Saturday, May 31, 2008

It works, bitches.

It works, bitches.
Like my new t-shirt?

The back has a graph of the background microwave radiation of the universe, showing data from the COBE mission plotted over the theoretical curve (equation included at no extra charge). The perfect match is a beautiful thing. Science works!

The cats gave it to me for my birthday. Those kids really know how to shop.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday CritterBlogging

This little chipmunk got himself stuck in our birdfeeder. Surprised the hell out of me when I took the top off to refill it. I expect to see a bug or two in there, not a small mammal!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Answer to the Ultimate Question

Do you know the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? If so, you know how old I turned today. Tonight PDM and I will enjoy a fine steak dinner. I might even get mine with a lobster tail on top as a birthday splurge!

And by popular request: Some of you asked to see an “after” photo of me since the Big Chop for Locks of Love. I posted one here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to work, but relaxing just got easier.

Back to work today. Ugh. Good thing I have a nice, big screened-in porch to relax in when I get home. That's right - it's finished! Doesn't have any furniture yet, but we aren't letting that stop us from enjoying it. We spend our evenings sitting out there on our tailgating chairs drinking beer and wine and watching the birds. And cats. There's some good cat-watching opportunities whether they are inside it or outside. One sure thing about the cats: if they're in, they want out; if they're out, they want back in. Here is a rare shot that captures all three of them exploring the new space.

the cats explore the porch

Random question of the day: Has anyone ever dismantled a sleeper sofa for disposal? If so, how'd that go? Ours is so stained, torn and horrible the Salvation Army doesn't even want it. We're thinking of taking it to the recycler, but it would be easier in pieces. I once hacked apart a regular sofa for dumpster disposal, but it didn't have metal parts.

Monday, May 26, 2008



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hair today...

...donation tomorrow!

before after

I am donating my 11" ponytail to Locks of Love. Now if I could just figure out how to make what's left not look so choppy and weird... I'm hoping it is just hair shock and will settle down in a few days. It feels strange and will take some getting used to.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stimulating the Economy

We are doin' it all over the place this week, in spite of not going much of anywhere on vacation. Dropped some cash at the Tennessee Aquarium on Monday, and even bought the souvenir photo, mostly because it was a good picture of both of us and we don't have many of those (and the fake background made us laugh). Spent some dough today on a new sofa and chair for our living room. We'll donate the old sleeper sofa and loveseat (they were a hand-me-down to PDM years ago). Still looking for coffee and end tables. And we'll need some smaller speakers to replace the big muthas that we are currently using. Went shopping for porch furniture and narrowed it down enough to plunk down some moolah tomorrow - two shops will be competing for our business. Picked up Big Daddy and Grandmother's 60-year old glider and took it to a mom-n-pop shop to be sandblasted and powder coated. I can't wait to see it looking just about as good as new. We'll order some custom cushions for it, probably at yet another locally owned business. Or, I might get industrious and order the material to make them myself.

ready for transport

On deck for tomorrow: some unusual altruism involving... the big chop. I'm a bit nervous about it. Gulp.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scattered, Smothered, Covered, and Peppered.

That's how we like our hash browns at Waffle House. In case any of you were wondering. And that is what we had for breakfast, with our fiesta omelets, this morning.

Oh yeah. Public Service Announcement #427: If you are at a restaurant, even if is just a Waffle House, your fellow diners do NOT want to listen to you sending non-stop text messages "beep beepbeep beep beepbeepbeep, beepbeep beep beepbeepbeep..." so PLEASE TURN THE SOUND OFF on your stupid ass cell phone before you start frantically pushing the damn buttons. THANK you!

The rest of the trip home was fine.

Road Trip

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Goin' to 'Nooga

Gas prices be damned... we're going on a road trip! We haven't visited PDM's brother and his family in several years, so we invited ourselves over. We'll hang out with them for the weekend. Then on Monday when they go to work, we will head over to the Tennessee Aquarium to see some fishies before we head home.

PDM and I are both "on vacation" all of next week. We decided against travel (other than this weekend's jaunt). Instead, we plan to use the time to work on the house and yard. Don't worry -- it won't be all work and no play. There are a couple of flicks we want to see (Prince Caspian and the new Indiana Jones movie), and I am sure we'll find the time to go to the pub now and then. Just not having to work for the next ten days will be a treat.

Hopefully the cats won't trash the place while we're gone. See ya in a few days!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stealth Cat

Zima on a rail
Zima employs her protective coloring on the new porch now that it is painted. Cat? What cat?

Porch completion has been delayed by, of all things, rain!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Stuff We Leave Behind

The family spent yesterday at Big Daddy's house, going through his stuff and dividing it up. It is not your normal family outing, that is for sure.

The first time I ever had to do such a thing, it was my Dad's stuff after he died in 1993. He was the first of my immediate family to go, and it was shocking because of his age - 57. It hit me so hard. Here was all of his stuff - ALL of it - and yet he was gone and not coming back. Very strange experience, and difficult to navigate.

This time there were a few tears, but a lot more laughter. There were old photos seeing the light of day for the first time in decades. There was a newspaper from July 21, 1969 - all about the first man on the moon. He also had two newspapers from the day his one and only great grandson was born. We read Big Daddy's draft notice from 1945. Letters from his brother Johnny before he was killed in WWII, along with a Nazi flag he took from the Germans. A box of memories of his mother. Lots of correspondence from his days as "Fortner the Merry Magician". All kinds of magic paraphernalia, books and media. His old license tag "K4PKQ" reflecting his ham radio days. There was an old chest from his days in the Civilian Conservation Corps, working in Oregon. There was an anatomically correct (sort of) frog, and some other off-color doodads. The box labeled "wide ties" was a source of amusement. The "narrow ties" weren't much better. The bolo ties were cool.

Today I read his "life story" that he began writing in longhand, bit by bit. His story covered his earliest memories and unfortunately, ends just as he met his wife-to-be, Ruby, and discovered his love of magic and ventriloquism. It is a damn shame he didn't get to finish it - it is a compelling read. He describes a hardscrabble existence in Atlanta during the depression -- no indoor plumbing or electricity; transportation involved walking, a bicycle or a horse and buggy; he had a father who drank too much; the family moved around a lot; and he had to leave school during the ninth grade to work and help support the family because times were so hard. He took correspondence school at night to get enough education to take the police exam. He met my grandmother at a wake. He had so many stories from his long career as an Atlanta policeman, and a second career as in investigator for the Public Defender's Office. During this entire time, he also did magic, ventriloquism, and mentalist performances. I wish he had had the chance to write all of those stories down, too. He knew so much about old Atlanta, much of which is gone forever.

I didn't take that much from his house. A few sentimental items, and some things that we can truly use - mostly kitchen things and some linens - ordinary wares I know that he and Grandmother used daily. It will take a while for it to seem normal for this stuff to be in my home and not his.

As has been the case throughout much of this, the weather seems to echo my state of mind. Saturday the air was heavy and sticky. There was the threat of distant thunder, but nothing in a hurry to get here. Finally, late overnight thunderstorms ushered in a shift in the weather. Today was changeable and windy. Unsettling. The wind chimes are frantically active and loud; the yard already full of sticks and leaves. But this will pass. I am counting on better days ahead.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ghost Cat

ghost cat
Can't let Friday go by without some catblogging.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What If?

What if you had been working on a large, complex project at work that fundamentally changes How Things Are Done? And what if your boss supported you 100%, and your peers were helping you out by trying all the new stuff and helping you make it better? What if the "worker bees" of the department were going out of their way to learn all the new stuff and doing a damn good job with it? And what if the team decided they were ready to implement a portion of the new process? What if you sent a message to the head of your department that contained the plan to go forward, along with a timetable and details, a week ahead of the proposed launch date? And what if that person decided to completely ignore your email, not telling you YES or NO or anything at all? What if your boss manages to get this squeezed into a meeting agenda at the last minute anyway, even though your email requesting to have it discussed in the meeting was completely ignored? What if, after you briefly describe what you are proposing, and someone who hasn't even tried it brings up an objection that isn't really a problem but they don't know that because they haven't tried it? And what if the elite workers who participated in the trial runs said it really isn't a problem? And what if the head of your department uses this objection as an opportunity to bash your vendors' software, kneecapping you and crapping all over the whole project team in the process? What if you held two training sessions for the other elite workers and only a handful bothered to show up (which would not be a big surprise given the obvious lack of support from the Big Chief)? How would you be feeling about your day, your project, your job, and your chances of success?

In possibly unrelated news, my day sucked so much that I poured myself a drink the minute I walked in the door tonight, twelve hours after I left this morning. Good thing these beautiful flowers from PDM are on my desk at work to soothe me and remind me of what is really important:
my office, with flowers

Monday, May 05, 2008

Some chores are better than others.

Every spring and summer, my gardening work in the yard requires dozens of bags of mulch. PDM never minds going to get mulch for me. In fact, a lot of the time he will drop everything and go get it right after I tell him I need more. I'd like to think it is because (a) he really loves me, and (b) he is proud of my landscaping efforts. But I know the answer is mostly (c) Home Depot is across the street from the pub.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Six months ago, a scene of home improvement horror:

Half Bath Project From Hell - Before (2) Half Bath Project From Hell - Before (1)

This weekend, finished at last:

Half Bath Project From Hell - After (2) Half Bath Project From Hell - After (1)

As always, click on the photos to see them larger.

I know it doesn't look like much, but it was a hell of a lot of work for both of us. It is clear to us that the previous owners had a similar result in the adjoining bathroom when they removed the wallpaper. The decided to just paint over it, and it looks like it. It looks bad. I think we're just going to live with it for now. Neither one of us has the appetite for starting another major wall repair project any time soon.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Moxy In The Sun

Moxy loves the half-built porch
Moxy loves her a sunny spot.

The photo is ten days old, and a lot of work has been done on the porch since then. Paint, eaves, gutters, electrical work - four outlets plus flood lights and a light/ceiling fan. They worked on the floor this week - installed the cement backer board and sealed it against moisture in preparation for the tile floor that is going in tomorrow. It should all be finished next week!

Work is still kicking my ass. If you don't see me around your blogs much, that is why. I come home exhausted and the last thing I want to do is spend more hours in front of a computer. There is something else that is going to demand a lot of my spare time from now until August. I'll leave that as a post for another day.

Happy Friday, everyone.