Monday, September 28, 2009

What a griper I've become

Never satisfied with the weather? When did I become such a grouch? I've had the audacity to be dissatisfied with these lovely 75-80 degree days we've been having, complaining (mildly, I would hope) that the humidity was high and I worked up a "glow" rather easily.

So, today, the gods of weather present have provided me with a cool, fall-like day. So what am I grouchy about now? It is windy as all get out - gusts of nearly 40 miles an hour. Brrrr! It's cold out there, and now I've got to go for a walk. Well, soon I should go for a walk. I will, of course, I will! I'll go for a walk pretty soon now.

I knew it; I just knew it!

Back in June I wrote an unnecessarily detailed account of my experience with our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Act at work. I had endured an hour and a half of sedate - very, very sedate - travel for a few miles north of Faribault on I-35. I noted then that there would surely be more of this, as this area near Faribault was not the most needy section of Interstate 35. That, I noted, would be from Albert Lea to just north of the rest stop, going north. (Technically, that should have said "just north of Albert Lea to the next rest stop, but why be picky about that now?) That highway section had one enduring a regular thunk, thunk, thunk, of speed bump-like pavement. I didn't want to be a victim of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Act again, and subsequently modified travel plans through the area - until this weekend. Time passes; I forget.

As it happens, I predicted correctly. Delighted as I am that these repairs are being made, the most pleasant surprise was that there were no delays this trip. That's probably because I was there on Saturday and Sunday. I had a smooth and pleasant trip with the promise that next time I'm coming through that patch of highway, the thunk, thunk, speed bump-like condition will have been eliminated. Hurray for the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Act! Oddly, however, there was no sign advising that this was the product of the "Act", nor even an acknowledgment that this is the next generation's tax dollars at work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I think I've found it

Of course, there is a web site for "as seen on TV", so, of course, I spent some of my not very valuable time searching for the gadget that I "must have". (See "I need this gadget" below) I think I've found it, although it is not the kind of gadget I previously sort of believed I was looking for. There are, of course, hundreds of gadgets - useful and mostly not so much - on this web site of little known treasures for one's consideration.

I thought for awhile the gadget I had been taken with might have been the BBQ food thermometer, but have now pretty much discarded that idea. Possibly it was one of the handy little drain cleaning devices, but they really don't have the obsession factor I held for this mystery gadget. Then there were the Flexfit lids, which would certainly be useful to have, but I was quite sure they were not what I would think of as "a gadget". I also discarded the idea that I needed Bender Balls for better abs, an automatic shoe polisher, a boot and glove dryer or a hands free blow dryer, among other things.

I finally settled on the Smart Light at $30 plus an exorbitant shipping charge. This 4 in 1 gadget turns on and off at dusk and dawn, becomes a flashlight if needed and pops on when you walk by it to light up the path in front of me, which occasionally in my house might include a spot of pee. (That's dog pee, not a misprint for tea). This is more likely to be at the bottom of the stairs in the morning. Since I leave a night light on for my one-eyed Princess, this would have caught my attention, as I sometimes forget - the night light, not the Princess.

I have concluded I will be able to live comfortably for the foreseeable future without the newly identified gadget, and I definitely won't miss most of the other gadget purchase opportunities. Ah! What a relief to have this mystery solved. And cheaply too, costing only about an hour of my not at all precious time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Phoenix on the horizon

As the Vikings seem to have some potential this year to play good football, I noticed they will be playing the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix on December 6th, shortly after I have returned there. Game is sold out, so I've invited all my relatives to come to my house to watch the Vikings win. Although they're die hard Cardinals fans, they have not only agreed but have already written offering to bring all kinds of great food to the event. Entertaining is getting easier all the time, as better cooks than I keep offering to do what they do best. And they don't even know that I know how to cook too, so please, don't tell them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We're being told that we should not expose others to the H1N1 virus and that to be sure that we don't, we should stay home if we feel sick. Here's my quandary. If I sit at home analyzing how I feel, I can sometimes (when I'm a little tired or a little down) convince myself that I'm getting sick. I then think maybe I'd better stay home; however, if I have to go out to, say, walk the dogs or pick up some milk, I find that I feel just fine - actually better. So you see, I have to go out and about to figure out if I'm getting sick or just malingering or imagining. I do sincerely hope that I don't get this virus, as I'm sure that I would spread it trying to figure out whether I have it or not.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time passing

Here it is the 17th of September - less than two and a half months, and I will be headed southwest to hide from the evil winter winds. It remains beautiful in Minnesota, with temperatures moderating from the lower 80's to the mid 70's. Trees are turning color, but leaves are dropping quickly due to our drought conditions.

Today I renewed my drivers' license, not waiting as I did in 2005 until the very last minute. Very pleasant public servant clarified that in Minnesota it's okay to smile for your picture. We agreed that, should we be stopped by an officer, we'd be smiling at him/her when he/she came to the window - an anxious smile, perhaps, but a smile nevertheless. I'm sure the officer would recognize me as the person in the license picture, if I'm smiling. If not, I suppose I might be asked to smile for the comparison. Anyway, the picture looks more like me than the one taken in 2005, and I told the truth about my weight this time. First time in many years. Also failed the eye exam, so from now on the glasses I already always wear when driving are mandated. Ah well, I held out for a long time on that.

Choir last evening kept me up late. Actually, it wasn't the choir that ran late; it was the after choir drink and snack and visit with friends. The time with friends must not be cut short, as it is very important time indeed. Life continues to be good.

Would it change me?

Saw a Billboard today that implied that I would be more interesting if I had a new, designer purse/outfit bought at the Mall of America. I wondered. Would I really? Probably, not much!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What are the crazies thinking?

"While liberal scribes earnestly prattle on about the necessity for good policy in the face of global warming and peak oil and blah-blah-blah, the authors of the right have long since abandoned this outdated "reality-based" model. The reader's heart is captured, after all, not by an adherence to the murky truths of the known world, but by the ecstatic possibilities of the imagined." Steve Almond in September 12, 2009, in an article entitled Glenn Beck is the future of literary fiction.

This article summarized a few right wing based best sellers, listed rather inaccurately as 'non-fiction', which purport to warn us about our current dangerous political direction. Their hysteria based claims, it may be feared, could convince some like minded nuts of their claims. Yet I found it somewhat comforting that these fiction based rantings were so obviously - well, fictional. Such thinking, I thought, is not dissimilar to an expose' of an animal hoarder who in the midst of dozens of untamed and unkempt animals running wild and terrified through a feces and garbage filed home insists that the animals are loved and well cared for.

The Lord said, "The poor you shall have always with you." It appears that we can also say with similar certainty, "The crazies you shall have always with you." Just watch closely for those who are armed and do not try to reason with them. Best, I think, to simply nod sympathetically and walk quietly away.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I need this gadget

But I have no idea what it is. I saw it as I was channel surfing, and I thought this cute little gadget would be really useful to have. I watched the demo long enough to learn that Bed, Bath and Beyond would carry it, so I knew I didn't have to call the station number and go through the hassle of ordering it, which would no doubt have resulted in a whole new batch of several types of junk mail.

So, today, I was at BB&B to pick up a couple of things I needed, but mostly to look for this gadget that I really, really would like to have. Actually, I'm sure I really need it and it is, as I recall, only about $20 - well, $19.95 plus shipping. I didn't find it, nor did I find anything that remotely resembled something I might have once thought would be useful to have. It's also hard to seek any help from the staff, as I have no idea what this gadget would be used for. I have concluded, sadly, I may never know what it is nor how useful it might have been. Alas! Sigh!

I'm going to see Obama

The President of the United States is coming to town, and I'm going to go see him. I'm going to be one of those cheering loudly and rising to applaud everything he says. It's time those idiot clowns who disrupt and misconstrue are reminded that a majority of Americans elected this man to lead us, and our responsibilities consist of more than "just say no". Either contribute or get out of the way. We have progress to achieve.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It has suddenly become clear to me why parents are so concerned about their children being "brainwashed" by Obama. Since they are so easily convinced of such unsupported lies as 1) Obama is not an American; 2) Obama will be setting up death squads to eliminate the weak and elderly and 3) Obama wants to take over your medical decisions - and so on and so on. Clearly, since it is so easy to brainwash these folks with lies, they have a deep seated fear that their children will be brainwashed by facts and sensible values - creating between them and their children an insurmountable "generational" gap.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alas! The Fair is over

Two visits to the Minnesota State Fair this year, and I feel I should have gone at least once more. The paper has been obsessed with the food opportunities there, but I was sated after just three indulgences at my first visit and after just two indulgences at my second. There seem to be hundreds of opportunities, but in order to truly appreciate these, one my age must return again and again. Even ruling out those offerings I wouldn't risk, or have risked in the past with less than satisfactory results, it would take weeks of visits to fully appreciate all the opportunities.

So, today, as I rather half heartedly began taping my entry way and fireplace so that I can complete my painting project, I found myself regretting that I did not get back to visit at least one more time. Oh yes, and there were a number of exhibits and events that I also missed. I guess that's the reason they do this over and over again, year after year, and it continues to break attendance records as the Great Minnesota Get Together. Next year I'm definitely going to visit at least three times, and I'm going to diet all year long in preparation. Ooops! Now I remember. All that dieting has shrunk my appetite. It may take more than three visits next year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Moving on

Most of my painting project is finished, but I'm taking a break before finishing up the front entry way and the fireplace surround. It's looking pretty good.

September has arrived, and it's time to plan September outings, including the Renaissance Festival and a trip to Iowa to visit friends. Before we know, it will be October, and fall leaves will be in full color. Outings to enjoy the fall colors, as well as a return to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Museum of Russian Art to see new exhibits are on my agenda for October and November.

Oh my goodness, before I know it, it will be time to think about winter in Phoenix. And sometime in here I need to figure out what to do about dog training. I'm having so much fun in retirement - still, I do have responsibilities.

Home painting project complete

Pictures posted of before and after painting project. I'm very pleased with the result.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Painting is work

Took a break from my painting project, which seems to be taking more work and time than I had anticipated. I went to the fair with my dog, Yo, to sit in the pet building booth and let people pet her, give her treats and ask me questions about her, which I graciously answered, I might add. I let them think she was a paragon of virtue, which she is, sometimes.

This painting job is wearing me down. I thought I had finished the dining room, only to see that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of places where the one coat had not covered everything well. As I pursued these seemingly endless spots with my brush at the ready, I wanted to grumble, or scream, or cry, but I just kept finding more. I've now stopped looking.

Looking closely at my accent wall, however, I realized I had "fixed" spots not fully painted by painting over them with a shinier version of the paint color. Oops! The reason for this repaint job is to cover the shiny spots created when I fixed some scuffs with a shiny version of the previous paint. I seem to be right back where I started from. There's a song about that somewhere, isn't there?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Progress Report - Painting

Just finished the "accent wall" in the living room, except for the detail around the molding, which has to wait for the paint on the molding to dry. As I was looking it over a voice commented aloud "that is going to make this a much more interesting room." It's always nice to hear complements, even if they are from a biased source, but especially after two days of very hard work. Still much to do. I now remember why I put off repainting for about fifteen or twenty years. Just guess how long it will be until I undertake something like this again.

Thought about it? I'm guessing it will be twice as long as you might guess. Oh yes, and in case you're wondering who commented out loud, remember I live alone. Now can you guess who it was?