Archive for August, 2012

White hot rage against the machine

Friday, August 31st, 2012


My body apparently knew how horrifically awful today would turn out to be because I had to draaaagggg myself outta bed today and then I had to draaaagggg myself to work. I was ecstatic when we were told we could leave at 3 today. I briefly considered leaving for HL this afternoon but I soon came to my senses and realized that maybe I could get some laundry or something done instead and we could walk to the Oscar Tango for dinner and get a nice early start tomorrow.

Alas, it was not to be. At 2:30 or so I got a call from the Apple Store, saying that my laptop repair was finished. I was ecstatic. They had told me 5-7 days and this was only three. Okay, so I will pick up my computer on the way home. Great.

Except when I got there, I found out that they had done two things: 1) Replace the trackpad. 2) WIPE MY HARD DRIVE!!!! No other information and the chirpy little flibbertygibbet was absolutely NO HELP. ??????

Now. This is complicated. 1. I THOUGHT that the Dreaming-of-Portland “genius” who sent my laptop away had UNDERSTOOD that I didn’t think that the trackpad was the issue and that we were looking for an underlying problem. 2. Mr. Dreaming-of-Portland did tell me that they MIGHT have to wipe my drive but I understood that to be IF and ONLY IF they needed to replace a “logic board” or my hard drive or whatever. 3. All of the other times I have had my trackpad replaced, they have done it WITHOUT wiping my hard drive. So why the FUCK did these frigging idiots wipe it if all they did was replace the trackpad?

I’m already boring you enough with this. I won’t go into the multiple phone calls that have been made and how I was promised a call from an Apple Store manager and have yet to receive one. “Steve”, an Apple tech support guy did call and talk me thru starting up a file restore from our time machine. He was cool and actually treated me as if I wasn’t walking around at 100. I hope Dreaming-of-Portland ends up out there. Portland can have him. I hope Apple doesn’t hire him. Maybe he can get a job rolling the Starbuck’s garbage cart out to the alley? Sorry but I was not impressed. But then, I don’t think Apple pays those people doodly-squat.

And you get what you pay for. Take a note, all of those who are firing teachers et al.

What a clusterfuck! The only question that remains is how DO I get my recurrent laptop issue fixed if the “geniuses” at the Apple Store refuse to take me seriously and keep on replacing my trackpad without looking for the real issue?

Gawd I hope tomorrow is a better day…

I was thinking maybe I need a dorg

Thursday, August 30th, 2012


It was the skunking hour and I was sound asleep. And then. I awoke with a start as “something” lightly brushed my exposed shoulder. WHAT WAS THAT? I dozed off again. I felt it on my foot! Then it got the GG. “It’s a MOUSE!” said he.

A mouse? In the bedroom? We do periodically get mice (scurry mice, that is, as opposed to puffalump mice, which are welcome here). But they stay in the chitchen where the food is. Or occasionally the dungeon, where they have been known to make nests in boxes of old clothes, etc. Which makes it easy to fling things. Bedroom? I do NOT eat in bed.

It was time to get up and face the day, so I took a shower and then headed off to the chitchen. I washed a couple of glasses that were left over from last night and put the clean dishes away. As I opened the glassware cupboard, I glimpsed something furry dashing across the counter. YIKES! There it is. I didn’t get a good enough glimpse to note its size. All I saw was fur.

And then… The aminal jumped off the end of the counter and hightailed it out to the back room. Holy kee-reist! It was at least five or ten times bigger than a MOUSE! Yeesh! Was it a RAT? We can handle mice around here but a rat infestation would likely require professional intervention. But it was bigger than the only rat I have ever known up close and personal. That would be Mouse’s loverly pet rat Izzy. And that tail… It was thick and furry… Not rat-like at all.

I dragged the GG out of bed. Not an easy task. I guess he would’ve rather stayed there while a “mouse” scurried around the house randomly running across his body. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger was already strategizing camping out at Mouse’s apt or npJane’s condo or even Bugs & Horsey’s luxury hotel! He got up grudgingly to do Old Baggy’s bidding, i.e., help find the aminal. To our great surprise, our friend was easily found hunkering down in the plastic container I use to collect composting materials, munching on veggies. A young SQUIRREL!!! We quickly covered the compost thingy with a cookie sheet and the GG carried the whole shebang outside and released the squirrel. He was doing a Burke so I hope none of the new neighbors were watching…

How did it get inside the Landfill? Weeellllll… It is a DRY summer. There are NO BUGS!!! That means that, when we open the sliding doors in the back room, we do not necessarily remember to keep the screens closed. I couldn’t give you a blow-by-blow of last evening’s events if I tried but I will guess the side door was open long enough for a young squirrel to get in and then closed before he could find his way back out.

After this loverly little episode, I was thinking maybe I should get a dorg. I know that a dorg would not let me sleep a whole night not knowing that a SQUIRREL was in the house. I mean, these froogs are USELESS! They probably got the squirrel drunk on listerine and laundry detergent or something. On the other hand, if I had a dorg, I would be forever dealing kwith with dorg poop. These froogs don’t poop.

Of course, given this morning’s incident, the $50,000 question is: how much squirrel poop and where?

Fling-a-ding episode 573827.373

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


My own flinging prodject intentionally misspelled is at a minor stall. I am not *exactly* out of steam. More like I am doing the usual end-of-summer chicken dance, one that seems to be on steroids this year. In and outta town as if the I75 SUV Speedway was just a big revolving door. And there is an upcoming air trip. And work work work. Even my regular household cleaning routines are suffering. Flinging? I’ll get back to it. For now, I am trying not to beat up on myself too much.

Then. Yesterday I received a text message from a beach urchin. Something like: Have been here [“here” being The Landfill] going through all the stuff in my closet. Me: Yaaaaayyyy!!

A lot of the stuff in The Landfill does not belong to me and therefore it isn’t really my job to fling it. Still, it is getting to be time to get rid of most of the kid stuff. The kids are responsible adults now. I just wish I hadn’t loaded them up with so much cosmic debris in the first place.

I remember when I was an 20-something with a career in a distant city and The Commander finally cleared out the last of my stuff. I remember feeling more relieved than upset about her going through my stuff. I was probably more upset that for some odd reason, she insisted on saving an artifact from the only art class I ever took in college. It wasn’t something I was proud of. It looked like something I might have made in about 5th grade and I think I finally squirreled it outta there and burned it or something.

Anyway, a lot of stuff got flung yesterday and I am a happy camper even though I was not the flinger. The more stuff we can get rid of the better. And there were many fun moments of re-discovery. Like why did I ever make / buy that article of clothing. Kiddo, I did that too.

The kiddo spent the night and managed to get up early enough to have a coffee with me at the Plum Market Zingerman’s. I could’ve sat over there all day…

I think the one on the left needs some nostril rings, don’t you?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

So, after a whole morning of wrangling HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with one of our top-notch developers, I headed over to the apple store “genius” bar to [finally] drop off my lemonish MacBook Pro.

Can I just repeat for the umpteenth time that I headed to the Apple Store with the usual trepidation. Hey, even though I have owned and programmed computers since 1980, and currently work as a systems analyst in the online banking industry, the “geniuses” over at the Apple Store always seem to initially evaluate me as some baggy old broad who is looking for help making a sideshow of photos of her grandchildren. (Say what?) Oh this gal doesn’t know anything about “gestures” or whatever and needs some basic instruction. (SAY WHAT?)

I always get the feeling that maybe the genius thinks it is something I am doing wrong and not a problem with my high-end late model musheen. My teeth weren’t clenched this time. I threw my tantrum last night and I was over the anger by this afternoon. I rather wearily interrupted my genius to volunteer the information that I had been programming computers since before he was born 1980. I am frickin’ sick of having to tell Apple Store “geniuses” stuff like this. I do not know it all. Heck, there’s way way way too much for any one person to know. But I am not some baggy old broad who can’t even use a browser and I do know when my track pad doesn’t work, fer kee-reist.

Whatever. My MacLemon will be back in 5-7 days. I will make do until them. It’ll be back before we head to the San Juans and I wasn’t planning to take it there anyway. Iphone & iPad. Travelin’ light.

Where there is a will, there is a way…

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Back in the day, posting a blog entry every day could sometimes be a challenge.. In those days it was usually because an Internet connection could not be found. And I am including even dial up Internet connections. I can’t remember the last time I had to use a dial up modem. Nowadays even up in that you were late and The Yooperland we have Wi-Fi and this summer we can even find some little pockets of 4G on the beach.

Posting a blog entry today is a challenge of a different sort. My love early loverly late-model Macbook Pro laptop is acting up again. The trackpad isn’t working and I don’t seem to be able to beat it into submission this time. So I have given up and made an appointment at the Apple genius bar.

After I got over having a temper tantrum (which thankfully no one was here to witness (I can’t print this ferry ticket and I don’t wanna load fricking Powerpoint!!!)), I got creative. Like I used to do in the old days when there wasn’t an internet connection readily available or there was just dial-up or whatever. How can I post a blog entry (with a photoooo) easily without the keyboard? I mean, I’ve posted from my phone before but it is a pain in the you-know-what.

Okay… I have an iPhone for S iPhone 4S and it’s pretty good at translating my words into text — not perfect but pretty good. And I have an iPad too. It’s an old iPad but it’s pretty good for typing. Saul So, I did my post via voice into my iPhone and then I went back in with the iPad and edited. Added some punctuation and struck out some of the funniest mistakes (and replaced them).

This method of posting is not all that easy but I think it is easier than the days when I either had to use a dial-up modem or call next stumbling go out MacStumbling for an unlocked Wi-Fi connection.

And, in the end… I made myself jump back onto my MacBook because I couldn’t manage the photoooo from my iPhone/iPad the way I wanted to and… Wouldn’tchya know, it is acting like the high-end beastie that it is supposed to be. (And I paid for…) Sigh…

Now trying to decide whether or not to keep that “Genius” Bar appointment….


Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Up early today. Walked to one end of the beach…

And the other…

Then full-tilt boogie mobilization. Packing… Clothes, garbage, laundry, food, recycling, technology, kayaks, I dunno what else. Oh, yeah Froog and Green Guy stowed away at the last minute. (They are NOT going to the San Juan Islands with us so don’t get any ideas, you guys!) Cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen sink / counters and the GG did a perfunctory sweep job. And here we are ready to launch, saying seeya in the next episode to Bugs and Horsey.

Meant to stop by to see the UU and TBG but apparently the Twinz of Terror did not quite communicate the fact that UU / TBG were at their home in *Gaylord* (hello) and *not* at Houghton Lake. So much for telepathy between identical twins. So that was a bust. HL next weekend? Also, Houghton Lake feels almost tropical right now.

Nobody was at the Group Home @ HL and we were puzzled at first but I do check facebook and lo, there was a photoooo of folks out having a good time on the Green Boat. It was geotagged at the Silver Dollar Saloon, which is on *Higgins* Lake, and taking a boat from Houghton Lake to Higgins Lake requires a trailer trip. Those folks wouldn’t be back any time soon, so we continued on down the I75 SUV Speedway, taking a detour down M13 through Alger, Sterling, Standish, Pinconning, Kawkawlin and I fergit what else. No we did *not* stop at the cheese shop. Apparently “we” have enough 12-year-old cheese around here. But we did look at a kayak. (But not at the cheese shop.) Didn’t buy today. But… It would be nice if we owned enough kayaks to stash them in various places and not have to schlep them all the time. Of all things, the kayak woman (salesperson) we talked to wants to move to Sault Ste. Siberia! Hmmm… I am selling a house there…

Beach day

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

I did the absolutely minimum today. Breakfast with the clan at Willabee’s, one quick run to town, threw together the easiest dinner on earth (bbq chicken, rice, local corn on the cob, salad), then hit the beach. Unmotivated? Yep. It was so hot on the beach (and everywhere else) today that I sat up on the bank where it was still shady until after about 1:00 PM or thereabouts.

It was so hot this afternoon that we (me and our visitors Sam and JCB) walked in the water.

Another water walk and then a quick swim to cool off before dinner. We marveled at the moon rising behind the trees. If you click over to Sam’s blahg, you will see a different version of this sunset:

And then an evening on the deck. Perfect temperature and very few moe-skee-toes.

Gooooooooood niiiiiiiight.

P. S. Can I just say that YES we were all taking advantage of the Veteran Greenhorns wi-fi with all of our loverly devices. None of this crazy “unplugged” stuff for us. Good times.

Friday, August 24th, 2012

One of these days, I will be able to spend a weekend or more up here at the moominbeach without having to do a bunch of business type stuff or schlep cosmic debris around or whatever. That’s not this weekend. I won’t even begin to try to describe today’s business but there was a bit of in-between time during which we were at loose ends in Sault Ste. Siberia. The Commander’s house is almost completely empty now so there really wasn’t much point in spending a lot of time there. So we headed over to Ashmun Bay, where we encountered this vista:

That’s the John B. Aird in the background, for future reference. We had about an hour and a half to kill and a bit of euphoria to deal with (at least on my part) and I eyeballed the John B. Aird coming down and the Presque Isle waiting to go through the Poe Lock and I said, “Let’s go walk around the locks!” Bingo. That was the ticket!

We watched my new fav-o-rite boat Baby Blue (aka the Ken Boothe Sr) go up via the Poe Lock.

Remember the John B. Aird? Here it is coming downbound into the MacArthur Lock. I am on the observation deck and it looks stormy to the west but all we got was some garden-variety rain. But we needed that. I was ecstatic!

Here’s a closeup of the Aird entering the lock.

I have been going to the locks all my life. I remember when the worst thing you had to endure when entering the locks was the ladies who bombarded you with tourist pamphlets. (Errr, I grew up here, don’t need that…). These days, you have to submit to a cursory search upon entering the locks park, although today, for whatever reason, nobody (security guards or pamphlet ladies) was around when we entered. And then, I was walking around texting my daughter when a cute perky young female security person approached me with, “TEXTING IS NOT ALLOWED HERE!” Meeeee, being a rule-follower [except when I am not], quickly stopped texting and asked (in horror), “Really?”. She laughed and told me that she was just kidding. I laughed too and we parted as friends but I can’t help thinking what kind of a society we Americans have talked ourselves into. My knee-jerk reaction was to think I was doing something wrong. Even though probably 75% of the folks up on the observation deck were taking photooos and texting, emailing, or posting them to facebook or instragram or wherever…

Need an apparation app. Not sure I would do well with floo powder.

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

With floo powder, I’d probably end up down in one of the [two] holes in My Dear Uncle Harry’s Outhouse. Pick one. I guess the problem with either of those technologies would be how you schlep all of your cosmic debris with you. We (thank you god or whoever) did not haul the snowbilly trailer up to the yooperland with us today. But we did stop at The Beautiful Gay’s beautiful house (see photooo) long enough to pick up the *kayak* trailer and have a glass of whine on her deck and look at the latest pictures of her newest grandchild. At least *I* had a glass of whine. I was done driving for the day. Actually, I asked for a half glass and that was probably a good thing because the UU and TBG have HUUUUUUGE whine glasses so I pretty much got a full glass. Which was fine, of course. >wink< But does your cosmic debris schlep with you when you apparate?

Babblety babblety. Anyway, here we are in the yooperland again, just for the weekend this time. The last inhabitants (last weekend) were Lizard Breath and her life-long friend and can I just say that if I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought that The Beautiful Gay had been in here to scour the place after they left. Thank you Liz and C for leaving the place in such a loverly condition. And they didn’t even guzzle up all of the ‘hattan juice. The GG walked in and immediately noticed open windows. “She left the *windows* open”, he said. “Ohhhh, noooo, she didn’t,” said I. I was the first one in by a long shot (he was unhooking the kayak trailer) and I immediately set about opening windows and putting the screens into the doors. Warm and humid in a very comfortable way here but stuffy inside because when nobody is here, we *have* to shut the windows, etc. So kudos to Lizard for being a responsible adult and leaving the moomincabin probably cleaner than she found it. If I were The Commander, I would feel obligated to add that *all* of her grandchildren were equally wonderful. This always cracked me up. The truth is that they *are* all equally wonderful but I am complimenting *one* of them on a very particular thing, a thing that affects my life directly and in an immediate sense, since I am the next person to inhabit the moomincabin.

I kind of wanted to stay at The Beautiful Gay’s house all weekend but we had to get back on the road. One of these days…


Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Urban pee spot. Except do not pee if there is a guy standing there watching…

Rescue plants

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

First and foremost, I did not take that beautiful photo. Dogmomster took it and I stole it off of her facebook page.

I had no problem triaging The Commander’s clothing or furniture. I am slowly triaging all of her kitchen stuff, books, and papers, etc. House plants… In the dark days after her death in late February, I wondered what to do… Sigh. During the last year of The Comm’s life, her house plants suffered. Her wonderful cleaning lady / friend watered them on the occasions I hired her to do her “thing” and we would commiserate about how bad we both were with house plants. The GG always remembered to water them when he was there. Me? Not so much. I do not do well with house plants. I either neglect them entirely or drown them. There is no in-between.

I didn’t know what to do with all of those plants. Compost? Throwing healthy living plants into the compost was too sad. Therefore, I was greatly relieved when Lizard Breath and Dogmomster enthusiastically adopted The Commander’s house plants. And I am now overjoyed to know that The Comm’s plants are thriving. Well, there is still that one huuuuuge pot with the “tree” in it. We have managed to get it to The Landfill. Gearing up to get it to Fabulous Ferndale.

Dogmomster adopted a big pot of African violets that desperately needed to be separated and repotted. I wouldn’t have known that but she did it and the photo is of one of the new pots that is blooming. I have seen the plants that Lizard Breath adopted and they are doing well too. How can all of you people have such wonderful green thumbs?

Thank you.

Disclaimer: I will not be upset if any of The Commander’s plants do not make it. I am okay with that. We have done our best and that’s all we can do.

Legitimate Tools

Monday, August 20th, 2012

I am sitting on my hands tonight. You are happy about that. Y’all prob’ly know I have opinions about tools and I bet most of y’all even know what they are. I’ll spare you.

Instead, here are a couple of grainy old newspaper photoooos of the farmhouse The Commander grew up in. These are from back in 1969, right before it got torn down so Garden City could build a Burger King. My granddaddy owned the place at the time but he and Bolette had lived in Detroit for many years, so there were renters and I only [vaguely] remember touring the house once, shortly before it was sold and bulldozed. I lived within blocks of my Fin grandparents’ house and often stayed overnight there so I know the landscape of that house like the back of my hand. The Mac house I can only imagine…

My granddaddy and his brother-in-law wrote a little history of the house that this newspaper printed. I’ll just hit the highlights.

John Lathers, from County Cavan, Ireland originally obtained the land sometime back in the 1800s. He would be my great-great grandfather.

Part of the land went to his son Robert Lathers (my great-grandfather if you’re keeping score) and Robert “R. J.” built the house in 1889 with the help of a nephew and a hired hand. His purpose? To entice a “city girl” Julia Everett (my great-grandmother!) to marry him. Area “farm wives” deemed it “a love of a house”.

Robert was successful in his enticement and he and Julia begat Emily, Cyrus, and Lillian. Emily being the grandmother I never met because she was killed in a car accident when The Comm was 15. I heard a lot about Lillian as a kid but never met her. I met Uncle Cy once, at my grandfather’s funeral. He was ancient then and I doubt that he knew or cared who the heck I was. (I met his son and family once when they “looked The Comm up” at the moominbeach and they were weird. I was only 10 then but I got the idea that The Comm thought they were weird too.)

In 1914, Emily (my grandmother) married Ralph MacMullan (my grandfather). He was from Chicago but he often visited his grandparents in the Garden City area. Their families were friendly and Emily and Ralph were childhood playmates.

Around 1924, some of the land was divided and my grandparents took over the house and raised their five children there, including The Comm.

In 1927, the Village of Garden City was incorporated and Ralph MacMullan (my grandfather) became its first village clerk at a salary of $400/year (don’t worry, he had a decent day job…).

I don’t even know if there is a Burger King on this piece of property any more. I have the address. I suppose will have to do Google Streetview and look…

Make up yer own title…

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

One of my favorite times to walk is early in the morning, especially in the hour or so surrounding sunrise when the light is so spectacular. Even an amateur iPhoneographer like meeee can manage to get some randomly good shots at that time of day. I was angling for an early morning walk down by the river today but my hiking buddy has been fighting a summer cold all week and he needed a couple of extra sleep cycles, so I took my regular skunk walk and then hit up the Jackson Rd. Meijer, which is where I go when I need to buy stuff like toilet paper and scrubbing bubbles and things. And I had a few bottles to return and two jars of coins from The Commander’s house to dump into the Coinstar musheen. 729 pennies anyone? Actually there were 741 but the other 12 were Canadian and I threw them in the adjacent trash barrel. Yes, I did. I used to love to sort out coins and roll them but life is too short and my time is worth more than the hassle of rolling coins and taking them over to the bank to deposit, especially since I work during the hours the bank is open. Besides, the Coinstar musheen is fun!!!!

We had a tentative plan to go out to breakfast (or not) and by the time I got back from the Jackson Rd. Meijer, The GG was up and ready to go. I suggested The Village Kitchen because I had a hankering for a Greek omelet and also it’s an easy walk over there since it’s right smack in the middle of the Plum Market parking lot and I walk over there all the time.

After *that*, we got into the Ninja and did a little bit of local exploration. We actually had a plan of sorts. I wanted to check out the new foot bridge across the Huron River down at the Dexter-Huron Metropark. We actually paid for a Metropark day pass so we could go *in* the park and, well, *park* and walk over to the bridge. Which is finished and beautiful (but I couldn’t really get a good pic). At the moment, it is Washtenaw County’s Bridge to Nowhere because the portion of the Washtenaw Border-to-Border Trail it will eventually connect to is not finished yet. It’s okay. I can wait. I sorta hope it won’t be paved but if it is, I’ll live.

Elsewhere in the Dexter-Huron Metropark, we encountered a labyrinth! It is a very small one put together by a girl scout troop a few years ago. Still, I loved following the stones to the center (shown in the first pic) and then unwinding myself back out. According to the accompanying sign, a labyrinth is not the same as a maze.

Back home for more sleep cycles (for those who needed them) and work (as in job) and picking away at chores for the rest of us. I took a little walk around the back yard and found that Mouse’s berry patch is doing very well. That means that the plants are not dying. The strawberry plants are flowering like crazy but if there are berries, I think Henry is getting them. I also found a lot of weeds and so I put my glubs on and, uh, weeded them. Some of them. More to do…

Then, in the later part of the afternoon, we headed over to the newly built Scio Woods Preserve. A two-and-a-half mile trail through a gorgeous woods. With a cornfield along one of the edges. Minutes from The Landfill and if we ever get any damn snow around here, it’ll make for a quick x-c ski escape.

This is probably the most boring post on earth but I needed a day like today because we are gonna be a-rockin’ and a-rollin’ for the next three weekends and after that we have to figger out when to close up the Moomincabin. And. And. And…

Hope your weekend was wonderful. G’night! -KW

Electrofragmothermoglobulators in the freezer. …and bacon…

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

You never quite know what you’ll find when you open the freezer here at the Landfill. Bottle o’ moooooonshaaaahhn? Rennet? (Or was that the refrigimatator?) Dead anole in an Altoids tin? No dead owls, thank you very much.

Today, I opened up the freezer and I was greeted by these electrofragmothermoglobulators. And bacon.

So, whyyyyyy do I have electrofragmothermoglobulators in my freezer? (You know why I have bacon, roight? >wink<) Well… It is becaauuuuse… The other night, I was hanging out in the Landfill Chitchen. It was a beautiful coooool evening and I peered at my trusty old indoor-outdoor electrofragmothermoglobulator thermometer. The one that I’ve been looking at multiple times every day for the last 28 years. As you can see from the second photooooo, it reported something like 105 degrees outside! And 78 degrees in. Say what? I did about five double-takes. I did not have the A/C on. And I could feel a cool breeze coming in the chitchen window. I *knew* it was not 105 degrees outside. We had our share of 100-degree weather earlier this summer but it seems the heat wave has broken (knock on wood). I still felt an almost overwhelming urge to go outside and see for myself. Was it really 105 degrees outside? No, of course it wasn’t. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

Of course, my trusty old electrofragmothermoglobulator thermometer is broken. I can only guess it somehow got “stuck” at 105 back when it actually *was* 105 outside. So we trucked on over to Ace this morning and bought two new electrofragmothermoglobulators thermometers. A fancy digital one for the bedroom and an old-fashioned one for me for the chitchen. Of course the GG Mad Scientist had to test them out and I guess one of his experiments involved the freezer.

I am physically tired tonight. It’s in that good I-used-my-muscles-today way but I am not sure exactly what I did. We walked down to the farmer’s market at 0-skunk-30 this morning. It’s a four mile round trip but we do that all the time and it’s pretty much a no-brainer for me, even hauling a backpack of produce home. And I walked over to the Plum some time in the morning before the traffic got too nuts. Other than that? All I can say is that this morning, there were something like seven boxes of books, papers, and cosmic debris in my living room. Tonight there is exactly one. I spent *hours* sorting and filing stuff today. I made 67 trips up and down the Landfill Dungeon stairs. I made 105 trips to the recycle bin (which is just outside the door but involves a twisty-type move around the corner). I am not finished but I have made a dent. Things that can’t ever be thrown away (until big bugs invade the earth) or can’t be thrown away without more scrutiny or things I decided I didn’t have the psychological energy to sift through today are filed. And then I logged into my job and *worked* for two-and-a-half hours…

Best moment of the day? Running into a fellow YAGmom at the farmer’s market and cackling with her about how the highlights of our lives these days involve loading up trailers or trucks full of cosmic debris and taking it to the dump! Ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump-dump-dump! Ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump-dump-dump! Ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump, ta-da-dump-dump-dump! Ta-da-daaaaaaaaah-ta-da-da-dump-dump-dump!

I think the sun is over the yardarm!

P.S. What is in *your* freezer?

Multi-tasking at the Oscar Tango

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I am absolutely totally utterly dead taaared. I do not have much to say. This is the GG at the Oscar Tango tonight with his iPad, an ancient book dredged outta somebody’s cabin in the yooperland (“Yooperland Lawyer” or something like that), ‘hattan, water, iPhone, and earbuds.

By the time I got home from work this afternoon, the bunk beds (and The Commander’s couch and I dunno what else) were gone. Habitat from Humanity was happy to have them. I have been struggling to gain a fresh head of steam on the Great Flinging Prodject lately. Maybe this will help. It certainly frees up some space here at The Landfill.

Anyway, some party boys at the Moosewood Outfitter downtown asked us what kind of hi-jinks we were gonna get up to tonight and I told them our hi-jinks involved getting up at 0-skunk-30 tomorrow to walk down to the farmer’s market. I didn’t tell them anything about any urban peeing but there was some of that, although it was jungly enough in the Wildwood Woods that I doubt anyone saw anything.

And now I am here, having taken my Friday Night Second Shower, listening to a backdrop of crickets and some suspicious spitting sounds. Yes, I also smell a ceeeegar.

G’night and play nice out there in blahg-land,


Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Well, that was what I *was* gonna blahg about but we’ll hop over that subject for now (snort, snort, get it?). How ’bout prescient dreams instead? Hey, I can haz them. I have run into other people throughout my life who can haz them too. People who are practical down-to-earth critical thinkers who believe in scientific methods and research. Who are passionate about their careers and interests. Who love their families, take care of their children, volunteer in the community, and generally make positive contributions to our society. Who in that batscope hour of the night are also willing to admit that there are a few things going on in the universe that nobody can completely understand. At least not yet.

I have always had a lot of weird, vivid dreams. They fall into various categories: journeying, processing, packing (oh, packing dreams, I hate you so), and alternate reality. Shoreline dreams fall into the alternate reality category. An itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny yellow polka dot fraction of my dreams are prescient.

So? Whennnn ammmmm iiiii gonna diiiiiiiiiie, you are asking? (Or maybe it’s, “what color is my aura?”) I dunno. I am not the Oracle at Delphi. Actually, I am pretty crappy at this whole thing. First, my prescient dreams don’t exactly run a whole movie about an impending event. Often they involve people and places that have nothing to do with the event. And then there’s the whole [ahem] thing where I don’t usually know a dream has predicted something until that thing happens. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. You would have to be inside my head to know and trust me, most of you do NOT want to be there. (The Grinchie and a few others are probably gnoffing at this point…)

Twice in my life, I have had dreams that I was absolutely sure predicted something before it happened. I’m not gonna tell what those were. I never will. Again, those dreams weren’t movie trailers of future events, but I was unsettled by them until whatever thing it was happened.

My best example of dreaming something that did happen but not figuring it out until later is probably 911. I had a horrific dream that morning of our family beach on Lake Superior filled with smoke and faaaarrr trucks and it seemed like we were under attack somehow from something besides moe-skee-toes. Y’all can laugh and call me nutsy if you want but that *was* my dream that morning. I was working from home for YAG then and for whatever god-forsaken reason, I didn’t turn on the radio that morning and so I didn’t know until the GG got sent home from his fed job at 11 AM or whatever that the trade center towers had been attacked. But, like I said, I am not the Oracle at Delphi, so even if I *had* known that that dream was prescient (and I do think it was), what could I have done? If I had tried to call the White House (or even the local po-leese) they’d have probably dismissed me as being psychotic.

Prescient dreams have been a part of my life forever. They don’t make me special. Not at all! When I was young, they freaked me out. Now, not so much. I know how much I *don’t* know these days and it humbles me.

And finally… It’s my blahg and I’ll cry if I want to. And post crazy stuff like my very occasional and uninterpretable prescient dreams. Or boring stuff like I usually do because, as I told so many people at my recent high school reunion, my job would be boring to anybody but meeeeee. This here little blahg has very very humble beginnings and, although I love and welcome comments, it is still my space to write. Y’all are only getting the parts of me that I want to write about or *can* write about without violating someone else’s right to privacy. It’s all a balancing act and I haven’t been anywhere near good at gymnastics since I was about five, so sometimes I fall off the balancing beam.

Love y’all, especially my troll-ish people >wink<,

P.S. I was joking about having prescient dreams about the freighter Tregurtha’s recent difficulties. I don’t think that my dreams the night before predicted that at all.

Banana Buana hands

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

As the story goes, the beach urchin Lizard Breath was once a teensy tinesy little baby girl. A walking baby by that time, who liked banana buana. Until she didn’t. Because, don’tcha know, one of the axioms of raising children is that, as soon as you find a food that they like to eat, you buy ten tons of that particular food and then they suddenly refuse to eat it. Anyway, while she was still in a banana buana eating phase, she once walked around our bedroom wall making banana buana hand tracks along the way. I know it’s hard to tell what this is but it is actually a banana buana hand print that we have never managed bring ourselves to paint over.

So, the now 20-something banana buana handed kid came over and cooked us a stir-fry tonight (and took the banana buana hand photo) and subsequently headed off to other adventures. I keep thinking about cooking stir-fry and not quite getting it together. Now I have some great leftovers and all I had to do (and that was optional) was to clean off chicken-y cutting boards and bowls and things. And since I am a fanatical dish-processor, that was no problem.

But all that is not the most interesting news of the day. Probably the most interesting news of the day is that the lake freighter Paul Tregurtha, biggest boat on the great lakes (at least last I looked), went aground in the lower St. Mary’s River! In fact, it is aground both fore and aft, SIDEWAYS across the channel, which means (I think) it is blocking shipping traffic in both directions. Update: I was wrong. It is only blocking downbound. I was wrong. I did say “I think”, roight? Boatnerd has photoooos. We are not up at the moomincabin right now. I am sure that if we were, we would’ve driven down by the rock cut (near where the boat is aground) and tried to get our own photooos. I had absolutely TERRIBLE shoreline-type dreams last night. I hope those dreams were not prescient.

Blast from the past

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

I think of this loverly little document (click to embiggen) from time to time and have kind of wondered where it might have wandered off to. Wouldn’t you know, The Commander saved it. Can you guess what it is? (I’ll tell later on.)

It dates from the winter of 2006. That was the loverly winter that my then almost 87-year-old coot fell and smashed his pelvis. He was taking his daily walk down the escarpment in Sault Ste. Siberia to get the mail and newspaper. After some fiddly-doodling around that I won’t even try to explain, a very nice policeman located The Commander and Grandroobly was somehow convinced to take an ambulance ride down to the ER. Where they promptly prepared the parental units for an air ambulance ride to the Henry Ford Hoosegow in downtown Dee-troit. We can do regular old hip replacements here. You’ve got something more complex. Alas. The Commander was given a half hour to go home and pack.

He was at the HF Hoosegow for 23 days if I’m remembering accurately. He survived two long surgeries to reconstruct his pelvis and spent 11 days in the ICU. Naturally that meant that The Commander was there for that whole time too. I think she had managed to grab ONE sweater before she got hustled onto that air ambulance. I was not gainfully employed at the time and I managed to make it over there from here (45 miles or so) on The Planet Ann Arbor all but a couple of the days they were there.

The Commander was virtually trapped at the hoosegow. She had an “apartment” there but she had no car and, given that the hoosegow is in downtown Dee-troit, taking a walk was not advised. The HF Hoosegow is a world class teaching hoosegow but it is also the kind of place where vee-hickles fairly routinely drive up to the ER, dump people with gunshot wounds out, and drive away. Now, The Comm grew up in the Dee-troit area and began her career working at the downtown Hudson’s store but after 60 years in the Yooperland? Things have changed just a wee bit in Dee-troit. Hmmm… Mom, stay on the hoosegow campus. I actually didn’t have to tell her that. She had no intention of leaving that place. Not even for an overnight with us on The Planet Ann Arbor.

Communicating with her? That was a problem. She had a cell phone but it did not have service in Dee-troit. There was a landline in her “apartment” but it was unfamiliar as was the apartment and she struggled with it. One day, I could not for the life of me locate her down there by phone and I ended up DRIVING down to make sure everything was all right. After that, we resurrected an old cell phone that one of the beach urchins had before they took off to college in Kalamazoo — where *their* cell phones didn’t have service.

If you haven’t guessed, this was the “user guide” I made for The Comm. And guess what? It worked!*

My dad? He survived both operations and made it back to his beloved Sault Ste. Siberia (by ambulance) where he was to go through rehab. Alas, he lived about another 3-4 weeks. It was his time. He lived for being able to move. Walk, run, ski, sail, drive, fly, you name it. Sitting in a nursing home / rehab facility? Not so much. A younger person may have survived. Dad didn’t have the will at that time. Stopped eating, developed horrific bedsores and died of sepsis. When people start trying to push nutritional drinks like Boost or Ensure upon an elderly person, it is probably getting around to be that person’s time.

I’m not gonna save the paper version of this artifact but I’m glad I found it again.

*The Commander was legendary in terms of using technology in later life. She was good at beating up on computers and, at her request, we helped her buy an iPhone a couple years before she died. She could use those beasties up until her health began to get the better of her.

Did I already post this photoooo?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I dunno. Prob’ly. If I did, deal with it >wink<

Soooo, back to work hi ho! Er, not. I mean I went back to work today but for a couple of hours I was the only person on my team that was there! Twilight Zone continues? I knew that New Cat-Herding Person (formerly Cube Nayber) and FZ were on vacay this week. But where were all the rest? About 9:30, I finally walked over and checked the time-off calendar. W1.5 was also on vacay, which I shouldda guessed because I didn’t see his wife on my 0-skunk-30 walk this morning. That left New Cube Nayber and the LSCHP.

It isn’t unusual for the LSCHP to wander in and out whenever, including evenings and weekends (not that I am ever there at those times). In fact, a couple years ago, he was out for a week or so and then I was out on scheduled vacay and *then* when I got back, he was out for a couple days *again*. *Finally* one morning I heard him come in and I scuttled over to his office and asked, “Remember me?” So it isn’t unusual for the LSCHP to be MIA at any given moment. New Cube Nayber? Not so much.

I settled in and got down to the business of answering questions from dev-type people, tinking away at specs and some gnarly javascript that I wrote before vacay and had to re-wrap my brain around. Eventually the two MIAs trickled in. Oh yeah, did I mention 0-skunk-30? Because it is now DARK when I leave for my morning skunk walk. The skunks are out at that time of day and it smelled SKUNKY around The Landfill when I left this morning. So I cannot just veg out while walking. I have to keep my eyes peeled! (Hey Sam, are there skunks in Hotlanta?)

What else. I am already sick of the traffic here. My vee-hickle is a 6-speed manual. It goes between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd very nicely thank you very much but it gets damn boring trundling around using [mostly] only those gears. And I am NOT a speed demon. But STOP LIGHT STOP LIGHT STOP LIGHT. Note to planet: that new Costco on Ellsworth Road and the accompanying stop light is making a MESS!!! FIX IT!!!

Also, I almost cannot listen to the radio any more but that is not a topic I can even attempt to be coherent about tonight. Or maybe ever.

Traveling Twilight Zone

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

All I wanted was a blasted cup of coffee. How hard could that be? I was driving the Ninja, following the Trashmobile down the I75 SUV Speedway through the Yooperland. The plan was to hit the McDonald’s drive-thru in St. Ignace for coffee and whatever. “Medium black coffee and a hash brown,” I said into the intercom. “That’ll be $2.36 [or whatever] at the first window.” So far, so good. I gave the guy my money. Alas, when I got to the second window, there was no coffee! That’s right, NO COFFEE!! They had given the GG the last cup of coffee. Did I want decaf? No I did not want decaf!!! The GG was driving off ahead of me. I didn’t want to wait for them to make a new pot of coffee. I totally panicked. I grabbed the hash brown and told the girl to forget the coffee. I didn’t even ask for my money back. I was practically in tears at that point. Why? I do not know. It was totally stupid. I was on the ledge and I couldn’t talk myself down. I caught up with the GG, who had stopped to double-check the snowbilly trailer before we crossed the bridge. He said something completely reasonable: “Go back and get your coffee.” I was beyond reason by then. Crying and totally pissed off. “Do you want *my* coffee?” he asked. NO I do not want your frickin’ coffee! I think I was angry because he was just ahead of me in line and HE GOT COFFEE… … …

Tell me how a damn MCDONALD’S can be out of COFFEE at EIGHT AM!!!

I remained coffee-less and we crossed the bridge and after a while I calmed down a bit. I still wanted some coffee. Not decaf. Coffee. The next convenient McDonald’s is in Indian River so we ended up getting off there. I wasn’t going to take any chances with the drive-thru this time. No way. I went inside. And found myself in ANOTHER twilight zone! I could not for the life of me figure out the ordering procedure. How do you order coffee at McDonald’s? You get in line, give your order to the kid behind the counter, pay, and get your coffee. Roight? Roight. Except. Not. People were standing there with these little slips of paper and somebody was calling out numbers, like at the deli or someplace. But where did I get a number? I asked another customer. He had a little slip of paper. He looked at me as if I were from Zephron III. FINALLY, I figured out that you ordered your coffee and paid for it and your RECEIPT was your number. Then you had to stand there and wait until they called your number. How long can it take to pour a blasted cup of coffee? I tried desperately to quell my rising panic by picking away at the crossword puzzle on my phone. What did I ever do without an iPhone? Stood around looking like somebody from Zephron III, I guess.

Finally I had my coffee and we were back on the road. But there was yet another episode of twilight zone to come. At the rest area between Saginaw and Bay City. One of the women’s bathrooms was closed for “cleaning”. The other had a blasted line. In part because TWO STALLS were WITHOUT TOILET PAPER! It wasn’t a terribly long line and I wasn’t anywhere near dire straits but c’mon, people. To top things off, there was A MAN in the women’s bathroom! Yes, A MAN! Although I did a double-take, this didn’t actually freak me out too much. He was in there helping a woman (his wife?) in a wheelchair. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do when you are traveling with a disabled person of the opposite gender and that person can’t handle the bathroom by herself. The state can’t even supply enough toilet paper for all the stalls, let alone adequate bathroom facilities for disabled people. I felt empathy for him. He probably HATED being in the women’s bathroom. Still it added to the general strangeness of my encounters with what are usually routine no-brainer situations.

Back to work tomorrow. Hi ho! What the heck do I do for a living again?