Friday, August 31, 2007

Mr. Silvio and Georgia Tech Football

He's so darned cute, but growing up fast. But if he continues to chew on power cords he isn't going to grow up at all. Stupid kitty. :-(

It is the end of August and for my beloved Yellow Jackets, football season begins tomorrow. It is an away game - at Notre Dame, right there under the "touchdown Jesus" or what have you. It's a big game. We'll see what happens. Tailgating will have to wait one more week, but that's OK. For now we'll get some pulled pork, brunswick stew, cole slaw and beer and watch the action on our "big ass TV" in the comfort of our air conditioned den.

Have a happy holiday weekend everyone. Be safe.

Oh, and since it is college football season: THWG!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

An Arachnophobiac's Nightmare

A massive spider web has been found in a Texas park. The freakishly large web densely covers the foliage along a 200-yard section of trail.

"Spider experts say the web may have been constructed by social cobweb spiders, which work together…"

Could be. Or maybe it’s Shelob. Creepy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It didn't occur to me that some people wouldn't recognize the "art form" I used in the last post until I found out that PDM had no clue what I was riffing on (or ripping off). I am usually the last to hear about stuff like that. But just in case you live under a rock or just don't run into these weird internet trends, it was a "lolcat". Maybe not the best example, but hey - it was my first. If you like this sort of thing "u can has mor funnyz kats" here. They are strangely addictive. You cannot resist lolcats.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bored Today...

Can you tell?

Hope you enjoyed your "cat scan".

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shredding the Past

I haven't been able to see the surface of our desk at home in quite some time. Neither of us uses that computer (or desk) very often - usually just me, entering our financial data once a week or so. It is an older PC desktop computer. Both of us have newer computers that we use every day. When I do use the computer to access Quicken, I usually just add the paperwork to the pile when I am finished, to be filed later. Well, it is a lot later, and a lot of stuff hasn't been filed. And the files we had have been overstuffed. This weekend, I snapped and finally decided to do something about it.

Several hours later, I had a bunch of piles: file, recycle, or shred. I also went into my "archives", where I had financial statements dating back to 1995, all neatly arranged and sorted into folders by year. Real estate records should be retained forever. I also keep tax records forever. But billing statements for utilities and credit cards, and vehicle records for cars I no longer own... I don't need to keep all that crap forever.

It felt pretty good to feed all of that stuff to the shredder. Not quite cathartic, but the "schtuff" I was dealing with is pretty old and I was pretty much over it years ago. I was particularly happy to rid myself of certain years that should have been good, but weren't. Buh-bye, 1995 and 1996. So long, 1997 - 1998. See ya, 1999 - 2000. And 2001. You're outta here!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Feline Friends

I haven't done Friday Catblogging in a while. I also haven't posted much about Silvio, and he is freaking adorable. And it is slow at work today, so here they are...

Silvio and Moxy have become friends. Sort of. They tussle a lot, but also curl up together for catnaps.

Sparring over the new cardboard scratcher (freshly dosed with catnip):

Snuggled up together for the very first time:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

You can't legislate good taste.

It figures. As soon as I let myself off the hook for not posting, I find something to post about.

I saw in today's newspaper that Atlanta wants to ban "saggy pants"! Apparently, this is an "epidemic" that is of "major concern". Wow. I hope I don't catch it. I'd look terrible in saggy pants, and I have no idea how kids get them to stay on when worn so low on the hips.

It seems that some Atlanta City Council members are tired of seeing young men wearing those incredibly baggy pants worn low on the hips so as to show off their boxer shorts. The council is equally upset with women who wear low rise pants that expose their thong underwear. They are fed up and they aren't gonna take it anymore. The new law, if enacted, would ban any visible underwear seen in public, including a stray bra strap. (Oops. I'm guilty of inadvertant bra strap display on occasion.)

This proposed change in the law is a stupid idea for a lot of reasons. I don't like this particular fashion trend, but this is a free country and laws should stick to limiting behaviors that endanger the public. It is bound to be seen as racist (although the thong thing seems universally popular among young women regardless of race). It won't stand up in court, and will waste a lot of money and resources when it is inevitably challenged. All the time and attention paid to this "issue" would be better spent solving real problems. Instead of worrying about what kids are wearing, why don't we worry about how well they are being educated, how healthy they are, and whether or not they are staying out of trouble?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

feeling fragmented

Dave pointed out in the comments on my last post that I am overdue for another post. I have a few ideas tumbling around in my brain, but have not had time to sort them out to my satisfaction. Call it writer's block, or whatever. I haven't been feeling all that well and it has been busy at work. Napping after work has been more of a priority than blog stuff. And we are having yet another heat wave. It reached 100F again today. Damn. Hardly the perfect weather to clear your mind or make you feel energetic.

When the time is right, I will be back with a new post. Hopefully it won't be long! Until then, enjoy this abstract "self portrait" from my vacation. If you like my photos, there are many more here at my Flickr photostream.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weedy and Seedy

That was my herb garden this afternoon after a summer of near total neglect. Since it was merely in the mid-90s today instead of 100F, I decided to spend some time outside tending to my plants. Other than some quick harvesting here and there to make dinner, I haven't done a thing to the herb garden (or any of my other gardens) since June. When I went out to inspect the bed, I found overgrown untidy plants, with weeds running rampant, herbs all shaggy and gone to seed, brown or dead foliage, leggy and flopped over stems, and lots of spider webs and yard debris. What a mess!

It's fixed now, and looking a lot better. I should have taken before and after photos, but I'd almost be too embarrassed to post the "before" shot. As a reward for the hot, hard work, I harvested three big bunches of mint, thyme and oregano that are in perfect shape for drying.

I had some company while I labored: Moxy, on one of her first forays into the outside world (Zima was out there, too). Now that she is a year old and has had all of her "outside" vaccinations, we are letting Moxy join Zima as a part-time outdoor cat. We'll let her out while we are home to keep an eye on her. So far she is cautious and is not used to the heat, but seems to love getting to explore and experience new things.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just an ordinary Thursday night...

... but sometimes the ordinary can be very, very satisfying.

This thought occurred to me as I was sipping wine and listening to a local duo sing "Into the Mystic". I was sitting next to the man I love. Our friend Boomer was tending bar. We talked to the owner for a few minutes; he is also friend of ours. We had full bellies after a good meal. I had the lobster ravioli. PDM had his old standby - fish and chips with beer. Laughing and talking easily, we were watching the Braves game on a big screen TV while listening to the live music. The place was full, but not crowded. The musicians, Mike and Barry, have a long-standing regular gig at this place on Thursdays. They play the kind of old rock and roll that is always welcome and never goes out of style, and enjoy an easy back and forth with the crowd during their performances. They're regular guys in jeans and tee shirts, just like most of the patrons. And as we listened to them play, that's when it hit me out of the blue: it doesn't get much better than this. Nothing fancy, just good.

At the end of the evening, something on the check made us smile. Boomer had been running our bar tab as "PDM+WIFY".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Forget Barry. Check Out Bobby!

After setting a new record for number of career ejections on Tuesday, Bobby Cox continues to ‘improve’ his record. He was tossed from a game for the 133rd time last night. He received a standing ovation from the crowd as he left the field, the fans chanting “Bob-by!”

His outstanding performance and continued determination will insure that his record will not soon be broken. As an added bonus, I am quite certain that no ‘performance enhancing substances’ were ever used by Cox in pursuit of his place in the record books.

Oh yeah… old what’s-his-face hit another homer. :rolleyes: His team still lost. Heh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

more photos than you can shake a stick at...

It took me five days, but I have uploaded a metric crapload of photographs from our San Diego vacation to my Flickr page. They are also neatly categorized into sets according to subject (mainly where they were taken), if you would like to narrow it down. There are pictures of flowers, trees, nature trails, coastlines, roadways, aquariums, buildings, and aircraft. California is a beautiful place -- very photogenic.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

They tell me summer's over...

heat wave indicator

I don't believe it.

The picture shows the thermometer reading in my car on Saturday evening. Granted, my car was parked in the sun at the time. Once I hit the road it cooled down to a mere 101F.

Even though it is still summer on the calender, and we are in the dog days of August having the second heat wave in as many weeks, for most of the kids around here summer is over. They went back to school this week. It happens absurdly early these days. It wasn't like this when I was a kid, which doesn't seem like so long ago - at least not to me. I feel a little sorry for today's kids. School doesn't end until near the end of June and then they get hauled back in right smack in the middle of August. Do they care? Do they know what they're missing? Or is summer break just one long spell of playing video games broken up by occasional trips to soccer camp or whatnot?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Good Times, Good Timing

We had a great time in San Diego for our vacation. As an added bonus, it looks like we missed the worst of the heat wave, although we're catching the tail end of it. The weather on the coast of southern California was damned near perfect every day - highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s, with a nice, cool ocean breeze. Coming back to Atlanta was like stepping off the plane into an oven. It is currently 87F at 12:45 am for cryin' out loud. That feels pretty hot after a week of SoCal beach weather. I broke a sweat just going to the mailbox and back. Whew.

The cats are pretty wound up. We're playing with them like crazy, trying to wear them out. It is OK because we're still on west coast time. Even after traveling all day, a delayed flight, an absolutely horrid subway ride back to our side of town, and wine and a plate of "loaded fries" at the pub, I am not sleepy yet. And neither are the cats.

I'll catch up with everybody in the next few days.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garden Envy

I have vacation-induced garden envy. Everywhere you look (I'm in the San Diego area), there are lush landscapes with a profusion of flowers and unusual foliage plants. The gardeners here make it seem easy, and perhaps for them it is. In spite of the arid climate, they have the advantage of having constant mild temperatures and an unlimited growing season.

It is inspiring. Maybe when I get home I can at least try a little harder to work with what is already in my gardens. That would be a good start. It is a hobby that I miss.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Still Hate Packing

At least it's for a fun trip this time.

Tomorrow evening PDM and I are flying to southern California for some much needed R&R. We're renting a convertible and driving up the coast to the beach towns north of San Diego. We'll spend two nights in Encinitas visiting my sister and her family, then the next five in Rancho Santa Fe.

And no matter what they might think, the cats are staying home.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tie one on

Some days you just know that's going to happen and you plan for it. I bought a bottle of wine on the way home and opened it at 6:30. I will most likely consume the entire thing tonight. PDM won't be much help because he is busy working on the six pack I brought him. We both had irritating days. I also have PMS. I don't know what excuse PDM has for being irritated. Maybe he's just feeding off me. It is the end of the semester, which is always a busy time for him. Plus he keeps catching people violating the Honor Code, and many of his students are unhappy with their grades.

My day:

*Morning traffic sucked because of stupid people.
*Got to work only five minutes late. Started boring, routine work.
*Lunchtime finally arrived, but I got an email with urgent work needed for the alternate location, so I postpone lunch. *grrrr*
*More email from the alternate location - something has gone wrong and I try to help them figure out what is the deal. (There is someone assigned there today, but this person is apparently out to lunch or something. Literally.) *damn*
*I finally figure out the problems and get started on lunch at nearly 1pm. After about three bites, my boss comes and says there is a new procedure I need to see. I cover up all the food and go to the machine. *sigh*
*I return 40 minutes later and start eating again. A few minutes later, there is something else I need to see. *sigh*
*I finally finish lunch at 2:15. Work on routine stuff again, until around 3pm.
*I was going to do some patient QA at the machine, but the therapists have already turned it off, in spite of my having scheduled the QA in an obvious way. *sigh*
*I decide the QA can wait until Friday when I am back there again. It is a pain to start up the machine when it has been turned off. I start doing some other routine stuff that most physicists won't touch. *sigh*
*At the end of the day I work on my expense report for last week's trip. This organization is very particular about how you turn in receipts (compared to everywhere else I have worked). I finally get it done in the (hopefully) correct persnickety manner, but the person I need to give it to is gone for the day. I guess I'll turn it in on Friday, my next day there. Good thing I don't need the money right away... *sigh*
*It is time to go now, but I see there is one other thing due, and no other physicist seems to want to pick it up, so I do it. *sigh*
*Traffic is a bitch on the way home. *whatever*
*I stop at the grocery store for supper, beer and wine. People are idiots in the parking lot. I get my stuff and there is an old person in line in front of me who slowly writes a personal check, along with a guy who is buying about a hundred things. *sigh* I get out and people are walking all over the place as slow as they can go. It takes me forever to get out of the damn parking lot. *sigh*
*I fight traffic the rest of the way home, and catch every red light. *whatever*

So that bottle of wine is going down pretty good right about now. I'll probably wake up with a big damn headache and I don't care. I'll just lay that medicine out ahead of time. Sometimes you've gotta say "WTF".

Later: It is now 11:30pm and the wine is long gone. I've already taken a pre-emptory aspirin and am headed for bed. The day did not get much better. PDM didn't realize what I had planned for supper and left out the peppers and onions. *damn* So we'll just have to use them tomorrow night instead. *whatever*