Random bits of my so-called life.

A journey, complete with the usual marital discord 🐽

March 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

Oh don’t worry. It’s nothing more than the usual GG/KW crapola. It’s just that today is the day we made our annual pilgrimage to the Quiet Water Symposium. The GG was behaving in a bit more of a frenetic manner than I was comfortable with but that was because we had the Frog Hopper full of stuff to set up a North Country Trail booth here at Moo-U, where the symposium is held. But look! Here is a sandhill crane! Moments before this, I had been yammering away about slowing down on this icy, washboard-y back road that is part of our normal route to East Lansing. And then *he* slowed down because this guy and his partner were taking their time crossing the road.

Next up, lunch at Dagwood’s, an old Lansing/EL barroom we remember from our years as students. We sat at the bar where we could watch the cooks do their thing. Somehow I managed to sneak a pic while they were momentarily away from the stove or grill or whatever you want to call this apparatus. Very good food and we’ll be back.

From there we set up our booth at the pavilion. That is to say, the GG set it up. Me and our Lansing NCT friend Greg sat around and kibbitzed. We both know that the GG has some sort of plan in his head and there’s no point in us trying to interfere. I did help straighten a Hudson Bay blanket on the table and Greg went on an extension cord snagging expotition because the GG (somehow) fergot one. Here are Froggy and Froggette practicing their pole dancing for the event tomorrow. I snagged them when we left and they are safely ensconced in the Frog Hopper with the other aminals for the night.

We met up with Greg and some other NCT friends for dinner at our fave Beggar’s Banquet where much gabblety gabblety gabblety ensued.

And now we are back at our hotel, which is the Candlewood Suites this year. This is a much better hotel than the one we stayed in last year, which I will not name 🐽 We won’t talk about the room number confusion we had upon our arrival 💩


February 28th, 2019 by kayak woman

We put the beach urchins on skis at an early age. X-C skis, that is. I stopped doing downhill after I was about 25 or so.

So, one of the beach urchins began her ski career a few months before her third birthday. We went to the [beloved] Moldy Old cFam cabin at Hoton Lake one weekend and skied at our fave X-C Ski Ranch HQ. We rented her the teensiest-tinesiest cutest little pair of red skis for the weekend. I wish I had a pic but I did not have an iPhone in those days. She went Great Guns all day Saturday, burning up the trails and having a great time.

This was early enough in our parenting journey that we were naive enough to think that she would absolutely want to ski every day after that for the rest of her life. Or not. Sunday morning we headed up to the Ski Ranch to ski a bit more before we had to head back down the I75 SUV Speedway. This beach urchin did NOT want to ski. Not at all. I gave the GG and others permission to ski without me. Then I made a fatal parenting mistake. I said something like, “We’ll just go and ski on the Little Kid Loop.” Little Kid Loop? Bad idea. Full-blown 2-year-old tantrum ensued. I picked up my child, skis and all, walked into the Ski Ranch, and turned the skis in. I was cheerful when I said something like, “I guess we are DONE!” Bob (the owner) was at the counter and since he had a few young children of his own, you know he laughed.

That kid *was* done for that year but (of course) she wasn’t done forever. By the time she was 13 or so she was leaving me in the dust on skis. As an adult she doesn’t get out skiing as much as she might want to but tonight she is hanging out at Hoton Lake after skiing under the brilliant sunshine and summer-like blue skies that we sometimes get here in February (when we aren’t being dumped on by Old Man Winter). A promise for a warmer season but who knows how long it’ll take to get there. Mr. Groundhog was certainly wrong this year when he promised an early spring.

This is a pic the beach urchin texted me earlier today. I didn’t exactly ask permission but I said I would use it and she was okay with that.

We’ll talk about volcanoes another time 🐽

“Busy news day”

February 27th, 2019 by kayak woman

I think I will pass on commenting about any of the news today. Instead I will list every item of clothing I wore walking this morning, top to bottom, more or less. The temperature was something like 16 degrees Fahrenheit and there was between one and two inches of newfallen snow on the ground, some of it hiding crappy old ice underneath.

  • smartwool balaclava
  • Sparkly hologram bomber hat
  • Wool scarf
  • An undergarment that gets worn to Cubelandia and flung upon returning home.
  • Turtleneck sweater
  • Polartech vest
  • Feather-weight smartwool jacket
  • An undergarment that gets worn to Cubelandia and flung upon returning home.
  • Tights from welovecolor.com
  • Smartwool leggings
  • Long wool skirt from I fergit where
  • Smartwool socks
  • Keen sandals
  • YakTrax

The only one of these items that is not washable in a washing musheen is the Yaktrax.

Apparation app? Please. To the yooperland.

February 26th, 2019 by kayak woman

My brain has apparently used an apparation app to separate itself from me and is now talking to me from Some Great Height somewhere. That is indicative of a very successful workday during which me and FZ emailed and yelled over the wall ARDUOUSLY about a little piece of functionality that neither one of us totally understood. At the end of the day? We aren’t done yet but yer fav-o-rite systems analyst (emphasis on “anal”) got to the point where she THINKS she might be able to make a PICTURE. If only the person who wrote the original spec had included a pic but she didn’t and guess who it was… She is going to make a picture TOMORROW!

I wish I could apparate to the yooperland even just for an hour or so to check things out. I don’t wanna driver there. I don’t wanna drive back. In the yooperland, they have the tools and personnel to deal with huge dumps of snow. Sault Ste. Siberia was largely closed for business yesterday but today roads and restaurants were opening up and people were posting pictures of their plowed out driveways, etc.

The point is that the yooperland has snow removal equipment up the wazoo, both public and private. Once I was walking along Portage (by the Soo Locks) after a snowstorm and a huge snowplow came along and it was able to lift its BIG rightside plow blade totally over a parked (and buried) car. I wish I had a pic of that. I didn’t not have an iPhone then.

Our moominbeach road seemed to be pretty well plowed out today based on FB photos. I glimpsed our mayor in one pic standing beside a truck with a crazy looking plow on the front of it. Yay!

The Jesus pic is from when we went to empty The Comm’s safe deposit box and I walked up to my old south side neighborhood and this statue is in the St. Joseph Catholic church block. I walked through St. Joe’s campus whenever I walked to my grandparents’ house on John St. or Helen’s house on Court St. It is where my grade school friend LPing went to school so we would sneak into the church and look for holy cards for her collection. It is where where I received my first cat-call from a man as I was walking by the church on the sidewalk. I was 12 or so and I actually liked it. Somebody thinks I’m pretty? Oh, all the things I did not understand then…

So here’s the Postal Service’s Such Great Heights [Youtube and probably has an ad]. This song was on a mix CD that one of the beach urchins made for me way back when and I remember listening to it after she went to study abroad while I was walking in the early dark morning when I could see Ursa Major/Minor on one side of the sky and Orion on the other side. I stopped listening to music while walking a long time ago but I have always loved this song.

Does jetsam eventually become flotsam?

February 25th, 2019 by kayak woman

I never really used the terms flotsam or jetsam (or cosmic debris) until I met the GG. I recently and randomly ran across the difference between them. Jetsam is items that sailors deliberately throw overboard and flotsam is random floaty things in the sea. Does jetsam eventually become flotsam? Seems like what is jetsam to one sailor might appear as flotsam to a sailor on another boat. When I google cosmic debris, I get a bunch of Frank Zappa links. I like Frank Zappa but I was looking for a *definition*. But I’m not interested enough at the moment to pursue it further so the question will go unanswered for now. Or maybe the GG adopted the term from Frank Zappa…

Yes, snow. We have very little down here on The Planet Ann Arbor but my cousins living on the shores of Gitchee Gumee have been hammered. I do not know if they have a record amount of snow or not (I’m kinda guessing not) but FB shows a 10-foot drift next to Jeep and Pan’s house and their son posted a video of the yard at C*Q*L’s house, which is next door to the moomincabin. I caught enough of a glimpse of the moomincabin to know that it is still there and not caved in or anything. (I am not worried about the moomincabin because I know that someone would call us if there was an issue with it. That’s what family is all about and I love that we have a family beach and all of us cousins still get along well after all these years.)

I dunno what the Grinchie is doing (he’s on the other side of C*Q*L’s house) but knowing him, he is probably riding out the storm in a zen sorta way. He isn’t always zen but he is zen about a lot of things and I’m gonna guess this snowstorm is one of them. I am a lot like the Grinchie in some ways but I do not share that particular characteristic at least when it comes to driving in snow. A random memory just surfaced from the Jurassic Age. I was riding with the Grinchie in his work van and we went into the ditch. No injuries, just a slow-motion slide off the road into a shallow ditch filled with a ton of snow. A soft landing. I think he said something at the time like, “I was tired of keeping it on the road so I just let it slide off.” Actually, I don’t totally remember if I was *in* the truck with him or just remember him telling me about it.🐽🐸🙃 But I musta been there because I’m thinking I remember it happening on Baker Side Road, after negotiating the second 90 degree angle curve…

This pic of the Freakout Chamber is not the best but maybe you can see that there is plenty of cosmic debris down there. I choose to call it cosmic debris because it really doesn’t qualify as flotsam or jetsam since the Landfill Dungeon is not a body of water. Knock on wood… You cannot see the beaded curtain that leads into this wonderful place of marvelous artifacts. That was an artifact from the previous owners. Not sure what they used that room for (and don’t remember what was in there when we bought the house) but it didn’t have a workbench. We acquired that from The Gumper when my parents-in-law moved to Crazy Old Fla.

Yellow sky in the morning…

February 24th, 2019 by kayak woman

Ain’t it purty? That is actually *water* on the ground, not glare ice. It was 44 degrees. Those white patches on the grass are still slippery as all getout and there wasn’t usually enough grass between them to avoid them so I had to traverse them in boilerplate ice mode.

This was sometime after 7:00 AM, which was when our big windstorm was supposed to begin. That didn’t happen until a couple hours later and, while we have had some good gusts and it isn’t all that much fun being outside, I don’t think it’s as bad as predicted. No trees down (KNOCK ON WOOD) in our immediate vicinity although I haven’t gone back to look in the woods. No widespread power outages (KNOCK ON WOOD). We came back from a River Ride, lunch at The Den of Iniquity (Cleary’s Pub in Chelsea), and a bit of OBD business with a beach urchin’s vee-hickle to find blinking clocks and things but whatever it was seems to have been brief. (BTW, Cleary’s Pub is a wonderful place. The servers are always super friendly and we got to talk to a coupla nice fun couples during our lunch. If you sit at the bar, you can talk to people (or not).)

After my 0-skunk-30 walk, I was content to spend the morning settled in on the Green Couch reading (Telex from Cuba, fun, wish I was more of a history buff) and doing the xword and watching the wind blow. The Pensioner slugged around on his computer for a while and then I heard him galumph down to the Landfill Dungeon. Various muffled hammering and sawing noises ensued and I couldn’t exactly pinpoint where they were coming from. Turned out he was in the Freakout Chamber and I dunno all of what transpired down there but one thing was that he apparently did some cleanup of the FC Workbench and that is a GOOD THING. We have TWO workbenches down in the dungeon and one outside. The dungeon workbenches are “inherited” via the cFam and the outdoor workbench used to be a “table” in the Landfill Chitchen before that entity’s renovation.

Okay, something small fell on the roof a few minutes ago and shortly after that I heard the storm door close. The storm door doesn’t always shut tightly without a little help but I know it was shut because we had recently double-checked it. So I can only guess the wind pulled it slightly ajar and then slammed it.

And so, g’night. KW

Free parking

February 23rd, 2019 by kayak woman

I took this photo in March 2013 when we went up to Sault Ste. Siberia to empty out The Commander’s safe deposit box. We had to do that because PNC Bank was about to close the Sault branch.

Although I don’t get melodramatic about things like this, that experience evoked a bit of nostalgia for me. I “grew up” in that bank building, going into the vault and behind the tellers’ windows and playing with the adding musheen dad often brought home.

It was the 1st National Bank when I was a kid and my grandfather and dad worked there. They both began in the lowliest of positions, grandad as some sort of “messenger” (if I’m remembering correctly), dad as an Assistant Teller. They both ended their careers as president of the bank. Banking biz or not, my family was not wealthy, although I had enough tools up my sleeve to play “rich girl” when I went “downstate” to college but that would be a whole ‘nother story and I haven’t felt the need to play that game for one helluva long time, thank you Zeus!

My dad oversaw a couple of major transitions for the bank. One to computerization. That was NOT fun for him and I often wonder what he would think about his tech savvy daughter’s career in the online banking biz. The other transition saw our little local bank become part of a holding company. Eventually there were three of those acquisitions, ending with PNC, but he was only involved in the first one.

As an odd coincidence, the bank manager at the time I had to empty the safe deposit had been The Comm’s next door neighbor. She told me there were photos of my dad and grandfather in the basement. Did I want them? They would have to throw them out otherwise. Well, yes, of *course* I did. And (of course) after an initial flurry of excitement, they are still languishing in the Landfill Dungeon (on The Comm’s teak gate leg table, anyone want it? 🐸) with all the other family photos that I don’t (yet) have the time or psychological energy to organize.

Anyway, there is so much snow in Sault Ste. Siberia *this* year that a lot of the parking meters are totally buried and the city has declared free parking until the snow recedes enough that the meters emerge again. Which doesn’t sound like it’ll be soon because there are winter storm/blizzard warnings for the next couple of days.

Here on The Planet Ann Arbor we are not expecting a whole lot of snow but we are expecting high winds. We’ll see what happens. We have a generator so if we lose power we’ll be okay. But. I do hope trees don’t start falling down.

Another day, another stink bug

February 22nd, 2019 by kayak woman

We don’t usually have insects crawling around on our desks at Cubelandia. Maybe a few fruit flies at the end of Farmer John’s selling season but I am one of the closest cubes to the lunchroom (I like this) and he is pretty good at eradicating those by vinegar or whatever. So seeing a rather large “something” moooooving just to the right of my laptop kinda startled the beejeebus outta yer fav-o-rite blahgger.

I let that one go unharmed. I really really reeeaaaalllly hate to kill insects, except for moe-skee-toes, biting flies, and ticks. I know that stink bugs, while harmless to humans, can cause infestations that are difficult to get rid of. There’s a great New Yorker article about this but you’ll have to do the google if you’re interested. I didn’t say anything to Building Management about the stink bug. Later on I came to the clarity that besides being my boss, Amazon Woman is synonymous with Building Management so maybe I should report the presence of this insect as a heads up if more of them show up and she has to deal with an exterminator or whatever.

Just now. I was standing at my south chitchen counter, where I keep my MacBook Pro. I was surfing the web when I was startled by a big bug crawling along my laptop power cord. We have had exactly ONE stink bug each of the last two years. The first year, I found one outside. I thought it was beautiful. I even posted it on Instagram. I had no clue what it was. Last summer, I found the dried up remains of one on the north chitchen counter. Haven’t seen one since. Two in two days does not seem like a good thing.

Today, I killed my chitchen stink bug. I did it Commander Spider Killing style by grabbing a Kleenex and squishing it. I dunno if this is a harbinger of stink bug infestation. I hope not. Here at the Landfill, Building Management is none other than The Pensioner. When we thought we might be threatened by cockroaches last fall, he became a cockroach expert overnight. We found exactly ONE cockroach in our house. I know that he will figger out how to handle stink bugs too.

Get a job (sha na na na yip yip yip yip yip yip)

February 21st, 2019 by kayak woman

Jeebus! After a long day of analyzing, debugging crappy old skool javascript, and designing, I was about to open the front door this afternoon and I saw a THING hanging inside it. The THING looked somewhat familiar, kinda like one of the carpenter tape measuring thingies that we have about 10 thousand gazillion of around here. But I knew that wasn’t what it was. But wha…???

When I opened the door it made a rooster noise. Or was it a cow noise? Or a monkey noise? Startled the bejeebus outta me whatever. And there, over on the Green Couch was The Pensioner, saying, “I’ve been waiting for you!” Apparently he had also thought of putting the THING in the mailbox. I STRONGLY discouraged him from doing that. I do NOT think the mailman would find a surprise like that very funny, especially after navigating the persistent ice on our neighborhood sidewalks. In fact, now that I am thinking a bit more clearly, I doubt it’s *legal* to put annoying things (or anything but *mail*) in your mailbox.

And then there were weird things soaking in the sink. Seriously, I do not mind coming home to the few dishioshios TP uses during a typical day. I have ALWAYS enjoyed processing dishes and when I get to do a few after work (I also have my bag lunch dishes to do), it helps me make a calm transition from work to home. If I have to move a bunch of weird stuff around, that is a stress factor, albeit it a minor 1st-world kinda one.

And then, he was so enthused about a text message chain he had with one of the beach urchins that he wanted me to read THAT. It was about boooooks I haven’t read (and am not likely to, at least for the foreseeable future) and some of the exchange was in German, a language I do not know. After debugging Old Skool javascript today (a language I do know), I was NOT ready to tackle German.

Oh, and Patriot Radio was on instead of the folk music channel he usually plays to keep me from talking to the radio.

So maybe it’s time to get a job [Youtube link, may or may not come with an ad].

Ice Road Asteroid Neverending Edition

February 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

The temperatures got up to about 33 today and are hovering there. I was hoping for higher. Driving was okay despite a variety of precipitation but there were random slick spots in the Cubelandia parking lot when I headed out to the Frog Hopper this afternoon. Whatever contractor is doing the plowing, etc., this year does a *fantastic* job at ice removal but OF COURSE they can’t hang around there 24 hours a day monitoring every square inch of the surface. Our driveway had a similar situation going on when I got home, despite TP’s best efforts.

So, book/moooooovie blahg? We finished the Russian Doll series and although I’m not sure I completely understood all of it, it was a good moooooovie for us to watch *together*. I am hoping for the promised (I think I read that somewhere) next two seasons… Next movie? I have a couple of ideas but I’ll probably watch them solo ’cause don’t think TP’ll be into them.

Books? Lemme see… Black Swan Green. I have read other books by this author and I really liked this book (coming of age story, male adolescent) but Bone Clocks was probably my fave.

Life After Life. In the “Groundhog Day” spirit of things (Russian Doll, etc.), I found this book. Another take on living something over and over ad infinitum. I did enjoy the book and I notice it is part of a series. I may get back to the series someday. I don’t usually devour series type books one after the other, Outlander being an exception. Gimme more!

Labor Day. This author flew by on some twitter feed or other and I took a chance. All I will say is that throughout the book, I expected a bad ending. What I got instead was something that can (in my mind) only be called sweet. Another male adolescent coming of age story and I think I’ll check out more of the author’s books.

Miraculum. A “circus” book. Another “circus” book. I bookmarked a page from somewhere with a bunch of “circus” books sometime last year. I read Geek Love last summer and loved it although it was pretty gross on a whole bunch of levels. Miraculum was good but a lot different except for the one thing they had in common, which was that the “circus” owner poisoned his wife with various drugs during pregnancies to try to produce “freaks”. The difference is that in Geek Love, the wife was in on it, in Miraculum, the wife wasn’t. But that’s a minor part of the story.

Saving this non-book thing for last. Okay okay. Yeah. Bernie declared that he’s running. I have seen it at least 10 bazillion times on my various news feeds. I do not dislike Bernie but I am concerned that a serious run by him will divide voters, which will not help us get rid of the Orange Baboon National Emergency currently residing in the White House. I know some of you actually LIKE the Orange Baboon. I still don’t understand the attraction.

In which yer fav-o-rite blahgger learns that “misle” is an actual THING

February 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

Remember these people? I certainly do. I took the pic with my Sony Mavica 👀 so y’all know how long ago it was. These people are having their weekly Cabin Garbage Argument but we’ll get to that a bit later.

What I want to talk about today is the time The Commander was reading a newspaper article to Grandroobly and she kept saying someone was “misled”, except she was pronouncing the past tense of “mislead” with a long i vowel sound. Eventually she figured out her mistake but of course hilarity ensued and if you knew these people you might know that they continued to mispronounce “misled” on purpose.

I follow @GrammarGirl on Twitter and I clicked over to her site yesterday when she was talking about “Biopic”, which I’ve been wondering how to pronounce. And then. The article called this kind of mispronunciation a “misle” and I thought something like, “Could it be?” Yes, yes, it was. Here’s a snippet from the article:

What’s a misle, you ask? It’s a mispronunciation of a word based on its spelling. It gets its name from the past tense of the verb misLEAD. The word misLED can be misREAD as /ˈmaɪzəld/. People who read it this way might go for years before they realize that misle-d and mis-led are the same word—the same way that it took me to realize that Tuck-son and Tucson, Arizona were the same place. Other misles include infrare-d for infrared, and warp-lanes for warplanes.

The Commander would have loved this article.

Oh yeah, Garbage Theatre. Back then, the main option for dealing with Cabin Garbage was to stuff it all into *one* garbage can, put that garbage can into the back of the car and drive it up the gravel two-track to the top of the hill for WM to pick it up. Every single dad-blasted week, they had the same arguments. They are actually “acting” in this pic, which is one of a series.

I wonder if my folks would’ve adapted to Green Bag Garbage. After The Commander died, I didn’t want to deal with WM any more. If we are up there for a long weekend, we can take the garbage home. When we are there for a few weeks, we certainly cannot but I’m not sure WM would want to contract with us for that short period of time.

Nowadays thanks to a tip from our dual peninsula friends of porterization we have switched to GREEN BAGS! They are the same size as regular garbage bags but they are light green. We buy them at the Bay Mart gas station for something like $1.50 a piece. We drop off our filled bags at the Bay Mills Indian Community, across from the Kings Casino and just down the road from the Dancing Crane Coffeehouse. So you can drop off your garbage whenever you want (Tues-Sat, 10-6). I’m not sure why other seasonal moominbeach residents don’t do this.

If Green Bags had been around back then, I may have engineered an End Run around my parents, buying Green Bags and dropping them off without their knowledge. They wouldda been wondering something like, “What happened to the garbage?” “Did somebody steal it?” “Is it in the swamp?”

I almost don’t have any words

February 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

Oh man, the roads were terrible this morning but I was determined to make it over to Cubelandia so I faaaarrred up the Frog Hopper and (slowly and carefully) slodged my way over there. I would not have missed being at Cubelandia today for anything.

When the LSCHP interviewed me over 11 years ago, he was excited that I actually knew FORTRAN because they were actually still using it over there even though it was pretty much a “dead” language by that time. They were still using it because in order to provide services to our customers, “we” had a developed a labyrinth of customized one-off programs. I quote “we” because I was not involved in any of that. You’d have to ask W1.5, who retaaarrred a couple years ago.

I never did do any FORTRAN programming at Cubelandia nor did I ever log in to the legacy system. A lot of other folks haven’t either, including many who have been there YEARS before I started working there. I came along as a New Kid and I have spent my entire career there working on the effort to get everything over to an internet environment.

We turned off our “legacy” system a few weeks ago. I don’t think it was as sad as Opportunity signing off. Today we celebrated with a catered BBQ lunch, cake, champagne, and some [briefly] noisy stuff that sent The Bear and I into a retreat to the far corners of the room. Confetti Cannon and party poppers. Strange bedfellows, The Bear and I…

I never saw the actual musheen that powered the early days of our online banking system. As far as I know, that musheen was gone by the time I started working there. I did web work and there were “emulators” running the system. I do not know how that worked. I never did totally understand what we call “legacy-speak” and now I do not have to learn it.

So this excellent cake must have been made from photos of the old musheen and I think the baker did a pretty darn good job plus it tasted good!

If anything, it might’ve been nice for people like the LSCHP to have been there because he steered us through our ultimately successful move from legacy to web. But today was also a War Room for our latest release so we really can’t invite anyone from outside into the building during something like that. It’s okay. He landed on his feet. We did drag Farmer John and Mr.Bisco in there since they used to be part of our team and still work in the building.


Blueberries for Sal

February 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

Best 1-year-old birthday ever. Open house. Come between three and five, cake is happening at four. Come and go as you please. Gifts are not required. If you want to bring a gift, a book (gently used or new) is welcome. Adult drinks are in the basement. Uh, the beautifully remodeled basement, remodeled by our own fave Certified Kitchen Lady.

The baby (appropriately) spent most of his birthday party with his parents and grandparents while the rest of us baggy old folks drank whine and yakked away. A 4-year-old friend opened the birthday boy’s gifts.

I liked the idea of birthday books. I bought umpteen gazillion books for the beach urchins when they were young. Nevertheless, I could not think of a book for this beautiful boy. The GG was johnny on the spot with “Blueberries for Sal”. Yes! And so that is what we bought and wouldn’t you know, it was one of the father’s faves and was NOT a book that they owned already.

After all of that we came home and cooked duck breasts for dinner. We have had more damn snow than we expected so the GG is out running the yooper musheen. I will schlep over to Cubelandia tomorrow no matter what the heck happens with the weather. We’ll talk about that tomorrow!


February 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

So, last night the walk downtown was not great but it was do-able. This morning I strapped on my Yaks and even those puppies were slipping on the ice. A lot of folks were caught unaware by the idiosyncrasies of the series of storms that rolled through this week. Ice followed by snow followed by rain followed by… The main roads are fine. The sidestreets and SIDEWALKS are a total mess. You can’t even walk on the grass because that is also covered by a bit of snow topped with glare ice. To walk through the schoolyard today, I devised a method of walking on the “grass” and stamping down each time I took a step. Why was I stamping? Because otherwise I was randomly breaking through the ice crust in a rather unsettling way. It’s hard to describe and maybe that’s why Inuits have 50 words for snow. But looking that up, it’s much more complicated than what I just said, starting with the label “Inuit”…

This being the Ice Asteroid Ann Arbor, the Nextdoor app has been lit up with threads about falling on ice, how to clear ice, city rules about clearing ice, dog-paw-friendly ice-melt, and how to report people who haven’t cleared their ice. Fortunately, the last thread has been friendly, with most people suggesting helping neighbors clear their sidewalks if they are unable to do so or at least waiting a bit before reporting the ice. Although I have often raged about icy sidewalks, we are dealing with some unusual conditions here, even for the Great Lake State, and I am content to wait things out a bit. If someone still hasn’t cleared their sidewalk after a few more days, I think it’s okay to make a report (but I will not). Otherwise, light a faaaar and read a book, fer kee-reist! You aren’t gonna drop dead if you miss a few days of your walk or run or whatever. That said, I know that there are people who have to walk to the bus, etc. and I’m not sure what answers there are for this complicated issue.

We haven’t been to the Griz for a few Saturdays so we headed down there for lunch today – in the Ninja because ice. The Pensioner was wearing his new NRA hat and the young couple next to us at Jenel’s bar asked about it. Oh no, we’re on the Ice Road Asteroid Ann Arbor and I hope these folks are not totally anti-gun because if they are, we might have a problem here. But no. It turns out the young man was an Afghanistan/Iraq war veteran and he is not anti-gun at all. But he didn’t seem like one of those “they’re gonna take our guns away” people either. Me, I own guns whether I want to or not because I have inherited them from my WWII flight instructor dad. I have never shot a gun and am not the least bit interested in shooting “my” guns. This couple was really fun to talk to and seemed reasonable about some of the extremely complicated, often divisive issues our country faces these days. I think I made it pretty clear that me and GG disagree with some polly-tickle issues but we remain comfortably married *anyway*.

It was good for both of us to talk to some new and intelligent friends (not that we’ll ever see them again). I have spent an unusually large number of days telecommuting lately. Sometimes TP spacifies me but usually not although he leaves me largely alone when I am working. I am not ready to retaaaaar yet (and I don’t think my boss wants me to retaaar either…).

P.S. Our own personal sidewalk is 95% free of ice. I am not bragging here, just giving thanks to The Pensioner for keeping up with things.

Glare ice

February 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

I knew the walking would be awful this morning so I pulled my YakTrax onto my boots to schlep a bag of garbage and some recycling stuff out to the curb. I intended to walk the neighborhood but the sidewalks were too treacherous even with YakTrax today so I bagged it.

As I left for Cubelandia, this is what my street looked like. MofPerrynet was walking Levi as I was eeeeeeasing toward the stop sign, wondering if my vee-hickle would actually stop at it. It did. MofPerrynet was done done done with her dog walk. She was turning around because ice.

I knew that the main roads would be okay so I iiiiinched down my street and once I got out onto Maple, everything was fine. Except on Oak Valley, which is a bit tilted on various curves so all of the water that melted yesterday froze overnight and some intermittent sheets of ice formed.

I have lost any train of thought I may have had so good night.

Romantical (or not 🐽)

February 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

I am not a very romantic person in general. The GG is maybe more so. So I came home today to an elaborate handmade card. That’s just the front of it, there are multiple pages. Me? The only reason I remembered it was Valentine’s Day was because of all the Stoneman Douglas shooting anniversary coverage in the news today. I had nooooo time (or appetite) for anything so frivolous as making handmade cards or even shopping for anything. Lo and behold, Nikio’s sister (who also works at Cubelandia) had homemade chocolate “cake pops” for sale in the lunchroom. Problem solved, not that there was really a problem but it was nice to present the GG with a gift when I walked in the door after work. And yes, I forgot to take the price tag off 🐽

Midway through the day, an email alert from the bank proclaimed that a purchase had been made with a plastic card at Motor City Brewery. In Detroit. Even though I had no clue TP was heading over to DayTwa today, I knew that the charge was legitimate. I figured maybe he went over to take Lizard Breath out to lunch and spend some time at John King books WITHOUT MEEEE. I have been to JKB. It is a wonderful used book store and I appreciate that but I am totally overwhelmed by shopping these days and get antsy really fast so it isn’t really fun to shop with me around.

It turned out that wasn’t what he did at all, except for the Motor City Brewing lunch part (there musta been garlic in that pizza, just sayin’). Instead, he picked up a mouse and raccoon and they hiked at LeFurge Woods and then picked up a lizard for lunch (I’m guessing the activities were in that order but not sure). The GG had made Valentine cards for the beach urchins too, including a very cute red mouse one.

Me, I was just happy to be back over at Cubelandia today and I will stop right there with that topic because I do NOT want to jinx myself with Old [frickin’] Man Winter.

To end this bunch of blather, I may not be the biggest celebrator of Valentine’s Day but when I do remember what day it is, I also remember that it’s my wonderful, always gracious mother-in-law’s birthday. The Beautiful Sally died way too young, may she rest in peace.

Cubelandia or bust

February 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

I could prob’ly have slodged over to Cubelandia today in the Frog Hopper. But it was nasty this morning (I walked but it was pretty AWFUL, even with YakTrax) so I decided to start my day at home and go over there later. We have a lot of traffic around our small freeway-ringed city and so many people don’t have a clue about how to drive in snow that I figger if I don’t *have* to go in to my office, why not keep my vee-hickle OFF the roads. So many other folks are required to go to their workplaces. In my childhood career, I always wished I could work from home. Now that I can, well, it is WONDERFUL when I want to spend time at the moominbeach or Hoton Lake or on an LSD trip to Fla. When I am here on The Planet, I generally like to be at Cubelandia where I can “yell” at FZ over the wall, etc.

I never made it over there today. It was still snowing at the 10 AM team standup. The weather gods were calling it “lake effect” and “snow squalls”, both of which can easily add up to treacherous conditions. That kind of crapola was still going on into mid-afternoon and even though Cabin Fever was setting in BIG TIME, I ended up hanging out sittin’ on the Green Couch Watching All the Dogz (not) Walk By ALL DAY (except for cleaning Gertrude’s top oven, which was a frickin’ mess). As for dogz, besides Ano, the only dog I saw walk by all day was the next door neighbors’ dog and the new mom was walking it and I’m guessing she was feeling a bit of cabin fever too, being not from The Great White State but having to deal with a newborn here in the winter.

But then there was this guy out there. He keeps coming around with his yooperland snowblower clearing MY snow!! Who could he be? The abominable snowman maybe?

Needles hitting you in the face

February 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

I put my yaktrax on my boots this morning and I tried to walk. The treacherous sidewalks were okay but then I turned into the schoolyard and “needles” were hitting my face. Ice Storm.

I knew that I could telecommute. FZ even telecommuted today. I asked him if he was in Cubelandia and if so, how the roads were. FZ is usually hardcore about driving in but he hunkered down today. And the schools were closed (again) so Amazon Woman was also telecommuting.

I ran a spec review today from my dining room table. I have always been nervous about spec reviews and I think this is the first time I have done a spec review from home. Spec reviews are where we are designing new functionality and I have to write it up and then present it to the entire team. Sometimes it all works out. Sometimes it gets crazy as all getout. I was nervous about handling this review from home but it ended up being okay (I think). The GG was probably not totally listening to it but I do know that he heard The Bear grumbling away (cue the Volga Boat Song).

I am soooo taaaared of telecommuting but I did do it again. I waited until something like 8:00 AM to check in with my children, etc. about how their drives were. Driving from Ypsi to Northville early in the morning was “terrifying”. Driving to the Plum was okay later on but walking into the store was awful. Driving to MOCAD in Detroit was pretty okay, it sounded like.

Our new yooper snowblower does not handle ice. We knew that when we bought it. So the GG went out and chipped ice and shoveled (by hand) slush this afternoon. I wish I had a pic of our driveway when I met the mail person out there today. It was a total mess and I watched him slip and slide all over the place. I met him at the door, where he handed me one piece of spam mail that I immediately threw into the recycle cart.

I wanna go and work at Cubelandia tomorrow. Please Old Man Winter let me do that.

Double Trouble

February 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

Which one is the GG and which one is the UU? Can you tell them apart?

I’ve been haaaannnnnging around with these characters (and their huge family tree plus significant others) for more years than I am strong enough to count tonight.

The GG dealt his relatives out to me a bit slowly. I dunno if it was because he thought all of those siblings might have overwhelmed me or if it was just random. I have a lot of cousins but only had one sibling. Or maybe he was testing me… The first time I went to Houghton Lake with the GG, we were with Ann Arbor folks including my cousin and her boyfriend and a friend of all of us. That was so much fun that we went again a couple weeks later. The GG brought his beautiful little sister Susie 🧡 that time and while we were there, the UU and Jim came to visit. My cousin and her boyfriend were also there as well as a few other Ann Arbor folks.

I liked the GG before this trip but… The GG had shown me a wallet pic of himself his identical twin with a beautiful woman and two young boys. I was pretty sick of men boys lying to me by this time so I was a weeeee bit reluctant to believe this whole twin brother scenario. But then his identical twin walked into the moldy old Hoton Lake cabin. All right. This guy is for real. And he has a great family. I hadn’t met all of them yet but I saw enough to know that this just might work out. And it did, oh boy oh boy.

So, here are the Twinz of Terror at Tahq over the weekend. I did not go to Tahq this time. I already wrote about that.

Non sequitur. I had a particularly good day today. It feels so good to be so greatly appreciated for being an intelligent woman (like so many of us are but that would be a whole ‘nother entry). I wish I could reach back through time and throttle the nerdy unpopular angsty little junior high KW and tell her how “cool” she was and where she might end up someday (with wonderful adult children and a great job). Although learning it all the hard way wasn’t all that bad either. Just a little scary sometimes, reaching out in fog wondering where to put my foot.


February 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

I grew up watching The Commander make clothing on her old black Singer sewing musheen. My old coot bought it for her when they were newly married and rattling around the American southwest toward the end of WWII. I learned how to use a sewing musheen with it and it still hangs out at the moomincabin. I kind of wanted to move it out of that place (to make more space, not to get rid of it!) but the beach urchins said NO NO NO.

I made a lot of my own clothes on mom’s musheen beginning in about junior high and ending, oh I dunno when. I guess that would be a story for another day after a whole lot of dredging. But I did make clothes for myself when we lived in our shabby little Sault Siberian bungalow and The Commander bought me a cute little featherweight Singer that lived in my bedroom throughout my teen years and has traveled with me throughout my adult life.

I still have the little Singer but I don’t use it any more because waaaaay back in the day, we bought me a Viking musheen, the one in the pic. It was $400 or so. That wasn’t in our budget at that time but we bought it anyway.

I stopped making clothing for myself at some point. It is so easy to order clothes online from Chicos and JJill and Soft Surroundings and whatever. I did use the Viking for various prodjects. Rainbow sleepers for my first baby and some cute dresses for a young Mouse. And various fiber arts prodjects.

I’m not sure why I stopped sewing (for now). It may be because I got busy enough with my job that I didn’t really have time to continue with it. It may be because the last time I remember sewing something creative, the needle went through my finger.

Today I sewed some of my skirt tiers together. I love these long tiered skirts and this is one of my faves for hanging around the Landfill or Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench. Lately, I’ve been putting my foot through an opening… I can still operate a sewing musheen so it’s fixed. And my finger is intact! Slow down, KW 🐽