Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Bad Book Beeceeclette

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Yeah, The Pensioner came pedaling into the Landfill back yard this afternoon. I am skeptical. I can’t remember what bikes we have around here. Apparently this is his original one. I mean the one we bought when we both bought bikes when the original beach urchin was a baby.

When I was a child, my bike was my best friend. I started out with a 20-incher and there was a period of time when I obsessively-compulsively rode that bike around our block hmmm how many times (I can’t remember) every evening. I remember one night coming home with frozen fingers and happily warming them up in warm water in our bathroom sink.

The next night? Eesh. A PREDATOR (a young man, not a bare bear) drove by me at the corner of Superior St. and 8th Ave. and said something like, “Hey kid, wanna go to the pitcher show?”. Cue the soundtrack from the movie Psycho in my little kid brain. I was two houses from home. I biked like CRAZY down the sidewalk past Phil and Philomena Herron’s house and Ozzie Green Thumb McInnes’s house into my yard (the predator was yelling “HEY KID, HEY KID”) and dove into the garage. When I got into the house I remember looking out the dining room window and seeing the predator driving fast down the alley. Looking for me? Where did that little kid go? Yeesh! I did NOT tell my parents about that. Why? I do not know. I was afraid to tell them, I think. Complicated reasons. I don’t remember what my dog Tigger was doing but it’s likely she was ready to go for his throat.

I grew taller and eventually got a 26-inch bike. It was a girl’s bike although at the time I really wanted a boy’s bike because I viewed myself as a badass. I was annoyed when I overheard kids at my school saying “The Brain of Lincoln school got a new bike”. I was mortified when my whole 6th-grade class saw MY MOTHER take off down the alley and 7th Avenue on MY BIKE! We lived across the street from the school. But. Jeebus!

I was a WARRIOR on that old bike. Me and my friend Laurie rode our bikes EVERYWHERE and we occasionally wiped out big time and got big oogly scrapes on our knees or wherever and so we would always say we had fought World War III on our bikes.

So the GG and I got our adult bikes when the beach urchins were babies and the problem was that the bike seats that we bought only strapped the kiddos in at the waist so they would fall asleep and their helmeted heads would move forward and bump up against my back. And then there was the time that I was riding with a very young mouse and I was struggling up a hill and she kept saying “Up the hill. Up the hill.”

I stopped riding that old bike because the brakes were making horrible noises and I do not fix brakes myself and I couldn’t make anyone else take the issue seriously enough to fix it. If he wants to ride his old bike, I am fine with that.

I’ll write about the bad book another day.

bumf and rotomontade

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Sloooooow morning today. Which was okay. We eventually mobilized to make a run up to the Dancing Crane for coffee and (frozen) pasties (to take home). Aaaaaaand a Green Bag Garbage Run where we dumped a green bag of garbage at the Bay Mills Indian Community facility. A wonderful service for those of who don’t stay here for long enough periods to sign up to have Waste Management pick up a big garbage cart (that we would have to schlep up to the top of the road).

The loverly Dancing Crane folks greeted us with something like, “If you are first time visitors… Oh, not, you are not, I remember you guys!” Oh yes, we are familiar customers although we are not there every week like I am at Barry Bagels, more like a couple times a year. Alas. We bought our coffees plus sweet grass soap and insect repellent AND pasties. We need a new easy pasty source. Uncle Peter had wonderful pasties at the Planet Ann Arbor farmers market for YEARS but he got divorced and lost the bizness in the process and we haven’t found a satisfactory replacement yet. Note to pasty makers: crust should not be thick and doughy.

Then… We drove out along the “coast” a bit further to check out our Township’s recycling facilities. I tried to drop it all off at the Chippewa County facility in Sault Ste. Siberia yesterday but it was closed for the holiday weekend. I tried to research recycling facilities in the township on the web but their site didn’t say anything about that. So after dropping off our Green Bag, I said, “Let’s drive up to the township hall and check out what’s in the parking lot.” The GG wasn’t sure where it was so I told him it was next to Tinker’s fish restaurant. That did not ring a bell but “Wilcox’s” did. Him: It’s too far. Me: No. It isn’t. It’s before Mission Hill. Him: Mission Hill is to the left of us. Me: I mean the entrance to the old Mission Hill ski hill. Him: Oh.

So the recycle facility is only a few miles past Iroquois light house and darn it, I didn’t have the recycle stuff with me. It’ll have to go down to The Planet Ann Arbor with us. That’s okay. At least I don’t have to sort it down there.

We came home and slugged around a bit more, then Lizard Breath left to meet up with a bunch of folks at Hoton Lake, where they are all at the North Shore tiki bar. Here, we had a wonderful afternoon partay at the moomincabin with Sam and JCB and and Pooh and the Marquis.

Bote trip, etc.

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Last night was soooo hot here that we had the screens in both doors (front and back) ALL NIGHT! That is rare. It was hot all night but somewhere around that Batscope Hour, we had beautiful rain that lasted several hours. Of course, when I got up this morning and realized that I had left a bag of garbage in the chitchen with the screens in, I was pretty horrified. A bare bear could EASILY get in to the moomincabin with the screens in the doors. Of course we have OPEN garbage in here every night but we usually put the glass back into the doors before retaaaaaring for the night.

I declined to go on this Motor Bote Ride. I was feeling a wee bit lazy today (even though I made a trip to town) but something was also picking at my brain and so while the GG and Lizard Breath were out in the Motor Bote, I picked away at some wee reorganizing chores in the chitchen. I didn’t make a whole lot of progress but every little bit helps.

Anyway, here they are heading out toward Guano Round Island.

Round Island is a seagull (and sometimes cormorant) rookery and a person with a bird crap target on his hat did get hit but I don’t have a pic of that.

Big Bote in the shipping channel (Presque Isle).

Bote Driver

Aaaaaand a side trip over to the northern version of the land of porterization. Phones were discussed but not air conditioners…

After a warm humid morning, a decent norwester kicked up as they always do. It is quite a bit cooler here now than last night (or even this morning) and here is yer fav-o-rite blahgger keeping warm via a beach towel. With a loverly driftwood companion aminal at her side.

Hotter than Hades on Gitchee Gumee

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

It was sooooo hot I had to abandon the beach party, come up and take Second Shower and decamp to the deck. I could’ve gotten in the water like all of these people but at the time it felt like a bit too much gazinto to get into a bathing suit. By the way, I couldn’t tell you who all these people are if I tried but they are the children and grandchildren of two of my oldest friends, who are sisters. Apparently one of them has blonde descendants, the other darker features. With everyone in silhouette who can tell?

My most frequently asked question? Are you retaaaaared? No no no no. I have the coziest little IT job on earth and I am not ready to spend 24/7 with the GG.

I won’t tell you about the tiny little buggies that kept landing on my arms and dying there. Drowning in sweat maybe?

It’s a lot cooler here on the deck because what little breezes exist are coming out of the woods but there are mo’-skee-toes’. The GG is back from jawboning everyone’s ears off at the party and Lizard Breath is channeling Grandroobly by sweeping and attacking spider webs and we won’t talk about the ceegar butt in the pot of impatiens.

That’s all I have. It’ll have to be enough.

HA HA HA HAAAAA HA HA HA

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Oh be strong KW. 37 years and we haven’t killed each other yet. It isn’t always easy. I am kind of a spirited person albeit introverted as all getout. We are both pretty dern stubborn. But here we are.

What did we do to celebrate? Well… I decided to take a few more hours off work than I had originally planned for today. We get “early release” the day before holidays anyway (3:00 PM) but today I logged off a bit before noon. We had lunch with the Old Cabin relations (Bugs and Horsey, Pooh and The Marquis) at The Wicked Sister. And we’re grilling filet tonight.

The Wicked Sister was called Benoit’s Gin Mill in a previous incarnation and was kind of a dive bar. I never patronized it although I certainly can’t say I have never been in a dive bar in my time. Once during Radical Betty’s last years, she and I and UKW had an afternoon snack at Penny’s Kitchen, another of our faves in Sault Ste. Siberia, after a trip to walk the red rocks over in Cananananada. When we walked outside we saw smoke across the canal and it turned out the gin mill was on fire.

We love what the new owners have done with the place, which is now a lovely family-friendly spot with great food and all kinds of beer, whine, and whatever. If you’ve clicked over to their website, check out their story.

The plant in the pic is blueberry. They are flowering now. We’ll see what kind of crop we end up with. It varies from year to year but in recent years, people in the fam who have inherited Butts Up Blueberry Picking DNA have had to travel over to Raco or Betchler Lakes or wherever to get their blueberries. I did not inherit Butts Up Blueberry Picking DNA although if we *do* have blueberries in the front yard, I am happy to pick enough for pancakes.

The botes they are a-hornin’.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

There were a lot of botes (mostly lake freighters) going up and down through the St. Marys River shipping channel this morning. It was as foggy as all getout and so they were all blowing their horns.

Way back in the day when I was a small child sleeping in a bunk bed in the back of the moomincabin, I loved hearing the fog horns. I don’t think the botes were blowing them then, I think there was an actual foghorn somewhere out there in the channel. My parents would be up and about doing chores or whatever and I was sooooo comfortable snuggled into my little bunk bed.

Nowadays I think the botes have their own navigational systems that allow them to detect potential collisions with other botes. But they still blow their foghorns like today when I heard their horns blowing throughout most of the way through the morning. Eventually the Mr. Golden Sun burned the fog off and we could see Round Island (and Cananananada).

Cubelandia 2.0 (or maybe -2.0?)

Monday, July 1st, 2019

The little white (Scamp) trailer is my office for a few days. It is loverly although now that I think about it, it might actually be a bit smaller than my cube at Cubelandia. But that cube was built in another era, one where people didn’t schlep their laptops with them every day and still kept a lot of paper documentation around. Almost all of my (numerous) file drawers are empty.

So my little Scamp cube boasts lucky-shucky, wi-fi, and mo’-skee-toes’. Not a whole lotta mo’-skee-toes’. It is screened. But there are a lotta those little buggies around and I think they come in when I open the door when I go in and out. Y’know, to get food, use the water closet, or check out whatever bote is going by.

And then there are my temporary co-workers, various aminals from various people of various ages. The GG always makes sure I am well supplied with company when I telecommute from the moominbeach. From left, there’s Frogette, Turnstile, The Grinch with Softy Beanbag below him, then Froooogggy with Rabbit on his lap, kind of.

Yes I really sent the aminal pic to my real co-workers today. Each one of these aminals has a story but I only told one (you can guess). I’ve been at Cubelandia for a long enough time now that I think everyone kind of knows who they are dealing with anyway. The LSCHP (who hired me) kind of always GOT me. I am quite reserved and focused on work *at work* but sometimes I surprise people with sarcastic remarks or stories about my life that may be a little bit “out there” to a lot of people.

Well, for example… There are a lot of examples but… Once the LSCHP took up the first 15 minutes of a meeting talking about vampires. He was talking about Twilight vampires (a show I have never watched) and apparently they sparkle??? ??? I said, “When I was a kid the vampires outside our outhouse did NOT sparkle. They stood outside the outhouse door dripping blood from their fangs.” Dead silence for a split second and I’ll never forget the look on the then development manager’s face. After that we managed to get on with our meeting.

P.S. I love my current manager (Amazon Woman) and team but we all still miss the LSCHP and many of us still channel him from time to time. He has landed in a wonderful new job and is still in contact with those who once reported to him.

Pea-shelling operation at the moominbeach complete with “bonus” anthills (and moe-skee-toes)

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Today was a long and [mostly] fun odyssey. It began with a coffee cruise in the Pontoon Bote on Hoton Lake on an absolutely gorgeous morning.

We hitched the trash trailer up to the Frog Hopper and hauled it up to Gaylord where the UU and TBG live to exchange it for our own Lyme Lounge, which has been there since the Frog Hopper’s serpentine belt disintegrated (or whatever) ten days or so ago. The UU was out “hiking” with his son and family so we headed in to visit the water closet and touch base with The Beautiful Gay (our beloved sister-in-law).

As we were leaving her driveway, she asked if our vee-hickle (of recent serpentine belt failure) was doing okay. Of COURSE the GG said YES! I rolled my eyes and said something like, “It is doing fine until it isn’t.” And TBG got it!

Wouldn’t you know, maybe 10 miles later we were on the freeway and bumpity bumpity bump and a HUGE VIBRATION! What the you-know-what! No engine lights were on. The GG inspected all six taaaars and other potential trouble spots. Everything was fine. We drove a wee bit around Gaylord and… Not encountering any more of this crazy bumpity-vibrating, we nervously got back on the I75 SUV Speedway.

The rest of the drive was smooth, thank you god or whoever. Our next stop was the Family Fare in Iggy and that was fun because I was in the produce section searching for an eggplant and a woman asked if I was a frequent customer. I told her no, I live in Ann Arbor, but I do know northern Michigan grokkery stores and I asked what she was looking for. Basil? Fresh basil? I said, “Doubtful”. I then told her that I was looking for an eggplant and was having no luck. But then I found… One… It looked battered but I took a chance on it and when I sliced it, the inside was absolutely fine.

And then we got gas and dropped some stuff off at the Trail Town Center (or whatever it is) and THEN, lunch at the Driftwood. Where we encountered various interesting folks.

Eventually we got here and the GG got the water going again and I put all of the food/laundry away and a few other things and then I went down to sit on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench to pull leaves off the basil I bought at the farmers market yesterday morning. And shell the beautiful peas I bought.

Sunset cruise

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

7:00 AM: Planet Ann Arbor farmers market to get peas to shell, lettuce, and basil.

After that? Drove to Houghton Lake and hung out by the lake all afternoon. Pizza from the corner store for dinner and fun, including a campfaaaaar with a nephew and his fam and some of his wife’s relatives. And a loverly s-l-o-w sunset cruise in the Flote Bote.

I kicked into Moom Lifeguard mode when all the kids were out in the lake playing with paddleboards and things. All is well and I hope I wasn’t too obnoxious but when you grow up on a Great Lake beach like I did, you learn early that water is dangerous and children need to be watched every single second. I have also watched adults swim (when they have asked me to) and I used to enlist The Commander to watch me swim back when I had to wash my hair in the lake during nor’westers. Maybe that’s why she installed an indoor bathroom?

Anyway, long day but good day and g’night. Typos be damned.

My bags are packed

Friday, June 28th, 2019

I’ve got almost nothing tonight. Just posting so various people know where I am. We were hanging out porterized in the back yard for a while (after dinner at the Griz) and I am dead taaaaarrred and now I can hear Becquet and her fam and some friends in Becquet’s backyard. They aren’t annoying me (sounds like they’re looking for bats). I’m just amazed that they sound so energetic at this time of night. Actually now they seem to have said good night and gone inside so maybe they are as taaaarred as I am.

Anyway, I am packed except for food. I pack lightly these days even going to the Great White North. I did unpack the hat, scarf, and glubs from the last trip up to the yooperland. I doubt I’ll need them up there this time and if I do, I’ll just have to suck it up. I bet the local Woldemort even has glubs at this time of year.

So… Farmers Market in the morn and then on the road. Gotta get to sleep before I get the dreaded second wind.

Felt like about a six beer day today!

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

At least for me. There were no empty beer cans when I got home, our two big compost bins were out at the curb, and the yard looks dropdead gorgeous so you know somebody was hard at work, in the heat no less.

This morning I arrived at Cubelandia and faaaaared up my laptop and… Got the black screen of death. Again. Oh, there was a little white cursor that I could move around and it was making noises (fan, etc.) like it was thinking about booting up. But. It. Didn’t.

When Amazon Woman got in I kvetched about it to her and she thought about it for a split-second or so and said, “Take the battery out for a few minutes.” So I figgered out how to get the battery out, played a couple mini xword puzzles on my phone and put it back in. Voila! I think we were both skeptical but it worked.

Although the musheen is clearly in a failure mode, this was a good thing. Getting a computer fixed at Cubelandia requires boxing it up and sending it back to the Mother Ship. Turnaround time is usually fast but if you have a job where you spend all day every day talking to your laptop, twiddling your thumbs doesn’t come easy. And we are not allowed to have a spare laptop on site. I do not know why.

So then, Amazon Woman asked, “How old is your laptop?” Me: “Three and a half years.” Amazon Woman: “Order a new one!” When your boss tells you to buy a new computer and the company is paying for it, you order a new computer.

Today is the 14th anniversary of my brother’s death. Rather than write about that, here is a link to my then 2-year-old blahg during that time period. Entries about that (and other things) are in June and July and I *think* a lot of the pictures still link to pictures but not sure. Other links may have rotted. This was back before I had a wordpress blahg. I “rolled my own” back in 2005, writing all of my own html and linking up pictures and stuff and no comments. At that time, I was managing (or trying to) a youth theatre guild and doing school PTO treasury work.

Two beer day

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

So just when it finally gets truly HOT here in the Great White North, my cute li’l Ninja’s A/C decides to crap out. It was a long, hot, SLOW slodge home this afternoon. No big backups or anything, just the usual choke points. I love Zen Driving but Hot Zen Driving is a bit much. I think Hot Yoga sounds awful too (not that I have ever done Yoga of any sort).

I still dunno why the city decided it was a good idea to put N. Maple between Dexter and Miller on a road diet. There are some things I like about it (people don’t travel at 55 any more) but it regularly HOSES northbound rush hour traffic for the three preceding traffic lights. It’s a complicated area from the get-go and I won’t try to describe it any further than that. Your city probably has worse situations.

Once upon a time, during one of the craziest weeks I have ever experienced, we had the POC and its A/C was in a failure mode. My brother The Engineer died on a Monday morning. June 25th 27th, so right around this time of year. He was chronically ill but this wasn’t expected but in retrospect we all think *he* was expecting it. I hit the road the next morning in the Dogha, which was four years old. That’s NEW for us. I drove to Sault Ste. Siberia to pick up my parents (watching for deer and cops as they admonished me to do). Yes, I drove five hours up and five hours back (the next day) to schlep my parents to their son’s funeral. In retrospect I don’t think my dad ever recovered from that experience but that’d be a whole ‘nother story (he died nine months later).

My parents were able to ride with me in air-conditioned comfort. Down here on The Planet Ann Arbor, people were schlepping around in hot cars. The POC’s A/C failed and The Indefatigable never did have A/C. We had to wear bandannas when we drove that thing on the freeway on hot days. But that was part of its “charm”. My parents were quite elderly by then and we all thought they needed to be in a cool vee-hickle for the trip.

As it happened, we had ordered a new Honda Civic maybe the week before. I can’t exactly remember when but we didn’t expect it to arrive for a few weeks. We were all scheduled to go north after the funeral. I took my parents home and others came up for the 4th of July weekend. We were concerned that some people might have to drive the HOT POC up north. Miraculously, our new Honda Civic became available in the middle of all this. We wrote the check and signed the paperwork and everyone drove off up the I75 SUV Speedway in comfort.

And no, I do not think I will watch the Democratic presidential candidate “debate” tonight. I will vote for whoever ends up being the Democratic candidate because in my not-so-humble opinion ANYONE is better than the Orange Baboon. But there are too many candidates and I do not think that is a good thing although I know many will drop off. The Democrats need to carefully choose a decent candidate and one who can unseat the OB. They also need to focus on keeping the House and trying to make inroads into the Senate. Some of the stronger Democratic hopefuls might do well to explore a Senate run.

If you disagree with me (and you know who you are), you can *bite me* 🐽 Although I have not solely supported Democrats throughout my life, my basic polly-tickle opinions have not changed and I am capable (unlike the OB) of sorting out what constitutes “fake news”. At least I *read* articles before sharing them on social media unlike some of my right-wing “conservative” friends and relations. Harrumph.

Unbucketable item stored in an item bucket

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Every time I turned around today I was confronted by the message in the title. Do you know what the heck it means? I certainly do not. It was a “caution” message of some sort I guess because it was yellow and didn’t seem to keep me from doing what I needed to do but still?

I was using a new corporate “tool”. The user interface is crazy nuts overkill with all kinds of navigation and obscure labels (and messages). Somehow after much flailing around I found where I needed to be and figured out which of the 1% of the functions available I needed to get my job done, which was to simply upload PDF files to a client-facing site. How about a simple “Upload” button? In the end, there was an “Upload” button but finding it and learning how to use it was not particularly intuitive.

At least I didn’t have to edit any html to make this thing happen like I used to have to do with the old tool. Mind you, I *love* to code and edit html. I am good at coding html and will happily do it until the cows come home. But this html was the kind of html that a “tool” generates and was total overkill. There were no line breaks so you were wading through a virtual sea of duplicative [correct word? not sure] tags and content and if you accidentally wiped out an ending tag or whatever, you totally broke the page and had to start all over again.

If you are designing web or phone or whatever apps, keep it simple. Make it easy for people to get in, find their information or complete their task, and git the hell outta dodge. That last sentence is not a direct quote from the GG but it is close to what he always says. As a user experience designer, I am on the same page.

Sorry about the work rant. I’m not even ranting against the company. I think these kinds of tools are pretty much ubiquitous in the corporate world. They are created (or purchased) to provide a wide array of functionality to many users with different needs. And to be fair, the company has replaced some of our older tools with better, more usable ones. In the end I get paid to master tools like this and I am pretty sure I earned my pay today oh boy oh boy. But “unbucketable”? That is not a word…

Hey, at least I’m not ranting about polly-ticks🐽

“You’re not used to having anyone in the house with you”

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Scroll down if you want to skip the loooonnnng list of email spending alerts I’ve received over the last couple weeks. The juicy stuff is at the bottom.

June 10, 3:01 PM: gasoline in Glen Carbon, IL.

June 11, 9:48 AM: gasoline in Oak Grove, MO.

June 11, 1:21 PM: gasoline in Ellsworth, KS.

June 11, 4:42 PM: gasoline in Garden City, KS.

June 11, 5:06 PM: I dunno what at Walmart in Garden City, KS.

June 11, 8:04 PM: Colorado Parks and Wildlife (online transaction)

June 12, 1:04 PM: gasoline in Pueblo, CO.

June 12, 4:42 PM: gasoline in Gunnison, CO.

June 13, 1:24 PM: I dunno what at Pleasant Valley in Cimarron, CO.

June 14, 11:26 AM: gasoline in Rifle, CO.

June 14, 12:01 PM: I dunno what at City Market #0 in Rifle, CO.

June 16, 4:56 PM: I dunno what at Walmart in Westminster, CO.

June 17, 1:32 PM: gasoline in Englewood, CO. (at Stinker #332).

June 17, 7:30 PM: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

June 18, 11:10 AM: gasoline in Ovid, CO.

June 18, 2:01 PM: gasoline in Thedford, NE.

June 19, 9:26 AM: gasoline in Oacoma, SD.

June 19, 12:27 PM: gasoline in Worthington, MN.

June 19, 2:39 PM: gasoline in Owatonna, MN.

June 20, 11:59 AM: gasoline in Tripoli, WI.

June 20, 4:50 PM: gasoline in Manistique, MI. (hmmmm, he’s back in Michigan, should I get the boy toyz outta the Landfill?)

June 21, 11:28 AM: Big Boy (????) in Gaylord, MI.

June 23, 10:20 AM: Meijer in Gaylord, MI.

June 24, 11:57 AM: SERPENTINE BELT REPAIR (and BTW you boy toyz better git out NOW because TMOTU is a few hours from the Landfill) at Alter Star in Gaylord, MI.

June 24, 2:09 PM: gasoline in Bridgeport, MI. Boy toyz, are you out?

June 24, 2:51 PM: dunno what but prob’ly beer, rum, and hot dogs (typical FlaMan supplies, no cigarettes, thank you very much) at Kroger in Grand Blanc, MI. BOY TOYZ *OUT* NOW

So here I am laughing about getting the (non-existent) boy-toyz out and I find out tonight (as the GG is talking to his sister on the phone) that HEEEEEEE visited a beautiful woman-friend in Minnesota. A woman he knew in college. It’s okay. I rooooaaarred with laughter when I heard this.

But yeah, I was doing something in the chitchen tonight and he snuck up behind me and I totally freaked out. I have been alone for two weeks except for one night that I fed enchiladas to a mouse and a raccoon. I did really want to go to HOMES or Sessions or Conor’s or wherever for lunch yesterday and there was no one around to go with. It was okay and I was okay.

Love y’all, KW

Peeeeeeas

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Peas to shell? Oh, peas to shell. Yeah! Gimme three boxes! Shelling peas is one of my fave things to do and there’s such a very short window in which I can get them. Sugar peas are available a bit before shelling peas and some people apparently get excited about them. I am not a fan. I mean they taste just fine but the pods can be kind of stringy. There were shelling peas yesterday and they are GORGEOUS. Great big peas all of them and sooooo sweeeeeeet.

I jumped around topping up Ninja’s tank and getting some grokkeries before Sunday Morning Jazz came on. Then I cooked up some tomato-based sauces to freeze to take up to the moomincabin for the summer. Two lasagne/pasta sauces and one enchilada. After all that, I got set up in the back yard to shell my peas. ‘hicken and Pekak guarded my operation during a powder room break.

If I am lucky, I will be able to buy one more load of shelling peas next Saturday. They may still be available another week or so but by the time I have a chance to get back to the farmers market, we’ll be swinging away from spring crops and into corn season. I’m sure I would quickly tire of shelling peas if my life depended upon doing it as a regular chore but as a couple-times-a-year activity in a beautiful green (a bit overgrown at the moment) backyard on The Garden Planet Ann Arbor, I savor it.

How Pekak got his name: Many years ago the younger beach urchin went to morning kindergarten at the elementary school behind the woods behind the Landfill backyard. I probably walked her to school most days but maybe she walked with her 3rd grade sister. I can’t really remember. It is safe for young children to walk to the school from my house. There are no streets to cross AT ALL and she certainly knew how to get there, having been there a gazillion times with me or the GG to “help” in her sister’s classrooms or play on the playground equipment.

She *usually* walked home alone for lunch unless I had a reason to be over there and was waiting outside her classroom. But one day she was pretty far overdue. I finally schlepped over to the school and found her sitting at a desk in the hall outside the classroom, busily writing a story about a pekak. I could tell that her young teacher was torn between sending a quiet little student off (teachers need LUNCH!) and not wanting to interrupt a burst of creativity. I knew how intelligent this child was but was not always sure the school got it so I think the teacher and I were both interested. I took my child home saying she could finish the story there. Many years later, she found Pekak down at Downtown Home and Garden. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t remember the pekak story.

Red, shadows, and other crapola

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

First of all, we have SHADOWS today. I do not think I have seen a cloud in the sky all day and that means there were shadows. Stop reading NOW if you do not want to go where Imma gonna go, which is into sexual crapola. I’ll try to be coherent and keep it relatively G-rated if I can.

Okay. I use Twitter mainly to aggregate news feeds and keep track of polly-tickle entities. Like @RealDonaldTrump. This morning (after I went to the farmers market – peas to shell – YAY!) my Twitter feed “fed” me an article about someone named E. Jean Carroll claiming that she was raped by “your favorite president” (as the a$$hole in charge sometimes calls himself). I had no clue who this woman was. I do not read Elle magazine (maybe I should?).

Here’s the article I read. It’s all over the internet now of course and I have read many different opinions on it. The takeaway for me was not that the Orange Baboon stuck his p*nis partway or all-the-way into her “VJJ” in a Bergdorf Goodman’s lingerie dressing room. He was buying a gift for a woman (Ivana? Marla? a “girlfriend”?) and up until the last moment, she thought they were having a good time bantering about who would try on the gift. And then he slammed her up against the wall and… She escaped.

I believe her story. This crapola happens to many women and I applaud her for telling her story. Her write-up was real, self-deprecating, and as funny as all getout.

The takeaway for me was that she was not totally traumatized by this and went on with her life. Like her, I have endured a number of weird sexual encounters in my life and have been able to get beyond them all without being traumatized. My life has been much quieter than hers but I have certainly had some fugly incidents involving “hideous” men back in the day. I don’t want to recount all of those incidents here at this time (or ever) but I always escaped and was *always* able to move on.

BUT BUT BUT… Not every woman can. Me and E. Jean are highly intelligent (at least I would like to think that I am as intelligent as E. Jean), independent, and financially stable. Not everyone is. Trump aside, we need to protect those who are vulnerable. I am lucky. I met the GG when I was 26. I married him when we were 28. And we have been married ever since. It isn’t like we don’t ever argue but overall, we get along. Somehow, every boss I have ever worked for has treated me as a valuable employee.

It isn’t the same for every woman.

Stick a fork in me

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Seriously, I was ready to call it quits 20 minutes after I got to work.

I had to call employee support today. It wasn’t an urgent issue, just something I had filed previous tickets about online but it wasn’t getting resolved so I finally bit the bullet and called. So. I got a support person.

He asked me a few questions then disappeared totally without warning. No “Can I put you on hold”. No nothing. I sat there in silence for at least five minutes (or it felt like that anyway). Then. Beep beep beep. My call got disconnected. I thought. But then there was a ring tone so I thought I was being connected with someone else. An *American* man’s voice answered with, “Hullo? Did you call me?” I was really confused by this because I think all of our support folks are on the Indian subcontinent. They are fluent in English but speak it with an accent. Then I realized I *knew* this voice. It was the GG.

I am still not sure exactly what happened but my best guess is that I did get disconnected from support and somehow ear-dialed the GG. So no I didn’t intentionally call him but… By coincidence, at that moment he was cooling his heels at the Vanderbilt Michigan rest area on the southbound I75 SUV Speedway. Catastrophic serpentine belt failure in the Frog Hopper. He was dealing with tow truck/repair logistics so I got off the phone.

Called support [again] with the anticlimactic result that I have… another… ticket… filed. Wonder how long it’ll take for them to fix it. Or close it without fixing it. At any rate, I felt totally exhausted after all that.

So the GG was gonna be home today but there’s a part they can’t get until Monday so he is stranded for the weekend. Fortunately he is stranded at the UU’s gorgeous house near Gaylord (a few miles away from Vanderbilt) and the UU towed the Lyme Lounge outta the rest area to his house so it is also safe and sound. And they can go hiking with all their buddies in the Jordan 45 NCT chapter.

Meanwhile, I got porterized downtown at Amadeus, which has *wonderful* food and I LOVED our server and we had soooo much fun ranting and raving about polly-ticks and outhouses and whatever.

So it’s all good but I think it’s time for a new vee-hickle. Or maybe two…

Things that go screeeershscrapeflumpf in the night

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Something like that. For the second time this week, I awoke to hear a NOISE in the night. I don’t think this one woke me up. I was awake at that Batscope Hour like I often am. Do I need to use the Water Closet? Hmmm… And then there was a very weird noise outside. I mean right outside The Landfill. In the front. What the bloody hell? Was it an aminal? It didn’t sound like an aminal.

After the ending flumpf, all was silent and then some birdies started chirping. It seemed (4:00 AM) a weeeee bit early for birdsong so not sure if the screeeershscrapeflumpf event woke them up or what. Silence continued and I fell back asleep dropping into my usual early morning weird REM dreams.

When I got outside, I encountered this downed BRANCH! A’right, what do I do… It was partly in the driveway but I could’ve driven around it. Then I noticed it was sticking out into the sidewalk. That didn’t seem like a good thing. Could I move it? Hmm, I sized it up… It was very long but not very thick. I managed to drag it off into the front yard so it was no longer blocking the driveway or the public pedestrian thoroughfare and it’ll have to stay like that until Chainsaw Man can deal with it. It’ll be a fun little prodject for him.

I don’t know what made the branch fall. It was raining very lightly and there was absolutely NO WIND. A number of years ago, the [dead] top third of that tree fell on The Landfill and the POC but a couple years ago we hired tree specialists to check the tree out and trim anything unhealthy. This branch is full of leaves. I dunno. Waterlogged? Too many raccoons on one branch? Orange Baboon drone strike? (But I’d’ve prob’ly heard the drone.) A mystery.

Other than that it rained cats and dogs ALL DAY today but fortunately nobody had to fly anywhere. Yesterday the beach urchins flew to Florida (two flights each originating from a different airport but with layovers in Charlotte NC but not at the same time). It was all complicated and I was fielding text messages off and on all day (which was FINE!). The second flight for one of them was delayed for a long time. I suspect heavy rains at their destination. Reason for trip? Cousin Pengo Janetto Cookie Tester Penguin Hoosh has reached a milestone birthday and they wanted to help her celebrate. I suspect a few muskellunges are being flung. HB.

Disclaimer…

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the lug nuts

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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