Saturday, August 29, 2009

Epic fail

Sorry I'm not posting. My shoulder is just killing me. It seems like it's going to get better but then it gets worse. I'm in screaming pain again today. I finally broke down and made a doctor's appt for Monday. Of course, I didn't tell them about the shoulder. I need to do a get acquainted visit and get my scripts renewed. But if it doesn't go away, the screaming will be hard to hide.

I was hoping the old, "as soon as you have a doctor's appointment, the problem goes away" trick would work, but no such luck. If you're the praying sort, please pray that it's nothing serious and that a few days of muscle relaxers will fix it. I can't afford any specialized treatment.

Meanwhile, I also killed my treasured house plant when I was trying to repot it the other day. It was Jon Souweine's Ti plant from college. It almost died three times and I nursed it back to health. It was growing great and I carefully cleaned it all up but I managed to drop it when I took it out of the pot and broke the top off. I put it back into the same little pot it was in, but it's just a stick right now. Hoping it might throw a new branch but not holding my breath.

And my marigolds are a big fail too. They never really filled out and it seems to be infested with some kind of bug that is killing it. So you can see why I haven't been posting. Besides feeling like shit, all I have is depressing news.

The only bright spot is I found a couple of five year old percosets. Hoping they're still good. I'm going to take one and see if it helps the pain. But anyway, I am still alive, so I'll be back soon. Hopefully I'll be cheerier.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Much better

Regular readers will remember the horror show that was the first laundramat I found in this town. As you can see, I fared much better on the second try. Just driving up I could see this was going to be a win. No glass in the parking lot and no missing letters on the signage.

When I walked in, I knew I had found my place. Nice new front loaders that all work and it's much cheaper than the horrible place.

Even has a nice sitting area. With magazines.

And of course, the real selling point, is the pinball machine. Laundry is never going to be fun, but the machine helps pass the time. It's a bit old. The flippers are half-dead, but it's set low so I rolled it over twice on two quarters.

I gave the free games to my little friends.

We let the baby shoot the ball a couple of times. He actually had the best touch for the first shot. Very sweet kids. Polite. He didn't ask me to give him quarters and he thanked me for the games.

Feel like I'm fixing to die

Part of the reason I'm not posting is I screwed up my shoulder when I was scrubbing the lawn chairs a couple of weeks ago. It was getting better for a while but in the last week, it took a turn for the worse. I'm in nearly constant pain but I don't have health insurance anymore, so I'm trying to tough it out. Makes it hard to type though.

The other reason I didn't show up yesterday is I lost my power for most of the day. I can't believe this happened to me, but my electricity was shut off because my first little bill for $40 was overdue. The new bill came and it said I had until 9/18 to pay. Ironically I was just getting ready to go to city hall and pay it, I thought responsibly early, when the power went out. At first I thought it was just the normal outage but then I called and they told me I was indeed cut off. I didn't think it was even legal to do that in less than 60 days.

On the bright side they were very nice about it. They didn't charge me a reconnect fee and they did turn me back on the same day. And I decided to tackle customer service at AT&T about a bad charge on that bill and got a great rep there too. She cleared out the charge and put the credit through while I waited on the phone so I don't have to pay this month.

In contrast, when I paid off my Embarq bill, apparently I misread the amount when I wrote the check. I just got from them for three cents. You might think they would have written that off. Cost more to send the bill than they'll recoup. But you know I have to send them a check or they'll keep sending the stupid bill. Proably charge me a penalty too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rat Eating Plant

I haven't forgotten that I promised a laundry post, but it takes too long to upload the photos on this old computer, so here's something I can't stop thinking about. I love this find.
The BBC describes the newly discovered species as a new kind of pitcher plant. And this one is evidently "among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap." Which makes it a pretty mean carnivorous plant--it catches insects, rodents, and other small animals in its tubes as they tumble down into them. The plant then closes its tube, trapping the prey inside.
Nature is really so amazing. More about it here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Barney and me

Had the weirdest experience this afternoon. A little dog wandered into the backyard. He's one of those ragmop kind of pups. Kind of a old guy. He looked lost.

I saw him through the window, so I went out on the porch and called him. He came right over and let me look at his tag. So I give him some water and call the phone number and tell Joan that little Barney is in my possession and I'm worried he's going to wander out into the rush hour traffic and get killed. "Oh," she says, "has he crossed the street?" As if I'm supposed to know where she lives. Anyway, she says she'll be right over to collect him.

About 15 minutes later I hear someone calling his name out front. So I wander out to the front porch and the person is already driving away. So I holler out and she stops at the end of the driveway and says, "Oh you know he wanders off but he always comes home," and she drives away. Without the dog.

So I'm wondering what I'm supposed to do with him now. Then I hear her calling him again. She had driven around to the side street instead of coming in the driveway. Never did see what she looks like since there's another yard between us. It was very strange.

Meanwhile, the little guy was just a miserable bag of fleas and reeked of flea powder. I had let him in the house briefly until I realized it. The smell lingered for hours. It's true when they tell you, no good deed goes unpunished.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I can't get rid of that code

Sorry I haven't posted here all week. Every time I come in thinking I'll put something up, I get distracted by trying to figure out how to get rid of that hideous code at the top. I've spent literally hours dicking around with the template, removing bits here and there and nothing has worked. I get so frustrated, I leave and forget to post.

Anyway, I have some photos of my new laudramat that I'll post once I download them. Meanwhile, here's a couple of fun links to amuse you. Erin O'Brien went to see It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, World and was inspired to dig up this short YouTube of a dance sequence from the movie. The oldsters will appreciate those moves.

And I have a very cool complilation here of the Eiffel Tower from 78 dramatic angles. It's all on one long post at the link so you don't have to click to see each picture. Some of them are really awesome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Almost forgot about the annual Perseid showers. Tonight is supposed to be the peak night for it. I probably won't be able to see much because there's too much ambient light from the shopping centers and have no idea where to go around here to find a nice dark spot in the country. But get out there and look if you can.

Hot stuff

Gah!!! It finally got hot enough that even I wanted to turn on the AC and it doesn't appear to work. The unit runs outside but I'm not getting any cool air in the house. I even went down to the bottom of the basement stairs to peek in and see if there was any obvious place I could look for some kind of switch. No way am I going into there. Spider web with huge spider across the door. Called the landlady instead. She's going to get someone on it. Duh. I knew I should have checked it before it got hot enough to get heatstroke. Didn't even cool off last night very much.

In brighter news, don't know what happened but my neighbor got a pooper scooper and I actually saw him out there picking up the dog shit yesterday. It was getting pretty bad. I had no idea how bad the whole yard was until the lawn guy came. I was walking to my car and there was a pile every three feet in every direction. Maybe he complained. Just glad the neighbor is finally picking it up.

Also had a great chat with the lawn guy. Cecil. He is so cute and he's almost my age. Very sunny disposition. But I think he's married. Doesn't wear a wedding ring but he said something about "we" barbecued the other night. Assume that means he's either married or living with someone. Too bad. I might have flirted with him otherwise.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday food blogging

As part of my very occassional series on stolen recipes. This one just turned up from my friend Heretik.
Three, Two, One Salsa: three plums, three garlic cloves, two green zebra tomatoes, two sweet onions, juice of two limes, one jalapeno. Yummy, plummy salsa!
No other instructions, but I assume you chef types know what to do. I'll probably never make it myself, but it does sound interesting.

Sandy Becker

I grew up watching this guy's kids show. I remember playing at home during his Simon Says segments. Had no idea he was bawdy as Soupy Sales when they were taping the commercials. These outtakes are hilarious.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

My pal Orville

With my cheezy camera this is the best shot I could get of my pet dragonfly. I've been trying to get him for a while. He's been hanging around on the porch for hours at a time but I can never get close enough to get the shot. He usually flies away. Caught this one when he was on the basement steps and I could zoom in from the porch.

I call him Orville Wright because he in the sun, his wings kind of look squared off like an airplane. And as you can see, the guy scraping the loose paint off the house has been busy.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I loved this song as a kid and I loved Dean Martin right to the end. He was my favorite of the old Rat Pack. He aged well. I remember his show later on when he would come out on the set with a drink and a lit cigarette. Obviously buzzed.

Those were simpler times. You couldn't do this on TV anymore.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

How golf was invented

I've never seen this before. Posting it for my dear friend Annie in the Happy Valley.

Otherwise, I've got nothing. Most interesting thing that's happened today is I got a robocall from the local health department telling me the 18th case of rabies was discovered in my neighborhood. Asking we innoculate our dogs, cats and/or ferrets. I had no idea that ferrets had become so popular they would be listed as common pets. Always thought of them as kind of an exotic choice.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Weird cucumbers

Posting this for my Dad, who loves this veggie. These are all supposed to be exotic cucumbers. They look like the weird mutations I used to get in my old garden when the squash and the gourds cross pollinated.

I don't feel tempted to try to eat any of these myself, except maybe those little striped ones. And doesn't that look like a lot of cucumbers for only two people? I can't imagine eating that many before they went bad. [via Duncan Black]

Grand entrance

I'm out of local pictures for the moment because it's been too gray to take any photos this weekend. So I'm posting this wedding video that's been making the rounds. Most of you have probably seen it but I know a few of the loyal readers here don't spend most of their time on the internets and may have missed it. Besides, I want to archive it because it makes me happy to watch it. I may dig it out some day when I'm feeling blue.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


This is why I love the internets. Just stumbled onto a gorgeous photoblog that's based in the Happy Valley. I really miss these upside down lilies. They used to be my favorite part of summer in New England. You don't see them down here.

Lots more beautiful photographs like this at Distant Gardens.

Three husbands - One car

This is really cute. Gun toting 89 year old woman is not only still driving, she's driving the same car she's had most of her life. There's 540,000 miles on the car and the old lady is still going strong herself.

Note the start button for the video is in the center of the frame. It's hard to see.