Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Neural Pathways

I was trying to remember a song a couple of days ago. I couldn't remember it, but it got me to wondering just how the brain works. Or, more to the point, why it works the way it does. Or doesn't.

There's this bit of information that I'm searching for. I know it's in there and I know I will eventually find it. But I really have to work for it. I think and think and think. I don't know what's going on up there, but I feel like I'm getting close. I start getting scraps of information that seem to be just out of reach. I'm getting closer. I could remember the gist of the song - the basic idea or message. I just couldn't remember the exact words, or the tune, or the singer.

Two days later I'm lying in bed and there it suddenly is - the song - the words, the tune, the singer. Where was it two days ago? Why couldn't I think of it when I was working to think of it? What had to happen in my brain to get the exact information from wherever it was stored to where I wanted it to be? And why did it take so long? Is there a little nano-creature in my brain that goes looking through dusty boxes and drawers, a creature that continues to look even when I've stopped thinking about the information - even when I'm asleep? And when that nano-creature finds the information, no matter when, it flings it to the part of my brain that then says "Ah Ha! That's it!"

I don't have a good wrap-up for this post. No lessons learned or anything like that. I suppose there are scientists and researchers out there trying to figure out the same thing. Except they're getting paid for it! I wonder if they've gotten any farther than I have.

By the way, the song I was trying to think of was by Huey Lewis and the News, Heart and Soul.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Medium" Rant

I must be some sort of masochist, because in spite of what I'm about to write, I continue to watch the TV show "Medium."

Haven't seen the show? The premise is that a woman, Allison, has psychic dreams that lead her to solving crimes. She works for the DA doing just that - using her gift to help solve crimes. She is married to a man, Joe, who is an engineer (real smart guy) and they have three daughters.

I started watching the show because of my odd sleep schedule. It was on Lifetime after midnight - two episodes per night. I guess I got hooked. I believe I've seen every episode now, and I'm watching the new episodes as they air on CBS on Fridays. I think I'm now qualified to point out a few annoyances I've developed about the show.

First, Allison has to be just a tad dumb. Untrainable is a better word, I think. The show has been going on for five years, now, and the time frame has kept up. That is, it has been five years on the show as well as five years in real life. Yet, in five years of having her psychic dreams she hasn't yet fathomed that there are some dreams she can do nothing about. Let me explain by way of example. In last night's episode her first dream involved an unknown young woman trapped by fire in an unknown building at an unknown location. And yet, the first thing she did when she woke up was grab her cell phone so she could call someone about the tragedy. Even I, the casual observer, know enough to check her dreams carefully for clues. She hasn't caught onto this yet. She still needs Joe, her husband, to talk her through the logic.

Along the same lines, how many times has Allison told the DA, Devalos, about something like this - something neither of them can do anything about? Too many. It's easy enough for me to figure out. Why is it so difficult for someone to whom it actually happens? And who is psychic, no less!

Next, another item that Allison hasn't learned in five years: She is still quite inconsiderate about waking up her husband. Show fans already know that Joe has had sleep issues many times, and has complained about lack of an uninterrupted night's sleep an equal number of times. And yet Allison will still wake him up in the middle of the night to tell him something that clearly could have waited until later that morning. Is she clueless, or just one of the most inconsiderate characters on TV?

Third, Joe is very aware of what "inconveniences" come with Allison's psychic gift, and yet he still whines a lot. Why is he still whining? Why hasn't he learned to deal with it, understand it, and support his spouse? These are two people who seem to love each other and who have a strong relationship. If this were my malebashing website, I'd call Joe a "typical male." But I really don't think he is. I think he is an extraordinary husband and his whining is just out of place. Is he untrainable, as well? I think so.

Finally, we know that Allison's dreams always end up meaning something. (At least, the ones we've seen always do.) But Joe continues to convince her that the early dream(s) is (are) meaningless. What he really needs to say is, "Honey, this is most likely just the first in a series of dreams in which the meaning will become clear as the dreams progress. So go back to sleep and dream some more." But he never says that. And she never thinks that.

I know. I know. You're going to say that it all happens in order to move the plot along, or to make the show more interesting. Maybe. Probably. But it still makes the characters seem a little clueless, no? Maybe the writers want the viewers to feel smarter than the characters. It worked for me.

There's undoubtedly more about the show that annoys me (I haven't even mentioned the daughters), but these are the things I wrote down while watching last night's episode.  Perhaps I'll blog about them in the future.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I hate it when I do stupid things.

I bought the spicy chicken patties again.

I frequently buy the ingredients for a quick, microwave version of chicken parmesan. The main ingredient is, of course, chicken. I have, for many years, used Tyson frozen, breaded chicken patties for this recipe. Recently Tyson introduced a spicy version of their chicken patties and decided to market them in a package that looks nearly the same as the non-spicy patties. I found out about this about a month ago when I took a bite of my chicken parmesan and noticed a quite unexpected flavor. Only then did I check the package and find out that my chicken patties were "spicy."

Spicy chicken patties just don't taste right when used for chicken parmesan.

I improvised. I used the spicy patties for chicken sandwiches, and used the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for baked spaghetti. Problem solved.

About a week ago I again went shopping for the ingredients for my chicken parmesan, noting to myself that I needed to check carefully to ensure that I didn't buy the spicy chicken patties. And I did. I checked. So what went wrong? I have no idea, but last night when I went to make my chicken parmesan, I noticed that I'd indeed bought the spicy patties yet again.

More chicken sandwiches and baked spaghetti. You can bet that I won't make that mistake a third time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why I'm Happy Summer is Over...

...or Why I like the cold weather.

 Cold weather in central Texas never really gets very cold. On the rare occasion that it might, it doesn't last very long. But hot weather in central Texas is quite hot and humid. When I left the military I thought I wanted to retire someplace warm, but once I started going through menopause I realized that might not have been the smartest choice. In the many years that I have spent in Texas, I have developed a new appreciation for cold weather.

I recently sat down and made a list of the things I like about cold ("central Texas cold") weather. I'm sure there are some I've forgotten, but here is my short list:

  • Winter clothes cover my fat.
  • I can put the blankets/covers back on the bed and pull them up around my neck while I sleep.
  • Hot coffee tastes even better on a cold morning.
  • Bugs go away.
  • When it's really, really cold, bugs die.
  • The heater costs less to run than the air conditioner.
  • No humidity.
  • No lawn mowing.
  • The dogs are happier - not panting all the time.
  • I can open the windows.
  • I don't have to put my hair up to cool down.
  • When I get in the car I can actually touch the steering wheel.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Baked A Cake

Sometime back I was sitting here thinking, and for some reason the idea popped into my head to bake a cake that was the same "flavor" as my favorite ice creams. (I have several favorite ice creams.) After giving it just a little thought, I decided that I would try to bake a "mint chocolate chip" cake. It would be a cinch, I was sure. The thing that took the most thought was the frosting. Should I make mint frosting? Should I add something resembling chocolate chips? I finally decided to make a mint chocolate (chip) cake, but that flavoring the frosting would make it too minty. I also decided to skip the chips in the frosting, although it's not because I thought it was a bad idea. I just couldn't find chips as tiny as I'd have liked, and I didn't really feel like grating a chocolate bar. (Is that what it's called? That's what you call it when it's cheese.) I also didn't want frosting as sickeningly sweet as most frostings are, so I searched for an alternative.

So I bought a box of chocolate cake mix, and a bag of Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips. I also found a "reduced sugar" vanilla frosting made by Pillsbury and decided to give that a try.

I made the cake mix according to the instructions on the box, and stirred in the baking chips - about 2/3 of the bag - before pouring the batter into the pan. While baking, the cake actually rose above the edges of the cake pans (two nine-inch round pans), which caused the cake to have a crispy crust around the edges. This didn't affect the taste, but it definitely affected the texture.

Once the cake was done, I let it cool, even putting it in the refrigerator for a little while. Then I got the frosting ready.

Thinking how most mint chocolate chip ice creams are mint green, I decided to add some green food coloring to my frosting. I emptied the "ready to spread" frosting into a bowl and mixed in the food coloring. I don't know if this changed the consistency of the frosting, but when I put it on the cake it had the consistency of marshmallow cream. You know, that stuff you buy in the jar? I don't think the food coloring did anything, but maybe the mixing did.

So I baked the cake and sort of poured the frosting on and spread it around. It didn't suck. The mint ratio was just about right. Maybe I could have added more of the baking chips, but all would have been too much. And I think it was a good call not adding mint to the frosting. It didn't look like a food magazine cake, but that's okay. It tasted good. And since I'm not sharing it with anyone, who cares?! (Yes, I'm eating the whole thing myself, either until it's gone or until I'm sick of it.)

Cutting the cake didn't go smoothly because the frosting was sticky and wanted to follow the knife down through the cake. Again, that didn't affect the taste.

So, I label the experiment a success, although I doubt that I will ever make mint chocolate chip cake again. Maybe someone out there will try their own version and have a better result. If so, please let me know what you did differently.

The frosting is actually a little more green than it looks.

I would have used a paper plate if I wasn't taking a picture.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday, Monday

This weekend I spent some time sitting out back on the deck, reading. I don't do either of those things very much, but I have to say that I enjoyed doing both. It's been warm, of course, but I think the humidity must be down, because it was quite comfortable sitting out there. I think I'm going to go get one of those outdoor lounge chair things so I can sit out there and read more often. I keep telling myself I need to read more. I have several unread books on my shelf and no real excuse for not reading them.

The book I'm reading is one that one of my Facebook "friends" recommended. It's called The Force is Middling in this One: And Other Ruminations from the Outskirts of the Empire, by Robert Kroese. It's quite entertaining, and very funny. It's actually a collection of blog posts, so it covers many topics. It's an easy read. I highly recommend it. If you're a Dave Barry fan I think you'll especially enjoy it.

There are two types of mosquito bites. First, there's the minimally annoying bite. It itches a little and lasts for about two days. Then there's the extremely itchy, wake-you-up-at-night, lasts-forever bite like the one I have on my wrist right now. I don't know what sort of mosquito bites like that, but I'm pretty sure that it first exposes the victim to some sort of chemical that causes her to be oblivious to the insect's presence. I know this because, if it didn't, I'm sure I would have seen and felt something that evil piercing my skin. I literally woke up last night itching like crazy, and couldn't go back to sleep until I started to feel the effects of some anti-itch cream I slathered on.

Mosquitoes are one big reason I don't go outside much. I'm one of those people they love to bite. If you're having an outdoor party,  you want to invite someone like me to keep the mosquitoes away from everyone else. Because they like me so much, I'm always spraying poison all over my arms and legs to keep them away. (Obviously, I occasionally miss a spot.) I can't help but wonder what this is doing to me - what sort of disfiguring, painful, slow-killing disease I might end up with. Yesterday I wondered if there is some sort of "personal insect net/tent" for sale that I could use when I go out to read. If not, there should be. Maybe I'll "invent" one. I imagined something shaped like an umbrella with insect netting that reaches the ground. It would have to be designed so that it could be used in either a sitting or a prone position.

On Facebook I've "liked" a group called "I wish mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood." Can you imagine the sort of spa treatments (or would it be considered plastic surgery?) we'd be able to have if that were true? You'd be nearly naked and go into a room filled with hungry mosquitoes. You'd probably have your head covered, as well as any areas on your body that didn't need slimming. What would we do about the itching? Would we tolerate it to be thin? Would we be prescribed large doses of something that would numb our body (or brain) until the itching passed? How would we make sure the fat sucking was done evenly? What if it wasn't? We'd have to come up with some way to direct the fat-sucking mosquitoes to the "problem areas." Maybe, instead of a room full of mosquitoes, there would be little devices we'd wear, say, on our thighs, that would be full of mosquitoes. We'd strap it on and slide open a little panel that exposed the problem area to the mosquitoes. "Full treatment again, Ms. Smith?" "No, I think I'm just going to do the love handles today, Pierre."

I feel bad, sometimes, that I don't take the dogs outside more. They can go out whenever they want to because I have a doggie door, and they know how to use it. But they prefer to be inside. So while I was out on the deck reading, I was thinking that it was nice for the dogs to get out. Especially Rosie, who doesn't get enough exercise, and walking around, exploring the back yard was exercise. Not as much as she needs, but more than she gets now. So imagine how I felt when Rosie's eye started to look like it might be infected, and a resulting trip to the vet showed that it was a result of her getting something lodged into her eye as a result of our outside time. She actually has something in her eye. Not something you can wash out or remove with a cotton swab. Something actually stuck in her eyeball. And this something could cause some very serious trouble - including blindness and loss of her eye - if it doesn't get better. I'm treating her with two medications, both which go into her eye, and we're hoping that they, however they work, remove the thing from her eyeball. (I have to remind you, at this point, that there is a "contribute" button in the right margin!)

Here's a picture of what I see when I'm sitting out on the deck and I look up:

This tree is key in keeping the temperature down in my house in the summer. It's quite large and its branches cover most of the house. Strangers frequently stop by and ask if I want them to trim the branches for me. I usually respond, "Yes, if you'll do it for free." Then they leave. Same thing happens when someone wants to mow my front lawn.

I got a great deal on a new lawnmower. I was having problems with the old one in spite of having changed the air filter and the spark plug. I put some gas in it and it started right up. When that gas was used up it stopped, of course. I added more gas. But I guess the mower decided it had worked enough that day and refused to start again. I tried several more times (on different days) to get the thing to start again so I could actually mow my lawn (which I don't really mind doing myself), but with no success. So, like most decadent Americans, I decided to buy a new mower. I grabbed my Walmart credit card and off I went. I was going to buy the cheapest mower they had, which was $175. On the way into the store I noticed a lawnmower sitting all by itself with a sign that said $153. It looked very much like the $175 mower that I'd planned to buy. Of course I asked about it. The story was that someone had bought it and decided they didn't want it, so they brought it back. It looked like new. It worked fine. It was just "used," so it was discounted. The big surprise was that it wasn't the $175 mower I'd been wanting, but a more expensive model that I wouldn't have been able to afford ($275, if I recall correctly). I snatched that baby right up!!

This new mower is self-propelled, which is great, but makes me feel a little guilty because I'm not getting as much exercise as I did with a push mower. Oh well. We have to make some sacrifices. In case you're not familiar with how a self-propelled mower works, I'll tell you. There is a thin bar you have to squeeze in order to start the motor and make it run, just like push mowers. Then, to make the mower move forward, there's a handle you squeeze. The more you squeeze, the faster you go. Now, maybe it's because I'm getting older, but sometimes I forget, when the mower get going too fast, that all I need to do to slow it down is to release the handle. If you were to watch me mow the lawn, you'd know exactly when this happens, because for just a second I look a little awkward, walking very quickly behind the mower! I'm strongly hoping that continued use of this mower will eventually accustom me to the speed control. If not, I might put out a tip jar for when the neighbors are watching.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Years

Nine years ago today I woke up at just about the same time I did today. I didn't need to get up so early. Nine years ago I was scheduled for an evening shift at work, which meant I didn't have to be at work until 4:00 p.m. But Rosie, my dachshund, was restless for some reason, so I got up. It was 7:30 a.m. central time - 8:30 a.m. eastern time. I turned the TV on and began watching the Today show. It wasn't very long at all before someone announced that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center. My first coherent thought was that it must have been an act of terrorism. I did, for a split second, entertain the possibility that it was a horrible accident, but for some reason I just didn't believe that. Soon enough my thought was confirmed - a second plane crashed into the second twin tower. I was in a position to watch this second attack live, since I'd been watching TV closely after the first plane crash. Then I heard the news that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and that a fourth plane had gone down in Pennsylvania.

I was a mess for the rest of the day. I watched live as people - thousands of people - died. I watched the fire. I watched as both towers crashed to the ground.

Eventually I had to shower and go to work. But I couldn't get the images of the day out of my mind.

I know that a lot of people were affected by what happened that day. Many, unlike myself, actually knew someone, or knew someone who knew someone, who was killed that day. I can only conclude that the reason I was so personally affected was because of my military service. For 22 years I served my country, ready to put my life on the line to protect our people and our freedoms. In a few short hours on September 11, 2001, our country was attacked like never before. So many had been killed; innocents, service members, rescuers, heroes. The world would never be the same.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Computing Again!

I was searching for something using Google. I forget what, exactly, I was asking. Here are some suggestions that Google made for me as I was typing. What is it with people needing help to STOP singing?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pizza and Things

I was telling someone about the Ultimate Meat Lover's pizza that Walmart sells in their deli section. It's a pretty good pizza for store-bought. Better than anything I've had delivered in the past several years. And cheaper. When I went grocery shopping at Walmart the other day I decided to get one. As on previous occasions, it was very good. I added a bit of garlic powder and oregano. I also added some peperoncini, which has a lot of flavor and very little "heat."
This is a "before" shot.
Another "before" shot.
And this is the "after" shot.
It was darned good pizza, and it's tempting enough to want to eat it quite often. Of course, the peperoncini isn't enough of a "vegetable," so I'd have to have a salad or something else that counter-balances the meat, cheese, and carbs.

It's almost September. September is my favorite month because it's the month when the summer temperatures begin to fall a bit. They don't fall a lot, but when your normal temperatures are in the upper 90's and low 100's, any falling is appreciated, and noticed!

I don't know what will happen with the move to Oregon. Mom is visiting Oregon and doing a little house-hunting, but I think she's going to find fault with any house she looks at. I hope she doesn't reject a perfectly nice house just because it "needs to be painted," or some similarly fixable "problem."

I'm also concerned about mom because she seems to have lost some short-term memory. Not a good sign in a woman in her 80's. I'm going to talk to my brother about getting her memory, etc., tested.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A New, Cheaper Kindle!

Amazon.com has announced that it's going to be selling a new version of its Kindle e-reader for the very low price of $139.00! Amazing. This version, though, will be wi-fi, only. If you want the "free 3G plus wi-fi," you'll have to fork over another $50, for a total of $189. Still, this low priced model will make the Kindle available to many more consumers. Not for me, though. Not yet. I need to focus on the move to Oregon before I can buy a new Kindle. (I really miss mine. Remember, I sold it not long ago.) Maybe once I get up there and get my life "stabilized" a bit, then I'll be able to buy a new Kindle.

I recommend the Kindle highly. If you're interested in buying one, I'd really appreciate it if you'd use the link on this page. I would earn a few pennies from the sale. Thanks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Better Now

Things are looking up. I've gotten over most of the crap that has happened this month. It's water under the bridge. I'm going to concentrate on purging my house of needless things. There are four categories: Keep (and take to Oregon); Give Away; Sell; Throw away. The throw away will be the easiest. Then the give away, although there will no doubt be things left over from my eventual yard sale that will need to go to Goodwill. That means the "give away" will be in stages.

Eventually I will have to have a real estate agent come in and tell me my house is not marketable in its current condition have a look at the house so I can try to sell it. I don't want to do that until Mom and I get a little closer to actually owning a house in Oregon. There's very little chance that I'd be ready to move before we had a house, but still, I want to be able to move in the event that some idiot somebody wants to buy my house. And I need a house to move into before I can move out of this one.

Here's a cartoon from Mother Goose & Grimm that busted my gut:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Worst Month

I am having what could be one of the worst months of my life. And you know what? I'm not going to go into detail about it. At least, not all of it. No matter how much you beg!

Due to some serious financial non-planning, my cell phone provider cut me off because they couldn't withdraw my monthly payment. Not a big deal, but still a pain in the ass.

About a week ago my home phone line (and DSL) was not working at all. No calls in, no calls out. This went on for about 12 hours. I called the phone company, who scheduled a repair person to come out and see what was wrong, but the phone line came back before the person showed up, so I called and canceled the appointment. This happens frequently, but has never lasted so long.

Due to the same serious financial non-planning, the city came and turned off my water WITHOUT ANY WARNING!!!!!!!! This is the city of Gatesville, Texas. They did this early on Monday morning before I got to take my shower, and I was pretty stinky. So, instead of calling and saying, "Your check bounced. Please come in and pay us or we'll turn your water off," they just shut my water off. No shower. No toilet flushing. No hand washing. No teeth brushing. Nothing. BASTARDS!!!! By the way, I should point out that I have lived here and paid property taxes for SIXTEEN YEARS!!! (I wrote an angry letter to the city manager and I'm waiting for his response.)

Fortunately, a friend who lives very close by let me come over to her house and take a shower so that I could go out in public without offending too many people (although it did occur to me to get as stinky as possible before showing up in person to pay the water bill). (Thank you, Donna.)

My lawn mower has quit working, so the grass (and weeds, mostly) in my front lawn is way, way too high. If I can't get the mower to work (it worked for about 30 minutes two weeks ago), I'll have to pay someone to mow the lawn, which I can't afford this month! The city loves to send out little notices if they think your grass is too high. I'm expecting on at any moment.

I've also developed a new medical problem. This is where I won't go into detail, because it's a little personal. (More personal than serious financial non-planning.) I looked this up on the Internet and found that it's either caused by stress or cancer. I'm rooting for stress! Yes, of course I'm going to go see the doctor. I called for an appointment and was told that I need to "walk in," and that walk-in hours are 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. If you know me, and/or if you've been reading my blog, you know that getting out of bed is the hardest thing I do every day. So I will get in to see the doctor, but it's going to be a chore. An afternoon appointment would be much better. (In case you've noticed that I'm making this post at about 6:45 a.m. and you're wondering why I don't go today, I can only say that there is a reason I can't go today. I can't say any more.)

Add to all this the continuing stress of planning a move, and figuring out what I'm going to do with my cats and my house. And a couple of other smaller problems that I haven't discussed here. I think I could really use some Valium. (Do they still give that stuff out?)

Really, this doesn't sound like much to complain about. I mean, these problems are miniscule compared to what's going on in the world, and in other peoples' lives. But I'm not the world, and I'm not other people.

I feel a little bit like Job.  But I keep telling God that I love Him. I do love Him. And I know He's not responsible in any way for this sh*t that's raining down upon my head.

The one thing that keeps my head up is that I am going to move to Oregon with mom, and that will help a great deal. Call it a fresh start. I'm excited about it and I'm looking forward to it. I'd say, "it can't happen soon enough," but that would be a lie. I'm a horrible procrastinator, and I'll need a few months to actually get ready for the move. I need to get rid of a lot of stuff, either by giving it away or selling it. I need to find a real estate agent who is willing to help me sell a home that can only be politely described as a "fixer-upper." I've already mentioned dealing with the cats. (Mom says they're welcome, but that really wouldn't be fair to her. I'm used to them. Mom isn't. I'm sure they'd stress her out.)

Anyway, except for that, life is good. And that's about all I've got to write about for now. Please don't forget about the "donate" button over there in the right hand column!! ;-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2010 Emmy Award Nominations: Split Allegiances

I don't care too much about what goes on in the entertainment industry. I don't follow the gossip and I don't watch the award shows. But there are a few shows that, in my humble opinion, are exceptional. When those shows and the actors who star in them are nominated, it makes me very happy.

Lost and Dexter are the two best dramas on television. No one will ever convince me otherwise. They're both incredibly unique. And they are in competition against each other in two categories. Both are up for "Best Drama." (I'll be happy if either one wins.) Both have provided nominees for "Best Actor in a Drama Series:" Matthew Fox and Michael C. Hall. (I'm leaning toward Michael for this one, but will still be happy if Matthew wins.)

In the category "Best Supporting Actor in a Drama," two actors from Lost are competing against each other: Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn. I have to say that I'm probably equally split between these two. They both did superior jobs during the last season of Lost.

For "Best Guest Actor in a Drama," John Lithgow was nominated. He played one of the eeriest serial killers ever in Dexter. No one I care about was nominated against him in this category, so I don't have to split my allegiance.

I was disappointed, as were many others, that The Big Bang Theory wasn't nominated for Best Comedy. Already people are using the word "shunned." But Jim Parsons was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy, and rightly so. I don't envy him for the dialogue he has to memorize and deliver each week.

There was one show in the Best Comedy category that I watch: Nurse Jackie. And the star, Edie Falco, was nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy. I hope she wins.

Lost was nominated in other categories, as well: writing, music, directing - that sort of stuff. Of course that's wonderful, but for me it's more about the actors. Although I'll be happy if Lost wins any of these categories. As for Dexter, The Big Bang Theory and Nurse Jackie, I have no idea if they garnered any other nominations. If they did, I'll root for them, too!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dexter has been adopted

Thank God, Dexter has been adopted. I went to the vet's office to get some insulin for Rosie and some flea stuff. I was planning to bring Dexter home with me if he was still there. After all, he'd been there for over two weeks. And being full-grown, I knew it would be hard to find a home for him. Most people want kittens. But Dexter was gone. Adopted! Hallelujah!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I'm looking forward to in Oregon:

  • Getting to spend some quality time with mom
  • Getting to spend some time with my brother, Ken, his wife, Hazel, and his son, Mark
  • Getting away from the Texas heat
  • Doing some cooking and eating some decent meals
  • Improving my "self-"discipline
What I'm not looking foward to in Oregon:
  • State Income Tax
That's all I can think of so far, but I'll bet there's more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dexter

Dexter has finally gone to the vet to be neutered and vaccinated. I couldn't really afford it and still can't, but he came home with a swollen eye (lid), so I figured I'd better take him to be seen. I made a deal with the vet to get Dexter neutered and vaccinated, and then to put him up for adoption. Hopefully someone will want him. He's a sweet cat, solid white, and not quite a year old.
Now I need to see if the vet will do the same thing for Mister Eko. He's a solid black cat that has made my home his.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cold Feet

Mom's getting cold feet about moving to Oregon, and I can't really say I blame her. The area where she lives now has the best climate in the world, imho, and in hers. So when she hears that it's raining yet again in Oregon, she starts to rethink her decision to move. I think we will end up moving, but I also think there will be some hemming and hawing before we do.

I have been on the internet looking at homes that are for sale in the area she's interested in. There are a lot of really nice ones up there. I will put my favorites on a list for mom to look at when she's up there next month.

I want to be careful about how I do this. I want to buy a house with mom, although she will have more to invest in it than I will. What I don't want is angry brothers who think I'm trying to get something for nothing, among other things. The fact is that mom's getting older now, and she needs someone close by to look out for her. Since I'm single, I'm the logical choice. Also, I've been away from "home" for so long that I'd really like to spend some time with my mom before it's too late. If I do end up living with mom, I don't want to find myself out in the street looking for a home when she's gone. So I want to do this so that I end up with whatever house we buy without cheating my brothers out of what is rightfully going to be theirs.

I went to see the eye doctor yesterday. I need new glasses, but that's all. Nothing serious going on. I do have some annoying floaters, and the doctor says I have "loose vitreous," but there's nothing we can do about it. So for now I will have to live with seeing things out of the corners of my eyes that might be bugs, or might not.

 I really need to mow the front yard. And the back yard, too, for that matter.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oregon?

I may be moving to Oregon soon. Mom, who lives in California, has finally decided that she's tired of living alone and wants to move to Oregon, where my older brother lives. I told her that I'd like to buy a house with her and live with her. She said that would be okay. So, if she doesn't change her mind, I'll probably be moving to Oregon. I'm allowed to take the dogs, and maybe a couple of the cats. This is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe in disposable pets, and I made a commitment to every pet I've ever had. So I have to decide if I'm willing to give up a couple of my cats. I honestly don't believe any of my pets would be treated as well anywhere else except here with me. That's what makes it so hard for me to find them another home.

I'm also worried that mom will go up to Oregon and find a house that I don't like and go ahead and buy it. You see, what will inevitably happen is that mom will pass (hopefully not any time soon) and the house will then be mine. I don't want to be stuck with a house I had no say in buying. So I'm putting my two cents in ahead of time. I've spoken with my brother about my concerns, to let him know I'd like a house that's about the size I have now (1,700 square feet), with a nice back yard big enough for the dogs to run around. And I've even seen a house online that I really like, and I've contacted the real estate agent selling the house. So hopefully, I'll have some say in the house I'm going to live in.

As for my house in Texas, I'll sell it if I can. If not, I'm prepared to walk away from it and let the bank foreclose. My credit is already in the toilet. I'd also consider selling it for the mortgage pay off amount to any Realtor who is interested in buying it, fixing it up, and reselling it.

I won't miss Texas, except that there is no state income tax. Oh, and the ruby throat hummingbirds that spend the summers here. Oregon is cooler than Texas, for sure, and the Texas heat is incredibly uncomfortable, to say the least. And I think Oregon gets the Rufous hummingbirds in the summer, as well as Anna's hummingbirds year round.

By the way, Mom has not made the announcement that she's moving to Oregon, so this information is close hold, until mom says something. Keep it a secret for now! Thanks.

Of course, I'll keep the two of you who read this blog posted on my progress! (More will read if I put the word "pussy" in the title or labels. Perverts.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

RIP Nunu, and more

I watched Lost for six years. I grew fond of the actors, as most of us do when we love a show. In this day and age some actors are on Twitter or Facebook, or they have a blog. This makes us feel even closer to our favorites. I know that Jorge Garcia and I aren't friends. I'm not that dumb. But I've been reading his blog since he started it, and I listen to his podcasts during this last season of Lost, so I am as close to him as he allows his fans to be. I've also grown to adore his little dog Nunu. She's been featured on his blog, and she can be heard barking in the background of his podcasts. She even showed up in an episode of Lost this season. That's why it broke my heart to hear that Nunu had been struck by a car and killed on her last day in Hawaii. Having had pets that passed away, I know what Jorge and his girlfriend, Beth, are going through. I wouldn't wish the feeling on my worst enemy. Rest In Pease little Nunu. You were loved more than you'll ever know.
Nunu. This photo "borrowed" from Jorge's blog. (Link above.)
A screen shot from Lost, featuring Nunu.

I haven't been feeling very good lately. Not physically, but overall. It's hot in central Texas - hotter than it should be this time of year. And my A/C isn't working. I suspect that has a lot to do with it. I've been sweating more this past week than I did all winter. I think I already said that I'm thinking about moving to a colder climate

I'm also thinking of canceling my television service. But having grown up with TV in my life, I don't know if I can live without it. Well, of course I can live without it, but I don't know if I want to. It's not like I have a lot going on in my life that could replace watching television. I'd have to come up with something. A hobby, or friends, or something. I could read. I do that now, but not enough. I have several books on my bookshelf that I haven't read yet, so those would get me started. I might even be bored enough without TV that I'd clean my house. Regularly. But I'd have to get the A/C fixed, first. Excessive sweating would keep me from moving around too much.

I can still remember the TV line up when I was a kid living in California. Channel 2 was independent. Channel 4 was NBC, 5 was CBS, 7 and 11 were ABC, with 11 having some independent programs, as well. Channel 9 was PBS. That's all the channels we had back then - in the olden days - before cable. I think all those channels are still the same, actually. But they've been joined by several others, of course. Back then when someone said, "There's nothing on," they really meant it!

You don't really have to miss "television" if you cancel your service. I think just about anything is available on the Internet. I wouldn't want to sit at my desk watching TV shows, though, so I'd have to figure something else out. Some way to beam the computer display to a television set. (Do we still say "television set"?) And today, when I called to cancel my TiVo, they told me about something they offer that's an alternative to cable or satellite. I don't think it has an official name, but it has to do with buying a box you can use to order programs. Not an upgrade. I can't afford their upgrade. This is something else. I'm going to check it out on their website and see what it says.

Okay, that's all for now. Time to go shower and go grocery shopping. I decided to wait until after dark so the temperature would go down a few degrees.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Avatar (The Movie)

I forgot to mention that I have finally watched Avatar. It was extremely predictable. Except for the great graphics, it was only a so-so movie. I think the pre-release hype is what has been responsible for the movie's popularity and high ratings. I honestly believe that, if you take away the special effects, this movie wouldn't have made near as much money as it has.

When it first came out I joked that it was basically the story of Pocahontas set in the future in a science-fiction world. I still feel that way (except that the Na'vi are the winners, whereas the indigenous "Americans" were the losers).

I gave the movie three out of five stars on Netflix, which is the lowest "liked it" rating. (Two stars is "didn't like it" and one star is "hated it.") It was worth the time to watch, but if you don't see it, you really aren't missing much, in my humble opinion.

Lost Series Finale and More!

First, let's get this out of the way. I'm having a muscle twitch inside my right ear. Normally little twitches like that are tolerable, but this one is in my ear, and so it makes noise, and so it's driving me slowly insane. It's been happening on and off for three days. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of it?

Okay, now, on to the Lost Series Finale. First I was disappointed. Then I realized that that was because I apparently hadn't paid enough attention to what one of the characters said in one of the final scenes. (It may have been the final scene. I forget.) After I watched the episode I went to the newsgroup alt.tv.lost, as usual, to read what others were saying about the finale. Thank goodness someone there was more observant and smarter than I! Now I'm not disappointed. Not as much, anyway. I had my idea of what I wanted to see in the final scene, but that didn't happen, and I'm okay with that. I still believe that Lost was the best show ever, and I plan to re-watch the entire series now that I apparently have all the answers I'm going to get.

Central Texas is having warmer-than-usual spring temperatures, and I'm trying my damnedest to keep the air conditioner off. That has been made easier by the fact that it's not working. But I have a small window A/C that I was using once the outside temps hit the 90's. It cools the bedroom to a tolerable temperature. It doesn't clear the humidity as much as the main A/C, though, and that's not good. I've decided that, as long as I'm unemployed, and therefore don't need to leave the house much (i.e. shower), I'm not going to call the repair man until I'm close to dying.

Interesting thing about the A/C: I was doing all right without it for awhile. Then it got hot outside and I turned it on. I'd been using it for a few days when I turned it off, with fear looming of my next electricity bill. I spent yesterday without the A/C running, but with outside temps still in the low 90's, and I was okay. I actually felt a bit more comfortable than I had with the A/C running. So I have even more incentive for keeping the A/C turned off.

My house is infested with fleas and they're driving me nuts, too (in addition to the inner ear twitch. If I should stop blogging it will be because I've been committed). I am doing all I can to keep them under control. (I'll never completely eliminate them what with having three dogs and several cats, and living in central Texas.) Yesterday I washed several throw rugs and vacuumed the bigger rug in my bedroom. I'm washing sheets and blankets more often than usual. I'm treating the dogs and cats with flea killers. I'm using sprays that are designed to kill fleas and eggs on the furniture. Still, I'm tempted to move someplace where it's cold - really cold - during the winter. Someplace where the outdoor fleas actually die due to the low temps.

That's all for now from the cave. Not much going on in the life of a Hermit-in-Training.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good Days and Bad Days

I've been having some good days lately. Much better than the even-more-tired-than-usual that I was feeling in my last post. I'm pretty sure I can attribute that to the junk food I was eating, because I felt better after I ate a couple of normal meals - you know, with vegetables and stuff. I don't eat a lot of vegetables, but I eat even less junk (fast) food. That doesn't mean I'll stop eating junk food. I'll just drink a can of V8 juice with it, or do something like that.

Speaking of "junk food," I want to mention that I bought one of those Wal-Mart pizzas that they sell in their deli. You take them home and cook them yourself. I'd bought them before and wasn't very impressed, but this time I bought the "ultimate meat" style and I have to give them credit - it was great! I'll definitely be buying that item again. I'll make a salad or something to go with it, since it has no vegetables. Or I'll drink some V8 juice! I should mention that I sprinkled some garlic powder and oregano over the pizza before I baked it. That might have made it taste better. Or not.

The humidity has arrived in central Texas. Damn. I'm trying to keep the air conditioner off for as long as possible, but I confess that I've already had it on a little bit. I figured out my threshold is about 90 degrees outside before the AC has to come on! Once I win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes I'll move to a less humid climate!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Morning

I've been a lot more tired than usual this past week, but I've been eating a lot of junk/fast food, too. So maybe that's why. I've become quite fond of Sonic's new (is it?) SuperSonic Cheesburger. We don't have a lot of choices where I live. It's a small town. So this cheeseburger is very welcome, as far as I'm concerned. I used to love their grilled chicken sandwich, then they changed to a wheat bun. Sorry, but it just doesn't taste right to me.

Went to visit my prison pen-pal, Walt, on Sunday. It's about a 3.5 hour drive each way. It was good to see him, and he always appreciates a visit. They are non-contact visits, of course, because we aren't related. We have the glass between us and have to use the phone/intercom to talk. On the way back my friend, Vanessa, and I stopped for an early dinner at a buffet restaurant. We ate way too much, but it was sooooooo good. If you ever find yourself in Fairfield, Texas, make sure you stop for lunch or dinner at Sam's Restaurant. And make sure you're hungry when you get there! I was so stuffed and so tired after eating that I was pretty quiet for the ride home.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I forgot something.

I said I had pizza. I took advantage of Pizza Hut's "any pizza for $10" deal. I ordered online. Tell me what's wrong with this picture:
Do you see it? There, where it says "Order Subtotal." That's right -- THIRTEEN dollars -- for a "ten dollar pizza." What the hell?!!

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But I really wanted pizza!

I should write something.

I haven't felt very creative lately. Just haven't felt much like writing anything.

Friday was payday, so I've been overeating! On Friday I had pizza. On Saturday I went out for a burger and onion rings. Yum. When you're poor you can't do that very often. And I don't even do it every payday. I just decided to be different this payday.

Been working outdoors a bit. Mowed the front lawn. Started to mow the back lawn, but it was too wet. Haven't got back out there yet, but I will. Climbed up on the roof and cut some tree branches that were too low. And one or two that were starting to get too close to the satellite dish.

The humidity was way up on Friday, but a cold front came through and knocked it back down. It will be here to stay soon enough. Until then I'm keeping my windows open and the air conditioner off.

Watched "The Blind Side" on DVD yesterday. It was quite good. I've been on the computer less and watching TV/movies more lately. Don't know why for sure. I'm just not enjoying my computer as much as I used to. I wonder if it has anything to do with the absence of a long-time internet friend. Maybe.

That's all for now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Housecleaning has ceased.


Mom sent me a very short e-mail that said, "STOP CLEANING YOUR HOUSE. I'M NOT GOING TO COME VISIT YOU UNTIL MAYBE NEXT FALL." (The all-caps are hers, and I don't feel like changing it.) I haven't called yet to find out why she's not coming. I only wish she'd waited a little while to tell me she wasn't coming. I'd already started cleaning the house, and it would have been good if I'd continued just a little while longer! The good news is that the cobwebs are gone, and the living room windows are clean.

I finally made it to my doctor's appointment yesterday. I'm okay. Blood pressure is a little high. Just a wee bit. I'll start taking pills - something in a low dose - 1/2 a pill every other day. We'll see if this helps. Losing a little weight would help, too, I'm sure. I do plan to do that. I'm just a very accomplished procrastinator, so there's a long period between the planning and the execution.

Still no reason for the chronic fatigue. Doc said my thyroid is within normal range. He's sending me over to the Mental Health Clinic to talk to them about my meds. I'm on paroxetine (aka Paxil®) and maybe the dose needs to be changed. Or the drug, itself, needs to be changed. If I don't get some relief soon I'm going to apply for social security disability. If I'm not tired now, I certainly will be going through that, I'm sure.

The doc said my cholesterol was "perfect." I replied, "I'm going to go eat something fried!"

We had some dime-sized hail last night. Or maybe nickle-sized - I didn't actually measure. I think it was the largest hail I'd ever seen. I don't think it caused any damage other than knocking over one of my plants. The planter broke but I had another one just like it, so the plant (a rescued geranium) is doing well.
x

Friday, April 16, 2010

Now I have to clean the house

Mom has announced that she'll come for a visit in a month. That gives me just about enough time to get the house cleaned! Don't get me wrong - I'm glad mom's coming. I hate to clean the house, so it stays quite dirty. I need these occasional visits to get me "motivated." And it's always good to see mom.

Mom's visits also mean that I'll get to eat some real food for a change. It's difficult to get motivated to cook creatively when one lives alone. I do cook. I prefer real food to nuked food. But I cook large, large batches of one thing and eat that for a week or so. Of course, that gets real boring after a while. I almost never have something like a steak or pork chop with side dishes.

Yesterday I did a huge water change in the aquarium, and I got most of the algae off of the glass. There was a lot of algae on the glass. I was surprised to find out that I still have two corydoras in the tank. I hadn't seen them in a long time! And I have three high-fin black tetras. I thought I had two. Of course, I have way too many swordtails. They are very prolific. The last time I tried to do a water change I had to stop for fear of sucking up the little newborns. I think several of them eventually got eaten by the bigger fish, which is a little sad, but it's okay with me. I let nature take its course. As I said, I (already) have too many swordtails. I'm seriously thinking about getting one large predator fish to polish off a few of the swordtails, but I probably won't, because then I'd have this huge fish to deal with. I had that problem in the past and it didn't end well.

I'd also love to add an algae eater to my tank. I had a beautiful pleco that grew to monstrous proportions - he was extremely beautiful at that size - but I had to find a new and much larger home for him. So adding a pleco is out. I tried adding a siamese algae eater but it died. I'll have to see if I can try that again. In the meantime, I've been adding this stuff to the tank that kills and prevents algae. Supposedly. I think it kills the algae, but I don't think it prevents algae. In either case, the algae was real easy to remove, so maybe it's worth it.

Without going into detail I have discovered that one of my close internet friends is in some legal trouble. I have to say that I was surprised by the details. If he happens to read this and wants to talk, he has my number. I won't judge. Perhaps I'll blog about it when it's all over. Perhaps not. We'll see.
x

Friday, April 9, 2010

Useless Product Alert II

Here's another product designed to suck the money right out of your wallet. It's a power sprayer on top of a bottle of liquid cleaner. It sprays the liquid on your shower wall without that exhausting squeezing of the trigger. Thank goodness someone has finally found some way to help us bypass that horribly demanding task. Sure, it costs a bundle, but isn't it worth it?! You can see the product here.

Incidentally, what does that say about this?
x

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I wrote a poem!

I have been writing to my "pen pal" for a few months. The other day I was thinking, and my thinking began to rhyme. That led me to write this poem.

A Poem For Walt.
(It's all his fault.)

I'd like to write you every day
But I don't have that much to say.
Perhaps I'll try it anyway.
I guess I could make something up.

I'm sure you wouldn't like a lie.
You seem like such an honest guy.
Alas, fiction I will not try.
Hey! I could write about my pup!

I sleep too much, that's what some say.
I often sleep the day away.
I'll write at night, if that's okay.
In any case I must get up.

First I think I'll have some coffee,
Then I'll probably have to go pee.
Maybe some music will inspire me.
Looks like it's time to refill my cup.

I could waste time all day long.
“Procrastination” is my song.
Even tho' I know it's wrong.
(We're all a little bit corrupt.)

I try to think. I wrack my brain.
I go a little bit insane.
This whole concept is quite inane.
That's it! I'm done! I just give up!
x

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This one line just cracked me up.

"Candy eggs, rabbits and Peeps flew through the air in an unlikely Easter exchange." (Whole story here.)
x

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I believe. Do you?

Last night I had a dream that someone asked me if I needed prayer. I responded, "Yes, as a matter of fact I do," and proceeded to ask them to pray for my relief from this chronic fatigue.

Tonight I got a phone call from KLOVE, the Christian radio station, asking me if I needed prayer.

Unfortunately I didn't hear the phone ring, so the call went to my voice mail.

I have never dreamed about someone asking me if I needed prayer before last night. I have never had someone call and ask me if I needed prayer before today.

I don't think this is just a coincidence.
+

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Useless Product Alert

I noticed recently that a well-known company is now selling a touch-free liquid soap dispenser. I need to say that this is a huge waste of money. No doubt hundreds of people will buy it without thinking. It clearly is meant for the germ-fearing portion of our population. But think: What are you doing when you push down the pump on a liquid soap dispenser? You're washing your hands. Do you touch the soap dispenser after you have washed your hands? No, you don't. So any germs or dirt that end up on the soap dispenser are inconsequential since you are washing them off your hands immediately after they come in contact with your hands.

Don't waste your money. Don't buy the soap dispenser. If you use liquid hand soap, go buy a refillable, manual (the kind you pump yourself) soap dispenser and a huge bottle of "refill" soap. Better yet, to keep that plastic bottle out of a landfill, use bar soap.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I hope you like the new look.

If you don't, oh well. I'm not changing it. At least, not any time soon. Blogger has added a feature where one can get a little more creative when choosing a layout. My eccentricity plus my desire for a little bit of individuality led me to the layout you are seeing now. I designed the header banner myself. It's based on the old banner with a little bit of a change.

Rosie is back at the vet's office again today. More poking to check her blood sugar levels. This should have been finished already, but I procrastinate, sleep late, and I'm poor. (It costs $57 for each day that she has to be tested. It adds up real fast.) I'm going to have to get better about getting her "regulated" on her insulin, I know. I will.

Another beautiful day in central Texas. I got my front yard mowed yesterday. Already there are new weeds  popping up. Time to go out with the weed killer.

I earned my second entry on Dave Barry's blog. If you see something interesting and/or amusing on the web, you can submit it to Dave (or the back up Dave*). If (s)he likes it, (s)he'll post it with attribution. Look for the submissions by "Suzie Q. Wacvet." It's a small honor to know that your favorite humor writer thinks something you submit is worth posting. (Attn: CMOT, Here are some extra letters for you to use in that last sentence: u u u.)

*Judi

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Beautiful Sunday

Except for the allergy attack, probably due to mold, probably due to lots of rain followed by sunny days. I'm on my second generic version of Benedryl®. I'll give it an hour then, if there's no improvement, I'll take another. It makes me sleepy, which just adds to the chronic fatigue from which I already suffer.  So there will be no enjoying this beautiful Sunday. Well, a little bit of enjoying it, but nothing big. No going out and doing something entertaining and/or productive. (I still need to mow the lawn.)

I talked with my mom this morning. That's always nice. She's doing okay with a couple of minor problems. She says she's started sleeping late - not intentionally. I suggested that she's now making up for 80 or so years of not being able to sleep late. I warned her that, now that President Obama has got his health care passed, she'd better look out for the death panels.

An acquaintance of mine has written a book. The trailer looks pretty good. I hope the book is as good because I plan to read a copy. It's available for the Kindle! Here's a link where you can learn more. The book is called "Mousetrapped."

Benedryl and mucus are affecting my brain, so I'm stopping here.

Update: 45 minutes later and I've taken my 3rd Benedryl

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hummingbirds are here!

After my last post I looked out the window in time to see two hummingbirds fighting over the feeder. Yay! Unfortunately, I haven't seen them since. I guess I need to look out the window more.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I tried. I really did.

I tried to mow the lawn today. It's a beautiful sunny day - 80 degrees outside. I found some clean shorts and put them on, went out to the shed, dragged out the lawnmower. There was a little gas in the tank. Probably enough to mow one lawn. I added some STP and some oil, since the dipstick showed none! Left the mower in the sun for a bit to warm up. Then I tried to start it. Several times. No luck. Eventually I decided to try it one last time and, if it didn't start, I'd give up. I did. It didn't. So I did.

Because I was outside and dressed to do some sort of outdoor work, I decided to prune the rose bush. I didn't prune it last year and it got to be at least eight or nine feet tall. Really! It's a very healthy rosebush. (The Guinness record for tallest rosebush is 13 feet 3 inches (4.03 meters) tall.)

I also made the neighbors happy, I'm sure, by cleaning up the "box" of aluminum cans that have been on my driveway for several months. I put "box" in quotes because the box broke down some time ago due to rain and other unfriendly (to boxes) weather. So the cans weren't quite boxed up like they were when I first put them out there. They were messy. An eyesore, for sure, even though no one complained. (They were mostly hidden by my car, when it was in the driveway.) Today I gathered them in a large trash bag and put them in the back of the car. Since none of you have bothered donating (using the convenient button in the right hand column on this page), I'm forced to collect and sell aluminum cans to supplement my income. Shame on you! ;-)

So I sort of did all I could do without a lawn mower. I suppose I'll find "how to tune up your lawn mower" on the web somewhere and see what I can do. I'm pretty handy.

Rosie and Celie went out with me for awhile. Rosie seemed to really enjoy it. She loves going out front. She's very good about staying close. Celie, on the other hand, has to be closely watched or she'll end up a couple yards (houses) away, pooping on the neighbor's lawn. If you guys would donate some money (using the convenient button in the right hand column on this page) I could afford to build a cute white, picket fence so I didn't have to worry about the dogs leaving the yard.

Speaking of outside and nice weather, I have yet to see a single hummingbird this spring. They usually show up by the 15th of March. I've had the feeder up since the 8th. Of course, I might just have not been looking while they were at the feeder, but I don't think so. I'm disappointed. I know they're in the neighborhood because I've been watching the migration map.

I guess that's all for now. Later.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Personal Website. HELP!

I've always known that I wanted to have a personal website, and I have had one for quite a few years. But I've never really been completely happy with it. Mostly I just have some pages devoted to me - who I am, where I've been, what I think, etc. - and then some links to other sites - my blog, my facebook page, my twitter page, etc. On my last version I had a poem that someone wrote for me in 1974 about beer and a moose.

So I thought I'd ask the three or four of you who read my blog for ideas. What sort of information should I have on my personal website? Should I stick with the who, where, and what sort of format? Or should I do something else?

I've had fancy and I've had minimalist. Which do you prefer?

That's all I wanted to ask. Your comments are desired. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Got out of the house yesterday.

Not a big adventure, but it got me out of the house, nevertheless. A friend, Odassa, was going to Waxahachie for an appointment with her optometrist. She was having her eyes dilated, and wanted someone to drive her home. So I went. She had been told that it was "about" a 1-1/2 hour drive, but it took two hours. And we left a little late, so she was late to her appointment. It didn't make any difference, though. It just made the ride up a little more, um, interesting! She had her exam while I and her great-grandson, Christopher, waited in the waiting room. (Her great-grandson is 16 and can drive, but Odassa said no!) On the way back we stopped for Church's Chicken, which tasted pretty good. I'd never had it before. We waited until we got home to eat the chicken. I was surprised to find out that most Church's Chicken restaurants don't have an eat-in facility.

I got home just in time to watch both episodes of the best TV show ever, Lost. And again, I wasn't disappointed. It's almost over. Once it is, I'm going to watch it all over again from the beginning. I'll bet I'm not the only one!

Another Favorite Scripture

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. ~ James 1:19, NLT

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rosie Update, and More

Rosie is doing fine. She has accepted the fact that she gets two shots a day, and when I show her the needle she actually comes to me for the shot. I try to remember to give her the shot while she's eating, whenever that's possible. That distracts her from the tiny prick of the needle. I know it doesn't hurt much, but it does hurt a little. I know this because she flinches just a bit whenever I give her the injections. She's not yet "regulated" (I think that's the word they used), which means we still don't know the exact dose of insulin that she needs. There are a couple reasons for that. She has to spend the day at the vet's office so they can check her blood sugar levels every two hours or so. They charge me $57 each time this happens. So far it has taken four days of this to regulate her dose, and today she has to go in again. It gets damned expensive. Once she is regulated, or her dosage is regulated - whatever - she won't have to go in anymore except for once every six months or so (if I understood correctly). Hopefully they'll get her regulated soon because I'm all out of money. Besides the cost, it's still difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning, even if I have something important like this to do. This has resulted in my skipping days. Bad Mommy!

Speaking of money, I have sold my beloved Kindle. I have to say that I enjoyed reading books on the Kindle more than the actual paper copies. I can't explain why that is. I just know that, given the choice of reading one of my unread paper books or reading a book on the Kindle, I would go for the Kindle. I even bought a Kindle copy of a book I already owned so I could read it on the Kindle. I hope my Kindle's new owner will cherish it as much as I did. In case you haven't figured out why I sold my Kindle, read the first paragraph again. (And note that the "donate" button is still in the right column on this page! Also, I have a birthday coming up in June.)

I just finished reading Shutter Island on the Kindle. I had to finish it before shipping the Kindle to its new home. From watching the trailer, it looks like the movie pretty much follows the book. I'll see the movie when it comes out on DVD and compare the two. I enjoyed the book. It wasn't quite the horror that the movie trailer made me think it would be. Still, it was good.

"Kindle for PC" is available on Amazon.com to download for free. They promise that there will soon be a "Kindle for Mac" also available for free. I'm eagerly awaiting that download. It won't be the same - reading a book on my computer. I'd like it more if I had a notebook or laptop so I could carry it to read in a comfy chair or in bed, but I have a desktop computer, and unless I do some serious redecorating, there'll be no "Kindle" reading in bed!

Saturday I watched Apocalypto for the first time. It was great! I was surprised! I really didn't think I'd like it much, but it was on Starz (which I have since canceled) a couple of weeks ago, so I recorded it. It was quite violent and gory at times, but TV and movies have numbed me to that, I guess, because it didn't bother me much. It didn't detract from the story. In fact, it was the story, to a degree. If you haven't seen it, and if you don't mind the violence and gore, I recommend it - highly.

Did you know that "dot com" has been around for 25 years? You can read a story about that here. (See if you can find the grammatical error.) I own a few "dot coms," and one of them (intergnat.com) is still for sale, if anyone's interested.

One of my favorites

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. ~ Proverbs 17:27, NLT

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pussy

I have realized that, if you want a lot of hits on your blog, all you have to do is put the word "pussy" in the title.

Hello Perverts!! Internet Porn Mongers!! SHAME ON YOU!!

Ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

And now, here is a picture of one of my pussies:

 
 This is Dexter.

Away with you now!!! Sickos.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Texas Snow

I'm sure most of us have seen "lots" of snow. More than we had a short time ago in central Texas, for sure. But for central Texas, a lot of snow is unusual. Therefore, a lot of people took a lot of pictures. I'm no exception. When something weird happens I want pictures! So here are a few pictures from the snowfall on February 23, 2010.

 
First, my car, for comparison to the photo in my 2/23 post.

Lots of snow falling.

 
Flakes up close in the backyard.

 
Ivy and bushes along the fence.

 
Lots of snow. 
We got a total of three inches of snow that day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Health Care

I've just come across this video from The Rachel Maddow Show. If you have any interest at all in the health care debates, you should watch this. Honestly. I don't care which side you're on, please watch this.

I couldn't embed the video here or I would have. Instead, you have to click here to watch the video.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More About Curling

Here's a link to a short video that explains the sport of curling. If I had good knees, this would be the sport for me. It's cold and takes minimal physical effort!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snowing in Central Texas, Again.

I'm not going anywhere. This is only the beginning. Since I took this photo a few minutes ago, the snow has gotten even thicker/deeper. I'll post more as the day goes by.
What fun. (sigh)

Way Too Early

If anyone wants to understand Curling, here's a great infographic to explain it.

The forecast for central Texas, today, is snow. What I'm seeing right now is sleet. (It's 5:55 a.m.) I'm starting to feel like I'm back in the northeast. But it's still not too cold. As long as I live here, I promise you will never hear me complain about the cold weather. The hot weather in the summer is another story.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Up All Night

I finally got some new glasses. My house is a lot brighter now that I don't have to wear my sunglasses anymore. These are a little more modern than the ones I broke. Only about $80 at the big box store with a one-year warranty to replace them for any reason.
 
I made a big pot of beans and ham that should last for several days. It's quite yummy, if I do say so myself. I spoon it over some macaroni and top it with chopped onions. Forgot to buy macaroni, so I ended up using the macaroni from a cheap box of mac and cheese! (Which I got for free and probably would never have actually cooked and eaten.)
Rosie is doing fine. Getting a little tired of having her shots, but the needle is so tiny that it doesn't really hurt her. I need to get better about giving the shots on schedule. Two shots a day, 12 hours apart. I also need to find something to feed her that she likes. She won't eat her expensive, prescription food.
 
That's all for now. It's getting light outside. Time to go to bed! (I hate it when my schedule gets all ass-backwards like this.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fess up!

I just received an "invitation" to sign up for "failin.gs" sent by an anonymous acquaintance. Okay, so here's your chance. Let's hear it.

I seriously need to cut back.

How Addicted to Facebook Are You?
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Parody

I'm not a Jimmy Fallon fan, but I am a Lost fan.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rosie Update II

Another day at the vet's, but back home tonight, and for the weekend. I'll be giving Rosie two shots of insulin each day. She'll also be eating special food that costs $21 for eight pounds. (Did I mention the donate button over there on the right?) On Monday she'll have to go back to the vet for another day of testing. This will go on until the vet figures out exactly how much insulin Rosie will need every day. We're sticking at eight units twice a day for this weekend.

I am still quite exhausted. I've been more tired than usual all week. I plan to take some melatonin before I go to bed (early, again) tonight. Just have to give Rosie her evening injection. Oh, and I have to call mom.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rosie Update

Rosie is back home for the night. She was so happy to see me when I went to pick her up. The vet said that her sugar levels are still very high, so it will take more time to get them down to a safe level. She has to go back tomorrow morning and go through more injecting and blood drawing. I think she'll at least have the weekend at home, but may have to go back on Monday for even more testing.

Rosie

Dropped Rosie off at the vet's office this morning. I HATE doing that. I'm sure she's scared. I wish I could put a little screen in her "cage" with a live feed of me, so she could hear and see me. (Hey, this could be a new use for the iPad.)

I'll pick her up at 4:30 and bring her home. But I have to take her back again tomorrow.

SUCKS.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Truly Amazing

Long day today. First, I didn't get any sleep last night. When I finally got tired enough to go to bed, a certain part of my body decided there would be no sleeping. I'll spare you the details. Suffice to say that a dose of Immodium took care of that. But not until it was almost time to call the Vet. You see, my beloved Rosie has been having issues in the last week and a half. She's been going outside much more often than normal, drinking a lot, and last night she "wet the bed." So first thing this morning I called our Veterinarian.


I took her in at 11:00 (after I spent $20 to get someone to come over and jump start my car). After a urine sample and a blood sample I was told that she has diabetes. And I guess it's bad enough that the vet wants to get her started on insulin first thing tomorrow. So I will take her in and drop her off at 7:30 tomorrow morning. The vet will inject, watch, and test (I think) until he figures out the exact dose that will get her sugar levels back to normal. This will go on for two days, and I will be able to bring her home overnight tomorrow, and for good on Friday afternoon.

Rosie is 11 years old, and the vet assured me that the diabetes is a result of her age, and not of anything I did or didn't do. (In fact, she has lost two pounds since her last visit to the vet. She was overweight, and still is, but that's not a factor as far as having diabetes.)

Bad news, but I'm coping.

Rosie and I have been to this vet many, many times. And I've taken my other dogs, and my cats, there, too. So they know me. We talk. We joke around. We have a good time. They're good people.

After the visit to the vet I went to the bank to cash a check. I earned over $40 by reading e-mails and doing surveys with inboxdollars.com. If you should decide to go over and sign up (fat chance, I know), please let me know so I can get credit for your membership!

After the bank I went to the Post Office to check my mail box.

After the Post Office I went to Walgreens. I had some photos to pick up and I also purchased a few items. I have friends who still work there so I said hello to them. There were six people working there today when I went in who know me. I said hello to all of them.

Then I went to Walmart for groceries and such. I first went to the Vision Center and got myself some new glasses. (I've been wearing my sunglasses ever since I broke my other frames several weeks ago!) I was in the Vision Center for about 15-20 minutes. The only customer there. Got along well with the person who was working there. Ordered my new glasses. Then went shopping. I also know several people who work at Walmart, and I said hello to each one that I saw. I guess I said hello to at least a half dozen friends there. And I had a nice conversation with the cashier as she checked me out.

All in all, except for the bad news about Rosie, it was a pleasant and full day.

So what, you may be thinking, was "truly amazing"? Well, I'll tell you. All day long I was wearing this shirt, without a jacket or sweater.


And not a sole - not one single, solitary person - asked me if I knew the way to San Jose! And that, Dear Reader, was truly amazing!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not Into Sports

I hear there's some big football game on today, but I am so not into sports. So whatever it is, I just hope it doesn't interrupt my favorite TV shows. (Since I don't have any favorite shows that air on Sundays, that won't happen!) Spike shows CSI reruns on Sundays, so that's what I watch if nothing else is on. I have several movies that I DVR'd but have no interest in watching at the moment. (That's weird, isn't it?)

I've decided to make a New Year's resolution after all. I've decided to drink more. (I'm having deja vu. Did I already blog about this?) I know it's already February, but I always have been a bit of a procrastinator.

I drank up all the old Coors Light in the refrigerator. It was about three years old, but it tasted okay! I asked around and no one could give me a reason for not drinking it. (I'm talking in terms of health.) Someone told me it was good until the caps rusted!! I do have one really, really old bottle of Heinekin that I didn't like when it was fresh, so I'm sure I won't like it when it's stale. I originally bought it for some dish I was making. The dish was awful, as I recall. I think it had something to do with pork chops and maybe sauerkraut.

I may take up smoking, too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HURLEY DIES!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding. I had to do that for CMOT, who was incredibly late with his weekend posts.

(Hurley didn't die, Jack did.)

I am so mean.

Countdown II

I see that the counter has changed from days and hours to hours and minutes!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Countdown

I'm very anxious to see what will happen to the counter in the right column on Tuesday night when Lost starts.
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That one, there.