Saturday, April 29, 2006

#665 Tooky Dream

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Last Saturday, at the flea market, I had bought a hiking stick made from a hardwood sapling (mentioned in the April 22 entry). The top of the stick is the root knot which has been fashioned into an ugly beasty with googly eyes and a mouthful of real deer teeth. The guy who made it said its name is "Tooky".

The stick is almost 6 feet tall and the root knot is heavy, so to balance it for my grip, I'm going to have to shorten the stick by about a foot, so that when I hold it just below Tooky's head, my hand will be just below my shoulder level. I want to take it with me to Ricketts Glen.

Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that Jay decided to shorten Tooky for me, but he didn't talk to me about it first. He came up from the basement with the stick, all pleased with what he'd done. He had cut too much off. He had shortened it to medical cane length -- Tooky's head was at hip level on me. I got very upset. No so much angry as frantic to think of some way to fix it, to make it long again. I ran through all the possibilities in my mind, glue, pegs, wrapped splints, added pipe, and as I had to reject each possibility as ugly or not strong enough, I got more and more upset. I awoke exactly at 3 am, in a panic, gasping for breath.

The big thing about Tooky is that he is absolutely unique. He's so ugly he's cute. There isn't and won't ever be another exactly like him.

I feel almost like it was a message. In life, Jay would never have done anything like that. He would absolutely have confirmed the length with me. So his having done something so uncharacteristic seems significant. Why does my mind have Jay doing it, as opposed to MY cutting it too short by mistake? Something else that strikes me is that, in my experience, Roman almost always wakes up and goes to the bathroom, or the kitchen for water, or gets on the computer, at 3 am. I don't see the connection, but I have a strong feeling it's there.

The dream must mean something. When I was driving to the grocery store this morning, I found myself still trying to find some way to fix Tooky (who, by the way, is still uncut and still tall, and doesn't need fixing). Whatever the REAL problem is, it's still there and unresolved.

#664 Nails

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ok, Daughter, gotta tap into your education - what makes a light fixture kill bulbs? I'm getting tired of feeding the ceiling fixture in the den. These lights are on no more than some other lights elsewhere in the house, but the bulbs will burn out literally within a month. The fixture has three positionable metal "cans" that hang down (they look just like the cans on the old '70s pole lamps), and I put 60 watt bulbs in them. The first bulb will die within three or four weeks, and the third to die will usually go within 10 weeks. Do they get too hot or something? I'm thinking I may have to replace the fixture. This is ridiculous.

The roofers have been here, and have stripped the front half of the roof, and have applied some kind of tar paper-looking stuff, and the new shingles will be delivered Monday. I mentioned to the head honcho that I was worried about nails on the driveway, and he said no problem, they will clean up "real well." I asked if they use a magnet, and he said yes and showed me one on the side of the tool box.

After they left, I went out and patrolled the driveway myself. I picked up twelve nails and eight huge staples. Just lying there. Glinting in the sun. Right where I turn around and park.

The van is staying on the grass, 30 feet from the house, until they're completely finished!

I went to the grocery store today, and ran into Piper there. I was buying stuff to make spaghetti and meat balls, and Piper talked me into buying a special type of cheese to grate on top. It was very expensive, but he said it was worth it. Only later did the irony strike me -- my financial advisor urging me to buy cheese at $14 a pound.

Friday, April 28, 2006

#663 Love & Sex

Friday, April 28, 2006

I've been occasionally answering questions in here from The Book of Questions, by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.,Workman Publishing Company, Inc., and I had mentioned it to Roman, the context being that many of the questions seemed to apply to what he and I were going through at the moment I read them. I believe in coincidence as sometimes being meaningful. Someone had given him a similar book, The Book of Questions - Love & Sex, by the same author, and last Wednesday, Roman gave it to me.

I opened the book randomly, and read the first question I saw at the top of the page, and I said a bad word. He glanced over, raised eyebrows, and I showed him the question. We both burst into laughter.

The question was, "#83 Have you ever had a lover you wanted to break up with but keep as a friend? or perhaps as a casual sex partner?"

And he doesn't believe in coincidence. Pish!


Fishkill called this evening, and we talked for about 40 minutes. He's busy tomorrow, and I'm not sure of my schedule this weekend (the roofers) so he's going to call again Sunday morning, and we'll get together, coffee and conversation, maybe lunch, sometime, somewhere, on Sunday.

#662 Painting

Friday, April 28, 2006

I went to the Maritime Museum today, and painted the end wall at the top of the stairs. I like painting walls.

The stepladder was scary. I guess it was safe, but it felt pretty wobbly, and I was standing on it at the top of a long flight of stairs, with a glass-paneled door on the side. My right thumb was pretty useless, because the very first thing I had done was run my thumb over the wood trim, and I got a huge splinter -- bled all over the place for a few minutes.

After I stopped bleeding, I washed the wall, then I taped all around the edges, spackled the holes and where the old paint had peeled, and sanded the spackled spots and the various lumps, bumps, and uneven areas. This all took longer than it should have, because I had to search the work and storage areas to find all the tools and materials I needed. I ended up applying the spackle with an artist's palette knife, but it actually was the perfect implement for small holes.

All that took about an hour and a half for a 10'x12' wall. But the more effort you put into prep, the faster the actual painting will go, and the better it will look in the end.

Then I looked at the paint. The paint Russ had told me to use last Tuesday wasn't exactly the same color as the other walls, but he figured it was close enough (a medium light blue). But when I held the lid, that had some dried paint on it, up to the wall, it looked like it would clash badly with the trim color (medium blue). Unfortunately, Russ and the other staff people had made a run to Staples, so I had to wait for them to come back. I'm not going to paint the wall without final approval on the color.

Russ agreed that the original color choice wouldn't work, and we ended up going with a cream. The actual painting didn't take long at all. Russ said that he appreciated my efforts to do a good job. "Most of the people we get to help just slap it up", which was pretty obvious from the different layers of paint smeared on the adjoining paneled wall and the trim.

It looks good. Looks like a new wall -- not easy in such an old building. And oddly, the cream blends well with the blue on the other walls. You almost don't notice it's a different color. It brightens the badly-lit stairwell.

I must have made 15 trips up and down the stairs (higher ceilings downstairs - long flight), most of those trips carrying stuff, including the stepladder, to and from the workshop at the very back corner of the building, so I don't feel bad about not "exercising" today. I hadn't taken anything to drink, and nobody offered anything, and by 5 pm I thought I'd die of thirst. Lesson learned.

I needed to get gas on the way home, and stop at the grocery store for my every-other-Friday case of yogurt, but there was an accident on the bridge access road, so traffic was terrible. When I finally got to the gas station, cars were lined up into the street. I had to go around another way to get past, which brought me out north of the grocery store, ... and I gave up and went home. I'll get gas and yogurt tomorrow.

Frankly, I'm beat.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

#661 Piper Lunch, Van Return

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dinner last night with Mensa, stayed over at Roman's. Lunch today with Piper and Vinnie. Catching up on blog-reading this afternoon. Maybe trivia tonight, maybe not, haven't decided yet. Still tired from last night.

I returned the rental car and picked up the van today. As of 3 pm second-choice garage still hadn't found out how they wanted to handle the warranty on the sensor, but I later got a call from them, they are willing to replace the sensor completely free of charge, NO labor cost. Whoop! I don't know how, but I won. Both first-choice garage and second-choice garage had said that I wouldn't get free labor no matter who replaced it, that labor is not covered by the warranty.

Second-choice garage will do it next Wednesday. So until then, I'll be driving the van with the "check engine" light on, but it shouldn't be a problem.

I hope.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

#660 Quick Entry

The day got away from me again. I overslept a bit, then was awakened by the delivery of a BIG construction dumpster - they'll start stripping the roof on Saturday. I rushed into town because (again) I thought today was Thursday, and I had to meet Piper for lunch, but he wasn't in his office because (surprise!) today isn't Thursday.

So I went to the machines and exercised, got some few things cleaned up around the house, and now I have to shower again for dinner in LaGrange tonight. I doubt that I will have time to update until tomorrow. But, lunch with Piper tomorrow, maybe trivia with Tom tomorrow evening. Painting a wall at the museum Friday afternoon, so I'll probably spend some time Friday visiting galleries on the Rondout.

I don't know what's going on with the van. Don hasn't called, and I figure no news is good news.

There are FOUR bird's nests on or near the front porch. The pair of finches on the north light fixture, cardinals on the top of the south light, an unidentified pair on the bottom of the south light, and another unidentified pair in the shrub right next to the steps/ramp. All the nests have eggs, three in each. Roman fixed the switch last night so I can turn the porch lights on, but -- now I can't turn them on until the baby birds are out of the nests. I don't like not having a light, but I love having the birds, so it evens out.... But I'm going to get the wire up to foil nesting before the second round of egg-laying starts in mid-summer!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

#659 Van, Volunteer, Dinner

Yeah, a dud title, but it's to help me find entries, not to attract you!

Back in February, I had to have a sensor in the van replaced, and because it was a Saturday, I had the work done at my second-choice shop. So when the "check engine" light went on again last Thursday, I took the van to my first-choice shop (right next door to the second-choice). Guess what? It's the same sensor. And it's not anything wrong with the engine - it's definitely the sensor. So I spent some time today going back and forth between the two shops, because the sensor is still under the supplier's warranty, but I want the first-choice shop to do the replacement, not the second-choice shop. As of 5 pm, the issue of who gets what refund how and from whom was still unresolved. And I'm still driving the rental car.

I went over to the Maritime Museum this afternoon to meet the people and see what they have for me to do. There were no times available in the gift shop that worked for me, so I'm going to be working on maintenance. I get to paint an interior wall this Friday! (And, as Roman pointed out, that leaves the gift shop for "the little old ladies", which is just as well.) So today I got the tour and found out where the tools and supplies are, and so on.

Roman tutored Peter this afternoon, after which he came here and I cooked us dinner while he replaced the light switch in the foyer, and the batteries in the kitchen phone, then tested all the old batteries around here. Some of the batteries had "use by" dates of like 1998! Odd, but the date on the batteries had only a casual relationship to the tested strength.

Man, I'm rusty in the kitchen! I've cooked twice in the past four months, and neither meal came out as well as I'd hoped. At least this one was edible. The salad was actually pretty good.

I sent him home at 9, I was pretty tired. But I'll see him again tomorrow night. There's a Mensa dinner at a Cuban restaurant near his home, so I'll meet him at his house and we'll go together.

On other fronts, Fishkill sent an email today, says he'll call "soon", now that the project he'd been concentrating on is over. And there's a guy in Pleasant Valley that I'd been e-corresponding with over the past two weeks who sounded very interesting -- I was about ready to suggest that we meet -- until his email today, wherein he divulged that six years ago he "became a full gospel Pentecostal Christian". Oops. I see a potential for major friction. What had tripped the balance with Dreyfuss last week was his announcement that he was looking for an evangelical church to attend. My dating site profile says that "I eschew organized religion". Roman, after he stopped laughing, suggested that I might want to use a word everyone understands.

Bedtime. G'night.

#658 The Medieval Archetype Test

I'm not telling your actual score. Hmph!
The Lover (or Poet) is a rare type. (S)He has a rather contradictory nature. He is completely unselfish and generally regards others above himself, yet somehow in his effort to please, often ends up doing things that appear completely self-centered. The Lover loves people and strives for acceptance, but at the same time withdraws from the world. Lovers are authors, artists, philosophers, and musicians. They live unorthodox, unconventional, or even chaotic lives. Lovers experience the highest highs and lowest lows.

The Lover's complement is the hardened, unhesitant Warrior.

Link: The Medieval Archetype Test written by isayso on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Monday, April 24, 2006

#657 Peanut Rebound

Monday, April 24, 2006

Remember the 6 30-gallon bags of plastic peanuts I delivered to Spackenkill Road (almost an hour away) last Thursday, when I tore up the bottom of the van on the woman's driveway?

Guess what I found on the ecycle list today.

OFFERED - 6 30-gal bags of plastic peanuts - Spackenkill Road

Must pick up TODAY by 5pm. Town of Poughkeepsie, off Spackenkill Road.
I got them from another ecycler, but can't use them; there are just too
many! The bags are huge, so please bring mini van or p/u truck that
will hold them.

Duh? Yup. That's her. I recognized the email address. There were lots of people closer, with decent driveways, to whom I could have given them. But she wanted them, and she was first in. And now not only is she reoffering them, but she's apparently not keeping any? She can't use them because there are "too many"? Duh?

I don't understand.

From now on I don't deliver.

#656 Volunteer Assignment

I went to the RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) meeting this morning, and I got my assignment.

RSVP takes in requests for volunteers from all kinds of programs and not-for-profit organizations, and then farms volunteers out wherever needed. The woman asked me what I'd like to do, where I'd like to go (and I couldn't say "Wherever I'm most likely to meet healthy active 57-63 year-old men"), so I said the northeastern part of the county, and I'm shy and not very good at conversation (true), so visiting nursing homes and shut-ins probably isn't the best for me.

So, I have been assigned to the Hudson River Maritime Museum, on the Rondout. This may be ideal for me! She also said that the allover average for the RSVP volunteers is 2 to 4 hours a week. I can certainly do that, and still have time left over for Habitat for Humanity. I'd sorta like to do some respite care for Hospice, too, just a few hours a week. I remember how much I appreciated that when Jay was sick, but I think I'll wait a bit and see how this works out.

I have to be careful not to overcommit. Last time I did that, I figured that since I was working 40 hours a week for free, I may as well get paid, and I went back to work full time. Don't want to get back into that thinking....

I was surprised at the other volunteers at the meeting. They were all a lot older than me, and many of them were rather frail looking. Some will be assigned to drive people to medical appointments and on errands. That's a bit scary.

#655 What's My Major?

You scored as Mathematics. You should be a Math major!
Like Pythagoras, you are analytical, rational, and are always
ready to tackle the problem head-on!





























What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.

Ahah! I did major in math, with an English minor. Psychology was (and still is) a major interest, but not much was offered in the only school I could afford to go to. Oddly, I'm actually not much interested in math, or in writing. I'm more interested in analysis and synthesis, and in reading. In other words, just dabbling. I wonder what that means. (Probably means I'm lazy.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

#654 Sunday Defrag

Busy day today. It's pouring out, so I can't take stuff down to the basement, but I at least moved more containers to nearer the door and dusted off more shelf space in the basement.

I called the Hunk about the chimney work, watered the plants, made the hotel reservation for the trip to Ricketts Glen, took the van to the service station, dropped off the key with a note about what's wrong, picked up the rental car, and paid some bills. All I need to do now is wash my hair.

Last night, about 10 pm, I started a defragmenting run on the PC, and as of about 5 pm today it still wasn't finished. It says the "drive's content has changed: restarting..." about every 90 seconds. I had stopped everything except "creative launcher", "explorer", "rundll", and "systray". I don't really know what those things ARE, but either they won't or can't go away when I say "end task" on ctrl/alt/delete, so whatever they do, there's no way to stop them.

I finally gave up and called Hercules, and he said it might be my virus scanner waking up every so often. I finally just gave up on it. I'd really like to figure it out, though. This dog is getting slower and slower.

Roman called this evening, and he agreed it's probably the virus scanner. That, or a virus. Gack! And he says I should be able to stop "rundll", and that "creative launcher" must be something Jay added. Jay "improved" and recoded a lot of standard stuff on this machine, which is one of the biggest problems in maintaining it. A lot of it is nonstandard, and you don't know what until you run right into it.

I was shuffling through some old CDs this afternoon, and I found the backups Jay had made when he first installed this Windows 98 SE. There was also a disk labeled "Drives C and D Backup", AND one labeled "Drives E and F Backup".

E and F?

C and D are hard disks, but "My Computer" doesn't know anything about E or F. Roman says that Jay had obviously partitioned the hard disk (hence C and D), and it's possible that E and F are "hidden" partitions - which would explain why Jay had told me we had xx gigabytes of hard drive, but when I ask the computer how much we have, it shows a lot less. It would be interesting to find out what's on that E and F backup CD.

Roman says there is usually a way to make the hidden disks available by hitting a particular key (possibly a function key) on IPL, but there's no way to know what key, and there's probably a partitioning program around that I maybe could get to E and F through, but it's one of those things you don't touch unless you know exactly what you're doing.

Yeah, every once in a while I see that program, and so far I have resisted playing with it.

(I haven't seen anything associated with the AAVIT partnership on the visible disks, so I'll bet that's where it all is. And probably IBM stuff from when he was working from home. That doesn't seem to exist anywhere else, either.)

Oh, well. I am going to buy a new machine sometime soon. After I get the den cleaned out, I think. I guess I can limp along until then....