Had a mini 20 year high school reunion here this week with my dear friend, Jen fka JJ from E.L.B.Y., with the bonus of finally meeting her delightful hubby. I am a bit skeptical about the reality that we have known each other for over two decades now, but the math seems to be working in that direction. In honor of the occasion, I listened to our ‘anthem’ album in the shower tonight…and then concluded I shouldn’t have had the iced tea with dinner (I’m never going to sleep now).
As I’m relatively new to the world of library-loaned audio books, I ran into my first ‘problem’ of sorts. Time budgeting. I don’t really have that much time to devote to listening to a book. My time listening is usually done in either the shower or while I’m brushing my teeth at night.
I was, am actually, only about an hour and a half away from finishing a very awesome audio book. Unfortunately, it expired on Saturday. I immediately went to renew and someone had already snagged it before I could. Slow, clicky finger, I guess. I put myself on the waiting list, but that still that means I have to wait at least two weeks before I get the satisfaction of hearing the ending. So frustrated. Grrr.
This morning as I awoke, I recalled I was dreaming that Savannah had gotten a Menards. I was as excited as a kid at Christmas. So long anxiety dreams of remembering my high school locker combination. Welcome to adulthood.
Earlier today, I called over to my local pharmacy to see if the prescription that I had dropped off earlier in the week was ready. The tech asked me my birthday in order to look me up, not an unusual request. I reply, “Ten-Fifteen-Seventy-Six”, to which most people would have translated to 10/15/1976. No, not this time. Genius-tech repeats earnestly, “10. 15. 1876?”
Yeah, dumbass, I’m a 138 year old woman calling to see if her birth control is ready. Thank goodness the Rx is compounded off-site.
Without evidence or support other than my own astute observations, I have concluded there must be a conspiracy by the pantyhose makers of the western world to: a) make them so they run within 2 wears and b) remind us tiny ladies that we are a minority. Point A is obvious. They all run within a few wears, no matter the brand and no matter how careful one is to wear and store them. Point B is a little harder to prove, so I’ll challenge you to find a well-stocked selection in any store – online or terra – of Size A/Small, nude/bare pantyhose. It appears store stockers believe all women are fat and tanned. Nothing but Bs and Queens in suntan – everywhere. It’s a conspiracy I tell you.
This afternoon, Mike and I transplanted three plants that should have never made it through winter. The first was a may night salvia that we bought last spring (2013). We had intended to plant it, never got around to it, and there it sat in it’s little plastic pot for a year. Somehow it survived being completely ignored, including the harshest winter I’ve experienced in Savannah. Recently, we noticed it has begun again to flower. There’s no way we could ignore a little volunteer like that any longer. Today, we transplanted it to a larger, terracotta pot, in better soil. That should do wonders for a plant of that strength.
The second two plants were red new guinea impatiens that we had originally purchased for the planter box that Mike made last summer. In the fall, we moved them out of the planter box and replaced them with an aster (a more fall flower). At that time, there were eight or so clipped stalks that still had flowers, so I brought them in and put them in large Oktoberfest-style, clear glass steins for vases, being appropriate for later September/early October. I thought they’d eventually lose their flowers and I’d toss them away, normal cycle of life stuff here. Nope. Not these fighters. They grew roots, hearty roots, and kept on, and on- throughout the entire winter. I did change the water periodically, and even added some liquid fertilizer once, which mostly resulted in an explosive growth of algae. Today, we planted these volunteers in the most appropriate container we had – a volunteer. A few months ago we had a windstorm blow over someone’s hanging basket. It was in great shape, so we took it in for a day just like today. It could not have worked out better.
Good luck, little volunteers!
A week or so ago, a co-worker and I commiserated on how lyrically apropos parts of John Lennon’s Mind Games was for that day for the both of us. Particularly the, “You gotta let it, you gotta let it go” line (although, truly, that song has little to do with workdays). Since then, I’ve been having these song-of-the-day moments where a certain song becomes immediately appropriate for the day’s circumstances and I can’t resist the urge to listen to it. Today there were two. This morning started with Foam (Phish)…not a lot of lyrics there, all perfect, however. The day ended just as perfectly when the Beatles’ Two of Us came on the random mix.
Mike helped me keep up the Beatles/Lennon theme tonight by teaching me to play You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away and the Ballad of John & Yoko. I’ll let you guess which one I was better at (there was definitely one).
Rounding out the night, I found a groovin 70s mix stream to listen to in the shower. How good you ask? How about these tunes all in a row: Convoy (CW McCall), Moonlight Feels Right (Starbuck), Gonna Fly Now (Bill Conti) aka the Theme from Rocky. Oh yeah.
My St. Patrick’s day post errantly attributed One Nation Under a Groove to Parliament, when I should have written Funkadelic. While it is no excuse, I am, clearly, not the only one who has made this error, as supported by Wikipedia on the Funkadelic page, “The bands Parliament and Funkadelic cannot be easily separated.”
Rain on Savannah’s St. Patrick’s parade day wasn’t all that bad. The temperatures themselves held in the 60s, and it was light rain most of the time. For a first time in probably a decade, Mike and I were on our own – no guests. While I prefer the guests, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the opportunity to be mobile and to dictate our own schedule.
One major bonus of the rain is that it cut down on the crowds, particularly the kids. This was the second year we rode our bikes down, and we certainly were able to get closer to the parade itself than last year without having to park the bikes.
The only even slightly negative aspect of the day was the security guard? cop? in Colonial Park Cemetery who tried to tell us that there was a new law that said we couldn’t watch the parade from within the cemetery grounds. Odd, since there were no signs saying such, nothing in the news about said new law, and most importantly, the cemetery gates were open! If the City didn’t want us watching from there, they could have simply closed the gates. Big fat duh. The worst part of it was that the cop felt it important to tell us we were being recorded. Yep. Got it. But remember, Missy Cop – so are you. We opted not to argue with her, but we’re still considering writing an indignant letter to…someone.
The highlights were getting to see a lot of the tradition of the parade – the Crab Shack float, the Alee Shriners, and both the Nassau Co. (NY) and Virginia Tech pipe & drum corps (bonus points go to VT for playing Scotland the Brave, one of four national anthems I can identify by music alone). There was a really nice float I hadn’t seen before hosted by a staffing company. It was a very classy coach pulled by clydesdales. They won the Chairman’s Award, whatever that is.
Probably the absolute best part of the parade was the 3rd ID band (that’s the US Army, 3rd infantry division). The band was rocking Parliament’s One Nation Under a Groove. The trombonist, in particular, was incredible. I think it’s safe to say this is no longer George W. Bush’s army. It was nice to see them having fun. Guess this means the US isn’t broke, right?
The corned beef has been slow-cooking since around nine. Until then, it will be a relaxing afternoon of coffee, cinnamon rolls, and sitting around. Hockey starts at seven.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
As I mentioned earlier, my favorite bass now has a brand, new pickguard. The sweetest part is that Mike made it all by himself from custom ordered materials. I’m incredibly pleased with the results. He did a marvelous job. Mike did a full write-up of his work for those of you so inclined, Finished: New Pickguards. Some pics are there. You’ll see he also made one for himself. Here’s one of my favorites:
It is a time like this that I realize I’m not your average female. Most wives are thrilled if their husbands buy them jewelry or similar baubles. I’d be beyond annoyed if Mike dropped a dime on jewels. To date, I still don’t even have a wedding ring, which is entirely the fault of me. Mike has talent, and I am on the receiving end of his creativity and labor. I feel quite lucky.
…if anyone would notice if I ditched the rest of work to stay home and play with my baby and its new pickguard. I’m useless today thinking about it anyway. Pics later. Mike did a hell of a job. It’s beautiful. Sigh…
The gyros involved a two-day process. The first day we seasoned and ground the lamb and beef (they were already ground, but we ground further). We then formed it into a tube shape and vacuum sealed it. Day two, we sous-vide the loaf in our crockpot for about 4 hours. After a rest, Mike cut it into thin slices and broiled a bit. Toppings were standard, including homemade tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and onions. We even wrapped them in wax paper and aluminum foil and let them rest while we made the onion rings. It was The. Best. Gyro. I’ve had in Savannah. I am thrilled that we get leftovers tonight.
Other miscellany for this first day of DST -
*I’ve been contributing some time to Zooniverse lately; specifically, Operation War Diary. Operation War Diary provides British WWI diary pages to the public to tag/index the information contained in them. I’ve done a number of pages for the 57 Field Company Royal Engineers (fanboy love for engineers!). Yesterday, I was humbled as I tagged an account of their involvement in the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914. It told of their blowing up bridges on their way to the trenches. It also mentioned 500 prisoners and 6 guns were taken. While I generally don’t like military history, I like this aspect of it. It humanizes the otherwise dull discipline of memorizing dates, troop movements, and leaders.
*I finished my first audio book recently – The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. What a fantastic book it was. The audio aspect of it took a little getting used to. It was odd having someone read to me. I haven’t had anyone do that for me for a very long time. I am on my second audio book now, and the readers are no where near as good as the the lady who read The Hunger Games. I am starting to realize that makes a difference on whether or not I like the story, which sort of sucks. I feel like I’m missing some of the nuance with poor narrators.
—–*I also recently read the third book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series, Life, the Universe and Everything. If it wasn’t Adams and if it wasn’t part of the series I would not have finished it. It was tedious, giving definition to the word slog. Ugh. I now question whether I will read the fourth book.
*In mid February, we noticed some garlic we had in the kitchen had sprouted. We dug up a small patch in the yard, fertilized it a bit with manure, and planted the wee sprouts – about 12 bulbs in all. Today, the stalks of the bulbs stand 4-6 inches high, and are thick and healthy. We’ve never grown garlic before so I’m looking forward to see if this works out. If it does, we’ll be in luck as they are bulbs and should return every year.
Ok, enough for now. I am going to go find a way to further appreciate the rest of this gorgeous day and late daylight hours.
In preparing to share the following story, I searched The Gull Reef Club to determine if I had ever shared my previous, one and only, ghost-in-my-old-house story, and apparently I have not. So I owe you that one. I’ve already committed to the title of this post, therefore, you get the second ghost story first.
While I’ve not been convinced ghosts are real, I like the creative, sci-fi speculation ghost stories provide. Now, for your own edification and speculation: A few nights ago, Mike and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner. I went to the cabinet where we keep croutons to get them for our salads. I open the cabinet and a single item falls out, nearly on my head – the croutons. I joked that it was the ghost of the former lady of the kitchen who must have also been short of height and felt sorry for me. I then said out loud to the kitchen generally, “Thank you, Esther Neidlinger!” (Mrs. Neidlinger was one of the many former residents of my home, approximately from the late 40s/early 50s through late 60s).
As soon as I did that, the salad dressing sitting on the prep cart falls to the ground. I remarked to Mike, “Less skeptical people would have been sure we were visited by the ghost of Esther Neidlinger just now.” Of course he piles on, “Or maybe you named the wrong ghost and now he or she is mad at you.” Uh-oh! Or maybe we just had a strong surge of gravitational pull localized solely to our kitchen.
I really don’t know what happened there. Probably just a series of nicely timed coincidences. I promise to post my other ghost-in-my-old-house story and then you can decide if we are haunted.
I had, and sort of still have, every intention on posting my notes from my time at jury duty on Wednesday. In the event I flake out/get lazy and don’t post my notes, I still wanted to share an event that stood out.
The case that needed a jury was for a criminal trial, felony assault. We went through the usual voir dire, and were all asked questions by both the District Attorney and the two Defense Counsel. Throughout the entire time, there was a lady sitting with the DA at the DA’s table, wearing a suit like all the other attorneys. She was listening to the voir dire proceedings, and it appeared she was consulting with the DA on jury selection (lots of leaned-in whispering to each other throughout). It not made clear to us who she was at first. I, and I assume most in there, thought she was another DA.
Toward the end of voir dire, it was mentioned in a very off-hand way (and I can’t even remember who said it now – it was that nonchalant), that the mystery lady at the DA’s table was, in fact, the arresting officer of the Defendant. I don’t know if I was the only one in the room who was confused and a bit surprised by this, but I was certainly the only one to ask for clarification about it. Yeah me. I just love to draw attention to myself, but I couldn’t let it go without knowing for sure.
As soon as I heard her title, I raised my hand and asked Defense Counsel #1*, “I’m sorry, I’m not sure if I heard that right. Did someone up there (in front of the bar) say that lady sitting at the DA’s table is the arresting officer?” DC#1 confirms, “Yes. She is the Arresting Officer.” I then sort of blurt out, “And she is allowed to sit through all this…and the trial?” With that, DC#1 turns to face me full on (meaning her back was completely to the Judge, the DA, and Arresting Officer) makes a face at me that I took as grateful, says very curtly, “Yes. That is how the Court has ruled.” I thanked her and sat down. I know I heard a few gasps and hmms in the room.
So I didn’t get picked for the jury. I don’t know if it is because of my question or not. There are certainly other criteria that may have gotten me kicked.
I’m really hung up on this, though. My gut tells me that it is improper for the arresting officer to be at the DA’s table, especially during jury selection. It affords her the opportunity to shape her testimony to what she thinks the jury wants to hear. I’m not saying this officer would do this purposefully, but it may be the sort of thing that happens subliminally and she wouldn’t even know she was doing it. It could damage the fairness of the Defendant’s trial.
I asked a few attorneys I know/work with, but since we are all immersed in the civil side of the law, no one really had a solid answer for me. I’m curious about the legality of having an arresting officer sit in on jury selection and an entire trial. I have a very high opinion of the Judge overseeing the case and would like to think he did nothing improper. The issue may lie with Georgia law itself, which again, I’m obviously not sure about. Thoughts?
*I didn’t intentionally mean to ask DC#1. I would have asked anyone who would have answered me. It just happened she was the one who responded first when I raised my hand.
This post is specifically dedicated to my beloved, baby brother and all his fellow northerners who are beyond sick of winter.
One of the few ways we humans make ourselves feel better about our respective conditions is to ponder the misery of someone worse off and then remark, “well, at least my life isn’t that hard”. So here is your comparison for the day; I hope it makes you feel a little better:
Bad-ass, hyperborean, 3rd great-grandpa Abell primarily resided, for a good portion of his life, at Lower Fort Garry, in the southern region of Manitoba. On one occasion, duty required him to travel to Fort Chipewyan in the far northern parts of Alberta. Because he was assisting in getting the first steamboat to sail on Lake Athabasca, he had to travel in winter (which is boat building season, when the lakes/rivers are frozen). This all went down Winter 1882/1883. At one point, he wrote about what he had to wear as he traveled (by dogsled):
It might interest you to know that the garments necessary for winter travel were as follows: Heavy flannel underwear, flannel shirt with collars, a heavy tweed suit, and over the coat a jersey. In addition, one had to have a “top-coat” -as it was called- of buffalo robe, lined with rat skin, and with an otter collar; a cap with an otter band and a seal crown, and ear flaps which could be pulled down; a knitted muffler to wrap around the neck and head; and for the feet, high silk socks, and over them duffel socks, made of heavy wool in something resembling the texture of a blanket. These last were made expressly for wear on long journeys in extreme winter weather. One also wore moccasins of smoked moose skin, in place of boots, and buffalo leggins, which partly covered the moccasins and extended up over the knees. A pair of fur gauntlets drawn on over woolen gloves constituted the finishing touch in this outfit.
So my cold northern-dwelling friends and family, when you dress for work next, keep this in mind and think, well, at least my life isn’t that hard.
The Machine has pulled my number. For the second time in the nearly thirteen years I’ve lived here, I have been called to the join the Justice Squadron at the Municipal Fortress of Vengeance. I was delighted to find I had kept notes of my last term of public service, and now, intend to do so again. More tomorrow.
The parts arrived and Mike has assembled my screaming new computer. It’s late so I don’t have much time now, but I’m curious – can one be in love with a machine? I’m smitten.
My computer,which actually was Mike’s old computer, is dead. It was a good long run, and Mike has a kick ass backup and NAS system set up so I have few concerns about lost data. Phew! Thanks, Mike!
Mike has researched and purchased me the parts to make a stellar new computer. They should arrive by Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, I’m stuck using my tablet. I’m old school and don’t know if I will ever get used to not using a keyboard (mostly because I refuse to make the effort). I very much dislike this touch type/autocorrect bs. I feel out of control. If I’m slow to respond this week, please be patient. I’ll be back when I have real typing ability again.
As I return to normalcy after the surgery, I find I am pleasantly overwhelmed with possibilities to occupy my attention. Front and center being the Sochi Winter Olympics. Of course and especially hockey, including the ladies. Those girls kick ass and were fun to watch. I won’t ruin anything for you, I promise. I hate that. This Olympics is seriously testing our tv watching/recording stamina. It’s all sports all the time, except when I’m completely avoiding current events because I don’t want the results spoiled. We’re currently watching a replay of the Canada v Norway mens hockey game. Don’t ruin it for me.
In addition to all the strenuous tv viewing, I’ve made a few genealogy advancements. My interlibrary loan came in. It’s a biography written about that bad ass 3rd great grandfather I’ve previously mentioned, written by his daughter (my gg aunt) who was pretty bad ass herself. On top of that, one of Mike’s cousins got in touch with me and it appears I may be making some advancements on his tree soon as well. (Mike’s that is, not his cousin’s. Although I suppose the help would work both ways…/tangent end.)
Somehow I am also managing to squeeze in listening to my first audio book. (Yes, I really love my library.) Unfortunately, my commute is too short to listen on the ride to work – not to mention the fact that there is little possibility of getting Mike to want to listen as well (one car house, he drives me, in the event this statement was confusing to you). It’s a good thing I shower everyday. I just hope I can get it finished before it expires. Review later.
The making of my new pick guard is imminent.
Pushing the limits of awesomeness, I have had chocolate cake almost everyday this week, and on Tuesday twice.
Fortunately, the weather has been a cold bucket of suck and I can’t go outside or I’d have even more to do. Ok, back to one of my many other distractions…I think I’ll start with chocolate cake.
As we all draw closer to our respective Super Bowl parties, please consider this: WHY Joe Buck Sucks, and why people hate Joe Buck
Helpful hint: if you have a surround system, many will allow you to mute/silence your center channel (where the voices come out). Simply silence your center and you will no longer be subject to the boring ramblings of Buck & Aikman, and will feel like you’re in the middle of the stadium (just warmer and with slightly more personal freedom).