Saturday, January 27, 2007

1092 Demonstration

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The anit-war demonstrations were on the 11 o'clock news tonight. FirstWoman is at the one in Washington. She left on a group bus from Beacon at some indecently early hour this morning. She's dead serious, but I have no doubt that she's having a good time, too.

1091 Foods and Stuff

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm going to take a fruit salad to LI tomorrow. I bought bananas, apples, dates, blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, grapes, and fresh apricots, and I'll cut them up tonight. I'm on a fruit kick lately, don't know why. I've also got oranges and figs in the refrigerator from Thursday's fruit run, and I've been nibbling constantly.

Shopping today for the fruit, I also bought freeze dried vegetable chips, and the container has freeze dried string beans in there, too. I love them! I wish the whole lot was green beans and peas. I don't like cooked peas, but I love freeze dried peas (plain, not the hot Japanese type). I looked around a little online, and I can buy peas and beans, but the people selling them seem to think you should soak and cook them, so I'm afraid they're actually the hard leathery air dried type. And they're too expensive to buy an experimental batch.


A question. I am under the impression that if you can pass the state bar exam, you can practice law, without having gone to law school. Law school is not a requirement. True or false?


My favorite belly dance instructor has started teaching again. I need the scheduled controlled exercise and the stretching (for back problems, belly dance with an instructor who knows the rules is the absolute best back strengthening exercise), but I have a feeling that she's going to be working the class a lot harder, and expecting more of them, and I'm just not willing to work that hard any more. (Squats??!! Are you kidding me?) It's long been a just sort of playing at it thing for me.



I had to paint my keyboard with a permanent marker again. I keep saying this PC is ancient. It's so old that the letters have rubbed off many of the keys, and I have to draw them on again every few months. The wear pattern is sort of odd. It started with the E, R, and T keys. This morning I had to renew the W, E, R, T, Y, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, and X! The span from E to H were totally blank, the others were faint. Seems to be the left side that wears faster.

I don't touch type. I hunt and peck with two index fingers (right thumb for spaces). I realized last night that it was time to paint the keys again when I had to enter a password, and I wasn't sure where the E, R, F, T and G keys were, and I couldn't tell by looking at the screen if I'd got it right because everything was ********.


1090 Tire Frustration

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hairless Hunk was going to be here between noon and 1:30. It's now 1:34 and I haven't heard from him. I have absolutely no right to complain, of course, it's a favor, but that doesn't lessen the frustration.

I went out at 11 am hoping I could change the tire myself. I chocked the tires, set the brake, got out the spare and the jack, located the little pin under the frame that the jack is supposed to lock on, set the jack, removed the wheel cover, put the wrench thingy ****Oops - he just arrived! To be continued later.****

Later. It's now 5:30 pm. To continue:

... put the wrench thingy (tire iron?) on a nut, and that's where I was stymied. I can change a tire just fine. What I can't do is loosen the stupid nuts! At one point I was standing with both feet on the iron, holding on to the side mirror and the antenna base, and jumping up and down. Nothing. I got a piece of wood and a hammer and pounded on the end of the iron. Nothing. If I'd been able to find the sledgehammer, we'd have had some fun! I gave up and waited for Hunk.

He came and loosened the nuts, and the rest was quick.

I took the wounded tire to Mavis, and they patched it under the warranty, and just for fun I had them rotate the tires - it's about time anyway.

So now I'm all set, all tires with air in them, the patched tire moved to the rear, and a good spare.

I asked the guy at Mavis to please not tighten the nuts so much, but he says they have to tighten them to specs. I said but that means I can't change a tire myself, and one of the other customers told me to get a big 4-prong iron, and a long piece of pipe that will fit over the end. That'll give me more leverage. Yeah! I'd heard that before, but forgot. Fer shur, will buy one set for each car, next trip across the river!

Hunk said he would have come over to help last night, when I called, but he thought I had the Aerio backup, so there was no rush. He didn't know the Aerio is sidelined with a mysterious wheel well ailment. That will get fixed soon now, I think. I got a service reminder from the Suzuki dealership, and it says they do have pick up and drop off service if you don't have a ride. I hope 14 miles and across the river isn't beyond their range.

1089 May You Live in Interesting Times

Saturday, January 27, 2007 (just after midnight)

I'm really trying to stay off the computer on even-numbered days except for checking email and doing research. So I've been sitting here waiting for midnight so I can blog. I wonder if they have a patch for this....

I heard from Piper this morning. He's back from Las Vegas, and has good news about his mother. Tuesday's procedure showed no blockages, so they moved up the pacemaker surgery scheduled for next week and did that on Tuesday. She's home now and doing well.

After that phone call, Friday went to hell.

It's a good thing I cancelled the Florida trip. Otherwise I'd have been running out of the house at 10 am Friday with just enough time to get to the airport, and THEN I'd have found the flat tire. As it was, I discovered it at 5 pm, just late enough to make it too cold to attempt changing it myself, and too late to call a garage (I don't know who I'd have called, anyway).

I replaced all four tires on the minivan last January. Last April, I had an unrepairable puncture in one of the new ones, and had to buy a fifth new tire. Today is my third flat in a year. Something's wrong. Reminds me of the first six months Jay and I were married. I had something like five flats, Jay had three. I was convinced that his ex-wife was drive-by throwing screws at the end of the driveway.

So, I called the Hairless Hunk, and he's going to come by tomorrow (Saturday. Later today? It doesn't feel like tomorrow until I sleep) between noon and 1 pm, and help me with it. I'm going to try to get out there and see if I can do it myself before he arrives. I can change the tire if I can get it off. It's getting it off that's the hard part. If I can't get it repaired or replaced sometime tomorrow, I'm going to end up driving to Long Island on Sunday without a spare. What fun.

Then I did some laundry, and the shutoff valve on the washer is still iffy, and I wasn't paying attention, didn't get out there to turn off the water, and didn't notice that it was overflowing until the water rounded the corner from the laundry room and a soapy wave crossed the kitchen floor.



Heard in passing on the TV: Little kid wants to be "a vegetarian" when she grows up. "A vegetarian?" "Yeah. Vegetarians take care of sick dogs."


South Park is on right now. Locally, we have a Hyde Park, an East Park, a North Park, and a West Park. I wonder why there's no South Park?


Thursday, January 25, 2007

1088 Sample

Thursday, January 25, 2007


1087 Mouse & Stuff

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I've got another dead mouse. They're usually in the wall near the refrigerator. You can smell them for a few days, then they finish drying up, I guess, and the smell goes away. This one seems to be in the heat duct near the master bath. When the furnace blows, it blows the smell right into my bedroom. I don't know if I can outlast this one. Even after the smell's gone, I'm not sure I like the idea of powdered dead mouse blowing across my bed. I guess I'm going to have to rig some kind of flexible extender for the vacuum cleaner.


Between the garage and the kitchen there's a laundry room. The garage door is half glass, and the dog-flap is on a side wall. I've hung a curtain in the doorway so it would block the ugly view of the garage and pantry shelves, but still let the animals through.

The lower corner of that curtain is standing out about three inches, blown out by a strong very cold breeze.

I immediately suspected the garage door. I ran a lighter all around it, and the flame stayed upright. Then I ran the lighter around the dog-flap (which has been sealed off with plastic and tape), and again, no draft. Around the window. Nothing.

Just to be sure, I replaced the plastic over the dog-flap with bubble wrap, taped all around.

There's still a lot of cold air blowing under the curtain. A lot. More air, and colder, than just rolling off the window glass and door surface.

I don't understand. Where's all that cold air coming from? The clothes dryer vent duct goes into the basement, then outside through the wall. I guess I should check the outside flap on the vent, anyway, to make sure it's not stuck open, but I didn't feel any cold air around the dryer. (Last time it got stuck open a chipmunk was storing seeds in there, and you could tell because the inside of the dryer got very cold.)


The new local Mensa governing board has taken office. I read on the website that there were still a few vacancies, Ombudsman for one. I immediately thought, "I can do that." I'd been a volunteer mediator in the county court system back before Jay got sick, and it's unlikely to take much time because there's rarely any serious crap in the local group anyway. This morning the new president (FirstWoman, as a matter of fact) called me and asked if I'd be willing to do it. She was surprised when I said yes without apparently thinking about it (I'm already on the dues hardship committee). She said it was unlikely to be much work, and then cracked up when I said that if things got boring, I'm sure I could stir something up.


The gathering for Roman's parents has been moved from his sister's apartment in Manhattan to his parents' apartment on Long Island, which is a relief for me. I had spent literally hours on Tuesday night trying to figure out the easiest simplest way to get to his sister's (a few blocks from Central Park). The Mapquest driving directions would require a passenger navigator reading them aloud to me to avoid missing a turn in the city.

Not that getting lost on the city streets is that bad - they're nicely numbered and I could feel my way around, but it's the parkways that scare me. I often find myself zooming across a bridge I know I shouldn't be on, and then I have to pot around streets in scary neighborhoods where people leap out and try to wash your windshield and bang on your doors, and I can't find a way back to recross the bridge. There are too many places where you can get off, but can't get back on in the same general area.

I decided the train would be best, and then had to decide whether Amtrak to Penn Station or MetroNorth to Grand Central would be best. Grand Central put me closer, so then I had to figure out what subway line I wanted, and how far I'd have to walk. I also asked for pointers from other Mensans on the Yahoo group.

But then the venue changed, yesterday. Roman sent very specific driving directions to his parents' apartment, and they look pretty simple. I'm not worried about that at all.

All that research was not a waste. I found so many good maps and got so many suggestions that I'm no longer afraid to go myself. I'm now thinking I might go into the city alone on warm weekends, just to play tourist.


Still haven't heard from Piper.


1086 Trouble with photos?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm having difficulty putting photos in here. When I attempt to use "Add Image", I get an error message.

I went to "Help", and under known problems it said that you get an error if you've entered Blogger through, and sure enough, I did. So I changed the bookmark to go to (which redirects you to, and that's supposed to fix it.

But it didn't.

Now when I click on the "Add Image" icon, nothing whatsoever happens. Nada. Nothing even blinks.

The only way I can add photos is to manually move the photo from my hard disk to Flickr, and then code the HTML link to the Flickr image myself.

Anyone else having the same problem? Better question - anyone else having NO problem using the "Add Image" facility?


1085 Book Quiz

Thursday, January 25, 2006

You're Compassion Fatigue!

by Susan Moeller

You used to care, but now it's just getting too difficult. You cared
about the plight of people in lands near and far, but now the media has bombarded you
with images of suffering to the point that you just don't have the energy to go on.
You've become cold and heartless, as though you'd lived in New York City for a year or
so. But you stand as a serious example to all others that they should turn off their TV
sets and start caring again.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Yeah, ok, I do get that way every so often, up and down, back and forth, in and out.

1084 Surprise Scholar

Thursday, January 25, 2006

You know the Bible 85%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

This is a surprise. The last question is "Do you read the Bible", and I checked "No". I occasionally look something up, but I've never actually sat down and read it. I guess I just listen well, I remember crossword puzzle clues, and I'm good at eliminating the obviously bogus answers and picking the best possibility.

Or maybe I look up more stuff than I realized.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

1083 Change

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Roman and I had talked about whether or not there should be a funeral, or memorial, or whatever for his parents. He said they had said that they didn't want anything, and that all their old friends were already gone ahead so there was no point. He felt that it might be disrespectful to go against their wishes.

I suggested that a memorial isn't really for the departed, anyway. It's for the remaining. Jay and I both wanted nothing, no fuss, but there was a memorial service for Jay in his parents' church, because his sisters insisted that Jay's father needed it. So it happened, and it was attended by Jay's sisters and his father and his father's friends, who attended not so much for Jay as for his father.

I suggested that as he notifies family and friends, take their temperature and see how they feel about it. It doesn't have to be something formal in a funeral home or religious venue (his parents were not particularly observant anyway, and their choice was cremation), it could be a simple family reception in his parents' LI apartment or his sister's Manhattan apartment, or a banquet room in a favorite restaurant.

This afternoon I got an email from him. He asked me to post a notice on the Mensa group site, that there would be a memorial at his sister's apartment, this Sunday.

It surprised me for two reasons. First that he contacted me at all. He could have posted the information himself, or asked the president, secretary, or editor to do it. Second, he knows that I'm headed to Florida for a Mensa gathering this weekend. He couldn't help but know that by asking me to post the notice, I ... this makes no real logical sense ... but ... I feel like he's asking me to be there.

That makes no sense.

He's been pretty shy of my having any contact whatsoever with anyone on the "other side" of his life. He said once that he "didn't want to have to explain" me to his family, and I'm certain he doesn't want me anywhere near the other woman. I can't see him wanting me to be there. But I want very much to support him. I called him and asked him to think hard before answering, I won't be hurt whatever he says, but is he absolutely sure that it would not be awkward for him if I were to show up on Sunday. He said he'd already thought about that before he sent the note.

So I called Trav3locity and Sister, and cancelled the Florida trip. Trav3locity has assessed a penalty, but not too very large, and they're keeping some money as a credit that I have a year to use. Sister understands completely. Along about late February or mid-March I will be sick of cold weather, and I'll show up on Sister's doorstep.

On a different (I hope quite different) front, Piper's mid-80's mother was having the cardiac catheterization today (with possible stents) in Florida. She's scheduled for a pacemaker next week. Piper is in Nevada on business and depending on his sisters to keep him posted. I called his cell phone about 9:45 pm to ask him how his mother was, and was surprised when it went directly to voice mail. I hope he's not in the air zooming to Florida. I can't imagine that he's simply turned the phone off. I hope he's merely in a big signal-blocking building.


1082 Bad Bad Hair

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I am 29% White Trash.
Not Too White Trashy
The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.

Hmmmm. I think maybe it's the Aerio sleeping on the front lawn. Or the mullet.

Yeah. The mullet.

Last fall I started heat-straightening my hair. I really liked it all smooth and slinky. But then I started seeing splits and breaks, even though I had the straightener on the absolute lowest effective setting, and then the top front got all ragged. I have a dark patch right smack in the front (like Jay Leno's), and I lighten that piece, and I guess it couldn't take the heat.

So I ran a part from the top of one ear to the other ear, and cut the whole front short. I kinda like it. The top and back is about mid-back length now and growing. I got a little over-enthusiastic about a week ago and cut the front and sides a tad too short, but it's a good shape, and will be right in about three weeks.

This test surprised me by not asking if I was even white. Shouldn't that have been the first question?


1081 Catching Up

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm Ok, You're Appreciated
I haven't posted since Friday, and I've got some email asking if I'm ok. Gee. It's nice that I'm missed.

Yup, I'm ok. For one thing, I've decided that even-numbered days will be non-blog days. No reading, no writing, no visiting. So many people have interesting things to say, and there are so many interesting links to other interesting sites, that I can waste a whole day just wandering around reading. I'm not getting other things done. Like clearing up the clutter, which is much less interesting than reading. So, henceforth, no internet excuses for getting nothing done on even-numbered days.

That's why no entry on Saturday. Sunday I would have been allowed to blog, but I went to NJ to visit Daughter and Hercules. They took me out to look at some of the houses they had visited the weekend before with the realtor. You know, it would probably be cheaper to buy some farmland and build than to buy in a developed neighborhood in central New Jersey. People sure do have an inflated opinion of the value of their houses!

The Caveman
This blogger,
discrimination-entertainment-or-caveman.html, has an amusing and perceptive take on the Geico commercials that I agree with 100%.

Roman's Family
Saturday evening I drove into the village to visit the ATM. I don't know what time it was, but it was that time that we used to call the gloaming - when the ground is very dark, but the sky is still relatively light, a medium blue. All the way into the village there was a sliver of moon in front of me, and right next to the moon, less than a finger-width away, was just about the brightest star I'd ever seen. It was so bright that at first I thought it was an airplane, but I watched it for fifteen minutes, and it didn't move. The sky was clear, and I looked all around, and those were the only two things visible in the sky. It made me think of Roman's mother and father.

Roman's mother died at about noon Monday. He lost both parents within four days.