Archive for January, 2016

The Grumpy and Cranky Show

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

banner1Who? Yer fav-o-rite blahgger? aka Little Miss Sunshine? Well, my eye, and if The Commander is tuning in from the other side, she is gathering lightning bolts at this moment (but not for the same reason as my grandfather is and I’ve heard tell that he could be a lot scarier than The Comm albeit never to me).

Yes, I was grumpy and cranky today. I heard the GG tell our guest (his beautiful sister Lizard Breath), “She’s crabby!” I was! Not because of any of the people in my house though, well, except when the GG tried to “help” me with an ongoing prodject after gruffly rejecting my “help” on a prodject *he* was doing. Eating my words [ulp] his interference actually *did* help me. I was just annoyed. I can’t really tell you much about my prodject except that about the only *good* thing about it is that I got to walk over to Staples (in the rain) to buy a small packet of filing-related supplies. I miss office supply stores. They were once regularly on my “beat” back in my non-profit org admin days. These days I do without paper if at all possible (and paper is one of the things I do NOT miss buying). Still. Is anyone else as big an office supply aficionado as I am? (And jeebus, it took some doing for this spelling geek to get rid of the wiggly line under “aficionado”!)

banner2He apparently thought that I hadn’t had enough of him this weekend though 🐗, especially since he was out two nights in a row with different lovely ladies. We’ll just call them LB. But. Did I want to go to the Tractor Supply store? Uuhhhh, not really. Nothing against the Tractor Supply in particular. Just that I am a flinger, don’tcha know. Most stores nauseate me. Oh, not the Plum. I was there twice today. The second time, I carefully chose a different cashier but I ended up with the same bagger and hilarity that I could not describe if I tried ensued. But the Tractor Supply? Oh, we’ll just be there for a few minutes. I just need some hooks (or whatever it was). Yeah. I made a couple circuits of the store. I perused the large stuffed horses and did a quick scan of the clothing department. I did not look for the dog cages. I need to get rid of one of those. I finally said, “I’m going out to the Frog Hopper to sit and do the xword.” And I did. 50 degrees? No need for heat.

It was all okay. After the Tractor Supply we went driving around on the back roads of Washtenaw County. We both *love* to do that and it helped me slodge through this warm ugly rainy last day of January. It was beautiful in its own way but I couldn’t see that for a really long time because I was busy starring in the Grumpy and Cranky show.

That pay phone pic from the first floor Rackham bathroom yesterday? I’ve figured out that I take a picture of that thing EVERY year. I *think* it works but I have to admit I haven’t tried it. Maybe next year, I will try to remember to bring a quarter (?) with me and call my iPhone with it. Probably more fun is the phone booth on the shores of Gitchee Gumee. I have a photo of that somewhere although I almost *never* visit it (alas). I think that phone probably does work over POTS because most people don’t have cell service in that area.

Anyway, I am babbling. Love all y’all,

Cat herding

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

rackhamThe Ann Arbor Folk Festival means different things to different people. I was almost considering going to the Saturday night show this year. Joan Baez was the headliner. The problem was that I would have to sit through a whole ton of acts before Joan took the stage. I. Cannot. Sit. That long. I like to listen to music while I’m dancing around doing chores in my house.

Still I have learned to enjoy folk fest weekend. The GG seems to have come to understand how hard it is for me to sit and listen to other people make music (“Keb Mo” is an inside joke here). There’s an early Friday dinner at the Red Hawk followed by a glorious solo walk home. And there’s the pre-glow party at Rackham that the GG’s expensive tickets pay for. I don’t think I am *technically* entitled to this perk since I don’t attend the show but I’m a pretty light eater and I’ve learned that nobody much cares if I’m there (they make me a name tag) and I do my introvert’s best to blend in. After the pre-glow, I bound down four flights of marble stairs at Rackham and hit the women’s bathroom (in which one of the few pay phones left on earth resides) and galumph home.

That’s more or less what I did tonight except that the walk was unintended. It’s all complicated but I had a birthday engagement to attend and, in order to *not* spend an hour and a half wandering aimlessly around downtown between the pre-glow and the birthday party, I decided to make other arrangements and those involved me walking home lickety-split and the birthday person picking me up at home.

It was all good except I had been feeling kind of wonky all day. Hungry mostly and a wee bit more caffeinated than I wanted to be. That’s a bit unusual for me. I mean the hungry thing, not the over-caffeinated. I love to eat (pass the potatoes please) but I don’t tend to shovel big piles of food into my mouth even on the hungriest of days. I won’t go over the entire day in detail but I was fading fast at the end of the afternoon and although I had more than enough energy for my unplanned [second] walk back over to the west side, I wasn’t sure whether I was gonna be any good as a birthday companion or not.

But then we were seated at the Real Seafood and there was an empty water glass in front of me and suddenly I could not *wait* for our server to come around and fill it. When he did, I glugged that thing down like nobody’s business and then started working on the extra glass of water for the “ghost” person that never showed up. Eventually I began to feel more like myself. Dehydration? It’s a real thing and I know better. (Oh and this is the Great Lake State where we have lots of good clean water unless you happen to live in Flint or over a certain dioxane plume but those are whole other stories).


P.S. There was a ghost ‘hattan too but fortunately, the RS ‘hattans are a fraction of the size of Knights’.

January sunset

Friday, January 29th, 2016

It’s Folk Festival weekend. Tonight the GG’s date is our own beautiful daughter Lizard Breath. I left work early enough for once today that I didn’t feel like I was scrambling to get downtown in time to eat with the folk festival attendees.

I took a chance about walking through Miller Woods on my way downtown. There were a few places where I wished I had YakTrax and/or a hiking pole but I made it through without incident and it was so beautiful.


I met up with the GG and Liz at the Red Hawk and here is a pic of my beautiful kiddo wearing a Yooper hat, borrowed from her dad, the dad who wasn’t born a Yooper but has certainly earned his status as one, given all of the times he helped The Commander out with things and his work with our beloved North Country Trail friends up there. Clap for him.


I walked outta the Red Hawk and, as I turned south onto Liberty at State, I saw this beautiful sunset view. I didn’t see anyone else take pictures of it. I do not know why.


This view was the beginning of my beautiful walk home. My phone proclaimed that it was 6:11 PM. The sun is traveling north again and so the north shall rise again.

Love you all,

Where Demon Drop Chairs go to die

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

poleI wanted to blahg about blahgging today. I got over to Barry’s to meet MMCB2 and I was a wee bit early [miraculously], so I opened up my email and there was a message from MMCB1. That was a wee bit odd because I expected her to walk in the door any moment but it turns out it was about blahgging or actually journaling in general (google Charley Kempthorne, very interesting person).

Just then MMCB2 arrived and I mentioned that I received the email and an interesting discussion ensued about blahgging and other social media. They both know that I have a blahg but they don’t read it, at least I don’t think they do. Or if they do, not regularly. Which is fine for a couple reasons. The first is that I see them all the time and we *do* know each others* business, even sometimes stuff we don’t tell most other people [snort] and I *certainly* don’t post on my blahg, and the second is that I am well aware that reading my blahg is almost always pretty much the equivalent of watching paint dry on most days, especially lately. Except for when things happen, oh, you know, like great big trees fall down and such.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post about blahgging today but I really didn’t have much time to sit down and write out my thoughts, let alone turn them into something that might *not* be like watching paint dry. The thing is, I don’t usually get around to writing my blahg these days until after work and a few chores and often a short walk (to boost my steps up over 15K) and by then the GG is home and we are talking about our respective days (or arguing if it’s one o’ *those* days) or whatever and I am distracted even on the best of days.

demondropAs it was, on top of everything else, we dropped the Ninja off for scheduled maintenance tonight and that was delayed by the GG’s attendance at a retirement party at which the guest of honor was “late”, which probably doesn’t matter to the retiree (why should it?) but it mattered to meeeee because I had to go pick up the GG after he dropped off the Ninja and I couldn’t really start dinner until we got home and we couldda gone out to eat but we are gonna be eating out a LOT this weekend [folk festival] so eating out tonight didn’t quite seem like the right thing. Don’tcha love that long sentence? And it was snowing but since it was in the mid-30s, it wasn’t slippery in any way shape or form but it still made traffic slow and crazy as hell.

So we’re home and salmon is in the oven and rice is on the stove and salad is hanging out on the counter and all y’all are stuck with images from my work today. The top one is the cube next to mine. It has a POLE in it. This is a good thing. Don’t ask why [shame on you 🐸]. It also has a PRINTER in it now. Not one that I have been able to connect to yet although for a long time in another life, it was the ONLY printer I could connect to. It’s okay. The only printer I can connect to NOW is far enough away that I get approximately 150 steps going over there and back to pick up a printout so it’s all good. The QA party team also scavenged some other furniture, as you can see. There is a table for Louie-Louii’s Keurig coffee maker (that he won playing euchre at a company-sponsored casino-type event a few years ago) and any Baked Goods that people might be inclined to bring in.

And finally, the second pic is where Demon Drop Chairs go to die. Such innocent looking chairs. Do NOT be fooled!💀

* Each others business? Each others’ business? Each other’s business? Grammar mavens? 🐸

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

huroniceBut yaknow, today, after a long day of work, I got home and walked over to the Plum Market. Milk was on my list. We don’t drink a lot of milk around here. I have never been all that crazy about milk and the huge eight ounce glasses The Commander served us at dinner back in the day was almost more than I could stand. Nowadays I buy a quart and when we are almost out or the GG leaves an empty quart container in the sink after using it on his morning cereal, I buy another quart.

I like to stay ahead of the Milk Supply Situation but I don’t always manage it but that’s okay because it gives me an excuse to walk over to the Plum to get more. What I don’t want to happen is for the GG to pour spoiled milk on his cereal. That *has* happened and I was appalled when I returned from my 0-Skunk-30 walk once last fall and saw the remains. Jeebus!

Today when I got home from my walk it was still dark and there was an empty milk carton in the sink. There was also some cereal in the compost bin and I’m not sure what that was about because it was dry and therefore not adulterated by bad milk. But who knows. I was excited to have an after-work mission to the Plum to look forward to. Milk and a few other grokkeries. Alas… I thought I reached for 2% milk this afternoon but when I got home I had definitely purchased *skim milk*. Sorry buddy. I hope you can deal with skim milk on your cereal for the next week or so. Fortunately I buy milk in small quantities now. Gone are the days when I bought at least two gallons per week with small beach urchins in tow.

Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

Chair kings (and queens) of data drive

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

trucksThe highlight of the day was the delivery of New Chairs! Wazoo!!! We didn’t think that New Chairs would be a part of our recent office renovation. We were *told* we would not get New Chairs. It wasn’t in the budget yada yada (sorry moom). Today the Chairy Godfather blessed us with new chairs. I cannot tell you how much excitement surrounded this event. King Louie-Louii sat in the middle of Our Street *in* his chair for quite some time after it was delivered, surrounded by supplicants harassers.

In the short number of years I’ve been at my job (eight) the chairs have been an issue. My cube chair was always fine but for all of those years, whenever I’ve gone to a meeting, the challenge is to not find a Demon Drop chair. Like you sit in the chair and the seat drops down suddenly and your eyes are level with the table.

New Chairs were exciting for a lot of folks today but it was New Neighbors that made my day. I’ve been happy with my new cube over at Cubeland. I’ve moved around the corner, sorta. I can see out a window from my cube. I am not across the street from my manager but that’s okay because she knows where I am. For the last couple weeks, the cubes across the street from me have been empty and filled with junk. A certain Hissy Fit finally got things going across the street and today the QA team moved in. Man oh man, I love having those folks across the street from me. It’s not that the business systems analyst and research teams are not capable of fun conversation or hi-jinks but we are geeks and we can run out of conversation pretty quickly. I can’t explain this exactly and you don’t wanna know. But I am now living on the “party” street. The one where people are serious about doing their jobs but go out of their way to have fun. Plus now, when the QA folks have questions, I am right there on their street!

New chair at work and new chair at home. And utility trucks across the street. But we do have power and internet so I dunno what’s going on.

Good morning America, how are you?

Monday, January 25th, 2016

rockyDon’t you know me, I’m your native son neighborhood raccoon.

Walking in the dark. Something was moving a few feet away. Hello! Cat? Skunk? Rabbit? What? It was this guy climbing up that tree. Or maybe gal? Big raccoon. Pregnant? Maybe. Not sure. I stopped in my tracks and slowly pulled out my iPhone. Could I get this critter before it skedaddled? It did skedaddle but then it peeked it’s little face back around and there you go. And, by the way, do not travel above 25mph on Duncan Street because that’s the speed limit.

It’s fun when your young adult children and you get little glimpses into some of the things you probably didn’t know happened when they were children.

There are two events — that I remember — that I am not sure I *ever* told my parents. One was when my friend Helen’s older sister Grace Anne drove us up to Searchmont to ski. Along a twisty, windy, often snowy road (google Searchmont Ontario). The roads were sunny and dry on the day we were traversing this route but, going home, we somehow left the road onto an ice-covered lake. We were all okay. A log truck pulled us back onto the road and there was no damage to the vee-hickle, which was an OLD 1957 Buick. I didn’t tell my parents what happened that day. I don’t know if Helen and Grace Anne ever told their parents. Sadly, Grace Anne is no longer with us. I don’t regularly communicate with Helen but we are facebook friends, so I know how to get hold of her.

And then there was the time I was a new driver and I got into a bit of a pickle with my grandmother’s old Ford Fairlane down by “the pond”. I needed to turn around for some reason and The Gate was still there and in backing around to turn around, I backed [very slowly] into a fencepost. It left a wee bit of damage to a tail light and my parents were flummoxed about how that could have happened. I lay low even when they called the police! I was TERRIFIED! Yeek! (Even though the police had no clue.) They will never let me drive again! But they did. Even after my only accident ever (knock on wood) when I was 17.

Well, actually, maybe I did tell about this “horrible accident”. At some point, I think I blahgged about it. My brother was still alive at the time and I think he commented that the parents always blamed him for that wee bit of damage to the tail light. I know that he didn’t do it because he was too young to drive when that happened. 💚

Guinea Pig poop? Whatever 🐸

That warm fuzzy sunburnt kinda feeling

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

We did have a lot of sun today. Until about 2:30 or so when Lizard and I walked over to the Plum with sunglasses on and then, when we got back, the sun had disappeared. It’s okay. I got enough sun to get that loverly tired kinda burned feeling. Of course I also walked a lot today. I took myself down to the river for a walk around noon.

I don’t really think I look like a birdwatcher birder but a young couple had spied the hawk-like entity in the pic below (can you see it? embiggen it) and stopped me to ask what it was. Not an owl, they thought. No, not an owl. Hawk? I thought hawk too but I could not for a bazillion bucks tell you *which* hawk. By the way, this is my fave tree down at Barton Dam. Also, I was called a Troll today. That’s not totally accurate but I played along.


I came home from my hike and scuttled around pre-making dinner(s) because people were coming over. Mouse was the first to arrive, then MiaPet and her fairy godmother.


And then the Guest of Honor arrived. That would be npJane. As it turned out, Liz and I were over at the Plum Market when she arrived. We are such good hosts! 🐗 But we’re all family so it’s all good. As we walked back up the street to the Landfill, we knew that she had arrived because we could see her loverly new blue vee-hickle! Alas, I didn’t get a pic of this vee-hickle but I did find a pic of her last new vee-hickle. One in which my dad and brother were checking out the engine. This took place in the moomincabin “parking lot” and after they checked out npJane’s then new vee-hickle, they checked out every single other vee-hickle in the lot, including Jay and Carl’s rental car. I have a series of pics of this event but I’ll just post this one and I will note that this is an Ugly. It does not show any of these people in their best light.


Good sunny [mostly] day and time spent with beach urchins and cousin. Love.

When the sun is in a perfect place

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Sometimes when I haven’t done anything worth blahgging about (or blahggable) and haven’t taken any photos for a few days, I wonder why the heck I bother to blahg. I don’t necessarily have a whole heckuva lot to blahg about tonight but, when I took a Winter Sunset Walk today, I was greeted by this schoolyard view of the setting sun.


It reminded me of a photo that I took more years ago than I care to count. My dad was still alive and so was The Commander. We were visiting them in Sault Ste. Siberia and I got up early to take my morning walk down through the LSSU campus and along Portage and back up the hill. By the time I got back up to the Dillon house, The Commander would have breakfast pretty much ready.

But here I was, walking up Sheridan or whatever it is. I turned around and the rising sun was framed by the Ashmun Street bridge. Man oh man.


I doubt that I will ever a get a picture of that again.

Flirting at Knight’s under a full (fool?) moon

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

I think I have posted about this before but somehow when the GG is not in town to snag a table at the Oscar Tango on a Friday night, the whole walking downtown to the Oscar Tango thing does not work out. For a few years, I could use some of these off-Fridays to snag some Mouse-time but Mouse is working a couple of jobs nowadays plus all of the other stuff Mouse does and the only time I have seen her since xmas (I think but could be fer-getting something) is last Friday night when we watched her in Macbeth and I got a quick (but more than adequate) hug after the show. (Which is okay, if Mouse gets around to reading Abby in the near future. Love you ANYWAY!) (I’m gonna find aNOTHER mother. -Mouse at about age two. Always smarter than all of the rest of us.)

This is all okay. For one thing, I am happy enough hanging out at my own beauteous landfill alone but I also figgered that our friends of Porterization might like to hang out with company (me?) at our fave neighborhood pub aka Knight’s Steakhouse. And so we did. You know I walked. I didn’t have to suit up too terribly much but I did need double-stuff on my head and my ski jacket. I did NOT need boots or YakTrax (thank you weather gods). I tried to talk about layering and walking outside at 0-skunk-30 with a woman in the bathroom at the end of the night. She was lovely but she didn’t really understand the concept of going outside in the winter other than the occasional snow-mo trip. Sigh…

I think that Knight’s is about the only bar/restaurant in town that lets people stack up hip deep at the bar while they are waiting for their table. It is a fun fun fun friendly environment in which we almost always start talking to somebody at the bar. Tonight I ordered drinks for me and my Friends of Porterization. It’s a long story but there was a minor kerfuffle when our table was unexpectedly ready before we received the cocktails we ordered at the bar and that is what got me talking to the guys at the bar. It all worked out and we had a wonderful dinner and I had a *loverly* walk home under the same beautiful full moon that guided me *to* the restaurant.

Dooya think I can claim the time I spent printing out work documents at home as work hours?

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

flowersNot really. It’s kind of a moot question because I’m an exempt employee. Or is it non-exempt? I can never remember the terminology. You get paid for overtime work or you don’t and I don’t but whatever.

Life is still kind of crazy over in Cubeland and all of the printers are lined up on tables in the lunchroom but they are not hooked up to anything, so nobody can print anything at work. Not that we necessarily need to print anything but I often like to make printouts of web pages and/or requirements and/or whatever so I can then write on them with an actual pen during meetings or whatever. I can’t do that right now. In order to get a printout of something, I have to email whatever it is to my personal email address and print it out here at The Landfill. We won’t talk about whether that scenario is secure for the online banking industry but I will point out that I have absolutely no access to anything resembling anything real so…

The cubes “across the street” from me are still empty but some progress was made today. Maybe it had something to do with a certain Hissy Fit that happened yesterday. KP was walking by my cube at the time and she ducked in to “hide”. I loved that KP felt safe in my cube. Mooma duck here. But I was also laughing my you-know-what off at the Hissy Fit. Jeebus.

I printed some stuff here at home tonight. I hope we have a working printer soon. Rocks and a few other folks were working on that today but we’ll see…

P.S. Wishing I was up at the Driftwood tonight.

21st century banking

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

bankI want one of these. That is all.

I have spent many a day collecting coins, rolling them, and taking them to the bank to deposit them. Mostly for PTO-type non-profit school organizations but occasionally back in the day, I would collect enough coins around the Landfill to roll them and take them to the bank to deposit. Or I would have to cash out Trunky but that’s a whole ‘nother story. These days I am lazy enough that, when I have collected more change than I can manage, I dump it into a Coinstar musheen and donate it to a charity.

I come from a banking family, at least in the last three generations. Before that we were fur traders in northern Saskatchewan and grocers and not sure what else. But banking… We were not one of those rich fancy banking fams that you might hear about in the news or maybe there is a rich banking family in your town. My banking fam? Not rich although I can’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t enough to eat or warm clothing to wear or any of the other things that children need when they are growing up.

Long story short, my dad joined his dad in the banking business back in the day and I grew up playing with adding machines and visiting the children’s teller window that you see here in the next photo. I do not know these beautiful girls but that’s my grandaddy serving them for a publicity shot.

bank2I got to run around all over the insider part of the bank including the vault and I remember going to annual xmas parties there to put up the xmas tree (gold ornaments) and a Santa in a gold suit.

The First National Bank morphed into 1st of America and then National City and eventually PNC and PNC ended up closing the local bank a year after The Commander died. My dad was long dead by that time but when I went over to empty out the safe deposit box, the bank manager (also The Commander’s next door neighbor) gave me a whole bunch of old photos of my dad and granddaddy that had been dredged up from the basement. (I believe she took some time off but has landed a job in a branch in a different city.)

It never fails to crack me up that I have ended up working in the online banking industry. My granddaddy died in 1968 (when I was in 8th grade), before the banking biz began to switch over to computers. That switch began in the late 1970s and early 1980s and my dad got caught in the middle of it and it was not fun for him. I understand why since I got involved with computers around that time.

Computerized banking was in its infancy then and yet here I am, making a darn good living designing online banking functionality. Who knew?

Just say no.

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

woolTo gaslighting.

I am back working over at Cubeland these days. Things are still kind of a mess over there but we’re getting back into the swing. You know, remembering what our colleagues look like and all of that. Except I had to do a double-take when I saw FZ today. He was looking a wee bit wild-eyed and bushy. Cabin Fever? His cube hasn’t been built yet so he was squatting in a conference room.

When I telecommute, I do not wear the stereotypical work-from-home pajamas. I wear pajamas my Lands End sleepshirt in bed and in the evening IFF I am positive that no one besides a Beach Urchin or maybe npJane will be coming over. When I get up at 0-skunk-30, I immediately hit the [brand new lovely] shower, then suit up for urban hiking in whatever the weather. I am more comfortable in skirts than pants, especially jeans (long story), so during my current telecommuting sojourn, at least the colder parts of it, my work costume was Chico’s turtleneck, polartech vest (or jacket on the colder days), this pull-on biz-cazable ankle length wool skirt, tights, and Smartwool socks. If I needed to go outside, I would put on my Keen sandals. I do not wear shoes inside the house. I wore that same outfit to work today. It was cold out and that’s what worked.

I had a hangover this morning. Not that kind. Yesterday was an Epically Bad Day and I was grumpy as all get-out when I got to work. It didn’t help that it was the kind of morning that I couldn’t even remember my name, not to mention what I was supposed to do to earn my pay this week. Former Cube Nayber [over the wall now] came by, peered at the empty trashed-filled cubes across from me and said it looked like I wouldn’t be having neighbors any time soon. I retorted that that was a good thing, given how grumpy I was. I was friendly but she ske-daddled. I slowly surfaced from that low spot until we were all in an afternoon meeting and one of our managers kept getting cut off trying to talk during a teleconference. I looked across the table to her and said something like, “I feel your pain, that’s the story of my life.”

So a while back, someone in The Doghouse was playing a Tammy Wynette song. I actually like this particular country-western genre song (when I was a kid working at the Tempo store, we sold a lot of those albums and I pretended to have my nose in the air about it then) but all I have to say is that if you are a man and you want your woman to stand by you, you need to stand by her too. I am happy to have married a guy who does. Usually…

G’night, KW

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Oh lord PLEASE don’t let me be misunderstood.

Also godspeed to Glenn Frey of the Eagles (and Royal Joke Dondero High). My fave Eagles song Desperado.

All right, it was a lame attempt on an EPICALLY BAD DAY but I’ll un-private it *anyway*.

Tornado warnings in Manatee County and snow showers here

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

I follow a lot of entities on Twitter. Including but not limited to: my mother (no, she does not tweet any more), God (but not Justin Bieber), Lake Superior, Pope Francis (Latin version), Edward Snowden, the A2 schools superintendent, Book Riot, the Dexter Bear, the 20 Pound Carp, and Florida Man. And I follow @TWCBreaking. It is silent unless there is something going on. This morning when I woke up at 0-skunk-30 and checked weather and twitter and whatever on my phone, I saw that @TWCBreaking had reported tornado warnings issued for Manatee County in Fla. The Beautiful Suz and Cap’n Ed, brother John and Junior, and Snooty (the Manatee) all live in beautiful Manatee County. They were okay, as I found out on facebook later on. A couple of people died down near Sarasota. Here in Michigan, we were dealing with snow “showers”.

We drove over to Detroit this morning to spend the day with Lizard Breath. It hasn’t been all that long since I’ve seen my lizard and at least we don’t have to fly across the country to see each other any more but winter weather can be challenging. But I loved Detroit when I visited my grandparents there back in the day and I am loving getting to know it in its present form with someone (Funny Grandaddy’s great grandchild) who knows where the heck they are going. Anyway, we had a small but loverly little breakfast at her house. It included bacon. I do not think that Lizard Breath’s parents ate all of the bacon, leaving her with none [wink].


The Piquette Plant museum has been on our list of things to do in Daytwa for a while. Henry Ford’s first factory, if I get it right. It was a great tour (given by a long-time museum board member who owns at least one restored Model T) but I didn’t necessarily absorb all of the information accurately. If you are interested in automotive history, click over (the photos on the website are also better than mine). My dad and brother would LOVE this place!


Here is a modified Model T (roight?) made into a snowmobile. Being a Yooper albeit not a snowmobile aficionado, I had to go back in and photograph this thing.


What isn’t clear on the website is that this building is not heated or air conditioned. It keeps the wind out in the winter but that is about all. We weren’t exactly under-dressed but boy oh boy were we COLD at the end of it all. And the predicted “snow showers” were dumping on us when we left the museum. The roads were snow-covered but not very slippery. We were in the Frog Hopper (AWD), commandeered by Lizard Breath, who is a wonderful driver and also knows her way around Detroit. So she drove us over to Sister Pie. The GG wanted to pick up some hand pies and cookies and things and on the way out I saw this MOUSE!


Alas, in true KW klutzyness, I leaned over a young man who was eating pie underneath the mouse and exclaimed, “Is that a mouse?” WHAT!!?! Um, I didn’t think until after the fact that somebody might think I was talking about a Real Scurry Mouse, like the ones we periodically have to eradicate from The Landfill. But I felt joy in seeing that mouse and I think the young man understood that because he kind of got out of the way for me to take a pic. Maybe some day a much younger person will indulge him in that kind of way 💜.

It had been snowing to beat the band until we walked out of Sister Pie and then it kind of stopped. Snow showers, don’tcha know… So this is just down the street from Sister Pie and the sun is making a weak appearance.


We almost always eat at the Green Dot when we go down to Detroit. We love the Green Dot and its menu of sliders. But. Jeebus. 1.5 hour wait. No, probably not. We went to Ottava Via for pizza instead and it was wonderful. They had a faaaaar going out back but I think we’ll hang out back there some other day because brrrrr.


And then we dropped our Lizard off and drove on home to the Planet over dry roads, thank you very much.

I think I’m gonna take MLK Day off tomorrow. G’night 🐸

What cat? What bag?

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

The birthday [damn] cat and the [damn] birthday bag of course. Here are the Beatles. In a way it is fun figuring out who will “out” me first. Today I think it was Chloe Belle on facebook but The Beautiful Mimi may have crossed paths with Chloe. From there I cannot keep track of all the friends and relatives who have wished me happy. I love all of you and it was a good day.

I share My Day with a young cousin (first removed) (and a few other folks). I bet my young cousin is having a more exciting time than I am today but mine was good.

I received this loverly dry wall bucket lid as a gift! It will replace the corrupted lid on my sidewalk salt bucket.


After a morning of errands, chores, and ordering some new blinds for the New and Only Bathroom, Mr. Golden Sun made a rare appearance as we walked downtown for lunch at the Griz.


And we’re at the Griz, where we have reconnected with our fave bartender after her marriage and vacay.


And then we came home and the GG lit a faaaarrrr


And here we are. Janet, Marjory (yes she knew how to fight), meeeee, The Beautiful Mimi, and Carol.


Love y’all. Good day. Daytwa tomorrow, weather permitting. I sooooo hope weather permits.

Twitter play No. 4563.869

Friday, January 15th, 2016

@tmotu: I should come up with something to put in your blahg.

@kayakwoman: You’re already in it.

@tmotu: Uh-oh.

Actually, he’s in it a couple times but we’ll start with the fact that I migrated back over to Cubeland today. We won’t talk about the fact that I got about a quarter of the way over to work and had to go back home to pick up the Plum Market bag that had my power strip and other important items in it 🐗. My repositioned cube has a window view but I’m gonna miss being over the wall from W1.5. I’ve been over the wall from him for eight years! I’m now over the wall from Topeka, our lovely new team member. That’ll be fine but I’ll still miss W1.5. I thought I was gonna be across the street from Louie-Louiiiii but turns out he got moved a few cubes down. Close enough. There was nobody across the street from me today because those cubes are not set up yet and there are cables and things dangling down from the ceiling. Plenty of chaos over at Cubeland but I had power in my cube and was therefore able to plug in, boot up and get going.


My team has been trying unsuccessfully to meet for lunch for the last week. It was last Friday that the Queen Bee emailed, “I’m going buggy here” [home]. We finally managed it today and the Queen Bee mentioned that she had seen a beach urchin’s name in the newspaper. I guess we’ll get to that.

It is Friday and that means a walk downtown for cocktails and dinner at the Oscar Tango. Our friend Goose was there tonight with her husband and a friend. They were at a different table, which was good because our table was energized (or was it porterized) with all kinds of polly-tickal ranting and raving and foaming at the mouth. I’m not even talking national polly-ticks. Detroit public schools and Flint water system.


From the OT, we headed over to the Yellow Barn Theatre for a production of that Scottish Play. You know the one. We were not familiar with this intimate venue and didn’t think we would need reservations but darned if it didn’t sell out and we were fortunate to get seats. This was a pay-what-you-can show and we paid the suggested donation, which means we paid $1 more per seat than what it costs to visit Snooty the Manatee. Well worth it in both cases.

At the intermission, I looked down and saw that someone has not learned how to hide their Kleenex. Don’t worry. This situation was mitigated without delay shortly after the perpetrator was alerted.


I will probably be boiled in oil for posting a photo of the play. I swear it is the only one I took. Mouse had a smattering of small roles in the Scottish Play and here she is as one of the weird sisters. Other than this role, I think she murdered one character and played two murder victims and I fergit what else. Oh, and hummed A Space Oddity 💚 And yes, this is the beach urchin that the Queen Bee encountered in the newspaper.


There are more birthdays than I can count today. A beloved cousin, a great-niece, ONC, and MLK. G’night and HB.

Oh Ruuuuuby

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

It’s funny that I remember parts of the weekend in the photooos from this January 14, 2006 post in Sault Ste. Siberia but I have no clue exactly why we were there — except to visit the old folks (of course).

So apparently I walked out into the back yard at the Dillon House and took this pic of the old water tower.


I’m not sure if this water tower is still in use although it is still standing. I do know that there is a HUGE modern water tower a few blocks away that is definitely in use.

Here is a photo of my parents’ house on Dillon. It was once my grandparents’ house although not the one I walked to as a child. It’s all a long story and not all that interesting to anyone outside the Finfam. Gratuitous shots of The Comm’s red Ford Taurus and a wee bit of my loverly old Dogha (Dirty Old Green Honda Accord) to the left of it. I have a better pic of the Dogha parked there that day but this is a better pic of the house so this is what I’ll post. I sold this house after it was on the market for a year and last I knew it was up for sale again. Whatever.


This is just about the worst Ugly on earth but I have always loved it and today I found it. There’s me with my Macbook or Powerbook or whatever it was. I look like I’m scowling but probably not. Grandroobly and The Commander are eating breakfast. The TV was probably on LOUD tuned in to a morning news show. There’s my aunt Roberta’s painting kinda behind me. Whether it’s good art or not, I grew up with it and it’s in my house now.


We went to Frank’s for breakfast that weekend and we talked to Ruby (aka RB). Ruby is my dad’s cousin of some degree (not sure if he’s still alive). I’m thinking first cousin once removed but possibly second cousin but I’d have to think it all through and not doing it tonight. (I did not grow up knowing Ruby or his branch of the fam at all.) Ruby eats at Frank’s most mornings (so does the Grinch) and the waitress told him something like, “you have a whole hour of mingling ahead of you, so leave your cousin [my dad] alone so I can take his order.” I love Sault Ste. Siberia so much and here are my dad and Ruby.


This all happened in January 2006. At the end of that January, my dad was taking his daily walk down the escarpment to the post office. He fell (probably not on ice) and shattered his pelvis. My old Army Air Corps pilot dad took an air ambulance to the Henry Ford Hoosegow in Daytwa and I spent that winter driving back and forth to Henry Ford to support him and The Commander. Thankfully the weather was mostly dry and I was not employed (by choice) at the time. The Henry Ford bone docs knitted his pelvis back together and sent him back to his beloved Sault Ste. Siberia. Alas, he wasn’t able to focus on the rehab at his age (86) and he died that March. So that weekend was the last weekend that I visited my parents living together in their home in relatively good health. So glad it was so sunny the last days we were there.

G’night, KW

Moving along toward the silver lining because there always is one. Yes, really!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

islandtealThat’s kind of all for tonight. Wish I had more to say but whatever it might be would include my old coot swearing like crazy. Or saying “Stick it”, like whenever National Petroleum Radio talked about the Blue Dress back in the day. Right there in front of whatever grandchildren happened to be around, which was usually my beach urchins. I did a kind of silent happy dance whenever he did that knowing that my children knew their Grandaddy at his best.

I didn’t have a pic to put in a post today but then I searched for something and, as we always say at work, “looking for something else, I found this.” It’s the blasted old POC. I think it is parked out at Betchler Lakes and some beach urchins are picking blueberries with the GG. They probably went elsewhere to learn how to use implements of too much fun after they were done picking blueberries.

I loved/hated the POC. When I first bought it, I felt like the queen of England or something. It was so beautiful and cool. Alas, there were little issues here and there forever and it nickle-and-dimed me forever. But it never left me by the side of the road and it was such a great vee-hickle for schlepping our kids and their cuzzints (and The Comm sometimes) out for blueberry picking expotitions up in the Yooperland.

We’re listening to Joan Baez tonight and here is The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Back in the day, when I was a kid and young teenager, my dad often drove us down from the Yooperland on weekends to see relatives in the Detroit area and and the loverly Planet Ann Arbor. The Planet Ann Arbor has, of course, been my home as an adult, where my children were born and grew up. Back in the day, my parents knew enough to tune in to a radio station on those trips that would play songs that teenagers would want to listen to. And I did, snuggled up listening to music in the back seat of that big old Buick or whatever we drove.

Miss those days. Love y’all.

Not gonna turn into a snowbird but…

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

shovelingCan I just say that I am not ready for this 💩. I know, I know, it’s winter and this is Michigan. Also, I can count the snow events we’ve had this year up until now on one hand.

1) Inches of accumulation but since it happened in November, it melted quickly. That is it happened *this* November. November 2014 was a whole ‘nother awful story.

2) Snow showers in mid-December that iced up the streets and sidewalks intermittently for about a 16-hour period.

3) A sleet storm the Monday after xmas.

That is about it. Last Saturday I was hiking in a silk-wool turtleneck sweater and a polartech vest. Glubs on and off throughout but definitely comfortably warm enough that taking a glub off to get a photo didn’t even come close to freezing my hand. I was loving the unseasonably warm weather. I knew it couldn’t last forever because Michigan.

Here’s the thing. The last two winters have not been all that easy but I womaned up to the challenge of constant shoveling and running out of places to put the snow and egregiously idling vee-hickles so as not to have to scrape ice off zee veendsheeeld. As hard as life can be in the Hardland of the Winter [Youtube link], I often felt joy shoveling and walking around in my YakTrax and about a billion layers. This year I am not quite feeling it. Just last week I was loving galumphing around on dry pavement in my Keen sandals.

This morning is the second time I have had to shovel and salt my walk this year. I took the pic as I made the first southward pass along the sidewalk. Both the Ninja and the Frog Hopper were egregiously idling in the driveway as I shoveled. I tried to pretend that I was having fun but not really. Except that I was getting some Fitbit steps in for sure!

Fortunately, I am still telecommuting to work. The good thing about that is that I didn’t need to drive the Ninja anywhere today. It is not a perfect arrangement though and one of the downsides is that I have been listening to a heckuva lot of NPR and I now have (among other things) an enhanced view of why I didn’t vote for our current governor either time he ran (I wouldda voted for Geoffrey Feiger first 💩 but he didn’t run either of those times).

All that said, this is NOT a polly-tickle post! It is a snow post!

P.S. I will get over this Weather Funk. I think.

Bwa ha. Here is Cream doing Sunshine of Your Love in 2010. So good! 💜. And with Jimi waaaay back in the day.