Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

A functional specification (sorta) for snagging laundry detergent

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Email to the GG today, lightly edited:

— Last summer I bought a small container of laundry detergent to take up to the moominbeach for laundromat use.

— There is NO WAY I could use up even a small container of laundry detergent in two trips to the Lockview Up North Laundromat.

— So I didn’t use it up last summer.

— I think I took it to HL in the fall or whenever.

— It doesn’t work in our washer because our washer uses high efficiency detergent.

— It DOES work at HL.

— If the detergent I bought is still at HL, please snag it and we could take it to LBK (and then the moominbeach this summer, I guess).

— I can’t remember what *kind* of detergent it is, just that it was not one of those BIG jugs that people [appropriately!] buy for HL. Don’t bring one of those home. We don’t want it here and we don’t want to schlep it to LBK.

— If you can’t find something that resembles what I’m talking about, do NOT remove any laundry detergent from HL. We will buy some elsewhere.

— A risk? If the laundry room at LBK has a high-efficiency washer, our detergent will be useless and we’ll have to buy some elsewhere.

— Worst case scenario? We will have *two* small bottles of laundry detergent that won’t work in The Landfill washer but will work at HL and the Up North Laundromat. I *think* that is a win…

Did that make sense?

Superior Shoal

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

I had a few reactions to this display in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum yesterday. One was, “I have seen this many times before. It is in the visitor center at the Soo Locks.” And then I saw this “spike” (that’s the only way I can describe it) sorta midway between Isle Royale and Michipicoten Island. It is the Superior Shoal and it is NOT an island, in that there is no land above the surface. I am sure that the ships who travel Lake Superior are well informed about this shoal.

The display at the Soo locks has been there for decades. It hasn’t ever been cordoned off in any kind of way so umpteen bazillion school children (maybe including me) have stuck their sweaty little hands down into the depths of Lake Superior. The one at the Dossin is cordoned off so you can’t get close enough to touch it unless you are someone like The GG who doesn’t always “notice” rules, like when he rang an old ship’s bell in the museum. There was a sign saying don’t touch the bell. I heard a bell ringing and then I heard the GG reply to someone, “the sign is on the other side and I didn’t see it”. Well, sorta. We’ll go into Twinz of Terror culture some other time.

I wonder how many of these lake models are around. I’m not sure who makes them or whether that person is still living. Maybe it’s Googleable but I’m not sure what search terms I would use… I have posted only a part of the display. This one (but not the one at the Soo Locks (I don’t think) includes North Bay, Ontario, and Lake Nipissing.)

Lake Nipissing, as opposed to Lake Nipigon. North Bay (on Lake Nipissing, not Lake Nipigon) is a place I will always remember from The Long Trip my family took when I was three and my brother was on the way. I have a vague memory of being served tea by genteel older ladies in Toronto (Halliday relatives) and I have pictures of me smiling with the Sherman kids at their house in a town near Niagara Falls but I don’t really remember that. It’s okay, we became good friends a few years later and I’m still in contact with Dan. What I remember the best from that trip was staying in a motel in North Bay with a PINK BATHROOM! Unfortunately, The Commander remembered a SPIDER in that beauteous Pink Bathroom.

Reunited with my childhood periscope

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

The plan was to head over to Detroit to watch a couple of short films about Isle Royale and then have lunch. When we got over there, Lizard Breath suggested that it was such a nice day maybe we should do something else. It’s supposed to rain for about the next four days so when she suggested the great lakes museum on Belle Isle, we jumped at the opportunity. I don’t think the GG has ever been to that particular museum but boy oh boy, I went there a few times when I was a kid and all I could think was PERISCOPE!

Except, OF COURSE, when I got to the museum, it wasn’t really at all like I remembered it. The blue exterior was the same and it was attached to an old great lake freighter pilot house. All of the exhibits have been modernized and there’s lots of hands on stuff for kids people to do. I don’t really remember most of the exhibits that were around when I was a kid, I think they were mostly ships’ instruments and things and those are all still there.

The problem is that I MISSED THE PERISCOPE!!! I went through the whole museum a couple times (it isn’t very big) and up and down the steps to the pilot house. The steps that are DIRECTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE PERISCOPE IN THE PIC! I WALKED BY the periscope multiple times without seeing it. It wasn’t until we all got outside and I said I guessed they had gotten rid of the periscope that the GG said, “I know where the periscope is!” I know how stupid all of this is and of course I went back inside to look through the periscope.

Then we were on to the next thing, which happened to be lunch at Batch Brewing (if you click over, we sat at the bar). Mouse instagrammed some pics from the Geology Center and I felt a pang of guilt realizing that she was probably not working today and we had not asked if she wanted to go down to Detroit with us. But then I figured that she was probably having a good time doing her own thing (and I was right). Anyway, there is nothing wrong with us spending some one-on-one time with each of our daughters alone. We don’t always have to do everything together. But I did try to entice my mouse to come over and sit in the sun with us this afternoon (and do laundry and have dinner). That is exactly what happened although it is not very sunny any more.

That is about all! It doesn’t take much sometimes. Good Sunday! –KW

Hash Bash XLVI

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

No we did not attend the Hash Bash. I have *never* attended the Hash Bash. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for legalization of cannabis and always have been. That said, I will never go near the stuff. It doesn’t “sit well” with me. And yes, I have tried it. Most people my age have. You really couldn’t get through college in those days without being exposed to it. Anyway, I didn’t attend the Hash Bash today (again) but we walked downtown for a mac-n-cheese lunch at at the Griz and our little city was SLAMMED this afternoon and I have seen enough cannabis plant leggings (and smelled enough pot) to last me for the rest of my life.

Let’s digress for a bit to The Pensioner’s latest prodject. This fancy seat will live on the bank just above the moominbeach. It will be painted in the same color as the moomincabin deck. (Red)

It did get porterized last night.

The plan today (my plan, after farmers market and the usual Saturday chores plus) was to walk downtown for lunch and take the bus home. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger thought that taking the bus back would provide some extra time and energy to do some pre-vacay chores and maybe even hop onto her work laptop… None of that worked out. The Hash Bash plus beautiful warm sunny weather caused extreme gridlock downtown, which meant that our own 32A bus took forever to pick us up at the Blake Transit Center.

Once the 32A was finally able to pick us up, our trip home to the Plum Market was quick. And we got *blood orange* juice there, so yay! But then we both kind of crashed, each in our own way, and I did not open my work laptop at all… I hope I will be happy with that in the long run.

It was warm and sunny today but we only hit the 50s so I suited up to sit out on the south side of The Landfill in the late afternoon today. I love that Becquet (next door) and her friend from down the street have parked their lawnmowers in my yard.

BTW, Becquet’s moom is seriously considering a run for the Michigan state house. She’s one of them thar scientist-type women (she’s finishing or maybe done with her phd (and had a child in the middle of it all)) who is running for office. I told her, “You Go Girl!” and I said I would put a sign in my yard for her if she gets to that point. The last time I put a polly-tickle sign in my yard it was for one of my coffee buddies who was running for school board (and won). I’ll definitely do it for Becquet’s moom.

Wayback musheen

Friday, March 31st, 2017

It’s always so much fun when we run into our kids’ friends downtown at the Oscar Tango or wherever. We ran into Damn Arbor tonight and the Blind Pig came up and I hope I didn’t bend his ear too much.

Although I like the Blind Pig, I have never been a frequent patron there. Actually I haven’t been there in many years. I will guess that my children have been there more times than I have, even though I went there before they were born.

So my favorite story about the Blind Pig happened before I had any children. It was back when I was living in an upstairs apartment on N. Seventh Street and working over at that darn EPA (sigh). The GG was in my life by then but he was working umpteen billion hours a week (*not* at that darn EPA) and had an apartment over in Clawson or wherever it was, somewhere in Megalopolis. My cousin the Mean Old Grunchie Old Grinchie was coming to town and he and I agreed to meet at the Blind Pig.

I got to the Blind Pig before the Grinch did (which I totally expected) and of course I was nervous about sitting at the bar by myself. Of course, a couple of nimrod-type barfly guys sat down and tried to hit me up. I was not impressed by them. I told them I was meeting my cousin. They were all “ooooohhhhh yeeeaaahhhh”, like I was just joshing them or something. Like maybe nobody was really meeting me there and they might have a chance in hell with me. Get a life boyz. Kayak Woman always keeps one foot on the ground and is capable of landing the other one there if necessary. I was “in a relationship” (with the GG) and meeting my cousin for the evening and not interested in them.

And then the Grinch arrived. I introduced him to the barfly guys. This is my cousin. I don’t remember exactly what happened next but they made some polite noises and went their own way. I first [sorta] remember the Grinch when I was three and we were in the back of our Grandaddy’s Studebaker “fighting” over a package of smoked fish. He has always been one of the sweetest people I know but in his adult years, he has always looked like someone you might not want to mess with. I am also sure that he is capable of following through on that kind of look in a non-violent way.

Nowadays when I have occasion to meet someone at a barrooooom, I am not anything close to nervous. This is partly because I don’t really get people hitting on me at bars like I did 30-odd years ago. But also I am no longer intimidated when people start up inappropriate conversations with me. If some old codger starts to get more friendly than I want him to, I am good at nipping it in the bud. Not to mention that I always have my iPhone with me. So I can sit at a bar (or anywhere) alone and text the folks I am meeting (or others) or mess with social media or do the xword or read or whatever.

The Blind Pig is up for sale. I hope whoever buys it keeps it going as it always has but I am not optimistic.

I don’t think I’ll take the compost out tonight… And now there’s lightning…

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

I would need waders to take the compost out today (click and click again). I haven’t looked to see whether the Landfill Dungeon is dry but we typically don’t have water down there, Hurricane Ike being the exception. But I don’t want to talk about weather today. I am just glad that what was coming out of the sky today wasn’t white and slippery and that I only heard one rumble of thunder this morning on my 0-skunk-30 walk. It was 30 miles to the south and I was two doors away from my house at the time.

Florida books? What are some good novels set in Florida? First, here are my requirements:

1) I need to read fiction (this is for an upcoming vacay). My work involves analyzing exceedingly complex situations and writing about how things need to work, adding in flowcharts and screenshots and tables and other graphics as needed. I understand that non-fiction can be wonderful (and readable) but I need escape reading and so I need stories that *grab* me, if that makes any sense.

2) That said, I don’t want anything too simple or maybe cheesy would be a better word. I’m looking for literature… How do I describe that… No romance novels. *Formulaic* mysteries or fantasies or sci-fi are not my thing although elements of one or all of those genres are warmly welcome. Just that the story and characters need to be somehow grounded in some sort of reality and developed to a point that I can connect with them. I doubt that made any sense. I’m not sure it even does to me and I just now wrote it.

Florida books that I have *already* read and loved, in reverse chronological order:

1) Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston): I read this only recently (it’s an old book and why have I never read it?) and I cannot put into words how I felt about it except that I loved it. The hurricane description? …

2) Swamplandia (Karen Russell): This book has elements of “bizarre” in it and I’m not sure that all of it is anywhere near plausible but that was part of what I loved about it.

3) The Talking Earth (Jean Craighead George): This is a children’s “chapter book” as we used to call them. Maybe nowadays it would be classified as YA (“young adult”) literature. I want to think I read this aloud to my children but I also have a fleeting memory that we did it as an audio book in the POC, maybe on our trip to the Badlands? I can’t remember exactly but I LOVED the book.

So if you have a favorite fictional book about Fla, I would love to know what it is. Or even just a favorite book about Fla of any genre. As you may be able to see via #3, I enjoy young adult lit too. Froggy can actually understand those books when I read them to him 🐸.

Love you all,
KW and Frroooogy

The Grace Route

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

I was a little bit late getting home today. No, it was not due to traffic, just an uncharacteristically late-running meeting. Traffic was a weeeee bit worse than average but there were no major slowdowns. I did NOT like the slowdown at the I94 18-wheel Slogway Jackson exit. My exit. It wasn’t a long slowdown but it is a short exit ramp and things are squirrely there and let’s just say I felt like a sitting duck looking at the rearview mirror hoping that everybody ELSE who was getting off at that exit took note of my brakelights. The vee-hickle behind me stopped in time but then I started thinking about other vee-hickles farther back who might not stop in time and for a split second I was terrified that I would be “accordioned” into a multi-car crash. *Finally* things started to move again. It usually isn’t that bad at that exit. If it was, I would take the back roads.

Years ago, an older man suffered a medical incident on that exit ramp, lost control of his car and careened through the intersection at the end of it (there is a stoplight, not sure if it was green or not) into a parking lot and building on the other side of Jackson Road. I thought “how awful” and went on with my life. And then a woman from the neighborhood started engaging me in conversation as I was out walking. She was talking about hawks and things and I was polite to her but had my guard up. Do I really want to be friends with this person? I felt like not, but I have been wrong sometimes in my life, so I gave it a try.

I let my guard slip enough to tell her that I walk early every morning. Oh dear, she wanted to walk with me. Okay. I walked with her twice. It was excruciating for me. First, I could not do my Regular Route. She had no understanding of me or why I do what I do. I accommodated for her on that. Second, when we encountered Grace Street, she fell into some kind of rapture or whatever about the street name. Oh jeebus! I was a small child in Sault Ste. Siberia when the neighborhoods that I now live in here on The Planet Ann Arbor were built and I *think* that Grace is probably the name of some ancient or dead real estate developer’s kid.

I don’t think my new friend was truly a morning person because we walked those two times and then I never heard from her again and I am certain that she moved out of the neighborhood. She did divulge the information that it was her father who careened off of the Jackson Rd. exit and hit a building or whatever. I can’t remember what she said happened to her parents (her mother was in the car when it happened). I don’t think they died but I am guessing they are not around any more…

But I did make it home safely today if a wee bit late and the crocus is what is in the back yard today. This is not early for crocus, just happy to see it bloom.

Love y’all, KW

Centipede feet are dropping. One by one by one by one by one by one…

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Lemme see… Tax forms… A wee spot of whine… The Mothership, loaded up with TurboTax… Bat ears… Bat ears? Yes, bat ears. What is your tax prep routine and what are your props? The bat ears are not necessarily a tax thing. They come out on other occasions too.

I remember years ago sitting on the floor with forms and papers fanned out in front of me. We had a computer in those days but it definitely didn’t help us do our taxes. I was probably wearing blue jeans. I have not worn blue jeans in years. Skirts, babaaay! Our taxes were simple in those days. The GG and I each went through the process independently and then compared notes before submitting them. I was always annoyed that every single blasted piece of paper was a different size and/or shape! I did not wear bat ears but maybe I should have.

At some point in time, I handed the tax preparation job over to the GG. I was doing treasury work for a lot of non-profit organizations around that time and I was filing form 990 for some of those orgs and if you think your taxes are difficult, just take a look at form 990. I kind of ran out of steam for doing our own taxes. Tax time throughout those years was horribly stressful for me. I couldn’t explain why if I tried.

Things gradually got more complicated for us (as they do for most American taxpayers throughout life) and nowadays the GG still calculates the taxes but we also send them off to an accountant. The first year we did this was excruciatingly stressful because we had differing opinions about the need for a CPA but I think we have both been happy with this arrangement. It has certainly been less stressful for yer fav-o-rite blahgger.

Adult children and taxes? Oh man. I know people who do their children’s taxes with permission and cooperation… That is okay. Those who do their children’s taxes as a means of trying to control them? Bad.

I have never once seen a tax return for either one of my adult children. They handle that stuff themselves and they have been known to vociferously object when a parent asks the smallest of questions.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs? I’ll take it!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

My creative little Mouse took this pic. I have been wanting to take a pic of my new stemless whine glasses but my strategy would’ve been to line them up in a nice neat row in rainbow order next to whatever leftover mail is on the table, etc. I like this pic a whole lot better. There are only two glasses and why do I need all six anyway? You get the point that it is a multicolored set with just the red and blue. Mouse’s jade plant and other artifacts lend interest.

I donated all of my stemmed whine glasses a while ago. We weren’t using them and they weren’t anything worth handing down to the next generation or selling on eBay or whatever. They were nice enough but mostly they came from the old JL Hudson’s or wherever. I took them down to the Kiwanis Thrift and I hope someone else was ecstatic to find them there. I was happy with them when I first had them. I’m a grown-up! Yay! I have whine glasses now.

I have these now. They are artisan-made from the catalog Uncommon Goods and therefore not totally uniform. I like stuff like that but I also like precision-made glassware. I am a mixed bag who appreciates both styles. But I do LOVE COLOR and these are beautiful!!!!

Three years after we gutted our ugly old 70s-era chitchen, I am still struggling to find an appropriate piece of shelving to display my glassware. One that will “fit” in my house, both in terms of space and in terms of decor. That last one is really hard to do, given that our decor can still be described largely as Student Ghetto/Early In-law. B-witch, where are you with your crinkly nose? I can switch out whine glasses but large pieces of furniture are daunting for me.

I am not in a big tizzy about any of this at all. I’m just rambling along in an annoying 1st World way because I don’t really have anything else to say. Workday. Monday. Gray skies and warm but not warm enough to match Tank Top Day (last Friday).

Love y’all, KW.

Living dangereusely with opinionated women

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Spoiler alert! This post is essentially anti-Trump. *I* am anti-Trump. But my focus here is on the iron-clad women who were the strong (but benevolent!) forces in my upbringing so if you can deal with the anti-Trumpness, read on <3

If you are one of my nine Reglear Nucular Taggers, you have seen this pic of my moom (at 88) before. She was not going after Donald Trump with that knife. He wasn’t on her radar screen at that time. I’m not sure he was on *anyone’s* radar screen except for the tabloids, which “we” did not follow (nose in air, yes really). She was aiming the knife at me. I can’t really remember what I had said to deserve that but (OF COURSE) it wasn’t a serious gesture. We were all having fun and gnoffing like crazy. Because that’s what the FinFam *does*. And that’s one of the reasons The Comm married my dad.

I can’t imagine what The Commander might have had to say about Trump as president. At the time this pic was taken, he was a tabloid/reality crap-show creature and I know that The Comm and Radical Betty would have gnoffed and gnoffed and gnoffed at the suggestion that Trump would ever become the president of the United States. On one hand, I’m glad neither of those women lived long enough to see that eventuality come to pass. On the other hand, I would love to hear what they might have to say about it…

Back in the fall of 2006, I traveled up to see my moom and Radical Betty. At that time, a little kerfuffle in the news was that a US congressman (Mark Foley) had been caught texting inappropriate messages to pages and interns, etc. The Commander was totally incensed by this and I will never forget her opinion. “Why under the sun do we have people like *that* in the *government*?” Here is a link to that and some other quotes from that afternoon. None of them have anything to do with Trump. In fact, I’m not sure *who* some of them are about.

I have one aunt/uncle set left on each side of my family. My FinFam aunt Bubs is doing well and following in the tradition of her sister and sister-in-law in fine form! So I am going to pimp my cousin Jay’s blahg so you can read what a wise and seasoned FinFam woman has to say about the current presidential administration. Love you Bubs if you read this.

Here is where Trump supporters may want to turn off the road because I almost did a spit-take with my OJ early this morning when I found out that some buzzfeed guy has made a “children’s” Trump truck board book.

“Deleting accidental videos from The Commander’s iPhone”

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

It is a good thing that I have various “memory” apps on my devices, otherwise I would never remember what the heck I was doing on this date six years ago. Or whenever. It only goes so far. I do not know what I was doing on this date 50 years ago but that is probably a good thing. 13 years old? Fighting with my parents? Tormenting my little brother? Engaging in extreme angst about boys I liked that didn’t know I existed? Or parties that I wasn’t invited to? Or on the flip side, maybe I was doing a little night skiing with my friends up at Minneapolis Woods. Or maybe not. It is [was] late March so maybe not enough snow. Or I could’ve been playing my flute. Or dancing to rock and roll music alone in my bedroom…

Six years ago? We were in the Yooperland visiting The Commander, who was, on that date, still healthy. There is a video that I took out at the moominbeach and apparently I deleted a bunch of videos off The Comm’s iPhone. I mean videos where she either thought she was taking a picture and accidentally slid over to the video mode (like we all do) or maybe didn’t realize she even had the photo app open at all (like we all do). In the chaos of her last year of life and after her death, I somehow never thought to look at her iPhone to see what kind of photos, etc., might be on there. I did find some eye-popping email messages on her computer, oh boy oh boy, but we won’t go there.

Anyway, The Comm was actually pretty dern good at embracing all of the new-fangled technological stuff that came along toward the end of her life. She *wanted* an iPhone and we had a great time helping her obtain one and she learned to use the features that she needed (like we all do). She was particularly good at text messaging, which was handy because telephone calls were very difficult those last few years although I definitely called her *anyway*.

I thought about The Comm on this otherwise gray and chilly Saturday of small chores. One of my small chores besides the usual Saturday chores was to sew patches onto the GG’s North Country Trail shirt. He actually wanted to iron them on. Jeebus! That chore involved my sewing musheen, which I have not used much lately but the first pic is the mice that my Mouse drew on my sewing musheen’s case when she was two years old. The grandparents were down here visiting a few years later (they were always a great help to us when our kids were young) and The Comm was about to “clean” my sewing musheen. I had to stop her.

So, after yesterday’s Tank Top Day, today was gray and chilly and drizzly off and on. We did our farmers market routine but I didn’t buy a whole lot, lettuce and radishes from The Goetz Family Farm in beautiful Riga. We ogled the steaks at Sparrow but we are eating out of the freezer for the next couple weeks so we didn’t buy anything.

But. Oh wait! We had so much fun today! We met up with our cuzzints npJane and Jay for lunch at the Wolverine Brewery! I had not been to the Wolverine before today. I loved it! Even though they don’t have whine. Yet! I knew approximately where it was, which is in the warren of buildings “behind” Big George. We have navigated that space many times for various reasons but it definitely helped to have npJane’s instruction, “yes you have to drive between two buildings to get there.” Yes. And then there is getting out but we won’t talk about that except to say that we made it out without incident 🐸

I loved this place. They didn’t have whine (yet) but the young man behind the counter helped me find a beer that I loved. Him: When you do drink beer what do you drink? Me: Whatever is in the refrigerator. But I usually drink beer on the beach in the summer and then it’s probably Oberon. Him: White or red wine? Me: Red. Cab. He gave me three samples to try. The first one was the hands-down winner and it is in the pic (taken by the GG) because the GG ordered the same thing as I did. Kurios Black.

So much fun meeting up with cuzzints on this weatherwise gray and chilly kind of day. Love.

Draining the swamp.

Friday, March 24th, 2017

I mean the Alert Swamp. It is a work thing and you don’t really want to know about it. It has nothing to do with faaaarrring people. I do not have the authority to hire and fire people and do not even want that kind of authority (making the sign of the cross at the thought!). My swamp-draining work today involved cleaning up an area of our high-fidelity product prototype that didn’t exactly reflect reality. I got a high five for that.

The guy in the photo is suited up for, oh, what the heck was it like outside last night? 40-something? I fergit. The pic makes it look like there is snow outside but do not be fooled. Totally dry everywhere, just brilliant sunlight. This afternoon it was in the 70s and everyone (including me) was wearing tank tops. And downtown? Man was it slammed down there! That is about all I have for tonight. It was a good day but not all of it was blahgable.

Strategies for eschewing orange

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

I am an inconsistent news junky. I don’t really understand all of the complexities of current events and would really rather ignore the news and live my boring little life in blissful ignorance. This agnostic asks, “Can’t we all simply live by the golden rule?” I guess not.

But there are those times. I watched War in the Gulf (the 1991 version) until my then-3-year-old Mouse figured out how to spell “OFF” and unceremoniously turned off the TV when she had had enough. Let’s see, the government shutdown(s)? I *mostly* mean the first one, in the mid-90s, when I was not gainfully employed and we were living on a pretty tight budget. By the second shutdown, we were in a much better place, but I was still highly annoyed. 911? Who *wasn’t* a news junky after that?

I have been on a news junkie spike since November 9th. I am now a paying subscriber to several of the more reputable news sources in the country and follow a handful more on Twitter. We are living in interesting times for sure but the news does get overwhelming when you can plug in to the world 24-7. I got a taste of unplugged-ness in February when we spent a long weekend at the DNR lodge at Tahquamenon Falls. There is no internet service of any kind anywhere near the Tahquamenon area. You have to drive 10 miles down into Paradise to get the 4G/LTE on your phone. Make no mistake, we did that daily. I *have* to have the xword, don’tcha know? But while I was there, I also opened email and twitter and facebook, etc. and, when I saw something about North Korea and Mar a Lago and a hastily-arranged press conference, I made the executive decision to NOT click over. Good decision, KW.

I check email and social media in the morning and occasionally throughout my workday and I sometimes read articles. By the end of the day? When I get home from work, I delete any email that contains news links and I ignore anything that comes in via Twitter or whatever. Downtime.

On another note, I think the automotive vee-hickle gods are trying to tell me something. Like, hey KW, do you need a new car? First, this old photoooo turned up today. I’m not sure why. I can’t remember exactly what year this was but it was in the early 2000s because Grandroobly and The Engineer are in it and they left the building in 2005 and 2006. The other thing is that I am getting all kinds of car ads and stuff on my various feeds today. This is a little scary because I have not *looked* online for a car at all. So I’m hoping Al Gore’s intertubes cannot somehow read my mind.

I am not ready to give up the Ninja yet. She is too good to me (knock on wood). But I am in the early stages of thinking what might be next. The latest Honda Civic is getting rave reviews and I have loved the two Civics we have owned (including the Ninja) but my fave vee-hickle EVER was the 2001 Honda Accord. I will have to at least check out the Accord. And then there’s the new Honda CR-V, which MMCB1 just bought. It is gorgeous and has all kinds of cool features. Or maybe another Outback? The Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen has been wonderful and having a second SUV would give us more options to haul the Lyme Lounge and Cfam Trash Mobile when we need to.

Oh, don’t get all excited. I’m not ready yet. Just flexing my vee-hickle-buying muscles a bit. And then, on another topic… Surprise! I was going to scrabble together a meager feast of leftovers for dinner tonight but our Mouse is now coming over and since I don’t think I can stretch what I had in my plan to cover a third person, we are gonna head out to Knight’s! Yay!

Love y’all,

“I’m, like, a smart person”…

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Or so I was always told when I was young and finishing up my 1st grde grade (good catch, Sam) arithmetic problems well before the allotted time was up, meaning I sat quietly in my seat, bored to tears. Or reading at an I dunno what grade level but well above 2nd in second grade. And getting perfect 99s on my Iowa tests in 3rd grade. My teacher, bless her heart, didn’t handle that all that well. She was announcing the results of the test and called me out, looking at me with big buggly eyes. What? What? I thought. Did I fail the test? I was terrified. I did *not* want to fail! The truth ended up being almost kind of worse. Perfect 99s? That lead to the [fortunately occasional] nickname of “Brain of Lincoln School”.

Can I just say that the kind of attention those test scores got me shoved me into Cheating to Get Low Grades until I was about a junior in high school. Fortunately, I recovered and as a seasoned adult, I know that I am probably “smarter” than a lot of people but there are a whole heckuva lotta folks who are smarter than me. Not to mention that we are all “smart” about different things. That is a good thing and we are all important in our world and society! I couldn’t see that back at Lincoln School. In those days, you were “smart” or you were “dumb” or you were a “talker” (“smart” or “dumb” kids could be “talkers”). I wanted to be “smart”. I wanted to be a “talker” but I was scared to death of the punishment. I didn’t want to be “dumb” but a lot of the “dumb” kids seemed to be having the most fun, at least the ones who were “talkers”. I couldn’t sort it out.

What the heck made me think of this tonight? One of my mantras in this particular polly-tickle season is to quote our president when he says a version of, well, see the title. One of my other mantras is, “I didn’t vote for him.” [Say it in a sing-song kinda way if you can imagine that.] I’m not sure there’s any way to compare me and Mr. Trump. I suspect he is more intelligent than a lot of people but I do not think he is an appropriate leader for our country. For the record, I also didn’t vote for the Great Lake State’s current governor, who I *definitely* consider to be intelligent but *not* a good governor (google “Flint water” or something like that). I do not hate Rick Snyder. I just don’t think he knew what the heck he was taking on.

BTW, isn’t that cat beautiful? She is Simcoe, a tortoiseshell kitty. I am pretty sure she doesn’t care doodly-squat about whine. If I get it right, she is more interested in pizza. Her owner is a young relative of mine. My relative is a phd student in a field that most of us do not want anything to do with. I won’t go any further with that tonight as it is her story. I do not think she has a whole lot of time to sit around and drink whine but I sent her these socks and Simcoe seems to approve. Even though she’d probably rather cadge some pizza.

Accidental Uglies

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

So, yesterday. What was I clanked up about? Well, I *get* clanked up when people post cryptic ain’t-it-awful messages on social media (mostly facebook). Without saying exactly what is going on in their life, they drum up sympathy. “Oh, you poor thing”, “*hugs*” (another pet peeve of mine), etc.

If you have had a stoopid tiff about something with your “best friend” or your computer has died and you had to endure humiliation by Apple Store personnel, or you are sick with a garden variety cold, or you have a hangnail, go ahead and post your misery. If you do post it, please provide a short summary of why *you* are upset. And consider if facebook is the right place for this? Facebook is a convenient way to disseminate information but you *may* not want some person who had a crush on you 40 years ago and hasn’t quiiiiite let it go yet to know the “horror” of what you are going through. So if you’re is a First World Problem, please label it as such! I have learned this stuff from experience, BTW!

On the other hand, what prompted yesterday’s entry was a cryptic post from a facebook friend. A person I have known since junior high but was not connected with in high school or since except for facebook. It took me all day to figure out that her husband died (suddenly, at 63, at home) Saturday night. Saturday night, the GG and I were hanging out here having a quiet evening at the Landfill. I’m gonna guess these folks may have been hanging out in similar circumstances in their home. I think that anyone going through that kind of stuff can post whatever the heck they want on facebook whenever they want. When you are in the early stages of processing the shock/grief that comes with a sudden death, I am sure it’s hard to think everything through. Well actually, I know, because I remember the conversations I had with Dogmomster in the hospital parking lot the day my brother died, oh so many years ago. Before facebook. My beloved Big Band Guy I/M’d me when he was still alive but he didn’t live long enough to be on facebook…

Kee-reist, I hope today’s photooo didn’t scare anyone. It kind of scared me when I first saw it. Blair Witch Project, anyone? I considered posting Simcoe the cat inspecting whine socks in Fla but then I found this. I am sure that this is an accidental selfie. Like I wanted to take a pic of something and accidentally flipped the phone into selfie mode and clicked.

FML (oh, not really, it was [so far and knock on wood] a good day here 🐸)

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Okay, so I had a point to make yesterday but I sure did not make it, at least not coherently. So how about these eggshells instead! 🐽

Random blue decadence

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

My work laptop has been calling my name all weekend. I succumbed to its call yesterday. Today I could not quite get there. We slodged around the Landfill aaaalllll morning and finally took a Ninja Ride out onto the little roads west of here. The GG turned toward home earlier than I kind of wanted him to but then he asked if I wanted to participate in a wee bit of Sunday Afternoon Decadence. Well, sure, and after some discussion, we ended up downtown at the Planet Ann Arbor’s Irish pub Conor O’Neills.

We found a place to sit on stools next to one of the old Planet Ann Arbor post office components that Conor O’Neills has incorporated into its decor. If you sit at one of these things, you have to go up to the bar to get served. But that works very well, especially with the bartender we dealt with today. Of course I gave her a decent tip.

Anyway, while we were there, there was one o’ them thar March Madness basketball games on TV. I know that those games are going on but I really don’t pay attention to them. So, when people were making a lot of noise, I wasn’t paying attention. I was probably looking at facebook. But then, on facebook, npJane made a post about the bball game. It was down to the waaaaar at that point and then Umich won.

So I saw the Umich bball team win on facebook. I am not a sports fan in general but Umich is the Home Team here on The Planet Ann Arbor so I always root for the home team. I am glad they won. And I am also glad that the eastern Yooperland apparently had temperatures in the 50s today. With sun. Love all of my friends who live up there. You needed that!

No words…

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

When I got up this morning it didn’t look it was snowing outside. By the time I was getting myself ready to schlep down to the farmers market (it was around 7:15, it opens at 8 throughout the winter until May), snow was coming down pretty hard. I always text the GG when I get down to Seventh Street. That’s his cue to start driving downtown to meet me at the market. Today I could not text him. When I got to Seventh Street, the snow was coming down so hard that I struggled even to type the six digits that open my phone. I would get the first digit in there and then some snow would land on my phone and the surface would be too wet to let me enter any other digits. This is what it looked like at Seventh Street this morning.

Can you see that snow coming down? I finally managed to turn in a direction *away* from the snow (sort of) and I got the phone unlocking code in there and then *calling* the GG was easier than trying to type a text message because I only had to touch the phone twice, once to open the phone app and the other to call the GG.

You would wonder if anyone would even show up at the farmers market on a snowy March morning but it was pretty much hopping and people were as cheerful as all getout. My sequin-laced bomber hat often attracts attention all on its own but today a couple of folks were pointing and laughing! it turned out that I had a bunch of snow on top of my hat. The GG took an ugly of me and here it is and I was proud enough of that snow to make it my facebook profile pic.

We had some good snow throughout the morning but eventually the temperature climbed enough above freezing that snow was not sustainable and at the end of the day, it is something like 36 degrees and almost all of the snow we got this morning is gone.

March madness

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Beautiful beautiful beautiful weather to start out this day. I walked in the dark under the waning gibbous moon this morning and the sun was brilliant on the way to work. Ooooogly, ooooogly, oooogly weather to end the day. Driving home was okay although the big fat snowflakes that were melting before they hit the pavement when I left work turned into I’m not quite sure what but it made noise and left icy stuff on the road about a third of the way home.

It was just warm enough that the roads (the surface roads at least) were not slippery but when I got home it looked like this out my front door.

There was actually a beeceeclette going by in the street when I took this pic but I cannot see it in there for the life of me. I did see the taaaaar track when I finally dragged myself out the door. That took some doing but I finally put my YakTrax onto a pair of Keen sandals and layered my rain jacket over my turtleneck sweater and vest and Zippy the Pinhead balaclava and trudged off. It wasn’t too bad except for the noisy precipitation. With YakTrax I could at least stride along with confidence. Halfway downtown I received a text message asking how the sidewalks were. Bad!

I expected the Oscar Tango to be slammed tonight because St. Patrick’s Day and it was although I doubt it was quite as slammed as Conor O’Neill’s pub. The other weird text message I got today was “Bring Froggy in green outfit”. I took that to mean his green tutu, which Garage Sale Pengy was currently wearing, so I dressed Froog up and schlepped him downtown in my backpack and here is our loverly Irish amphibious friend making buggly eyes at our beautiful Irish Polish friend. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, roight?

The sidewalks were still slick when we left the OT so once again, we cadged a ride of porterization. We have been home at The Landfill for a while now and I am about done and there’s the farmers market early tomorrow. I wonder if I’ll need YakTrax or not. I sure hope not.

St. Patrick’s Eve

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I don’t often post photos of Cubelandia people because, well, anyone who works in corporate America who has a BRAIN knows why. This afternoon we had a Casino Night/St. Paddy’s Day party at Cubelandia and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of The Benevolent Despot in his Irish/Viking? gear. I told him I had taken a pic and I said that I wouldn’t post it anywhere. He said something like, “I don’t care if you post it. I’m gonna make this my fb profile pic”. He won’t be using my photoooo and we are not friends on facebook. So this is a wee glimpse of the wonderful person I work for. The proverbial bus almost did him in a couple weeks ago (yes, really) but there he is, big as life. Love.

So our little backwater “brain trust” part of the global company that deposits a paycheck into my bank account twice a month for whatever it is that I do for a living has a yearly party called Casino Night. This year Casino Night happened to be scheduled the day before St. Patrick’s Day and so the two events morphed into one. We had green [or blue] beer as our Irish Jewish boss always makes with food coloring and there was bottled beer if you didn’t want to take a risk about what was in the green [or blue] beer pitchers and there was some whine and there was more food than anyone could ever eat. (I am gonna tell you that TBD was rather indiscriminately pouring whatever beer was available into those pitchers. I didn’t tell and I doubt anyone noticed.)

I had a great time this afternoon but I do not do gambling games or play euchre so I slid out around quitting time to catch some daytime astronomy because Mr. Golden Sun was out in full force. When I got home, I found a series of texts including a thread where The Beautiful Gay (of Gaylord) was making one of her signature pineapple upside-down cakes. TBG is my sister-in-law of Terror Twinz. Mother of three. Grandmother of five. I hope someone got her some whine when she put her feet up!