Monday, September 30, 2013

Saturday ... in the park ...

Saturday, I went walking on the old towpath near State Park.

At one point, two guys in a Beamer passed me.  This is mainly a walking trail, not a vehicle road, so I figured there were three options:  1.  Drugs.  2.  Sex.  3.  Lost.

As it turned out, it was #3, which I discovered when they turned around and the driver rolled down his window to say, "Excuse me, ma'am, but we're on our way to a corporate bean-bag event at State Park.  Do you know the best way to get there?"

Okay, first off, corporate bean-bag event?  Like, as in, bean-bag toss? 

Dude certainly LOOKED the corporate type:  Clean-shaven, well-dressed, driving a Beamer.  But ... bean bag?

Trying not to laugh, I gave him directions to the park entrance.  What the hell is a corporate bean-bag event?  When I walked back through the park, later in the day, I briefly thought about trying to locate said event, but decided that the reality could never be as entertaining as the picture I had in my mind, so I gave it a pass.

And you know, I find myself getting "ma'am"ed an awful lot lately.  And I got a bunch of it on Saturday, first from the cable guy (who looked disturbingly like a young, fit Russell Crowe *cough*), then from the Beamer dude, and still more later on when I went shopping.

When do we go from Miss to Ma'am, do you think?  Is there an age cutoff?  I'd rather be a Miss than a Ma'am, although I can't quite put my finger on why.  Is it because Ma'am means old and Miss means young?  

While I spend zero time wishing I was young again, I do kind of miss Miss.  Go figure.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Name Game

So!  The fosters are still with me. Here they are!

Not much progress to report.  They are not UNfriendly; they just don't trust people.  Understandable.  And so I soldier on; I am breaking down and having cable put into that bedroom this weekend.  I might as well be able to watch TV while they ignore me.

And.  Names.  The calico I've been calling Callie, because that's original *snort* and also the name of every other calico on the planet.  I tried LOTS of names, but Callie is the only one that has stuck to date. Callie Ann, to be specific.

Now.  THIS girl:

Isn't she a spitfire?  That is one fine-lookin' cat.

I thought about a jewel name, because of the spot she has on her forehead.  Topaz ... oops ... no stripper names.  Amber?  Nah, she's not really an Amber.  Plus, that's perilously close to stripper territory as well.  Garnet?  Maybe ... but to me that almost sounds like a boy name.  She needs a pretty name to help her overcome her tortie rep.

And oh!  That makes me think!  I was at a garden center last weekend when a cat came strolling up the entrance path to meet me.  It was a tortie ... a FRIENDLY tortie.  Her name was Shellie, as in Tortoiseshell.  I thought about Shellie for this girl, but ... nah.

And then I was on my way to work this morning, singing songs from Man of La Mancha as one does *cough*, and I started singing "Dulcinea".

"I have sought thee, sung thee, dreamed thee ... Dulcinea ..."

Hmmm ... Dulcinea ... Well, it's gotta be two syllables.  (Rescue rules - two syllables, nothing "odd", esoteric, or awkward to explain to a child.)  What about Dulcie?

I dunno.  Whaddaya think?  And any OTHER name suggestions are welcome.  Just remember the rescue rules.  While I am free to name my OWN cats things like Ponyboy and Sodapop, the fosters need to be plain vanilla.  

p.s.  Yes, I DID review name suggestions from previous posts.  None of them seemed quite right for this gal, although Domestic Kate's earlier suggestion of Poppy comes pretty close ...

p.p.s. And yes, ninety percent of the fosters get renamed when they get rehomed, but still, I've gotta have something to call them other than Kitty while they're here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tonight I had to google "trumpet vine pod" ...

... because a fantastical thing is happening out back by the shed.

I'll tell you what, fifty years in, something manages to surprise me every damn day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

... and yet another thing I have apparently aged myself out of understanding ...

... grown-up sippy cups.

I just had to run up to Staples to pick up some stuff for the office, and the guy standing behind me in line had a Dunkin Donuts sippy cup, presumably full of coffee.  He took a couple of swigs while he was standing there, in the thirty seconds or so it took me to check out, and I thought, really?  You're that thirsty?

And this is common now.  Surely you've noticed it.  Every damn place you go, there's a bunch of people with their sippy cups.  The mall, the grocery store, in the park for Chrissakes, it doesn't matter.  Where people are, there are sippy cups.

And I have to wonder, are all of these people really so sleep-deprived, or so caffeine-addicted, that they have to have their coffee with them everywhere they go?  I mean, I'm not averse to a nice hot cup of coffee, first thing in the morning or sometimes right before bed, but constantly?  How much coffee are these people drinking?  And what is it doing to their guts?  Coffee's pretty acidic.  (Although I am, admittedly, a little overly sensitive to intestinal issues at this point.)  And what's the appeal of lukewarm coffee?  Even in an insulated sippy cup, that sh*t's not gonna stay hot too awful long.

And I wonder how store clerks feel about constantly wiping up coffee spills and coffee rings and throwing away the discarded sippy cups. 

I'm thinking that maybe coffee is the new cigarettes.  You can't smoke all over the place like you used to be able to, so maybe carrying around a sippy cup is the new security blanket?

I dunno, I didn't meant to go all Andy Rooney here, but it's once of those things that once noticed, can't be un-noticed.  What do you think?  Are sippy-cup people taking over the world?  Are you one of them?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hip to be square

So, I was watching The Voice last night (don't JUDGE) (hell, go ahead), and I couldn't help but notice all the hipster dudes.  Some were competing, and some were there to support family members, but when did boxy black glasses, side parts and bow ties (no, I'm not kidding) become ... cool?  Or wait ... is it supposed to be ironic?  I'M SO OLD.

It reminds me of what the math nerds in my high school were sporting circa 1978.  (And yes,  I DO understand that those '70s math nerds now make five times what I do.)  I guess that's "the look" these days?  It seems rather unfortunate.  Those are the dudes that got beat up by the bus garage. 

And there was even a Manic Pixie Dream Girl competing, which ... can't we lose that trend already?  Isn't that one kind of yesterday?

I guess I must be older than dirt, because I don't find either look appealing.  I just want to yell "Grow up and get damn job, already!"  *sigh*  And get off my lawn while you're at it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I could probably use it for mortar

So!  I tried a new recipe the other night, for hamburger stroganoff.  It sounded quick and easy and ... good.  It was quick and easy.  Good?

Not so much.

I don't mind cooking.  I love to eat; thus, I cook.  But  it seems like I make the same stuff all the damn time.  Chicken.  Pizza (okay, totally take-out on that one.).  Steak.  Chicken. Spaghetti.  Pork.  More chicken. 

And I do not do complicated recipes.  If a recipe has more than, say, eight or ten ingredients?  Nope. I don't have the time, or the inclination, to screw with anything complex.

So when I saw a recipe for hamburger stroganoff that sounded edible, and cheap, and simple, I gave it a whirl.

Which explains why I currently have a big ol' tub of bland, mortar-like substance in my fridge.  I keep opening it up, and looking at it, and sniffing it, hoping it will magically transform into something delicious at some point, but two days in, I'm giving up hope.

Time to call the pizza place.

Anybody got any good recipes?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feeling churlish

So, the furnace has been acting up the last few days.  It never has run right, being grossly oversized for the house (thanks, previous dipsh*t owner!), but the last few days it refused to run at all.

I did a little research, and discovered that furnaces are kind of like cars - you can spend as much as you wanna spend, depending on size, bells and whistles, warranty, etc.  I figured that if I needed to replace the sucker, the furnace itself would cost somewhere between one and two grand.  Add in labor - maybe 500 bucks, I figured, for a full-day install, and there ya go. 

I called the furnace dude and asked him to come out and take a look, saying nothing about replacement, only that it wasn't working correctly and needed to be fixed.  While he was tinkering and adjusting and doing furnace things, I said, "So, if it turns out this thing needs to be replaced, what are we looking at?"

"Oh, geez, at least three grand," he said.

"what?,"  I squeaked.  I'm pretty sure my voice went up at least an octave.  "From what I can figure, I'm looking at between one and two grand for the furnace.  It's gonna take at least a grand for the install?  It's a plug and play, for Pete's sake!  How long could it take?"

"Oh, well," the dude said.  "I could probably cut you a deal on the labor.  Say, eight hundred."

This guy is a one-man operation.  I will eat my HAT if it takes him longer than four hours to swap out a furnace.  Eight hundred divided by four is two hundred bucks an hour.

Holy sh*t, I shoulda been a furnace dude.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seen on Craigslist

This ad was in the "Pets" section of my local Craigslist.  Spelling errors are the author's, not mine.

Children - free to good home!!!

*************This is not a real post**********

HELP NEEDED ASAP: Please help!!!! After two long years of being on a waiting list for a dog, we have been notified by the breeder that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!!!
I must get rid of my children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to my children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children into rescue this weekend! They are described as:

One male - His name is Dustin, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Thirteen years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Dustin eats everything, is very clean, house trained; gets along well with others. He does have a little problem with listening in school.........and he might have to go to summer school BUT only a couple of weeks and then you'll have the rest of the summer to play.(to late for that) He went still has a little problem listening but I'm sure if you give it some time he'll come around. Well guess what summerschool came and no change it's all up to you, just give it a year or two.

One female - Her name is Katelyn, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled.,six years old.. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy; can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls & little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training-shouldn't take long at all.

I really do LOVE my children and want to do what's right for them; that is why we contacted you.. But I simply can no longer keep them. Also, I am afraid that they may hurt my new puppy. (and of course the puppy comes first) and besides the dog might have allergies to the children, I'm moving and where I'm going to they don't allow children.(can you imagine that)

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and I have a real emergency here!!! They MUST be placed by Sunday night at the latest or I will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.
O MY I forgot I didn't think they would get this big!!!!!

p.s. hi mom!! love you :) 
RockyCat here:  In case you're not a regular Craigslist Pets section reader, this post basically nails all of the "rehoming" ads.  The animals have to go TODAY, the kids are allergic, she's moving and can't take the animals, etc.  I think the only one she missed was, "I'm pregnant and I can't clean the litterbox."  Classic!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oops! He did it again ...

Scalped my back yard, that is.

I got home from work last night to discover that B. had, once again, mowed my back-backyard down to the dirt.

How on earth do I tell my neighbor to STOP MOWING MY LAWN, ALREADY? 

Enquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Playing hooky

I should have mowed the lawn last Sunday.  Anyway, that was the plan.  But I hit the woods instead.

There's a bear in that tree! -

Fields full of yellow:

Wild asters:

Pretty soon, we'll get a hard frost and the leaves will start to change, but for now, it's still summer, dammit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

What would you do?

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping.  It was the last in a long list of chores, and I was pretty well frazzled by the time I got home and started unloading the car.

Which is when I discovered an extra bag of groceries.

The cashier had been using one of those turntable-thingies, and must have neglected to hand over this bag to the person in line before me, instead loading it into my cart.

What to do, what to do?

I did NOT want to have to schlep back to CrapMart and stand in line at customer service.  And it wasn't like it was a LOT of groceries; just a few items.

But still ... the stuff wasn't mine. 

"Forget about it!,"  I told myself. "This probably happens all the time!  And it's not like they could just restock the groceries - they'll have to throw them out.  The person who got shorted will come back in and they'll give him new groceries, that's all."

But still ...

I called the store and explained the situation.

The gal on the phone started laughing.  "Oh, lord," she said, "That happens a lot.  You don't have to bring the groceries back.  If someone shows up missing groceries, we'll give them new ones, that's all."

I feel better.  But I also feel a little bit sad for the person who is missing their Lean Pockets, Suave deodorant, store-brand immodium (I feel ya there, honey!), and cat snacks.  I ... I think we may be twins.  Well, except for the Lean Pockets, anyway.  That sh*t's just nasty.

And I still feel a little guilty that I didn't just get in the car and take the damn groceries back. What would you have done?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crazy Rain

Last night, severe thunderstorms hit just as I was heading home from work.

It was loads of fun - Lightning, and thunder, and crazy rain, and gusty winds, and flooded roads and downed power lines and I kept pulling into parking lots to wait it out, but then the parking lot would start to flood and I would have to keep moving, and at one point there was a flock of flipping TURKEYS in the road, and I started to wonder if I was dreaming.

So yeah.  Fun.

In the space of 45 minutes, I got over two and a half inches of rain at my place.  That's a lotta rain.

Oh, I mean, it's not as much as in 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee dropped over ten inches of rain before the rain gauge finally overflowed.  And it's not as bad as Hurricane Irene, when I got over five inches.  And ...

... it's official.  I'm officially old, aren't I?  "I remember back in 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee blah blah blah ..."

Geez.  Only fifty, and already reminiscing about the weather.  Sucks getting old.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wait ... what?

There's a Harlequin Romance on my bookshelf.  I have no idea how it got there; I mean, I assume I picked it up at a book sale someplace, but I'm not sure why.

Not that there's anything WRONG with Harlequin Romances; the mom of one of my best friends in high school went to the library every week and brought home a wheelbarrow full of them; I have nothing but respect for anyone who reads that much, and for books in any form.  I have no idea how many Archie comic books I plowed my way through in elementary school.  Reading is reading.

SO.  My point.  I do have one.  The other day I was browsing my bookshelf, seeing what to read next, when I spotted the Harlequin.  I picked it up, flipped it open, and here's the first sentence I came to:

"In all probability Luque de Mayo was so unpredictable that those who knew him as well as anyone was able to know him were not surprised when he did the unexpected."

- from Satan Took a Bride by Violet Winspear.
FIRST off, "Satan Took a Bride"?!?  AWESOME title.  Secondly, I think that sentence has to be one of the most convoluted things I've ever read.   What's that award?  The "dark and stormy night" award?  They should start up another one for most confusing sentence.  I'm pretty sure Ms. Winspear would win.

I mean, a simple "Everyone knew that Luque was unpredictable" would have done.  I am hoping that Ms. Winspear was getting paid by the word, because she really milked that baby for all it was worth.  Now I kind of want to meet her.  Just to shake her hand.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Weekend roundup

Well, I started off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a couple of hours in the doctor's office, which is never a good thing.

And then Saturday morning I had to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, which turned out to be for ... suppositories?  VERY FUNNY, DOCTOR.  That's a big hell no. What the f*ck?  nonononono.  Jeezus Christ, everybody's a comedian.

I decided to spend the weekend looking for the stuff I'd been trying to buy all summer on the cheap without success.  I started off by hitting up the garage sales the next street over, where I picked up a pickaxe for five bucks.  Now it will be MUCH easier to kill those pesky neighbors.

I finally went ahead and did this:

It's hard to tell from the reflection of the trees in the glass, but there's seventeen cats on the window.  Well, actually, now there's more, since I went out again and painted some more on.  I used white-out, which may have turned out to be an unwise decision, since I spilled some on my leg and many scrubbings later, it's still there.  Those cats may be on that car when I trade it in, is all I'm sayin'.

Sunday I hit the flea market, where I picked up an area rug for five bucks!  After scrubbing about five pounds of pet hair out of it, it's currently drying in the back yard.  What else?  Oh yeah, I picked up a landing net, which I'm going to remake with a pillowcase into a cat capture device.  Because I've learned how effective those rescue gloves are ... Oh yeah!  And I got a pair of turquoise boots for three bucks.

Next stop, Label Shopper, home of incredibly cute Chinese-import shoes.   One pair of unicorn shoes later, it was off to the thrift store, where I stole Birdie's idea and bought a mirror for the garden.

There was a lot of time spent in the foster room.  *sigh*  Dear kittens:  I am not the enemy.  I will not eat you.  Trust me.

And I watched the Bills game, which ... oh lord, hope springs eternal in the hearts of Bills fans.  And that's all we have, is hope, because holy SH*T those guys sure know how to break your spirit.

And then the new week started at two-thirty this morning, when I discovered a frog in the bathroom.  At first I thought the poor thing was a goner, because he was belly up and not moving, but when I went to scoop him into an empty cool-whip bowl he twitched, so I set him in the tub and ran a little water and ...voila!  Rejuvenated frog.  I left him there until it got light out and moved him outside into the ditch, where he happily hopped away.

Hopefully that's a good omen for the week ahead, and not a precursor for a plague of locusts or something.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Tinks explains it all

As I've mentioned before, these two little gals absolutely worship Tinks.  Heck, they were rescued from the same neighborhood - maybe they're long-lost cousins or something.

Tinks has always been good with the foster kittens.  All of the perma-cats like to go in the foster room to check out the food (it's a grass is greener kind of thing, I think - the food is basically the same as what they get), but Tinks is the only one who will stay and visit.  In the mornings before I leave for work, I often have to pick him up and carry him out of the room - I'm afraid he'd get bored if he stayed in there all day, and I don't want him busting out the door or anything.  (Don't laugh - that is one strong cat.)

And Tinks LOVES to have new cats to practice his grooming skills on:

Oh, Tinks.  You're a sweetie.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

What in the hell IS that?!


I mean, obviously, it's some kind of PLANT.  But it appears to be growing in the air, on the phone pole guy wires.

Here's a closer look at the leaves.  Earlier in the summer, it was greener, but now it's starting to turn red.

It's almost tree-like, in that the stems are woody like branches:

It seems to be coming out of that yellow wire guide, which makes me wonder if enough dirt made its way in to the wire guide over the years to give sustenance to the plant.  I dunno.

Anybody know?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Lake Edition

On Sunday, I headed for Cayuga Lake, where my family has a cottage.  I haven't been to the cottage in years due to my sister TIB being a b*tch (long story).  The cottage hasn't changed; I'll tell you what, that thing musta been built like a brick sh*thouse, because it was built over 80 years ago, right on the water, and it's still standing.

My brother A (the one I got busted for trespassing with) took me for a boat ride:

See ya next time, A!