Archive for March, 2015

Negative Four

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

reflectionsI dunno if I can write about this coherently or not but I keep reading / thinking about the Germanwings pilot and whether or not he committed “suicide”, taking all of those people along with him. Two babies… At least that’s what I heard. When I was little kid and I heard that a baby had died for some reason, I would always ask my mom something like, “But that baby didn’t know what was happening, did it?” She would always answer, “No, it didn’t”, even though that isn’t exactly true and now that I have been a mother for more years than I care to count, I know that.

I am a nervous flyer to begin with. An internet buddy of mine recently flew to South Korea and got stuck next to a Giant who was drunk when he got on the plane and proceeded to drink a large number of beers. I’m sure he was obnoxious but being me, I’d’ve probably been drinking right along with him (and likely laughing my *ss off) although I would’ve limited it to a few whines. I mean, for one thing, one of the things I hate worse than flying is airplane bathrooms. The one and only time I went in one, I couldn’t get the damn lights to go on and, in trying to figure that out, I accidentally summoned a flight attendant. No I don’t need any help peeing (I had the lights on by then)! Jeebus. Reminds me of the time I accidentally called the Caddylac Onstar lady in the Uncly Uncle’s vee-hickle. NOOO! I don’t need help! I was just trying to adust the radio! (I don’t actually hate flying. I grew up flying. I just hate flying. It’s complicated.)

So, was the pilot depressed or not? I do not know. My own personal not-all-that-informed opinion is that many of the people who are diagnosed with depression are not necessarily on the bipolar spectrum (that’s probably not a correct term, deal with it). The Commander saw a psychiatrist *once* in her life. A well-meaning relative suggested maybe The Comm might be depressed after she had her small stroke at 91. I was living day to day back then, operating on whatever scraps of data came my way (not that I always had a full dataset to work with) and I thought something like, “Why not?” The Comm saw the psych and I was not surprised when she was pronounced *not* depressed.

In her case, she was very upset at losing some of her mobility, her driving privileges, and her house. In other words, her independence. The weekend before the little stroke, she was cooking breakfast for us in her house. She visited her house many times after that but she never lived there again. Is that depression or is it simply anger at having horrifically bad things happen to you that you can’t control. What drug would help with that? I’m glad she wasn’t diagnosed with depression and I’m glad no one prescribed happy pills to deal with it. She didn’t need those.

I could probably write a book about Custom Processes right now (you do not want to know). I’m not sure I can bring this back to the Germanwings pilot and close it in a neat way. I dunno if he was depressed or not. If he was, I dunno why he took a whole airplane down with him. If he was depressed, could he hide a condition like that from his employer? I’ll betcha he could! But not sure that was really what his problem was… Seems like more information comes about this every day. Maybe we’ll never know for sure.

Like the pic? I got many facebook “likes” on this kinda random iPhone photoooo I took as I walked out of the Haisley woods back into my neighborhood. Beautiful rain this morning morphing to bright sunshine this afternoon. At least there was no goddamn ice!

“Ava is dangereuse”

Monday, March 30th, 2015

<metablahg>backroomIf this photoooo (of the GG w/ Turnstile and LB) is not acceptable, I’ll take it down. It provides a glimpse of the Cosmic Debris that resides in the Back Room. This is the room (and its Woods View, which you can’t see) that said to me, “KW! This is your house!” when we toured it 30 years ago. The Back Room is currently arranged in kind of a funky way, a by-product of our kitchen remodel. I’m trying to get along with it. There is a wee bit too much Cosmic Debris for my current taste. Or maybe it’s too much furniture. I don’t have anywhere near as much furniture as my eccentric hoarder aunt Roberta had in her apartment (in maybe a quarter of the space I have in my small house), may she rest in peace. But still.</metablahg>

Did you know that I navigate the “most dangerous” intersection in the Grand Old Great Lake State at least twice a day? A work-day, that is. I didn’t actually know that I was doing that. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, it is a roundabout (or traffic circle or whatever you want to call it). I anticipated this roundabout with much trepidation but I have to say (KNOCK ON WOOD BIGTIME!) that it has been pretty much okay. The scariest moment I have ever had is when I was partially into the roundabout and traffic ahead of me unexpectedly backed up. I think I was “stuck” in the roundabout for maybe 30 seconds but it felt like 10 minutes.

As the article states, the accidents that do happen in the roundabout are usually minor fender bender type things. I have actually never seen an accident in there although last week, there were a couple of vee-hickles up on the central “island” and I couldn’t help wondering why they were there. They were not highly damaged, that I could tell. But I only glanced because I was paying attention to traffic. And I think that is the key. Successful roundabout navigation involves yielding when you approach the roundabout and going s-l-o-w-l-y as you are moving through it. 15 mph is the posted speed limit. Another thing that is key is that you CANNOT navigate a roundabout while texting or doing anything with your phone. You MUST have your eyes on the road IN ALL DIRECTIONS AT ALL TIMES! But y’all knew that so I won’t rant and rave about it.

With the traditional old-school intersection — stoplights and left turn lanes up the wazoo — I often had to wait through three or four lights heading north on S. State at the end of the day and too often I had to sit in stop-and-go traffic for the mile or so between my work and that intersection. (I know I am not dealing with Big City Traffic (hello, Seattle commuters) here!) Nowadays, I only occasionally have to do the stop-and-go thing.

All that said, I wonder how some of the elderly members of our city are handling this. The Commander drove until she had a minor stroke at age 91. There were some scary moments the last couple years of that but it was a small town and MOST of her incidents involved 2-mph scrapes in parking lots or her own garage. “You have to be cagey to back the car out of the garage”. Yes mom, love you mom. I had known for a few years that she would not have been able to manage even the medium-sized-city traffic that we have on The Planet Ann Arbor and I know she would’ve been totally flummoxed by the roundabout I navigate every day.

KNOCK ON WOOD BIG TIME! After writing this, I am gonna be extra careful at that roundabout tomorrow (and forever), knowing that karma could easily swoop in and bite me on my almost-perfect driving record.

“Your iPhone has never been backed up to this computer”

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

fairydoorOof. What a painful, annoying day but in a first world way! Did you infer all of that by the title?

Lemme see… It was a gorgeous (cold) morning and I kind of wanted to do a Glacial Moraine Ride while we can still see the bones of the trees. But taxes. *Finally* done with taxes. I wasn’t involved except for listening to the sighs in the back room and dredging up a few pieces of paper… Not that there is any kind of problem. Just that this stuff is painful, especially if you have to spend a Sunday morning on it. It was okay. I gassed up the Ninja and did a wee bit of grokkery shopping.

And then I decided it might be a good day to *finally* upgrade my iPhone (5S) operating system. That kicked off a whole chain of events. First I had to upgrade my MacBook Pro to Yosemite. That took a couple hours. I got everything upgraded, or so I thought. But then, Lizard Breath came over and we walked downtown (through Miller Woods and West Park!). We bought books at Literati, checked in with Mouse at Kilwin’s, and then took the GG (who drove downtown) over to the Grizzly to help him drown his sorrows over doing the damn taxes.

We hitched a ride back over to the west side with the GG. There was yet another software update (sigh). Thankfully it was a quick one And then. Stuff started coming outta the sky. Lizard Breath and I walked over to the Plum Market with high winds and hail-like pieces of precipitation pinging us in the face. I am now going through the pain of upgrading my iPhone’s operating system. Shouldda done this many moons back. I was afraid to do this last fall because folks that I know had horrifically difficult experiences. But, yaknow what? It actually worked out well for me!

I know all the conic sections

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

garth<metablahg>I go for days and days on end without being able to think of something to blaaaahhhhg about. And then three topics happen at once. An OCD daily bla[aaaa]h[hhhh]gger asks herself, “Do I try to jam them all roly-poly-pell-mell into today’s post or do I save a couple of them for next week when I am heads down boogity-boogity into the technical writing aspect of my systems analyst job and by the end of the day can’t string a sentence like, “Go wash the dishes.” together to save my life.</metablahg>

It turns out that all of my potential posts for the day centered around the GG and his various activities and antics but it was a request of his that made me decide on one. As you can see, it is the anniversary of the guy in the drivers license’s birthday today. He would’ve been [checks birthdate and does math] 93 today. Alas, he died in 2001. His death was not unexpected and many family members made it down to see him that fall including his first great-grandchild, who was a very young infant. The GG wasn’t there when his dad died but traveled down to Fla that Halloween to say what turned out to be goodbye. (and being immediately post 911, his Broker’s knife was confiscated (if I have it right). I bought him a new one. I’m pretty good at going down to Sam’s to get Broker’s knives…)

I cannot put into words how lucky I was to get the parents-in-law that I did. There were a lot of ways in which they were not like my own parents. 10 children for one! On the flip side, as I may have said before, one of my lots in life is large Catholic families. All I can say is that it’s a dern good lot in life!

Still, Garth always felt a lot like a dad to me, I guess he was simply good at being a dad. The title? Garth was a very talented mechanical engineer and he loved to quiz people about math topics. Once, we were eating dinner (or whatever) outside the Moldy Old HL cabin and he asked me if I knew what a parabola was. My answer? Yes, I know all of the conic sections. He never asked me a math related question again.

Miss you Garth. You were a wonderful father-in-law.

When Bad TV isn’t enough to alleviate the stresses of everyday life…

Friday, March 27th, 2015

I am getting so sick of seeing these particular xmas decorations every morning. This cute snowman is one of five or six similar decorations. I’ve lost count.

fri1

I am a HUUUUGE live and let live type person. If you were my neighbor, you’d have to be shooting at me or something to make me call the poleese or sue you or whatever. Noise and trash and cars in the street do not bother me all that much. These people normally leave their xmas decorations out until March and that’s okay. But usually they change over to Easter bunnies a few weeks before Easter. This year not so much. I’m wondering if they’re okay. It’s an elderly couple with an unmarried daughter living next door, as near as I can figger. Did someone die? I’m not sure. Lights are on in both houses when I walk by (early) and the daughter walks a dog and there was a snowplow guy there this winter. Hoarders? I do not know.

Anyway, I was talking about hopscotch yesterday and here is one of the more creative hopscotch grids over at Haisley. I am not sure what those curvy lines are but I kind of love this, as I do the long pink one that crosses over the Sky at the top. I think it goes up to something like 25. Hopscotch Art!

fri2

I was walking downtown completely bundled up with tights and leggings under my skirt and my new Smartwool balaclava underneath my bomber hat. That was a good thing since we were getting hit with snow squalls like this.

fri3

A number of blocks later I encountered this urban sugar bush. These things are all over the west side this “spring”. I don’t have any sugar maples so I guess I’ll be lazy and buy from Besteman’s garage. Hopefully not getting anyone out of the shower. Eek.

fri4

Oscar Tango arrival was so sweet tonight. Fun and friends and I hope we didn’t embarrass our daughter too much. The one who was there separately from us. Gleep.

fri5

Beautiful walk home under a clear, UN-snow-squally twilight sky, looking at Jupiter, Venus, and our own beautiful moon, first quarter today, aka, the half moon.

G’night, KW

Cosmic debris

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

spaceDon’tcha love all of these moons and stars and suns and planets (ringed or not) all squashed up together? It kind of reminds me of the Twilight show that we watched back in the bleak mid-winter. I’m glad I got this crappy photoooo of this cosmos because it doesn’t exist any more. It fell victim to rain / ice here on The Planet Ann Arbor. We needed the rain (but not the ice, grrr).

Some hopscotch games have replaced the cosmos. I have never understood how most kids draw hopscotch games. I didn’t even understand it when I was a kid! My hopscotch games had big squares where you could easily land your foot with plenty of room to spare. I drew pretty darn perfect shapes and I was pretty darn good at hopscotch (what an accomplishment [wink]). Other kids (including the wonderful 2015 Haisley kids) make hopscotch games with teensy tinesy mis-shapen squares that wiggle and waggle around up to whatever number they get up to. 25? Ooookaaay. My childhood hopscotch games looked like the one in this post except that I had two single squares (9 and 10) before the ciel (sky) as opposed to the terra (earth).

hopscotchThinking back, it was probably my two neighborhood kid-sitters and benevolent mentors, Bobbie McGinnis and Connie Malette, who taught me how to make a proper hopscotch game on the sidewalk. Being a bit OCD (although nowadays I FORCE that crap back into the shadows where it BELONGS!) and emulating my older friends, my games were pretty darn perfect.

If I had made a cosmos pic with chalk way back at Stinkin’ Lincoln, the planets would’ve been all lined up in a row, asteroid belt and any known moons included. Scale be damned and Pluto would definitely be included. (It still is for me [grin].) I spent a lot of time perusing the parents fancy new National Geographic atlas, which included the solar system. Thinking back, I know that they bought that thing despite the price because they knew how much time I spent with their old dictionary-sized atlas. [I hope that old atlas is around somewhere but not sure. The Comm spent a lot of time in the last six years of her life getting rid of stuff she didn’t want to saddle me with and that’s okay.]

Anyway, I can’t remember having chalk available to make games or pictures of anything at school. Maybe it was there but when I went out for recess, I made heavy use out of the [dangereuse] playground equipment (including the nine-foot slide) and played 1-2-3 O-LaryLeary with GOLF BALLS! And for a while, a few of us pretended we were the nurses of the “Calfory” (cavalry) when the, uh, boys played cowboys and injuns or whatever.

Wish I had pics of all that stuff. Alas…

Friday night lights

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

lightsI don’t have much today. It’s Wednesday and I have two minds about this particular Wednesday. 1) It’s Wednesday already? 2) How soon will the weekend come? My confusion escalated when I was throwing some stuff in the recycle cart and thinking, “Do I have to wheel this thing out tonight? Oh no, that’s tomorrow night.” A day in the life of The Queen of Recycling. Except that I am *sure* I am not the QOR, here on The Planet Ann Arbor or anywhere. I am a contender though.

The weather gods threatened us with freezing rain in the early hours. I was kind of thinking something like, “Whatever.” When I got up at 0-skunk-30 and looked out the front door, our vee-hickles seemed to be covered with an ice-like substance. It was 34 degrees in my driveway. I made an experimental trip outside to see if the driveway was slippery. It wasn’t and the stuff on zee veeensheeelds seemed to be melty. So I set off on my Skunk Walk. Without YakTrax. It was okay (I mean not slippery) 99.9999% of the time. Except for a couple of spots including the sidewalk from the backside of the school to my neighborhood.

Fortunately, significant rain didn’t start until I got home but there was enough during my Skunk Walk that I got a little bit wet and so I put my black polartech jacked jacket into the dryer for a bit to at least warm it up. It was loverly to put on a warm jacket for the drive to work but… Alas… At the end of the day, when the temperature rose to 50, the zipper on that beloved jacked jacket broke pretty much for good so, when I got home from the Plum, I got on the Internet and ordered a new one. I hope I like it as much as the one I already own. I own several other of those jackets but this one is BLACK, which means I can get away with wearing it with bizcaz (not that anyone I work with would notice or care) and, more importantly, I can be invisible in the dark… [insert spooky music here]

I guess I am done (done done done) here for tonight. I am looking for a return to common sense in general. Take that anyway you want to, whichever of my nine Reglear Nucular Taggers you are. Love y’all. KW.

Data

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

taaarlight0 miles per hour. Stopped at the Stadium / Liberty light. Loooooonnnng light and just turned red for me. Plenty of time to take a pic.

19 degrees F. No comment.

16.7 miles on the trip odometer for the week so far. I reset this every Monday morning because I am a Nerd, not because I am tracking gas mileage. I don’t have a clue what mpg the Ninja gets and I don’t really care. Close yer eyes and pump. 100 years from now, we won’t be commuting via automotive vee-hickles or maybe we won’t be commuting at all. Hopefully the road infrastructure will be maintained well enough that people like me who *like* to drive will still be able to go out and drive. More likely, driving and owning a car will be the privilege of a few elite 1% automobile aficionados who will pay beaucoup bucks for speshul hand-crafted autos and to maintain certain scenic by-ways so they can drive them. That’s as far as I’ll go with my sci-fi book idea. You’ll have to contact my agent [snort].

Engine temp? Warming up but not quite there yet. No heated seats in this thing but they are cloth so it doesn’t really matter. Heated steering wheel? Hmmmm. I know they make those. Definitely snow-mos have them these days. I learned that from a snow-mo gal up at the brewery at Tahq in February when it was 20 below zero or whatever.

Gas-o-leen… The GG might say this is a full tank. It’s pretty good but I will top it off this weekend even if it doesn’t go below half a tank by then and it may not. I’m not afraid I’ll run out of gas. I just don’t like to get low enough that I have to make a stop on the way to or from work. For the record, I have *never* run out of gas. Ever. Once in the Jurassic Age, I was driving my cute little Ford Fiesta to the yooperland and I *was* very low on gas and the engine started sort of “stuttering” or whatever. Like I was out of gas. I got gas. I made it to the parents’ house. But I also hadn’t been out of gas. I was experiencing carburetor ice-up. Who knew? My old WWII pilot dad knew. It was a characteristic of that vee-hickle and boy oh boy it could be a pain in the *ss.

Cruise control: on. At least I think that that green “Cruise main” light says that it’s on. I think that means I can use cruise control if I want to. I have never used cruise control in the Ninja. To me, manual transmission and cruise control do not compute. What am I missing? That said, the last time I used the cruise control in any vee-hickle we’ve owned was the Exxon Tanker Valdez (1989 red minivan). I did not get along well with cruise control in that vee-hickle and I have not used it since in any vee-hickle ever. I would rather control my speed with my foot, not to mention my eyes and ears and instincts. It occurs to me that I could make some kind of a Cruz joke here but I’ll refrain.

Tachometer. I guess that idling at a loooonnnnng stoplight renders 1000 revolutions per minute. I don’t totally understand this (speak slowly I’m blonde). Brother [engineer], where art thou?

One more thing. That [grrrrr] yellow light? You know what that means don’t you? No, I doesn’t mean that I have a flat tire today. I could probably drive with that frickin’ light on for six months and not have a flat tire. On the other hand, I could run over a blasted nail and that light would come on because flat tire. I hate dashboard lights in general. I particularly hate those yellow lights that alert you to things that may or may not be a problem. If you are not mechanically inclined (or INTERESTED in maintaining your car in your driveway), you have to find someone to help you out. I have about 5,000 more words about this but I’ll quit while I’m ahead. You’re welcome!

Taboo Topic

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

bridgeTed Cruz? I do not think so. Not sure about Hillary either although I have grown fonder of her over the years.

It’s too early (for me) to get into the 2016 election and it is waaaay too early for me (in my life) to emulate my old coot’s Stick It phase. I do think that I am getting into his much earlier If He’s a Politician, His Mouth Is Open phase. My Old Coot was not much of a politician, at least in terms of running for office. When I was a kid, he was a lowly bank manager who responded to calls from the police in the middle of the night if the bank was found unlocked, among other things. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. I believe he was a wonderful politician in terms of his career and community. He sat back and observed what his individual customers needed and didn’t ever run his mouth unless he had something to say. Something like that.

I do not practice a religion. I did not bring my children up in a religion. I grew up going to a mainstream protestant church (Central United Methodist) and the GG was brought up Catholic (Shrine of the Little Flower). I have many good memories of my childhood church and a few very bad ones. Am I a Christian? Maybe. But I am also an agnostic and I have not attended church regularly since I was a child. I do believe in the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is one of the rules I try to live my life by. Am I always perfect? Alas, no. Does the conservative Christian religious right actually practice that philosophy? I’m sure some do. Unfortunately, I have experienced the hypocrites first hand.

If this blahg entry doesn’t make much sense it’s because I was multi-tasking last night, talking to a certain visitor who took over the front room to work on a special secret prodject.

A touch of hydrophobia

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

lymeloungeIn the sense of Fear of Water, that is. An alternate definition lists it as a symptom of the rabies disease. I am not rabid. A couple years ago a bunch of skunks in the area were found to be rabid. We’ve been noticing a lot fewer skunks since then. We suspect the city has subsequently engaged in a quiet culling operation. I know they are still out there.

My touch of hydrophobia is actual fear of water. It doesn’t cramp my lifestyle all that much. I take a shower at least once a day. I know how to swim and, as a child, I loved to play in the water. I can go on boats (if it’s not too rough) and I can handle bridges and I can kayak! I have been known to dive or jump into the deep end of a pool or off a raft although I was always a bit nervous about that. When I was a teenager on the moominbeach and there was a raft, I wasn’t crazy about swimming out to it, even though it was not very far off the Second Sandbar. Sometimes you could even walk to it, depending on which way the wind was blowing. Seven/eight feet deep and a short swim at the worst (for me). I had an irrational fear of being thrown off it. Other girls people squealed in delight at being thrown off. I panicked enough that people learned not to throw me off. Other people would jump off with the intention of touching the bottom. I did not do that. I will happily walk out past the Second Sandbar until the water is up to my neck. That is about it for me. I do not like to swim in water over my head. In my life, it’s not that there’s anything down there. No sharks or jellyfish or Green Slime or whatever. Just creeps me out somehow.

I wrote all of that because I cannot believe that, this weekend, I listened AGAIN (TWICE!!!) to the NPR Snap Judgment story about some deep-diving folks who enter a puddle (not) in a South African *desert* and proceed to dive something like 900 feet down through water. Dead divers (long dead and not-so-long dead) are involved in the story and the person who tells the story had a very scary experience ascending after an equipment failure left him struggling with direction (up or down). In the end, he made it back to the top after 12 hours in the water. I think I heard this story for about the fourth time (in my life) today. As many times as I have heard it, I don’t seem to be able to turn it off… Can you imagine being immersed in water for 12 hours? I can’t but I do take a shower at least once a day…

Let’s end on an upbeat note! Here is the Lyme Lounge backing into the Landfill Driveway today. Don’tcha love our ugly cracked up driveway?

Three steps forward, two steps back

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

logfortToday’s fling? Nothing, nada, nil. Maybe a few bits of garbage / recycling / compost but that’s just regular housekeeping stuff. But I *did* get a wee bit of yard work done! Yay for [almost] no snow! [A few teensy tinesy little rotting piles here and there.] And I got my house back together after a few weeks of relative disorder. That mainly means that I de-cluttered and vacuumed The Back Room. I did not clean out the faaaarplace. I don’t think we’re quiiiite done with that yet. I also made a few (yes, a few) grokkery runs and washed the poor little mud / salt-crusted Ninja and re-upped both vee-hicular license plates plus a few little internet shopping tasks, some of which are secret [but not the new shower curtain liner but that’s not at all exciting]. Why is it that I feel like I am wasting time buying things that I actually *need* on the Internet? It probably took me five minutes to find the shower curtain liner that I wanted online and buy it. A trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to get the identical item would be a half-hour trip across town on a good day, then a meander through the store to find the item, etc., etc., etc.

The pic is me and a couple of my cuzzints (and visiting friend Becky Springer, I think) hanging out on a fort we built out of the pulp logs that used to float up on the moominbeach a billion years ago. I was meandering around the internet last night and mentioned two St. Marys Rivers. The reason I googled St. Marys in the first place is because I can never remember whether there is an apostrophe in my childhood St. Marys River or not (no, but it’s complicated). Apparently (via BFF’s comment) the Fla St. Marys (apostrophe or not? not sure) has paper mills and is therefore stinky. Yes! We had paper mills on the Canuckian side of our St. Marys River too. Abitibi! Many times the air stunk to high heaven of sulphur in my southside Sault Ste. Siberia neighborhood. We didn’t get the stench at the moominbeach. Instead, we got pulp logs that escaped the booms as they were being transported downstream to Abitibi. So we used those logs to create things like forts and Beer Lunch Tables and the simple climbing structure my dad made for us in the back yard of the moomincabin. The Bars. As simple The Bars were, we spent a lot of time playing on them. Alas, not sure I have a pic of that structure.

My Mouse didn’t quiiiite finish the laundry she brought over last night so she is back again after working all day and we are cooking dinner.

Good night, KW

Remind me to take down unplug the xmas lights

Friday, March 20th, 2015

spiderweb

It’s the first day of spring after all (and the new moon). It actually feels a bit spring-like, unlike some past [frigid] first days of spring I have endured. I used to get really annoyed when it would be *May* (i.e., well into spring) and The Commander would make me wear a jacket. “It isn’t spring until the ice is out of the St. Marys River!” she would sing. Yeah.

Hey, did y’all know that there is another St. Marys River on the border of Georgia and Florida? Who knew? I did not, until now, thanks to The Google. If I had known that when I was a kid, you can bet I would’ve been harassing The Comm that the ice was *certainly* out of the St. Marys so I didn’t need a jacket. And she’d’ve given up by about then and I’d’ve gone out and frozen to death.

I don’t have much more. I don’t know exactly why but it was a pretty long drag of a week and I am really tired tonight. The GG is off post-holing around the Great White North so Mouse and I hoofed it down to the Jolly Pumpkin and there she is climbing the old spiderweb on our way home. Needed my family today and glad my mouse was willing to spend some time with her baggy old moom.

I am done done done done for the night. Stick a fork in me.

Hey, some good news for once? Things are growing in Mouse’s garden! Photos tomorrow maybe? We’ll see. Pick-up Sticks is on my list of chores for the weekend, so I’ll be outside. The yard-waste compost truck will start coming around again soon and that means I can throw all of my Meat Scraps into it. As a small child, I once called The Commander a Meat Scrap. I was mad at her about something and, if I have it right, I was only repeating what my grandmother occasionally called their dog Rags when he was misbehaving or whatever.

I’ve already ordered the book.

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

If you are not a classically trained musician, specifically a classically trained *flutist*, one with a huge interest in esoteric / avant garde music and extended playing techniques, you may want to go watch paint dry somewhere else. I won’t be talking about the Kardashians today [wink].

I am going to talk about Robert Dick today. Robert Dick is a highly esteemed classically-trained flutist, composer, and inventor. One who embraces the esoteric / avant garde music and the extended flute techniques that I have always loved so dearly.

I don’t watch TV much so I didn’t know that the current host of The Tonight Show (Johnny Carson is who I remember even though I didn’t really watch the show in the Jurassic Age either) dissed — on air — Mr. Dick’s very serious book on extended flute techniques, The Other Flute. Yes, they made the jokes you are thinking of.

Here’s a link to the show segment. The host ridicules several other books. The Other Flute is at about 2:20 if you care to watch.

The “Floot Loop Groop” LIT UP today on email! There is a push to get Mr. Dick on The Tonight Show to show his invention(s?) and musical expertise, not to mention his wonderful sense of humor and stage presence. Check this video out to see his glissando headjoint. It’s five minutes but it’s kind of worth it. A side note is that Nina in the video is a Planet Ann Arbor native, maybe 10 years older than my beach urchins. I do not know her but what a wonderful person!

As my title says, I have already sent an order into Amazon for Robert Dick’s book, The Other Flute. It will reside on the shelf next to one of the quintessential Flute Bibles, On Playing the Flute, written by Johann Joachim Quantz in the 1700s.

A few weeks ago, I linked to a video of Jimmy Fallon singing a duet with Neil Young. I don’t watch TV so I didn’t really know who Jimmy Fallon was but I was moved by that video. Now that I know who Jimmy is and have seen him dis a book by one of my heroes, I am disappointed. I love Neil Young’s music and I love Robert Dick’s music (and inventions!) and I think that Robert Dick deserves a chance to show people what he knows and what he can do. I hope Jimmy Fallon is up to that challenge.

Not just yet but thinking…

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A couple years ago, I went to the john at the Oscar Tango to try to reduce the chance of having to urbanP on the way home. There was a *line*. That’s *somewhat* unusual but it’s a one-woman stall, so it happens. I think I was second and there was a woman behind me. When it got to be my turn, I said to her, “I’ll be fast.” I *was* fast and when I came back out she said, “You *were* fast!” I said, “When you grow up using an outhouse, you don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bathrooms.” Outhouses are stinky even in the best of circumstances and vampires and werewolves lurked out by ours at night. The pic is my parents building the lowliest of outhouses on earth back in 1960. It did not even have a blasted door.

outhouse

Now that I think about it, maybe it isn’t the worst thing for a private outhouse to not have a door. My Grandparents’ Dear Uncle Harry’s Outhouse still stands (and I use it once a year when we are closing the Moomincabin, thank you very much, Harry!). It has a door that shuts by itself when you are in there so you can’t see doodly-squat. (Not complaining AT ALL here.) I can’t use the Moomincabin Outhouse because it isn’t there any more because The Engineer and his daughters pulled it down. That was a long time ago (alas) and here is my little bro’ giving me and his co-workers the, well, you can figure that out…

outhouseP

Those were fun times and I miss those days and all the folks (including my brother) who aren’t around any more. Sigh. He destroyed the outhouse because we had had indoor plumbing for umpteen billion years. I don’t have a pic of that bathroom handy but it is not large at all. The Commander installed a tub / shower built for an RV, so you can probably envision the size. Anyway, I married well! I married a guy whose fam owned a rustic northern cabin with a small indoor bathroom. Unlike the Moomincabin, we could use the bathroom in the winter but we had to dump buckets of water down the terlet to flush it.

ip10

Our own Landfill Blue and Only Bathroom is ugly but functional (and clean, since I am always after it!). I have often wished for just a few more square feet of space but since I don’t really care doodly-squat about spending a lot of time in bathrooms, I have always gotten along with it. I mean, think about it. If you are spending a lot of time in a bathroom, you are probably having TMI-type issues. Vomiting and/or… Anyway, here we are looking in from the bathroom door.

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The next pic is the money shot, at least in my eyes, others may disagree.

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Just beyond the Blue Sink is THE CHIMNEY! Do we use the chimney for anything any more? Not really. That is, the “new” (2005) high-efficiency furnace doesn’t use it. The water heater(?) vents outta there somehow. But that could be changed, I think… So maybe we can get rid of the chimney! We won’t have much more space but I’ll take it.

Green Beer Red Whine and Green Irishmen Purple People-eaters

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

A glorious St. Patrick’s Day. As has been the usual for the last few years, our team’s leader took us all out for Green Beer at the end of work today. He’s a rabbi in his spare time but everyone is an Irishman on St. Paddy’s Day, roight? And he was in fine form with his shamrock yarmulke.

In past years, we have ordered pitchers of Green Beer (but Cube Nayber and I always order whine). This year the only Green Beer on tap was Bud Light and I fergit what else but some other lite beer. The LSCHP expressed the rather emphatic opinion, “That’s not beer!”, and everyone ordered whatever they wanted to, which I always do *anyway*. I noticed a few Green Beers down where the developers were sitting. At least nobody was drinking out of a pitcher this year. A young developer did that a few years ago. Fortunately, his vee-hickle broke down before someone could stop him for DUI. He’s no longer with us. Back on the Indian subcontinent, last we knew, not necessarily happily.

I was decked out in Emerald Isle Green today albeit [mostly] subtly. Black and emerald green cashmere sweater. Emerald green tights. Strings of green mardi gras beads. Most people didn’t notice my get-up today until I went to get a printout and ran into one of our developers, who was not wearing o’ the green, despite that I bet she has a drop or few of Irish blood in her. Nope. Purple! It was only after she noticed all my green that I said, “Hey you are a purple Irishwoman!” That’s kind of crazy because there are Orangemen in parts of my history but I do not think there are Purplemen pretty much anywhere.

So much fun being with co-workers on this gorgeous St. Patrick’s Day evening. Hope you had fun being Irish today whether or not you actually are.

Diminishing white stuff

Monday, March 16th, 2015

A few weeks ago, February 28? Not sure.

snow1

Saturday morning.

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Yesterday afternoon.

snow3

This afternoon.

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I suggested putting the snow shovels away. The GG disagreed. But I disagree with him because, at this time of year, the the sun is about to head north. We may well get a significant snow storm before it’s all done but I don’t think so and, if we do get one, it will melt before it freezes.

Good Sunday

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

I actually have an issue with the phrase “Good Sunday” but it *was* a pretty darn good Sunday, so…

I did my regular Skunk Walk this morning and then I cooked a somewhat reasonable facsimile of the Little Boots Diner’s “Smokin’ Gun Quesadilla”. Except that I sorta burned one tortilla. It tasted pretty good *anyway* but I crave the Little Boots Diner’s superior version. It was a gorgeous morning and we were kind of slodging around for a while. I would normally have been dragging the GG out for a hike somewhere but I have put the kibosh on him walking anywhere for a few days. Not because of the Train Incident. Finally I rather passive-aggressively said something like, “Well, whaddya wanna do?” He suggested REI. Uh, no thanks. I love REI but I last about a quarter of the time the GG is willing to spend in there and it was Sunday and did I mention it was gorgeous? I suggested that we go for a Glacial Moraine Ride and then he could go to REI and I could go fill up the Ninja and get some needful things at the Jackson Road Meijer.

A Glacial Moraine Ride turned out to be a great idea although if I could change anything, it would be that we would’ve hustled outta here earlier. Here we are watching the aftermath of a Goose Fight from the Foster Road Bridge. I didn’t get the action on camera. Geese were swooping down and skidding to ice landings. In the end, this goose couple remained. We don’t know if the Mallard Duck in the open water was tuned in to all the action or not.

sunday1

From the Foster Road Bridge, we wound our way through the back roads north and west of The Planet Ann Arbor. Turning a corner near Webster Church, we encountered these loverly beasties. We stopped the car and one by one llamas began to amble over and check us out. Did they think we might offer them food? I’ll bet other people do. Being meeeee, I was wondering how far they could spit and if I was far enough away that their spit wouldn’t reach my face. (Mouse, of course, wants one in the Landfill back yard.)

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It was a wondrous ride and then we managed to while away the day… I went to get gas and Meijer type stuff and, as I was driving up our street, the GG was leaving for REI. We were waiting for the best part of the day, which was when Lizard Breath arrived from her home in DayTwa to cook for us. A walk to the Plum Market was definitely involved (we have so much fun there) and now we she is doing her thing. I’m repeating myself but her grandma taught her how to chop veggies when she was only three. Her hands are not really purple!

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Can you guess what we are eating tonight?

sunday4

I’m loving having a responsible adult child living close enough to me to come over and cook dinner on Sunday. Or I can cook. Or whatever. I do NOT expect her to come around every darn Sunday. I don’t EVER want her to drive over here through ice and snow. It’s just nice that she can be here when she wants to visit us and the weather is good and it was beautiful today and I am most happy that my kids seem to *want* to visit me. Love.

And love y’all, KW

Looking for something else, I found this.

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

mouserabbitSo, The Commander made a rather hilarious appearance today. I picked up where I left off umpteen billion years ago going through her papers. I don’t mean her *important* papers. I mean her letters (mostly to me or my kids) and things. And her wallet… … … I had totally lost track of her wallet… Okay, so there were a few twenties and smaller bills in there, so I added those to the twenty and the few smaller bills in my own wallet. And I found some change. I don’t deal with silver these days, except for quarters, so I kept the quarters and added the smaller change to the ziplock bag I periodically take to a CoinStar musheen to donate to United Way or whatever.

I cleaned out all of the cards and things. I kept the driver’s license I helped her get after we lost her license somewhere at Command Central and couldn’t find it again and I finally took her out to the Secretary of State to get a replacement, even though I had already pulled her driving privileges oh boy oh boy that was so much fun… I also kept her social security card and her Bayliss Library card and her voter’s registration card. My once Republican mother wanted to vote for Obama again but didn’t live long enough to do so, although she was awake and aware during the 2012 State of the Union address. And then I reached into a deeper pocket in that purse and all I can say is that I have some cash now. Oh, it isn’t that much but it will probably allow me to buy coffee at Barry’s once a week for the rest of the year. Barry’s is the only place where I regularly use cash these days. I gave some of it to the GG. He had been informed about this little bit of cash when it was first sequestered. I guess he deserves some.

So then, we went down to walk by the river. We took different trails today and planned to meet at the dam. As I approached the dam, I could hear a train whistle. Train coming from the west. Watching trains and freighters and airplanes provide way too much excitement for me so I started to run, slipping and sliding on the slushy ice and narrowly missing big mud-holes, so that I could get to the foot bridge in time to see the train come across the train bridge. I got to the foot bridge. The train whistles were still blowing. Yikes! There was a person walking on the railroad bridge. I knew who it was. Even though I knew he couldn’t hear me, I yelled and gesticulated like crazy! Get off the damn bridge! A train is coming!

We were not doing this in a vacuum today. There were people on the foot bridge watching me yelling and gesticulating at the GG to GET OFF THE GODDAMN BRIDGE. THERE’S A TRAIN COMING, FER KEE-REIST! The GG did know that the train was coming and he did move off the bridge before it arrived. It was me who was freaking out. (I bet the train driver was a little “annoyed” too.) After the train went by and it was obvious that the GG was okay (and I could see him standing there behind the train cars as they went by), I walked the rest of the way across the foot bridge. I told the folks who had obviously been watching something like, “Crazy person”. They asked if I knew the guy on the bridge. Oh yes! I told them that I have known the GG since forever. I did not tell them about the time the Twinz of Terror threw eggs off the railroad bridge near their home in Royal Oak and managed to egg their dad’s car.

I do not recommend walking across railroad bridges when trains are coming along, even though there is ample space on that bridge to hang out beside the tracks.

And I am so sorry that I do not have a pic of the oncoming train or the GG on the railroad bridge. I was freaked out and he was trying to talk to me or whatever. So you get this Rabbit Mouse pic instead.

Irrational and transcendental

Friday, March 13th, 2015

boguestreetThat would be pi. You know that number don’tcha? Rikki?

I used to be good at math. Good enough that Mr. Kiczynski, my math teacher as a senior in high school always encouraged me to study math in college. I did music instead but I did take a semester of calculus. I aced calc but the amount of work that it required didn’t mesh with the number of hours required to practice the flute and puano, so I didn’t pursue it further. By the way, without dredging up an old high school yearbook, the way I figured out Mr. Kiczynski’s name was to google the Unibomber, whose name differs from my old math teacher’s only by the first vowel. Not the same people at all although once Stuart smart-mouthed Mr. K and Mr. K threw Stuart across the room. Stuart later apologized and is now the dean of some esteemed medical school somewhere. Those facts are not necessarily connected in any way and other than that event, Mr. K was pretty mild-mannered.

Nowadays I apply my math-type skills to spreadsheets and programming logic, etc. When talk of transcendental numbers came up at dinner tonight I wasn’t totally at sea although I htg to refresh my memory. If I get it right, pi is an irrational number and also transcendental. If I get it right (and you are welcome to correct me), all transcendental numbers are irrational but not all irrational numbers are transcendental. Kind of like all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. I may be talking crack about all these fancy numbers and you can google to your heart’s content if you want to learn more.

So, Rikki don’t lose that number. I think someone I follow on Twitter alluded to this old song a day or so ago but not totally sure. I love cryptic tweets, don’t you? [big frickin’ grin]

Focus on the positive

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Lemme see…

MMCB is NOT moving to Texas! Man oh man, I would miss her so much! Goose Mom moved to TX a while back. I miss her. I wish I could still drive bacon to her house. What *is* it about Texas?

I put my snowpants away today. Dooya think I’ll need them again this season? I mean, they are absolutely wonderful snowpants and I love them dearly. But still. I did not put my YakTrax away yet. Soon. I hope.

I hauled an EMPTY trash barrel out to the curb this afternoon. That is the second time in Landfill History. Why did I haul it out to the curb? Because I had just enough trash in the Chitchen and Blue and Only Bathroom trash containers to put it out. Bonus? Now that I am freezing all of my icky food waste (the stuff I can’t compost in the backyard), the Chitchen trash NEVER stinks!

The GG wanted to walk downtown to eat somewhere tonight. Try as I might, I just wasn’t into it. I had chores to do and a nice salmon filet thawing. And we’re walking downtown tomorrow night like we always do. And cogitating about a Rocket Trip to HL (early Sat – Sun).

The C-fam facebook group.

The double left-turn signal when you are turning left from Jackson onto N. Maple. Genius.

I thought I had more but I’ve been putting dinner together (salmon, teeny little potatoes, broccoli / lemon saute) so I’ve been distracted.

Oh yeah. Found my second black polartech vest. In the laundry. Could NOT find it anywhere for the last couple days. It would take a whole post to describe why I need two identical vests [the short story has to do with wearing one every day and spilling food]. Anyway… I looked everywhere this morning BUT the goddamn laundry.

Love y’all,
KW. Wondering what positive things happened in your life today.