Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Home again home again bumpity clunk

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

We had breakfast at our fave Little Boots Diner this morning. We both got the Gun Slinger Quesadilla (with ham). I took a box for the final third of mine for breakfast tomorrow. The GG ate all of his.

After Little Boots, the GG was apparently reading my mind because we took our fave detour to the west of Houghton Lake, the Reedsburg Dam area and the Muskegon River Dam. A nice slow drive over a lot of frozen dirt roads. I wish I had taken a photooo of what we were driving on. Not to mention the snow drifts we had to blast through on the Long Point Road over adjacent to the bay. Mostly bone dry pavement everywhere though.

Laundry at the Group Home and then we headed south on the I75 SUV Speedway. We were pulling the Lyme Lounge so the GG was driving and I read Caucasia the whole way (good book so far).

When we got home, I had to pull the Ninja out of the driveway so the GG could back the Lyme Lounge into the driveway. Problem? The Planet Ann Arbor got dumped with a bit of snow last night and the Ninja was covered with snow. We didn’t have time to egregiously idle it and I didn’t want to scrape it. But I needed to SEE to back it out of the driveway. I used my scarf to remove some snow off the back window and, after I faaaared the Ninja up, I held my breath as I turned zee veeensheeeld vipers on. Against all odds, they were not frozen and cleared zee veeeensheeld without burning out the engine or whatever. Unfortunately, after I pulled the Ninja back into the driveway, I managed to stall it and couldn’t get it going again. I knew I had done something stooopid with the clutch and the GG went out there and immediately started it.

So we got home and I hit up the Plum Market for groceries and my fave employee (one of my faves, that is) helped me find the new (reduced) olive bar. And then my beach urchin sneaked up on me when I was in the checkout line. She gave me a sneaky hug and the [wonderful] checkout gal was like, “you’re her mother?” Yes.

Springing the Lyme Lounge into Spring, an annual ritual

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

Except I did not wake up all that happy this morning 🐽 First, I woke up at that Batscope Hour after some sort of weird/bad dream. Fortunately, my dream did not feature an explosion like the GG’s weird/bad dream did. Waking up, I experienced some extreme where-am-I-ness. Oh, yeah, I am at Houghton Lake. Then. I heard a NOISE! Whut? Did we lock the door? Maybe not, as there was a possibility of late-arriving family members. Ohhhh… Yeah… It’s the ice-maker. Note to self. Turn off the ice-maker before bed tonight.

I did not notice any snow at that time. I think maybe I didn’t want to know if it was snowing. I’m not sure if I went back to sleep or not but I suspect I caught some more winks before it was getting close to wake-up time. And that’s when I noticed the snow. I let myself sleep late (7:00 AM). I did not walk. I didn’t have my Yaks with me and don’t trust my worn down Keens on potentially slippery conditions.

So I was grumpy about not being able to walk this morning. And I was grumpy because we needed to drive to Gaylord today to pull the Lyme Lounge out of mothballs in the UU’s garatchkey and I did not want to drive on slippery roads. We decided to wait until the temperatures warmed up a bit so we spent a quiet morning here at the Group Home, eating our leftover breakfasts from Sophia’s yesterday morning. I finished my booooook and I’m not sure what the GG was doing.

It snowed the whole dern morning and it seemed like the temperatures were stuck around freezing forever. Finally in the late morning, the GG alerted me that he was egregiously idling the Frog Hopper. I pre-grumped that I did not want a fast ride on slippery roads. As it turned out I didn’t have to worry. Not only were the roads not slippery (at all!), he seemed to be in the same slow back-road freeway-avoiding mode as I was. Thank you!

So we took the old highway [mostly] up to the UU’s house, snagged the Lyme Lounge and returned [mostly] via the old highway (with a stop for a light lunch at the Paddle Hard Brewery in Grayling). So all in all, a comfortable trip. I never get tired of rattling around the Great Lake State’s back roads and old highways. It is hard to get through Grayling without taking the freeway for a bit but we’ll go there some other time.

What you cannot see in the pic is that to the right of the Frog Hopper’s nose, the UU’s driveway slopes very steeply downhill. We had to navigate that driveway today and when I posted this pic on Facebook, some relatives were concerned that it might be slippery. I am here to tell you that it was not slippery at all. Only wet. One of the other things I had been [grumpily] worried about this morning was the UU’s driveway. Gaylord is located in a snow belt. They get blasted with lake effect snow all winter and vertical driveways are difficult and dangerous to clear.

I’ll tell y’all about the book [trilogy] I finished another day. I felt a serious book hangover coming on so I FORCED myself to find my next book. I have (tentatively) found one but haven’t read enough of it yet to get to know the characters. So we’ll see.

I did finally get a walk in when we got back this afternoon. I needed that!

Hoton Lake or bust!

Friday, March 29th, 2019

The GG keeps razzing me for not going north for six months. No, I have not been north for six months. A lot of complicated factors go into that. Like a vacay-eating LSD-like trip to Florida in October and the fact that I dooooo “pay the rent” so to speak. Okay, we don’t pay rent or any kind of debt and I am not the sole breadwinner and I get a lot of paid time off but still.

I took today off work. I needed that. We drove to Hoton Lake. On the way up we hung out with FlaMan in Grand Blanc. Breakfast at Sophia’s, just down the street from where my brother and his family used to live. FlaMan is a favored customer there. And then a few little shopping expotitions on the way back to FlaMan’s place. While the GG was in Kroger, I hung out in the Frog Hopper with FlaMan and became enlightened at great length about nose trimmers and, uh, boogers, and a few other things that are TMI even for this blahg. I always enjoy spending a little time with FlaMan. He has some different perspectives on life than most of the folks I know and you never quite know what he is going to talk about next.

We continued north to Hoton Lake and after a stop at Best Choice grokkeries, we landed at the Group Home and ended up (unexpectedly) spending a few hours out in the front yard basking in beautiful warm sun. Eventually we burned a fake log in the faaaar pit just because it was easy.

So, there is very little snow in the yard but ice has pushed up along the sea wall as it always does. It was so warm this afternoon and the sun so strong that we watched and listened to this ice wall erode.

Here is the GG relaxing a bit after a long morning.

And here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger madly arguing about polly-tickle stuff on social media reading a booooook. (Yes, there is a spot of whine there.)

And here is Mr. Golden Sun shining down and melting the ice off of our own Hoton Lake. The North shall rise again. But snow is predicted for tomorrow 🐽

G’night, KW

Marching along

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Since I have pretty much NOTHING today… Well, except that we just 30 seconds ago experienced a Rube Goldberg-style almost-disaster here in the back yard. All is well and I couldn’t describe it if I tried. You had to be here. But I have nothing, so I will post a few pix from Marches past. (HELP! I do not know how to pluralize March and The Google is giving me crap websites.)

So first up is March 2012. The Commander had died that February. That March was hotter than Hades. I mean really. Like sustained 90-degree temperatures for a few weeks. Flowering trees bloomed, as you can see in the photooo. That is unheard of in March. BTW, the photo is apped, that streak of light is not coming from The Commander over on the other side.

2013 was the year we had to empty out The Comm’s safe deposit box at the bank in Sault Ste. Siberia (because PNC was closing the branch). When we went to do that, the bank manager said, “I have pictures of your grandfather in the basement, do you want them?” Yes, I did. Here’s a good one of him helping some young ladies at the children’s savings window.

2014 deserves TWO pictures! Number one, this was the Polar Vortex Winter and this is what our front yard looked like that March. I had just shoveled a whole bunch of cement/snow that the plow left at the bottom of the driveway.

2014 number two: We gutted The Landfill Chitchen! Yay!

I don’t really have anything for 2015. I’m sure stuff happened but I don’t have any good pics.

2016: here’s one result of a loverly thunderstorm here at The Landfill. The storm rolled through at about 3:00 AM and the GG got up to you-know-what and while he was up doing that a spectacular lightning bolt hit a tree in the woods and exploded it. The piece of shrapnel in this pic augured itself into the ground without harming anything. Another one shattered the Frog Hopper’s roof and many others landed all over the neighborhood. I’m glad I wasn’t outside when that happened.

2017: Sigh. This is the LSCHP in all of his St. Patrick’s Day costume glory. Although we have moved on with our work and the LSCHP is thriving in a new job, I frequently find myself channeling him when I am doing design work. If you see him, give him a hug!

I didn’t find anything interesting for March 2018 and I am still living through March 2019. Tonight the back yard is warm enough to sit outside so we are soaking it up Big Time. It won’t stay this warm…

G’night, KW.

Plotting and planning

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

We are here in the Cozy Room. It’s where we eat dinner when it’s too cold to eat outside or even in the back room. Last night we watched a lot of YouTube videos by our fave Iris Dement[ed] throughout the years on the GG’s mothership.

The GG is actually plotting something here. It is a new shed for the back yard. When we bought this place back in the Jurassic Age, it came with a crappy tin shed (but not a garage). The previous owner (who put up the shed) told us that various young boys would P off the roof on their way to the elementary school behind the woods behind our house. I have never witnessed that particular kind of thing happening from our shed but I have seen some other weird stuff in the woods over the years.

At any rate, our existing shed is absolutely awful and we are going to build a new one and the GG has even talked to the city about it. Because zoning…

Well, we are now arguing about polly-tickle stuff so I am gonna bag it for the night. I am sick and taaaaared of people telling me that the Orange Baboon has a working brain. I hope our country survives his term of office, which I refuse to call a presidency.

When your [adult] children discover embarrassing artifacts from your past, what do you do?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

You POST them on yer stoopid blahg, OF COURSE!

So over the weekend when I happened to have both beach urchins’ attention, I pulled some artifacts from The Commander out of the top shelf of a cupboard. They are planters and I will blahg about them some other day. The beach urchins (of course) found my childhood recipe box, which was adjacent to the planters. Ain’t it cute? (The Comm is correcting my language wherever she is).

I LOVE this recipe box. It isn’t exactly my “style” any more. I mean, my “style” for collecting recipes now involves a motley disconnected mish-mash of digital media: recipes I’ve typed (or scanned) into my computer, the NYT Cooking app, and The Google to randomly look up recipes on the fly. But I still have this box and have carried it around with me forever.

Back then I occasionally copied recipes onto index cards by hand and here is one of the cards the beach urchins found in my childhood recipe box. This must’ve been before I learned cursive because the recipe for Easter Puffs (not shown) is written in cursive. Cursive was a rite of passage we earned in third grade. Or was it fourth? Also I misspelled “Starlight” as “Starlite”. I was a top-notch speller from the get-go so not sure if that was an error or if I was being creative.

I can’t remember if I (aka The Commander and I) ever made the Starlight cake or not. I think I was mainly entranced by the name. It came from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. I hope that posting this photo online doesn’t violate any copyright laws.

Copyright laws or not, The Commander made sure that Betty Crocker cookbooks like the one I grew up with rained on me in the last years of her life. I think she may have given her copy to one of her grandchildren (or maybe *I* did) but she managed to snag my grandma’s copy (I think) and one or two others from other relatives and I have TWO. Both of my copies are duct-taped together, which is fine with me.

Some other day I’ll post a pic of the “recipe” The Comm wrote for me for cooking bacon 🐽🐽🐽

Rip-roarin’ Monday mornin’

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Took mah walk, did mah chores, put mah face together (it takes 30 seconds tops). Drove over to Cubelandia. Hmmmm… Hardly any vee-hickles were in the parking lot. Cubelandia’s parking lot is way overbuilt for the number of people that work in the building but this was actually pretty eerie. Is it Monday? Is it a work day? Is it a holiday? Yes, yes, and no.

I went inside to find almost total darkness. A few emergency lights, that was all. And that eerie lack of white noise when the HVAC system is out. I said [in an “outside” voice], “What the heck is going on?” No answer. FZ’s vee-hickle was outside but he was not in his cube. I could hear voices in the distance but I couldn’t immediately find a human being in the flesh. Finally I spied Building Mom, who was using a low tech procedure to try to lower the temperature in a sensitive room, i.e., she was holding the door open.

I high-tailed it for home. I had meetings to run at 10 and 10:30 and I knew my laptop battery wouldn’t last that long. During the meeting(s), Nikio reported that the lights were back on so I trundled back over to work.

In other [unrelated] surreal weirdness, there was what looked like shattered glass all over the Notorious State/Ellsworth Roundabout when I went to work (the first time). Or maybe crushed ice? Except that EVERY OTHER ROAD SURFACE I encountered today was Bone Dry and the sky was brutally sunny. So. Do I drive over this? If it’s glass will it shred my taaaars? I traversed it with no issues and 20 minutes later when I drove home, it had actually dissipated quite a bit. So… Ice? I mean, did a mini-micro storm dump a bunch of ice on the NS/ER? Did an ice-hauling truck (is there a such thing?) dump a load of crushed ice? I do not know.

Shortly after I got home, the GG arrived with The Grand Poohbah and The Marquis. They had all eaten breakfast at the Fleetwood and were here to take a look around my renovated chitchen as they are planning their own renovations over/down in The Lou and undoubtedly will want to avoid any mistakes we made. I had fun interjecting comments into that conversation and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do so when it happens, I hope they post a lot of photoooos.

Finally, this is not the best pic but maybe it shows how “ugly” it gets around here a few weeks before all of these bare deciduous branches start to sprout new leaves. It may be ugly in a way but to me it is also beautiful. The turning of the seasons. Turn turn turn…

Chainsaw massacre

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. We are not near open water here on the Planet Ann Arbor so the sea or lake gods do not [usually] determine our fate or fortunes. We are more at the mercy of whatever happens on the frickin’ freeways.

So despite this beautiful sunrise, for most of the day we were under cloudy skies but warmer, so not complaining. I jumped around at grocery stores and a gas station in the morning and then we headed over to Chez Harry, chainsaws in hand, to deal with some deadfall in his wooded back yard. That is to say The GG took “our” chainsaw over and cut down the tree or whatever it was. He was wearing his chainsaw chaps and was spotted by npJane and the Marquis. npNane and the Marquis split the wood with the cFam logsplitter. I hung out inside Chez Harry with the Grand Poobah where we transferred some family photos and looked at others while Harry engineered lunch for himself and Bubs. So much fun.

Back at The Landfill I spent a bit of time sitting outside reading this afternoon. For a while it was warm and sunny enough that I went inside to get my sunhat. Alas, after I came back outside with my hat, clouds moved in and it got chilly and I eventually beat a retreat. Kiddos and friends for dinner tonight. So much fun. I love to cook food for more than two people sometimes and I got to do that today and most of it was actually eaten! Yaaaaay!

We’re with Harry!

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Eventually we were with Harry but not until a whole bunch of other stuff happened. Like I went to the farmers market this morning for the first time since before xmas. I bought a whole bunch of Emergency Hangers at the meat market and a couple kinds of fish plus some Emergency Swordfish Scallopini at the fish mongers. And stuffed cabbage from the Polish folks ’cause hey I could make this stuff but it’d take me all day and you guys do it so well and you can run my plastic card through your Square thingy to boot. And some experimental sourdough olive bread. Aaaaaanddd… waaaaaay more lettuce than we can possibly eat, from the Goetz Family Farm. Red leaf, Bibb, and some sort of spring mix from their hoop houses. No e coli is lurking in that stuff but I was still washing lettuce all morning because regular old dirt of the gritty sort.

After jumping around washing lettuce and doing other chores all morning, we made a Kiwanis Run and guess what? WE GOT RID OF THE CHAIN! Yaaaaaayyyyy! The Chain was in the Landfill when we bought it. I have been wanting to get rid of The Chain forever and a few years ago it seemed to ALMOST make the cut of Things to Take to Kiwanis. But. Not. Today I was sitting in the Frog Hopper doing the xword while the GG was unloading our stuff. I heard him ask the volunteer if Kiwanis wanted our chain and I jumped out of the car yelling something like, “We’re getting rid of The Chain”? The answer was YES and the volunteer asked me if I wanted The Chain. Oh, no no no no no…. I actually wanted to take one last picture of it but the volunteer was already walking away with the basket it was in.

From there we went to the Griz for lunch and then home and and and… I sat outside in the sun this afternoon for the first time since I don’t remember which month. The temperature was in the 40s but I was bundled up with a balaclava and the whole works. I was warm and it felt sooo gooooood.

And then… We headed over to Paesano’s for dinner to celebrate my aunt Bubs’s birthday with her and Harry and a couple of her children. It ends with a zero but I won’t tell you the other number. I’m just glad we were able to help celebrate. If we lived on that side of town, Paesano’s might be our quick let’s eat out restaurant but we don’t live over there so ours is Knight’s. Paesano’s is loverly though and I had duck something or other. And then we retired to Chez Harry for a bit of pudding dessert and a mead nightcap. And then Harry did his usual post-8PM thing (dozing off on the couch) and I was envious of that so I nudged the GG and we trundled home.

And so good night and I hope The Chain finds a good home. I am only sorry it didn’t find one many years ago.

Just a quickie so “people” know I’m alive 🐸

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Walked down to the Oscar Tango for a dinner of porterization and then a wee bit more porterization at The Landfill afterwards. Ran into our friend Kathy on the way down and walked with her for a bit. Good times catching up with her.

And so good night. Love y’all, KW

Quickie Bach Thingy

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

If you are a musician and did not check out today’s Gooooogle search page thingy, DO IT NOW! I might blahg about Bach-era harmonization soon based on this. Do they save these search page thingies? I wish I had this forever.

Yeah weather and traffic are about all I got so go ahead and troll me

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

I am well aware of how boring I am. Actually the weather was pretty okay today. I had a beautiful foggy 0-skunk-30 walk in the dark this morning. 39 degrees and no wind. Not as pretty this afternoon. Still 39 degrees…

Traffic? Well… The eastbound I94 18-wheel Clogway was, uh, clogged because of three (count ’em) accidents in the State Street area (people, slow down and git off yer phones!). What does that have to do with me? I don’t take the freeway to and from Cubelandia any more. But. The Notorious State/Ellsworth Roundabout is a half-mile or so south of I94. Without getting overly complicated about the geography involved, it took me a half hour to get from Cubelandia north to the roundabout today and when I got there, it was totally clogged. Because of all *that*, it took me close to an hour to get home. Eight mile commute…

And it’s Garbage Night, meaning I was planning to do my usual Garbage Woman chores. Fortunately The Pensioner was willing to step in, bagging up chitchen and bathroom bags and hauling the carts down to the curb. (Actually he had to be prompted to haul the carts down. I guess my request wasn’t specific enough 🐽)

When The Pensioner is not off gallivanting around somewhere, I never quiiiite know what I’m gonna come home to at the end of the day. Yesterday I looked up from my laptop “station” to see these critters. What are they and where did they come from? I dunno. I do know that he took great pride in showing me that he had cleaned out the coat closet. You know the kind of closet. Coats do live there (including some that probably haven’t been worn in years). Along with automotive tools and any other assortment of flotsam and jetsam that would probably live in the garatchkey. If we had a garatchkey. I am happy about that prodject because the phrase “got rid of some stuff” was included in its description. I can only assume that the critters are a by-product of that prodject.

Super Sugar Moon

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

It was a good thing I got a pic of this baby at 0-skunk-30 because it rained all afternoon and I doubt we’ll get even the teensiest tinseyest glimpse of it tonight. We had a beautiful sunrise too but as very often happens I was driving when it was at its most spectacular and by the time I got to Cubelandia, not so much.

So Super Sugar Moon on the first day of spring. I was fully suited up for my 0-skunk-30 today because the temperature was something like 25. At least there is no more Black Ice. Did I say that before? If I did (and I probably did), I’m sorry to repeat myself but I am so happy to be able to walk in the dark without thinking about what’s ahead of me. This winter wasn’t as bad as the Polar Vortex winter of 2014. That winter we had a glacier in our backyard until mid-April. We had a mini-Polar Vortex this winter and it took its toll. Although… I can probably count on one hand how many times I had to wear my snow boots. Mostly I was walking in Keen sandals. And YakTrax.

You do not want to know about my brain-twisting day at Cubelandia. All I can say is that I am soooo glad to work with FZ and the rest of the team, even the Bear who, after something like 10 years, finally [apparently] began to realize I have a functional brain and am not some stoopid old bag. “Who’s driving the demo?” he bellowed today at a meeting he was attending remotely (and all of us in the room silently guffawed). We were all struggling to articulate something complex and I was projecting so I had quietly started up our high fidelity prototype (“the demo”) so we could *look* at what we were talking about. Well, meeeeeeee, Mr. Bear… By the time he told me where he wanted me to “drive” the demo to, I was already there 🐽

Where was I? I got (happily) interrupted by some Kexting with a beach urchin. I finished The Martian Chronicles yesterday. I could’ve succumbed to a Book Hangover after The Martian/The Martian Chronicles for a while but I had another book in mind, which is “Mother Earth, Father Sky”. I remember a paperback hanging around the moomincabin a while back but I didn’t ever get around to reading it (although a beach urchin may have). Around that time, my reading activities were more in line with reading “Indian in the Cupboard” aloud on the beach to anyone who wanted to listen and I had multiple generations listening 🐸. I miss those days so much.

I kind of knew that “Mother Earth, Father Sky” was written by an eastern Yooper from a town not far from my hometown. A couple weeks ago I learned that the author is related by marriage to a good friend of ours. So here we go. This book is set seven or so millennium BC while both Martian books are set in the not too distant future, 2030s, so this is a big shift from my recent reading.

Scump Cabin

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

It isn’t really called the “Scump Cabin”. The actual name is the “Scaup Cabin”. Scaup is a kind of duck. Scump is an malaprop written by possibly drunk people writing a log entry in the Scaup Cabin journal back in the Jurassic Age.

So, if I remember accurately (and I probably don’t and I didn’t have a blahg then so I can’t check), I picked up the beach urchins from their last day of school. I think they were finishing 3rd grade and kindergarten but I don’t exactly remember. We drove up to the Rifle River Recreation Area and met up with the UU and The Beautiful Renee for a wonderful fun-filled camping weekend at the Scaup Cabin.

Alas, I was not a particularly happy camper… It rained almost the entire time we were there (and there were moe-skee-toes galore). There was an outhouse (which I can easily deal with) but not a shower… I know I washed myself including my hair (a must) every morning but I can’t remember if I had a camping shower then or if I just pumped water and managed somehow. I am pretty resourceful at bathing (think swimming in L. Superior) and I was invisible to anyone besides the Scaup Cabin folks (my family) who knew I was gonna be down there bathing and weren’t going to interrupt me.

<TMI>Probably the worst thing was that I was not adequately prepared for being a still, uh, fertile woman. Not expecting and, uh, not expecting. I discovered this at lunch halfway through an otherwise loverly canoe trip and had to make a shameless grab for paper towels. Not fun but I made it through the rest of the canoe trip and I think we made an emergency shopping trip to Rose City or wherever later that afternoon.</TMI>

We did have some fun though. The canoe trip was great overall and the “Scump” Lake cabin log was a riot to read. An Ann Arbor teenager stuck with her blended family over New Year’s. The “Scump Lake” gang who inspired my title. They may not have been the most literate writers on earth but they WROTE! And that inspired some other folks to write some creative stories about their own visits to the “Scump” Cabin. And then there was our group. The GG handwrote a chunk of the Jurassic Park book into the log… I dunno if the Rifle River Rec Area still leaves log books in their cabins. Nowadays, there is good internet access there and people can post whatever they want wherever they want, including texting pics to their family, which I enjoyed receiving all weekend.

So a late winter weekend at the Scaup Cabin reveals a lot of the beauty I missed all those years ago when I was being grumpy about being in rain and moe-skee-toes and no shower.

And, then there are the new-fangled LED lights that you can set up in the Scaup Cabin or anywhere! Back in the day we were using candles or lanterns or whatever. The beach urchins used LED lights of various sorts. I don’t remember that there was a heater in the cabin but there must have been if people were staying there on New Year’s, just that we didn’t need it in June.

Bow wow!

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Maybe we should change the sign to “Beware of KW”!

I’m not a total grump today. Although I reeeeaallly neeeeed some, ahem, space at the Landfill at the end of the day. And if there isn’t some nice folk music streaming when I get home I’m likely to turn on NPR and talk to the radio. On top of that, today I had to reset my bank password. I won’t go into the gyrations involved in doing that but I suspect it was because my current pw did not include a “special character”. I suspect (but am not sure) that my company handles consumer online banking for this particular bank and I am intimately familiar with the password rules. Fortunately I was able to change the pw via my phone without having to *use* it as a phone.

I am grumpy about a couple other things. One is that Linked In continues to send me suggestions to connect with someone who disconnected with MEEEE a number of years ago. Hey guys, she’s the one who disconnected from me. Is your system not smart enough to figger that? I don’t want to connect with her and I don’t want to see her big cheesy “I’m friendly and nice” [not, ugh] grin every Monday morning.

The other thing is that every year on St. Urho’s Day (do the google), various people tag me with cute little facebook memes to wish me a happy St. Urho’s Day. That’s all very nice except that I am not Finnish. I am not Finnish! I AM NOT FINNISH! I have [technically] blonde hair and blue eyes and my surname begins with the letters “Fin”. In fact I would bet you dollars that there are Finnish people with darker hair than mine and brown eyes and most Finnish names do not begin with “Fin”. I have nothing against Finland or St. Urho’s Day. I have some lovely Finnish friends. It’s just that I hate when people (some who have known me for many years) presume I am something I am not and send me memes that don’t make any sense to me. If you care enough about me to tag me with something, at least get to know me enough to know if it’s appropriate or not.

Yes of course these are all first-world problems. It sounds silly even to me to be grumpy about being a person of Caucasian northern-European heritage being stereotyped as a person of, uh, Caucasian northern-European heritage… Er, some of my best friends are Finns? (That was a joke albeit a VERY BAD one.)

We won’t talk about the Orange Baboon today except to say Bow wow! Arf arf arf. Yip yip yip.

And Bow wow to y’all except in a friendly way.

In which I made it to Mars and back

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Yes! I am at the back of the Landfill backyard. I took the compost out today. I did not have to wear Yaktrax or big rubber boots or carry a staff. I. just. walked. In Keen sandals. And dumped the compost. Getting to the back of the back yard the last few weeks was a feat just about equal to traveling to Mars. At least it felt that way. So much ice!

I did a lot of jumping around this morning but sometime in the afternoon, I settled in and finished reading “The Martian”. I shed tears throughout the end albeit mainly of stress. I don’t think Mark Watney would want me to cry over him. Am I ready to watch the mooooovie? Probably not tonight. I parlayed what I thought might be a book hangover into something different, which was to re-read Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”. Why not switch from hard science to poetry?

I read The Martian Chronicles when I was in high school. I remember almost nothing about it except that Martians have golden eyes…

The Martian is totally science. The Martian Chronicles, not so much. Atmosphere on Mars? In The Martian you can’t breathe outside. In the Chronicles, the atmosphere is thin but earthlings can breathe it. Also in the Chronicles, there is/was/whatever a civilization on Mars.

I love both books for what they are and I am having fun reading the chronicles in quick succession after The Martian.

Ray Bradbury represents one my few close encounters with a celebrity. Our YAG theatre group was producing Fahrenheit 451. I was taking community college classes and hanging out at the WCC library before class. I received an email from an friend/assistant of Ray. I was kinda like aaaaaahhhh whaddo I doo… Ray was interested in our production. I carefully replied that it would be best if Ray communicated with our executive director. They did connect to great success. I think Ray wanted to attend one of our performances but was not healthy enough to travel to The Planet Ann Arbor.

Ray is gone and so is YAG (alas) and I miss those days so much. Sometimes…

Love y’all, KW

Do you need tape? I have tape

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

I cannot figure why I have this much tape.

I almost never use tape in this day and age. I used to use it all the time when I was managing the young actors guild. I spent a lot of time at office supply stores back in those days. Not so much now.

I’ve got all this tape. I think the Scrap Box will take it. I am not gonna use it. I am not following Kon Mari here. This is just a mini-bit of the flinging I’ve been doing on and off for years. Fly Lady is more my mentor than Kon Mari. But whatever flotes yer bote 🐸

I woke up to an unexpected layer of snow and was glad I didn’t have to drive the Ninja anywhere this morning. The roads were reportedly horrible with critical stretches of the freeway totally iced over. Snow squalls happened throughout the morning but by mid-afternoon, the snow and ice had melted. I will be oot and aboot tomorrow morning.

I hung out at the Landfill all day, doing various laundry and cleaning chores. It was fun vicariously watching a trip to the Scaup cabin via text messages and beginning about mid-afternoon, I made my way through a good chunk of The Martian. I began that book with quite a bit of trepidation but I am having a great time with it!

Hail! Hail! Michigan!

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Yer fav-o-rite blahgger on Monday: Thursday is supposed to get really warm so it’ll be a good day to grill some kinda beest for our dinner/laundry guests!

Thursday night? Pouring rain, hail, lightning, and a tornado siren. Bada bing!

As you can see, the GG is in his element out there in the, uh, elements. Grill out we did. Pork tenderloin for our dinner/laundry guests. I thought of this as a kind of throw-away pic, a quick little point-and-shoot bit of iPhoneography to document the weather during a Thursday evening grilling session. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. There’s ‘hicken waiting patiently to begin his duty as Garden Sentinel. And there’s our big old snowblower, which needs a name, I guess…

Apparently there was an actual cyclonic storm to the west of us somewhere. There hasn’t been a big bunch of news brouhaha about it so I’m sure it was a small funnel, as most of our tornadoes are. At most, there might be isolated bits of roof damage or a few trees down or whatever.

Nevertheless I have a few tornado stories up my sleeve. I’ll spare you the Toilet Tornado for now. Instead, I’ll retell the story I told last night in an attempt to embarrass a beach urchin. It was years ago. It was late afternoon at the Landfill and rough weather was heading our way. The sky got really dark (but not green) and the tornado sirens went off. Dum de dum de dum.

Outside, life went on as if there wasn’t anything unusual going on. 1) Across the street, there was a LOUD woodchipping prodject going on. The workers continued throughout the storm. 2) Moths were mating in a crack in our sidewalk. Hans and the GG were watching intently, with the GG taking pictures (this was before digital photography but not toooo long before). (I love the neighbors who bought Hans’s house but OMG do I miss Hans.)

Inside? Total chaos! People were SCREAMING and FLINGING STUFFED AMINALS DOWN THE BASEMENT STAIRS. Why?
To save them from the tornado…

…Which never happened… At least not in our neighborhood. I don’t even remember what happened in that storm. I know it didn’t do anything to us.

In defense of the Aminal Flingers, they had fairly recently survived the Toilet Tornado, which was actually a pretty scary event.

Just another day at Cubelandia

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

One of those crazy kind of work days where all kinds of unexpected things happen. For the most part not anything terribly exciting.

Our research team meeting was all over the place. Although I did get some good info out of it, we kept veering off on tangents, movies for one. I don’t really watch movies that much. I’m not crazy about going to theaters. I’d rather watch them at home but that usually happens at night and one of the quickest ways to put me to sleep is to turn on a movie.

We went from there (somehow) to pi…. I wonder whi? All of a sudden Amazon Woman interrupted our meeting to I/M Building Mom. How many pis do you want? How about ice cream? And Redi-Whip? What time? You know that it is Π Day today roight? So we had pie for Π Day. Somehow this tipped me totally over into an trip down memory lane and I reported that my fave pies as a kid were cherry, lemon meringue, and blueberry, in pretty much that order. I reported my [vague] memories of my grandma baking pies in the wood cooking stove in the Old Cabin and how we would pick blueberries right there in the woods surrounding the cabin. I think my friends were rather impressed with all of that and so I didn’t tell them that my fave pie back then involved cherry pie filling from a can.

And then… I fergit what time it was but I heard somebody yell “RAINBOW!” so I looked out through the lunchroom window (which I can do from my cube) and WOW! This iPhone photo does not do this thing justice. Not at all. Tok was out there with his ubercam and I’m sure he’ll post his pics on our internal drive but you are stuck with my photoshopped iPhone photooo.

A while later I was walking out to the Ninja and I heard an unfamiliar cracking kind of sound. Thunder! I scurried out and into my vee-hickle and a radio alert reported that severe storms were rolling through The Planet Ann Arbor. Fortunately I was pretty far to the south of the major activity so my commute was uneventful.

Astronomical winter is not over yet and it’s gonna get colder again but I’ll take any harbinger of spring I can get at this point. I am so over Black Ice.

News break maybe?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Once upon a time I listened (somewhat attentively) to the news on NPR and read the Ann Arbor Snooze every afternoon (the dead tree version). I am not a TV news watcher although if I happen to be in a place where the TV is blaring news sometimes I have trouble keeping my eyes away from it. I loved watching TV 9&10 News when we went to the Moldy Old cFam Cabin back in the Jurassic Age but that’d be a whole ‘nother story.

Nowadays I listen to EMU’s NPR in the morning. I like to get the news but I am mostly interested in the weather and road conditions, especially at this time of year. EMU’s NPR station does a better job at reporting local stuff like that than UMich. For some bizarre reason UMich always begins weather by reporting conditions on the west side of the lower peninsula even though UMich is *on* The Planet Ann Arbor.

Nowadays… I also get the news from Twitter. I subscribe to the Orange Baboon’s “fake news” sites like the New York Times and the Washington Post and a number of others including things like the WSJ, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Breitbart (yes), and I fergit what else. I appreciate the flexibility this offers me. I can look at the news whenever I want to (like if I am in a feet-up-on-desk thinking mode at work) or I can ignore it (like if I am in a mad coding mode at work).

But. On the other hand, today (during my FUOD thinking hours), I was bombarded with the same stories over and over. Desperate Housewives star pays to get her kids into Harvard (or wherever it was). We all know this kind of stuff happens. How do you think the Orange Baboon got any kind of a college degree anywhere? Fred Trump paid for it! After reading a few disjointed unintelligible stories about this, I wanted it all to go away. Again, it ain’t news. I hope shining a light on it changes things but it won’t.

Paul Manafort? He gets an additional sentence? Ho-hum. Okay. I know that taking down the Orange Baboon’s henchmen one minor sentencing at a time MAY EVENTUALLY lead to the OB’s demise. But I am sick to death of hearing about Paul’s woes and sentencing and whatever else. He should’ve known better than to hang his fortune on a thug like the OB. I am with Nancy Pelosi in that the best demise for the OB is for him to lose the next “presidential” election.

Grounding the planes? Oh, please. I think it should’ve happened a lot sooner. I knoooooow how many successful flights have happened since the second 737MAX8 crashed. Blah blah blah blah blah. I remember a convo between my old coot and Uncle Duck about a crash out of O’Hare a billion years ago. They both flew in WWII and Uncle Duck became a Full Bird in the USAF before he retired. They were talking about a plane that crashed during training exercises. Someone who had recently flown the plane had noticed issues with controlling it. That pilot returned safely to base but the next person to take it up was not so lucky. That was only one plane but those hardened WWII pilots also had a hunch. No matter how many of these modern planes have made successful flights, pilots have reported difficulties with controlling the planes.

So, good for old Trumpty Dumpty for grounding those planes except that I suspect someone with an actual brain must’ve turned off Fox News and pried his fingers off his frickin’ phone to make that announcement. Ivanka maybe? Or Jared? Probably not but whatever, his words must have been scripted by someone with a working brain, which probably wouldn’t be Ivanka or Jared…

Enough ranting for tonight. I cleaned Gertrude’s top oven six weeks ago or so, one of the days I was working from home in subzero temperatures. So I was surprised that when I put it on preheat this afternoon it started smoking a bit and I found some stuff on the bottom of the oven. It’s okay, I have the Retro-Fan on and I will clean Gertrude’s top oven again this weekend.