Random bits of my so-called life.


March 31st, 2023 by kayak woman

I hope I am never indicated. I live my life in such a way as to avoid legal difficulties.

Here on The Planet Ann Arbor we are experiencing rain and a fair amount of lightning plus a bit of thunder of the rumbly sort. I wanted to say it’s the first thunderstorm of the season but we had thundersnow a few weeks ago.

My thoughts tonight are not organized enough to deal with anything more than a short bit of porterzoomation and a couple eps of Game of Thrones.

P.S. I INTENTIONALLY misspelled indicted as indicated just for those who may not quiiiite understand my often sarcastic sense of humor. It was the Orange Idiot (or one of his idiot lackeys) who misspelled this on Truth Social. I do not follow ANYONE on Truth Social but this idiotic misspelling was shared on other social media by people who do. Yeah, I know it’s probably just an autocorrect. It happens to all of us. But jeebus. And BTW, I don’t have any hopes that the OB’s “indicatment” will lead to anything he can’t slither out of in his slippery, slimy way.

G’night, KW

Large suspension bridges

March 30th, 2023 by kayak woman

The reason the GG and his hiking partner were escorted across the Big Mac yesterday was high winds. When the beach urchins were babies, my dad called me from the moomincabin one evening at cocktail hour and held his phone out the door so I could hear the wind screaming on the shores of gitchee gumee. News came the next morning that a woman driving a Yugo had gone over the side of the bridge. (The link is from the Detroit Free Press. I did not face a paywall although as a non-subscriber, I sometimes have. If it doesn’t work, google Mackinac Bridge Yugo.) This horrific accident was terrifying because we cross the bridge often enough to have commuter passes. If you don’t read the article, rest assured, this was a RARE event. Only one other such incident has occurred and that was ruled a suicide. Seems like an awful way to go in any case.

Yesterday was a bad weather day in the yooperland but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the night of the Yugo incident. But the bridge authority has become a lot more careful in recent years. I did not know they were escorting small campers like the Lyme Lounge and Sunny yesterday but I subscribe to bridge authority alerts and did get a high wind alert.

One of the main reasons for closing the bridge in the past few years has been falling ice. At first I was wondering what the heck? But then I saw some pictures on FB of vee-hickles with smashed windshields from falling ice. Okay then.

In general, if you have any kind of automotive trouble on the bridge, the authorities are ON IT! A few years ago some yooper friends of mine had a flat tire somewhere mid-span. The bridge patrol got there STAT and changed their tire for them, a job I’m sure they could have handled on their own on a yooperland back road. With two lanes in each direction, backups are not a good idea, especially now that the yooperland seems to have become a red hot travel destination. Of course that doesn’t take into account CONSTRUCTION backups and the bridge constantly undergoes maintenance construction, at least in the warm months. Traffic backups or not, ongoing maintenance is a GOOD thing on a five-mile suspension bridge.

A weather blahg

March 29th, 2023 by kayak woman

But not necessarily the weather here on the Planet Ann Arbor. It was mildly interesting in that we got a really mixed bag featuring high winds and a snowball from Ol’ Man Winter this afternoon, a very ineffectual snowball that didn’t stick to ANYTHING. Cygnus was covered with water droplets. Late in the afternoon, Mr. Golden made a strong reappearance but it is cold and blustery out there. Do you have a hat? I do.

I told MMCB this morning that if we got any more snow, I was NOT gonna shovel. They replied that any snow we get this late is not shovel-able anyway. They are right, although I doubt either of them has wielded a shovel in many years🤣 Let it melt, let it melt, let it melt.

None of that was worth blahgging about but then I looked at facebook and a Soo Facebook/real life friend had shared a post from Chippewa Country Central Dispatch (9-1-1 dispatcher) with a FUGLY photo. STAY OFF THE ROADS! A stretch of M28 (major two-lane artery between the Soo and Marquette, etc.) was closed for a while this afternoon so emergency responders could sort out NUMEROUS accidents, some of them involving multiple vee-hickles. What caused those crashes? Significant snowfall, wind, and the resulting low visibility. White-outs anyone? No reports in that post of any injuries or fatalities. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, our intrepid North Country Trail hikers decided to abandon post-holing in the deep, wet spring snow on the eastern yooperland stretch of trail. They headed to Petoskey today for some easier urban hiking on the Petoskey section of trail. I totally approve of that decision. But. Crossing the Big Mac Bridge, they were both pulling small camping trailers, therefore they were tagged for an escort across the bridge. This was a first. I did see a FB post sometime this morning showing semis lined up waiting to be escorted.

Winter in the yooperland ain’t over ’til it’s over. Drive safe (or preferably don’t drive). Oh, and wear a hat!

Let there be light

March 28th, 2023 by kayak woman

Mr. Golden Sun continues his travels northward and last evening he lit up my coffee station quite spectacularly. He did a similar thing tonight but less spectacularly so Mr. GS is moving north fast. I am in the thick of the Game of Thrones (GOT) series tonight. I limit myself to one or two episodes an evening. I think I have time to watch a second episode tonight. So g’night!

P.S. As a northern gal, I am totally puzzled as to why the GOT night watch guys DO NOT WEAR HATS when they are oot and aboot in snowy winter conditions. I mean, Jon Snow has a lot of hair but hair doesn’t really protect your head or EARS! Lord Mormont is practically bald. Neither of them are wearing hats. Here on the Planet Ann Arbor I have actually ASKED hatless people (on below freezing, snowy or even just blustery days), “Where is your hat?” Who is the costume designer and has he/she ever spent time in the yooperland in the winter?

Hoarding Toby mugs

March 27th, 2023 by kayak woman

Okay, we don’t hoard Toby mugs (google it🤣) but we have been known to “hoard” iPhones. This stack is from BEFORE 2014. How do I know that? Because the Red Puano is to the right of the table the GG’s mothership used to reside on. That’s before we renovated the Landfill Chitchen.

But we are trying (again) to de-hoard, at least in fits and starts. I wrote about stuffed aminals yesterday. My cousin commented that maybe crisis nurseries or shelters could use some. For about five seconds, I thought that was a really good idea. I mean it IS a really good idea. But then… First I would have to do “research” to find an appropriate place for my particular collection. I know myself well enough to know that this would quickly turn into MAJOR PROCRASTINATION. I mean, I would have to search around and actually CONTACT, you know, other people. I am an introvert?

Also, I have a LARGE collection and not all of them qualify as the kind of “lovies” you might think a baby or kid in crisis would be comforted by. Like there is the LARGE SNAKE (Folktales puppet) that is capable of “eating” things. So I’m not sure it’s an appropriate donation although I’m sure there are some rapscallions in the shelters that wouldn’t mind having a snake for a comfort aminal.

But like I said, there are a LOT of aminals and I decided in the end that Kiwanis is a better destination for this collection. They have armies of volunteers who sort people’s STUFF and arrange it into artistically arranged displays. They currently have a huge collection of Toby mugs. And we can just DROP STUFF OFF. No long conversations necessary. Introvert here?

Apologies to my cousin Pooh for turning her thoughtful suggestion into a blahg post. If y’all have small numbers of CUDDLY stuffties hanging around (I do have some cuddly ones), I’m sure there are organizations who would love to stuff one into a sick or traumatized child’s arms.

We have flung a bunch of laptops and (maybe) iPads. I’m not sure we have gotten to the iPhones yet. It is tricky to offload computing devices because they need to be erased. We can’t just drop them off at Kiwanis.

A flinging hump to conquer

March 26th, 2023 by kayak woman

I am really struggling with flinging right now. I have a small bag of cheap “costume” jewelry ready to go. I really do not wear jewelry at all any more. (Heck I don’t even wear certain undergarments any more although I do keep a couple around for “emergencies”.) I am not flinging my earrings. I did not get my ears pierced until I was 37 (long boring story) and for a while I wore them all the time but generally jewelry is kind of a PITA for me. What I am getting rid of are other things that I bought and haven’t ever really worn. I am also saving my childhood jewelry, that which remains, which is not a lot.

An area of extreme indecisiveness is the stuffed aminals. There are three garbage bags full of them in the Landfill Dungeon. Why am I having such a hard time letting go of them? Is it because they played such a large part in helping our little family function? I mean they were FUN but with the “spirited” beach urchin they were also used as tools to help settle tantrums down or rein in inappropriate behavior. If I tried to provide “guidance” in whatever was going on it would almost certainly backfire and escalate the situation. If I talked through Chrissy the Police Mouse or whoever, more often than not calm would return. Froggy was of no help in these situations. In fact he was so AWFUL the GG banished him to the dungeon for a couple years. (We are not getting rid of Froggy.)

We certainly won’t get rid of ALL of them. WE (the parents) have our own faves. But we have way more than we need to be storing for our kids to get rid of some day. I think we got into this situation because I was still buying them when the kids were aging out of them and I wasn’t ready to face up to that. They still loved receiving them but they were beyond playing with them. But hanging out in garbage bags in the dungeon they are not feeling anyone’s love. It’s time.

So what do we do with them? I sometimes dream about hosting a stuffed aminal adoption day in the Landfill driveway. Kind of like a garage sale but everything is free. But I don’t know if I can manage that. I am an introvert and the necessary personal interactions would undoubtedly exhaust me. And what if somebody comes along and greedily takes all of them (because they are free). Of course that’s what we want, to get rid of them, right? And what about the leftovers that don’t get adopted? I know I will feel bad (and I KNOW HOW STOOPID THAT IS!).

Probably best to take ’em all over to Kiwanis and let the experts deal with them.

I need a title, I guess

March 25th, 2023 by kayak woman

When I went to the Plum this morning, I had not egregiously idled Cygnus beforehand. It wasn’t really that cold (mid-30s). But. It was raining cats and dogs and it was pretty cold in that car. I turned the heat way up and put the bush warmer on high.

I was in Plum less than 10 minutes and missed my mouse, who was probably in the “office” or whatever it is, getting coffeed up for the day. This was a little sad but I HAD been invited to a sleepover at her house and I declined so… Anyway when I was done I decided to do a short river ride. Just over to downtown and home, long enough to get Cygnus thoroughly warmed up. Alas, I had to turn around when I encountered this (fallen tree removal operation). Really bad pic but I didn’t wanna get too close to the po-leese. I’m sure they did not need any looky-loo old bags with iPhone cams to interfere with this operation, as minor as it looks.

I’ve seen everything on Huron River from the tragic to the ridiculous. I mean I haven’t ever SEEN a tragic accident but they do happen. It’s a narrow well-paved two-lane scenic road (35 mph) that automotive vee-hickles have to share with beeceeclettes and some pedestrians. I am always respectful to cyclists and pedestrians and if I can’t see well enough to pass (curves and hills), I slow waaaaay down and hang out behind them. Others are more impatient and there are some rather militant cyclists around town that can be less than friendly.

The tragic? We did not see this happen but a number of years ago two motorcyclists traveling in opposite directions at much higher rates of speed than the limit (like 60 or something) crashed head-on. No they did not survive. When we drove by a few days later, we could see bloodstains on the pavement. These guys (if I remember accurately) were both 50/60-somethings, not crazy young motorheads.

The ridiculous? Taking a slow drive one day, there was a mini-van in the water. It was upright in a shallow spot right beside the road (I know it’s shallow there because I’ve kayaked it). Some high school gentlemen were sitting hanging their legs out the open slider door. I remember athletic socks and big tennis shoes. I don’t think the cops were there yet. I don’t think anyone was injured but I couldn’t help thinking somebody’s moom was about to have a bad day.

So, fugly weather here today but worse in the yooperland where the GG and Joan are hiking. Click to Joan’s blog for what they did today. They are okay but lots of oops.

First bote of 2023

March 24th, 2023 by kayak woman

This is not the first freighter to traverse the Soo Locks this year. This is from I dunno 2011 or something and it may not have even been the first freighter of that year because The Commander was still alive and kicking and I would’ve walked down from her house to the locks at 0-skunk-30, which means other botes had probably already been thru the locks.

The first freighter locks through at midnight tonight. I am not there to see it but they have a sorta March Madness thingy going on about freighters, like sweet sixteen, elite eight, and final four. I only know those terms because a recent xword puzz threw them at me.

Busy night tonight with VOT porterization and I’m currently in between GOT episodes. I was invited to a sleepover at the country mouse’s house but declined b/c VOT and I want to be up and out early tomorrow morning.


Blahg? What blahg?

March 23rd, 2023 by kayak woman

I’m watching the Game of Thrones TV series. Now that I’ve read the books, I have a better idea about what’s going on although I am well aware that the series eventually diverges from the books and if I get it right, goes beyond them.

The pic is of a weird bunch of wooden poles and waaars, etc., that we encountered on our recent Sunday drive. We have no clue what this really is and couldn’t get a good pic of it. Alien communication grid? I dunno. Back to GOT. BTW, I am not bingeing GOT like watching umpteen episodes in a row. My brain has not been wired to binge watch since the Saturday morning cartoons back in the 1960s. I am watching a couple episodes each evening.


March 22nd, 2023 by kayak woman

Maybe we should just call the GG Mr. Fidget? He is off on another North Country Trail (NCT) boondoggle, this time the lower upper and the western northern lower. He will again be hiking with and supporting our friend Joan on her quest to finish the NCT for the second time in her life. I am hopeful that the weather will cooperate. The forecast for the lower upper is like five inches on Saturday when they will start hiking. Snow, that is. At least at five inches there will be no post-holing.

I am always happy to have the GG home (if he isn’t too fidgety). I am also happy to have him go off on junkets (so he can be fidgety somewhere I am not). He has been fidgety a LOT in the last month or so. Last night it kinda reached a peak. He couldn’t decide which day to leave. Should he leave today? Or tomorrow? Or even Friday? The plan was imprecise (and that is OKAY!). But fidgety? Oh my god.

For a while last night the GG was thinking about all the stuff he could get done around here today. In the end, I don’t think he felt like he could focus on Landfill-type chores. He was fidgety as all getout to get north. So that is where he went and he is now safely in Gaylord with the Uncly Uncle and The Beautiful Gay. He’ll probably find some death marches to do in the next couple days before he moves the Lyme Lounge up to the yooperland to meet up with Joan.

He likes to put this mask on Mooon Yooonit’s passenger seat head rest and it ALWAYS makes me jump a mile when I go to get in that vee-hickle and see a FACE there. Also the title is a spoiler for today’s spelling bee puzzle.

Not the google

March 21st, 2023 by kayak woman

Yeah, you are not gonna get much outta me tonight because I cannot concentrate. The GG has been playing music videos on youtube for what seems like hours. I was into it at first (although it was LOUD). I eventually moved into the front room but it was still LOUD. Finally I asked him to please turn down the volume. He did but it was still a bit loud for me.

I seem to have acquired a new name. The Google. I’m not sure why but various people keep asking me random questions and expecting me to actually have a quick answer to them. Example: Yesterday the GG was searching his memory banks for a book called The Voyageurs. I was like, I bet there are a gazillion books with that title. And yet, it rang a bell and I was pretty sure I had read it but it was a couple years ago. I asked him what made him think of that particular book. Well. Our daughter and his twin brother had both recommended it to him. I got to wondering why he didn’t he ask one (or both) of THEM? In the end I texted our daughter and she responded with the author. I texted him (he was off walking somewhere) and he EVENTUALLY read his text messages.

I know a lot of things. My brain remembers all kinds of odd little things. But I do not know EVERYTHING. So next time you have some odd little question floating around your brain how about YOU google it? Googling things for other people is not my job and I do not get paid for it. I am good at sussing out information. I actually do a lot of that at work but I get paid for that. Outside of work I get really tired of it, especially when you have interrupted me from whatever I was doing to ask me a question that YOU could research yourself.

And yes, I am a little cranky tonight. Partly it’s that I am tired of listing to music at a loud volume. I need some quiet at this time of night.

COVID memories

March 20th, 2023 by kayak woman

Before I get around to addressing the title, I want to say a bit about the sometimes extreme violence in the Game of Thrones books (and series). Although I can handle this kind of violence, early on it would sometimes exhaust me. But then I realized that there is a LOT of black humor involved (to me, your opinion may vary). Like in one scene, Brienne fights three people and kills them all. One of her companions feels compelled to behead the dead bodies and then (if I’m remembering accurately, it was a couple books ago), ties their hair together and they haul the heads off to I fergit where. I got the impression Brienne was rolling her eyes (and I don’t know if this is in the TV series).

Another pic from our southern drive yesterday. The last time we took a Sunday drive down this road (south of Saline), we were COVID positive. It was a Sunday in winter 2022 and IT WAS MY FRICKIN’ BIRTHDAY. We took a bit of a different route that day, ending up in the Milan area checking out the drag race tracks. At one point I remember thinking how HOT it was in Cygnus. Because of our positivity I took a minute to assess myself for additional symptoms. My only COVID symptom was (and remained) a mild cough. But had I developed a fever? Nope. Then I saw that Cygnus was set to 85 DEGREES! That is a function of her remote start feature, which we weren’t used to yet since we bought her in May 2021. I think the remote start temp can be adjusted but in a Great Lake State winter, 85 degrees is a good setting. Also the sun was out. I turned down the heat and things were fine. Except for the mild cough and the HUGE annoyance.

When I emailed my then boss about having COVID the previous Friday, I told her I was taking a “mental health” day but wasn’t feeling sick, just HIGHLY ANNOYED at being exposed and I explained the context. She replied with something like, “I hope you don’t end up in jail [for killing your husband].” 🤣🤣🤣 I did need a mental health day, if only to sit with the reality of positivity for a bit. The following Monday was MLK Day, which I get off and by that day, I was almost regretting taking Friday off. That long weekend was a loooooong sloooodge. It was actually another week or so before the cough finally trailed off and I was totally cabin feverish by then. I will say the “bounce” from the temporary immunity of an actual infection was pretty cool but I still masked in the grock store and still do.

Sunday drivin’

March 19th, 2023 by kayak woman

Although the day didn’t turn out exactly as I might have planned it, it was fine. My plan was to slowly put together dinner for us and the beach urchins. Chicken divan with rice, and a simple salad.

Just before Sunday Morning (jazz) came on, the GG remote started Cygnus. I figgered a trip to the hardware store was in order but no, he wanted to go for a drive. I asked where. Oh out in the county. Where in the county. North, south, or west. I chose south. North and west is glacial moraine, which we love but south is interesting in its own way. Flat flat flat, think Kansas. Sparse, mostly rundown housing and Trump signs if there is an election looming (none of those today). Very little traffic anywhere so we could take a slow drive. So that’s where we went today.

We did not actually arrive at this railroad crossing as the train was approaching. When we first crossed it, I was looking at GooMaps but the GG spied a train headlight to the west. So. We turned around. We crossed the tracks AGAIN and determined that YES, there was a train over there and it WAS heading east (toward us), not stopped.

So we turned around AGAIN and stopped BEFORE the tracks even though the crossing hadn’t yet closed. So I was ready with my phone cam when the crossing bars went down and the train DID approach the tracks.

It was a loverly drive but by the time we got home, I was kind of exhausted. Maybe 15 minutes too long plus the last 15 minutes were in the usual Planet Ann Arbor traffic.

So I got started on my dinner prep a little late. Just as I DID get started, the GG chose that moment to haul a bunch of crapola in from the Lyme Lounge to CLEAN IT. In my kitchen! It was okay. It needed to be cleaned. I put my chicken breasts in a pan to slowly saute and decamped to the Green Couch to read until he was finished.

I finished the last Game of Thrones book today and I am now 13 books behind my Goodreads 2023 challenge. I will work on some lighter shorter fare for a while, I guess. I will (maybe) blahg about GOT more some other day. For now… I knew that the fifth book would not bring resolution to all of the story lines. I knew the author was struggling to write another book. If he does, I suggest he try to wrap things up. I knew that the TV series diverged from the books at some point. I watched about one season of the TV series before I started on the books. I’ll probably revisit the series eventually. I did like the books just PLEASE finish them.


March 18th, 2023 by kayak woman

Walked outside this morning and thought something like, “Maybe not.” Blustery? You betcha. Then on the way to the Plum for a grock dash, I was caught in a snow squall. It’s okay, it was a really lightweight squall. I don’t think anything much even hit the ground and it was over as quickly as it began. More little squalls throughout the day but Mr. Golden shone through at other times.

I’m only writing about weather because I don’t have much else to say about today. We’ve been having yo-yo conditions and temperatures have ranged from the low 20s to the 50s. I’m anxiously awaiting for us to break 60. Or maybe not anxiously. March must be lived through. Actually March has nothing on any of the other 11 months. This is the Great Lake State and the weather is always wildly variable. Except when it isn’t. And that in itself is wildly variable.

There were all kinds of little noises coming from the GG’s lair today. It’s where he keeps his computer and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Faaararms. He was futzing with the printer and the scanner and I couldn’t figger out what the heck he was doing. The taxes are DONE (aka organized) and sent off to the Great White North for submission so it wasn’t that.

Finally he came out and presented me with a printout of today’s photo. At first I thought he had scanned his face but it turned out to be from a little mini-cam he bought to position in place where bird activity and other things take place. Took him a while to get that working and so far the image quality is not great. I “photoshopped” this to brighten the color levels.

Another mission today was to figure out how to recycle garden variety household batteries (AA, AAA, 9-volt, etc.). Garbage Woman was ON it. Unfortunately the city recycle web site “lies”. When our friend Joan visited a couple weeks ago, she had a ton of recycling including big jars full of batteries. She and the GG drove down to the Ellsworth Road facility and no, they do not take batteries despite what their website says. We encouraged her to leave the batteries with us so this bit of sleuthing continues…

Now we have a weather alert for the evening, which is basically for more snow squalls. We have a faaar going and aren’t going anywhere. Cheers.


March 17th, 2023 by kayak woman

Certainly NSFW but NSFB? I’m gonna post it. I bet The Guru won’t put me in “jail”. I’ve seen this painting umpteen bazillion times. It hangs in the back of the Oscar Tango barrooooom down at the Liberty/Ashley intersection.

This pic was taken today but not by me. I was on the phone with India most of the afternoon. Or not really India. India was asleep by the time this phone call took place. It was my long-time Indian-American co-workers and we were working on a tangled web of issues related to one of our next projects. We made a lot of progress but these calls are always tiring because we have different first languages. Because of that and sometimes iffy sound quality from the technology, I have to really perk up my ears to understand everything and I’m sure my fast-talking American English is equally as hard for them to keep up with. Also they are both developers and I am not. That means they have their own techie vocabulary. There was a lot of that this afternoon and at one point they apologized in case they were leaving me behind. I acknowledged that they were but also said that I can understand enough of the technical end of things (I have done programming and database work in my life) that I got a lot out of the session. I know when I need to participate and I know when I can mute long enough to visit the water closet.

I have worked with these wonderfui guys for 16 years and between them and all of our India-based colleagues, I will reiterate that I think India is gonna take over the world. All of these folks are multi-lingual. It is me who is behind the curve.

While I was doing that, the GG walked downtown to get a Guinness at Connor O’Neills. You might guess why he didn’t end up doing that. Instead he ended up getting a Guinness at our own fave Oscar Tango. I haven’t been there in three years but when he sent the pics I found myself missing the place. I’m not sure I’m ready for a crowded Friday night and certainly not THIS Friday night. Maybe an afternoon whine some day would be a better baby step back into the OT for me.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate. I at least give it a passing nod. It was the most fun when my old boss, the Benevolent Despot (or LSCHP) (Jewish and NOT Irish), would take us all over to the nearby wings joint for green beer or whatever and appetizers. One year he tried to color a pitcher of beer with his own food coloring and managed to turn it blue🤣🤣🤣 He wasn’t necessarily an extrovert but he knew how to throw a good party.

I *finally* closed what used to be my mother’s checking account today. In the last year of her long life she became disabled, so we executed power of attorney and added me to her bank accounts. After she died, they became mine. At one point we were cleaning up extraneous bank accounts. We got rid of her/our savings account but her/our checking account was still auto-paying a utility bill or something. So I didn’t take care of it that day. I took care of the auto-payment right away but have lollygagged all this time about the account and finally closed it today. Although it wasn’t really a problem to have it, our smart young banker took care of it quick as a wink (like I opened my bank app a few minutes later and it was already gone and the money transferred as specified). It was a relief to finally close that bit of business.

It’s amazing how many bank accounts seem to pile up throughout one’s life. I remember when I was a little kid with a single savings account and I would visit the little kid teller window to deposit whatever small amount I had with me. A nice lady teller would gush over me or sometimes the bank prez aka my granddaddy would take over the teller’s window to handle my bitsy little transaction.

Nobody has wished me a happy St. Urho’s day! 🤣

March 16th, 2023 by kayak woman

And that’s okay because St. Urho’s Day is a Finnish holiday and best wishes to those who are Finnish but I AM NOT FINNISH!!! Scot and Irish mainly. For a few years, a relative (in-law) got into the habit of wishing me a happy St. Urho’s Day. I couldn’t figure this out. Maybe we never talked about my heritage or maybe she was so busy talking that she failed to LISTEN to anything I said. Compulsive talkers drive me crazy. Usually.

BTW, I have not had my DNA “done”. This is based on family lore only. I think the confusion comes in because with blue eyes and once-blonde hair, I look to the untrained eye like the stereotypical Scandinavian. Also the first syllable of my last name is “Fin”, which I suppose could confuse people but not sure why??? I don’t think I look like a Viking, more like a Celt. But who knows, there could be some Scandinavian DNA in there somewhere from way back. I mean there could even be African or Asian but probably not. Who really knows?

The pic is from three years ago. My grock worker took it at the Plum Market and its purpose was to let me know that they had received a shipment of toilet paper. We never got dangerously low on tp during that time but it was a concern given that it was almost impossible to schedule curbside pickup at the big stores. The small specialty stores that I was using, as wonderful as they are, do not sell toilet paper. [Would you like some toilet paper with your salmon filet ma’am?] And the tp supply chain was iffy at best. So my mouse snagged some tp for me and delivered it to my porch.

If we only knew then what we know now, I’d’ve masked up and schlepped into the grocery store myself. But masks were in very short supply then and we had an absolute idiot at the helm of our country obfuscating actual scientific progress but I guess I’m outta steam on that. I do believe masks work, at least they are better than directly sharing air up close and personal with an infected person. I know, I (unknowingly) did just that🐽 Guess what? A Scientific American article I read today agrees with me. There are people, including actual scientists, who probably think SciAm is a “socialist rag” though🤷‍♀️

Happy St. Urho’s Day! And g’night.

Blast from the past

March 15th, 2023 by kayak woman

This was the day that the Red “Puano” arrived at the Landfill. This was my in-laws’ piano and it is a player piano. It is also a lovely upright piano. When we first obtained this piano, the GG played piano rolls and I actually *played* pieces on it.

For whatever reason, I stopped playing music a long time ago and turned my energies toward computer stuff. Some people say that if you are a musician you are good at math (and computer stuff). I have a different take on that. Whatever is in my DNA that made me good at math AND music as a child also makes me good at computer stuff nowadays. I wish I could put all of that into words but probably not tonight.

Tonight I will just remember when these guys rented a truck and hauled the Red “Puano” over here from the cFam parents’ house when they were moving from Royal Joke to Fla. Four of the six cFam brothers are in the pic. From the left, Bob (second twin), Don (late🧡), Doug, The Beautiful (late) Suzie’s childhood boyfriend, the GG (first twin), Jim, youngest brother and driver of the truck that delivered the “puano”.

These guys are all absolutely wonderful topnotch people and I am soooo glad they are my husband and his brothers. Missing my own brother but the cFam has provided me with some damn good brothers.

Bonus eve

March 14th, 2023 by kayak woman

I don’t mean this is the eve of some big Walmart sale event. It is a bonus alone time evening for yer fav-o-rite blahgger. A text came through this afternoon from the city mouse that she had ended up with an extra ticket to an Irish concert at the Ark. She wondered if DAD or MOUSE would want to go with her. Well, DAD didn’t read his text messages for eons but yes he DEFINITELY did want to attend.

Note that I wasn’t included on the invite. It’s partly because I am still COVID averse even though the GG could definitely bring COVID home since he is going. But I am not a big fan of concerts in general and my kids know that. Besides being an introvert, my reasons are two or maybe three-fold…

When I was a kid, my big-city born “cultured” mom tried to give us kids every opportunity to experience “the arts” as she could. The problem was there wasn’t a whole lot to experience in the eastern yooperland. One of our movie theatres did schedule a concert series. The problem was that the concerts didn’t exactly thrill me. I was probably more excited about wearing a fancy dress and buying stuff from the concession.

And then there were the rock concerts of my college years. I had friends and roommates who were nutso about rock concerts. I went to a few and… Meh… I mean there were good moments. But there was soooo much filler. The drum “jamming” drove me the craziest. 15 minutes of basic drumming? Really? Snore.

Given that there is a stage, I would much prefer to be on it or behind it than in the audience. Being part of a musical group is much more interesting (to me) than sitting still listening to one. I am not an actor but I loved running around backstage when the beach urchins were doing youth theatre. I would sometimes sneak in to watch while they were on stage. Otherwise I was busy making the trains run on time and laughing hysterically (and silently) with Madame Producer in the green room when crazy stuff went down. We had so much fun.

The last two times I went to concerts were less than ideal. There was the Beach Boys “tribute” group that the GG somehow got cheap tickets to. I had a bus mis-adventure getting downtown and a really bad cold (way pre-COVID) and coughed the entire time and got “busted” for using my iPhone to take a picture of The GG. Then there was Bob Dylan (November 2019). I somehow found myself buying six tickets to that. What was I thinking? It’s Bob Dylan, I guess. Little did I know that he kinda phones his concerts in and he did. It was okay. We had dinner at the downtown Knights and the conert was PACKED with old fogies like us so we were not alone.

Tonight’s concert is an Irish band. I like Irish music and I bet there aren’t umpteen bazillion minute drum “jamming” sessions. But still it’s a win-win. The GG gets to spend time with his daughter. I get to hang out here alone and not “fight” with anyone about triangles and trapezoids or any other deep shit type crapola. Hopefully no one brings COVID home. And (haha) the city mouse texted that they had already run into someone from the GG’s old work, probably a different person than those who were at the monthly retaaared folks luncheon he attended today. I said, “Yakity-yak.”

Embiggen the pic if you dare.

Trapezoids vs. triangles

March 13th, 2023 by kayak woman

Himself came home again (jiggety jig) this afternoon. It is no longer quiet. Here he is bouncing batteries. This apparently determines whether they have any juice or not. It is also noisy.

I THINK he threw the ones that didn’t pass the test into the garbage. Once upon a time we could recycle these kinds of batteries (AA and AAA etc.). We couldn’t just put them in the recycle cart. We had to put them in a separate container on the curb, like a ziploc bag. At some point Recycle A2 decided we could just put these into the trash. I had a hard time “training” the GG to just throw the batteries out.

Thinking about it now, I’m wondering if that decision was because putting batteries out separately would require the folks in the trucks to actually get out of the truck to pick them up manually. All the stuff we put on the curb has been picked up by trucks with a big mechanical arm for eons. It may be that we can recycle these batteries some other way. The GG is welcome to figger that out.

The battery bouncing was detrimental to my super-sensitive musician’s hearing especially since it was happening right smack next to me. He also replaced the batteries in our airtags, which caused all kinds of other squeaky noises. I also don’t really know how those things actually work. There’s one attached to each of Cygnus’s key fobs and it seems to bleep when the fob is IN MY POCKET. Like, I know where it is. I just put it in my pocket!

Obviously I don’t have a lot for tonight. It snowed ALL DAY here but the sidewalks are clear and temps are looking to be on an upward trend throughout the rest of the week.

G’night, KW

Kinda sorta pre-pandemic day

March 12th, 2023 by kayak woman

First of all, I totally screwed up the switchover to DST. I had a kind of restless night for no particular reason. I looked at my alarm clock a bunch of times and when it said 3:15, I thought okay, we are now on DST. Later I looked at the clock again and it said something like 6:03. That time I also looked at my iPhone, which said 7:07. For some reason I thought that my alarm clock changed time automatically. Not. So I was off to a slow start. My alarm clock only keeps approximate time and is NOT easy to set so I don’t take it too seriously but this was a DST accident.

I had had thoughts about grock runs early this morning but it was snowing and it looked like a bit of accumulation so I bagged it. But. I decided to wait a bit and see what happened a little later. And. A few hours later, Mr. Golden Sun shone for something like 10 minutes and MY SIDEWALK SNOW CLEARED UP! So I saddled up Cygnus and headed out to the Jackson Rd. Meijer to pick up some household cleaners, etc. The roads were absolutely FINE!

The city mouse was scheduled to come over and cook dinner here for me and her so I texted her that I was at Meijer. While I was there I picked up some boneless chicken thighs on the chance that she was thinking about a sheet pan thing. She didn’t text me back until I got home but YES, she was looking at sheet pan recipes. I said, “I’m already home but I’m willing to go to the Plum.” A grock list ensued and off I went.

The thing is I took off on both of these little adventures sort of on the fly. Almost all of my in person grock shopping has been at 0-skunk-30. And if the beach urchins are coming over and we’re missing an ingredient or two or ten, they pick it up for me. Today I went shopping when I WANTED to and this new “freedom” felt pretty good. I still masked. I’ll be doing that for the foreseeable future. And I am still not ready for crowded restaurants but I’m feeling a bit optimistic.

So we did have a sheet pan chicken dish tonight with fingerling potatoes, carrots, dried apricots, and various other things. Pretty darn good and got rid of some things (carrots and dried apricots) around here. And we had some of the usual discussions including, “Moom YOU did federal form 990? By yourself?” Yes. Yes I did. A few times. During one of those times I was disentangling long neglected elementary school PTO finances during a teacher strike and she and her little sister dragged a stool over to the stove and “cooked” spaghettios and I didn’t even notice they were doing it🤣🤣🤣 Like mother like daughter.