Saturday, October 30, 2010

3145 Jasper has moved!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You can’t prevent what you can’t predict.


I brought Jasper to the NJ house with me today. I gave him the sedative from the vet. He was still very vocally unhappy and bloodied a paw on the carrier door, but at least we didn't have the slobber and seizure of the last car trip.

He has explored the new house a little, but he's still a little unsteady on his legs, so he seems to be content to sleep it off in the corner of the downstairs bathroom. I took him upstairs to show him my bedroom. He recognized the spread as the mate of the one he used to sleep on in the back bedroom in NY, purred loudly, kneaded it, and rolled around on it.

Even if the house is strange, I think he approves of the bed.

Having brought him to NJ, I can now spend more time here. Five or six days here and one or two days a week in NY should get stuff done. I think Jasper will be happier with that arrangement, too.

Daughter and Hercules left yesterday for Europe, a sudden business trip (yes, they left during that "suspicious cargo" airport mess), so that was the other reason to bring Jasper down now. I'm taking care of their house, bringing in the mail, and feeding their three cats while they're away, so not having to run off north every two days makes that easier, less worry.

I also brought down the small kitchen TV. It has a slot for DVDs and a small antenna. I had hoped that being so close to a large metropolitan area I'd be able to pull some broadcast channels from the air.

Well, I've got what seems to be a PBS channel (weak signal, keeps cutting out), NBC (also weak), an Italian-language channel, a Spanish-language channel, and what seems to be the info channel for some city government. I am surprised that's all I'm getting.

I was sorta hoping for CBS - so I could watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Big Bang Theory. I guess I'll have to break down and get basic cable. Bleck.

On the drive down, I discovered that my GPS had somehow gotten wiped. All my favorites locations are gone, the simpery lady voice is back, it's been reset to factory everything. I am unhappy about that.

Bed early tonight. The car is still packed. I'll unload tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

3144 Basketball has changed, too?

Friday, October 29, 2010

If you love something, set it free. And if it flies away, run after it and kill it.


I just caught a few clips from a Celtics game on the news. Sheesh! When did basketball change?

I haven't watched a basketball game in a few decades. But I seem to remember that players weren't allowed to touch each other, certainly not on purpose.

These guys were practically tackling each other! They were grabbing and throwing and pushing each other, several instances in just the few seconds of the clips. And nobody was blowing any whistles.

What happened when I wasn't looking?

3143 Hallowe'en goodies

Friday, October 29, 2010

"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
-- Vince Lombardi --


A Mensa friend (the one I call The Hippie) was asked what non-gory horror movie scared him the most. He answered that "the only horror movie that's ever truly scared me was 'The Exorcist', which wasn't really gory--gruesome makeup and lots of vomit, but I've been to parties like that."

Cracked me up.


I had asked for suggestions for non-sugar Halloween treats, and got several.

I really like the balloon one! A definite treat for little ones, and a bust for the too-old teens who shouldn't be out panhandling anyway. Love it. I could fill the porch roof with balloons, so it's festive, too. But right now I don't have the time to locate a helium tank, get it, fill balloons, tie on strings, etc., so I'll put that idea away for next year.

The little bags of pretzels and/or popcorn is nice. Parents would probably approve, too. By chance, I found cases of 24 bags of pretzels, popcorn, corn chips, and cheese puffs, at the A&P on special sale for only $3.xx each case. I bought three cases, so for less than $12 I've got 72 kids covered, and if nobody comes, I can eventually eat it myself - there's not much in a bag, perfect snack size. They'll keep....

Thanks for coming through, ladies.


Daughter and I measured the new living room and figured out the wall area. I took the numbers to Home Depot, and the guy at the paint counter said two gallons would do it, two coats. So yesterday I painted the longest unbroken wall, one coat, and I've already used 1/4 of the paint. Either our numbers are wrong, or I'm putting it on too thick.

I haven't pained a wall in literally decades. Latex paint has changed since the last time I used it!

I remember when latex paint was new on the market. My parents first used it in the house in Ottawa, in about 1955. It was very weird. It was more like a gel than a liquid. When you tried to pour it out of the can, it wanted to all come out in one glop, like Silly Putty. You had to kind of cut off what you wanted. Spreading it with a roller was more like pushing it around on the wall and leaving a trail of paint. My father gave up and thinned it, and used a sprayer. We were digging paint out of our noses for days.

The stuff gradually got more liquid. The last time I painted a wall, about 1983, it was much easier to handle. Liquid. Nice. Thin, but easy to work with and covered well. I painted brilliant red and navy blue walls peach pink, and two coats covered it.

This stuff I used yesterday (Glidden) is very thick again. The roller was very heavy, even though I tried not to carry too much on the roller. And it dried MUCH too quickly. It was drying in the tray, and I was getting little glops of thickening paint on the roller that I had to flick off the wall with my fingernails.

I didn't get any bubbles in the paint or on the wall, but as it dried, it was like it contracted, leaving patches here and there where, if you looked very carefully, the original white base showed through, little pinpoint specks. But the coverage is good enough that I think a very thin second coat will do.

I'm tempted to thin it for the next wall, and see how that goes. Even if it just delays the drying a bit, that will help.

I also gave up on trying to find someone to mow the lawn. No Hairless Hunks there, I guess. So I bought a (mulching) lawn mower and did it myself. The grass was so long and so thick I had to use the highest setting, and move very slowly. I'll have to do it again in a few days, set lower. Luckily, it's a very small yard.

I'm hoping to take Jasper with me when I go to the new house tomorrow. If I can catch him. It's like he can read my mind. Disappears when he knows I want to put him in the carrier.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3142 As the crow swims

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A million seconds is 11 days
A billion seconds is 32 years.
A trillion seconds is 32,000 years.

A trillion is a big big number....


I subscribe to several services that locate things near one, by zip code. Like (dinner groups, movie groups, groups for varied interests), local happenings, singles' groups, etc.

It worked fine in the mid-Hudson valley. I put in my zip, and asked for a radius of 25 miles, and found lots of interesting stuff to do. I could drive north, south, east, west, and have fun. Everything the zip code turned up was possible.

It wasn't noticeable in the valley, but apparently these services simply draw a circle 25 miles in radius around my house and give me everything there. And I could get to everything in reasonable time.

It's not working so well in the new house. I can see the lights of Brooklyn from my back windows about 15 miles away across the expanse of Raritan Bay and Lower Bay. Seeing is one thing. Getting there is another. It's about 45 miles driving, one to two hours depending on traffic, and over a bunch of bridges.

So when I put in my zip code now, and ask for people, groups, events within 25 miles, I have to scroll through pages and pages of things in Manhattan and Brooklyn before I find the few piddling things relatively local to me.

This crow don't fly, and especially not over water.

Social networking suddenly got harder.


I got a call from the homeowner's insurance guy today, the one who found me the policy. The insurance company insists that this must be my primary home, not a vacation home. He said the adjuster had been out to look at the house, and they've decided it's not a primary home. I asked what brought the adjuster to that conclusion.

I don't believe it. The guy decided that I didn't intend to live there because I had no curtains on the living room windows.


3141 HOTW - Jay

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson --


Honey of the Week (and the decade, and well, my life until I lost him) - my late husband Jay. We were still in honeymoon mode when he died.

I fell for him the first time I saw him. Photos don't convey his deep soft voice, or the graceful way he moved. At 6'3" and over 200 lbs. he was a big guy, but had been a competitive ballroom dancer before I met him.

1984, the year after I first met him:

1993, a year before we married, visiting my youngest sister in Florida:

1995. He loved beasties of all kinds, including his father's dog Pepper, here, who hated me and bit me several times:

1997, his last good year:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3140 Trouble on the mountain

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life is a slowly unfolding tragedy.


The random green quote seems appropriate today. I was startled to find the linked news story (here) today about the effects of natural gas fracking in Towanda, Pa. (The article describes Towanda as in north west Pennsylvania. It's not. It's in north east Pa., about 25 miles north of where I went to high school.) Watch the video.

I know the area. I giggled at the statement about hotel rooms being full - yeah, there was, last time I checked, one small family motel and a few seasonal B&Bs. I had checked one time when I wanted to visit my mountain.

I know the people. It's always been rather economically depressed. The gas company's offers would be very attractive, especially in the current economic climate. The born-and-bred people there are very open and trusting. They'd tend to believe promises.

Well, perhaps three years ago I commented on how there was no cell phone service anywhere near my mountain. Last time I was up there, I noticed cell towers being build everywhere. I wondered why, because folks on the mountain (to the south of Towanda) would not be particularly anxious to get cell service. They wouldn't want their kids corrupted, and can't afford it anyway.

I guess now I know why. It's not for the people. It's for the gas companies. Nothing corporate is ever altruistic.

Monday, October 25, 2010

3139 Whateverest?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don’t believe everything you think.


Well, I feel better. I guess the "whatever" may have been just tired.


The TV just mentioned that "world's longest cat" again ( I'm getting tired of hearing about Guinness World records in general.

He's not necessarily the longest cat! He's just a big one with an attention-seeking owner who decided to get him onto the list, and herself on TV! Don't pretend there are no longer ones out there. You didn't even look!

Many of the "records" are just plain stupid, like "most people bouncing balls at one time" kind of stuff. I think they need to just stop that crap. And it most certainly is not news!

If they want to keep track of records, it should be stuff that cannot easily be beat - like fastest runner in a timed race, or oldest person on a government census. Or if they're doing smallest horse or longest cat, they should at least make an effort to verify that it IS the whateverest in the world, not just the whateverest that bothered to send them a letter.

So, they should list Stewie as "the longest cat whose owner contacted us", not "the longest in the world".

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon. I've always thought the same thing about the "World Series" - world? Who are you kidding? And Miss America/World/Universe pageants. Hey, she's not necessarily the most beautiful woman in the country/world/universe. She's simply the "best" (in your opinion) of those who are so vain as to enter pageants. I think there are many more naturally beautiful women (inside as well as out) that never considered walking on your runway.

Snarl. Spit.

3138 Random thought

Monday, October 25, 2010

"[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered."
-- Al Capp --


Where did "hello" come from as a greeting?
Does it have anything to do with Hell being low?
Is it like giving people directions on where to go?
If so, is that a nice thing to say to someone?
Is "hi" as a greeting the opposite? Go high?


[Interesting discussion at I found that after my musing.]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

3137 Crap. It's autumn.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Education... has produced a vast population able to read
but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."
-- G. M. Trevelyan --


I have that heavy in the upper body weak in the thighs feeling that often means I'm fighting something off. I'd go to bed right now (7:35 pm), but The Amazing Race is on at 8 (or later due to football), and I want to watch that. It's times like this that I wish I had a TV in the bedroom (I do, but that one is analog only).

I left NJ last night without my cell phone. I called Daughter and asked her to check the new house for it. She found it on the outside porch railing. Eek. Maybe I was coming down with whatever last night.

This afternoon I went to Albany for lunch with Mensans. I may have passed whatever on to 14 other people.


I am registered independent, and I always do split my vote. I don't think in 40 years I have ever voted a straight ticket. This year I think I will. One particular party has thoroughly pissed me off with their gloom, doom, lies, rewriting of history, and fear manipulation tactics, and I guess I have to send my small whispered message.


Until about fifteen years ago I almost never exceeded the speed limit, and was mostly traveling with traffic on the highways. I've noticed the average speed on the NYS Thruwayhas been creeping up. When Jay and I were going to Albany for his treatments in the late '90s, 65-68 was the average speed. (You MUST move at the average speed, or you'll get run over, cut off, sworn at.)

When I started driving to NJ regularly to see Daughter in the early 2000s, and then more often to see The Man the past 4 years, it had been creeping up, and the past 2 years it seemed to have settled at 71-73. If you drove at 72, you passed very few cars, and very few cars passed you.

The past three weeks I've noticed a huge increase. The average speed now seems to be over 80 mph, with bursts of 85. The speed limit is still 65! Driving to Albany this afternoon, the entire mass of cars was moving at about 82. I stayed with traffic at that speed and didn't pass anyone. I tried to slow down, and had guys riding my bumper.

I really don't like it. Why are speeds going up? Where does it stop?


Caught on NPR today: "...can be explained by three letters: QE2."

Um, that's two letters and a number, or four letters (Q E II), or five letters (Q E t w o).


Ok, I've got a problem. In the old house, up a long driveway at the end of a dark dead end street, house not visible from the road, I haven't had trick-or-treaters in a dozen years. If it's still a custom in the new nighborhood, the new house is pretty much guaranteed to have many many. (I'll have to ask a neighbor for an estimate.)

I absolutely don't want to hand out pure sugar! What can I distribute that isn't sugar, isn't suspicious, isn't too expensive, and won't get my house egged?

I have NO ideas....