into the swing. You know, remembering what our colleagues look like and all of that. Except I had to do a double-take when I saw FZ today. He was looking a wee bit wild-eyed and bushy. Cabin Fever? His cube hasn’t been built yet so he was squatting in a conference room.

When I telecommute, I do not wear the stereotypical work-from-home pajamas. I wear pajamas my Lands End sleepshirt in bed and in the evening IFF I am positive that no one besides a Beach Urchin or maybe npJane will be coming over. When I get up at 0-skunk-30, I immediately hit the [brand new lovely] shower, then suit up for urban hiking in whatever the weather. I am more comfortable in skirts than pants, especially jeans (long story), so during my current telecommuting sojourn, at least the colder parts of it, my work costume was Chico’s turtleneck, polartech vest (or jacket on the colder days), this pull-on biz-cazable ankle length wool skirt, tights, and Smartwool socks. If I needed to go outside, I would put on my Keen sandals. I do not wear shoes inside the house. I wore that same outfit to work today. It was cold out and that’s what worked.

I had a hangover this morning. Not that kind. Yesterday was an Epically Bad Day and I was grumpy as all get-out when I got to work. It didn’t help that it was the kind of morning that I couldn’t even remember my name, not to mention what I was supposed to do to earn my pay this week. Former Cube Nayber [over the wall now] came by, peered at the empty trashed-filled cubes across from me and said it looked like I wouldn’t be having neighbors any time soon. I retorted that that was a good thing, given how grumpy I was. I was friendly but she ske-daddled. I slowly surfaced from that low spot until we were all in an afternoon meeting and one of our managers kept getting cut off trying to talk during a teleconference. I looked across the table to her and said something like, “I feel your pain, that’s the story of my life.”

So a while back, someone in The Doghouse was playing a Tammy Wynette song. I actually like this particular country-western genre song (when I was a kid working at the Tempo store, we sold a lot of those albums and I pretended to have my nose in the air about it then) but all I have to say is that if you are a man and you want your woman to stand by you, you need to stand by her too. I am happy to have married a guy who does. Usually…

G’night, KW

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

January 18th, 2016 by kayak woman

Oh lord PLEASE don’t let me be misunderstood.

Also godspeed to Glenn Frey of the Eagles (and Royal Joke Dondero High). My fave Eagles song Desperado.

All right, it was a lame attempt on an EPICALLY BAD DAY but I’ll un-private it *anyway*.