Random bits of my so-called life.


June 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

My two (count ’em 🙃) commenters yesterday pointed out that Discount Tire in fact has a good reputation. They have had good experiences there and in fact, so have we. I changed my reference to “a tire store” and am here to woman ‘splain a followup to my story. Nikio went online to check for issues with Ford lug nuts on her particular vee-hickle and, yes, there was a bad design. I don’t think they were likely to cause a catastrophic vee-hickle failure but it was probably good for her to replace them. And it was something like $45, so it didn’t break her bank.

I do still struggle with having to deal with dealers and repair shops, etc. Those folks talk a mile a minute using a vocabulary that I am only vaguely familiar with and sometimes with our often ancient vee-hickles, there are issues that the GG KNOWS ABOUT but doesn’t want to fix for whatever reason. I am okay with that as long as it isn’t a SAFETY ISSUE or interferes with my driving experience. But when a repair person is talking at me, I cannot always sort it all out.

Too often when I’m dealing with car folks, I feel like my then octogenarian mother felt the time she was having an “issue” with Waste Management (moomincabin garbage pickup at the time). We walked into her house and there was a phone message from Waste Management. The woman who left the message was MUCH younger than The Commander and she talked a mile a minute. *I* understood the message but The Commander couldn’t process it and thought it was from the BANK (which she didn’t have an issue with*) and was all set to go downtown and do battle with the bank! I played the message for her again and managed to talk her down off that ledge. Moom, the bank will NOT have a clue what you’re talking about!

So, I can handle car repairs but it is much more efficient if the GG does it. He has a long history of dealing with automobiles, assembling them in the Hamtramck assembly plant, troubleshooting issues with his/our vee-hickles, which we tend to keep FOREVER, plus a long career at the EPA emissions testing facility. Therefore he knows when somebody is giving him crap and *politely* doesn’t take it.

Along the way there have been some good old boys that I *have* been able to deal with. There was Ivory over at Ann Arbor Muffler and the guy at A&B Radiator. They were both sweet and polite and never talked at me or down to me and I’m guessing they are both retaaaaared by now. I do hope they are still with us!

*In my opinion, The Commander’s main issue with the bank at that time was that her husband was no longer the president of the bank, which was NOT the bank’s fault. In my observations, the bank folks still treated her like the Queen of England and her then next-door neighbor was the manager. But I guess it’s okay to be a bit cranky if you manage to live as long as The Comm did.

It’s the lug nuts

June 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

Back in the Pleistocene period or whenever it was that we were crawling out of the sea and growing legs and things… A childhood BFF and I were in junior high and when we wanted to go skiing somewhere we couldn’t walk to, her older sister Grace Anne (high school) was often our driver. Her family owned a work van (TV repair) and a 13-year-old Buick, which was available to Grace Anne largely because their mother had not learned to drive at that point and the older brothers were out of the house.

So if we wanted to go to Mission Hill to ski, Grace Anne was often willing to drive us, along with various friends of hers. I can’t remember what the heck we did with the skis. I don’t remember there being a ski rack. Maybe they fit in the trunk? Or maybe we sat in the car with them? Whatever.

Once, at the end of a ski day, we had the car all packed up to head back to town and… It. Wouldn’t. Start. We didn’t know anything about cars but it was a nice sunny afternoon and a whole bunch of skiers crowded around us trying to help. One person said, “It must be the lug nuts.” We (being young and silly) totally cracked up! What the bloody hell is a lug nut? (Of course we didn’t say “bloody hell”.) If I remember anywhere near accurately, there were a couple of folks with the last name [something like] “Hudnut” in the crowd and of course we latched on to that coincidence to escalate our hilarity.

I don’t remember how we got the car started but we did and we drove back to Sault Ste. Siberia without incident except I don’t think we could stop laughing to save our lives. I am pretty sure the problem had nothing to do with the lug nuts…

Today Nikio went out for lunch as she usually does when she comes into Cubelandia to work. A while later she texted to say that she’d had a flat taaaaar and was cooling her heels at a tire store. When she got back, she was a bit disgruntled and wondering if she had been “taken”. Because. They sold her some new lug nuts. Their pitch was that Ford had outfitted a bunch of cars with badly designed lug nuts. She went for it and I won’t describe the conversation she and I and Amazon Woman had about being a woman and not particularly savvy about the actual mechanics of cars and wondering if we’re being sold a bill of goods.

Actually, Amazon Woman is an engineer and is very savvy about cars, having worked on and toured with the UMich solar car – in the Australian outback where you take a toilet seat with you if you have to find a place to go. She does not take any crapola from automotive sales or mechanical professionals. And I do hope that FZ (who was just over the wall) wasn’t offended when I said something about “mansplainin'” because he would be the LAST male to ever mansplain. But it’s prob’ly okay because I mentioned a couple of identical twinz in my life who have been known to mansplain 😉 I love them ANYWAY.

The tortoise is living happily in Colorado. I did not take the photoooo.

Black Screen of Death

June 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

Okay, you’ve prob’ly heard of the Blue Screen of Death, roight? Well, not only have I experienced the Blue Screen of Death (a few times), I have experienced the Green Screen of Death and I have seen (but not experienced, knock on wood) the Red Screen of Death. Knock on wood because I *think* that’s what you get when you are RIFed and the company cuts off your access. Harsh, eh?

I have experienced a couple more interesting failures including The Talking Moose is in the System Folder Again (yeah, again). That was on our Mac II Plus back in the day when you had to boot personal computers up with a floppy disk. Except this one day every time I put the boot disk into the slot, it would act like it was booting up for a while and then CRASH! After three or four sessions of this, I called the GG over at That Darn EPA. What the bloody hell is going on? Nonchalantly: “Oh, sounds like the Talking Moose is in the system folder again.” Whaaaaaa? And whaddya know, here is the Talking Moose (YouTube link)!

And then there was the Deep Shit Noise that happened when our *first* Apple laptop crashed. That laptop (in the pic) much predates modern Apple laptops but we still have it and I think it actually still works but not sure what you can really do with it. For a while I “watched” a couple of neighbor kids mornings before school. Folks, I am a GEEK and I am not GOOD at this kind of thing. Not a warm fuzzy baby-sitting type person at all but these were also friends of my kids, they were upper-el, and the mom was a good friend of mine. So they usually basically took care of themselves.

But one morning… I was struggling with the laptop (it was our only working computer at the time) and I couldn’t get it to boot up and then… it made the Deep Shit Noise (I can’t find that on YouTube, it must’ve been what *we* called it). I was flailing around trying to get it to work when a sibling fight broke out between my charges… Oh dear… I did beat the dern laptop into submission. I’m pretty sure I didn’t resolve the sibling fight. But I wasn’t accepting any pay for this gig and I would’ve gotten involved if the fight had escalated into violence, which it didn’t.

Today! I encountered the Black Screen of Death. Or so I thought. I faaaared up my laptop over at Cubelandia this morning and it sat there with a BLACK screen and a cursor in the middle of it for a FRICKIN’ HALF HOUR! I could see via a little flashing icon at the top of the keyboard that it was [maybe] noodling on something. But. Jeebus! I was pretty freaked out about this whole black screen thing but eventually my laptop booted up and I got the beauteous landscape scenery that Windows 10 provides. I hope I don’t get the black screen tomorrow.

And then there were the “bombs” that woke me up at 1:00-something last night. What the bloody hell was that? It wasn’t thunder and I don’t think it was fireworks although we *are* approaching the 4th of July. It wasn’t right outside my house but it didn’t seem all that far away. I was almost expecting to hear sirens but that never happened. I couldn’t find anything on mLive or next door neighbor this morning and I didn’t happen to connect with any neighbors this morning. Bob and Java were in the woods this afternoon but Becquet was with them and she is old enough now that I didn’t want to traumatize her by asking her dad if they had heard what I heard. Maybe it was just faaarworks. The neighborhood was certainly calm this morning.

Razzy jain

June 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

That is, beautiful jazz and rain on a Sunday morning of spacification at The Landfill and warm enough to have the doors and windows open. And then a lot of Kexting between me and one of the beach urchins. Not the annoying kind of Kexting, i.e., why won’t moom leave me alone. She was helping me out with ideas for food and providing tips for how to cook it. I think she was in a #SundayPrepDay mode. I was in a #whaddoIWannaEat mode.

Then there were some blasts from the past, including the one in the pic, which is from Lizard Breath’s driver’s license road trip with her dad. He took the beach urchins on “10-year-old” trips and driver’s license trips. Liz’s 10-year-old trip also included the GG’s identical twin (the UU) and *his* daughter The Beautiful Renee (who is four years older than Liz). They went to the badlands. The girls became acquainted with the Twinz style of hiking and staged a protest – NO MORE DEATH MARCHES! And they experienced a tornado in a campground in the western UP that dropped a tree on their tent in the middle of the night. They were saved from being crushed by a smaller tree that broke the big tree’s fall. “I miss my mommy too but she’s moiles away”, said a woman in the shelter that night. Yes. Her moom was in Australia, hence the accent.

Liz’s driver’s license trip was to Colorado to visit her uber-cuzzint Julia and partner. Julia is almost exactly 10 years older than Liz and visited our house frequently when Liz was a baby. The GG is out in CO now, which prompted Liz to Instagram this pic, which I asked for and have permission to post.

I had forgotten that braided hairstyle. This kid had hair down to her butt as a teenager. As a child/teenager, I always wanted hair that long but mine never quite got there, stopping halfway down my back in a mess of split ends. But. The GG DID have hair down to his butt as a teenager so I guess she comes by it honestly.


June 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

The tablecloth is a wonderful gift from my s-i-l Liz. It is folded up to fit the little table we are using out here in the She-shed for the moment. She also sent me a craft kit. I have another craft kit that I ordered (from Australia of all places) and I will be working on these later in the summer when I actually take some paid time off and go to the moomincabin.

I used to take bags and bags of fabric and beads up to the moomincabin. I used them but the amount of supplies was total overkill and eventually I kind of spun around a few times (in my life I mean, not at the moomincabin) and screamed… And then there were the horrible end-of-life years when I was constantly hauling stuff south and trying to sort it out and disperse it to appropriate places. I hardly take anything up to the moomincabin any more except for clothing and a few grokkeries. This year there will be two craft kits. Both small and easy to finish.

I don’t really have much more to say. It was a slow day and I picked away at chores but didn’t feel very productive overall and at the end of the day, my MacBook’s trackpad suddenly became inoperable. It’s probably some sort of water invasion although I did NOT get water in there that I can remember. Please please please laptop manufacturers everywhere, solve the moisture problem. People take these things to coffee shops and use them in their kitchens. You need to do a better job.

Finally, I’ve been bingeing on the second season of the handmaid’s tale all week. I finished the last episode today. All I will say is that Offred is a badass! 🧡

Quick blahg administrivia

June 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

I have s-l-o-w-l-y come to the realization that WordPress is not emailing blahg comments to me. I have gone into the settings and the setting is, uh, set but it’s still not happening. Soooooo, if you have commented and I have not responded it *may* be because I didn’t notice your comment. Of course if you have ever commented, you may know I don’t *always* reply to comments so it may also be that I simply didn’t reply. Replying or not depends on a variety of factors like how busy I am and what device I have available when I get a comment. I am good at typing on my phone if I need/want to but there are times I don’t have the old gazinto. And I can’t access any kind of social media including blahgs from my work laptop. Not replying is [almost] never because I don’t like you and/or your comment.

So, maybe more later, maybe not. Gonna go get porterized at Knight’s in a bit.

Back from the dark side of the moon

June 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

So I have been putting off a mandatory upgrade to Windows 10 on my work laptop for a couple weeks now. Why? Because the updater thingy that kept popping up warned that it would take a few hours and my laptop would restart multiple times. At least it warned me. Apple, for all the kudos it receives for user-friendly design can be absolutely AWFUL when it comes to OS/IOS updates. Where the heck is the progress bar?

Today had to be the day. But wait! When I got to Cubelandia today, the first thing that happened after I logged on to my laptop is that I couldn’t access a lot of the “stuff” I use to do my job. Like an idiot, I decided to restart my laptop. I. WAS. LOCKED. OUT. If I had used my BRAIN and gone to the corporate intranet, it’d prob’ly’ve told me that and allowed me to unlock myself. Instead, I had to bother FZ so I could get on to HIS laptop and unlock myself. So annoying.

So I was a wee bit “shaky” by then and I was talking about having to do this Windows upgrade and people who had been through it were saying all of their files were destroyed and some of them even had to send their laptops to the Mother Ship to get fixed up. And then, “make sure you back everything up to One Drive!” What in the heck is “one drive” and where the heck *is* “One Drive”?

Figgered out the One Drive thing and got things backed up and then… Came home and spent the afternoon multitasking. Babysitting the Windows 10 upgrade while watching episodes of the Handmaid’s Tale season 2 (on my phone) with occasional little sprints into the chitchen to put enchiladas together.

My upgrade took over three hours and ended at 4:13 PM. NERVOUSLY, I logged on to my laptop. Success. NERVOUSLY, I checked out my file structure. Everything was there. WHEW!

Why we don’t ever eat dinner until 8…

June 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

So yesterday my semi-local beach urchin texted me to ask if she could come over for dinner tomorrow night. “OF COURSE!”, said the Lyme Lounge “widow”. But… What do you want to eat? How about enchiladas was the response. YES!!!!

I can make enchiladas in my sleep. The only difficulty was that since I didn’t have all of the ingredients at the Landfill, I figured I would have to make two shopping trips. One was yesterday at the Saline Road Meijer to get ingredients for the sauce, which I put together last night. By the way, they are “re-doing” the Saline Road Meijer and it is a total mess and although I found all of the enchilada ingredients I needed, I could not find some of the other stuff on my Meijer list. I’m sure they were in stock. I just didn’t wanna traipse all over the store at that time of day. I WANTED TO GO HOME!

I waited in long lines at every dad-blasted intersection all the way from Cubelandia to Meijer to home.

I planned to obtain the REST of the enchilada ingredients @PlumMarket on my way home tonight. More prep work tonight and MAYBE I’ll put them together tomorrow morning before work. Or maybe I will WFH tomorrow afternoon and put them together then, while my work laptop is installing a mandatory upgrade to Windows 10 that has to happen tomorrow (OR ELSE!) and takes a couple hours and I don’t want to sit in my cube waiting for that to happen.

I waited in long lines at every dad-blasted intersection all the way from Cubelandia to @PlumMarket. I *think* I have all of the ingredients I need now.

As a disclaimer, I am HAPPY about all of this (except the frickin’ traffic). I love when my beach urchins come over. In fact, they often feed MEEEEE but this particular time, this beach urchin is waaaaay busy with work and moving apartments and various travels. And I LIKE to make enchiladas. Like, I can make them in my sleep roight? So no problem!

This morning I was over at Barry’s waiting for MMCB to arrive. (She wasn’t late, I was early.) When she got there, I was buried in an internet rabbit hole involving the hashtag #sundayMealPrep. Man oh man, I used to do at least a rudimentary version of that. I have got to get my groove back.

Okay. Kleenex needed. The last two days by doze has bed ruddig idermiddedly. Yesterday morning I was sniffling so much at Cubelandia that FZ asked me if I was okay. He actually thought I was crying! It went away completely when we were at our daily stand-up meeting in the Gizmos conference room, then came back again in my cube for an hour or so. And then gone for 24 hours or so. Returned for a short period this afternoon. I don’t have allergies in general but maybe there is some odd sort of pollen that is bothering me. Or maybe it’s just a wee virus. Whatever it is, it is MILD. I am not feverish or struggling to breathe and I am at a full-tilt-boogie energy level.

Rabbity permission

June 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

So… Where am I goin’ with this? We have about a gazillion stuffed aminal type things around here. For many years, there have been four garbage bags full of them in the Landfill Dungeon. If my memory is accurate, they landed at the bottom of the dungeon stairs via the beach urchins throwing them down there during a tornado warning. Screaming the whole time. Other things that went on during that particular storm were Hans and the GG watching moths copulating in a big sidewalk crack and a noisy wood chipping operation going on across the street. Tornado? Nope. At least not anywhere near our house.

The stuffed aminals remained at the bottom of the stairs for a while until somebody got up the gumption to bag them up in garbage bags and… store them… in the dungeon.

I dunno why it is soooo hard for me to get rid of stuffed aminals. I have gotten rid of many other kinds of toys. But then again, I still have my own Medicine Duck, gifted to me when I got my tonsils out. I don’t sleep with him any more but he was soooo huggable. I have stuffed aminals that The Commander bought for my *dad* in his later years. For *fun*, not because he was demented. I’m not sure if it’s harder for me to get rid of my kids’ stuffed aminals or my dad’s. At least my kids are still around so I can ask permission.

So the GG is on a solo road trip to visit family members in Colorado and the night before he left, we dredged all of the stuffed aminals that are languishing in the Landfill Oubliette and picked out a small assortment to take to some young great-nieces out there (if it’s okay with their parents, of course). Better they be loved by children.

I found Rabbit in one of those garbage bags. Rabbit is mine. I did not receive him as a baby or a young child. His story is a bit different. The Commander taught sewing skills (“home-ec”) to high school students but also ran a school store. In keeping with the sewing skills, she taught her students how to make stuffed aminals, which became items to purchase in the school store. Nobody bought Rabbit. Maybe you might be able to tell why. The Comm could’ve simply thrown Rabbit out but she brought him home and I adopted him. I was a junior or senior in high school at the time. Go figger.

I was kinda wondering where Rabbit went and I am happy to be reunited with him.

Powderpost beetles

June 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

No, we don’t have powderpost beetles here. I had never heard of them until my childhood beach friend Dan occupied the Old Cabin a few years ago and discovered them over there. That discovery initiated a whole bunch of gyrations to get the powderpost beetles out of the Old Cabin. What the heck was that guy’s name? The exterminator, I mean. I should remember it.

So the book I read over the weekend was Red Clocks. I actually finished it within 24 hours. A fast read. It is about a dystopian version of the United States where abortion becomes illegal overnight (in almost all circumstances, kind of like Alabama, but this book was written before that). Abortion is still legal in Canada but Canada sends teenage girls seeking abortions back to be jailed in our *loverly* country. Yes, women are jailed. I am pro-choice *and* pro-life and we need to sort all of this stuff out so that, among other situations, teenage girls don’t have to bear multiple children via the step-uncles who have raped them and then get forced to marry said step-uncle. But I won’t go there tonight.

At any rate, one of the book’s characters is a “witch” who helps people out with various medical problems via herbal remedies. She was held in jail for a number of months and one of the things she was worried about was the powderpost beetles that had begun to infest her rustic cabin. Gaaah. I know about those.

This is a pretty little lake near Houghton Lake. This lake is accessible via back roads and the Ninja does not really like back roads but it was dry enough near HL over the weekend that she could handle it. I don’t know the name of the lake. Sometimes GooMaps tells us the lake names. This time, not.

Fish Fly City

June 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

Years ago, I was up at Hoton Lake when I received an email message from my globetrotting friend MMCB from Viet Nam: Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City! That was the *first* time she visited Viet Nam… I looked around at my surroundings and couldn’t resist sending the pic below with the message: You may be in Ho Chi Minh City but *IIIII* am in Fish Fly City! 🙃

That was a long time ago and the fish flies in the pic were attached to the Little Princess trailer that we used to have. The Moldy Old cFam Cabin was still in existence then and I definitely did not use an iPhone to take this pic.

Anyway… We didn’t really see many fish flies when we arrived Friday night and there were only a few around the cabin when I left to take my walk Saturday morning. When I got a few cabins down, I saw this mailbox.

The fish flies got worse throughout the day and this morning they were EVERYWHERE! When we tried to load up the Ninja to leave for Megalopolis, a whole bunch of them got INTO the car, which was a fun start to the trip.

Just to clarify, these insects are absolutely harmless to people. They do not bite or sting. They are extremely fragile bugs that hatch, mate, and, die within 24 hours. (Disclaimer: I have not fact-checked this so it may be an “alternative fact”.) They freak out people who don’t like insects in general and are mildly annoying to anyone who has to clean their carcasses up or shoo them out of an automotive vee-hickle. If enough of them die on a road, I think it can become slippery but that may also be an alternative fact. Once, I was at Hoton Lake in MARCH and I decided I didn’t want to ski that day so I cleaned out the refrigerator. I found a (dead) fish fly in one of the veggie bins. It had been there since the last summer.

Below is what remains of the carcass of a fish fly that made it all the way to the Planet Ann Arbor (we don’t have them here) and into the Landfill by way of a grocery bag.

A final disclaimer: I usually call these insects “fish flies”. I do not know their Latin name. Some people call them “May flies”. That doesn’t work for me because at Hoton Lake they hatch in June. When I was a kid at the moominbeach (where they hatch in early July), I can remember my granddaddy calling them “Canadian Soldiers”.

Best Choice

June 8th, 2019 by kayak woman

As we were driving up to Hoton Lake yesterday, the GG asked me if I wanted to stop at Best Choice Market on the way to the cabin. I did not, for geographical reasons I won’t try to explain. There have always been decent comprehensive grokkery stores here at HL. It’s a large inland lake, I think something like 27 miles in circumference. The shoreline and some adjacent areas are heavily populated so there are large and small stores sprinkled here and there. Everything from mom-and-pop party stores to Walmart and Family Fare.

And then there is Best Choice. It opened 15 years ago and we have been shopping there ever since. It is (was) a small store renowned for its meat and deli departments, and some of the best produce I’ve encountered anywhere, locally sourced whenever possible. They were overflowing with asparagus today but I had to decline because I happened to have Farmer John asparagus from Cubelandia. Oh, and a deli with all kinds of fancy salads and spinach pies and their famous feta spread.

I could never complain about this place in any way shape or form. But if there could be a complaint it is that there is was no public restroom. I suspect, given the size of the place, a public restroom is was impossible. Knowing that as an adult, I have always made sure I planned my Pbreaks somewhere besides Best Choice. I’m sure it could be difficult for parents of young children or, well, you know, people with issues.

Soooo. Best Choice has expanded by annexing the empty building across the parking lot. The butcher and deli are in the original building and there is still a lot of produce, etc., there. The new building has a greatly expanded produce area, an ice cream shop, coffee shop, and I couldn’t even process what else. Oh yeah, and PUBLIC REST ROOMS!

It is a bit bittersweet that the empty building they expanded into was the former Whitehead’s Restaurant. It was one of The Gumper’s (my f-i-l) faves. Of course they had a Friday fish fry and there was a “wet burrito” that he liked and some sort of “special” where you got three kinds of meat (chicken and a spare rib and I fergit what else) and some sides. We went there with Gumper often and I *fondly* remember him wandering around peering into the kitchen area as he would do. What a character. I loved him and I have definitely lucked out on the in-law crapshoot.

Whitehead’s closed and opened once or twice over the years and maybe it even burned(?) but it’s been vacant for quite a few years now. I’m happy to see it repurposed by a business we and many others love. Best Choice is ALWAYS busy.

I asked permission to take a couple photos in the new building and it was happily granted. Gratuitous photo of the GG buying Trenary Toast in the first photo. The mural in the second was painted by a high school student. I think it is beautiful!

Riding with Mario Andretti

June 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

I am soooo taaaarrred of telling the GG that he is not Mario Andretti and the I75 SUV Speedway, as nutso as it is, is not the Indy 500. I don’t think I have the writing chops to simulate the sound of somebody winding the Ninja up and down through her six gears like a race car driver, not to mention all the times he had to hit the brakes. I can wind it up if I need to but I generally drive like an “old lady”, sticking to the speed limit or thereabouts. Also, as I drive, I am always mindful of how close I am to the vee-hickle ahead of me so I can downshift if I need to slow down rather than slam on the brakes. This afternoon there was a little more lurching up and down than I was comfortable with but we did make it to Hoton Lake. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t ever get airborne but that would be a story for some other day. (We’ll see if the GG reads this 🐽)

I have to say that after spending the late afternoon down by the water and then dinner over at the tiki bar, I am pretty dern “dead”. The lake was flat this afternoon and it was hot (82) and we really wanted to take the Pontoon Bote over to the tiki. In the end we drove a car. Sometimes there aren’t enough bote parking places there and we didn’t want to get all the way over there and not be able to park and have to come *back* to get a car. That turned out to be the right decision because the wind came up while we were there. The bote would’ve been fine in the waves (and there was plenty of empty bote parking) but it would’ve been a kind of a long windy ride home. When we got back here, the GG totally crashed, which is another reason it was probably good we didn’t drive the bote.

I don’t have much else to say. There was a guitar duo covering songs from back in our day and a group of very tan “older” folks that I eventually guessed had recently returned from Fla or somewhere. When I say “older”, I couldn’t figger out if they were older than *us* or not. That is, they were *definitely* older than The Beautiful Becky but they *may* not have been older than us. I guessed Fla because of the tans and because they all had tank top type clothing on without anything covering their shoulders. Even though it was 82, we are just edging into warmer temperatures here in the Great Lake State and wearing a tank top still feels like nudity to me after a long winter of multiple layers.

As we were leaving, there was some kind of kerfuffle going on that I didn’t understand and apparently some people were getting thrown out of the tiki bar (not the Fla folks). This occurred at around 7:00 PM so I suppose it’s shaping up to be a wonderful night for the good people who work at the tiki bar.

I love developers but…

June 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

That is, I love *software* developers. Real estate developers are the devil incarnate. Actually I would put them one step *below* lawyers.

I have at least dealt with *one* good lawyer in my life. To all the rest of them, starting a hostile, passive-aggressive (and unnecessary) letter with “I hope this finds you well” and ending it with “Warm regards” is absolute total bullshit. This was all a long time ago but it rears its fugly head every once in a while if only in my memories.

What else? I finished a *sweet* book earlier in the week, Voyageurs by Margaret Elphinstone. I need to report the author’s name because there are probably a bazillion books, fiction or not, titled something like Voyageurs. In this book our traveler, a young Quaker man (that’s important to the book), came from England seeking his lost sister. I loved reading about his [mainly] canoe travels to and throughout the area I come from. Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc (Boblo) Island (I’ve never been there), the northwest coast of the northern lower peninsula (I recognized the geography of Petoskey and Traverse City), and South Manitou Island (I’ve never been there either).

Except for the moominbeach, where we can go out to “meet” passing freighters in our putt-putt botes and kayaks if the water is flat, I mostly know our waterways from little road trips along them. Nowadays, there aren’t that many places you can get near the water via an automotive vee-hickle because so much property is privately owned. That includes the moominbeach and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why was the book “sweet”? Partly because I loved reading about the stomping grounds of my life. Partly because I loved the main character. A young man who, well, I don’t want to say too much here but I loved how he befriended people from other cultures and was accepted by them throughout his travels without leaving his long-held beliefs behind. He often questioned those beliefs but didn’t lose track of them. He also wasn’t shy about expressing his more negative feelings in general, hatred etc.

Oh yeah. Once upon a time, the GG and Lizard Breath and I took a trip up to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, leaving Mouse at the moomincabin with my parents. They took her into town (Sault Ste. Siberia) to a historical presentation about the voyageurs. One of the voyageur presenters noticed my Mouse because she looked a lot like his own young daughter. And yes, my kids have some French blood.


June 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

MMCB was just arriving for coffee at Barry’s this morning (she was at the counter making the musheen freeze up) when I checked my phone and there was a facebook direct message from my cousin up on the moominbeach. He had sent me a video… …of a BEAR *galloping* down the beach in front of the cabins. I grabbed this screenshot of the bear in full-tilt boogie marathon mode. (My 1st cousin once-removed sent me the video. His niece, my 1st cousin twice removed, took the video. 1st cousin twice removed means my cousin’s grandchild, and she is, uh, in college. If nothing else, that means we are lurching along into old and baggy.)

I couldn’t resist showing the video to MMCB. She *hates* aminals as a rule. She likes “cute” aminals (deer and their babies, etc.) as long as they aren’t too up close and personal. She went on an African safari-type trip and enjoyed watching exotic aminals from a safe distance. She refused to accompany her husband to India because “elephants P in the street” (and probably humans too). No thank you. I’m not going. She does NOT like dogs and cats, not one little bit. Of course, her friends’ dogs and cats sense this and go straight to her as dogs and cats do. I love MMCB. I love aminals. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND how she feels about uncontrolled pets.

I totally enjoyed showing her the bear video. Once I showed her a series of pics from a hike me and UKW and Radical Betty took on and around our family property. Lots of woods, etc., etc., etc. MMCB peered at the pics and asked, “Are there animals?” I (rather incredulously) replied, “Yes, all the way up to bear!” So here is a bear running along the beach. I have never seen a bear at the moomincabin although I know they are there. They get into unsecured garbage and bird feeders, etc. But running down the beach? Do I have to re-think my early morning beach-walking habit?

I had my own little aminal encounter this morning. When I woke up and checked the weather, my iPhone proclaimed a big bunch of ugly-looking crapola approaching. And a lightning alert. Walk? Nope. I think I’ll watch the storm roll through from the safety of the Green Couch. I opened the interior door and spied movement right outside. It was this raccoon family. I *think* there were three. It was pretty dark because of the impending storm.

Aside from those aminals, Henrietta Rabbit has been hopping around and a chippy or two and members of various bird families. Aaaaand… A buzzing, stinging insect of some sort has found its way into The Castle and is stuck up on the clerestory* windows above the double door and cannot figure out that he has to go DOWN to get OUT. I feel bad for not helping him but am not sure he would interpret any actions on my part as help. I am not allergic to bee stings but better to leave him alone.

*I learned this word from Agate Gal, who has beautiful (high) clerestory windows in her house and sometimes hummingbirds get trapped up by hers. The Castle’s clerestory windows are nothing compared to Agate Gal’s🐸

She Shed

June 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

When I showed this pic to the folks at Cubelandia, they were all totally amazed. One of my co-workers said, “It’s a She-Shed.” Well not really but ain’t it purty? Windows everywhere and doors front and back.

We celebrated by doing cocktails in these beauteous chairs today. We sat like this in the crappy old tin shed umpteen gazillion years ago when the first beach urchin was on the way but never again because the crappy old tin shed was quickly filled up with crapola and whatnot.

An interior view

A view of The Landfill. Yes it needs a paint job. And maybe some repair outside the chimney.

It would not be a cFam outbuilding without a bunch of gas cans. This is nowhere near the number of gas cans in the Gumper’s old garatchkey at Hoton Lake but it’ll have to do 🧡🧡🧡

Watch this space

June 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

This quick iPhone point-and-shoot photooo is probably hard to process, dappled with light such that it is. It documents the fact that our crappy old tin shed is completely gone. The one on which the previous owner caught elementary school boys doing roofP on their way to school. The one in which I bumped my head on the “rafter” more than once or twice. We won’t talk about rodents and their poop. All told, we have received $15 or thereabouts for the metal. The GG says this about pays for the gasoline to take it to wherever it is that he takes old metal.

My brain is fried today after a marathon (but very productive) defect triaging session with Amazon Woman today. As in, this is already specified but it has been deferred umpteen-bazillion times so I will dig up the spec. Or I can do this one. Or I can do this one with an FZ reality check. Or WTF this makes no sense, we need more info. Or (maverickly) we’re canceling this one. Or we need to set up a meeting with [insert whoever].

We at Cubelandia almost NEVER discuss polly-ticks. We all earn good livings and are treated well and we want it to stay that way. Occasionally, in a private situation, a few of us will sometimes privately express disgust, angst, or whatever about the current state of affairs if we know enough about each other to know we are on the same page. When AW reacted to a news alert about the stock market diving today, we went off on a BRIEF anti-Orange Baboon rant. I don’t know where the stock market ended up today. Did it recover?

I know how stooopid this is but I hate the OB sooooo much that I almost feel happy when the stock market drops because I believe he thinks that its high performance has everything to do with him and his ridiculous presidency and nothing to do with the crap shoot that (I believe) the stock market’s performance is actually based on. I am not against the stock market but I think it is only one of many economic indicators. I am not an expert on any of this but I do have common sense.

We both reminisced BRIEFLY about how bad the 2008 crash was and how the subsequent recovery began YEARS before the Orange Baboon came along, so why he thinks he can take credit for it, I do not know. Back in 2008, we were all quaking in our boots wondering when we would be handed a box. I had only worked there a year. A lot of folks in our huge company lost their jobs in that era but our product was okay back then except for an occasional RIF. It wasn’t until much later that we began to bleed*. Okay, back to work!

I really didn’t mean to get off on that tangent but it’s probably better than a fugly memory that the sun-dappled photo dredged up.

*I do NOT blame our recent blood letting on Trump but that would be a whole ‘nother blahg entry.

Boy Scout Bird Guy

June 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

Did I want to go to the dump? Well, I am Garbage Woman so I always like to go to the dump. It is my fav-o-rite date with the GG. But wait. The dump is not open on Sunday so what the heck? Turns out it was a bird watching expotition. I love nature but like music, I like it to roll along in the background. Birders sit still for long periods of time. I love them but I cannot do that. So I declined.

So here he is in his bird watching getup. I also do not dress like this. I mean some of it might’ve been necessary for slodging around at the dump. It’s the colors. Khaki? Nope.

My major accomplishment today was to clean out the refrigimatator. It had gotten to the point where I had no clue what was in there and these days that doesn’t happen often. I threw out a weeks-old portion of garlic bread that was hard as a rock and a partial dozen eggs that expired May 7th. The garlic bread could probably have been turned into croutons and I’m guessing the eggs were probably nowhere near rotten but we had TWO OTHER DOZEN EGGS in there so what the bloody hell.

I also threw out some off-color pepperoni but kept all of the lunch meat packages after carefully inspecting the expiration dates. I am not a fan of packaged lunch meat in general and I am not the person who buys it. There are some kinds of lunch meat that I like well enough but it always seems to go bad before it gets used up even if it’s before the expiration date. That’s my supernose in action and it hasn’t changed since I was a little kid, which was before food came with expiration dates. I didn’t like bologna sandwiches then and I do not like them now. Sorry. I have no clue why we have hooot dooogs because we NEVER EAT THEM unless the cBear is around to grill them.

I did some of my own bird watching today. In between all of my chores today, I was riveted onto my current booooook “Voyageurs” and sitting on the other side of the front window (on the Green Couch) reading and being still, the parent birdies felt free to flit here and there and feed their babies. They’re just Little Brown Birds but still fun to watch.

Cassowary sequel

June 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

I love FlaMan. I love GB. I love Little Joe’s. Ohmigosh. We sat at the bar for lunch and the bartender on duty I swear looked like he was 15. He was FANTABULOUS and I had the distinct impression that he’s been around the block more than a few times. I hope he is not a smoker (I have no reason to believe he is) but if he *is*, maybe seeing the not-that-old guy hooked up to oxygen will give him pause…

At any rate, when we first got to Little Joe’s, a tornado siren started blaring as soon as we got out of the Frog Hopper. It was VERY nearby and I could almost not function. Don’t worry. There was no tornado anywhere in the vicinity. It was a test. It was hot and sunny when we got to Little Joe’s and there were motorsickles roaring up and down Saginaw for quite a while. And then… The tornado siren did not go off again but severe storms rolled through and the motorsickles disappeared.

We were at Little Joe’s a weeeee bit longer than I tend to want to hang out for lunch. I mean, it would be really fun to sit around a barrroom all afternoon drinkin’ but we had to drive back to The Planet Ann Arbor and be functional, etc. But it was all good because the worst of the storm happened while we were warm and dry and by the time we had to head southward, the worst of the weather had rolled through. Our adult children were a bit worried and so was I. Our family experienced a direct hit by a tornado on the I75 SUV Speedway and we have also had a couple of trees fall on our house. But today everything was fine.

So we have been home for hours and we have had two weather alerts and so with the first one, the GG turned on every light he could possibly turn on. I didn’t want all of those lights on so I used an app to color the LED lights.

Cassowary sequel? We learned today that the Manatee County sheriff owns a flock of emus. Apparently the sheriff occasionally cooks one… I will not divulge how I learned those interesting facts. [wink]

Peeves, not (necessarily) pet

May 31st, 2019 by kayak woman

1) POPOVER ADS! Especially POPOVER ADS with LOUD, SELF-STARTING VIDEOS! Your stooopid ad is not going to get me to buy your product. We in the web user experience biz have been railing against this kind of crapola for MANY YEARS! Somehow it seems to get worse. Jeebus!

2) Facebook “friends” who post inflammatory articles without (apparently) reading past the headline. A “friend” of mine posted a news-ish video this morning with the comment about how stupid people are in Lansing. “Lansing” being code for the “liberals” who are slowly (THANKFULLY) worming their way back into our state government. The content of the video? Our newly elected Secretary of State talking about expanding the new technology used by some of the (DMV) offices to ALL offices in the system. What is stupid or bad about that? That she is a democrat? I LOVE the new technology. When I had to renew my license in person a few months ago, I could get in “line” via my phone and even tell it when I needed a little more time (because I arrived there withOUT my phone). In other words, the tech worked fine, it was KW who was dysfunctional. I also do not see this as a partisan issue in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have had a hand in this. I did not comment on this person’s post.

3) People who leave used “tissues” and paper towels all over the place. I am not concerned about the germs involved because I live with said person, therefore we already share germs. It’s just that I am not said person’s mother and said person is an ADULT and how hard can it be to pick up a used paper thingy and throw it into the garbage? Heck, said person could even make a game out of this and try to make a “basket” with it like FZ does with his empty crunched up Doritos bag after every research team meeting.

Okay, I can probably think of more peeves but I think three is enough for one day. Got any peeves? Pet or not.

P.S. the glubs… We went to Knight’s tonight and the GG walked over ahead of me. When I got across the first street, I encountered this pole with my fave color knit glubs nailed to it. Um, okay. I took a pic. When I got to Knight’s, I showed it to the GG. OF COURSE, he had found the glubs in the street and put them up on the pole. He thought they might be mine. Nope. Not this time.