Friday, July 04, 2008

1897 The flowers are trying

Friday, July 4, 2008

That section where I had planted the wildflower seeds? Where I got all upset a few weeks ago when the guys MOWED! the sprouting flowers? The flowers are trying.

I could hardly believe my eyes this afternoon when I saw tiny California Poppies. The red blossoms are between a half inch and three-quarters of an inch wide, on stems perhaps three inches tall, covering the planted area. They should be two feet tall with palm-sized blossoms, but I'm sure they're poppies. Accidentally bonsai'd poppies, I guess. I recognize the leaves and flowers.

So I looked harder, and there are four more types of plants flowering, some yellow, two kinds of white, some blue. They're all so tiny it's hard to tell what they are, but I'm so proud of them anyway. They're really determined.

But, um, that was supposed to be a shade mix. Poppies?

1896 Oops

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's 73 degrees, still, sunny, and not too humid outside. Perfect for beating back the weeds.

I had three of those long-handled loppers. Now I seem to have none. I wonder if the guys who cleared the side yard "found" any.

Anyway, I was out there pulling up Virginia Creeper vines trailing through the front (laughingly-called) flower bed, grabbing handfulls of vine and leaning back at a 45 degree angle to pop pop pop them out of the ground, when I looked down and found that one of those vines had three leaves, not five.


I've handled poison ivy before without reacting, but I've also heard that at some point your luck runs out. I washed. I abandoned the weeding. We'll see.

If I do get a rash, it won't be for a few days, but already I itch all over, even places that couldn't possibly have had contact. I do that. All I have to do is see a spider in my bedroom, or find a tick on the dog, and all night long I feel things walking on me.


The Man is working today. He's got a contract with a foreign company that doesn't observe American holidays ("Ok", I shrug). I'll see him tomorrow.

How come I keep getting involved with guys who aren't available on holidays, let alone 3-day weekends? I've gotta fix that. Next time around. At least this guy I believe when he tells me where he is and what he's doing, unlike the last guy, who told me he was visiting his ailing parents all the time, but actually was spending weekends and holidays with his other girlfriend.

Of course, there's that tiny voice in the back of my head, whispering, "You don't really know. He may just be better at hiding things." I guess that's the problem with long distance relationships.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

1895 Got a Shock

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here I've been waiting and waiting for that economic stimulus check that "most Americans" will get, being such a good economic stimulator myself and all, and finally I went to to see if I could figure out when I'd be getting the stimulus check.

This is the answer I got:

  • "You did not qualify for the Stimulus payment because your Adjusted Gross Income was too high."


So I researched. My adjusted gross household income is only a hair above the middle of the charts, which isn't all that high when you consider all the folks toward the bottom with zero income. A family of four would have difficulty on my adjusted gross income. I'm comfortable because about a third of my income is from tax free investments, which aren't included in the adjusted gross (I don't think, unless The Angel screwed it up), and my house is paid off.

So does this mean half the households don't get a check? If you listen to all the taking heads, they make it sound like everybody but CEO-types, that top 3% who earn half the total, would get something.

I don't understand.

[I'm not the only one. Piper thinks he's getting a check, too, and his income is five times mine.]

1894 Gotta Go

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This is the catalog for an auction scheduled for Saturday, July 12. I can't believe how beautiful some of the stuff is. I WANT!!! to go, but don't know if I can make it.

I'm making squealing noises.

1893 Gotta Watch

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm almost ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed this video. I sent it to The Man, and he cried. And shot soda out his nose.

If you've ever dealt with IT support - those guys you call somewhere in the bowels of your building when something isn't working right - you'll appreciate it too. Or if you've ever tried to help a clueless end user.

Set aside 10 minutes. The control bar is at the bottom of the display. Probably not worksafe. It starts out slow and hard to understand, but it gets better.

Just to whet your curiosity, the tagline people take away from it is "You can't arrange things by penis!"

1892 Gotta Read

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Every so often I mention Scott Adams' blog (yeah, the Dilbert guy). I read it precisely for observations like this, from his post "Ignorance is Underrated":

"...ten percent of American voters think Obama is a muslim. Your first thought might be that this misunderstanding could influence who becomes the next president of the United States. But ask yourself if any of the people who think Obama is a muslim are likely to vote for a black Democrat under any circumstance. I'm guessing that the ignorance of those voters on that particular point will have no impact on anything."
"When it comes to picking our next president, I can't decide if I prefer the smooth-talking, inspirational candidate who promises to give my money to people who don't work as hard as I do, or the old, short, ugly, angry guy with one good arm who graduated at the bottom of his class and somehow managed to shag a hot heiress and become a contender for president. It seems dangerous to underestimate that guy."
Droll. Very droll.

1891 Beautiful Bridges

Twelve very beautiful and amazing bridges, here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

1890 Does Vermont Have a Death Penalty?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

...if not, somebody hand me a gun.

1889 Too Old?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 (early am)

Boy, I almost blew it tonight! I went to the drive-up ATM after midnight, when I realized I was completely out of cash. I got some money, counted it, put it in my purse, and was about to pull out when I glanced at the ATM, and saw that it was asking if I wanted another transaction.

I almost left with my card still in, and the pin in effect! Someone could have pulled in after me, checked my balance, and withdrawn to the limit.

I've never done that before. Am I getting old?


Speaking of age -

I no longer have an active profile on, not for at least a year, but they still send me emails with photos and briefs on "matches we have selected for you". One guy worries me.
His age is 55. He's looking for women 50 to 60. He "definitely wants to have kids". Huh?

Maybe someone should explain a few things to him.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

1888 UFOs and Komando

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From Yahoo News, "Top Ten Unexplained Phenomena":
"There is no doubt that UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) exist - many people see things in the skies that they cannot identify, ranging from aircraft to meteors. Whether or not any of those objects and lights are alien spacecraft is another matter entirely; given the fantastic distances and effort involved in just getting to Earth from across the universe, such a scenario seems unlikely. Still, while careful investigation has revealed known causes for most sighting reports, some UFO incidents will always remain unexplained."
Um, "careful investigation has revealed known causes for most sighting reports"? Snork! My father worked on Pr0ject Blueb00k. I have read reports stamped red "Top Secret" lying on the dining room table. I know what that "careful investigation" consisted of, and where those "known causes" came from. I even contributed to some of them. Bull poopy. Lots of wild duck blue sky made up pure fancy they don't really have any idea bull poopy.


Long ago I used to listen to and enjoy Kim Komando on the radio. I haven't heard her in ages and almost forgot about her. She has a website, and, among other things, posts a video-of-the-day every day, amazing or funny stuff. Her taste is similar to mine, 2 out of 3, anyway. If you like that sort of thing, visit (or get the feeds for) Today's is kind of blah, but you can get to the backlog by using the calendar on the right.

Monday, June 30, 2008

1887 Que?

Monday, June 30, 2008

(Chatty today, aren't I?) This photo of Dav1d B3ckham is all over the internet, with several women calling it enticing, teasing, "his wife is lucky", and so on.

My response is a snort of derision. There's a reason I call the man "The Man".

1886 Que

Monday, June 30, 2008

You know those strings of letters you have to enter when you post a comment? The ones to foil spammers?

To whom do I write to get them to ban "q"s and/or "g"s? Or at least use a font where they are very different. I cannot ever tell the difference between lower case "Q" and lower case "G", especially when they're distorted! I always get it wrong, even when I second guess myself and chose whichever I think it isn't. I ask for another string, and sometimes I go through several strings before they offer one without either of those letters.

In a real word, I can generally tell, although words like quilt and guilt still need more context. (Sometimes I even spell those words wrong. I confuse them. I often feel quilty about things, and throw guilts on my bed.)

1885 Bloomers

Monday, June 30, 2008

The ladies on The View today were all upset about sexy clothing in little-girl sizes. Like low-slung panties for wearing with low-rider jeans, or jeans with "Cutie" across the rear end. (Whoopie sensibly pointed out that if nobody bought them, nobody would sell them.)

I was reminded of my middle-school years in Ottawa, Canada, 1954 to 1958.

The other girls in my class were fascinated by my American underwear. I wore ordinary waist-to-crotch fitted cotton knit panties. They all wore bloomers, very baggy full woven cotton or fine wool knit pants that went from the waist to just above or below the knee. Like short harem pants.

They thought my underpants were incredibly daring. Scandalous, even.

(The bloomers above are available at

1884 Jay's Falls

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ah, the arrogance of youth. That inability to understand or accept the inevitability of frailty. I was guilty of it.

It was only six years ago that I selected the cliff above Murray Reynolds Falls, on the Kitchen Creek falls trail (read the trip report at that link) in Ricketts Glen state park, as the ideal spot for Jay's ashes. The trail from Lake Jean down to the Route 118 parking lot is 3.2 miles, with 23 named falls. Murray Reynolds is the lowest falls before Rt. 118 (there's one more below 118, which the web site linked above doesn't count).

I chose Murray Reynolds for two reasons.

Jay loved it because there's a large round, deep, quiet, clear pool at the foot of the falls, and one day when we passed it, dogs were swimming in the pool, barking happily, fetching sticks thrown by their people. Our first view was from the cliff, looking down on the scene. Murray Reynolds is safe and fun for dogs, and it would be nice to have his ashes in a dog-fun spot.

The second reason was because Murray Reynolds is the first falls up from Rt. 118, and there's very little rock scrambling necessary to get to it, so (and here's where the foolish arrogance comes in) I figured that when I got old and decrepit I'd still be able to make it at least that far.

I'm not completely decrepit yet, but I realized yesterday that I'm not what I used to be, and I had the first intimations that there may be worse to come.

Six years ago I was in pretty incredible shape. I'd just come off a year of lifting, turning, exercising Jay's 6'3" 200+ pound body. I had muscles on muscles, and stamina to match. The trail from the top down is 3.2 miles, with a 1000' foot drop. The trail goes up and down, but mostly down. In my teens, when I had lived on top of the mountain, I'd bike to the trail head, walk down, and then turn around and walk back up. (Actually, that was before the state cut steps into the cliffs. Back then, you climbed up and down the cliffs with the aid of ropes tied to trees.)

In my adulthood, I'd go with a friend, so we could park cars at the top and bottom, and then walk down. (Note it's not all down. Some places go up steeply, then down some more.)

Yesterday I was alone. So I walked from the bottom up to the first and second falls. I had no difficulty yesterday, it was an easy walk, but it was very clear to me that there would come a day when I wasn't going to be able to do it. One detail that I'd missed six years ago is that it's a little over 1.6 miles from Rt. 118 to Murray Reynolds. Round trip, that's 3.2 miles, same as the full trail, AND it's half UP! And some sections are steep and narrow.

I made it with no problem, but there will come a day when I can't.

I got to commune with Jay a bit. His presence was not as strong as it has been in the past (I've noticed that generally over the past few years, but he'd always been strongest there). But I did feel him there. A few things became clearer to me. I'm not sure whether Jay "told" me - I didn't get that "other" voice in my head - or whether my mind was thinking with more clarity beside the falls, but I got the answers I was looking for.

And it didn't rain.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

1883 Bloglines has gone crazy

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I apologize to anyone who gets Bloglines updates. Bloglines has gone crazy and may have dumped 200 posts into your update reader.

I just want you to know that this is NOT as a result of anything I have done. Bloglines simply went crazy all by itself.

1882 Dangling Participle

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I am amused by a sign in the hotel elevator, the first line in the "Firefighters' Instructions".

I'd love to make some kind of joke about it, but I seem to be constitutionally unable to do so. I read other people's blogs, and am often amazed by an ability to turn a phrase, to make some mundane thing funny, to make a verbal connection between two unrelated thoughts with only a few words, creating an amusing picture. I wonder, "How did they think of that?"

I have what has often been described as a dry sense of humor. I see the humor in a situation, but I'm often unable to convey it in a humorous (to others) way. Half the time people don't "get" my jokes, because they're not aware I'm joking. I don't get laughter - I get a raised eyebrow. I don't think I could make a pun to save my life.

My humor is not just dry, it's strange. I find many dangling participles hilarious. Most people skim right past dangling participles because "they know what they mean". I don't know whether it's my learning disability, or my insistence on rule following, or what, but I read literally, and dangling participles confuse me. They create strange pictures in my mind. I can't just skim right past them.

[Quick lesson. A dangling participle is a verb phrase which modifies a subject (not precise, but good enough), but it seems to have a subject that is not the one the speaker or writer meant. For example, "Walking through the woods, the trees were beautiful." The trees were walking through the woods?]

So my frustration here is that the sign in the elevator cracks me up, but I don't know how to share it. I may be the only person who finds it funny. If anyone can make it funny in a comment, please do. Here are the elements:

Firefighters' Instructions.
First line of instructions: "WHEN FLASHING, EXIT ELEVATOR"
I giggled at the mental picture.
I laughed out loud when I realized I was giggling at a dangling participle.

Have at it.