Archive for March, 2017

Wayback musheen

Friday, March 31st, 2017

It’s always so much fun when we run into our kids’ friends downtown at the Oscar Tango or wherever. We ran into Damn Arbor tonight and the Blind Pig came up and I hope I didn’t bend his ear too much.

Although I like the Blind Pig, I have never been a frequent patron there. Actually I haven’t been there in many years. I will guess that my children have been there more times than I have, even though I went there before they were born.

So my favorite story about the Blind Pig happened before I had any children. It was back when I was living in an upstairs apartment on N. Seventh Street and working over at that darn EPA (sigh). The GG was in my life by then but he was working umpteen billion hours a week (*not* at that darn EPA) and had an apartment over in Clawson or wherever it was, somewhere in Megalopolis. My cousin the Mean Old Grunchie Old Grinchie was coming to town and he and I agreed to meet at the Blind Pig.

I got to the Blind Pig before the Grinch did (which I totally expected) and of course I was nervous about sitting at the bar by myself. Of course, a couple of nimrod-type barfly guys sat down and tried to hit me up. I was not impressed by them. I told them I was meeting my cousin. They were all “ooooohhhhh yeeeaaahhhh”, like I was just joshing them or something. Like maybe nobody was really meeting me there and they might have a chance in hell with me. Get a life boyz. Kayak Woman always keeps one foot on the ground and is capable of landing the other one there if necessary. I was “in a relationship” (with the GG) and meeting my cousin for the evening and not interested in them.

And then the Grinch arrived. I introduced him to the barfly guys. This is my cousin. I don’t remember exactly what happened next but they made some polite noises and went their own way. I first [sorta] remember the Grinch when I was three and we were in the back of our Grandaddy’s Studebaker “fighting” over a package of smoked fish. He has always been one of the sweetest people I know but in his adult years, he has always looked like someone you might not want to mess with. I am also sure that he is capable of following through on that kind of look in a non-violent way.

Nowadays when I have occasion to meet someone at a barrooooom, I am not anything close to nervous. This is partly because I don’t really get people hitting on me at bars like I did 30-odd years ago. But also I am no longer intimidated when people start up inappropriate conversations with me. If some old codger starts to get more friendly than I want him to, I am good at nipping it in the bud. Not to mention that I always have my iPhone with me. So I can sit at a bar (or anywhere) alone and text the folks I am meeting (or others) or mess with social media or do the xword or read or whatever.

The Blind Pig is up for sale. I hope whoever buys it keeps it going as it always has but I am not optimistic.

I don’t think I’ll take the compost out tonight… And now there’s lightning…

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

I would need waders to take the compost out today (click and click again). I haven’t looked to see whether the Landfill Dungeon is dry but we typically don’t have water down there, Hurricane Ike being the exception. But I don’t want to talk about weather today. I am just glad that what was coming out of the sky today wasn’t white and slippery and that I only heard one rumble of thunder this morning on my 0-skunk-30 walk. It was 30 miles to the south and I was two doors away from my house at the time.

Florida books? What are some good novels set in Florida? First, here are my requirements:

1) I need to read fiction (this is for an upcoming vacay). My work involves analyzing exceedingly complex situations and writing about how things need to work, adding in flowcharts and screenshots and tables and other graphics as needed. I understand that non-fiction can be wonderful (and readable) but I need escape reading and so I need stories that *grab* me, if that makes any sense.

2) That said, I don’t want anything too simple or maybe cheesy would be a better word. I’m looking for literature… How do I describe that… No romance novels. *Formulaic* mysteries or fantasies or sci-fi are not my thing although elements of one or all of those genres are warmly welcome. Just that the story and characters need to be somehow grounded in some sort of reality and developed to a point that I can connect with them. I doubt that made any sense. I’m not sure it even does to me and I just now wrote it.

Florida books that I have *already* read and loved, in reverse chronological order:

1) Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston): I read this only recently (it’s an old book and why have I never read it?) and I cannot put into words how I felt about it except that I loved it. The hurricane description? …

2) Swamplandia (Karen Russell): This book has elements of “bizarre” in it and I’m not sure that all of it is anywhere near plausible but that was part of what I loved about it.

3) The Talking Earth (Jean Craighead George): This is a children’s “chapter book” as we used to call them. Maybe nowadays it would be classified as YA (“young adult”) literature. I want to think I read this aloud to my children but I also have a fleeting memory that we did it as an audio book in the POC, maybe on our trip to the Badlands? I can’t remember exactly but I LOVED the book.

So if you have a favorite fictional book about Fla, I would love to know what it is. Or even just a favorite book about Fla of any genre. As you may be able to see via #3, I enjoy young adult lit too. Froggy can actually understand those books when I read them to him 🐸.

Love you all,
KW and Frroooogy

The Grace Route

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

I was a little bit late getting home today. No, it was not due to traffic, just an uncharacteristically late-running meeting. Traffic was a weeeee bit worse than average but there were no major slowdowns. I did NOT like the slowdown at the I94 18-wheel Slogway Jackson exit. My exit. It wasn’t a long slowdown but it is a short exit ramp and things are squirrely there and let’s just say I felt like a sitting duck looking at the rearview mirror hoping that everybody ELSE who was getting off at that exit took note of my brakelights. The vee-hickle behind me stopped in time but then I started thinking about other vee-hickles farther back who might not stop in time and for a split second I was terrified that I would be “accordioned” into a multi-car crash. *Finally* things started to move again. It usually isn’t that bad at that exit. If it was, I would take the back roads.

Years ago, an older man suffered a medical incident on that exit ramp, lost control of his car and careened through the intersection at the end of it (there is a stoplight, not sure if it was green or not) into a parking lot and building on the other side of Jackson Road. I thought “how awful” and went on with my life. And then a woman from the neighborhood started engaging me in conversation as I was out walking. She was talking about hawks and things and I was polite to her but had my guard up. Do I really want to be friends with this person? I felt like not, but I have been wrong sometimes in my life, so I gave it a try.

I let my guard slip enough to tell her that I walk early every morning. Oh dear, she wanted to walk with me. Okay. I walked with her twice. It was excruciating for me. First, I could not do my Regular Route. She had no understanding of me or why I do what I do. I accommodated for her on that. Second, when we encountered Grace Street, she fell into some kind of rapture or whatever about the street name. Oh jeebus! I was a small child in Sault Ste. Siberia when the neighborhoods that I now live in here on The Planet Ann Arbor were built and I *think* that Grace is probably the name of some ancient or dead real estate developer’s kid.

I don’t think my new friend was truly a morning person because we walked those two times and then I never heard from her again and I am certain that she moved out of the neighborhood. She did divulge the information that it was her father who careened off of the Jackson Rd. exit and hit a building or whatever. I can’t remember what she said happened to her parents (her mother was in the car when it happened). I don’t think they died but I am guessing they are not around any more…

But I did make it home safely today if a wee bit late and the crocus is what is in the back yard today. This is not early for crocus, just happy to see it bloom.

Love y’all, KW

Centipede feet are dropping. One by one by one by one by one by one…

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Lemme see… Tax forms… A wee spot of whine… The Mothership, loaded up with TurboTax… Bat ears… Bat ears? Yes, bat ears. What is your tax prep routine and what are your props? The bat ears are not necessarily a tax thing. They come out on other occasions too.

I remember years ago sitting on the floor with forms and papers fanned out in front of me. We had a computer in those days but it definitely didn’t help us do our taxes. I was probably wearing blue jeans. I have not worn blue jeans in years. Skirts, babaaay! Our taxes were simple in those days. The GG and I each went through the process independently and then compared notes before submitting them. I was always annoyed that every single blasted piece of paper was a different size and/or shape! I did not wear bat ears but maybe I should have.

At some point in time, I handed the tax preparation job over to the GG. I was doing treasury work for a lot of non-profit organizations around that time and I was filing form 990 for some of those orgs and if you think your taxes are difficult, just take a look at form 990. I kind of ran out of steam for doing our own taxes. Tax time throughout those years was horribly stressful for me. I couldn’t explain why if I tried.

Things gradually got more complicated for us (as they do for most American taxpayers throughout life) and nowadays the GG still calculates the taxes but we also send them off to an accountant. The first year we did this was excruciatingly stressful because we had differing opinions about the need for a CPA but I think we have both been happy with this arrangement. It has certainly been less stressful for yer fav-o-rite blahgger.

Adult children and taxes? Oh man. I know people who do their children’s taxes with permission and cooperation… That is okay. Those who do their children’s taxes as a means of trying to control them? Bad.

I have never once seen a tax return for either one of my adult children. They handle that stuff themselves and they have been known to vociferously object when a parent asks the smallest of questions.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs? I’ll take it!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

My creative little Mouse took this pic. I have been wanting to take a pic of my new stemless whine glasses but my strategy would’ve been to line them up in a nice neat row in rainbow order next to whatever leftover mail is on the table, etc. I like this pic a whole lot better. There are only two glasses and why do I need all six anyway? You get the point that it is a multicolored set with just the red and blue. Mouse’s jade plant and other artifacts lend interest.

I donated all of my stemmed whine glasses a while ago. We weren’t using them and they weren’t anything worth handing down to the next generation or selling on eBay or whatever. They were nice enough but mostly they came from the old JL Hudson’s or wherever. I took them down to the Kiwanis Thrift and I hope someone else was ecstatic to find them there. I was happy with them when I first had them. I’m a grown-up! Yay! I have whine glasses now.

I have these now. They are artisan-made from the catalog Uncommon Goods and therefore not totally uniform. I like stuff like that but I also like precision-made glassware. I am a mixed bag who appreciates both styles. But I do LOVE COLOR and these are beautiful!!!!

Three years after we gutted our ugly old 70s-era chitchen, I am still struggling to find an appropriate piece of shelving to display my glassware. One that will “fit” in my house, both in terms of space and in terms of decor. That last one is really hard to do, given that our decor can still be described largely as Student Ghetto/Early In-law. B-witch, where are you with your crinkly nose? I can switch out whine glasses but large pieces of furniture are daunting for me.

I am not in a big tizzy about any of this at all. I’m just rambling along in an annoying 1st World way because I don’t really have anything else to say. Workday. Monday. Gray skies and warm but not warm enough to match Tank Top Day (last Friday).

Love y’all, KW.

Living dangereusely with opinionated women

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Spoiler alert! This post is essentially anti-Trump. *I* am anti-Trump. But my focus here is on the iron-clad women who were the strong (but benevolent!) forces in my upbringing so if you can deal with the anti-Trumpness, read on <3

If you are one of my nine Reglear Nucular Taggers, you have seen this pic of my moom (at 88) before. She was not going after Donald Trump with that knife. He wasn’t on her radar screen at that time. I’m not sure he was on *anyone’s* radar screen except for the tabloids, which “we” did not follow (nose in air, yes really). She was aiming the knife at me. I can’t really remember what I had said to deserve that but (OF COURSE) it wasn’t a serious gesture. We were all having fun and gnoffing like crazy. Because that’s what the FinFam *does*. And that’s one of the reasons The Comm married my dad.

I can’t imagine what The Commander might have had to say about Trump as president. At the time this pic was taken, he was a tabloid/reality crap-show creature and I know that The Comm and Radical Betty would have gnoffed and gnoffed and gnoffed at the suggestion that Trump would ever become the president of the United States. On one hand, I’m glad neither of those women lived long enough to see that eventuality come to pass. On the other hand, I would love to hear what they might have to say about it…

Back in the fall of 2006, I traveled up to see my moom and Radical Betty. At that time, a little kerfuffle in the news was that a US congressman (Mark Foley) had been caught texting inappropriate messages to pages and interns, etc. The Commander was totally incensed by this and I will never forget her opinion. “Why under the sun do we have people like *that* in the *government*?” Here is a link to that and some other quotes from that afternoon. None of them have anything to do with Trump. In fact, I’m not sure *who* some of them are about.

I have one aunt/uncle set left on each side of my family. My FinFam aunt Bubs is doing well and following in the tradition of her sister and sister-in-law in fine form! So I am going to pimp my cousin Jay’s blahg so you can read what a wise and seasoned FinFam woman has to say about the current presidential administration. Love you Bubs if you read this.

Here is where Trump supporters may want to turn off the road because I almost did a spit-take with my OJ early this morning when I found out that some buzzfeed guy has made a “children’s” Trump truck board book.

“Deleting accidental videos from The Commander’s iPhone”

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

It is a good thing that I have various “memory” apps on my devices, otherwise I would never remember what the heck I was doing on this date six years ago. Or whenever. It only goes so far. I do not know what I was doing on this date 50 years ago but that is probably a good thing. 13 years old? Fighting with my parents? Tormenting my little brother? Engaging in extreme angst about boys I liked that didn’t know I existed? Or parties that I wasn’t invited to? Or on the flip side, maybe I was doing a little night skiing with my friends up at Minneapolis Woods. Or maybe not. It is [was] late March so maybe not enough snow. Or I could’ve been playing my flute. Or dancing to rock and roll music alone in my bedroom…

Six years ago? We were in the Yooperland visiting The Commander, who was, on that date, still healthy. There is a video that I took out at the moominbeach and apparently I deleted a bunch of videos off The Comm’s iPhone. I mean videos where she either thought she was taking a picture and accidentally slid over to the video mode (like we all do) or maybe didn’t realize she even had the photo app open at all (like we all do). In the chaos of her last year of life and after her death, I somehow never thought to look at her iPhone to see what kind of photos, etc., might be on there. I did find some eye-popping email messages on her computer, oh boy oh boy, but we won’t go there.

Anyway, The Comm was actually pretty dern good at embracing all of the new-fangled technological stuff that came along toward the end of her life. She *wanted* an iPhone and we had a great time helping her obtain one and she learned to use the features that she needed (like we all do). She was particularly good at text messaging, which was handy because telephone calls were very difficult those last few years although I definitely called her *anyway*.

I thought about The Comm on this otherwise gray and chilly Saturday of small chores. One of my small chores besides the usual Saturday chores was to sew patches onto the GG’s North Country Trail shirt. He actually wanted to iron them on. Jeebus! That chore involved my sewing musheen, which I have not used much lately but the first pic is the mice that my Mouse drew on my sewing musheen’s case when she was two years old. The grandparents were down here visiting a few years later (they were always a great help to us when our kids were young) and The Comm was about to “clean” my sewing musheen. I had to stop her.

So, after yesterday’s Tank Top Day, today was gray and chilly and drizzly off and on. We did our farmers market routine but I didn’t buy a whole lot, lettuce and radishes from The Goetz Family Farm in beautiful Riga. We ogled the steaks at Sparrow but we are eating out of the freezer for the next couple weeks so we didn’t buy anything.

But. Oh wait! We had so much fun today! We met up with our cuzzints npJane and Jay for lunch at the Wolverine Brewery! I had not been to the Wolverine before today. I loved it! Even though they don’t have whine. Yet! I knew approximately where it was, which is in the warren of buildings “behind” Big George. We have navigated that space many times for various reasons but it definitely helped to have npJane’s instruction, “yes you have to drive between two buildings to get there.” Yes. And then there is getting out but we won’t talk about that except to say that we made it out without incident 🐸

I loved this place. They didn’t have whine (yet) but the young man behind the counter helped me find a beer that I loved. Him: When you do drink beer what do you drink? Me: Whatever is in the refrigerator. But I usually drink beer on the beach in the summer and then it’s probably Oberon. Him: White or red wine? Me: Red. Cab. He gave me three samples to try. The first one was the hands-down winner and it is in the pic (taken by the GG) because the GG ordered the same thing as I did. Kurios Black.

So much fun meeting up with cuzzints on this weatherwise gray and chilly kind of day. Love.

Draining the swamp.

Friday, March 24th, 2017

I mean the Alert Swamp. It is a work thing and you don’t really want to know about it. It has nothing to do with faaaarrring people. I do not have the authority to hire and fire people and do not even want that kind of authority (making the sign of the cross at the thought!). My swamp-draining work today involved cleaning up an area of our high-fidelity product prototype that didn’t exactly reflect reality. I got a high five for that.

The guy in the photo is suited up for, oh, what the heck was it like outside last night? 40-something? I fergit. The pic makes it look like there is snow outside but do not be fooled. Totally dry everywhere, just brilliant sunlight. This afternoon it was in the 70s and everyone (including me) was wearing tank tops. And downtown? Man was it slammed down there! That is about all I have for tonight. It was a good day but not all of it was blahgable.

Strategies for eschewing orange

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

I am an inconsistent news junky. I don’t really understand all of the complexities of current events and would really rather ignore the news and live my boring little life in blissful ignorance. This agnostic asks, “Can’t we all simply live by the golden rule?” I guess not.

But there are those times. I watched War in the Gulf (the 1991 version) until my then-3-year-old Mouse figured out how to spell “OFF” and unceremoniously turned off the TV when she had had enough. Let’s see, the government shutdown(s)? I *mostly* mean the first one, in the mid-90s, when I was not gainfully employed and we were living on a pretty tight budget. By the second shutdown, we were in a much better place, but I was still highly annoyed. 911? Who *wasn’t* a news junky after that?

I have been on a news junkie spike since November 9th. I am now a paying subscriber to several of the more reputable news sources in the country and follow a handful more on Twitter. We are living in interesting times for sure but the news does get overwhelming when you can plug in to the world 24-7. I got a taste of unplugged-ness in February when we spent a long weekend at the DNR lodge at Tahquamenon Falls. There is no internet service of any kind anywhere near the Tahquamenon area. You have to drive 10 miles down into Paradise to get the 4G/LTE on your phone. Make no mistake, we did that daily. I *have* to have the xword, don’tcha know? But while I was there, I also opened email and twitter and facebook, etc. and, when I saw something about North Korea and Mar a Lago and a hastily-arranged press conference, I made the executive decision to NOT click over. Good decision, KW.

I check email and social media in the morning and occasionally throughout my workday and I sometimes read articles. By the end of the day? When I get home from work, I delete any email that contains news links and I ignore anything that comes in via Twitter or whatever. Downtime.

On another note, I think the automotive vee-hickle gods are trying to tell me something. Like, hey KW, do you need a new car? First, this old photoooo turned up today. I’m not sure why. I can’t remember exactly what year this was but it was in the early 2000s because Grandroobly and The Engineer are in it and they left the building in 2005 and 2006. The other thing is that I am getting all kinds of car ads and stuff on my various feeds today. This is a little scary because I have not *looked* online for a car at all. So I’m hoping Al Gore’s intertubes cannot somehow read my mind.

I am not ready to give up the Ninja yet. She is too good to me (knock on wood). But I am in the early stages of thinking what might be next. The latest Honda Civic is getting rave reviews and I have loved the two Civics we have owned (including the Ninja) but my fave vee-hickle EVER was the 2001 Honda Accord. I will have to at least check out the Accord. And then there’s the new Honda CR-V, which MMCB1 just bought. It is gorgeous and has all kinds of cool features. Or maybe another Outback? The Mean Green Frog Hoppin’ Musheen has been wonderful and having a second SUV would give us more options to haul the Lyme Lounge and Cfam Trash Mobile when we need to.

Oh, don’t get all excited. I’m not ready yet. Just flexing my vee-hickle-buying muscles a bit. And then, on another topic… Surprise! I was going to scrabble together a meager feast of leftovers for dinner tonight but our Mouse is now coming over and since I don’t think I can stretch what I had in my plan to cover a third person, we are gonna head out to Knight’s! Yay!

Love y’all,

“I’m, like, a smart person”…

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Or so I was always told when I was young and finishing up my 1st grde grade (good catch, Sam) arithmetic problems well before the allotted time was up, meaning I sat quietly in my seat, bored to tears. Or reading at an I dunno what grade level but well above 2nd in second grade. And getting perfect 99s on my Iowa tests in 3rd grade. My teacher, bless her heart, didn’t handle that all that well. She was announcing the results of the test and called me out, looking at me with big buggly eyes. What? What? I thought. Did I fail the test? I was terrified. I did *not* want to fail! The truth ended up being almost kind of worse. Perfect 99s? That lead to the [fortunately occasional] nickname of “Brain of Lincoln School”.

Can I just say that the kind of attention those test scores got me shoved me into Cheating to Get Low Grades until I was about a junior in high school. Fortunately, I recovered and as a seasoned adult, I know that I am probably “smarter” than a lot of people but there are a whole heckuva lotta folks who are smarter than me. Not to mention that we are all “smart” about different things. That is a good thing and we are all important in our world and society! I couldn’t see that back at Lincoln School. In those days, you were “smart” or you were “dumb” or you were a “talker” (“smart” or “dumb” kids could be “talkers”). I wanted to be “smart”. I wanted to be a “talker” but I was scared to death of the punishment. I didn’t want to be “dumb” but a lot of the “dumb” kids seemed to be having the most fun, at least the ones who were “talkers”. I couldn’t sort it out.

What the heck made me think of this tonight? One of my mantras in this particular polly-tickle season is to quote our president when he says a version of, well, see the title. One of my other mantras is, “I didn’t vote for him.” [Say it in a sing-song kinda way if you can imagine that.] I’m not sure there’s any way to compare me and Mr. Trump. I suspect he is more intelligent than a lot of people but I do not think he is an appropriate leader for our country. For the record, I also didn’t vote for the Great Lake State’s current governor, who I *definitely* consider to be intelligent but *not* a good governor (google “Flint water” or something like that). I do not hate Rick Snyder. I just don’t think he knew what the heck he was taking on.

BTW, isn’t that cat beautiful? She is Simcoe, a tortoiseshell kitty. I am pretty sure she doesn’t care doodly-squat about whine. If I get it right, she is more interested in pizza. Her owner is a young relative of mine. My relative is a phd student in a field that most of us do not want anything to do with. I won’t go any further with that tonight as it is her story. I do not think she has a whole lot of time to sit around and drink whine but I sent her these socks and Simcoe seems to approve. Even though she’d probably rather cadge some pizza.

Accidental Uglies

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

So, yesterday. What was I clanked up about? Well, I *get* clanked up when people post cryptic ain’t-it-awful messages on social media (mostly facebook). Without saying exactly what is going on in their life, they drum up sympathy. “Oh, you poor thing”, “*hugs*” (another pet peeve of mine), etc.

If you have had a stoopid tiff about something with your “best friend” or your computer has died and you had to endure humiliation by Apple Store personnel, or you are sick with a garden variety cold, or you have a hangnail, go ahead and post your misery. If you do post it, please provide a short summary of why *you* are upset. And consider if facebook is the right place for this? Facebook is a convenient way to disseminate information but you *may* not want some person who had a crush on you 40 years ago and hasn’t quiiiiite let it go yet to know the “horror” of what you are going through. So if you’re is a First World Problem, please label it as such! I have learned this stuff from experience, BTW!

On the other hand, what prompted yesterday’s entry was a cryptic post from a facebook friend. A person I have known since junior high but was not connected with in high school or since except for facebook. It took me all day to figure out that her husband died (suddenly, at 63, at home) Saturday night. Saturday night, the GG and I were hanging out here having a quiet evening at the Landfill. I’m gonna guess these folks may have been hanging out in similar circumstances in their home. I think that anyone going through that kind of stuff can post whatever the heck they want on facebook whenever they want. When you are in the early stages of processing the shock/grief that comes with a sudden death, I am sure it’s hard to think everything through. Well actually, I know, because I remember the conversations I had with Dogmomster in the hospital parking lot the day my brother died, oh so many years ago. Before facebook. My beloved Big Band Guy I/M’d me when he was still alive but he didn’t live long enough to be on facebook…

Kee-reist, I hope today’s photooo didn’t scare anyone. It kind of scared me when I first saw it. Blair Witch Project, anyone? I considered posting Simcoe the cat inspecting whine socks in Fla but then I found this. I am sure that this is an accidental selfie. Like I wanted to take a pic of something and accidentally flipped the phone into selfie mode and clicked.

FML (oh, not really, it was [so far and knock on wood] a good day here 🐸)

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Okay, so I had a point to make yesterday but I sure did not make it, at least not coherently. So how about these eggshells instead! 🐽

Random blue decadence

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

My work laptop has been calling my name all weekend. I succumbed to its call yesterday. Today I could not quite get there. We slodged around the Landfill aaaalllll morning and finally took a Ninja Ride out onto the little roads west of here. The GG turned toward home earlier than I kind of wanted him to but then he asked if I wanted to participate in a wee bit of Sunday Afternoon Decadence. Well, sure, and after some discussion, we ended up downtown at the Planet Ann Arbor’s Irish pub Conor O’Neills.

We found a place to sit on stools next to one of the old Planet Ann Arbor post office components that Conor O’Neills has incorporated into its decor. If you sit at one of these things, you have to go up to the bar to get served. But that works very well, especially with the bartender we dealt with today. Of course I gave her a decent tip.

Anyway, while we were there, there was one o’ them thar March Madness basketball games on TV. I know that those games are going on but I really don’t pay attention to them. So, when people were making a lot of noise, I wasn’t paying attention. I was probably looking at facebook. But then, on facebook, npJane made a post about the bball game. It was down to the waaaaar at that point and then Umich won.

So I saw the Umich bball team win on facebook. I am not a sports fan in general but Umich is the Home Team here on The Planet Ann Arbor so I always root for the home team. I am glad they won. And I am also glad that the eastern Yooperland apparently had temperatures in the 50s today. With sun. Love all of my friends who live up there. You needed that!

No words…

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

When I got up this morning it didn’t look it was snowing outside. By the time I was getting myself ready to schlep down to the farmers market (it was around 7:15, it opens at 8 throughout the winter until May), snow was coming down pretty hard. I always text the GG when I get down to Seventh Street. That’s his cue to start driving downtown to meet me at the market. Today I could not text him. When I got to Seventh Street, the snow was coming down so hard that I struggled even to type the six digits that open my phone. I would get the first digit in there and then some snow would land on my phone and the surface would be too wet to let me enter any other digits. This is what it looked like at Seventh Street this morning.

Can you see that snow coming down? I finally managed to turn in a direction *away* from the snow (sort of) and I got the phone unlocking code in there and then *calling* the GG was easier than trying to type a text message because I only had to touch the phone twice, once to open the phone app and the other to call the GG.

You would wonder if anyone would even show up at the farmers market on a snowy March morning but it was pretty much hopping and people were as cheerful as all getout. My sequin-laced bomber hat often attracts attention all on its own but today a couple of folks were pointing and laughing! it turned out that I had a bunch of snow on top of my hat. The GG took an ugly of me and here it is and I was proud enough of that snow to make it my facebook profile pic.

We had some good snow throughout the morning but eventually the temperature climbed enough above freezing that snow was not sustainable and at the end of the day, it is something like 36 degrees and almost all of the snow we got this morning is gone.

March madness

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Beautiful beautiful beautiful weather to start out this day. I walked in the dark under the waning gibbous moon this morning and the sun was brilliant on the way to work. Ooooogly, ooooogly, oooogly weather to end the day. Driving home was okay although the big fat snowflakes that were melting before they hit the pavement when I left work turned into I’m not quite sure what but it made noise and left icy stuff on the road about a third of the way home.

It was just warm enough that the roads (the surface roads at least) were not slippery but when I got home it looked like this out my front door.

There was actually a beeceeclette going by in the street when I took this pic but I cannot see it in there for the life of me. I did see the taaaaar track when I finally dragged myself out the door. That took some doing but I finally put my YakTrax onto a pair of Keen sandals and layered my rain jacket over my turtleneck sweater and vest and Zippy the Pinhead balaclava and trudged off. It wasn’t too bad except for the noisy precipitation. With YakTrax I could at least stride along with confidence. Halfway downtown I received a text message asking how the sidewalks were. Bad!

I expected the Oscar Tango to be slammed tonight because St. Patrick’s Day and it was although I doubt it was quite as slammed as Conor O’Neill’s pub. The other weird text message I got today was “Bring Froggy in green outfit”. I took that to mean his green tutu, which Garage Sale Pengy was currently wearing, so I dressed Froog up and schlepped him downtown in my backpack and here is our loverly Irish amphibious friend making buggly eyes at our beautiful Irish Polish friend. Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, roight?

The sidewalks were still slick when we left the OT so once again, we cadged a ride of porterization. We have been home at The Landfill for a while now and I am about done and there’s the farmers market early tomorrow. I wonder if I’ll need YakTrax or not. I sure hope not.

St. Patrick’s Eve

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I don’t often post photos of Cubelandia people because, well, anyone who works in corporate America who has a BRAIN knows why. This afternoon we had a Casino Night/St. Paddy’s Day party at Cubelandia and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of The Benevolent Despot in his Irish/Viking? gear. I told him I had taken a pic and I said that I wouldn’t post it anywhere. He said something like, “I don’t care if you post it. I’m gonna make this my fb profile pic”. He won’t be using my photoooo and we are not friends on facebook. So this is a wee glimpse of the wonderful person I work for. The proverbial bus almost did him in a couple weeks ago (yes, really) but there he is, big as life. Love.

So our little backwater “brain trust” part of the global company that deposits a paycheck into my bank account twice a month for whatever it is that I do for a living has a yearly party called Casino Night. This year Casino Night happened to be scheduled the day before St. Patrick’s Day and so the two events morphed into one. We had green [or blue] beer as our Irish Jewish boss always makes with food coloring and there was bottled beer if you didn’t want to take a risk about what was in the green [or blue] beer pitchers and there was some whine and there was more food than anyone could ever eat. (I am gonna tell you that TBD was rather indiscriminately pouring whatever beer was available into those pitchers. I didn’t tell and I doubt anyone noticed.)

I had a great time this afternoon but I do not do gambling games or play euchre so I slid out around quitting time to catch some daytime astronomy because Mr. Golden Sun was out in full force. When I got home, I found a series of texts including a thread where The Beautiful Gay (of Gaylord) was making one of her signature pineapple upside-down cakes. TBG is my sister-in-law of Terror Twinz. Mother of three. Grandmother of five. I hope someone got her some whine when she put her feet up!

Word Salad and Alphabet Soup

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Alphabet Soup? The training I had to take via Corporate U today. How many acronyms can you throw at a person in one 25-page training session. How do you expect people to remember all of those acronyms for the quiz? They do not make any sense. I dunno. I love my job and I did pass the quiz. After all those blasted acronyms, the quiz didn’t even refer to them.

Word Salad? Okay, yesterday it was me when I was presenting at work and something I wrote three weeks ago didn’t make sense to anyone including me. It was also when The Commander, at the end of her life, frequently pulled out a word that didn’t make sense within whatever context surrounded it. I actually could usually figure out what she was trying to say and she was usually trying to say something coherent.

I won’t go any further with the word salad stuff except that I would like to s-l-o-w Kellyanne Conway down a bit sometimes. I want to ask her what? What? What did you say? What did you mean? Can we parse your verbiage one phrase at a time? I can also do word salad but this is too much for me. I spend uncountable hours trying to write verbiage that does not resemble Word Salad. But this is political crap and enough of that. For now.

So, I am hanging out here alone while The Pensioner goes off on a boondoggle up through northern Michigan. He visited the Moomincabin today and also Jeep and Pan and their older son. They all look wonderful! Here is the Moomincabin.

As usual, there is a huge snowbank between the moomincabin and the Old Cabin.

The North shall rise again!

“Very strange conversation about UFOs and eternity going on in the next room”

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

My cute li’l timehop app served up the title’s tweet from seven years ago. I don’t remember tweeting this and I don’t remember the conversation but I am pretty sure that it took place between the GG and The Commander and you never really knew what kind of stuff those two would get off on. Make no mistake, I am glad that they had the wonderful relationship that they did.

It reminded me of an earlier visit, waaaaay back in 2003 when The Engineer and both our parents were all still alive and our branch of the family was still totally intact (at least I thought it was). I was not formally employed in 2003 and that allowed us to travel to the Great White North pretty much whenever we wanted to. Mouse was a sophomore in high school and had her learner’s permit for driving and so we headed up north on a junket during her mid-winter break. We spent a weekend at Houghton Lake with some Cfam folks and then on Monday, we drove on up to Sault Ste. Siberia.

We were greeted by a surprise when we got up there. My Old Coot met us at the front door with the unwelcome news that, “Fran is sick!” Sick? Sick? I had just talked to her the day before. She didn’t sound sick then. What did he mean? Yes, she was sick. It was some sort of viral thing (I think) but it was *awful* and, for the first time ever, my mother looked OLD and FRAIL. Apparently, the old coot had said that they should call me at Houghton Lake and tell us not to come up. The Commander told him NO, I think we need them.

She slowly recovered over the week that we were there and I think we were helpful. We cooked and did laundry and other chores and looking back on that time, I know that my dad could not have taken care of all that stuff by himself. Maybe my mother didn’t want to eat much that week but dad certainly needed to, to keep up his own health in order to take care of her. He was healthy at that time but in no way was he able to handle cooking and cleaning chores. Well, most cleaning chores. The old coot was always fantastic at running a vacuum cleaner. I did not inherit that DNA.

We had a really good time up there hanging out and skiing the Algonquin trails and visiting Radical Betty [and making sure my dad had something to eat besides PBJ sandwiches]. Driving down the alley behind my childhood house on Superior is a special memory.

I knew that The Comm was truly on the mend one morning when I was in the Computer/Sewing Room (remember this was 2003 and we weren’t all getting online with our iPhones). I don’t remember what I was doing but I heard the GG and The Comm in the living room having some kind of conversation about nuclear bombs. I don’t remember the details but I knew that she was on an upward trend.

The pic is certainly not from that winter weekend in 2003. It is from Radical Betty’s memorial celebration in 2009, held in the parking lot between the Moomincabin and the Old Cabin. The Engineer and my old coot were both dead by then and I am not sure who The Comm is pointing her face at or what she is saying. I think she was sitting next to Bugs and Horsey but pretty sure they were NOT on the receiving end of that incriminating face. Or maybe it was just a Resting Face. But I don’t think so. But she may have been making a joke. Hmmm… She looks a lot like her *eccentric* older sister Roberta. She would not like that…

Just a boring pic of my compost thing covered in snow

Monday, March 13th, 2017

So Old Man Winter threw a few snowballs at us today. All day. I suspect Mother Nature was right in there helping him pack snow with Mr. Bear Bare Nature sleeping it off in the snow as usual. (I’ll tell that story from my misspent youth some other day. Maybe.)

After a gorgeously sunny but cold weekend and a lot of dry weather in recent weeks, it was snowing when I got up this morning. Sigh. I hauled out my boots and YakTrax yet again. Sigh. I could’ve telecommuted today. I didn’t. The Weather Gods weren’t predicting a big 10-inch accumulation although I think we got more than what they were predicting. The Pensioner didn’t need to drive anywhere today so I took the Frog Hopper to work. And what the heck, I actually felt like fighting the elements today. That is a bit uncharacteristic for me these days so I’m not sure what got into me but I wanted to work in my Loverly Cube so I spent my morning commute in something approaching the usual zen-like state of calm it almost always instills in me. Maybe it’s just that it is March and as nasty as March can be, the light is at the end of the tunnel. It may be a pinpoint but we can see it. We’ll talk about April ice storms and May snow-squalls some other day. Sigh.

The commute home? Mostly zen-like except for the tailgater who honked at me when I slowed down to a crawl upon encountering boiler-plate ice at a very busy intersection. I did not want to rear-end anyone. I also did not want to be rear-ended. I did not understand why that person was tailgating me. Fortunately he didn’t hit me. I know it was a “he” because he was so close to me I could see him in my rear-view mirror. He looked a lot like a certain worm-looking “senior” (31-y/o) advisor of the Trumpian Dynasty*. Oops, you said you would stop talking to the radio, KW. Anyway, back off A**hole boogaloo! The roads aren’t that bad but there are plenty of slippery spots. Your SUV can handle a lot of stuff but it won’t stop on ice any better than any other car will, including my Outback.

Chill. Please.

*Not to dis 30-somethings in general! Just not crazy about this particular 30-something. Sorry. Most of the 30-somethings that I know in real life absolutely ROCK!

Fumbling into Daylight Savings Time

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

I fumbled it big-time this year. First, a disclaimer. I actually like the time change. I know that others do not (including some who read my vanity blahg of blather). I respect your opinions and love you anyway. And anyway, time-switching is arguably trivial in the grand scheme of things. What I like about DST is that here in the Great Lake State, which is [mostly] on the western edge of the Eastern time zone, we get the “midnight” sun up at the moominbeach. I love looking out at the horizon at 11 PM near the summer solstice and still see light from the sun. I don’t really mind the dark mornings and late afternoons surrounding the winter solstice down here on The Planet Ann Arbor although it is easier to deal with them if Mr. Golden Sun comes out *sometimes* during those dark days.

I usually manage to make the time transition (spring forward and lose an hour of sleep) without a problem but this year I flubbed it. Lizard Breath came over yesterday (no, my problems were not her fault!) to have dinner with us and see Mouse’s play. Her original plan had been to head back to Detroit after the play but then she thought it would be fun to take Mouse out for a beer after the play and so she decided to come back here to sleep and leave in the morning after breakfast with her baggy old mother, aka meeeeee. There was even frivolous talk last night about having brunch at one of the many places around here that serve samosas mimosas!

As it turned out, I did not get up all that early today. The GG was scheduled to drive over to the Battle Creek area to meet up with for a joint group hike with the Chief Noonday NCT Chapter and Fortune Bay Expeditions. He needed to leave at about 6:30 AM. I decided to stay in bed until he was launched. This is unusual, I am almost *always* the first to hit the shower, by tacit mutual agreement. But then. I fell back asleep for a bit longer. I guess I must’ve needed it? I got back from my walk at something like 8:30. That is late, even for a Sunday!

It was okay. Lizard was still asleep and I did some kitchen chores and then settled in on the Green Couch with yogurt and orange juice to check up on internet stuff. When she woke up we mobilized and both of us nixed the mimosa brunch idea in favor of a Greek Scramble and regular old coffee over at the Village Kitchen. It was cold this morning and we decided not to walk there, even though it shares the Plum Market’s parking lot and we walk over there all the time. *My* excuse was that Liz did not have warm enough clothing for walking in 18 degree temps. I didn’t even offer any of my frumpy old KW clothing to her, although she is wearing a beauteous old hat of mine in the pic. (I have permission to post the pic and I looked in vain for a pic of meeeee wearing that hat back in the day. I think there is one. I think I bought the hat at the ski shop at Boyne Highlands. Using [with permission] my mom’s Mastercard.)

Back to DST, yet another bill is somewhere in the Great Lake State legislature to end shifts from standard to daylight time. I love the time shifts so I am against this. But what I am *really* against is that apparently* the proposal is to switch to year-round DAYLIGHT savings time. Do these legislators not remember that we did that once before? I was a junior in high school. During the winter solstice the sun did not rise in the eastern Yooperland until after 9:00 AM. So what if the sun didn’t go down until 6-something at the end of the day. Mornings? Dark and dreadful. Walking across the tundra to the new Sault high school in my cute little [not warm] fake leopard coat with *nylons*, flimsy little boots and whatever hat wouldn’t “ruin” my hair.

*Fake news alert: KW has not researched this bill thoroughly at all so she is not sure exactly what is in it. Google it if you are interested.