Archive for March, 2009

Hamburgers 10 cents

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

hamburgs“One more day of vacation. One more day of vacation. One more day of vaca-a-tion. Da dah da dah da dah.” That would be The Engineer (or maybe it was me, fer kee-reist, I can’t really remember) singing to Grandroobly as he walked down to the beach on the last day of his annual two-week vacation. (Where the heck is Frooggy when I need him to sing? I guess he’s sleeping off another drunk. Laundry detergent with a Listerine chaser or whatever.) Oh yeah, that little ditty is sung to the tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain in case you couldn’t figure that out.

You can talk about banker’s hours from here to kingdom come. They are not what you think they are. At least they were not in those days. (We won’t talk about these days. Keep throwing that cow manure down, you old coot.) The *bank* may have only been open from 10 to 3 or whatever but the *bankers* had to be there before and after to, uh, count the money. And balance things all over the place. And that is work and if things did *not* balance, the bankers would have to stay until they found the error. I do have to say though, that Grandroobly never got called out of holiday dinners or in the middle of the night to go deliver babies or sew people’s noses back on, etc., like his brother did. Grandroobly would only get called in the middle of the night (by the police) if the Sault Ste. Siberian night watchman discovered that the bank doors were not locked. (Uh, was there really a night watchman in the town or am I dreaming? Mrs. Commander?) What I *do* remember is that when my uncle was called in the middle of the night or a holiday dinner or whatever, he just packed up and left. Quickly. No complaints. He had a job that he loved and he did it well.

I’ve digressed but I’m not sure what I’ve digressed from because I didn’t start out with anything more than an old photo that got scanned by one o’ them thar Sherman boys, so I guess I am just rambling. Oh yeah. I *was* thinking that the old coot didn’t really have it so bad in some ways with his two week vacation. Because his cabin was close enough to his bank that he could actually move out to his cabin for the whole summer and drive into his work at the bank every day. A vacation is a valuable thing but, as much as I love the Landfill, there sure are days that I wish I could just drive home to the cabin after work. Swim, kayak, walk the beach, have a ‘hattan on the deck, watch the boats go by. Four hours and forty minutes away on the best of days with dry roads, no jaffic trams, no major stops, and just a weeee bit o’ careful speedin’? Can’t do it.

Yours in eternal blather,
KW

A toad on a brown dashboard (its own) with blue water and purple waves.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

dashboardtoadWell. Don’t *you* have your own dashboard? What color is your dashboard? The artist? Just a few days over four years old. Inspiration? Well, Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows of course. What were you thinking?

This is the kind of thing that you find when you are slodging along slowly dredging out the Landfill Dungeon, humming a little tune to yourself just to keep yourself sane. It is evidence that there is a body of work from this young artist that actually exists on paper! Make no mistake. She did not limit her media to the back side of recycled vee-hickle emissions test processing printouts from the EPA. Her first mousies still reside on my sewing machine case, despite The Commander’s well-intentioned attempts to clean them off. I remember stopping that esteemed woman’s efforts with, “No, Mom! Don’t clean those off!” A few feet behind me, on the other side of the Ugliest Kitchen On Earth, a 2-1/2-year-old once wrote her name – “Mouse”. Yes, it is still there a little less than 20 years later. For a few years back in the day, I went crazy with making rules, “don’t draw with glitter glue on your bedframe, don’t use marker on the walls. Or floors. Or furniture.” Sigh. I can clearly remember saying, over and over again, “ONLY ON PAPER!”

One of my favorite memories is a beautiful summer day when we were scheduled to attend an all-day company picnic. I got the beach urchins all dressed up in their cute little summer dresses and the 2-year-old mousie decided to completely cover her arms and legs with marker “tattoos” while I was messing around with the deviled eggs or whatever. Okay… Clothing off and into the tub. I got the little mouse completely cleaned up and re-dressed and wouldn’t you know it, within about five minutes, she had markered herself up again. But. “It’s okay, mama, it’s all dried out now.” Say what? Sigh. I decided that it *was* okay and off we went.

Life with a “spirited” child (or whatever it’s called) can be a challenge but somehow, the little mouse will graduate from college in a few months (shhh) and she grew up to be herself, a wonderful and very talented person, despite whatever her baggy old moom tried to jam into her head. And she doesn’t even draw on herself any more. I don’t think. Do you, Mouse? I love you, Mouse!

Raising children is the hardest job on earth. And it is the most important.

Tree bones, cows, and lemonade

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

calfOh, okay. The spring peepers are apparently peeping and although I can’t hear them here at the landfill, I awoke to an explosion of wild grokking, “Take me out t’ see th’ peepers! grok grok frogik frgok! Take me out t’ see th’ peepers! I wanna see th’ peepers! Grok grok Grok Squee-grok!” Sigh. All right. I buckled him into the Ninja and off we went. Yes, he went au naturale. He was so excited he forgot to put on all of his accoutrements, fer kee-reist.

I don’t know why I ever thought the early spring season was ugly here in the Great White North. I mean the part of the season that happens *before* anything starts actually growing. Color scheme? Brown, black, and gray. Mud? Yup. But not too much for the Ninja, at least not today. Death and destruction? The wooded areas are filled with downed trees and snaggled masses of tangled up brush. I had a blast for about an hour moseying in about second gear along the little dirt roads north of the river, pocketa-pocketa, throwing it into reverse frequently to get just the right view. This vee-hickle stops frequently. And sometimes it backs up. I only encountered a handful of other vee-hickles and only one was an incorrigible tailgater and that was during the mile that I was on North Territorial, which is a 50 mph secondary highway and it was a no passing zone and man, that guy was pissed that I wasn’t going 70! Sorry buddy. So click here or on the pic if you want to see old tree bones. And a few mooly cows too who were eyeballing me with great interest. Mooooo.

lemonadeIn other news, I opened up my blabbering blahg of blather this morning and found that agategal had awarded me the “Making Lemonade out of Lemons” blog award! This is the first blog award my humble little blog has ever received and I am almost embarrassed by it, in a good way, that is. Agategal (of Kingfisher Cove) is one of our Seattle area correspondents. She and I are of similar age and we’re both working moms with 20-somethings and property on the water. She also nominated our own Dogmomster, who is much more deserving of the award than I am, given all of the challenges she has had to face in the last few years. And another of my Seattle blahggin’ buddies, Stargazer, who is currently visiting her daughter who is teaching in Senegal. A braver soul than I.

So, I have received the award and I have to pass it on (see rules guidelines below). I’d like to pass it back to agategal but I can’t because she already has it. So, Sam (archaeologist, not dog) my best friend since forever. The Marquis, who, when I suggested his bicycling stories needed a blog, started one almost immediately and has gone on and on and on. Jay, my Seattle area engineer [girl] cuzzint and Toilet Parade participant. And I read lots more blogs that I could list but I’m shy about commenting, so not sure what the etiquette is here. What do you do if someone nominates you for something out of the blue? Maybe this is a sign for me to be less shy…

Thanks, agategal, and quoting directly here (i.e., good ol’ copy/paste of html): Of course, all awards have rules guidelines:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate some blogs that show great attitude or gratitude, (i.e. turn lemons into lemonade).
  3. Link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

And it is now snowing hard enough here on the Planet Ann Arbor that it is sticking to the ground and vee-hickle veeendsheeeelds. On the other hand, Hans’s forsythia bush is about to pop. Happy spring!

Is it moving? Naw, it’s just an old paper bag.

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

woodsfortOr not. That paper bag stood slowly up and walked toward me in the pre-dawn twilight. A large, fluffy, orange-striped cat. He wasn’t afraid of me but he wasn’t all that happy with me either. I suppose I interrupted his hunting activities.

That was just about 7:00 AM (EDT) and I was just finishing my walk and I had already been up 3-1/2 hours and droven (intentionally misspelled) to Metro and back. I got home from my walk and grabbed my shopping bags and… put gasoline in the Ninja, made a Toilet Paper Run to the Jackson Rd. Meijer, and mailed some mail to Cali at the post office uscan. Returned home again to put groceries away, do laundry, slug on the internet, and even do a little vacuuming and dusting. I HATE to vacuum and dust! I have been putting this off for too long. But (alas) “little” is the operative word here and I fear I will feel compelled to do some more of that stuff tomorrow.

Out again. Dangereuse expotition to fancy quilt-type fabric store. NOOOOO! I did NOT buy anything. And then later, I found the online Fat Quarters Shop and sat on my hands so as not to click Submit on the Kaffe Fassett “cabbage rose” fat quarter packet. Yay for me. Pooh, you are welcome to go out there and order it for yourself! Don’t tell the Marquis how much it costs 😈 The name of the game here at the Landfill is Use Up Your Stash, KW!. I didn’t splurge on Panera for lunch either.

Worked on the Landfill Dungeon and my UFP this afternoon. Uh, in which I figured out that I had attached a whole 12-block row (or column or whatever) upside down on my UFP and then decided that I didn’t want to pick the whole you-know-what blasted seam out I like it better this way and will continue on this track for the rest of the prodject (intentionally misspelled).

The day was like bookends in a way because on my afternoon walk, the one I hardly ever get to do any more, I encountered another fearless hunter. I wish I’d been quicker about getting my iPhone out because this character was a dead ringer for my aunt Katie’s old cat Boots. Black with white feet and frost-bitten ears. And looking at me with the disdain of a king regarding some insignificant little meat scrap.

G’night and may you always remember that the TSA gets grumpy when it finds Broker Knives and shaving cream in your carry-on luggage.
KW

Brain on drugs?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

brainplantI am a basket case today. That is just about all. It is not a bad thing. I have three different prodjects (intentionally misspelled) going on at work. I like being just a little bit overscheduled. It keeps me on my toes. When I got home tonight, I was asked if I wanted to walk downtown for dinner. Well. No. Not really. Physically, I have the energy to walk down there. I do *not* have the energy to deal with the crowded restaurants of a Friday night in the downtown district of the Planet Ann Arbor. And I’m not sure I felt like I would want to walk home, especially with having to squint into the setting midnight sun. And we have to get up at 0-dark-30 tomorrow morning. At least an hour earlier than I usually get up and that is pretty dern early. And I didn’t really want restaurant food. I wanted to cook. Not anything elaborate. Just something simple. In my own ugly little Landfill kitchen. I did manage to walk over to the Plum Market. It was a good thing I had company because I could not, for the life of me think what I wanted to eat. We ended up with some pork chops from the butcher case, breaded with panko and parmesan, and mashed potatoes and squash and salad. We hardly *ever* eat pork chops.

So. It is Fried-day, according to a co-worker. Is everyone fried?

 

Get into a tuck and point it down Olympic?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

icekwThe title came from a Twitter friend’s post and I think she was quoting from another source. But boy oh boy did it bring back memories. Er, ski memories, the ones that happened at the Boyne Highlands ski ranch, for those of you who are wondering, “WTH?” But no. I never did quite “get into a tuck and point it down Olympic”. More like… “Hey you guys, we didn’t do Olympic yet today.” And we’d goad each other into heading over to Olympic and struggling down amongst the moguls. Daydreams? Those are a whole ‘nother story. I could daydream forever about schussing back and forth amongst the moguls with speed, grace, style, and aplomb. And down at the bottom would be the cutest guy in my high school watching me. And of course we lived happily ever after, at least until the screaming started.

But. Sigh. Not today, thank you very much. I am just a x-c skier these days and I am cautious about hills on the best of days. I was much braver as a young downhill skier but I was never any better than a decent amateur. I knew my way around and I also knew when I needed to slow down and be careful. No broken bones here.

That tweet got me wondering what Boyne Highlands looks like these days. The last time I went there, it was summer and the beach urchins and I were returning to Fin Family Moominbeach from a little jaunt to Petoskey. We were driving back via Harbor Springs and the shore route with Sarah Maclachlan blasting on the CD and I decided to try to revisit my roots. Well. It was golf season at Boyne and we passed some fancy chalets with valet parking signs out in front and my little Planet Ann Arbor Commie High hippy-type kids were totally disgusted. Moom, *you* used to come *here*? I couldn’t explain what it was like to drive down from the Yoop in a snow (or ice) storm and park in the day parking lot at the Highlands and eat our own bag lunches in the big noisy lunchroom. And ski with our cobbled-together equipment. Actually, I didn’t even recognize the place myself.

But I found this cool trail map. All my old favorite runs are on there! Heather and Little John and the Challengers and how could I forget Rob Roy and, er, Olympic. And Amy’s Run, which used to be way over in the wilderness with one of those old T-bar lifts but now it looks like there’s a quad chairlift over there and a whole ‘nother set of runs beyond that. I can almost but not quite wrap my brain around that and I wonder how much of the hill is taken over by snowboarders. Not that I hate snowboarders at all. I think snowboarding is fascinating to watch. I’m just a baggy old timer in the ski world. But I still get out there on my slow old skinny x-c boards. And occasionally, if I know the hill well enough and there isn’t some kind of hairpin turn at the bottom, I actually get into a sort of semi-tuck and point it down!

Love,
KW

The tomato that ate Kayak Woman

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

fungusTomato Giant. Men’s Health. Shamwow. Snuggie. I can guess that Men’s Health is just the latest incarnation of the kind of spam that once prompted my friend Paula (may she rest in peace*) to state that she had already grown her p*n#s innumerable times and they might as well quit emailing her about it. Shamwow? Some kind of paper towel? Ho-hum. Snuggie? I’m told it’s a blanket-like-thing that you *wear*. It sounds HOT to me! Even on the days that the old escalator has dumped us down into the subzero temperatures of the Great White Northern winter. Or spring. Or fall. Or whatever. I would be struggling to get out of a snuggie in short order. Tomato Giant… Hmmm. I just do not know. I will guess that it has something to do with growing trenormous tomatoes? But I don’t know. Because I DELETE spam email messages without reading them! Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete.

I figured out a long, long time ago that no matter what you do, you cannot beat the spammers. Spam filters? Ho-hum. Nobody can block a dedicated spammer, at least not forever. The spammers set up automated systems that use random number generating functions to tweak each message just a bit. A different string of garbage characters in the subject. A slightly different image in the message body. A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SENDER EMAIL!** The spam filter can block senders to its heart’s content and the spammer will just sit there laughing, watching another billion spam emails launch with slightly tweaked details. Or more likely, the spammer just lets his lackeys (or bots) do the dirty work. He is hanging around down in the Carribean with whatever bank vice president threw my stock into the toilet.

What kind of spam do you get? How do you deal with it? Do you let it get under your skin? Honestly, door-to-door and telephone solicitors are more annoying to me than spam email.

*My friend Paula died way too early in December of 2004. We soldiered together as volunteers in one of the most disorganized organizations there ever was. We were great email buddies and her emails would often cause me to fall off my precarious rolling computer chair onto the floor, laughing hysterically. I still miss her…

**Disclaimer: This is a highly-simplified and hypothetical spam-generating algorithm. I don’t know *exactly* how various spammers generate their spam but I DO know a bit about functions that generate random numbers and I know how to incorporate them into computer programs and I can use my imagination from there.

Eternal Snooze

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

ruinsI know that the newspaper business is struggling. I didn’t expect that our own Planet Ann Arbor Snooze would fold. Even though it has shrunk from 4-5 sections to two in the last months. A lot of words have been written about it online and off. Reasons for doing it. How the reporters/editors/publishers/readers/whoever feel about it. The online site that is slated to replace it. I can’t add to any of that.

I have read the Ann Arbor Snooze every day for almost 30 years. I call it the Snooze very affectionately. I’m not a journalist. I’m just an amateur writer with a boring blahg and I couldn’t tell you whether the reporting has been good or not. But coming home from work to read the Snooze is part of my routine and I don’t know what I will fill that little space of time with.

At the moment, I can’t imagine filling it with reading news on-line. And I am not one of those 50-somethings who is not Internet-savvy. I’ve had a website for over 10 years. It turned into a blog over five years ago. I’m on twitter and I have been buying stuff on-line for umpteen gazillion years now. And my *work* involves designing web applications. I am on-line more or less 24/7 but I do *not* do well with on-line news. I hate the flashing ads that are on so many sites. I am not crazy about internet video, especially if I have to sit through a 15-second ad at the beginning. The mlive site that the A2 Snooze currently links to has always been impossible to navigate (although they seem to have been working on that a bit).

Being online more or less 24/7, I *like* reading a paper after work. One made of newsprint, that I can hold in my hands. A minute or 10 *away* from the damn laptop(s). But I am still conflicted. My paper recycle bin is *filled* with newspaper every week. Not to mention all the add flyers that come *with* the newspaper. My habit is to pick up the newspaper and immediately remove all of that stuff. I know that some people like to read it.

I have more questions than I can articulate. How many trees are cut down to provide printed newspapers to umpteen gazillion people every day? How will the many talented reporters who are being let go by failing print newspapers find meaningful, gainful employment? I think most of those folks know that blogging is probably not the answer, at least not totally. What will happen to those elderly folks who look forward to a daily paper and are not on-line and will probably not ever be? And and and and….

I know I will miss having a print newspaper to read every day and my last question is who originally purchased the domain name annarbor.com and when/how many times has it changed hands. Sigh.

Do you think three years is long enough to keep something hanging on the refrigimatator?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

reflectionsI’m talking about Grandroobly’s obit. Aka the old coot or whatever. We called him a lot of goofy names in those last years. In an affectionate way. Heck, his beloved grandchildren made a lot of them up! For most of my life, I called him Dad. And there were times when I did not say it very affectionately. But that’s how it goes when you are a “spirited” child with your own ideas. I don’t know why I still have that yellowed old piece of newsprint posted on the refrigerator. I wrote the dern thing and it is stored in my computer along with about a grizzillion old haphazardly organized photos.

It has been three years today but this is not meant to be a sad post. I have never really felt all that sad, well except when I try to write about it… Anyway. I am convinced that the old coot really did not want to stick around. I am convinced that he knew he wasn’t up to becoming mobile again, at least not in the way he was accustomed to being mobile. I think he knew that even if he could get vertically mobile again, I mean walking on his own two feet, he was probably not going to be able to take his daily walk down to the post office ever again. Or up and down the beach. Or even to and from the beach. What is the point of living if you have to go everywhere in a blasted ambulance? I think rehab was more than he had the strength for.

I have never been a religious person and I don’t have any firm opinions about whether or not there is an afterlife or what an afterlife might look like if there is one. I like to imagine that Grandroobly and The Engineer are gallivanting around somewhere. I always think of them as being together. Flying the Edmund Fitzgerald around our universe or another until the sun goes over the yardarm. Sometimes when I’m alone in the evening, I can hear them clinking their ice cubes on the way down to the beach. They’ll sit down there on the shores of Gitchee Gummee watching the boats go by in front of a sunset that goes on forever.

I suppose I’m afraid to take that old yellowing piece of newspaper down because I’m afraid my dad will start hurling lightning bolts down at me. Like the time I went for a walk after packaging up some of his ashes into little vials for his grandchildren and got caught unawares in a sudden thunderstorm. I’m going to guess that, being an honest old-school banker, his weapon of choice these days is buckets of cow manure.

I’m not going to post a picture of the old coot today. Despite the anniversary, I am feeling forward-looking today. We were walking down by the river yesterday and it was cold and the color scheme featured gray and brown. But there were just a few signs of new life. I was thinking about the changing seasons. Leaves and seed pods from last year are still hanging around and new growth almost not quite started yet. So click here or on the pic for more photos of our latest urban walk down by Barton Dam. There are a lot of things I can’t begin to put into words. I know that I am not quite numb any more. From losing The Engineer and The Old Coot and a bunch of other you-know-what that happened within a couple of years that I won’t detail. I’ve gone on. Miss you, dad. Love you, Mrs. Commander.

Happy Birthday Bubs

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Flowers by Pooh, blogged by iPhone.

Busy day. Walk, breakfast, urban hike by river, pics to follow. Mouse and Jim arrive. Mouse and Moom to REI and Whole Foods via Dogha. GG and Jim to EPA via Ninja. The UU and The Beautiful Gay pick up Jim. Mouse and Moom walk to Plum Market (yes another grokkery store trip and *yes*, that’s three times to the Plum in three days. GG walks to Bugs & Horsey’s house by way of the Brown Jug barroom. Mouse and Moom watch Metropolis for a while, then head over to Bugs & Horsey’s house for birthday dinner with Bugs, Horsey, and Jane. Mouse leaves for kzoo. I officially turn into a pumpkin at 8:21 PM, EDT. Home, babble incoherently on internet and kerflop.

“Just because we all live within an hour of each other doesn’t mean we get together all the time.”

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

breakfastI’m quoting a relative totally out of context but it’s true. I have plenty of far-flung relatives but a lot of us live right here in the godforsaken southeast part of the Great Lake State. As in, will the last person to leave Michigan please turn out the lights? Do we see each other all the time? Well. No! We are all going around hucklety-buck working and going to the grokkery store and cooking and cleaning and shoveling snow and, well, you know, taking care of whatever business is on our plates. Little kids or grandkids, octo-folks, college-type kids. Okay, we’re paying for our college-type kids’ tuition, they aren’t very high maintenance otherwise. (Thank you very much.) But we are tired. When we get out of work every day we don’t usually feel like going home and putting our dancing shoes on. Or driving an hour to whoop it up with relatives, only to have to drive another hour to get home. And then get up the next morning and go to work. We are not 20 any more. That doesn’t mean we don’t all love each other. Or that we can’t whoop it up pretty darn well on occasion. Just check out some of our holiday parties. Or spend a weekend with us at the HL Group Home or Fin Family Moominbeach.

But *this* weekend, DogMomster came for a visit! I was just about brain-dead after a week of going hucklety-buck to get my portion of a prodject (intentionally misspelled) done so other people could do theirs. I’m not sure DogMomster is *ever* brain-dead but she has her own stresses. So. What did we do while she was here? Restaurants. Knights for dinner last night. Northside for breakfast this morning. And two trips to grokkery stores! Yes. Two. Why? Because we are mooooooooms and we *like* grokkery stores. That’s what we DO! Fer Kee-reist, what were y’all thinkin’? Yes. Walked to the Plum Market yesterday. For the walk and so the GG could buy all kinds of snacky-type stuff that’ll prob’ly still be here in six months. Trader Joe’s after breakfast this morning. Because TJ’s is *always* fun!!! In between all that, me and Dogmomster (yeah, I know it’s bad grammar, moom), hung out on them thar tubes, twitterin’ and whatever. Because we are geeks. The Engineer had good taste in wives, I must say! Er, “wives”? Make no mistake, he was only married once. Anyway.

And then. Today, I carried my grokkery store addiction further. I ended up going out to the Jackson Road Meijer. And, wouldn’tcha know it. In the late afternoon, I was over at the Plum Market. Again. Why? Because grokkery stores are just part of my existence. What did I buy there? A package of linguine and some fresh rosemary. Hey, I walked there!! And I even brought (took? Mrs. Commander?) my own bag.

Love you, DogMomster. The Engineer did a good thing hanging out with you.

So. Who recognizes the A2 teacher behind the tired braindead baggy old moom?

Friday, March 20th, 2009

moom

Uh, yeah… Brain moving slower than body…

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

moosoneemoomOf course, my brain and my body rarely move at the same speed. My body moves really fast as a general rule. Not that I am an extremely fast runner or skier or whatever. At this age, I don’t quite red-queen around like I did back in grade school. It’s more that I move without engaging the old, tired brain. On the other hand, the old, tired brain moves pretty fast most of the time. It just doesn’t always move very efficiently. Infinite loop, anyone? So it’s been a long week and I’ve been going hucklety-buck to get a prodject (intentionally misspelled) finished by, well, tomorrow. And I am one meeting away with some developers from getting it done. I hope. And once, I was blathering away in front of a couple of developers about scattering a certain engineer’s ashes on the seat of a developer’s bulldozer and they were kinda looking at me like WTF? So woops! I backpedaled pretty darn quick to clarify that I was talking about a *real estate* developer, not a *software* developer. One of them said something like, “Well, if I find ashes on my keyboard, I’ll know whodunit.” Of course, I don’t know too many *software* developers who have bulldozers but you never know. Anyway. Today was one of those rare days when I drank a half-cup of coffee in the mid-afternoon. Just to stay awake. And whaddya think? Dooya think this cute pic of me and Moosonee would make a good Twitter icon pic? Too bad it’s so pixelated but that’s whatcha sometimes get with a webcam pic. I wonder if I should take out that group home stuff or what. Sorry, but this is the kind of blather y’all get when my brain is moving slower than my body. Blaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhg.

I hear clinking ice cubes and they are not from the other side for once. Er, well, maybe from the other side of the window that used to look out on the back yard long before we owned the Landfill.

I’m not dizzy, I’m busy.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

pepsibottle

Well, I may be dizzy because I am swinging around in circles so fast that when I finally hit the ground, things are circling and I am giggling with the band.

I am happiest and most productive when I am busy. I’m one o’ them thar people that you give things to. Yaknow, if you need something done, give it to the busiest person you know? That’s me. Multi-tasking is the name of the game.

Happy Frog Day!!! from yer fav-o-rite froog!! grok grok!!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

froggy

Call the EPA!!!

Monday, March 16th, 2009

exhaustThe smoke had started to dissipate by the time I got to the intersection. And yes, I am stopped. The light is red and it has just turned red and, trust me, I know that intersection’s cycle all too well and I had plenty of time to get my purse out of my laptop bag and get my phone out of my purse and turn it on and open the camera and take the picture and put the phone back and put the purse back and it still seemed like an eternity until the blasted light changed.

But what the heck? As I approached the intersection, there was so much smoke, I thought that the gas station over there on the left was on fire. Or there was a vee-hickle fire or something. As it turned out, by the time I got there, the source of the smoke had gone on ahead. It was way too far ahead to see what kind of vee-hickle it was and even if I could’ve caught up to it I doubt if I’d’ve been able to see it through the smoke. How the heck do you drive a vee-hickle that’s putting out that much smoke? I do not know. Where were the cops? Can they stop somebody like that? I’m not even thinking about the pollution so much as that it seemed like a road hazard.

Oh well. The smoke was still way ahead of me when I turned off into where my cube is, so I never figgered out who/what it was. And I’m sorry. That was about as exciting as the day got. Except possibly for when my new power cord came or when I left my coffee cup in a meeting. Yes. Coding and writing. And writing. And Coding. And yes, I think Geitner *should* fire those creeps at AIG. “High-rolling hooligans” indeed. NPR nipping into my consciousness for a fleeting moment. Blup blup blup blup blup blup blup.

It’s daylight in the swamp!

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

daylightswampThat is a deer trail that the GG is walking on. Today, we were actually walking on snow and ice out in the swamp behind our cabin on Long Point at Houghton Lake. Those are not his footprints. The snow is so crusted that you cannot see our footprints. The deer live in the swamp in the interior of Long Point, behind our cabin. And they visit our cabin’s yard at night, meaning you have to constantly watch where you are putting your feet down by the seawall because there are deer pellets *everywhere*. Yes. Everywhere. When we were up at the HL cabin on New Year’s weekend, I was about to go out the back door for my morning walk at 0-dark-30 when I saw the motion of aminals (intentionally misspelled) in the yard. I freaked for just a moment until I realized they were deer. As I began to walk along Long Point road, more deer skitted across the road ahead of me. Into the swamp, where they live and breed.

I was returning from my morning walk this morning in full sunlight. Sigh. I had planned to get up a half hour or so earlier than I did, and return from my walk just as the sun was coming up. Not. As I rounded the last corner, I spied with my little eye the GG heading across the street into the swamp. I grabbed my real camera out of the cabin and followed him across the street. Into the deep gray green greasy Limpopo River Long Point Swamp. It is still iced over (as is the lake), so it was easy to walk in there and I got some pictures and you can click here or on the pic to see a few more.

And then. Today is the day that all ice shanties are decreed by whatever authorities to be off the lake. The ice was still sorta safe yesterday. Today was so warm up there that I am just not sure any more. There will be more, maybe quite a few more, dips down into the teens or below but the ice was booming like crazy today and the sun was warm and if I had a shanty out there, I’d’ve had it off the ice a few weeks ago. Maybe.

We’re back on the Planet now and the next time we get to Houghton Lake, there will be boats on the lake instead of snowmobiles. And so it goes. Good night.

Never trust a man with a GPS.

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

lumbermenSeriously. If it is mid-afternoon and you are driving on highway M72 and you want to go west and you realize that the sun is behind you, you need to turn around. If you are in this situation, do not trust the guy with the GPS. You will end up *back* at Lake Huron.

And the sunrise coast is where we started today. Tawas City, to be exact. Drove over there early, futzed around a bit, then up to Oscoda, then hung a left and headed back along the Au Sable River, of canoeing and fly-fishing fame. Beautiful areas of the state that I don’t get to very often. How could you ask for a better day? Started out around 20 degrees (F) and up to the low 40s. Brilliant sunshine all day. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing one cloud. The mission was to try to piece together the parts of a hiking trail from Lake Huron to Houghton Lake. There was a lot of driving, a lot of backtracking, and many stops to view the scenery. To those of you who follow me on Twitter, those guys there in the pic constitute the Lumberman’s Memorial. I was wondering who would be confused by that little tweet. We stopped at the memorial/overlook for lunch. We did not go down all 260 steps to the river. The beach urchins and I did that many years ago. I remember us counting them on the way back up just to double-check the sign. Today the steps were covered with ice.

At one point, we seemed to be under observation by one o’ them thar fine men in blue or whatever color they wear. We were sitting at a stop sign at the end of a deserted road in our Ninja vee-hickle. The GG was talking to one of his brothers on the phone while checking out our position on his GPS and looking at maps on my his laptop. I was using my iPhone to “live-blog” our trip on Twitter and harass Dogmomster via email. And I was quilting. I wonder what he’d’ve busted us for. The GG’s stash of booze was in the trunk. I think that’s legal. Quilting? Hmmm. But then somebody else went by that attracted his attention and he took off after the other poor sucker who probably was doing something illegal. Speeding, I suppose.

Click here or on the pic for more. G’night, KW.

Quilting on the plane

Friday, March 13th, 2009

alarmI was going to stay home this weekend and work on picking away at all the shambling mounds. But then The GG decided he wanted to go on a little field trip over to Lake Huron and back on Saturday (that would be tomorrow) and I jumped at the chance to take that trip. I know. It probably doesn’t sound exciting to most folks. Who the heck would want to drive around in mid-northern Michigan in March? Shades of brown punctuated by moldy heaps of snow in the woods. Well. Me! I love hanging out on the back roads when there aren’t a whole lot of other vee-hickles around. I can see the shapes of the trees for once. And it is actually a weekend when the weather will be non-snowy enough that we have driven the Ninja up here, which is so much fun to drive.

So here we are at Houghton Lake. I worked on my Unfinished Prodject (intentionally misspelled) all the way up and, you know, for the most part, I think quilting could keep me focused on an aeroplane and distracted from all of the teensy-tinesy little noises and changes in altitude that probably only my senses pick up. Because there were only a few times today when I freaked out about what the driver of the Ninja (you know who) was doing. For the most part, I was pretty calm and the hand-sewing helped pass the time. I wasn’t watching mile markers and odometers and calculating what fraction of the distance we had traveled and other obsessive mathematical exercises. And yes, I do that. In my head. Maybe quilting could help me out on airplanes? I mean, I am not really afraid of *flying*. I used to fly with Grandroobly on Sandy Sanderson’s Cessnas when I was a kid. It was always fun. It’s just that I don’t like feeling like I’m not in control. And so I can’t sleep or otherwise veg out. Maybe quilting is the answer? And yes, I am a *horrible* automotive passenger!

Turbulence? Hmmm. I can’t remember which publication I saw it in. It was an informal survey of truck drivers about the ten worst freeways in the country. I was expecting to see something in The Great Lake State right up at the top. Not. I kept reading through the list. Michigan? Nowhere. Until I got to the bottom. Every other item listed a state and a particular stretch of freeway. Number 10 was something like “All roads in Michigan”. Yup. That’s our state. Where you can encounter “Rough Road Ahead” signs on the freeway when there *isn’t* construction going on. Turbulence? Yeah. Turbulence in a Honda Civic. On a paved road rated for 70 mph. Sheesh!

Crocuses (croci?)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

crocusI tried to look up the genus and species for crocus and found that, wouldn’t you know, *Crocus* is the *genus*. Who the heck knows what species these little shoots are. But it’s March and we have crocus (croci?) in spite of the continued bone-chilling temperatures. These are just about the only flowering plants in the Landfill yard that manage to escape the murderous clumsiness of the infamous and notorious Black Thumb Banana. These crocus bulbs have been here since we bought the Landfill almost 25 years ago. And there are some tulips and daffodils around too. Maybe a few iris or lilies or whatever they are. In general, Black Thumb Banana has killed off just about everything. The unfortunate plants who have the bad luck to have to reside in the Landfill backyard cringe and shrink down into the ground every time they hear the booming galumph of Black Thumb’s footsteps heading into the back yard. “Who is she gonna step on this time?” “Who is she gonna pull up?” “Wait, wait! I’m not a weed!”

I’ll leave you with this sign that however black the economy may be, spring will return to the Great Lake State someday. Even though it is *still* winter and there are still blackened piles of snow in cold spots around here and it is still pretty darn cold. I was sitting with MTCB in the back of Barry’s this morning and we were squinting out at the snow that was falling. It was a sniggly little bunch of snow showers that didn’t stick. Business as usual. By this time of the year, we just deal with it around here. If we get a significant snow accumulation, we don’t always even shovel. It usually melts by the next day or two anyway. Life in the Great White North.

Yarg. G’night. Long but fun week. And one more day to go.