Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bookmark Update

I've been finding all sorts of interesting things on the Internet. I guess I spend too much time on the computer. This week I discovered Delicious.

I spent a day getting all of my old bookmarks up on the site. There is a way to import them, but I couldn't figure out how to use it. Besides, I was able to add my own tags as I did it. And I spent some time learning to navigate the thing.

What can I say? It's been a rather slow week.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Silly Quote

I had lunch at Ruby's today. Yeah, I know, you don't care what I had for lunch, but there's actually a point to this. They're doing some sort of contest. They're giving away a Schwinn.

So, as I walked by the poster advertising this, I flashed on The Muppet Movie. "If frogs couldn't hop, I'd be gone with the Schwinn."

It's really odd what things stick with you. Just think of all the useful information I have forgotten, but 20-odd years later, I remember that one quote.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cell Phone Patrol

I believe that I've mentioned the classroom cell phone problem before. The students are supposed to leave them turned off and put away. Mostly, they sneak around with them, thinking that I don't see.

Today I was at the continuation high school. Being Friday, it was kind of a lazy day for them. Those that had been on task all week got to work on extra credit. Those that weren't had to finish up the work they hadn't done. Neither group felt like doing what they were supposed to be doing. So, I was on cell phone patrol.

Oh, the looks I got! This girl had her cell phone out on her desk. "But I'm not doing anything." She wasn't. But a teenage girl with a cell phone in easy reach continuing not to use said cell phone? Not likely.

Then another girl drew my attention. She was frantically texting away (at least she was hiding the phone inside her purse, but the motions are pretty distinctive). So, when she was questioned on this, I got the full story.

Someone was in her house. Her mother was out of town. Her friend was "crashing" there until she got off school (with permission) and the friend contacted the girl to say that some unknown person was in the house. The girl was frantic.

Some things were easier without cell phones. The girl wouldn't have even heard about this incident until she got home. All she could do at school was worry, because she wouldn't call the police.

I suggested having her friend call the police. The look I got! It was as if I had suggested dousing her house in cow manure.

I will, of course, never know how this turns out. I left a heads-up for the teacher. By the time I see the girl again, this will have all blown over.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The cabinet makers have been here for two days. Progress is being made in the kitchen. But I'm about ready to lose it. There are flies in my house.

It's been years since I've noticed a housefly problem. I guess I've been busy fighting the ants. But the cabinet guys were in and out all day, and the screens stayed open. That made it easy for the flies to get in.

I keep reminding myself that this is a temporary thing. The cabinets should be finished tomorrow. They look good (I'll post pictures in a day or so). It's just that when I go to open the refrigerator door, a fly should not fly in and land on the egg carton.

I've shooed a few out since the cabinet guys left for the day. And at the moment I don't see any others. But I just know I haven't gotten them all, and that worries me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blank Slate

The drywallers came today. Now the kitchen looks all smooth and new. So, here are a few pictures to show the progress.

First up, the light fixture that we had before (without the plastic covering it)...

Then the electrician came and replaced the fluorescent tubes with something a bit more modern...

And today they smoothed out the walls...

Tomorrow they start to install the cabinets. Woo-hoo!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Waste of Paper

We just got another bill from the cable company. It seems like they send us one every month. It's weird, because we got rid of cable and got a satellite dish in 2004.

The cable company was horrible. I have stories about missed service appointments and service appointments that they showed up for but forgot to tell me about (so I was not home when they arrived). They got rid of the Sci Fi Channel in the middle of a "Stargate SG1" season, but we could not upgrade to the package that had it because our complex was not wired for digital. And the complex didn't get wired for digital until two years later. And I'd better stop now or I'm going to start screaming again.

They were horrible. We fired them. We love DirecTV. (And by the number of satellite dishes in the area, I don't think our horrible experiences were unique.)

But here's the thing. Our condo complex has a deal going with the evil cable company--a monopoly thing. (So, they have the monopoly, but they don't upgrade the service? Let me move on before I start ranting.) And somehow, our home still has an account.

There is no name on the account (it's addressed to "RESIDENT RESIDENT"). The bill is for $0.

We get three pages mailed to our address. So, they're wasting money (paper, postage, time, computer space, etc.) sending us a bill every month. See why we got rid of these idiots?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's the third day of the kitchen remodel, and all I want is to have my breakfast in peace. Is that too much to ask?

We got an egg cooker since there would be no kitchen. Add in the toaster that we already had, and we've got breakfast covered for the duration. The problem is, every time I get to making my breakfast, the workmen arrive.

I had a definite start time on Monday. Unfortunately, they were early. Tuesday the time that they'd be coming by was a lot less definite. Still, they managed to arrive just as I was getting my breakfast. And today the same thing happened. As I'm setting stuff up, the doorbell rang.

Yes, I knew it would be inconvenient. I expected to have to find ways to stay out of the way. Now, if I could just figure out when they're coming, I can get my breakfast first. I hope.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taking Out the Trash

I was minding my own business. It was a simple trip. I went out through the garage, hit the dumpster to throw out the trash, and then I continued on. It is easier to continue through the garage and complete the circuit to the mailboxes. I've done this many times.

I ran into a neighbor who was just getting home. We greeted each other as I passed through the gate to the courtyard. I passed by the spa on the right as I usually do. Nothing at all was out of the ordinary.

I followed the sidewalk to where it turned to the left, and that's when I saw it. The skunk. It was standing on the elevated bricks which framed the well-kept up garden. It was facing me. The white stripe along its back and up its tail were very distinctive. It was sort of scrunched up, and its tail was in the air.

I admit it. I ran. It was mere feet to the gate to the outside where the mailboxes are. I got there quickly, and then in my panic I tried to open the gate in when it actually opened out. I figured out what I had done, and then got through the gate quickly.

Luckily, I was making a circuit, so I didn't have to return the way I had come. After I retrieved my mail I stayed on the other side of the fence, although the skunk could have easily gone through and come after me. Not likely, I know, but I walked quickly anyway.

Yes, I know I am a wuss. I want to stay stink-free.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kitchen Be Gone

I've been talking about this kitchen remodel for a bit. This is what had to go...

And today it did. Midway through the proceedings...

Then we finished up with a blank slate (sort of)...

I'll post more pictures as the project moves along.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time Shifted

I just got caught up. But now the TV is off, so I'm officially behind again. Sigh.

I've been trying to watch the Olympics. The DVR is set. Last Friday is where the problem began. I was not going to stay up past midnight to finish off the opening ceremony, so that got pushed to Saturday. Then Saturday there was so much on that some of that got pushed to Sunday. But by Sunday night I was nearly caught up.

Monday was where it all went wrong. By Tuesday I was two days behind (still watching Sunday's events). I remained two days behind all week.

The lovely thing about the DVR is that I can buzz through commercials and all the stuff that I don't really want to see. But when I'm two days behind (and trying to avoid any headlines that would spoil the drama of the event), suddenly what I don't want to see turns into what I don't need to see. Heats. Semi-finals. The beginning of the race.

I suppose I should just give it up. But I'm too stubborn for that. I just anticipate another week being two days behind. So, don't tell me who gets the gold. I don't want to know yet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I just can't face the cabinet under the sink right now. So, I'm taking a break.

I've been emptying the kitchen in preparation for the upcoming demo. Yesterday I was able to get five cabinets emptied. It's a small kitchen, so that's good progress. Today my goal is to empty four more. I've completed two.

I don't drink alcohol. Never have. When we moved into this place seven years ago, we didn't bring a drop of booze with us. So, I was rather astonished to find seven bottles hiding in a cabinet today. Seven?

Three bottles of rum. One bottle of vodka. There was some wine. I'm not sure what the other two bottles were. And all of them were unopened.

I had all the contents of that cabinet out on the counter. Slowly I found temporary homes for everything, and then I was left to stare at the booze. Where was I going to stash it? I didn't have room in my temporary pantry (wire racks in the living room). I was kind of lost for a bit.

Then I realized that I would just put it where I'm putting all the other stuff that I'm not going to need for the duration of construction--in a box out of the way. Blindingly obvious, sure. But I'm a little punchy at the moment.

I'm so punchy I had to put stickers on all the empty cabinets. I kept looking at them and thinking, "I've got to empty that one, and that one...". No, those are actually done.

Right, so I should get to the stuff under the sink. I'll feel better when that's done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


We just got the word today. They're going to demolish our kitchen on Monday. Uh oh.

I'm dreading not having a kitchen for a while. I do cook (occasionally). The kitchen gets used a lot. But it is ugly. It'll look so beautiful when it's done.

So, for the next few days I'm going to be busy. I have a kitchen to pack up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Birth Song

Under the files of "what will they think of next?":

I found this on a message board. What song was number one on the charts on the day you were born? For me? James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend".

What about you?

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I figured that the day would be warm, so I wore a yellow tank top and shorts. I figured that some walking would be involved, so I wore sneakers. I had my sunglasses and a bottle of water. However, I wasn't wearing sunscreen.

I'm usually so good about sunscreen. I have very fair skin, and I burn easily. In retrospect, it was an idiotic thing to do. At the time, I didn't realize what I was walking into.

Yesterday we went looking for granite. The kitchen remodel is still on; it's just taken this long to hire a contractor. First we looked for tile. Then we went out to the granite yard. Unfortunately, it was 11:30 AM on a pretty warm day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I figured that I'd be safe for 20 minutes. But, there was no shade anywhere. And I suppose the reflective surfaces of the granite didn't help any. After the decision had been made and we were headed back for the car, I looked down at my shoulders, and they didn't look pink. I thought I was okay.

When I got home and looked in the mirror I found the tell-tale red on my shoulders and neck. That was when I realized that I really should have known. Okay, so I'm an idiot.

Not really. If I'm going to Disneyland, the county fair, or anyplace where I'm going to be outside, I wear sunscreen. I bring it along so that I can reapply. Really, I do. But for 20 minutes?

If you're looking for me for the next week or so, I'll be in the shade.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Random Question

While riding in a car today I saw it again. I've seen it as a plaque, a medallion, and a bumper sticker. This time it was on a license plate frame:

"Never drive faster than your angel can fly."

This has never made sense to me. Why wouldn't your angel just ride along in the car with you?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grocery Store Annoyances

I was checking my email this morning (on AOL) when I came across this article. I thought it was interesting.

I found I agreed with some (especially numbers 2, 4, 7, and 12). Some I don't have issues with (numbers 1, 5, 6, 8, 15, and 16). As for the temper tantrums (number 3), honestly, I don't hear them. A long time ago I learned how to tune out crying kids. I do that naturally now.

And as for numbers 9 & 10, I don't notice. I've learned to ignore the stupid signs (if you ignore them, then the advertisers lose), and I've never been tempted to buy more of an item than I need (the signs are pretty clear about how you can buy just one at the "discounted" price).

I only once bought something that was outdated (number 11), so since then, I'm careful to check expiration dates. For number 13--put your hand over the keypad as you key in your PIN.

Yeah, exciting topic. It's been a slow week.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I practically tripped over the big, orange, industrial strength fan as I walked into the classroom. Instantly I knew what it meant. The air conditioning was broken.

It's so weird. It's the middle of summer, yet I'm subbing. So far, I have four days on this pay period's time sheet. School doesn't start until September. So, when I got called last night to work today, I was happy to take the assignment.

I wasn't so happy about the assignment when I walked into the classroom. It hasn't been terribly hot this summer, but that classroom was nearing 80 degrees at 7:30 in the morning. Not a good sign. Also not a good sign--there was one door and the windows did not open.

By the middle of first period I was dripping with sweat. I kind of accepted my fate early on. It was only for one day. The regular teacher has to be in that room every day (probably why he called out sick today--just a guess). It was a relief when snack time came and I could go to the main office and sit in the cool for a few minutes.

By the afternoon it was positively stifling. The broken thermostat no longer could tell the temperature in the room--it only went up to just over 80 degrees. But by this time word had gotten to the administration and help was on the way. They moved us to air conditioned rooms for the afternoon classes (rooms whose teachers were on prep periods). Ah, relief.

At the end of the day I found out that there was a work order in for someone to come and fix the a/c, but somehow that work order had been forgotten. I was surprised that the teacher hadn't complained more loudly. I suppose he had just gotten used to it. But the secretary put in a call again today, so hopefully they'll fix it tomorrow.

Perhaps I accomplished something today. Or perhaps I'm just too spoiled by our climate controlled world.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Finished Sweater

I promised to post a picture of my sweater once I finished it. Well, I finished it...

...and that's how it turned out. Now on to the next project.