Archive for November, 2017


Thursday, November 30th, 2017

If I had a pic of The Commander’s vintage black and gold sewing musheen, I would post it but I’m pretty sure I don’t so you get this old Blue Terlet pic instead. Don’t worry. The Blue Terlet is gone but the sewing musheen still exists. It lives at the moomincabin. At one point I floated the idea of moving it out of the moomincabin living room. I wasn’t going to get rid of it. I WOULD NEVER DO THAT! It is the sewing musheen on which I learned to sew. I was just thinking of moving it to a more hospitable climate and freeing up a little space there. That idea was shot down quite handily by the beach urchins. “That’s part of the cabin, yada yada yada.” Okay, I give. I’m still a bit skeptical that spending the winter in a six-month hard freeze is good for a sewing musheen but I suppose the other appliances have survived that for many years so why not a sewing musheen.

That sewing machine (Mrs. Pratt and Mouse are sitting on my shoulder making me switch to properly spelled English words) was one of the first things my parents bought after they got married, down in the southwest, during WWII while my dad was a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. Comparing that to Radical Betty and Duke’s 1st anniversary purchase, which was a small boat motor, I think The Comm (my mom) made out okay. Although I do have to qualify that Radical Betty was not a seamstress and every time she told the story about the boat motor, she laughed like crazy and so did the rest of us. He gave me a boat motor! He gave me a boat motor! Duke was a career Air Force guy and they were stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi at that time, which probably wouldn’t have been Betty’s first choice to live but she was always game for everything. Oh, how I miss Betty.

My mother was a talented seamstress and I wasn’t too bad at it. I sewed a lot of my own clothing as a teenager but nowadays (yawn) I just order stuff online. Still, I can use a sewing machine if I need/want to.

My mother had a second career as a home-ec teacher. She taught people how to use sewing machines and do some cooking things but she also opened a *store* inside our brand-new high school and instituted a child care class that included a couple weeks of on-site day-care/pre-school. This was in 1970 when I was still in high school. (TMI: it was cool to have my moom there at school because she had aspirin if I needed it. For you probably know what.)

I cannot figure out why sewing skills seem to have been degraded to “womens work” or “not STEM education”. Sewing clothing/quilts/whatever involve HUGE mathematical and engineering components. Not to mention the artistic component that so many of our politicians seem to be missing. I loved this Scottish bar-sewing article that my BFF sent me this morning.

I do think that technical education is important and that kids should learn math and science. I just think that we should not just shluff off the things that women are more likely to do (like sewing) as “art”. Sewing can be art but it also requires a lot of technical expertise.

I think I had more to say about this but the GG came home from the yooperland and we walked over to Knight’s for dinner and I am about done done done at this point.

Love y’all and g’night. KW


Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Oh man, that last Mac OS upgrade. The one that temporarily hosed The Mothership, requiring us to spend an hour or so at the Apple Store last Sunday. Oh the humanity. I did that upgrade a while back and it did not hose, uhhh, hmmmm, my laptop doesn’t have a name, why not? Anyway, it did not hose my MacBookPro. It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R but it did eventually finished (Mrs. Pratt?) gracefully and I went on with life.

Well, but, not so fast KW. Things are all fine. Except for Photoshop. Every time I hit <command><option><shift><S> aka “Save for Web and Devices”, I can resize my photo and sometimes I can save it “as” (and sometimes I cannot) but whatever I do, I cannot make the “Save for Web and Devices” window go away without force quitting Photoshop. This is getting annoying. Actually, I had to look up the FOUR KEY shortcut sequence for the save-for-web-yada-yada function. I have been doing it for so many years, I just do it without thinking. I do the command, option, and shift keys with my left hand and swing my right pointer over to hit the S. I just tested that out.

I have a Caddylack version of Photoshop but it is ANCIENT, like CS3 maybe? It still runs on my musheen. When I bought this application back in the Dark Ages I paid the student discount price, which was something like $350 instead of $3000. It’s been a long time since I’ve qualified for the student discount and although I could afford to pay the big girl price now, I’m not sure I want to go in that direction. I know there are lots of other apps out there that do the kinds of things Photoshop does for me, including many iPhone apps and I even have a Photoshop app on my phone. Just that I don’t have to THINK to use Photoshop for what I want it to do.

I am not really asking for advice here. I have options. 1) I’ll bite the bullet and buy a new version of Creative Suite (or whatever it is now) that is compatible with my musheen and OS (hmmm, xmas gift? Don’t move too fast buddy, I may not want that!). 2) I’ll decide to use a simpler (and cheaper) laptop app to do the minor tweaks to photos I use Photoshop for (and spend the time to learn it). 3) I’ll spend time learning to use one or more of the photo apps I have on my iPhone already. 4) I’ll continue to use Photoshop and Force Quit whenever.

And there is always the potential of option X, which is that a future upgrade of Apple’s OS will take care of this problem. Backward compatibility…

For now, it is just a pain that I have to force quit Photoshop after each photo edit. It’s a first world problem in any case and other than that, it wasn’t a bad day. It was actually a pretty darn good one. Knock on wood.

Force quit

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Our Guy is dying. He’s been dying for a while but he was at least upright a couple weeks ago so I’m thinking some young hooligans have tipped him over. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I want to be angry but really, he is just an old tree trunk. If young hooligans are pushing the envelope by tipping over a dying old tree trunk (already dead in reality) instead of rifling through unlocked cars (or worse), I guess I’m okay. There are probably some cranky, judgmental old bags around the neighborhood who are tsk-tsking about this but I refuse to be That Neighbor. Move on, Your Nastiness.

Here is Our Guy back in his heyday! In 2014, the sorta summer after the f*****g Polar Vortex Winter. What a badass. Look at that shelf fungus eyelash(es?) (struggling with singular vs. plural here, where is Mrs. Pratt when I need her?). When I posted this pic on facebook a few years ago I gave people permission to “hide” him if he creeped them out. I hope he doesn’t creep y’all out.

Our Guy lost the ability to grow a huge eyelash(es) but he acquired a loverly punk (?) haircut in his later years.

Mrs. Pratt came out of the blue into the front of my consciousness today because the LSCHP came by to introduce his new family member. I asked if it had legs or wheels. It doesn’t and you can’t put it in your brassiere, although some form factors of this entity do actually fit into brassieres. Mrs. Pratt only had Kleenex (or maybe it was a cloth handkerchief) in her brassiere. Some people thought it was funny (including me, alas) to watch her reach down for that but actually she was a wonderful English teacher and I have her (among others!) to thank for being successful in life because man oh man being able to *write* *coherently* is of tantamount importance to succeed in most professional careers.

Disclaimer: I know that I do not always write coherently on my blahg. But I am kinda committed to writing every day. There are good and bad days but the best way to continue to hone writing skills is to keep writing and this is one way I do it. Delete a whole bunch of stuff about writing…

What on earth have I been writing about lately? (Dunking entire head underwater and SHAKING IT VEHEMENTLY!)

Monday, November 27th, 2017

B-b-b-b-b-bbrrrrrr! Whut?

Where am I? Lemme think. So, you know how I kill people with cholesterol-bomb mashed potatoes and you know how often I eat lunch at one brewery or another. But not Sunday, I made turkey-cranberry wraps at home on Sunday. And not today because Cubelandia.

To digress a bit… My cab at the Session Room (that was Friday, after a hike at the Geology Center) arrived in a stemless glass. I told the bartender that I appreciated that because… I made a hand gesture indicating knocking a wine glass over. Lizard Breath (bless her lovely little heart) said something like, “Moom, you don’t usually tip over wine glasses.” I had to reply with something like, “No I don’t, but one of the times I did, I hosed a laptop computer.” Jokes about Adult Sippy/Tippy Cups ensued but lunch continued without incident and man oh man, I recommend the burger I had at the Session Room. It had Pink Lady apples and BACON and probably some lettuce and I can’t remember the cheese but it was a cheese I actually eat like goat something-or-other. And not so big that I had to ask for a doggie bag to go with my to-go sippy cup 🙃

When I listed stores I went to over the weekend, I fergot that I went out to the Jackson Road Meijer Sunday morning. Not exactly a small business but Meijer is a long time Great Lake State business and I love that they have opened a store in Sault Ste. Siberia, my hometown and where I spend time in the summer at the moomincabin. So, not a mom-and-pop store anymore but also provides a lot of jobs in our community.

The Mothership? There were some dicey moments before that whole thing got sorted out but it seems like it’s okay, at least for the time being.

Today? B-b-b-b-b-bbrrrrrr! Whut?

Subfusc grutch and frass

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Lemme see. Thanksgiving weekend shopping:

— Thursday, Thanksgiving Day: One trip to the Plum Market by the GG. Local business? Started in the northern Detroit suburbs and has expanded to the Planet Ann Arbor and Chicago. Located where I can easily walk to it.

— Friday: Lunch at the Session Room (local brewery) and dinner at the Oscar Tango (long-time A2 establishment).

— Saturday: farmers market and Monahan’s Seafood (both local), then lunch at the Griz (local brewery). I cannot believe that someone had some fresh lima beans at the farmers market yesterday. I thought those were done done done in midsummer. I’m cooking some tonight.

— Today: Apple Store. Oh, the humanity! (Including us, of course.)

But wait! We didn’t buy anything. Wednesday night the GG threw all caution to the wind and decided to accept a software update on The Mothership. To digress a minute, I call his behemoth iMac (or whatever it is) The Mothership but that implies that it is related to the other computers in the Landfill. It ain’t necessarily so. I bought my first Apple laptop in 2003 and have never looked back from using a laptop. My laptop is not connected to The Mothership and I have used that beastie only a handfull of times [delete some fugly stuff about scanning hostile albeit incomprehensible letters from unscrupulous lawyers — you’re welcome].

Anyway, the Wednesday night software update hosed The Mothership so the first appointment we could get at the Genius Bar was this afternoon at 1:00. He actually made one for Saturday but I nixed that because it was during the Umich/OSU game. I wanted to be downtown during that and so did the GG and no, Umich/OSU do NOT play football on Thanksgiving Day. It is the Saturday after 🐽

We were prepared for the possibility of buying a new computer today but, as it turned out, it was a complicated issue having to do with file “architecture” (for lack of a possibly more accurate word), disk drive form factors, and what I think I heard Valentine admit was not the smoothest operating system upgrade that Apple has ever rolled out, especially if you have an old-skool “spinning” drive. Which we do.. Because…

It turns out that we bought The Mothership in August 2011! Neither one of us could remember exactly when. Valentine looked it up and also noted that most people don’t remember when they bought old computers and either over or underestimate it. I’m sure he’s right but I neither over or under estimated. I just plain couldn’t remember. As difficult a year as that was with The Commander taking a bit of a turn downward, I do remember getting two new laptops in one month that year. One was the precursor of my current MacBook Pro (it was time) and the other was a Windows Musheen at work (it was time).

Anyway, we didn’t (knock on wood) have to buy a replacement Mothership today and things seem to be going well but he is doing a time musheen restore so we’ll see what happens after that finally finishes. I was sort of excited about getting two new laptops at that earlier time in my life, back in 2011. Nowadays, I could not care less. Oh, I will upgrade my hardware when it fails.

And then after all of that, since we were at Briarwood Mall where our Apple Store is, we took the Ninja for a mini ride south of town, past my work business park, down to and through Saline, and westward to the first northward unpaved road we encountered. Beautiful sunshine drive home today and at this time of year we need whatever we can get.


Saturday, November 25th, 2017

I predicted that the home team would lose and I was right. Almost seems like they are jinxed but whaddo I know about team sports? Nevertheless, this morning was beautiful and pretty darn warm for this time of year. 49 degrees when I walked down to the farmers market at 0-skunk-30.

The GG then headed downtown on foot at 10 AM or so to see if it smelled like beer down there. Sometimes it does the morning of the Umich/OSU game. I don’t think it was quite as crazy as that this morning. The GG “blames” a crackdown on fraternities/sororities. I dunno if that’s true. I have never been all that crazy about the “Greek” element of college campuses. Maybe I am just an old grumpus about that, remembering the days when I didn’t exactly fit into the “In Crowd”. I cared then but I do not care now. Still, although I know that you cannot stereotype individual fraternity/sorority members, it has always seemed to me that a social system like that can lead to the perpetuation of a society where people are not valued equally. Call me a librat if you want. You never know what kind of life someone else has had or what kind of intelligence they can contribute. Or what burden they are carrying.

Tangentially, I just finished the book “Beartown”. I was a bit skeptical before I read it. I am not crazy about team sports and don’t care enough to try to understand the rules. I grew up in a “hockey town” of sorts but wasn’t ever connected to that sport or any other sport really, except for marching in the band at football games. I have always had a kind of an attitude toward football/hockey/whatever “stars”. I think that boys who are good at a sport are often placed upon a pedestal before they are old enough to even understand what kind of person they are and the adults they are surrounded by are not always effective at helping them sort that out, including how to appropriately deal with the young girls who idolize them. I didn’t idolize local sports stars as a teenage girl and so I never did quiiiiite understand this stuff.

Can I just say I LOVED this book? It presented all of the players and coaches and others as the complex people that they (and all of us) are. I had to suffer through a few bits of hockey rules that I didn’t totally understand but I did get the skating and slamming against the boards and the injuries and the beatings, etc. I was probably halfway through the book when I figured out that the setting was somewhere in Scandinavia (it couldda been the yooperland or northern Ontario) and that the author also wrote “A Man Called Ove”. I read Ove a while back and although I enjoyed that book, I LOVED “Beartown”.

Anyway… I walked downtown to meet the GG for lunch at the Griz and the pic shows what awaited me when I got there. We were a little earlier than usual, partly because the GG was downtown walking around all morning and definitely because FOOTBALL. The Griz was momentarily quiet when I got there (after a morning of brunch with lines out the doors) but it picked up quickly as the game began. The first quarter was loverly and but I gather things went downhill later on. I didn’t watch. We took the 31 back over to the west side and I read for the rest of the afternoon (except for the 2-second nap I took until my phone fell off the arm of the Green Couch). I’m back into dystopian stuff now — “Oryx and Crake”.

Makin’ mashed potatoes ahead of dinner

Friday, November 24th, 2017

It’s really easy. For starters, you just plain *make* mashed potatoes. How do you make mashed potatoes? I mean how do *you* make mashed potatoes? I usually start by boiling some potatoes in my three quart Revere Ware pan or a bigger one if I need to cook more taters. Up until fairly recently, I peeled the potatoes but after a niece and a couple of daughters said that they were happy eating unpeeled potatoes, I now only peel off anything oogly and remove any eyes or bad spots. But y’all can certainly peel your potatoes however you want to.

I boil my potatoes until they are soft and then I drain them and let them sit back in the cooking pan for a bit with whatever I have hanging around. ALWAYS butter but also yogurt (PLAIN, NOT vanilla), cream cheese, sour cream and milk are all candidates. A little horseradish might be good if your intended audience is game but maybe better to serve that on the side, if at all. Let the whole mess all sit in the pan a bit and then mash it all up like crazy. Lumps? Do your best but who the heck cares! Dump it into a buttered casserole dish, sprinkle some paprika over the top, cover it up and stash it into the refrigerator. When you are ready to use it, bake it at 350 until it’s done. Done? Done is when it is heated through and you are ready to serve dinner! If it’s “done” before the rest pf of (pf?) dinner is ready, just turn the oven down to warm/hold and let it sit there.

This is the kind of strategy I use to get through holiday dinners without stress, even though the ones we have here at the Landfill are not all that stressful, since it is usually only us and the beach urchins these days. Our CFam relatives are dealing with their own extended families and my branch of the Fin Fam is small and (very sadly) not united for the time being. It’s all okay. I miss the friendly relatives of the holiday dinners of my childhood but I am happy to hang out at home with people I love. It is a precious day off for me if nothing else.

This morning, I spent the early dark hours hanging around as my Mouse gathered herself to get to work by 7:00 AM. She didn’t need me to hang around for that but I wanted to. Lizard Breath took the day off and after the GG cooked us a wee brek, we all took a hike at the geology center and then meandered back eastward for lunch at The Session Room. Home for all of us with Lizard returning to Detroit and then a porterized dinner at the Oscar Tango, where Liz (famous OT waitress/manager) situated us in one of the coveted window booths. Tomorrow is the annual Umich/Ohio State game which means that downtown will be crazy tonight and tomorrow. We expect our home team (blue) to lose. Alas.

P. S. After I wrote this, somebody on facebook posted a meme about how much *vodka* to put into mashed potatoes. Yeep. Just no…

The sleepiest Thanksgiving ever

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

I think that’s exactly what this crowd needed. At least it’s what I needed. The pic? The beach urchins went through a file cabinet of photos from their grandparents’ house. My parents were not all that great at photography. So we are not quiiiiite sure what is going on in this particular photo. I will say that the gal in the background has not been seen in a bikini bathing suit in about a billion years. You are welcome and good night.

Garlic bread (or not)

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

This is the one day that I did NOT want to get up late. I had a whole bunch more than the usual number of chores to do before work. Usually I wake up at the same time every single blasted morning. I have my alarm set for 5:58 AM, which is actually something like a half hour earlier. This morning I was awake enough 20 minutes before the time my alarm is set that I was just about to get up and go about business and get some of it done before my walk. But then… Yikes. I somehow fell asleep again. REM sleep with a crazy shoreline dream and and the whole works. Folks on the other side? Yes. There was a whole thing where my dad and I were stopping at some kind of place where we could buy passes to cross the Mackinac Bridge and I had a long incomprehensible conversation with the woman selling them (dad would NOT go inside) about how many axles we had (TWO…) and some sort of Monday night special. I was mustering the guzzinta to tell the woman — politely — to just sell me a pass for *our* vee-hickle for *that* night. And then I woke up. And whoa! My clock said 6:18! 20 minutes after I wanted to get up.

I cut my walk a bit short, mostly that Ano was in the southern woods and I decided to let him roam in there alone today. His owner was wondering where I was and if I wasn’t walking because it was cold. It was 30 but it was windy but I was dressed for it and I assured Ano’s owner that I don’t bag walking unless it’s about zero.

One of the chores I did this morning was to prep a couple small loaves of garlic bread to bake tonight.

And then I got to work and I heard the Long Suffering Cat Herding Person tell someone that he was probably the only person on his team who was at Cubelandia today. I piped up with “How do you define your team?” Oh, ho ho ho. He didn’t expect that I was there. I guess he doesn’t realize that I only have a few more days of paid time off in 2017. As is customary, we are usually released a couple hours early the day before a holiday. The LSCHP got taaaared of working before that hour so he shooed me out the door 20 minutes early, mainly so he could also leave in good conscience, I guess. Maybe that makes up for the 20 minutes I overslept this morning.

Home and a walk to the Plum Market and beach urchins over for the night and the holiday and and and… Hope your Thanksgiving is good. This year I am thankful for good health and relative prosperity and beautiful grown children who have always been and still are tremendous assets to my life.

Wouldn’t you know that I totally forgot to bake the garlic bread I so carefully prepped this morning. I have no words!

Everybody must get trolled

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

So troll me if you want but today this rambling bunch o’ blather is gonna talk about traffic. And weather. And… Why? Because that’s about all I have.

That was my original first sentence because I had an ooogly little commute home today. It was raining and the I94 18-Wheel Clogway was red red red in both directions, so I took the “back” roads and those can get pretty dern clogged up too but the upside was that I ended up going along Stadium right by the liqwire store where I stopped and stocked up for the weekend *today* instead of tomorrow when it will probably be slammed.

To go with my oooogly commute theme, I was remembering my commute home 10 years ago today (“today” being the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). There was a long backup (like today) and it was dark and rainy (like today) and I was going slow enough that I was able to actually take a photo (unlike today). I was *probably* driving either the Dogha or Daisy, both of which have automatic transmissions. I can RARELY get a photo from the Ninja while driving. Since I didn’t get a photoooo today, I searched for my 10-year-old photo. I found that and some other oldies but goodies. Here is the 10-year-old traffic photo.

And then I found a whole bunch of photos from a trip to the Yooperland earlier that November featuring people who were vibrant then but are no longer around. This is a HORRIBLE photo of The Commander lunching at the Ojibway Hotel. What was said? I don’t know. I’m sorry mom!

And here’s my beloved friend (and aunt) Radical Betty walking the fin family moomintroll beach.

Another photo from lunch at the Ojibway, this time Cam and Radical Betty. Cam was RB’s lifelong BFF and died only a few months after RB. I have gone on with my life since these women have died (what choice do I have?) but I do miss them.

To lighten it up a bit, the next photo is of the Old Cabin’s renovation, which was also taking place that year. My Dear Uncle Harry organized this and I will never forget him saying something like how a lot of people inherit cabins but he had inherited a museum. He is not wrong.

Mr. Clean (or is it Suzy Homemaker)

Monday, November 20th, 2017

<alert>Okay, so there was just a growling noise behind me. At least I THOUGHT it was behind me! I figgered it was “just” Mr. Clean making a growling noise but when I turned around, no one was there. Then I figgered it out. It was definitely Mr. Clean but he was running water in the bathroom. Okay, whew!</alert>

This is the fourth consecutive day of Man Cleaning. Fortunately I was over at Cubelandia the whole day. When I got home, Suzy Homemaker was swinging around the Man Cave back living room with what I think was The Pretenders on the stereo. I am happy enough about all of the Man Cleaning that I didn’t even care if The Pretenders were precluding me from letting National Petroleum Radio run along in the background. Oh, I like The Pretenders well enough. I remember them from the early days of MTV. I think. We were living in an upper flat over on Jackson back in those days.

I used to always listen to music, mainly when driving, and mainly rock and roll of one variety or another. Classic rock until the beach urchins started paying attention to something besides Wee Sing Dinosaurs and guess what? Unlike my parents’ opinions about *my* teenage music (Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc., if you haven’t been keeping track), I LOVED the stuff on the “alternative” rock station. 89X, was it? I am randomly remembering one time I was driving The Indefatigable and there was an Eminem song on and my then middle school beach urchin (who did NOT like Eminem) wanted to change the station but I said, “Just let me finish listening to this song.” We were picking up one of her friends as this was happening and he asked why she was listening to that stuff. She replied that it was her Mooooooom who wanted it on. I could hear her eyes rolling.

After my dad died, I couldn’t listen to music for quite a long time. I switched over to NPR news and talk. I didn’t grieve in any kind of a “normal” way (and I know that grief is different for every situation). I didn’t sit around and cry and wring my hands. I drove anywhere I could manage to drive — many trips to the Yooperland and Houghton Lake but also quick 100-mile jaunts over to Kalamazoo for breakfast at the Crow’s Nest with random students there — and listened to NPR all of the way. (I also walked but I always do that.)

I am listening to music again nowadays although I still listen to NPR talk in the car. I have to say I am enjoying Mr. Clean’s music selections tonight. It turns out he has gotten the stereo system’s CASSETTE player working and so he’s playing cassette tapes from the early 1980s. We’ve got Falco on now. I only ever remember one Falco tune ever, Der Kommissar, but they are pretty good. Also, I think they sing in German. Which is okay with me and I am loving their music tonight.

I dunno if any of this stuff makes sense or if it is just stream of conscious random writing. You’re welcome and I love you too. Really. 💜💜💜

Dear Cute Little Ninja, we are about to embark upon our 9th winter together. Are we ready? 💜

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

What did I do today? Besides not too much, I signed on to That is, I signed *back* on to Ancestry. I vaguely remember setting up a login a few years ago, then getting cold feet. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I would have to pay actual money to actually do much of anything. Oh, not that an subscription would break my bank any more than not buying the cheap eggs from Kroger but I’m sure I knew that I wouldn’t actively pursue it at that time so why pay for it.

Connecting with a 3rd cousin and some interesting stuff that may come out of that connection have tipped me over the edge. I now have a paid account and am willing to share my family tree with anyone who wants to connect. At the moment my tree is a very small rudimentary one. I spent a good amount of time fumbling around and had to delete several extra instances of my parents as parents (and grandparents) to themselves before I even had a clue to what I was doing 🐽.

I don’t know what I will do with this. One the one hand, I have kind of a natural bent for things like genealogy. I am a systems analyst with database experience and family trees are basically databases. But, like most databases I have encountered in my life (back to when I was 7 or whatever and logged bobby pins and pencils and things from my desk drawer onto lined notebook paper), family trees are messy and I’m not sure I have the persistence to deal with anything extensive at this time.

And I don’t really have time. Another round of Man Cleaning happened today and when I mentioned that I wasn’t really much help, The Pensioner said something like, “It’s your day off!” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Jeebus! Yes, I bring income into the household via an outside job. It’s so nice to be appreciated for that. I MEAN THAT SINCERELY. So many women in other parts of the world everywhere are prohibited from “working outside the home” even if it would benefit the family finances. We don’t really need my income but it is pretty darn nice to have it and I don’t EVER look gift horses in the mouth and that’s about as far as I will go with that for now.

Sorry to get off on a tangent! At least for now, I am Genealogist Lite. I have no plans to do a saliva test, at least not in the near future. I suspect that test will tell me I’m a Viking in disguise. I have no problem with that at all. Just. I don’t think I have words.

Oh yeah, the Ninja. We had some snow showers today. None of it stuck anywhere. It’s not quiiiiite that cold yet and there wasn’t all that much snow. The Ninja and I are going into our 9th winter together. We gassed her up today and somehow ended up out at Dexter’s Pub for a bowl of chili and…

When a Maaaaaaan cleans the hou-ouse…

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

I am pretty good at keeping up with maintenance-type cleaning. I clean the tub, sink, and eco-terlet (and – ahem – the floor surrounding the eco-terlet) *every* day. Well, probably six days a week. I keep up with the chitchen. You will NEVER find shambling mounds of laundry at any stage hanging around here. There *is* a shambling mound of skirts but they are clean and don’t ask.

I have been known to deep clean from time to time but I am more suited to maintenance-type cleaning plus some picking around here and there. The GG? When he gets bitten by a cleaning bug, it is best to just stay out of his way. *Every* piece of furniture gets moved out from the wall, dusted, and vacuumed if needed. Like, how many years do you think this candy wrapper has been down in the bowels of the Green Couch? In the particular iteration that occurred this morning, every single blasted item in the room was dusted, no matter how small. I wanted to help. My help was not particularly appreciated. I am okay with that.

The GG theorized that the Monster Bedroom was the dustiest place in the house and probably always will be. I don’t totally agree. I think that the Freakout Chamber is probably dustier and I KNOW that the Utility Room is awful. Those rooms are in the dungeon though. Otherwise, I think he is right about the Monster Bedroom. Why is it so dusty? Because it contains a closet full of clothing, a lot of which hasn’t been worn since the Jurassic Age. Fabric is a huge dust collector and if you don’t wear it, you don’t wash it…

I greatly appreciate all of the Man Cleaning but I still maintain that it is easier to CLEAN if there is less CLUTTER around. We have been working on Death Cleaning (google it) for more than 10 years now but we have more to do. The Commander spent many years doing that kind of cleaning and was still doing it at the age of 90 and I thank her for not leaving us with the kind of mess that requires a dumpster in the driveway.

It was raining cats and dogs at the time we usually walk downtown to the Griz for Saturday lunch. I figgered out how to take the bus DOWNTOWN today. We could’ve driven down but it was so much more fun to take the bus. I figured out that we could catch it over by Aldi’s. We got there a bit early because I do not have the bus schedule internalized. So we had to wait a bit in a driving rain. Once we got on it, it was totally fun and the guy slouched down looking at his iPhone is the GG. I like to sit a bit higher where I can see what’s going on although, when our bus steamed through the Dexter/Maple intersection as the light was turning red, I had to duck my head. I would have stopped but then I am usually driving the Ninja, not a bus.

Pop Quiz: How many bridges connect the state of Michigan to the province of Ontario?

Friday, November 17th, 2017

This is a Guest Blahg from the Grumpy Growler:

Today, I was listening to the Frank Beckmann show on WJR radio, Detroit. Frank had a little quiz show in progress while I was listening. He presented a question to a contestant. “Name the two bridges between Michigan and Canada.” WHAT!?! (I thought). WADDA YA MEAN TWO BRIDGES? Note: The contestant named the Blue Water Bridge from Port Huron and the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit. Technically, he answered Frank’s question correctly.

I got on the Intertubes and looked up contact information for Frank Beckmann and sent him a message.

I identified that there are THREE bridges between Michigan and Canada. (1) The International Bridge between Sault Sainte Marie and Sault Sainte Marie. (2) The Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia. (3) The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor. Say Ya! to da U. P. too!

Within ten minutes, Frank Beckmann alerted his audience to the necessary correction that I identified. He acknowledged that there was a third bridge. The International Bridge at Sault Sainte Marie. He noted that my correction of his question did not change the outcome of the on-air contest.

I sent Frank a thank you message and acknowledged our mutual appreciation of Bison Pasties from the White Tail Restaurant in Brevort Michigan (that is another story).

Don’t look away. The possum isn’t dead!

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

“A possum will often act dead when faced with a situation it doesn’t want to deal with.” That’s from the Urban Dictionary and the situation would be yer fav-o-rite blahgger in the case of this poor little terrified guy.

It was a fugly morning and as I was waking up at 0-skunk-30, I could hear the wind a-blowin’ and I was thinking, “Do I reeeeeallly want to go out and walk this morning?” But I had to get up and go to make the donuts and today’s batch was sweeter than the usual because it is Thursday and that means coffee with MMCB2. I was particularly looking forward to coffee this week because I have been through the good, the bad, and the ooogly during the last week, the oooogly happening an hour or so after LAST week’s Thursday coffee. I needed Girlfriends! I mean Life Girlfriends. The ones you hang out with no matter what is going on in the other parts of your life. Work Girlfriends are wonderful but when crap happens at work, we all need Life Girlfriends. I’m glad I have some of those. Most of my Life Girlfriends are women who have not given up on making friends with me despite my introverted personality. Nevertheless, they persisted!

Anyway, I got up and took my walk and it really wasn’t all that bad, at least it wasn’t raining cats and dogs any more.

And so I was walking through the north side of the mini-woods behind the Landfill and I had my iPhone flashlight on and suddenly there was movement near my feet! A TERRIFIED opossum stared me in the face! I stepped away and I heard a little thud. Yes, he played possum. I got the best pic I could get with an iPhone in the dark and then I left the cute little possum alone.

Walking in the south side of the mini-woods behind the Landfill, I encountered my dog friend Ano and his uber-cool owner. Ano ALWAYS barks when he encounters me but he does not jump or try to bite, so he is A-OK with me. I alerted Ano’s owner that I had encountered a possum in the “other” woods and he decided against letting Ano run in that woods this morning. No reason to have to deal with Ano tangling with a possum!

Going agile on a fuuuuuugly day

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

I don’t have anything against studying the Russian revolution but I cannot feature reading the dense tomes involved in that field of study. I am struggling to get back into simply reading fiction, fer kee-reist. It’s not that the books I have been reading are boring, for the most part they have been fun! It’s just that when you have a job like mine in which you are constantly thinking through complex pieces of web application functionality and how to choose the right words (and vocabulary) to describe it to other people, you don’t always have a lot of space left in your head to concentrate on any kind of book, including fiction, at the end of the day. The Benevolent Despot and a co-worker were commiserating with me about that the other day. I do enjoy reading and I am forging on. I don’t think I will be tackling books about the history of the Russian revolution any time soon.

I am appreciating my own personal historian’s newly found interest in my family’s history. That is, one branch of my family’s history. The Fin Fam side of dad’s family is relatively well documented and he is delving into it a bit. Other branches are not so much, like the Raeburn branch, even though Grandma’s fam had some interesting people. Part of the Commander’s family is somewhat documented but there are some goofy rumors like we are related to Daniel Boone. The Comm kind of pooh-poohed that even as she told it to me when I was a kid but I was intrigued because I had a huge crush on Daniel Boone. Who knows? We *could* be related to Daniel Boone. Probably a huge number of people who are alive today are related to Daniel Boone. 7th cousin 14 times removed? Still, the GG has been researching some things on these dark, fuuuuugly November days, which is a cool thing. Oh, he got outside too. Walked all over town. Going outside during this dark, fugly time of year is what makes us survive. Trust me!

Companion aminals

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Mouse recently acquired a new couch for her apartment and of course my first question was “Do you want some frogs or other aminals to adorn your couch?” The Green Couch is home to at least two froogs, a grinch on long-term loan from his owner, a seal or two or three, and I fergit what else. Oh yeah, Hisse and Bouncy Bow! Those are mice!

I suspect Mouse’s new couch is already home to various aminals, definitely a few elephants. Monkey here is my chitchen aminal. Monkey has been around as long as I can remember and I don’t remember that he (he has always been a he to me) has ever had a more creative name than “Monkey”. I was not as creative at naming aminals (or toys) when I was a small child as my Mouse was. One of the things The Commander told me about my early childhood was that once I was standing over my toy box moving my head back and forth. What was I doing? Looking for Little Red. I’m not sure what Little Red was. I’m not sure The Commander knew what Little Red was. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a doll or aminal but I could be wrong.

Here is Monkey. He has been around as long as I can remember. He lived at the moomincabin for a number of years but now that my parents are dead and the cabin is empty more of the summer than I want it to be, I decided Monkey needed to come home with me. He lives by the coffee maker. He has acquired a hat! Buried in the swamp of Crappy Beer was one long lost bottle of good cBear beer, bottled in Gainesville, Fla (or maybe in Chico, CA). The GG drank it yesterday and Monkey now has a new hat. Forever, because once an aminal acquires an article of clothing, it stays around forever. Like Froggy’s Harry Potter glasses, which washed up on the moominbeach once upon a time.

At least it’s not pointed at a window this time.

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Update on the “ice” situation. Everything (roads and sidewalks) was bone dry this morning. No ice issues. I had a nice little Zen Commute in the Ninja. Usually when the roads *are* bad I telecommute for part or all of the day. Today, as we are still processing Black Thursday at work, I wanted to be there to commiserate and show solidarity with the other “survivors”.

But then, ugh. We got a Crime Alert this afternoon via the Nextdoor Neighbor app. Ugh. Two incidents, both of them within about a mile of here. #1) Two female joggers grabbed in a “sexually explicit manner” at 6:30 AM! That’s when I am on my 0-skunk-30 walk! #2) Young teenage boy answers the door at 7:45 PM to see an adult male on the porch exposing himself.

I am not an idiot at all, despite what a few people apparently think (you know who you are and you can suck it for all I care). I know that anything can happen at any time (even on the Moominbeach but that was a looooong time ago). I am ALWAYS aware of my surroundings when I am walking at any time but especially in the dark. But these and a couple of recent panhandling incidents make me wonder if I need to take a mini-break, at least for a few days. Even though these incidents did not happen in my neighborhood.

But. Recent incidents? Three of them. Two of them were obvious panhandler things. What bothered me about them is that both people went OUT OF THEIR WAY to try to engage me in conversation and one of them was in an unusual panhandler location. Do they think I am an easy mark? I am not.

The third incident? It was Saturday and I had actually kind of forgotten about it until I saw today’s Crime Alert. I was walking home from the Plum Market, waiting to cross the street at the adjacent intersection, a busy one. It was broad daylight and there were about a gazillion cars at the intersection. A kid with a skateboard was on the other side of the street. And a guy with a bicycle. I guess I didn’t process that they weren’t together or even anywhere near the same age. The biker suddenly steamed across the street and started to say something to me. And then… Freaked out and made a quick change of direction away from me. I was halfway across the street before I realized that… There. Was. A. Police. Car. A low-profile kind of police car. Hahahahahahahaha!

But that police car won’t always be there. They can’t be everywhere at all times.

Brave New World

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

I don’t have much to say tonight. It was a nasty fugly November day of rain. We get those. We went for a beautiful Rain Ride in the Frog Hopper this morning and then a little later on had a Lunch of Decadence at The Session Room. I dunno what else to say for the moment. Oh, the GG put gas in the Frog Hopper this afternoon in case there is Ice Driving tomorrow morning and I need to take the Frog Hopper over to work. I hope there is not Ice Driving because I really want to drive my beloved Ninja. But we’ll see. Love you all.

Walking down to downtown Ann Arbor and back by bus

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

We haven’t been down to the griz for a few weeks now. We’ve been in and outta town a bit and there was a memorial for our sister Suz in the middle of all that. We miss our Susie greatly and will love her forever.

We walked downtown for lunch at the Griz today and took the “express” bus home, that’s the 31 and it’s the “express” because it is the most direct route to the Plum Market, aka our neighborhood. We got off the bus just after the Dexter/Maple intersection. The GG immediately realized he had left his glubs on the bus. The 31 goes out to a development near Dexter/Wagner and then turns around at that point. The GG stood at the bus stop for the 31 to return and by the time I was leaving the Plum Market with our groceries, the GG was banging on the window showing me that he had found his glubs on the 31 as it returned down to the Blake Transit Center. He bought snacks at the Plum and then returned home and crashed out and that is about it. Boring? Yes. Sometimes that’s a good thing.