Archive for August, 2002

Aug 30 2002

Random notes

Published by under Computing,Friends,Work

Well. This has been quite a little week for me. Work has gotten a bit hectic, but hopefully we have gotten all of our bases covered and haven’t overlooked some important detail. But I don’t really want to talk about work. I don’t really have anything to talk about. I just figured I’d write a little something in between working on documentation and helping my team put out little fires.

I think my car is going dead. When I drove it to work on Monday it was making various Odd Noises. Not being a car person, I couldn’t identify the source of the sound, but there are two things that I am sure of: There should not be loud clunking sound when one steps on the brakes and when the air conditioner is off, the car should not hiss angrily and the temperature gauge should not rise quickly. However, both of these things happened sporadically and I am losing faith in the reliability of my mode of transportation. That’s bad, because we really can’t afford to fix the car, and we REALLY can’t afford to buy a brand new car.

Went out with Vicki on Monday night and had a good time. Went out to eat at Bennigan’s and got my pictures of Drummond Island developed. The disposable camera I used apparently takes the picture and shoves it out another half mile, so things that I was relatively close to when I took the picture end up looking like I was standing across a football field, vainly snapping in the general direction of a tree. *sigh* That is a lesson for me: You have a fairly expensive camera, USE IT. Stop screwing around with these disposable pieces of crap.

As a side note, I am probably going to be screwing around with my journal template. I like the basic color scheme, but I do need to alter a few things, and the image will probably change as well. The web site is also getting on my nerves (already) because of the HUGE image on the left. I’m not sure if I’m still down with that or not, although I do like the image in and of itself quite a bit. I’m just not sure it belongs right THERE.

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Aug 27 2002

My big ass and other gripes

Published by under Rants

Gripe One:
My ass is big. I do not say this lightly. I have a big ass. I realized it this evening when I was dressing to go out tonight. Every pair of pants I own are tight in the ass. Even the pants that I love because they are loose are tight in the ass. Even my drawstring capris are tight in the ass. I can only assume that my ass is growing at an alarming rate. Soon I will be one of those chicks that can carry a beer around on her ass. That will not be good. The problem with this (other than the fact that my ass is large) is that I am lazy and shy. That is a bad combination. That means that even if I get motivated enough to go to a gym, I will most likely flee in terror, feeling that everyone is looking at me.

Gripe Two:
My bank decided that today they would start their new “close at 5″ routine. This means that my bank now has the absolute LEAST convient hours in the world. They open at 9 and close at 5. “Well,” you might say, “so does every other business in the world.” True, but banks I believe should open at 8 and close at 7, so that the majority of their clients can go to the bank and not have to get to work late or leave work early. I even left work early today and STILL did not get to the bank in time because I work a half-hour from my home base. So I couldn’t pay my car payment, which is already two months late.

Gripe Three:
The spacebar on my keyboard is very very annoying. It does not stick, per se but it feels like it catches on something halfway down and then is shoved forcibly past. I will have to change this keyboard out for a different one, if there is one to be had in our Big Box O’ Computer Parts.

Vicki is supposed to come over tonight. I sure as hell hope she gets here soon before I end up doing something I might regret, like feeding my big fat ass. I need a cigarette.

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Aug 27 2002

Home again, home again jiggety-jog

Published by under The Fam,The Man,Travel

Well, we are back from Drummond Island and we didn’t get killed by a bear. Vacation was fun, relaxing, interesting, and beautiful. I loved the area, although I would go stir-crazy if I lived up there so isolated from everything. I didn’t really keep a log of everything that we did, so as near as I can remember, here is what went down:

Day One: Take off. Stop by Meijers to return bottles and we are on the road in earnest by 11 AM. Drive north. Cross Mackinac Bridge! Haven’t been over the Bridge in years! See familiar sites that I haven’t seen since I was a kid and had almost forgotten about. Arrive at De Tour, MI (yes, that’s the actual town’s name) at about 2:30, just in time to see the ferry to the island pull away from the dock. Wait at ferry dock for about half an hour. Get on ferry. My first time on a car ferry! It is weird to be in the car and on a moving boat. See sister and brother-in-law two rows over. Cannot get their attention. They see us and wave while they disembark. The Man and I drive right past them as we get off; we do not notice that they have waited for us. We get to Arnold’s Landing — WHEE! The whole resort is ours! There are five units and six couples. Twin stepsisters and their husbands will share a unit. Unpack. Look around. We are in Scott’s Bay, on the western shore. Looking out from the dock we can see another island before us (We find out later that this is an Indian burial ground). Once everyone arrives, we all load on the pontoon boat for a tour of the bay and surrounding islands. Too many people in front of the boat — nose dives UNDER WATER. Water rushes in pontoon. Much screaming, and everyone runs to the back. Crisis averted, the rented pontoon does not sink. We soggily head back to shore and giggle over our mishap. Attempts to light a bonfire that night with logs and motor oil fails miserably. Stepsisters’ attempts to roast marshmallows over smudgy fire a failure. We all retreat to our respective campers to sleep.

Day Two. The Man, Sister, Brother-in-Law and myself head out to the Maxton Plains. Beautiful! This is what is called an “Alvar Plain” — I don’t really know what that means, but I look at the ground. It looks like someone got a little crazy when paving the road — the pavement extends out in spots like there was extra cement. Then I realize that the road is not in fact paved at all. It is natural limestone. The “extentions” are where the topsoil has worn away. We return to the resort. Stepdad and various others go fishing. I sit on mom’s deck, which is closest to the water with The Man and sister. Soon, stepdad’s boat comes in to dock, dragging ass. Everyone on board is wearing a life-jacket (this is most unusual). For some reason, the boat began to take on water and stepbrother did not mention it to anyone until the water was almost to his knees! Stepdad tells us that he radioed frantically for help — stepsisters and their husbands in the other boat responded slowly. However, the bilge pump and the bailing efforts of stepbrother’s wife save the day. I begin to wonder if we will all die in boating-related accidents before the week is out. Tonight The Man lights a roaring blaze down at the firepit. We cook hot dogs, and there is much eucre playing in the screened in grill area. I dislike euchre so I sit by the fire with mom and sister, occasionally visited by other family members. Yum — Captain Morgan and Vanilla Coke is consumed. I go back to our camper and fall asleep. There is a bunny outside.

Day Three. The Man and I take the pontoon out alone — very nervously. The Man has never driven a boat and I have never driven a pontoon. . . plus the last time I drove a normal boat was when I was 13. We spend a lot of time looking at the depth gauge because the water is awfully shallow and we have been warned against destroying the prop. We make it back with no mishaps. Sister and I decide that today we will bust out the kayaks. Mom, Sister, Brother-in-Law, and myself head out in to the water. Kayaking is fun! Why didn’t I ever do this before? We stick close to the shoreline because Mom and I are not used to kayaking and fear that we may tip over. After about an hour we head back — arms are tired. Food and fire again tonight. Beer is the beverage of choice.

Day Four. It rains. All day. The Man and I stay inside watching bad, bad Canadian television (Canadian waters are about three miles from us). We pity the people in Canada who get this pathetic programming. Time to bust out the books — The Man digs up “The Fifth Sorceress” and I start “The Pillars of Creation”.

Day Five. Rain is gone! There was a bear in the campground last night — a stump has been shredded. In the afternoon, The Man, Mom, Sister, Brother-In-Law, and myself tie two kayaks to the pontoon and head for the Indian Burial ground island. There is a beach there. Everyone else is out fishing. We sit on the pontoon for awhile and read. Mom and Brother-in-Law take off in kayaks. When they come back, we have been joined by twin Stepsisters and their husbands. They are going to try to waterski. Sister and I take the kayaks and head out — discover another little beach across the bay on a different island. Oh, crap, it’s private property. Turn around and come back. On the way back, boat buzzes by — The Man is being towed behind on a tube! Didn’t know he liked to tube. . . Stepsister is trying to waterski but the boat does not have enough OOMPH to pull her up. Trolling motor is taken off to lighten the boat. Various other things are done. Stepsister gets up on skis. . . and boat promptly runs out of gas! Switch to reserve tank and she is up! Many cheers from pontoon crew who is watching. We head back for food, drink, and campfire. More beer. Tonight, while The Man and I stand on our deck smoking, we see a deer! She comes right in to the resort grounds to eat the corn that the owner has left. She must be used to people — she looks at our noise and just goes back to eating. How pretty.

Day Six. More kayaking. This time, The Man, Sister, Brother-In-Law and myself head to the Potagannsing Flood Project. This is a series of rivers and lakes that feed into one another, and that ends at a dam. We start at the dam and go upriver. The wind is blowing HARD and against us. Kayaking upriver and against the wind is hard work. We pass four beaver huts and then we are in the first lake. Sister and Brother-in-law have been here on a different day, but were unable to find the outlet into the next river. Today, we search and search and are finally successful. However, we have been out already for two and a half hours and still have to go back. The rivers and lakes are crowded with weeds and weed beds. It is kind of strange pushing through the reeds. I cheer when we finally get to the dam — my arms are ready to fall off. Back to the resort. Tonight is a fish fry! Yum! We deep-fry walleye, potatoes, and onion rings and feast. Afterwards we start another bonfire (The Man has been designated Official Fire Starter) and drink and roast marshmallows. When we go back to our camper we see the deer again.

Day Seven. Another bear has visited in the night — the trash cans have been overturned. Today The Man and I head back out to the Maxton Plains so I can take some landscape pictures. We head up to Four Corners (an instersection that has a scattering of shops) so I can pick up a nice Drummond Island hooded sweatshirt. However, I am feeling ill and so we go back to the resort. I laze about, then begin packing up. Tonight we do the fire thing again, but The Man and I retreat early — we must be up at seven AM.

Day Eight. Time to go home. Get up, shower, load the bags, and head down to Mom and Stepdad’s camper. We miss the 8:10 ferry because we need to get pictures taken. Hugs and goodbyes and we are on the road. We are the last car on the ferry and as soon as we are on the are up ramp and away! We settle in for the long drive home and are in our driveway before 2 PM. Cats are happy to see us. I begin doing laundry and we sit down on our own couch, happy to be home.

Well, there ya go. Hopefully I will post pictures, if any turned out. I plan on getting them developed tonight.

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Aug 14 2002

Oh how I love to clean

Published by under Friends,Pets,Work

Don’t worry kids, haven’t become a Stepford Wife yet. . . the title is sarcastic in all ways. Much as I don’t like to clean, I do like the end result. And, since The Man and I are leaving soon for a mini-family reunion at Drummond Island, the house must be kitty-proofed. I have found a lady to come to our house every day and care for the cats. The Man calls her “Crazy Internet Psycho Lady” because I found her through the Net. However, one of my co-workers says that his neighbor uses the same lady and nothing bad has happened yet. I am not too worried about what the lady will do (steal stuff), I am worried about the cats. I worry that they will get sick or get loose (they are strictly indoor cats) and that the lady will not care for them correctly. But I NEED this vacation and the lady has been caring for animals for awhile. . . I must trust that she will not murder (through neglect or other nefarious means) my kittens.

It is DAMN COLD in this building today (I’m at work). The AC is pumping out the cold air and my fingers are stiff. I am pretty sensitive to cold. . . my hands freeze up pretty quickly. My finger joints kind of ache and I would really like to get out of here. Prolly shouldn’t be typing with hurting fingers but oh well.

Hung out with Vicki last night while The Man was gaming. We mostly stayed home but took a quick jaunt out for food. The night consisted of sitting on my porch drinking a pint of Captain Morgan and smoking a lot of cigarettes. Therefore, I was tired and a bit queasy when I awoke, but I feel much better now.

Tonight I will dust the bedroom, finish the laundry, vacuum, and create my Drummond Island shopping list. We need to take some easy to prepare food up with us. I will be doing a lot of cooking, I predict. But that’s okay. I like to cook.

Speaking of food I am really in the mood for my very own cheesy tomato saucy pasta. Want the recipie? OK, here it is:

2 cups of pasta (I prefer penne or corkscrew)
1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, diced
1 can of tomato soup
about 2 tbsp. Worchestor sauce (I don’t measure, so this is an estimate)
about 1/4 cup ketchup (see above)
1/4 cup water
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the meat and onion in a large saucepan. Cook the pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain the meat. Dump the pasta in the saucepan with the drained meat and onion. Dump everything else on top of it. Stir. Heat on med. until cheese it melted and everything is nice and hot. Serve. Serve some more. Serve even more. Yum.

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Aug 10 2002

And so it goes

Published by under Current Events,Rants

Well, I guess I’ll stick with this for awhile longer. Here I was, all ready to quit and the B had to go and say something nice about me. I, of course, ate it up with a spoon. Because I like hearing nice stuff about myself (who doesn’t?).

So. For your Friday reading pleasure, a short, ill-thought out political rant from me:

I’ve been inflicted with a lot of NPR lately, due to the fact that The Man likes hearing talk radio and NPR is pretty reliable for that. And as I was riding to work the other day, I was reviewing the top news stories in my head. Suddenly, it struck me: We (Americans) are the latter-day Roman Empire, and the Pax Romana is about to come to an end. For those not familiar with Roman history (not like I have a degree in it or anything), the fall of the Roman Empire was preceeded by a lot of corruption in the nobility and by lots of extraneous warfare to give the army something to do. Now, as Americans, we like to claim we don’t have a nobility. Bullshit, Klaus! You see all them rich folks? There’s our nobility. And unless you’ve been living under a rock (or a pile of useless Enron stock) you know that a whole lotta rich people have been going to jail lately for corporate misdeeds (corruption). But that’s nothing new, right? We’ve all known for years that corporate America is corrupt. That in and of itself is a sign of imminent doom: The normal folks all know that something is rotten in the state, and no one does anything about it. Not that I’ve been busting out the ol’ protesting placard or anything.

OK so the second point (which I’m sure a lot of people are going to LOVE hearing me say): Extraneous warfare. And what better way to wage extraneous warfare than to start a war with no definable enemy or goals? Yes, folks, I’m pretty sure that the current “War on Terrorism” is a big old crock of crap. Sure, we needed to chase down Osama bin Laden. He happened to be in Afghanistan and they wouldn’t fork him over so they got their asses handed to them in a take-out bag. But. . . come on. No one really knows what the hell is going on with this “war” right now. We don’t have bin Laden (or do we? Or is he hiding? Or is he dead? It’s a guessing game), so our original goal has failed. But never fear. . . we don’t really care about that anyways. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people have forgotten that the original goal of the Afghanistan campaign was to get one lone man. Not oust a regime. Not free the poor women from their burkhas. We were there to vent our anger on one individual who deserved it (I agree with that point) and get some of his buddies along with him if we could do so. However, as the months drag on and the one year anniversary of 9/11 grows nearer goal #1 in the War on Terror still hasn’t been accomplished. And no one “up top” seems to care. Why? Because we are getting ready to stomp the shit out of Iraq! We found a new bad guy. I almost (but not quite) feel sorry for Hussein. It’s like we’ve been teasing him for 10 years (We’re gonna GITCHA! Better RUN! RUN RUN RUN!).

But what do I know? Not too much. Just my rant.

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