Thursday, May 28, 2009

Clumps of Stuff

**Meow mix

The cat has departed from our possession. The cat's name was/is boogcat, from what information we got from the owner. He got this rather interesting name from the fact that he had/has a light tan freckle on his otherwise white nose, lending the impression of a booger. Anyway, we were quite thrilled to find the owner, except for the fact that we did so the day after the cat departed from our care. Last Sunday arrived and I found I could no longer ignore the height of the grass in the yard. The mower was in the garage, which is where the cat was being housed. The last time we tried to restrain the cat while removing something from the garage, Sheri got a nasty scratch on her forearm. So, my thought on it was this: the cat likes the dogs, seems to like us, and has food, water and a litter box-what's the harm in opening the garage door so I can get some things done? When I opened the door, the cat meandered out into the yard, mewling all the while. He'd run out towards the road, and then dash back up towards the house. This cycle repeated itself enough times, that I soon stopped paying attention and just went about my business. Sheri came out a time or two to see what he was doing, and then wandered back in herself. By about 1730 I was pretty much done, and was looking to close up the garage and head inside for a while. Looking around the driveway, I saw no cat. Looking around the front of the house and the side of the garage, I saw no cat. Looking around the front yards of all the neighbors, I saw no cat. Wanting to get something to eat and a nap, I closed up the garage and went inside, reporting my findings to the boss. She was concerned and relieved at the same time. After a few hours had passed we did another survey of the yard and surrounding areas with similar results: no cat located. We shrugged at each other, I made a note to clean up the random piles of poop that I had found in the garage, and we both hoped he had found his way back home. That hope lasted until the next day, when Julie was contacted by the owner of the cat. The home of the cat was about 4-6 blocks away, across 1st Street, over in Tilton Park.

**rainy days

A rather long string of gloomy, damp, and cool days is upon us. Does very little for my motivational level. Makes the grass grow like a son of a bitch, though.

**car return/stealth car

-With any luck, I should be getting my car back on Friday. The only problem is that with the imminent arrival of Zella, the folks have borrowed Sheri's car to be able to bring back the drafting table for me. So, as soon as we get my car back, Sheri is appropriating it, since she hates to drive the Prius. I like the Prius. It's like a little stealth car.

**Zella should be here within the next 10-14 days.

The drafting table is mine, for free, as soon as I can get it back here. Hopefully it will be a nice addition to the studio and will make things a bit more functional.

None of the new perennials I planted last year have come back. I'm thinking about trying my hand at elephant ears, since the whole banana plant experiment seems to have gone awry. I have also rearranged the stone border in front of the house in line with my plans to put in areas of purple coneflowers and butterfly weed along the front, since nothing else seems to have done well there. The spaces in front of the basement windows will be reseeded with grass. The grass seed I put down in back has come up decently, but putting some more down while we're in this damp weather pattern would probably be a good idea.

A pile of stuff is slowly accumulating in the doorway of the garage. It's a fairly large pile. The question is, how do we dispose of it? Neither one of us wants the hassle of having a garage sale, and I haven't heard of anyone I know asking if we want to put stuff in theirs. I like the idea idea of stacking it all at the end of the driveway, putting a sign out that says 'Free Stuff', and just letting people cart it all off. It's amazing what people will take if it's free. Whatever is left over afterwards could be donated or trashed, depending on what it is. Right about now, I just want it all gone.

Is it better to have studio time early or late? I can't decide. During the summer, I am drawn more to be in the sun, so getting up earlier would be better, but that's when everyone else is up and trying to claw away little bits of my time. The interruptions are endless and just gnaw away at the time I have. Staying up late gets me around this issue, but limits me to doing things that are fairly quiet in nature, and predominantly inside (I am starting to dread how bad the mosquitoes will be this year).

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Why in the hell am I carving Pringles right now???

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hanging Furry Mauve Elves

  • After looking at one this weekend at the flea market, I had a thought that a drafting table might not be a bad thing for me to use as an art 'station'. Something that could be adjusted to a varitety of working angles would be nice. Gonna check with the sister-in-law and see what she wants for hers, since she's not using it.
  • Unfortunately, the cat is neither ugly nor mean. He is also unafraid of dogs. Reka, on the other hand, is a bit skittish aound him. Lucy is interested but dismissive. Gracie really wants to play with the cat, I think. Never before have I seen a cat roll over on it's back to accept attention from a dog. We're still not sure if Sheri is allergic or not. Very few people want a male cat, and so far none want one that hasn't been fixed, chipped, and immunized. I am not liking the direction that this is heading in.
  • Once again, wood chips litter the floor of the studio. Got a little more than two months to go.
  • I'm wondering how fate will choose to poop on my day off this week.
  • Good to be hearing from Kittyluv again!
  • The most summer-like stretch of weather is supposed to be upon us this week, and my bike still hasn't made it down from the ceiling of the garage. Of course, the chorus of voices railing against my nighttime travels has gotten louder. I may just grudgingly accept their estimation of the stupidity of others and return to my planet-polluting-commuting method. Of course, having narrowly missed being mechanically mangled a while back, I find I have no firm thoughts on which mode of transportation is really safer.
  • I still need to run all the remaining gas out of the snowblower.
  • I haven't even gotten to the point of getting the run-around from someone else's insurance company. My own is doing a pretty good job of not telling me what's going on. Meanwhile, my car sits unfixed.
  • Unripe avocados are about impossible to work with. And they don't really taste like much of anything, either.
  • The more I look at my work schedule for June, the less I think I like it. Not a huge amount of inspirational time available.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't Touch It!!

**As if there wasn't enough going on around the ol' hacienda, it looks like we are in the process of being adopted by a stray cat. Naturally, when this cat first appeared in the neighborhood, it found it's way over to Al and Julie's place. It proceeded to take shelter from Wednesday's storms there. When we brought Julie some fans to help dry out the basement carpeting is when we happened to meet this particular cat. Not bad looking, I guess, as far as cats go. Definitely male, definitely unneutered. Grey and white, nice yellow-gold eyes. Not scared of people, and appeared to know that the door was the place to go to get food and attention. My best guess is that it was a cat adopted by an NIU student, and then abandoned at the end of the school year. It also looked like it had recently had it's belly fur trimmed, for what reason, I can but imagine.
Anyway, as we were standing in the house talking to Julie, this cat is out on her porch, basking in the sun, pleased as punch. Julie proceeded to us her tale of the cat trying to get into their good graces, and their resistance on the grounds that their intent was to get a puppy to replace Meenah. As usual, my opinion was mostly neutral regarding the cat. I didn't want to see any harm come to it, but I also knew that our house had hit maximum pet density a while back, so the idea of adding him to the collection was out of the question for me. Plus, he was a cat. I am in a position in my life that I can, and do, have dogs. They are my preferred companion animal. If I were in an apartment, I could very well have a cat. But I'm not, and I don't. I had my fill of litter boxes when we had the ferrets, and don't really car to start that again. But the cat is innocent in all this. He just got his ass booted to the curb. I can't fault him for that. Still, with all this in mind, when I walked out of Julie's house, I walked right past the happily sunbathing cat, down the driveway, and out to the sidewalk. once there, I noticed that the person I live with was no longer following at my heels. Instead, she was on the porch, petting the cat. If I weren't so incredibly slow on the uptake, I would have known right then what was going to happen.
Once she finally disentangled herself form the cat and made her way back home, she was, of course followed into the garage by that same cat. So now we have a cat living in our garage. Temporarily, of course. All the area no-kill shelters are full to their limits with cats (duh, it's spring), so the best we could do is get on the waiting list of the same one that we got Gracie from. Even at that, it'll be two weeks before they can interview the cat. OK, did y'all get that? It will be 2 weeks before they can INTERVIEW the CAT. Is it any wonder why I have a headache all the time?
A quick check from the vet showed no fleas, worms, or mites, but moderate gingivitis. (NOTE: I will NOT find myself brushing the teeth of a cat.) TAILS will be considering us a 'foster home' for the cat until other arrangements can be made. So I guess we've been adopted by a cat. For now.

**Happy Graduation to TrekEve! What was it the we finally decided you degree stood for? I can't remember....

**The dealine has been set: July 13. And this time......I mean it.

**The book I would currently most like for Freckles to write: "Dreams From The Back Porch".

**Elkhorn WI, or Sandwich IL? Where will the tiki gods direct me to go on Sunday?

**Happy Graduation wishes also go out to Dimples, who has completed her first step on the road to nursehood! (Dimples, please note the total lack of innuendo in the previous statement. Aint you proud of me?)

**Twisted bits of metal and packs of cards. What a nice package to get in the mail.

**So far, I am not overly fond of the iTunes software package. I'm hoping that as I use it some more it ends up being more user friendly than it seems at first.

**The overall irritation level is starting to tip the hairstyle scale back in the direction of self inflicted baldness.

**So far the estimate for just fixing the taillight and the associated minor body damage is $900. I am so in the wrong line of work. Of course it does go a long way towards explaining all the people I see who have tape over their busted out taillights. In the process of checking my car out, Motor Works also managed to find that the right rear axle seal is now leaking. I have no idea how much that's going to cost. I also have no real good idea of what it is. Positionally I can safely say that it's in the right rear of something, but that's about it. I sorta do need to look into getting a rental, though. Trying to juggle our schedules around just one car is rapidly becoming a pain in the ass. Plus, I have no idea when the insurance company will approve the payment, and so I have no idea when the work will get started or completed. And I still haven't heard from the company that covers the person who caused the whole accident.

**More and more and more rain means more and more and more grass growing. My banana plants should be taking notes.

**A day's worth of cleaning and straightening has left me with additional functional studio space. The unfortunate side effect is that now there is an equivalent amount of unfunctional space in the garage.

**Mr. Koch is most likely thinking I have recently dropped dead, and am now starting to smell rather funky. While the latter part may be somewhat true on various occasions, it does not tend to overly affect my ability to play chess. It also does not enhance it in any way that I am currently aware of.

**Kittyluv resurfaced in a most brief and cryptic manner the other day.

**MIA: Bluegirl, Dhawk, Ladyjustice, and The Princess Cowgirl.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Warning Shots?

**It has been an odd week, full of ominous portends. If I were at all religious or superstitious, I would most likely be hiding in the crawl space with a bible (or bibles) and a rabbit's foot (or feet). Since I have grown out of one of the former, and never understood the other (you decide which is which), I find myself left with a vague sense of unease, and a firm conviction that I need to get moving. Read on to find out why.

Earlier this week, I had noticed a bit of an odor in the garage. Not your usual garbage odor, which is not unusual, considering that's where the garbage cans are, but something a bit more funky. Not quite dog poop, but something else. Dead mouse, perhaps? Then I remembered that When the guy from Terminix last came, he had put down some glue traps in the garage to catch anything that made it past the perimeter spray. So, I walked over to the closest one, lifted it up, and there, stuck inside, quite dead, was a little brown bird. I was not amused. A freakin bird?! This trap thing was on the floor of the garage, in front of the car! It wasn't supposed to catch birds! I like birds. Mostly. Not that I want then to get stuck on a pad of glue till they die or anything like that! I was very very not happy. That was brush with death #1.

**Say What??
We hadn't seen our neighbor for a while. We also hadn't seen our neighbor's dogs for a while. We knew that she had been being treated for cancer of some sort, but she seemed to be fine the last time we saw her. Came to find out that she had died at the age of 33. Leukemia. Ginger and Roy, her greyhounds, are back in the care of REGAP, and we have no idea what's to become of her house and all. Visitation was Friday, funeral was Saturday. That was brush with death #2. Again, I was not real happy.

**GPC in Chains
It came to my attention on Friday that a patient that had been in our hospital and was transferred to Rockford had been diagnosed and confirmed to have a blood infection of 'flesh eating bacteria'. So, the infection control nurse was running around trying to get a list of anyone who had been in direct contact with this person or any of their specimens. The night before, I had handles 3 broth cultures that were so full of this bacteria I couldn't believe it. I just didn't know at the time that's what it was. So I made the list. Since there is no treatment for asymptomatic people, I was told that if I felt sick at all to get to the ED right away. This continued my string of unhappiness, and is ongoing possible brush with death #3.

**One Taillight
This Saturday was not my day to work. But a friend of mine asked if I could cover a few hours for her, and the notion of an easy three hours of overtime was quite appealing, since I had it in mind to make a run to get more art supplies. So, six o' clock came, and I made my way out the door to a nicer day than it was when I came in at 3. Hopped in the car, cracked the windows, and headed for home with PUSA blaring on the stereo. I was sitting on Dresser, stopped, waiting to make a left turn onto the little street that leads to my house, when there was a screeching of tires, and a tap on the back of my car. In the split second it took me to process this info, a car shot into my line of sight from behind and to my left and smashed head-on into a minivan that was headed in the opposite direction. The sound was indescribable. Pieces went flying everywhere. The blue car rolled backward out of my line of sight and I was left staring at the demolished minivan in front of me. In my terror, I still had the clutch pushed in. I pulled off the road, a mere two blocks from my house, and got on the phone to 911. My next call was to Sheri.
Bits of smashed car were all over the place. the car that clipped me had rolled backwards 20 feet or so after hitting the minivan. The smell of antifreeze was strong in the air and people were coming from all directions to see what had happened.
This is where my exact recollection of events and time get really fuzzy. People got the driver of the minivan out and had him laying in the road next to his car. I hear the bone in his ankle was sticking out. His passenger was out and moving around, seemingly OK. Sheri came running up in her bare feet, wanting to know that I was OK. The passenger in the blue car couldn't get out because her door was jammed shut. The fire dept ended up using the jaws to get her door open. The driver of the blue car was out and moving around, but eventually she wound up on a backboard and on her way to the hospital. I just kinda stood in the vicinity of my car, watching all this happen around me. Which it literally had. Count that one as brush with death #4.

**And did I happen to mention that this was the week of the full moon?

**So I don't think I'm totally unjustified in feeling like the universe is taking some ranging shots in my general direction. And if I get moving, maybe it won't be able to hit me for a while.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brown Cylindrical Mustache Faucets

**Can You Do Better?
The tiki gods chose to smile on my efforts at Kane County this Sunday. My first trip to that show this season found me coming home with a whole backpack full of new additions to the collection. And, since I kept myself from looking at LPs, and there weren't any decent board games to speak of, my haul was 100% tiki related. With a total take of around 15-20 items, that's quite a rarity. Plus, I actually didn't buy every single thing I saw. There was one menu from Trader Vic's that was moldy and water damaged, a really crude block tiki that was way overpriced, and Scott had his usual table full of stuff,. That isn't to say that Scott didn't end up with more than half of my money for the day, I just have never felt the need to clean out his stock. On this particular day, I purchased a really neat ashtray with a removable lighter, a pair of salt and pepper shakers, and a bank-all were things I hadn't ever seen before. I also found a Westwood mug that I'm fairly sure I don't have in my collection. It's cracked, but for $2, why not. Found another pair of salt and pepper shakers almost identical to the ones I bought from Scott, except these were a different color, and were made by someone in a ceramics class. There was a slightly faded Orchids R-45 that I got for $8, again mostly because I wasn't sure if I already had one, and it was in good shape. And a basket full of ephemera that I almost walked passed yielded about a dozen menu inserts, menus, and random Hawaiian art pieces. And I found an amusing carved wood moai necklace. The mango smoothie I had while I was there was pretty tasty too, but I really hate getting brain freezes.

**I don't care if it does date me, I still enjoy watching '16 Candles'.

**And So It Begins...
A relatively sunny, dry weekend ended up meaning one thing for me: I could no longer avoid getting started on the yard work. I am fairly sure that my banana plants didn't survive, based on the rather sad appearance of them when I opened up the mounds of mulch that were meant to keep them safe over the winter. Doesn't seem to have worked. The one pup that I did take in the house and somehow keep alive over the winter is also starting to look really sad. If none of them make it, I will have gone 0-4 with this plant. It may be time to try something else. But I got the grass seed down in back, and one of the front bays is tilled up an reseeded. The front yard got raked and mowed, and the rock line got tidied up. I think I should be done for the season, but I know that's not the case. I still have to clean up the fence line in back and decide when to plant my morning glories. Then there's the whole creeping charlie issue to be addressed.

**I'd like to know more about Freckles' parallel universe.

**Hey! Where's The Party?
Cinco de Mayo. The first 'official' gathering of the neighborhood. It was too chilly outside for my taste, but I wasn't the one making the decisions. As far as I know, my neighbors are pretty good people. I just don't really have all lot in common with any one of them in particular. So, I would have much rather gone over, had a bite to eat, and then continued on my merry way for the rest of the evening. The person I live with decided that I should 'play nice' and stay for the evening. The most interesting point of the whole night was my discussion with Maryann regarding the nature of science and it's part in religion as well as the agnostic vs. atheist argument. The weirdest point of the evening was listening to one person sitting next to me describing in great detail how hard it is to get government benefits to help support her 2 (soon to be 3) kids, while the person sitting right next to her was explaining to someone else how they intended to furnish their summer house on the lake. By about 10 PM, I had had enough, and decided it was time to take a sanity break. About an hour away from the whole mess was sheer bliss, but left me with a craving for Cheez-Its. Go figure.

**Cromag goes to Costa Rica? Sounded unbelievable, till the stripper got thrown in. Then it sounded like an eighties sitcom.

**We Are Gellin
This is the week we switch to the new technology in blood bank. The gel card method has been around since my days as a student, and we are finally taking the step to bring it in-house. Now all we have to do is get used to using it. Who knows how long that will take.

**I had yet another haircut. This is starting to get annoying.

**Face Time
I like the concept of MySpace. I tried it, and even had some fun with it. I left when it got to be less about communicating with people and more about all the add-ons you could attach to your page. Now, Facebook is quickly moving in that direction. I don't do much with my Facebook account anymore. It's nice to have a contact point for all the people there, but this is still my primary thing. So, I just clean out the ol' inbox there every now and again, and respond to anything that gets sent my way. But if people want to know what I'm doing, all they have to do is click.

**20 versions of 'Kitchen' are now complete, and not one of them is quite completely 100% right. And who was it who was hoping to be an inspiration?

**Make An Offer
DeKalb had an interesting event planned that I didn't find out about until two days before it was actually scheduled to happen. Seems that they were having a 'garage sale' at the convo center. Not a bad idea. Cost a buck to get in, and there were maybe 20-25 dealers there, so it wasn't like the place was packed. Still, the layout was good, and I managed to leave with a bag full of books, and old Coco Joes ashtray ($1!), and a few DVDs. If they have it again next year, I'll go. What I didn't realize was that was being held the same weekend as Cortland's town garage sales. Oh, well. Can't be everywhere at once.

**I got blown off for the whole entir weekend by Eve at about 2030 on Friday night. So. Not. Cool.