Thursday, June 10, 2010

2984 Waiting and wondering

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."
-- Sherlock Holmes --


Still haven't heard anything about the new house. Contract is signed by both parties, down payment is made, and ... I'm waiting. The builder has to give me three weeks' notice before closing, so it won't be for at least three more weeks, and that's all I know. I've been selling stock a bit at a time as bits of it go up.

Also, I want to use the van to move a lot of stuff myself, and the guy who agreed to work on it something like three weeks ago has not yet come for it. I'm considering checking whether Captain Vantastic would like a go at it.

In the meantime, time passes.


I stopped in at Piper's office at about 11:30 am to ask him to cut me a check for the estimated taxes due next week. His daughter, who has begun working with him and is positioned to take over the business, was there. She likes me, and wants to see her father and me together. (She doesn't take the hint.)

They were very busy, both yelling into phones. He asked me if I was free in the afternoon for a late lunch with the two of them, and I said yes, and went back home to wait for his call.

At 1:30 the Hairless Hunk came over, and I offered him a ride in Hal. Well, actually, he had the ride last week - I offered to let him drive. I called Piper, and he said they'd be busy for another hour, and then the late lunch. So HH and I went for a ride. I don't mind others driving Hal, because I get more of the openness of the top-down experience when someone else drives.

I never got the call from Piper. I called his cell and his office at 4:30, and left messages. Don't know what happened. In the meantime, since I still need to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours anyway, I've been nibbling.

The Hairless Hunk is so excited by Hal he wants to take a day next week and go somewhere, like Maine for lobster, or Canada, or wherever I want to go - a full day trip. He'll pay for the gas and meals, and tolls, and anything else, as long as he can drive.

I'd love to, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. His wife would not go, and that seems a bit awkward (to say the least). Maybe I could invite another person, like a chaperone, preferably male, but I don't know who would be available in the middle of the week.


There are still things I haven't figured out about Hal. He is often parked unlocked outside the house, or elsewhere if I'm not planning to leave him alone long. Then I walk up to him, open the door, and get in. No big deal.

I've left him locked and unlocked with the top down in the driveway, and he didn't react when I touched his body. But once I left him unlocked outside Piper's office, and when I leaned over him to get my hat out of the back seat and brushed the edge of the door, he had a fit, screaming bloody murder until I could find the "shut up" button.

Yesterday I parked right next to the deli door while I ran in for V8, very quick, and left him off and unlocked, top up, just like in the driveway at home. When I came out and touched the door handle, he freaked and shrieked.

Why? What was different? Nothing. I don't understand.

I'm getting paranoid, like maybe he's aware that there were more people walking past him in the village and at the deli, and is more comfortable at home.

I'm afraid I may have named him well.


I have almost no TV reception this evening, even channels that usually come in clearly (no cable - rooftop antenna). Makes me wonder what's going on weatherwise in the Albany area. Or maybe sunspots? Would that affect non-satellite reception? I didn't think so - usually thick cloud cover or wind screws up my channels ever since we went digital, but there's nothing going on here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

2983 I haven't been THAT good!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I takes 42 muscles to frown, and only 4 to reach out and smack you.


When I arrived so early for the movie yesterday, I decided to window shop a little in Rhinebeck. I tried on a pair of on-sale slacks in Winter Sun. They were a little loose. They were size XS.

I weighed me this morning for the first time in a week or more. I'm at 123 lbs. That's the first time I've been below 125 in at least 20 years.

I don't know whether to celebrate or worry.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

2982 Lipstick

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

“I’ve made smarter things than you by eating fiber.”


The Lipstick Dance:
I go through a few years when I can't find a color I like. I buy and discard many tubes, then I finally find the perfect color. I buy several tubes of that color, use them for a few years, and by the time I use them up, that color has been discontinued, and the dance begins again.

I had been dancing the past two years. I was desperate enough to pay $30-35 for special stuff. A few weeks ago, I bought a tube at the drug store simply because it was 75% off, it was like $2 or less, and it's perfect!

Naturally, it was 75% off because it's already discontinued.

I used it for two weeks just to make sure, and yes, it's perfect. It somehow seems to make my eyes look brighter and my cheeks rosier. People have actually remarked that I "look healthy", or "look younger".

With the internet, it is suddenly easier to find discontinued products. I've been scouring eBay, Amazon, and discount drug stores for "my" color. I'm cornering the market on Revlon Icy Violet 475. It's out there at widely varying prices, from a low of $2 a tube to a high of $14 each. So far I've got ten tubes, at $2-3 each. Two more for the freezer, and I'll be set for life.

This evening I noticed something odd. I had put lipstick on the right side of my lips, and was interrupted before finishing the left ... and I couldn't tell where it started and stopped.

Icy violet (which isn't at all icy or violet, by the way) apparently happens to be exactly the same color as the natural color of my lips! Not that I could just do without it. The lipstick smooths and sharpens the edges, softens the texture, and evens the color, so it does do a job for me. I just thought it was interesting that my perfect color is my natural color.

2981 Double double toll and trouble

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Love longs for union.


I filled out the two E-ZPass dispute forms yesterday evening, included a check in each for the actual toll, and mailed the return envelopes last night. Two seconds after dropping them in the mailbox outside the PO, at 11 PM, I realized that the 1st class postage had gone up in April, and I'd used old stamps, without adding the extra 2-cent stamps.


I don't know what happens to postage-due mail these days. I don't have time to find out, because if the violation isn't paid or disputed within a very short time frame, the fine doubles.

So I went to the NJ E-ZPass website to file the dispute there, and pay the toll maybe with a credit card. Surprise - all I had to do there was tell them I have a valid NY E-ZPass, and they'll charge the toll to that account, and forgive the violation and fine.

Duh? Why couldn't the notices I had received say that in the first place? So now I hope the forms I mailed come back to me so I can tear the checks up.


One of the problems with retirement is that you forget what day it is. There's a movie I want to see showing at the artsy-fartsy theater, on Wednesday, at 5:45. I glanced at the clock this afternoon, noticed it was already 4:45, and panicked. Ran out of the house barely put together and unwashed, went to the theater, tried to buy a ticket, and the clerk said, "You're 24 hours early. Is that ok?"


Today's Tuesday.


Jasper seems to think there's mice in the master bath and the dining room. He's been trying to rearrange those rooms. He's so cute when he's intent. He doesn't get enough play, enough mental stimulation, so I haven't objected to being awakened several times a night by his frantic leaps and scrabblings.


Another thing that's cute is pointing. When you try to point to something with a dog, to direct a dog's attention, the doggie will sniff your finger.

When you point with a cat, the cat will rub her cheeks on your finger.

Beasties just don't understand pointing - except my old long-gone Smokie cat. She would actually look where you pointed, and I didn't have to teach her that.

Monday, June 07, 2010

2980 Toll Trouble

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Actions lie louder than words."
--Carolyn Wells--


It rained yesterday. That means I did nothing yesterday. Seriously - I turn off when it rains, like some expensive piece of electronic equipment avoiding a short circuit. I think I read a lot, or something. I don't even remember.

On my last trip to NJ I took Hal, and the EZ-Pass, down the Garden State Parkway. I went through EZ-Pass lanes, and at two of them, Bergen on the way down, and "ESS" (whatever that stands for) on the way home the next day, instead of getting the "Toll Paid" signal, I got "Toll Not Paid - GO", which I'd never seen before.

The notice of fines arrived in the mail. I owe $1 for each of the two tolls (Wow! When did that happen? Remember when GSP tolls were 30 cents?), and $25 "administrative fee" for each.

I'm going to dispute them.

My EZ-Pass worked fine in the toll plazas before and after each of them, so they must have had some bad readers. In fact, I noticed that the car in front of me on the southbound trip got exactly the same message.

Now, I'm not accusing New Jersey of anything, just kind of letting my mind wander, but what do you suppose would happen if a pass reader were turned off for a while? It costs a certain amount to send out the fine notices, let's say $4 each. Many of those people will dispute the $25 fine, but many will just shrug and pay it rather than go through the fuss. If anything more than, say, one in 6 pay the fine, then NJ comes out ahead.

I hear the explanation on a dispute is almost always accepted, so they're pretty good about it, but still, it's not exactly incentive to fix broken readers, is it?