Month: April 2009

Good news, bad news and aggravation

I can’t believe it! The bike parts got here today. Today! Fairly late, so I’m not going to get in there and put ’em in tonight, but I’m still astonished. W00t!

OTOH, I have to go to the dentist tomorrow morning (early enough that it qualifies as morning even for you people, which makes me not so happy) because I have a toothache. This after I had them push my check-up a few weeks ahead so I wouldn’t have to pay for that and the wedding in the same month. Sigh.

Speaking of annoyances, if the media keep harping on about the Vast and Terrifying Epidemic (that so far totals maybe 100-150 cases nationwide, with AFAIK one fatality—a toddler, in a group that’s at risk with any flu), I am going. to. shriek. Did you know not one single case of this virus has been found in a pig? So why did they start calling it swine flu? And guess what—every flu season we have a pandemic, which only means that people all over the world get it.

While the media are making a ridiculous amount of hay out of what’s so far a few tufts of grass, I have to say that it seems the CDC and medical folks have gotten a lot more planning and structure in place than they did when the H5N1 (bird flu) strain first showed up. That’s a good thing, whether this turns into a massive mess and we all croak or not.

Wash your hands a lot!

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Eating my words

Basically, I’m an optimist, but I adopt a distinctly pessimistic approach to almost everything. It may sound like a contradiction, but what it means is that if things do go right, I am pleasantly surprised.

So it was when I heard from the exercise-bike people. They asked a couple of questions and then shipped off a new console and power supply. I am astonished. Seriously. Flabbergasted. Gobsmacked.

So in another week or two, I’ll have new parts that, I hope, will last longer than 90 days.

In other news, Grandma seemed pretty good yesterday, except that I noticed her left eye pupil was markedly larger than the right. I didn’t want to scare her doing a neuro check, so I just mentioned it to the nurses. Evidently, her pupils have been different sizes since last September! Can’t believe I haven’t seen her in bright enough light to notice that for seven months!

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Customer servic(ing)

Yesterday, my brand-new-in-January NordicTrack recumbent exercise bike blew a gasket. Well, more precisely, a circuit board. It went “pffft,” went dark, and that was that.

Astonishingly, it does have a one-year warranty. So I filled out their online “customer service” form, which has so far been in limbo for almost 10 minutes without completing its submission.

I hope this is not indicative of how customer service is going to work. If they’ll just send me a new console, I can plug it in (I did it when assembling the thing). I hope this doesn’t turn out to be yet another of those instances where “service” is used in the agricultural sense.

Stay tuned. Film at eleven.

ETA: The *&^%3! blew out my MP3 player, too. Now I have neither exercise equipment nor tunes. GRRRRRRR.

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Hiliarous and hideous: more adventures in sewing

After deciding to build a “draft” of The Dress from Hell, as I think I mentioned earlier, I had to root through my fabric stash to find some really hideous stuff I’d never use for anything else. I think I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams on the “fugly” part. Can’t imagine how this stuff ever entered my house. The back side looks like a forest. Since it’s on the ironing board, it’s all bunched up at the bottom, and it’s on the duct-tape me that bears a certain, but not perfect, resemblance. You can even see the tied-off purple t-shirt that served as the duct-tape base sticking out the sleeve on the right. Makes the poor thing look amputated.

Enjoy your laughs, but don’t spit on the keyboard!

massive fugly

P.S. The real thing looks a whole lot better. So far.

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Watch Da Vinci!

:happy dance, squeal, happy dance:

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” a Canadian show that ran for eight years or so. It’s very well written, the acting is excellent, and it broke ground for plot complexities. I missed the first couple of seasons, but faithfully watched all the rest, and some of the Canadian actors have become people whose work I’ll seek out to watch.

Now, I find that I can see the early seasons I missed (and the later ones) on I am wildly, absurdly excited. You must watch it! YouΒ  must!!

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Plants, weeds and disappearances. Oh, yeah, and raccoons. Yeah.

I’ve sprayed and pulled and dug up weeds for two weeks now. I hate them little buggers. They’re more tenacious than telemarketers and twice as nasty. You yank ’em up and pile ’em, and the bloody roots manage to work their way back into dirt, or start sucking on their dead comrades for sustenance. I hates ’em, hates ’em, I say!

Stuck some garlic and leeks in the dirt today after I killed weeds. The poor leeks are probably going to have a tough time (or I’m gonna have a tough time gettin’ ’em out), because their roots were so thoroughly entangled that I couldn’t get them apart into single bits. And they had all the body of a limp thread. So they’re planted in clumps, which I’m sure isn’t whatcha might call optimal for ’em.

And if that weren’t bad enough, the multi-card reader I have and remember moving, just the other freakin’ day, has completely freakin’ disappeared. It’s not where I thought I put it, or in potential places A through Q. How do things do this? Is it some kind of black-hole thing? Is it just innate orneriness? It drives me batty when these things happen (and they do so way too often)! Of course, that means I can’t transfer photos to the little card I wanted to transfer them to so I could add them to those on the digital photo frame the NoDakBassmaster and clan gave me for Christmas.

Oh, yeah, and the raccoons. They ate every blasted daffodil bulb I had over the winter. Gone. Every single one. With lots of little bulb-sized holes left in their places. :shakes fist:

It’s enough to make you wanna cut off yer ear.

Or eat chocolate.

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Perhaps someone can explain. . .

. . . what the deal is. Some actress is standing outside whacking at something with a sledgehammer. The trouble is, she’s obviously never held a sledgehammer before, the one she’s holding obviously weighs about 12 ounces rather than 12 pounds (if it weighed 12 pounds, it would outweigh the girl by about two pounds), and she’s outside, working, dressed in cute little matching pants and top, a sweet little hat, and platform shoes. As if that weren’t bad enough, she has enough collagen pumped into her lips that when she runs, they flap. What on earth were they thinking?!?

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Happy Easter Bunnies!

Drove down to KrisDi’s and Snaotheus’s for Easter ham (and sausage, and pierogi, and croissants, and cheese, and rolls, and veggie salad, and potato salad, and bean salad… and apple pie, and apple cake, and cookies, AND Cadbury Mini-eggs. . .) and as usual came away stuffed like a granary bag. KrisDi’s a great cook, and it’s fun to watch the two of them waltzing around in the kitchen. Two friends, whose nicknames I don’t remember, and the brother/girlfriend pair (E-dubs and PixelChick) were over, too, so there was lots of babble going on.

We played Scattergories after din-din. I’d like to know the theory behind that. Until you’re required to come up with a list of disconnected categories of words, all beginning with a particular letter, you could come up with tons of them. The instant you have to do it, they become inaccessible. I mean, I couldn’t even think of “rat” for an animal starting with R! I’d like to know why that happens. Is it too many things trying to get out the same logic gate? Or too many possibilities so the choice engine is stymied?

On the way home. . . this is very strange, and it’s the second time running this has happened. . . people were plopped in the fast lane, after the speed limit changed to 70 mph, puttering along at 55-65. Last trip, there was no reason for it at all; weather was perfect. This time, there was intermittent rain, but not to such an extent that it required slowing down to Sunday-saunter speed.

I don’t usually get too aggravated at traffic, since there’s nothing I can do about it, but honestly. I mean, I could see miles of clear road ahead of the guy putzing along at 55 (yes, really), who had 10 people plus me piled up behind him, with people in the slow lane putzing along at about 56, spaced exactly so you couldn’t get around them. I was ready to throw flames by the time I managed to escape their cunning trap.

MUST get out tomorrow and plant food!

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Good food news

I love “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” a silly radio show whose mission is to keep us informed of extremely important ridiculosity in our world. Sometimes, it provides vital information, such as . . .

Bacon is a good hangover cure.

Chocolate helps you learn math.

I can hardly wait to hear what they learn about macaroni and cheese, and ice cream, and pecan pie. . . πŸ˜‰

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Wedding update

Books and articles and entire encyclopedias, and I think even combative TV shows, have been written about the trials and tribulations of being a bride and trying to get all that stuff orchestrated for a spiffy wedding.

We mothers of the groom get left out from the word go. Nobody ever talks about our trials and tribulations, and nobody ever wrote a book about being the mother of the groom. (At least, I don’t think so.) And heaven forfend anyone should start yet another horrid “reality show” involving mothers of the groom. It doesn’t bear thinking.

So here’s the deal. The navy blue linen/silk I ordered (after weeks of searching for the right thing) finally arrived, three weeks after I ordered it. ItΒ  has lovely drape and sheen. . . but if there is one reflected photon of blue anywhere in it, I can’t find it. Not under blue light, sunlight, yellow light, candlelight, LED light, you name it: that stuff is black. Black! Suitable for a funeral, maybe, but not for a wedding!

I called the place I ordered it from. “Oh, wow,” they said. “Maybe somebody labeled it wrong.” If I send it back, they’ll send me something else… but somehow, I doubt that’s going to get here in time.

Fortunately, I found some backup fabric that will work, though it’s not exactly what I wanted. (Snaotheus can call that picky if he wants; I still say it’s decisive and directed.)

I started hauling out tools and stuff I’ll need, and discovered that my old, solid, and trusty cutting board (a big chunk of foldable cardboard printed in a 1″ grid, for turning, say, a bed into a cutting surface). . . to discover that somehow it had gotten wet and moldy. Yuck! Not only was it bigger and sturdier than what’s made these days, but it probably cost $3 (lo, these many eons ago). Since I didn’t have a refrigerator carton handy, a replacement was in order… for $16. Sheesh!

It’s a good thing God didn’t give me girls. I think if I had to actually be involved in all that (what I imagine to be) frustrating planning stuff, I’d handcuff both of them, toss them in the back of the car, and haul them off to a judge to have the deed done. πŸ™‚

Good thing I don’t run the wedding industry. πŸ™‚

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Word handicap? Moi?

Every now and then, when I’m bored, I play with a word puzzle carried in the Seattle Times, where my college buddy Jerry works, called “Cricklers.” (How’s that for messy syntax?) Since I pay little attention to news these days, I don’t usually bother with the news-based quiz; but I generally do the vocabulary ones and sometimes the crosswords, depending on how bored I am and how much time I have to kill.

It intrigues and annoys me that, after doing probably two dozen of these things, the system still ranks me with a handicap of 15. Fifteen! I! With not only a handicap for a word game, but one in double digits!! What’s that about?!

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Sometimes y’don’t need words


It’s foolish. It’s unreasonable. It’s dangerous. It tempts fate. But still, I’ve felt really happy the last few days. Not that I don’t usually, but it’s been a silly, over-the-top happiness that makes me a bit apprehensive because I figure some Event of Doom is heading my way. Maybe it’s the sunshine, which I normally avoid like the proverbial plague; maybe it’s warmer weather; maybe it’s even the daffies starting to bloom all over town. It’s so nice not to have gray, gloom and moldering wet.

An old friend used to get genuinely scared when things were going too well. Happiness had been so pervasively short-lived in his world that its appearance frightened him, because experience had taught him that Something Bad Was His Way Coming. The entire last week has been so pleasant that I kind of wonder if I hadn’t ought to hide under a trash bag or something in case the universe decides to dump on me. On the other hand, maybe this is my reward for all those people I let go ahead of me in the grocery line.

Little guy at the park today thought Blue looked seriously interesting. Maybe 14-15 months old, toddling around in that on-the-toes, forward-leaning, mostly controlled fall that passes for walking when they haven’t yet figured out that they don’t need to lean forward to overcome inertia, wide blue eyes sparkling, falling toward her with both arms outstretched. She wasn’t sure what he was, but she was sure she wasn’t having any, thank you. I restrained myself from picking him up and whirling him around. πŸ™‚

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Entertainment value

One of my knitter buds passed this along. It’s pretty cool; those of us who (a-hem) have ritzy things (a-hem) like iPhones should enjoy it. Some of the stuff is classic and public domain; others have been published within the last couple of years. Check it out!

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Success, peaches!

Ah haaa! Grandma has perked up considerably after the initial groggy period on the new meds. She’s getting feisty again, AND hasn’t asked for any Percoset all week. That’s pretty impressive. She seems to be doing a whole lot better, pain-wise-speaking.

Success, peaches!

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While taking some of my yarn stash out today to wind skeins into balls, I discovered the cheekiest insult I can imagine from a rodent.

Last fall/early winter, said rodent invaded my house. I surmised it was a chipmunk, since it kept packing entire little boxes of rodent poison into its cheek pouches and hauling them off. I found a pile in the washing machine, in the little cup you put the detergent in. I plugged up all the holes I could find/reach, but Snaotheus was supposed to make sure all the outside holes were plugged up and he didn’t follow through. Later, I found that it had shredded a bunch of office supplies in three of my desk drawers to try to make nests. I was not happy.

Pulling out a ball of Classic Elite Skye Tweed in a nice rusty shade, a blue-green color caught my eye. Blue-green? In a rust-colored yarn? What the hey?

You guessed it. Rodent poison!

The little beast not only stole all the poison pellets instead of having the decency to eat them and die, it had the gall to haul the stuff into my bedroom, up the bookshelf, and tear up three of my good skeins of yarn to make little storage nests, then fill all three of them with the poison pellets!

I hope that sucker is dead. And those holes better get plugged up before next fall. Grrrrrrrr.

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