Thursday, June 19, 2008

CHAPTER ONE: Bambi's revenge?
Could it be that the weather has finally decide to straighten itself out and act normal? After a really screwy start to the year, it seems to have dried out (at least around here), and we are actually having some decent early summer weather. It's about damn time. It has been a bit cool riding home from work at night, but a sweatshirt takes care of the chill rather easily. Still, I miss those warm night breezes that would blow in from the groves when we were in Florida. Nothing like a warm wind that smells ever so slightly of orange blossoms.
Spooked a couple of deer on the trail last night. Spooked myself a bit, too. Luckily they bolted off into the woods rather than turn and stare stupidly at me until I stupidly crashed into them. I wonder if there are a large number of deer vs. bicycle accidents in the US on a yearly basis. Might be more in Canada.

CHAPTER TWO: Work to live, or live to work?
It's Hump Day! Three days of work done, three left to go after today. I have actually lost track of what day it is for the most part. The funny part is that I really don't seem to be missing all that much. Hopefully when this paycheck comes in I can get another bill or two paid off. Seems that the finances have once again become the central battle grounds for Pinklady and I. The whole thing has mutated into yet another chicken/egg argument. She really doesn't like all the hours that I'm working and the fact that when I do get a day off, I spend it scrambling around trying to get caught up on work around the house. My position is that she does not have the ability to increase her workload, and therefore her pay, at will. So, I need to take as many of these hours as I can stomach in an effort to put some of the bills behind us. The economy shows no signs of getting any better any time in the next year or so, so I would think that it would be best to get out from under as much debt as possible. When I relate this point, I get nothing but grump face. Not that I enjoy being here every day of the week, but this could be a once-in-who-knows-how-long opportunity. The economic stimulus check we got was actually on fire, I believe, when it hit our mailbox. All that money came and went so fast, I can't even really accept that the check was actually here. Maybe it was all a dream....

CHAPTER THREE: A blooming idiot?
Now that I have some energy and some decent weather, I get up in the morning and head outside. Putter around with all the plants for a while, then work on a project in the garage. That reminds me that I may actually need to mow the yard in a few days. I did manage to get most all of the remodeling garbage out of the garage so that I now actually have some space to work without tripping over random trash. Doubt that my garbageman will be sending me any flowers anytime soon, though. Since I can't think of any use for all the left over pallets, guess I will be cutting those up to use in the chiminea. If I could find four or five heavy duty plastic bins to put all my sculpture parts in, that would be nice, but I don't want to spend a ton of money. I think I will just continue to use the unorganized heap method for sorting out sculpture parts.
I also found quite a few packets of seeds mixed in with all the gardening supplies. Since Pinklady moved all the herbs up on the deck, and the veggies are in pots out front, guess I'll make another attempt to get some black eyed susans going on the south side of the garage. I also have some scarlet runner beans that I want to try even though I don't really have a sunny enough spot for them. Maybe I'll just put them where I had the sweet potato vines last year. And maybe some Mexican sunflowers in with the black eyed susans. And I still need to find replacements for the tickseed and red hot pokers that didn't come back this year. Haven't seen any of the oranges and lemons blanket flowers yet either. The blood grass looks really sparse too. The butterfly weed, the purple coneflower, and the giant miscanthus are all kicking ass, though. Maybe I'll just seed those all around the front and quit screwing around with all that other stuff.
The latest log tiki seems to be taking shape pretty quickly. Go figure, that pine is sooooo freakin soft it's incredible. And even though that log has been drying since last summer, the deeper I get into it, I think I'm starting to see the cracks widen out. I'll post a progreess picture tomorrow.
Really working on gettting this one done almost as an exercise to get my shoulders, elbows and wrists back into shape. It was a long winter of doing not much of anything. Summer is the time when there are lots and lots of trees getting cut down, and if I want to acquire more logs, I need to finish up some of the ones I have. Of course, I should be looking at next season, and trying to get logs that can sit over the winter to dry out. Nah. I actually like working the green logs. They're soft, so they carve fast, and when they do dry out and crack, it makes the fininshed product look aged and really really cool. Of course, that's my opinion, and if you don't agree, you can go jump.

** I think Dhawk is actually a vampire. Y'know, can't be photographed, lives in a dark, cold, dreary place. Just a theory so far, but it's got potential.

** Where did everybody go? After a brief and unexpected flurry of online mini-reunions, things have now gone back the other way. Everyone has seemingly reatreated back to their own places. The hours I'm working can't be helpful either when it comes to trying to get a social life back on-line. At least I can enjoy the weather. *SIGH* Alone, that is....

** It's that time of year again! Time to sit in the boss' office and get the rundown on what they think are your strong and weak points. Normally, I just nod and smile my way through this on an annual basis. Why go to a lot of effort if you know your raise is going to be the same old <5% anyway? This year is going to be the first time around for the incorporation of the Five Pillars and and all that other stuff. The idea is that your raise is tied directly to how you meet your and your department's goals for the year. Might make the way it plays out a little different, but I still have a sneaking suspicion that no matter how you slice it, it adds up to a <5% pay raise.

** The state of IL now has things set up so you can do an immediate check to see if the custom license plate you want is available. Both of the ones I wouldn't mind having are indeed available. I just can't bring myself to spend the money on it though.

** Three female dogs, three pink collars. That is so not right.

** For reasons I have yet to comprehend, Pinklady gave me a Father's Day present. A very nice 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of DaVinci's Vitruvian Man, go figure. It has been many years since I have put something of this level together, so I have no idea how long it will take.

** I still haven't started on the Giant's project. By the same token, with the onset of nice weather and improved mood, I don't think I've had the computer on at all in the past three days or so. Still, it would be good to get that done sooner rather than later.

** Next year, Chemlawn is going after the yard in an effort to get that ever elusive 'curb appeal' factor up a little higher. I'm thinking late summer of '10 would be as good a time to haul out of this town as any.

** The neighbors are having family stay with them for three weeks. Oh, goody.

** The other neighbors are having us watch their dog Meenah while they go to New York. Last time we watched Meenah, I got a tiki straight from Hawaii as payment. Now I have to do some research to find out what type of tiki artifact I can have then retreive me from NY.

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