Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cats. Don't 'cha love 'em?

I do love my cats. I really do. My cats used to be indoor cats until I put in a doggy door so the dogs can go out to the backyard when I'm not home. I'd like my cats to be indoor cats again. They're much safer that way, and so are the birds and other critters. But I'd have to take the doggy door out and that's not going to happen.

The house began to smell funny a couple of days ago. I searched and searched. Finally found the culprit - a dead mouse. There have been a large number of mice in the house lately, probably because it's been raining so much that the backyard is soaked. (Same for those damned big cockroaches, that would normally stay outside.) I have occasionally found the cats playing with a very live mouse. Once with an almost dead mouse. Then there are the dead mice I find once the cats lose interest. I take the live ones outside. I left the almost dead mouse with Lucy until it wasn't almost dead anymore, then threw it away. Of course, I throw the dead ones out right away, if I find them right away. Which I don't always, and the nose knows when I don't!

So I tracked down the dead mouse and took it outside to the trash can. Still, after a few hours, the house still smelled funny (bad). I went to where it seemed to be the worst and looked around. I pulled the couch out and searched with a flashlight and, voila, there I found the back half of a lizard. (I don't have carpet, thank goodness, so I don't have to worry about the smell sinking into the fabric.) Out the half-lizard goes to the trash can. Great! No more smell.

But wait, there's still a bit of an odor in the room where the lizard was found.

I get the flashlight and search under the couch this time. And what do I find? Yet another dead mouse. One more trip to the trash can.

I think I've got them all now. No more smell of death in the house. I am assuming that the front half of the lizard was not so tasty, otherwise the back half would have been gone, too.

What great mousers I have! I just wish they'd take the damned corpses outside when they're done.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Testing a blog from my cell phone.


Cool weather again today. I've got most of the windows open. It rained all day yesterday - literally. All day, from sprinkle to downpour and back to sprinkle. And still the DirecTV installer showed up. Poor guy. At least there was no lightning. It was very humid yesterday, too. I had some cleaning up to do before the installer came, and I got pretty sweaty doing it. (Changed clothes before installer showed.) I sweat a lot, and I hate it. When I mow the lawn, for example, I have to wear a headband so the sweat doesn't drip into my eyes. And by the time I'm done, my shirt is very wet. Even when I work inside on a hot, humid day, I sweat a lot. It's a family thing. My brothers and nieces sweat like crazy, too.

I'm having mixed feelings about DirecTV, but I'll keep it. First, and most annoying, is that it won't work with a TiVo. I've had my TiVo for awhile but I don't think I've had it for three years, which is what I signed up for. (Cheaper that way.) So unless someone can tell me how to make the TiVo work with DirecTV, or vice versa, I'll have to cancel TiVo.

I got a DirecTV DVR, which works almost the same as TiVo, and I suppose I'll get used to it. But I'd still rather have the TiVo.

One thing I don't like about the DVR is that it won't autotune. (Autotune is where you program the channels you want to watch, and the receiver changes the channel when the time comes.) I used autotune with DishNetwork a lot because one of the two receivers was located in the living room but controlled the TV in the bedroom. In the afternoon and evening I would just program the shows I wanted to watch and not have to worry about getting up and changing the channel. It's a great feature when you're in bed. Setting the DVR to record doesn't help because the channel doesn't change to record a program. It will stay on whatever channel it's on while recording whatever it's recording. This is better than the TiVo in that I can watch one show while recording another, and I can record two shows at the same time. (This is probably not an issue where everything is digital, but when I signed up most everything was analog, so the only option was to record and watch the same show.)

Since I already had the TiVo, and no clue that it wouldn't work with DirecTV, I decided to put the DVR in the living room, which means it controls the TV in the bedroom. Now that I know the TiVo won't work, and that the DVR won't autotune, I'm going to have to change the locations of the two receivers -- put the DVR in the TV room and the non-DVR receiver in the living room. That may sound easy, but there's a trick to it! The installer told me that there was one box that should never be unplugged, and I'll probably have to unplug that to move the receivers. I have the installer's phone number. I think I'll call him and ask. Maybe he'll come back and change them for me.

All this is why some people just don't like change.
I decided to try the new stuff at Pizza Hut. I started by ordering online, which I never did before. I did that because I could see what I wanted before I ordered it. Ordering online was easy and, if I ever order from Pizza Hut again, I'll probably order online.

I ordered two of their new "Tuscani pasta" dishes, Chicken Alfredo and Meaty Marinara. (There's an option to order "pasta pairs" where you get two half-pans for one price.) I also ordered their new "Wingstreet Wings." I got the mild buffalo wings, which were good and with just the right amount of spice for me. I ate all the wings and some of the Chicken Alfredo pasta. I wasn't happy with the pasta. The chicken bits were only on the top of the pasta, which means they were added later rather than cooked into the pasta. Also, the only real flavor was in the top "crust" that must have been the layer of cheese that was mentioned in the description. Without that layer, the pasta would have been extremely bland, as the pasta underneath was. For that reason I have to say I'll never order that dish again.

The meaty marinara is still in the refrigerator. I'll eat it tonight.

The order came with "breadsticks" which didn't suck! All the flavorings were on top, so when I took a bite I held the breadstick upside down so the flavor was on my tongue. If I bit rightside up I would hardly taste the flavorings (butter, garlic, parmesan cheese). I actually didn't eat those until just a minute ago. I'll give them a passing grade.
When I did the outside work a few days ago, I wore shorts, of course. It was quite warm. I knew I should have sprayed myself with mosquito repellent, since I knew the little nasties were active. But I didn't. Today I have at least ten itchy mosquito bites on my right leg. The odd thing is that I don't have any on my left leg or anywhere else! Go figure.
I got this photo from a friend. I thought I'd share it with you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Headaches and Allergies

I woke up with a headache today. I ate breakfast, took my daily meds, then laid down. Slept for a few hours but when I woke up my headache was gone. It had been replaced, unfortunately, by an allergy attack. This always happens a few days after the rain stops. The mold levels rise and my sinuses go crazy. I took my allergy medicine this morning, but had to take some Benedryl (the generic, actually) this evening. Benedryl makes me sleepy. It will rain again tomorrow, so the mold shouldn't actually be a problem. Could be a problem for my satellite installation, though. I'm sure the guy doesn't want to be up on the roof in a rainstorm, and definitely not in a thunderstorm!

Speaking of headaches, my iMac monitor is now up to 13 vertical lines in the display. Two are very close together, so it actually looks like eleven skinny lines and one fat line. I will never forgive Apple for this defect, which they care nothing about. (I have bought a new non-Apple display and use that as my primary, now.)

Going to hit the sack now. As a friend once said to me, Morpheus is descending.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Did Something Today!

I did some much-needed and long-put-off work outside today. It wasn't much really. I cleaned up the front porch, washed off the plastic chairs, and cleaned out my car. I also put up a shephard's hook contraption that I've had for a couple of years. I thought I wanted to put it in concrete so it wouldn't rust and fall down, but after two years of it laying on the front porch, I figured what the hell.

Once I got to a good stopping point I realized I was very hungry, so I came in and ate too much. Beef tips in gravy with mashed potatoes. Yum. Now my stomach is feeling just a touch upset. So naturally I've poured myself an iced coffee. (I'll drink some V8 Fusion later to get my fruits and veggies.)

The lawnmower guy just got finished mowing the lawn so the front yard looks pretty good now. I'm sure the neighbors are pleased.

The inside of the house is still a mess, but I'll work on that tomorrow. On Wednesday the DirecTV person will be here to hook up their satellite stuff. I currently have Dish Network, but since I've been a loyal customer for several years they won't give me a DVR. Only new, untested customers get those. So I'm switching to DirecTV for the DVR and because, with their one-year introductory rate I'll be saving money for at least one year. The install shouldn't take long, since the wiring was all done by Dish Network. I suppose I'll report here once I've had DirecTV for a while to let you know which I think is better. I've already read complaints that DirecTV's on-screen guide is too small. This is the opinion of former Dish Network customers as well as those who did not switch from Dish Network. I'm sure it will be an issue for me since, (1) my eyesight is getting worse and (2) my TVs are small. I guess it's time to go get that 42" HD LCD TV I've been coveting.

Oh, I didn't see any hummingbirds today. Bummer. :-(

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hummingbird Update

Just for the record I want to report that I'm still seeing a hummingbird at one of my feeders. I didn't notice the ones in the front yard, but I saw the one in the back yard.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Movie/DVD: Breach

I just finished watching Breach, a true story of the investigation that brought down the most damaging spy in U.S. history, Robert Hanssen. No big review. Just want to say that I really enjoyed it, and I recommend it.

Stray Cat

Mr. Eko, the solid black stray cat I've been feeding, was in the house when I got up today. I can't say I'm surprised. I've carried him in and back out a couple of times. And he's spent a lot of time in the backyard watching the cats and dogs use the doggie door. He has apparently figured out that it's warmer and drier on the other side of that door! He didn't stay long because, when I got up, the dogs got up. He's still a bit skittish around the dogs. (Roscoe chases Mr. Eko when they're outside.) Mr. Eko is welcome in the house, but he's going to have go give up his, um, "manhood."

Btw, it's cold again today. Hooray. Been raining again, too. Damn.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kindle - Follow Up

Two items about the Kindle, now that I've been using it for awhile.

My Kindle needed recharging while I was actually reading. (I would have recharged it before hand, but didn't realize it was low. My fault.) One good thing about the Kindle is that you can still use it while it's charging. Unfortunately, the cord plugs into the bottom of the Kindle. Since I read with the Kindle propped on a pillow in my lap, this was somewhat awkward. I would like to see the charging port moved to the side of the Kindle. Since many Kindle covers attach to the left side of the device, the charging port should probably be on the right side.

I've been reading Audition, by Barbara Walters. While there are often photos in biographies, I wasn't sure if there were any in the paper version of this book. There are. They are also in the Kindle version. The Kindle screen is, as I said before, black and off-white. While this is fine for text, it isn't very good for photos. You might recall that photos, in most books, are printed on a separate type of paper and usually inserted in the center of the book. This paper is whiter than the text pages, and usually at least semi-glossy. There's a reason behind this. It makes the photos look much better. The photos on a Kindle, can be seen, but not well.

Other than that, I'm happy with my Kindle, and recommend it to anyone who reads a lot. Of course, if you wait for the paperback versions of your books, then you'll pay less buying the book. But if you buy the hardcover editions, you'll definitely pay less.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama, Hummingbirds, Whatever

I am elated that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Price. He has taken a lot of action to improve international relationships and bring about peace in his short eight-plus months in office. I'm sure a lot of people disagree with me. Most of them are Republican'ts. (I said most.)

I have at least three hummingbirds still visiting my feeders. Normally they would be gone by now. At least, that's what I've seen in the past. I suppose I just never noticed them hanging around before. But I honestly think this is unusual.

It's cold, again! And the humidity is gone! I actually ran the heater just a bit today to take the chill off of the room.

"Whatever" has been chosen by someone, somewhere as, you know, the most annoying word. Here's an article. At the end of the day, who cares? It is what it is.

Had another pilot dream last night.

I actually started this post yesterday, and I know I had more to write about. But I'm getting old and suffer from CRS* disease. So this short post will have to be all for now.

*can't remember sh*t

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'm still here. I haven't posted because nothing interesting has been happening.

For some reason I've started dreaming about airline pilots. No one in particular (and at least one of you out there will understand why I'm saying that!). I have frequently, in the past, dreamed about flying in a plane. Usually I'm on my way to or from Germany. Since I've flown that flight many, many times, it is no wonder that's the flight I'm on. But now the pilots are present. Could be because one of the members of the Umbrella Hat Society is a pilot. He's also a friend on my Facebook page. I did dream about him once. He didn't look like himself in my dream, but I knew it was him. But I've had other pilot dreams where the pilot was not known to me. This is neither good nor bad. Just a curiosity.

I think the hummingbirds are finally gone. I haven't seen one for a couple of days. This is the latest I've ever seen them hang around. Maybe they always did but I just didn't see them. Or maybe it's global warming .

The weather is finally getting cooler, but due to vast amounts of rain, the humidity is still high. I guess it will be until all that moisture evaporates. That won't be for awhile, because we have more rain in the forecast, including the light sprinkle we got today (so far). As the heat and humidity disappear, so does that excuse for not getting any housework or outdoor work done.

I have a little white cat that has strayed into my life. I have called animal control and one of the two vets in town to see if anyone has reported him missing. (I plan to call the other.) He was wearing a flea collar, so I know he belongs to someone. I say "was" because I cut it off. Collars that don't break away are a very bad idea for outdoor cats. They can get caught up on something and strangle the cat. Also, flea collars are not the best way to deal with fleas. Or to prevent fleas. Read the precautions on any flea collar box. "Don't touch. If you do touch, wash your hands thoroughly." So why put that nasty thing on your sweet little cat? I have some cat/kitten-strength Frontline that I will apply today.

I think the thunder and lightning we've had, combined with this cat's young age, may have contributed to the cat not being where it's supposed to be. We've probably all heard about animals that bolt during thunder storms. This cat may be one of those.

Would it be too chiché to call him "Snowball"?

I've brought him inside and he's sleeping on the table next to my computer desk right now!

I have a new website, and I hope you all (the two or three who visit) will join in. It's just for fun - an experiment of sorts. It's "Send Me A Dime." You'll find a full explanation on the site. Please forward the URL to all of your e-correspondents. (They'll only be angry for a minute.)

Chris Rock has done a documentary. That's right, a documentary. It's about black women and their hair. You can find the official website here. Sounds like it's going to be a very funny movie. (I'm not getting paid to promote it, btw!)

*You all know what that means, right?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dean's Drawing Again

He's done more Lost characters. His Desmond is spot on! Check him out here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Out of Sync

I'm up again in the middle of the night. I've been trying to sync up with the world, with no success. I'm unemployed (well, self-employed) so I have no reason or incentive to keep "normal" hours. That, combined with my chronic fatigue, has me sleeping all day and up all night. I have tried to go to bed at a reasonable time. I was extremely tired "last night" (tonight) so I went to bed and fell right asleep at around 11:00 p.m. But at a little after 1:00 a.m. I had to get up and pee, and couldn't go back to sleep. Why can't that happen at 7:00 or 8:00 a.m.? When I need to get up I can't.

So I'll find something to do. I'll add a bit to a letter I'm writing, and I'll do some creative things. Maybe I'll read some more of Barbara Walters' Audition: A Memoir. And then, when the sun comes up I'll take a shower and go buy some groceries. I really need to buy groceries.

I've decided that Rosie and I are going on a diet. We both need to lose some weight. Well, lots of weight. It's going to be very hard denying Rosie the extra food and treats that she's used to. I'll have to get some of those low-fat treats and just give her one or two, instead of the high-fat treats and give her several. As for me, I'm not going to buy any of the four C's (cake, candy, cookies, ice cream). My sweet tooth has been my undoing.

I actually applied for a job. I hadn't planned to, but it's a good job for me, and it's right here, near home. It's at the prison, but it's not a guard job. It's in the mailroom. I think I could handle that! It shouldn't be too hard on my decrepit body, and I won't have much contact with prisoners, if any. The pay is pretty good, too. The closing date for the job is this Monday, Oct. 5, and we'll see if they give me a call. I sort of hope they do. Still, I have to get this chronic fatigue taken care of or I'll never be able to hold down a job again.

Whether or not I actually get the job, I'll continue to be self-employed. I just won't have to work as hard! (At home, not at the prison job!) So if you need a website or some specialty advertising, let me know!