Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Okay, here's this just dead dumb idiotic thing I just did

Recently we have had money problems (maybe more than usual) and we are trying to not eat out. We must absolutely not eat out (though we will probably go to Arby's on Wednesday, cause we'll get a free sandwich if we buy a soda). We must eat what is already in the house (or possibly, in the garden).

So, we must do things to make this easier, or we will give up on the idea and go out and spend more money. Like, we must stop complaining about being too tired to cook or not having time to cook. To speed things up, we have to do stuff ahead of time. Like if we need to make rice to go with dinner, we might as well make extra for the next day and maybe the day after, cause that will save about half a hour. And if chicken is planned for lunch or dinner, I should cut up the chicken in the morning or the night before, cause if I have to do all the work of cutting up a chicken before I can eat, I will probably just give up and go to KFC.

Okay, so there is cut up chicken and leftover rice and sometimes there is even cut up veggies already in the frig. So all I have to do is pick some spices and start actually cooking the chicken. And I pick some stuff, but I don't follow a recipe, cause I looked at some recipes and most of them called for chicken broth and I didn't have any chicken broth and I really didn't want to go buy any chicken broth. And how hard can this be anyway?

Okay, so this doesn't taste too bad, but maybe I should follow a recipe and/or use chicken broth next time. But it really isn't too bad, and the idea is to use stuff in the house and still make dinner in a reasonable amount of time, and I did that.

So I cooked the chicken and the veggies and put it over some rice and then there was this liquid that the chicken was cooked in and I put that over the rice. And then I served dinner.

And I guess that I forgot to warm up the rice.

Okay, at least I didn't put the chicken over rice that I forgot to cook. But I did just sort of take it out of the frig and forgot to do anything with it.

I thought that I was doing good before that. Two hours of work before lunch, check. Drink two liters of water, check. Warm up rice before serving a hot meal...oops.

Nothing much going on now

So, I scheduled myself work in the other part of the house from eight to ten. So I got that done. Well, not exactly. But I did get two hours of work done either in the other part of the house or outside, and I got it done before lunch. And that was really the point, to get a little bit done in areas that it is too warm to work before it really is to warm.

And I have been told that part of the reason I feel so bad (physically) is that I don't drink enough water. I hate water. I could drink probably drink gallons of soda, but getting down that recommended two liters of water really seems like a chore to me. If I am not really paying attention, I probably won't do it. And recently, I haven't been paying attention. When I was doing the serious digging holes in the garden type stuff, I was drinking plenty of water without really thinking about it. So I hadn't been paying attention, cause I knew I was drinking lots of water. But then I decided that it was probably too hot to do anymore of that for a while, and I stopped drinking so much water, and I didn't notice. So that was probably some of what made me feel so bad. I made a point of seeing how much water I drank on Sunday, which was about half of what I needed, and then I made of point of drinking two liters Monday, even if I really didn't want it.

Okay, so two hours of work done before lunch, check. Two liters of water drank yesterday (though that last half liter wasn't easy), check. And the last disk of an audio book listened to so that we can take it back to the library, check.

We then watched the conclusion of Impact. Okay, so this was a new twist on the meteor that will destroy us, but I buy this one even less than Armageddon. Could a meteor hitting the moon be really bad news for us? Yes. We aren't even keeping up with what might hit the earth, so we would certainly miss seeing something that might hit the moon, and that could be a problem. Could we fix the problem of having the moon go all crazy on us after being hit with part of a brown dwarf by throwing nuclear missiles at it and then trying somebody's mothballed science project? Hell no. Even with the very convenient mothballed science stuff being available, I think getting any of it to work the way it is supposed to would just be luck, and getting it to work at all in less than a month is just silly. I wonder if we would even be able to do the stuff from Meteor, much less Deep Impact, and this stuff is just way out there.

But it was nice to have something different to watch anyway.

There will be another meteor that will destroy us TV movie in a couple of weeks.

Okay, watched Impact and listened to audio book and watched True Blood. And then it is back to complete boredom. After having kept my husband away from this computer most of the morning, he had it for most of the evening. There was no new TV on (at least no new TV that I watch), and I'm not really up to reading at the moment. I had to take back the last book half read, even after I renewed the thing. I couldn't finish a book in six weeks. I have that much trouble with it.

I really hate being here. I hate being in the house all of the time. I hate the heat. I hate that the only thing around here that made me feel good about myself for a time was the gardening, and I can't work on that at the moment. I hate the mess. I hate not having a job. I hate not having money. I hate not being able to go out and meet people.

I wish I could just lock the place up and go somewhere else for a few months. But even if I had the money, I really wouldn't have any place to go.

That is one of the drawbacks of having had a traveling job. While I quickly got tired of being on the road all of the time, after doing that for a while it feels really abnormal to be here all of the time.

I spent half of a summer in Pittsburgh, and I was really bored with it. After going to Kennywood and a few other places in the area, I had seen all that I cared to see, and I couldn't wait to get away from there. But that was several years ago, and right now I would gladly pack a bag and go there, if I had any reason to go there and the money to do so. Pennsylvania this time of year is cool and green and it seems to rain every night, but not so much during the day. At least, that is how I remember it. But it was a while back, and maybe I am remembering it wrong.

Anyway, I shouldn't leave the house in this state, and the plants have to be watered, etc....

Okay, today I am going to work two hours before lunch and drink two liters of water.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm having a problem with the heat

You probably guessed that already. But it didn't bother me that much when I was younger. It bothered me to be in a car without an air conditioner, and it bothered me if the heat got so bad that it messed up my hair and makeup, but other than that I was used to it. What bothered me was the cold, and I would wear sweaters all the time, and I even took sweaters with me everywhere in the summer in case I might end up somewhere that I thought the air conditioner was on too high.

It only started to bother me maybe the last year we were in the apartment. My husband complained about it all the time. I think he got spoiled by our two summers up north. I still didn't think it was that big of a deal. We only had the one air conditioner in the apartment, and I just thought that if got worse we could just move the bed into the other room, and that would fix that.

I think that it is mostly just getting old. Things that used to just be part of life now bother me a lot. I still don't see the point in complaining about it all the time. I live in Texas, where it is rarely cold most of the time, and the thing that goes with the mild winter is the very hot summer.

When you are older and have money, you can be a snowbird. You can live in Texas in the winter and move up north for the summer. But I don't have money, and even if I had money I am only in my forties, and I think most snowbirds are at least in their sixties.

I have started wearing a tank top and shorts. You might not think this is a big deal. It is summer in Texas, and everyone is wearing a tank top and shorts. But I usually don't. I haven't liked my legs since I was a teenager, and except for around the house I mostly stopped wearing shorts out in public before that. And now I don't much care for my arms either, so the tank top is usually out too. Not that I wouldn't wear them in the house, or out in the garden, but the garden work is mostly over for now, and if I'm that hot in the house I don't have to wear any clothes at all if I don't want to.

But the thing is that I've started to wear the tank tops and shorts out in public. I did that twice last week. I haven't done that on purpose in maybe twenty-five years.

And it is very annoying that I'm not getting any work done. It is annoying enough when I have to say that I have to stop working in the garden until further notice, but then all this stuff that didn't get done in the house while I was gardening is still not getting done now, because I just feel too bad to do work even in the mostly cool house.

And then there are currently parts of the house that aren't cool at all. But there is still work to be done there. I have decided that the work must get done anyway, and that the best thing to do is to find something to be done in that part of the house and schedule the work from eight til ten in the morning, before it gets too warm.

So yesterday I got up to do that. And I got a bit of a late start, and then by the time I was done with breakfast and such it was past eight thirty and I had yet to do any work. So then I started working, and already I didn't feel like doing anything. But I tried to get something done anyway. Then I remembered that it was Saturday, and I should take out the trash before I did anything else. And then I needed the broom after I took out the trash.

And then I just could not find the broom. It wasn't with the mop. I cannot think why it would not be with the mop, but I looked around for it and just did not see it anywhere.

Okay, so it is going to make me nuts trying to clean anything and not having a broom, so I quickly give up and decide to go to the dollar store and get another one. (In the dollar store I end up buying a broom and eight other things, none of the eight other things being cleaning supplies, and while I probably needed some of that stuff I probably shouldn't have bought three things of lipstick.) So by the time I got back from the store it was nearly ten anyway, so that was it for trying to do any work in that part of the house, and I didn't really attempt any work in any other part of the house either.

Since today is Sunday, I probably won't get any work done in the hours from eight to ten. On Sunday it is our tradition to watch Sunday Morning. This is the main adult thing that I do. This is the closest thing to a news program that I watch on a regular basis. And it comes on at eight, so I will probably watch that maybe while I am eating breakfast, and so I will do that and not do any work this morning. Of course I suppose that I could just tape the thing and watch it later, but I probably won't do that.

So tomorrow I am going to schedule some work to do from eight til ten in the morning....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

God finally allowed me to eat at the Greek restaurant, sort of

Okay, so if you've been reading recently, you know that I was supposed to go to this little restaurant with my husband, but on three different occasions something went wrong and I didn't get to go. The last time we tried, the restaurant was closed because the place was being painted.

So yesterday my husband has to take another package to this same area, mainly because he should have put something else in the first package, but he didn't get the message in time. So he tells me that he has to go over there either Friday or Saturday, and then he asks if I want to go with him to this restaurant.

If you have been reading recently, you may also recall that he hasn't worked much lately, that we are running out of money, and that the unemployment people say that he isn't supposed to file until the seventh. So we have had discussions about not going out so much. And I'm going to be really mad if I have to buy something important like groceries or gas or birth control pills, and then he tells me I can't have any money because we spent twenty dollars on lunch when he knew that he didn't have anymore money coming in.

But, he says this will be the end of him going out for a while. He promises to eat cereal for breakfast and whatever is available here for lunch, and mostly, he has been doing that.

So I get dressed and put on makeup and such, and we go to the other side of Dallas and drop off this package. And then we go to the restaurant.

The restaurant has a new sign, and it no longer says anything about a lunch buffet on the door. Maybe it has a new owner.

But we go inside and it looks the same. So we ask about the buffet, and we are told that it really isn't a buffet anymore. It isn't really clear what is going on, but we are told we can only make one trip and we can only have one meat.


Anyway, it was a bit confusing. The waitresses were confused too. I think it was either their second day, or it was the second day since it had changed. So they didn't know whether or not they were supposed to have the plates out, and they just had the little salad plates at the front of the line, and then you waited for someone to go and get you a dinner plate.

So I had a little bit of everything for the salad half of the line, and I didn't really have much room left to get any of the hot food. But that's okay, I like salad. So I got like this pasta thing, and then someone asked me which meat I wanted, and I'm like I don't know, maybe lamb. Cause we don't eat lamb, so that would be different.

So I get some lamb, and my husband gets a shish kabob, and then we go to pay for the lunch. And now we see that you either get charged six dollars for salad (which would have been fine for me) or you get salad with whichever meat you order, which in my case was thirteen dollars.

So we had thought we were going to spend about twenty dollars, and if we had seen the sign we could have had salad and still just spent twenty dollars, but as it was we spent about thirty dollars.

And I don't even especially like lamb, I just thought I might as well try something different. I probably would have liked the chicken better, and it would have been ten dollars instead of thirteen.

Anyway, I was happy with the rest of the food, and my husband was happy with his food, and we ate lunch and watched the rest of the costumers come in and be equally confused, and the staff was still not quite getting the hang of the new stuff.

The good news about it not really being a buffet anymore is that I got to take home my leftovers. And I had plenty of leftovers.

So that was that. And if we ever go there again (which we still might, because it is around the corner from where the other guy lives), then I will know to just have the salad.

I would have thought that was going to be the excitement of the day. But later, like when I am trying to go to sleep later, my husband gets some news about the business venture. There are still some details to work out, but someone wants to hire my husband and this other guy for a couple of days in August.

Unfortunately, the two days that they want are both Saturdays. My husband is only supposed to be offering to work on Sundays, maybe Mondays, unless there is enough money involved to take off from their regular jobs for a whole week. But he didn't explain that part, and they want him on Saturdays. So if he and the other guy take this job, they will both have to ask off on those days. And if you ask off for one day, you are probably going to be taken off of the schedule for the whole week. So unless they can make enough money in two days to make up for missing two weeks of work, this is not a good deal. And there is just no way to know until they try it.

Of course, the way the schedule has been, the company may not have much work for them in August anyway. There is just no way to know.

Also, I don't know if this will screw up the whole unemployment thing.

So anyway, my husband got this email and was still trying to think of how to answer about an hour after I like to go to bed. So he tells me all this stuff, and then he finally does come to bed, but then just as I am getting to sleep he decides that he can't sleep and he comes back in here to look over things again.

So I didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked. I felt just fine yesterday, but this morning I could just go back to bed and be done with it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Watching TV

It is starting to bother me that I am not getting anything useful done. Working in the garden is out of the question. Some days I just do not feel well enough to do anything, but the days I feel good I still don't do much.

Yesterday, the bashed finger felt much better. It is hardly noticeable now, and tomorrow I expect it to feel completely normal again. Yesterday was hot and we didn't go anywhere or do anything, except for us watching TV and him doing stuff on the computer. It is very annoying to know that a whole day (or several days) has gone by and nothing has gotten done (unless you are on vacation or something and had planned on getting nothing done). I washed out enough dishes to do breakfast and lunch, made breakfast (cold cereal), made lunch (pasta, with what little veggies I was able to get out of the garden), and watered the plants. That was it. The rest of the day I watched TV. My husband had a similar day, he made pizza for dinner and washed off a screen from one of the air conditioners, and the rest of the day was spent on the computer or watching TV.

It's a rare day that we don't even run errands or visit the library and literally just lie around and watch TV, but I think we have had a few and are going to have more. So I am having a bit of a rant about the TV, mostly about the annoying digital switchover.

So it has been a couple of weeks since the digital switchover nonsense, and I am mostlygetting used to it, but I'm still having some problems with it.

Even before the switchover, there were some problems. Like the VCR doesn't rewind properly. If you hit the play and rewind buttons and the same time, that's fine, but it will take a really long time to rewind the whole tape. If you just want to rewind the tape, and you just hit rewind and not play, it tends to the think about it for a moment, and then the power on the VCR goes off. And then when you turn the power back on the VCR ejects the tape.

I noticed that would happen once in a while, but over the the last few months it went from happening once in a while to happening all the damn time.

The VCR is one of those tape and DVD combo things, so if I get rid of it I won't be able to watch DVDs either. It was a Christmas gift from two or three years ago. I don't think I should need another one so soon.

But it still seemed to play and record and all of that just fine. So just the rewind didn't work, and it seems to me that they used to sell something that would rewind tapes. That never quite made sense to me why anyone would need such a thing, unless maybe someone owned a video store. So I never bought one of these gadgets, but I knew that they used to make them. So I thought if I could find one that would solve my problem.

So I didn't find one, but there are just stacks and stacks of old VCRs at Goodwill and such, so we bought one of those for less than ten dollars. We didn't attach it to a TV, we just plugged it in, and now we use that to rewind the tapes.

Right about the time that we figured out to do that, the fast forward feature doesn't work either.

So we can either fast forward and play, which takes a long time, or we can put the tape in the other machine. But while there is often a need to rewind a whole tape, there isn't much need to fast forward a whole tape. And it is hard to tell how much a tape has fast forwarded on a machine that isn't hooked up to the TV, so we usually have to go with the slower play and fast forward feature.

Anyway, I think all new stuff is now deliberately designed to be crap.

Okay, so we'd about dealt with that when the digital switch happened. Which meant that we had to go and get a second box to use the VCR, and then after we got it hooked up we found out that you couldn't program the thing to record on different channels. You just have to always leave the VCR on channel four, and then it will record whatever the box is set for. And there's no programing the box to switch to a different channel.

So that all sucks, but we haven't really needed to do that yet. So it won't really suck until we go on a trip, or until the fall when we get lots of new TV to watch and record. Right now there just isn't enough new TV for it to be a problem yet.

And of course with my husband out of work, we usually don't need to record anything anyway.

But Sunday there was both Impact and Merlin. So we watched Merlin and recorded Impact.

We then noticed something odd that we hadn't noticed before. When we are watching just the TV and using just the box hooked up to the TV instead of the box hooked up to the VCR, channel 21 was on channel 8, and channel 27 was on 11. But channel 11 was not on channel 27, and channel 8 was not on channel 21. Channel 21 and channel 27 both had the "no signal" message.

That wasn't how it was a couple of weeks ago before we got the second box for the VCR. So I don't know what happened. Maybe you have to reset the things after every storm or every time the power goes out or something. Anyway, we don't know what the deal is.

But the box on the VCR seemed to work fine, and we recorded Impact okay, which we were able to watch after we rewound the tape in the other machine.

Most of this week I have been watching Ark II, Space Academy, and Jason of Star Command on DVD. In theory, I am doing this to make sure that the DVDs all work before sending them on to my friend in the great white north. But really, I just haven't seen this stuff in a very long time.

I think that Ark II is the best of them, but I loved everyone in Space Academy. I think by the time they made Jason of Star Command I wouldn't have watched it, except that James Doohan was on some of them.

I didn't like a lot of stuff that they did in TV shows made for kids. I didn't like silly stuff. I didn't like that sometimes characters did stuff just to be funny, when it didn't really make much sense for the character to do that.

Now that I am older, I guess I still don't like that sort of thing that much. But at least I am aware of the tradition of the comic relief character. I have a little more respect for the actors having to do this sort of thing. Or, at least, maybe I have a little more sympathy for them and don't call them names.

During the eighties there was this series called Evening Shade. I did not watch the show, but it seems like it was on. Maybe my parents watched it. Anyway, sometimes it was on, and I wasn't paying much attention to it.

My mom made a point of watching it one day. She said that one of the minor characters looked like someone she went to school with. The boy's name was Charlie. The actor's name was Charles, but he had a different last name. But after a while she was pretty sure that it was the same guy.

I looked on the Internet. The actor was born in Texas, though not in Dallas county. But he did grow up in Texas with a different last name. So this probably was the guy that my mom knew in school.

And this same actor was a character that I did not like in Jason of Star Command. He was supposed to be smart, but he was always doing something dumb or getting his hair caught in something.

So I wonder why my mom told us that she went to school with this guy from Evening Shade, but she didn't tell us that she went to school with the goofball from Jason of Star Command. Does having wild hair and funny eyebrows keep your fellow classmates from recognizing you, even though they recognize an even older version of you later?

My last complaint about the TV is what happened yesterday after a couple of celebrities died. I am sorry that these people died, but this sort of thing happens. People die. But you don't need to hear about it for hours and hours on four networks. These people were not past Presidents of the United States, they were just entertainers. We did not need to see old stuff about them for three hours on prime time television.

I suppose it wouldn't have mattered much, seeing as most of the shows were reruns. But they also managed to show old interviews of Farrah Fawcett in place of the one new show of the evening, Listener. (Okay, Listener isn't really a new show, it's just a Canadian show, but it is new to me, and I wanted to watch it.) So that made me mad. Not as mad as I get when football games prevent Cold Case from being shown on it's regular scheduled time, but very similar to that.

One last thing is that there is going to be something new on FOX tonight called Virtuality. Even when there is something new on TV that I might want to watch, I'm likely to miss it, because I wasn't watching enough TV (other than tapes and DVDs) to see a commercial for it. Anyway, tonight there will be this movie that I haven't seen, and it's probably going to be some really awful thing that was made for the Sci Fi channel, but I'm probably going to watch it anyway.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

102 degrees

Though I don't think that was official. But I did see that temperature on a bank sign when we were out yesterday. We stopped at Sonic to get slushies, and it was noticeably uncomfortable when we rolled down the window to make the order.

It is supposed to get a few degrees hotter today and tomorrow.

The weather guy was describing something about how such and such happens, but we weren't going to get enough of something to get any rain. I wasn't paying attention. I just heard that we weren't going to get any rain. And then there for a bit the conditions changed slightly, so that there was going to be some rain, and I didn't water the plants.

Well, there was a bit of rain, but not over my house. The temperature dropped down to ninety-six, and then in the evening down to ninety-one, but I didn't get any rain. So I had to go out and water the plants anyway.

I must get used to just watering the plants a lot, even when there might be rain, cause there usually isn't anyway. Like I should just go ahead and water some, and then when it doesn't rain I should go back and water some more.

Except that the last big rain actually killed four plants. That was weird. And I've probably killed a couple of things that I tried to transplant, but that is to be expected.

After a bit of phone tag, my husband did talk to someone at the unemployment place. They told him to call back on the seventh.

He worked last week. He did not work the week before. For this week, next week, and the week after, he is only scheduled to work two days. Not two days each, but two days total. I don't want to be a bitch and say that we need the money now, but, we need the money now. Why should anyone have to wait until the seventh?

The place is a mess, and I should be cleaning. It is too hot to do garden work outside, and there are places in the house and work that needs to be done, but it is too hot to do that either. It is nice and air-conditioned in these two rooms here, so I should be at least getting that work done, even if I don't feel just great. But I am not doing that work either, because my husband isn't working. It is just too much of a hassle to do anything like that while he is here. Either I am in his way, or he is in my way, or whatever. I manage to catch up with the dishes and the laundry once in a while, but that is about it. Most of the rest of the time I am just back here watching TV.

Yesterday, I banged my index finger real good. And it wasn't like I was using a hammer or anything. I think at the time I was brushing my hair. Accidents happen, but they usually don't happen when you're brushing your hair.

I should knit something. I should get started on Christmas gifts and knit something. But I don't seem to have the space, I probably don't have enough of the right yarn, and I hate to go and buy anything right now. I hate to even waste the gas to go and buy anything right now. I should just stay in the house and watch TV and eat spaghetti and not go anywhere or spend any money.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

100 degrees

Should be the high today, for the first time this year. So it is unpleasantly hot, and it mostly stay that way probably until sometime in September. So I should put the gardening stuff away, except for watering the plants and such.

Unfortunately, there is still some work left to do, just on finishing up the recent project. And of course the grass will still need to be cut and all of that. My husband is out now doing just that, as he meant to do that earlier this week but had to go and get more stuff for the weedwacker before he could finish.

And I wish that it would rain at least once before I put the mulch over the bulbs I transplanted, but I'm afraid that it isn't going to. I will just have to water it and hope that the soil has settled as much as it is going to and go ahead with the mulch. If I wait til we have a good rain the bed will probably get filled with weeds.

My husband has had some interest in his new business venture, and he is all excited. I am a bit suspicious of the whole thing. Supposedly, this person wants to hire him for something they plan to do twice a year, and then she wants to recommend him to all of her friends.

So that is very nice, except that it sounds a bit much from someone he has never met before. I can see hiring him once and if it all works out hiring him to come back twice a year after that, and then recommending him to everyone else, but she just sounds so happy about the whole thing that she wants to do all that already.

It is just me, or is that weird?

Anyway, just in case this does turn into a real job, he has a lot to do. And then he has to figure out when he and the other guy can do the job and do they need to take time off from their regular jobs and so forth.

I do not feel as bad as I did Sunday and Monday, but I am still very tired and such for having done almost no work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We had some more excitement yesterday

Yesterday we had a fight over something involving the TV.

That wasn't the excitement. This is what would happen on a regular basis if I weren't such a nice person. I don't enjoy fighting, so I usually keep such things to myself. But after having to tell him three times in less than ten minutes not to do something and explaining why he shouldn't do something and then having to listen to him tell me I'm the one who is stupid....

But that wasn't the excitement.

Later in the day, I was attacked by fire ants.

But that wasn't the excitement either.

Anyway, we were watching Impact, which I had recorded the night before. And we were getting comfortable in front of the TV and having snacks and such. We heard the neighbor's dog bark, but this did not immediately get our attention, as it seems that the neighborhood dogs often find something to bark about.

It turns out that a tree cutting service had parked it's truck on a street parallel to ours, and that was what some of the dogs were barking at, including the dog across the street.

A bit after this, my husband looks outside again, and sees that there is someone climbing our tree. And he is securing ropes and such that they do when they get ready to cut part of a tree.

So we go outside, and the guy just waves at us.

Well, I guess that this has something to do with the fact that last week a large branch fell from that tree and landed in middle of the street at one or two in the morning. I hadn't thought that they would do anything more about it after they hauled away the debris, but I guess the office decided to trim some more branches so that it didn't happen again.

Still, you would think that they would ask first, or call us, or leave us a note. But none of that had happened. And there was this guy up in our tree, and he didn't even knock on the door to tell us he was there or anything.

We just sort of shrugged and went back inside and watched more TV.

After a while the guy is still there, and he's cutting more branches. We had first thought that he was just cutting around where the damage was. Well, I really don't know about tree trimming. He can keep cutting if he wants to. I've said several times that I didn't even want the tree, but I just didn't have the money to have it removed.

And the guy is still there, cutting more and more stuff. My husband says that he thinks that the guy is planning to cut the whole tree down.

Now having said that I didn't want the tree, I'm not going to go out and argue with the guy. But, seriously, don't you think that you should ask before cutting down a person's tree?

But we think that he can't really be going to cut down the whole tree. Surely cutting down a whole tree would require two or three guys at least, and it's just the one guy.

Another guy shows up, and the first guy climbs on my roof.

Now, no one is allowed on the roof, except for the guys from the roof company. It is in the contract. Even I am not allowed to walk on my own roof.

So I go outside and tell the guy that he isn't allowed on the roof. And he just looks at me, and I repeat myself. He probably doesn't understand much English. After telling him for the third time that he isn't allowed on the roof, I ask him if he checked with the office, and he says yes. I go back in the house.

Even if they don't cut down the whole tree, I would like the branches that hang over the house to be removed. After the one fell into the street I started to worry that one might fall and make a hole in the roof. And I don't see how else to get to those branches without walking on the roof, so I guess I shouldn't complain about it.

After a while they stop cutting branches. There are still branches hanging over the house, but not as many, and not hanging as low.

They clear away the debris, and do not cut down the whole tree as we were starting to think that they might.

I still think that it is very odd that no one informed us that they were coming, and they did not even bother to knock on the door.

I think that they also did some work in the backyard of the neighbor across the street, which was why the dogs were so upset. The neighbor across the street has been away for a few days. I wonder if he will be happy with the tree trimming when he gets back.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I feel awful

It is getting old, I know. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. It is just that today I feel awful and have no explanation for it. So I don't like that. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong, so I can't go and fix whatever it is.

I have gotten used to being quite done in by doing just the smallest amount of work. That is sort of normal. If you do a lot of work in the garden, you get tired. And after you've done a lot of work in the garden, maybe you are still stiff and sore the next day. So that is normal, just that I get that way from doing a lot less work than a lot of other people would have done before they would whine of feeling bad the way I do. So I get that.

What I do not get is that I haven't done serious garden work since Wednesday or Thursday, and I feel like I did a lot of work yesterday.

I rather feel like I spent the night in a strange motel room that didn't have a good mattress and couldn't get any sleep. Only I spent the night in my own comfortable bed and got plenty of sleep. Not all the way straight through eight hours sleep, but when I woke up and three in the morning I feel back asleep quickly enough.

Friday I did a bit of work trying to find that scarf, but not that much work. Not like digging big holes in the garden type work. Saturday I stayed up a bit late with my friends, but not that late. I'm pretty sure that I was in bed and asleep before two. So being out late might explain being a little tired yesterday, but that's about it. And even if staying out was the explanation for not feeling great yesterday, I should not still feel that way today.

Saturday day I did not find my giant scarf. But I have plenty of other long scarves and tried to make one of them work. I'm not sure that having the giant scarf would have helped anything. Anyway, I was sure that I got more laughs than anyone else, but I still didn't win anything.

After that, several of my friends saw me in a swimsuit. I don't think that I look great in the swimsuit right now, though I probably look better than most of them. Anyway, the group has now seem me in a swimsuit. Something to check off of the list and not worry about anymore.

This week is not going to be fun. My husband is off again without pay. So he spends all of his time in here trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of Adsense, or whatever it is called. I think he should spend some time talking to one of his co-workers he doesn't particularly care for and try to figure out how one goes about squeezing money out of Unemployment.

I purchased a DVD set on behalf of my friend from the great white north. It is a collection of stuff that we haven't seen since we were kids in the seventies. I'm going to watch it and make sure that the DVDs work properly before I send it to him, just in case one of them is defective and I need to exchange it. And I haven't seen the shows in a long time either, so it is interesting. So I guess that I have stuff to keep me occupied for a while. I just wish that I didn't feel so bad. My original thought was that I would watch a bit of the DVD, then get up and work for a bit and then go back and watch more of the DVD, etc.... Now I just feel so bad, I'm mostly just watching the DVD and not doing any work.

Yesterday, my husband made the best homemade pizza. In addition to whatever he normally makes we also had an assortment of fancy cheese and some tomatoes out of the garden. I shouldn't complain too much after getting to spend the day watching silly seventies TV and eating pizza.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I am missing one giant scarf

How does one lose a giant scarf anyway?

Okay, I have enough junk now that it is near impossible to find much of anything. And there is a lot of yarn and several scarves about. But you would think that there are limited places that one could put a scarf that is over twenty feet long.

So how did I lose the damned thing?

After having problems with flooding and later with some mice, I have figured out that things I really do not want damaged have to be stored in plastic storage bins.

So what is the problem? Just look in the plastic bins.

The problem is that most of the bins are not clear plastic, or at least not clear enough that I can see what is inside them without opening the boxes. And we have like forty boxes.

That is, we have forty boxes that are 18 gallon size or larger. We have many other smaller boxes.

So I was quite certain that I knew where the giant scarf was, as I had several of the clear boxes under the bed, and I could see that they contained scarves, even if I could not make out which scarves in particular were there. And the underbed boxes are rather difficult to get at, and I tell to put stuff in them that I rarely need to take out.

Like giant scarves.

So today when I took these boxes out from under the bed, I was very surprised the particular scarf wasn't in one of them. And now I don't know where else it could be. I'm trying to look in the other boxes, but I have checked all of them that are convenient to get to. The ones that I haven't yet looked in are mostly the ones at the bottom of the stack, or behind another stack, or would otherwise require me moving something heavy, and I usually don't put anything in those boxes except for clay stuff, because they are so difficult to get to and the heavy stuff should go on the bottom.

I suppose that it could be someplace else. It could be in a regular cardboard box, if I thought to thoroughly wrap it in plastic and put it high up on a shelf. But I've checked most of those places too, and I can't think of what to do next.

I am really and truly, mind-numbingly disorganized.

I usually try and go with the traditional--where/when did you see it last?

I'm not sure. I know that I took it out and showed it off to my friends, but I am quite sure that I brought the thing home from that. I am not even sure when that was. But I was thinking that I packed it away when I packed away so many of my other scarves, and that was why I was thinking that it was under the bed.

Anyway, am I just having one of those days when I need someone else to be here and say, did you look in such in such place, or last time I saw it I think it was over there, and so forth. But there is no one else here to say those things, and I am pretty sure that I have already checked the places anyone else would have told me to look anyway.

The end of the drama

Perhaps. For this year, anyway.

So, as you know from the last post my little community recently had an election for three seats on our board of directors. And all three people who were on the board running for re-election lost, and one of them demanded a new vote based on the fact that a new rule wasn't followed. And the three new people who claimed that they had rightful won the election went out and got a lawyer to draft a letter threatening to sue the three guys not wanting to leave office, the president of the board, and perhaps our little community in general.

Or we could just let them have the board seats that they were probably elected to anyway.

The board sought legal advice, and while it is true that the new rule was not correctly followed, no one seriously thinks this resulted in any type of fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election. Really, the only point of having a new election was if they thought that someone had taken out the ballots and changed the votes, making it look like the new people won when they hadn't. And no one really thought that anyone did that. So there was really no point in having a second election if there was no fraud.

So there was a special board meeting to vote on whether or not to have this second election. Only board members who did not have a seat in dispute were allowed to vote, so there were an even number of voting board members. There was a tie. So the president of the board had the tie-breaking vote, and it was decided not to have a second election.

The three new guys were so happy that they made copies of some of this and taped them to everybody's doors yesterday. They added a paper inviting everyone to this meet and greet thing, with cake and soda, to be followed by a crimewatch meeting.

There was no date on the invitation, so we thought that they meant yesterday.

So several of us drove to the office and a couple of us walked over to see what was going on. Only it was after five, and the office people had gone home. I would have at least thought that they would have left a note on the door saying that this wasn't the day and telling us what day it was. But, no.

I did find other paperwork saying that there was a crimewatch meeting at the end of the month. Possibly we were just supposed to remember when the crimewatch meeting was and not show up yesterday.

One lady was particularly upset at having to rush around to get there on time, and it wasn't even the right day. She suggested that we leave them a note.

Yes, I said. They owe us cake and sodas.

So the lady took out her invite, which did not mention a date, and wrote out a complaint and said that we had been there and they had not. And she signed the thing and I signed the thing, and then she gave me some tape and I went and put it on the office door.

Then the poor lady had the unfortunate business of listening to her car not start.

But five minutes later, all was well again, and she went home. The other people there also drove home, and I walked back the way I came.

I saw one of my neighbors and asked if she also got the confusing invite.

She said she got the same confusing invite, but she found it before the office people went home for the day and called to get the date.

I wonder if people will remember this three years from now, when the guys who invited us over for cake and sodas have to run for re-election.

Anyway, the drama of the community election is over now, for another year at least.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More drama about the community election

If you are a regular reader, you may recall that on the first Tuesday of this month I voted in our little community election. There were nine people running for three seats on the board. I usually vote based on who writes the best flyer, and if you don't send me a flyer, I can't vote for you. I figure that anyone who cannot be bothered to send out a flyer doesn't really want to be on the board anyway.

So I received four flyers, and that meant that I only had to really think about two of the guys who were running against each other.

Two days later, I found a note on the door that said we would have to do the election over, because there was some problem and someone complained, and that the only fair thing for everybody was to have a second election.

Later I got a letter in the mail (not correctly addressed, but I got it anyway), claiming that the election had been properly held the first time, and that one of the losers was claiming that a new rule wasn't followed, and that was the reason that a second election was requested. According to the new rule, the ballet box is supposed to be locked in the office safe overnight instead of being left locked in the election place or taken home by the guy in charge of the election. But no one seems to know anything about this new rule, because it was supposedly made at the last board meeting, and the minutes haven't been typed up yet, and the board won't let anyone hear the tapes of the meeting.

The letter also included the election results. There were three people that only got five or ten votes each from their friends, probably because they didn't send out any flyers. The three guys that held office didn't win either, possibly because only one of them sent out a flyer. Basically, the three guys I voted for got about twice as many votes as the guys currently on the board. The current board member with the least votes is the guy who asked for a re-vote based on the fact that the new rule about using the safe was not enforced.

According to this letter, as I suspected, only 145 of us out of 300 voted.

A few days after this, I found another note on the door which gave out the phone numbers and some email addresses. The phone numbers were for the three guys who were voted out and the president of the board. Whoever sent the note wanted us all to call these guys and suggest that they give up and not bother with this second election.

I thought that was a bit mean to give out the phone numbers. Not that it is difficult to get the phone numbers if I had wanted them, but I don't think that you should give out someone else's number and suggest that people call and harass them. We could accomplish the same thing by leaving a message with the office. If the note had suggested that we all leave a message with the office saying that we've already had an election and we should honor the results, I probably would have done that. But calling to bug people at home just sounds so eighth grade.

Friday I got a second letter in the mail. It was a copy of a letter from a lawyer that was hired by one of the three guys who claims that they have already won the election and that should be the end of it. The lawyer says that the three new guys were elected according to the rules of the place, and that they need to replace the other guys on the board before the next meeting, and without having a second election. Otherwise the three new guys might sue the three old guys and the president of the board. And if that isn't enough, the three new guys might just sue the whole group of us in general.

Since I am 1/300th of the group, I wouldn't care for that last part.

I'm not sure if there should be a new election or not. But if there needs to be one, I'm not sure why we need to wait til the middle of next month to do it. It just sounds like they are stalling so that they can have another board meeting with the current group.

And the other thing that I would do (if there needs to be a second election) is only take votes from the 145 of us who voted last time. If the point of the second election is to make sure that the votes weren't tampered with, that's fine. The 145 of us who voted the first time will probably vote the same way the second time. But the rest of the people shouldn't be allowed to vote. If it had mattered to them, they would have voted the first time. I think that they are just trying use the time to get more votes.

I'm sorry if fifty or a hundred or so of your friends forgot to vote, but that's life. They didn't vote, and you lost. That's a different problem that has nothing to do with whether or not the ballet box was locked in the safe.

So much drama.

In other news, the falling branch was removed about two hours after I wrote my last post, and since it was one of the guys who works for us I do not expect to get a bill for it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last night we had a bit of excitement

Yesterday I worked on my current garden project on and off until about four, which is at least four hours more than normal. But I had a lot of work to make up for, since the ground has been too wet to do much since Wednesday. And I know that it was just terribly hot, but it didn't seem as hot as the day before, so I just kept working.

Problems come up when you work in the heat like that. Even with taking so many breaks that I end up spending just as much time watching television as I do working, that still seems like a lot of work to me, and you get hot and you sweat.

And I ended up with a painful itchy backside.

So later we went to dinner and KFC, and after that we watched True Blood, and I found being in the seated position most uncomfortable. We tried watching some more stuff after True Blood, but I decided that I liked the lying down position much better, so I went in the other room, even though there was no new TV to watch. So I maybe fell asleep a bit sooner than usual, but not by much.

At about two in the morning, there seemed to be someone going from house to house to bang on a window or something, and then running away. The dogs would bark at them a bit, but there wasn't like anyone yelling fire or anything. So I thought it was a prank and tried to go back to sleep.

The knock at the window was repeated, and this time it woke up my husband.

The last time anyone knocked on our door or window at two in the morning, it was at a motel, and it turned out to be a crazy person. So I was still thinking that I should just try to go back to sleep. If it was a fire or an emergency of some kind, we would hear yelling and such outside.

My husband had a look out the window. He said there was a mob of people outside.

A mob of people? Like in Frankenstein?

Anyway, there were a lot of people outside, mostly neighbors, and a few people who worked there.

So my husband gets dressed and goes outside, and he doesn't wait for me to get dressed and go with him. Then he comes back in and says that a tree has fallen on my car.

Not really, but that's what he said.

It isn't flattened or anything, but there's a big tree branch on the car and they want you to drive the car a few spaces down. So I figure that maybe it doesn't look that bad if they just expect me to get in the car and drive it away.

As it turns out, the branch didn't actually fall on the car, but is just right up next to the car, and there are only leaves and twigs and such actually touching the car. So I am able to push some of this stuff out of my way and get in the car and drive it up a few spaces. No problem. But I had to move the car because between my car on the other side of the street and the branch in the road on my side of the street, no one can drive by.

I'm not sure who found this out at two in the morning, but somebody did.

So after I move my car one of the workers drives his truck around, and they try to pull the branch out of the way. It doesn't work. They try a couple of times, but either parts of the branch break off or the rope breaks.

One of the guys says that they will just have to leave it and call someone to do it in the morning. They don't know if the office will pay or if we will get charged for it, since the branch came off of our tree.

I said that when I moved in I was told that if there was threat of damage or something like that the office paid, but if I just wanted tree limbs or trees removed for some other reason that I had to pay. I think having the branch blocking half of the road is one of those things that they are supposed to pay for, but we'll see what happens.

There is one of our guys out there now trying to fix it himself. But for some reason he isn't using a chainsaw. He has some other saw, and he's getting a lot of it cleared away, but it is taking a long time.

I hardly got any sleep last night. My back is sore from the gardening yesterday, and I don't think that I am up to doing much of it today. But my backside feels much better.

Still, I would like to call it a day and just go back to bed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Morons--I don't know how to do that

Friday I went to a couple of Walmarts, a Michaels, and a Hobby Lobby. I should have done all of that about a week earlier, but I was concentrating on the garden project, and then there was all that rain, and the day after that they were advising everyone to stay at home if you did not absolutely have to be out.

I didn't think that a craft project qualified as something I absolutely had to go out for.

So Friday morning I hit all the usual places (except for Jo Ann's Fabric), looking for stuff to make a witch hat and other stuff that might go with a witch costume. Next month we'll be promoting the new Harry Potter movie, and also Saturday I'll have a use for some the costume, so I need to get on with making the hat.

At the first Walmart I did not find the textured felt that I needed, and I was about to leave when I thought I might as well look over the discounted fabric. And I found a remnant that I wanted, and I found some other interesting black fabric that almost matches I dress that I have. So I thought that I should have about two yards of this fabric, just in case I should want to add something to the dress.

Now, cutting fabric is not brain surgery, but you aren't allowed to do it yourself in the store, and you can't just get any passing employee to do it for you either. There are a limited number of people at a Walmart who are allowed to perform that particular task, and also they have to have this particular gizmo to put a proper sales tag on the fabric which is different from most of the other sales tags, and there are a limited number of these gizmos to go around and a limited number of employees who use them.

So I did not see an employee in the fabric department, and after looking around a bit for one I figured that she was either on break, or else she'd been ordered to go off and do something that wasn't normally supposed to be her job, because the store thinks that just waiting around to help someone doesn't count as work and they find other things for you to do on the other side of the store if you don't look like you are busy. So I hoped that she wasn't on break and wouldn't mind being pulled away from this other thing that really isn't part of her job, and I went off to find someone to page her.

And the closest other department was photo, and there were two of them and they looked rather busy. But it doesn't take much time to page someone. I did the polite thing and waited for someone to stop looking for something and told one of them that I needed help in the fabric department.

Now, if I had been really lucky, one of them would have been the employee that I needed. Otherwise it would just take a second for one of them to page the person I needed.

Instead I was told "I don't really know how to page anyone."

I have never been told that before.

I just stared at her a bit, and she said that she would find someone who could help me.

I went back to the fabric department, but I didn't hear anyone paged on the speakers. But that didn't necessarily mean that no one had been called to help me, cause most of them carry walkie talkies now, and I figured that someone passed along the message that way and someone would come and help me. I again hoped that someone's break didn't get interrupted.

But no one came. Another employee passed me, and this employee was a lot more helpful than the one I first talked to, and she just asked if I needed something. And then she said she'd find someone. And then she came back and said that the girl who normally worked there hadn't come to work that day because she had a sick relative who lived in one of the areas without power, and she'd gone to help out with that and possibly take the sick relative to the hospital.

Anyway, this employee said that she would cut the fabric herself, only the little gizmo that makes the sales tag wasn't there. I guess it wasn't there because they don't leave it there overnight, and the girl who normal works there hadn't gone to get it, so it was in an office or something. So she called someone else from another department who uses the same sort of gizmo, and someone came and cut the fabric for me. This particular employee said she had been going back and forth between two departments all morning.

So I got my fabric and all was well, and I went on to the next place to look for the textured felt, which I ended up getting at Hobby Lobby, the last place I went to that day.

But I thought it was really weird that the girl in the photo department told me that she didn't know how to page anyone.

I haven't worked for Walmart, but there was a time that I did work in several Walmarts, when I had worked for a vendor. And there was also a summer that I worked for Kmart. And I knew how to page people at both places. If you work for Walmart or Kmart or in another place like that, you are always running in to customers who need something that you can't do or you don't know where something is or you do know what to do but you can't help them because you've just clocked out, and you have to get someone else to help them. So paging is like the first thing that they teach you when you go to work at one of those places. And this girl was telling me that she didn't really know how to do that.

What's up with that?

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Friday now, right?

My husband has had the last week and a half off, without pay, and we didn't have anything to speak of in savings either. So when you have a week and a half off, and you should be off on a trip or something, we have been at home most of the time, except for maybe seeing a couple of movies.

So we have spent some time together. And then there's been time just sort of being in each other's way, or at least, trying to stay out of each other's way.

Until Tuesday, I had a certain garden project to keep me busy. But it is June in Texas, and it is hot, though it is not as hot as it is going to get. So I go outside in the morning, and my first thought is actually something like it is too cool for my liking, and that I should go back inside. But a bit of actual work cures me of thinking that it isn't warm enough. And of course the rest of the day is plenty warm.

But I can't do very much work all at once, even in the morning when it is somewhat cool. I go outside and dig or something for maybe half an hour, and then I go back inside and watch TV for between ten minutes or an hour. Only there isn't anything to watch on TV. There isn't even anything that I taped on TV the night before. So instead of watching TV on the TV, I'm watching something on Hulu or YouTube or something like that on the computer.

Anyway, about half of the time this works out just fine. My husband bought a new laptop, and he has been in the other room doing photoshop stuff and other such stuff, and sometimes playing a computer game, and he's half watching some new music video channel that we now have because of the digital TV thing. So that is mostly okay. Except the laptop isn't hooked up to the Internet, and sometimes he needs the Internet. And sometimes when I am halfway through watching something I go outside and dig in the dirt, and then I come back in the house to find him on this computer, and I have to wait for him to do whatever it is that he's doing before I can go back to doing what I was doing. And there is nothing for me to do except wait. If there was something else for me to do, I wouldn't be using the computer in the first place.

Sometimes he is actually doing something that needs to be done, like checking the company website to make sure his schedule didn't change. Or sometimes he is downloading something. But usually he is either blogging (which he could mostly do on a different computer and then copy what he wrote on a disk) and sometimes he is doing other stuff like Twitter. Now, he knows how much this sort of thing annoys me, and we have had discussions about it, and as soon as we will have a discussion about it he do it even more and find yet another website to annoy me with, so I have stopped speaking to him on the subject. He knows how I feel about it, he knows he isn't supposed to do it, and he does it anyway.

Anyway, I especially do not see the point of Twitter. Besides the fact that I don't like him talking to a zillion people that I don't know, Twitter itself is pointless. It makes no damned sense. It isn't organized the way that a blog is or the way that other websites are. Twitter is just this endless stream of comments, and you can't tell what the comment is in relation to. It's just a bunch of random comment that aren't filed under anything except for who wrote it and whom it was written to.

Anyway, it was Tuesday, and I was digging a hole in the ground. And Tuesday I was quite serious about digging the hole in the ground, but it was hot. And so I would work on it until just before lunch and then have a bath. And then after lunch it would be hotter than it was in the morning, and after having a bath and getting clean clothes on, I'm not so much in a hurry to go out and get dirty again. So we maybe do something else for a few hours. Like we have been watching the Prisoner. So we maybe run a few errands and then come back and watch a few episodes of the Prisoner. And then maybe I go back to working in the garden and watching stuff on Hulu, and he goes back to his computer game.

So that is how it was for most of a week or so, maybe getting a lot done one day and not so much the next. So Tuesday I did a lot of work, enough that I was starting to see some progress. And Wednesday I got up and planned to do a lot work that day too. And in the morning I did do a lot of work. And after doing some work, my husband comes out and says that we should go for a walk, and I agreed.

But I'm afraid that going for a walk right after I had worked for a bit tired me out, and so I had a bath a couple of hours before lunch, and I didn't really get back to it. It was so nice to be clean, and I wanted to stay clean for a bit. I found other things to do, like washing dishes.

Now I really wish that I had done more work on Wednesday. I also wish that I had gone to Walmart afterwards and got some felt and other craft supplies to make a witch hat. But I did neither of those things Wednesday.

Now, there was a thirty percent chance of rain Wednesday, but it just looked cloudy and didn't really do anything for a long time. But then we started hearing stuff on the news, and I figured that I should at least go outside and smooth out the dirt that I had started to put back in this hole. If the dirt was going to get wet, it should at least get wet level and not be a lumpy mess. So I started to go outside and do that, only it was really windy. So that took some doing. My husband came out to help me for a bit, and then we went back inside. And there was a lot of nonsense, like the power blinking on and off for a bit and us having to reset the clocks a few times. And then it was over, and while everything got a bit wet and it was very windy, there wasn't a lot of actual rain. People north of us had tornadoes and such, but not us. We went to bed.

Apparently the rain was not over. I briefly woke up in the middle of the night (not sure what time) and heard that it was raining. Well, good. If everything has to get wet, it might as well get enough rain to do somebody some good and not just ruin my plans for gardening in the morning. I went back to sleep. In the morning it was still raining.

Well it stopped raining enough for me to go out and look, there was standing water in places, and of course the hole I had dug was completely filled with water. I hadn't staked the tomatoes, so they had all fallen over, as had a lot of my other plants. That's okay. Usually they dry out and recover.

And then it rained some more. And it was on the news most of the day. There were traffic problems. There was even flooding in places, though not for me personally, as the power was on most of the time, except for a minute here and there so that I would have to reset clocks and such. But the power never stayed off, so the pump kept the water out of my house.

So, obviously there was no going out to work in the garden yesterday. So I could have been working on my hat, except that I didn't go to Walmart or anyplace to get supplies. And I didn't think that I should go out any yesterday to get them, because of the traffic problems here and there, and I didn't really need anything. There was food in the house and all of that. The news said to stay in if you didn't have to be out, so we did just that. We stayed here and watched the rest of the Prisoner.

So I have been outside to have a look this morning, and while most of the water has gone down, there is still water in the hole I where I was working in the garden. And of course the ground is going to be too wet to work with for days anyway.

Today is Friday (at least, I think that it is Friday). I think that my husband is going back to work today (and of course he would be going back to work on a day that I can't garden and I don't really appreciate having the house to myself this afternoon).

And today is the day that the TV is supposed to go all digital and be annoying forever afterwards. We have been pretending that we don't have regular TV all week, trying to get used to the annoying bit of having four remotes instead of two. And yes, I know there is this thing called the universal remote, but the thing didn't work very well before so I doubt that it would be any better now. But sometimes you find yourself looking at a blank screen, and you don't know which remote you need to fix the problem. So sometimes you just give up and go back to regular TV. Only, after today, there won't be any regular TV to go back to.

Of course, it will really get ugly in September, when there are new TV shows to watch and record, and I will only be able to program record for one channel, or else I will have to go and manually change the channel. I really don't like to do that. If I do that I usually accidentally see the end of a program that I recorded, or I wait too long and then don't record the beginning of the next show, etc.... It is all very annoying.

Oh, and I'll be seeing my mother tomorrow, but that will be in a group and maybe it will be okay.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A reader needs advice on Star Trek and the Borg

I think this is going to end up being much too long to put in a comment.

Okay, this is the discussion so far:

bulletholes said...
i HAEN'T BEEN TO SEE THE NEW MOVIE YET, BUT i'VE BEEN GEARING UP FOR IT.i WATCHED "fINAL fRONTIER (OPPS)because I like that one, then got "Generations".Generations was cute, but on the whole disappointing to a non-Trekkie.From what I understand, I can watch this new one without needing to see the others.For a non-Trekkie who never saw anything after "5", (except the recent view of Generations) which of these newer films, in 20 words or less, would you recommend?
5/29/2009 11:16 AM
laughingattheslut said...
Now that is a tough one, especially since I am a Trekkie, and it is hard to think from the point of view of someone who is not.Generally speaking, I think that most people like the newest movie (the current movie is number 11), though some of us Trekkies from way back cannot get past some of the mistakes.Of the movies 6-10, my favorite is number 8, First Contact. It has both the borg and the man who first invented warp drive (though this version of the character is very different from the one seen in the original series back in the sixties). Without getting too much into what the borg are, just know that they are the type of alien that you have to stay away from or you will become one of them (like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Puppet Masters, Invaders from Mars, or The Thing, etc...)I would think that the favorite Star Trek movie for basic non-trekkies would be number 4, where they go back to our time to get a couple of humpback whales. It is very funny and you don't have to know anything about the Federation or Klingons or any of that to get what is going on. But you said that you already saw that one.Funny that you like number 5. Most people hate it.Number 6 has been compared to us trying to be friends with the Soviet Union after something really bad happens to them, like Chernobyl.Number 7 you saw. I think that they were trying to make both the original series fans happy and at the same time make the Next Generation fans happy, and just ended up not making anyone happy. Fans of the original series just got up and left in the middle of the movie.Number 9 was okay. Some people accidently found the fountain of youth, and some other people try to take it away from them to cure their own illnesses. But it is their own fault that they got the illnesses in the first place, so you can't really feel too sorry for them. Captain Picard and crew to the rescue.Number 10 doesn't seem to be anybody's favorite either. It had Romulans, and scary sort of almost vampire-like relatives of Romulans, and a dopey younger brother of Data. But somehow, it just wasn't what anybody hoped for.For most trekkies, the second movie is still the best, even if Spock dies in it.So if you are going to the theater this weekend you should be able to watch number 11 without much trouble, and if you want to stay home and rent a Star Trek video that you haven't seen before I would go with number 8, though certainly number 4 is also worth seeing a second time.
5/29/2009 4:02 PM
bulletholes said...
Yeah, they had "first contact", but the cover of Generations said it had Kirk in it so I thought maybe it was #6 in the series. I don't think it was so bad as to walk out on, and when Picard found Kirk in that house in the Nexus it gave me a good feel. Then they blew it.I like #5 maybe just for one reason especially...my son and I watched it when he was about five and when Kirk asks the big God dude why he needs a Starship...well...my son mimics that scene all the time.He will raise his finger up and say "I have a question"...he still does that to this day.
5/29/2009 5:25 PM

bulletholes said...
hi laffin1 I went and got First Contact at your suggestion. it got a little tedious in the middle, but any movie that quotes moby Dick and then plays some Steppenwolf all inside of 5 minutes has got to be OK. I can't wait to watch it again, so my question is...what should i watch for, and do the borgs appear in a previous episode.I'd never herard of a borg before. That one, she was kinda hot.
6/09/2009 12:47 PM

Well, that's a lot of stuff to talk about.

Okay, I think most of us are agreed that the borg queen is kinda hot. Alice Krige played her in First Contact. Later, the same character shows up in Voyager, but that actress wasn't available, so another actress got the part for a while. And then for the show's final episode I think that they got Krige to do it again.

Voyager also had a female borg crew member. Most of us are generally agreed that she was also hot.

Some of us Trekkies, including some of us female Trekkies, have been known to dress up as Borg. Some of us are hot, some of us, not so much. Some of us get mixed reviews. I had a Borg parody costume myself, but my last time to wear it was about twenty-five pounds ago.

Okay, that was the only Borg appearance in the movies. Before that they were in several episodes of The Next Generation. I think that the second or third was Best of Both Worlds, which was the end of the season cliffhanger one year, and it is usually voted favorite episode. At least, part one is great. Part two was good, but a bit of a disappointment after all of us spent the summer trying to figure out what would happen.

There were more Borg episodes after that. Some of them involved Data's evil twin brother Lore.

There most have been Borg episodes on Deep Space Nine, but I can't remember any of them at the moment.

Then came Voyager, and after spending all that money on new Borg stuff for the eighth movie, they seemed to run into the Borg all the time so that they could use the expensive costumes and props.

There was even an episode of Enterprise where they find a couple of frozen Borg on the north pole or something.

Anyway, there are a lot of Borg out there in the Star Trek universe.

As for what are the best parts of First Contact and what you should watch for if you see it again, I'm not sure. It was all good. I personally don't care too much about the holodeck scene, but the producers of Star Trek do love their holodecks and use them often.

I think that my favorite lines belonged to Lily. "Sorry, it's my first ray-gun." and "Borg? Sounds Swedish."

Also, as a non-Trekkie you might not know that the Emergency Medical Hologram (Robert Picardo) is the chief medical officer on Voyager. In fact, after the first episode, he is Voyager's only medical officer. This computer program that is only supposed to help the real doctor in an emergency ends up being online all the time in that series. So that part was really funny to fans of Voyager, even though there's really nothing that funny about the scene itself.

Not sure what else to suggest at this point. Maybe other readers have some thoughts on the subject.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I guess God just doesn't want me to go to Greek restaurants

A couple of months ago, my husband and someone he works with were talking about something to do with their new business venture. And they had something that they were going to do in May that was in a city on the other side of Dallas. And then they were saying that when they finished they should go and have this nice lunch at this Mediterranean place that the other guy liked. And then I was invited to go with them. There was no reason that I should go to this thing, they just thought that I would like to go to lunch with them afterwards. We could either go to this place that the other guy liked, or if the wait was too long, we could go to this little Greek restaurant near a place that my husband had worked recently.

So I sort of agreed, depending on what day it was. And they told me that it was on a certain Sunday. Great, unless I had to do something with my friends to get ready for the Star Trek movie, I would like to go to lunch with them.

The Saturday before this was supposed to happen, the guy calls back and says that he got the dates mixed up, and the date for all of this was the next Sunday.

The next Sunday was Mother's Day. So of course I could not go with them. Besides the fact that it was Mother's Day and I would be going to eat lunch with my mother, I had all this stuff to do that weekend for the Star Trek movie.

So that was the first time I didn't go to the Greek restaurant.

A few weeks later, my husband and this guy were talking, and again they had something to do, and they discussed a day and such. And again my husband said that I should go with him, that it probably wouldn't that long, and again this should put them on the other side of Dallas near this Greek restaurant that my husband liked. So again I agreed to go.

So on the day that they are supposed to meet, the guy calls and he has to do something in Irving, and could my husband meet him there instead?

So that was the second trip to the Greek restaurant cancelled.

The other guy had to go out of town for about three weeks for his regular job. While he was gone, my husband has been working on their little business plan without him. And he had to deliver a package and pick up a check, and again it was at the place near this little Greek restaurant that my husband liked. My husband has had the week off from his regular job, and he could have delivered this package whenever, except that the people getting the package didn't return his calls. I think maybe they were waiting for the other guy to call them, until they figured out that he was gone for three weeks. So they finally call back and to say that someone would be available to receive the package and write out a check at three on Sunday.

So my husband and I plan a late lunch at this little Greek restaurant, and we leave at about one.

And we get to the restaurant, and they have closed for the day to do a little painting and such.

So that was the third planned trip to the restaurant, and we drove all that way and ended up eating at the Mexican restaurant next door.

I give up.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Land of the Lost movie and other crap

Tuesday I went and voted in our little community elections. It is a little thing, but the past few years it has created some drama. Anyway, I go in, and a nice old couple is there. And the lady asks for my address and my name, and she apologizes for taking a minute to find me, and says something about it being different than last year and it is just taking her longer to find people. But she does find me, and I sign next to my name. She doesn't ask for my ID or anything. The old man then hands me a pen and a ballot. There are nine names, with three names on each line, and on each line you circle one name. Or, as I have done in the past when people did not send me enough flyers to make a decision, you could just skip a line and not vote for anybody in that spot. I suppose that you could skip all three lines and not vote for anyone, but there are plenty of people doing that just by staying home. There are only three hundred people who can vote, and I'm betting that at least half of them stayed home.

So I circled a name on the first line, cause that was the only one of those three who sent me a flyer. And a circled a name on another line, cause that was the only one of those three who sent me a flyer. But on the third line I had to think for a minute, cause two of the three had sent me flyers, and I had to think did I want the guy who was already there or the new guy. And in the end, not knowing either of them, I went with the one who actually said something specific that he wanted to do if he got elected, even if it wasn't something I was that interested in. But I know that other people are interested, and at least this guy was saying he was going to do something, while the other guy just wrote about who he was and how long he had lived there and didn't say anything specific he wanted to do, just that he would try to do a good job.

And then you fold the ballot and put it in this little wooden box that is locked.

So that all sounds simple enough.

Yesterday I got a note on the door saying that one or more of the candidates had complained that the election procedures were not followed correctly, and to be fair to all of them there would be a totally new election on a date next month.

I cannot imagine what election procedures were not followed correctly. Maybe there were supposed to ask for my ID, but they never have in the past. And we don't have election machines or butterfly ballots to confuse people. I would think this is all simple enough. You circle one name on a line. If there isn't clearly one name circled on a line, don't count it and move on to the next one.

So I don't get what is going on, but we have to vote again.

The long dreaded Land of the Lost movie opens today.

It is a sad thing. Some of us waited ten years for a Land of the Lost movie, only to have the project taken over and ruined by Will Ferrell.

Will Ferrell will not be getting any of my money. I can only hope that this movie will lose tons of money, and that the rights will then be sold to someone else who will do a good job of it and make a serious movie instead of a comedy.

I have been reminded that this actually happened in the case of The Incredible Hulk.

My original plan was to buy a movie ticket for Star Trek or some other movie that I liked playing at the same theater as Land of the Lost, just so I could know for sure that it was as bad as I think that it is and warn everyone else not to see it, but right now I don't think that I am going to bother. Other people have already seen it and tried to warn everyone away. Maybe people will listen, or maybe they won't.

Anyway, I think that I am just too upset about it to go and see it today. And I have some serious work to do in the garden, and I cannot waste my time going to see Will Ferrell instead.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Digital TV and other crap

Yesterday I got up early and decided to make a serious effort to get out and finish my garden project of the twelve by four garden bed that will mostly have decorative sweet potatoes growing in it. I really need to finish that up, because I've already started another project of moving some flower bulbs. So I have a big mess to deal with, and I need to finish with something.

And of course on the one day that I get up early and decide to deal with some stuff, it started raining about an hour and a half later. So it will just have that last little bit of it not done for however long it takes for the soil to dry again, and the new project will just be half-done for a long time after that.

Sometime after it stopped raining I went and voted in our little community elections. I meant to do that the day before, but I forgot what time the clubhouse was open for voting. And I really don't know these people, so I vote based on who sends me the most interesting flyer. So there were nine people wanting to be elected, but only four wanted to be elected enough to send me a flyer. So that narrows it down a lot. Two of them were easy. Only two of the four were running against each other, so that was a tough one. In the end, I just guessed. On the way out someone thanked me for walking all that way to vote. It wasn't anyone I recognized, so it was probably someone I voted against. Tomorrow I should walk over and find out who won.

My mother and I are somewhat at it again. I have asked her again and again not to bring up certain subjects, that I will just have to stop talking to her if she continues to keep talking about certain subjects, etc.... And she still doesn't get it. Right after I tell her that something is off limits, she talks about it more, saying that she doesn't want to talk about anything personal. I didn't say that I didn't want to discuss personal aspects of a subject, I said that I did not want to discuss the subject at all. I remind her of that, and she keeps talking.

Also, she has said that she doesn't want me to be mad at her, so she's thinking that she should do something that goes against her better judgement if it will make me not be mad at her anymore. It won't. It will make me be less mad at her if she tries to undo what she did wrong, but it won't erase what she did in the first place. If you do something to make someone mad, you just have to live with it. If you said that you were going to do something, and you don't do it, even if you think you have a good reason, people get mad at you. You have to live with people being mad at you if you don't do what you say you will. Will people be less mad at you if you end up doing what you said you were going to do like a year later, probably. Will that totally fix things, probably not.

My husband continues to work on his business idea, and towards that end we have bought a new computer. We would have bought two new computers, but right when things were starting to be okay, his real job isn't going so good. In the last three weeks he has only worked five days. And he can't use the time off as he would like because a.) we have less money than he needs, and b.) the other person in this business venture had to go out of town for three weeks.

The TV switch over is in a couple of weeks, and I am really starting to hate it. First of all, this upgrade is a lot of nonsense. People who want to pay for a better TV picture already did that. I have never understood why it was necessary to force this on the rest of us. The TV worked just fine before, and for the past year or so it was just fine to have the TV work both ways. But in a couple of weeks I am going to have all kinds of problems when the regular signal is gone for good.

First off, I sent for those coupons that were supposed to get us free converter boxes. I never did see anyone selling the things for forty bucks, so they still ended up costing ten or twenty dollars, even with the coupons. So we got one last year, and it worked okay, and then we kind of forgot about the whole thing. Later, we realized that the VCR wasn't going to work without a second box, but the coupons expired before I realized this.

So then we thought about buying a new VCR.

Apparently, there just aren't any VCRs that work with the new signal. All the VCRs need converter boxes. That sucks. I mean, all the TVs made after a certain date have to work with the new signal, and we bought our TV about a year too early for that. But why didn't they do the same with the VCRs?

Anyway, after looking on the Internet, we see that there is a way to use the one box for both the TV and the VCR, if you go and buy some more cables and such. So we were going to do that, except on the day that we were going to go and buy the cables, we notice that method does not allow you to watch one program on the TV while recording something else on the VCR. You can only use the VCR to record what you are already watching on the TV.

So that sucks.

Okay, so I look around on the Internet, and they will send you a replacement coupon if you didn't realize that you needed two boxes and you let one of them expire. I'm not sure how they would know such a thing, but I filled out the forms to get another coupon. Unlike the first coupons, the new one came in about a week. So off we went to Walmart to spend ten dollars on another box, and then we also had to spend another twenty-five or so on additional cables and such.

Later we saw that some of the cables were at the dollar store.

Anyway, both boxes are now hooked up and there are cables and splitters and whatnot and we now have to have four remotes to watch TV instead of the two we were using last week.

And we've found out that the VCR still isn't going to work properly.

Well, most evenings when he is at work, I am using the VCR. Usually I watch what I want to watch on one channel, and then I record something that he wants to watch (or hopefully something that we both want to watch) on other channels. Or I record something that we both want to watch on various channels while I am out doing something else. And there is usually something on one channel at seven, and something on another channel at eight, and maybe something else on a third channel at nine.

Well, you can't do that anymore. The VCR is only going to work on one channel, until such time as you change the channel. You can't just program the thing to record on one channel at seven and another channel at eight and so on. The VCR has to be set for the same channel for the entire time you want to record things. So if you go out of town for a bit and try to record stuff while you're away, you can record eight hours of tape on the one channel, or maybe ten hours of disk on the one channel, but not on different channels.

With these damned boxes, you'd have to buy a different box and VCR for each channel if you want to program the VCR the way that you used to.

In addition to that, one of the boxes really sucks on FOX. I guess I'm glad that it sucks on FOX instead of some other channel, as I can watch most FOX stuff I like on Hulu.

I guess it was all meant to force us into getting cable and Tivo. That's what I thought in the beginning, before they said they were going to send everyone these coupons. Even with the coupons, we have spent about fifty dollars. And it still isn't going to work right.