Saturday, October 31, 2015

So... what're you wearing?

Happy Halloween!  I like to celebrate it as the day when my cobwebs become decorations!

Actually, it feels like any other Saturday.  Nothing special going on around here.  I've got a big bag of candy and Magnum and I busted ourselves getting and carving the above jack-o's, so the little moochers better show up!

I'm just whining because Meego is away on a fun 4-day band trip to Utah.  I would have loved to gone along as a chaperone, but who can just take off for four days?!?

It's also made me realize how starved I am for an adventure.  We didn't do anything particularly adventurous this summer - no road trips, no comic con, didn't even make it camping ONCE.  As I recall, we had a camping trip tentatively planned, but schedules just didn't mesh to make it happen.  So I'm in much need.  Much need.

So much need that I'm lamenting the fact that I didn't make a trip where I'd be spending four days of my life keeping a bunch of high schoolers in line.  Four days that would include about 20 hours spent on a bus with said high schoolers.  THAT'S how desperate I am for a getaway!

But I am enjoying fall.  The colors, the cooler temperatures, the smell of rotting leaves...  Magnum and I headed out yesterday on the hunt for pumpkins.  We thought we would support the farmer who sets up shop at the neighborhood farmer's market site up the street.  He always seems to sell so few pumpkins.

So that was our first stop, and I think we discovered why his sales are so low - it's because his prices are so HIGH!  Seriously??  Forty-five bucks for something I'm gonna carve up and then throw away in a couple of days?

Okay, plan B.  To heck with the farmer, and off to the grocery store.  Three grocery stores later, we found a small pumpkin pile that hadn't yet been cleared by the other desperados.  We even managed to get three so that Meego would be represented in abstentia.

Shown, left to right, are Meego, me, Magnum.  Magnum's jack-o-lanterns always look like Loony Toon characters to me.

So that was our excitement.  Did I mention I need a getaway?


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Dear poor neglected blog.  I know it's been a whole week since I last visited.  The week was busy, but good busy, and not overwhelmingly so.  It's just that, during the non-busy bits, I didn't much feel like hanging out on the computer, y'know?

But it's all temporary, I'm sure.  Particularly since we're heading into the cold months.  There is finally snow on Pikes Peak, but I'm not going to show a pic of it because everyone and their grandma took pictures of snow on the Peak and then posted them on the internet this week.  Not doing it.

It was a lovely day yesterday, however, so Magnum and I took advantage once again.  Meego was up north at the state HS band competition, so Magnum and I played empty-nesters and took a bike ride on a trail we've been meaning to check out but hadn't gotten around to.

It was a very pleasant day for it, and this trail added to the pleasantness.  It took us all the way to Garden of the Gods.

Obligatory bike/trail/mountains photo

Here's the well-known "Kissing Camels" rock formation in the background.  Last one to spot it's a rotten egg.

So a very nice ride on a very nice trail.  I'm sure we'll hit it again.  And surprisingly, it wasn't at all crowded, considering it was a weekend with nice weather.  Heading back, we were able to fly along like hellions!  Well... like 50-something hellions on bicycles anyways.

In other news, I was at the vet's with Napolion this week for his annual poking and prodding.  He got another clean bill of health despite all the filthy rodents he kills and eats.  Here he is trying to crash the vet's network in retaliation...

My reign as PEO queen came to a close this week as the real president has returneth.  I actually rather enjoyed filling in, but I'm glad she's back and I can go back to being a slug VP.

In movie news, we didn't watch any movies.  But we did dig in to season 5 of Walking Dead.  We watch on Netflix, so we're always  a season behind - no spoilers, please!  Season 5 looks to be as dark and delicious as ever!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday and another re-cap of good things!  We continue to slide slowly into fall.  Still no appreciable snow on the Peak, which is rare by now, but the chill is in the air.

"Meego and the Machine", a.k.a. the high school marching band, had their regional state competition this week.  It was a really nice night for it with pleasant temperatures, stars, and no wind.   They did a good job and managed to make it to finals for state champeenships.

After all those nachos and beers and hotdogs we slung over the summer, it's nice to see the kids' hard work paying off and the money put to good use.

Find Meego?

And with regionals happening on a weeknight, Meego had a rare Saturday off.  Magnum and I managed to get him to join on us on our naturely excursions.  I snapped this photo, trying to be somewhat artsy fartsy, but it's still just a cell phone pic.

Today, we got in some more nice family time as Magnum's mother and step-dad came by for a visit, which got Chaco and Wolfgang over too.  Their apartment-share is seeming to work out well.  I think it helps that they each had some really obnoxious dorm roommate experiences, so they appreciate each other now.

At one point, MIL said, "Everybody come out and stand by your tree so I can get a picture", so we complied, and that resulted in this rare pic containing all five of us at once.

When did I get so short?

In movie news, Magnum and I watched "Chappie", since he brought it home from the library.  I admit to not having high expectations, and maybe that's what helped me like it so much.  It has an edgy feel to it that I like - kinda graphic novelish.  Magnum liked it too.  If  nothing else, it was worth it to see Hugh Jackman as the evil rogue engineer with an awesome mullet.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

this I swear

Halloween is nearly upon us already, and I'm reminded of our gone-but-not-forgotten cat, (Fat) Kat.  This caricature reminds me of her - the goth chick, not the skinny cat.

Remember Kat?  She was a stray we took in during the Waldo Canyon fire.  A stray, yes, but not lonely, and certainly not starving.  She wasn't totally feral, but she never really took to domesticated living.  She probably would've hung around longer, though, had we not cut off the junk food and tried to get her to a healthy weight.

After being with us for about a year, she left one day on an outing and never returned.  She had good hunting skills, but not like those of Napolion.  Where Napolion goes out and kills members of the local rodentia, Kat knew how to make human friends of the "feed me" variety.  We're pretty sure she found greener pastures.

I've always liked black cats and, if not for Napolion being such a thug fighter, I'd march down to the humane society and get one.  And so with Halloween on the horizon, I'm thinking of Kat and this meme thing.

1. Chocolate candy or fruity?  
I'm not a big fan of candy, but I'm going with chocolate here.  

2. Witches of Vampires?  
Witches! They do magic and stuff.  Vampires drink blood? oh pleez...

3. Trick or Treat?  
Trick, see number 2.

4. Halloween Party or Scary Movie?   
I'm leaning toward party, but I also really want to see Crimson Peak.  Party at the movies!!

5. Skeletons or Zombies?  
Gee, there's a choice.  Skeletons?

6. Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy?
I'm too old to Trick-or-Treat, and so is Meego, so candy handout it is.

7. Hay Ride or Corn Maze?
Corn maze.  I went on a hayride once with this obnoxious kid that wouldn't shut up.  Longest hayride of my life.  Corn maze.

8. Scary Costume or Funny Costume?
Scary.  It's Halloween!

9. Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie?
Hmm...let me... PIE!

10. Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest?
What's in the bottle, brain formula??  Sure, why not.

11. Bats or Black Cats?
I started this post saying how much I missed our black cat, and y'all remember that a bat terrorized me and left me with bat anxiety by living in my bedroom for several days when I was 8 years old? One guess.

12. Pumpkin Spice or hot Chocolate?
Pumpkin Spice?  Which spice girl was she?  I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ah?

13. Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall?
 Ugh, neither.

Hooking up with Mama Kat this week:
6. Write a blog post answering the This Or That Halloween tag questions found here.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Helloooo  on this sunny Sunday.  The weather people say we might break a record for high temperature today - mid 80s.  We're not supposed to be mid 80s in October, but apparently no one told Mother Nature.

I started taking a new multivitamin this morning.  Do you take vitamins?  Other supplements?  I realize I've taken multivitamins for years, mainly out of habit.  It all started with those nasty tasting Flintstone's Chewables we had as kids.  Remember those?

I guess it was a good marketing ploy - kids' vitamins in the shape of favorite cartoon characters.  I personally preferred Dino, even though they all tasted equally horrible.

So anyway, I bought a different kind this week when I found that my previous vitamins were no longer sold, and this prompted me to do about 30 seconds of research.  Now I'm wondering if it's even worth the bother.  Do multivitamins really do anything?  I took one of my new "Women's Food Based Multi" this morning, and don't feel a darn bit different.

It was another nice week anyhow, and I got caught up on a lot of things.  Bike month wrapped up at the university.  I didn't make it to the grand finale festivities, but I got an email that said I won a gift card for a local pizza place.  Yay, free fuel!

Yesterday, Meego was at a, sort of, mini band camp for current 8th graders to see what high school marching band is like.  He didn't have a direct protege', apparently there aren't any current 8th grade bass players interested in high school marching band.  What is middle school coming to?? 

And yesterday was a nice day for a band event or anything outdoors.   How nice to have that happen on a weekend.  So speaking of nature, Magnum and I went out and enjoyed some hiking.

... and sitting.

We hit some nearby trails, and there were a few others out enjoying the day.  There was a group of three young girls accompanied by an adult male I hope was a guardian of some sort.  The girls were probably about 10 years old, breaking out the selfie stick while standing on the edges of these cliffs.

Of course.

In movie news, we watched Focus which I'd never heard of.  Pretty implausible really, but entertaining nonetheless.

Now, I think I need to go play outside before Mother Nature sees what's going on.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

n plus won

What is going on?  The tuting mail is filled up every day with requests.  I don't know if it's because

a) students struggle more than they used to
b) students care more than they used to
c) hiring a tutor is becoming more mainstream
d) the matching service I use is good at search engine optimization
e) all of the above
f) none of the above.

I'm not taking any new students and am hopefully moving away from tuting, but it's nice to know there's demand.

On the other side of things, Meego has begun a 3-day weekend.  Teacher development or such.  After school today, he asked to go to the guitar store as he'd been looking at new guitars to trade his old electric for.  He settled on one that happened to be in stock.  Ok, fine.

So we get there, and he looks at the one he had pegged along with others.  Then I come around a corner to see him sitting with this bass, and I'm all,

"You already have a bass"

And he's all, "Yeah, but this is my 'n+1' bass".

And I totally get it.  "n+1" is a rule in bicycle culture that represents the number of bicycles one needs, where

n = the number of bicycles one already has.  

And its corollary: 

where s = the number of bicycles owned that would result in separation from one's partner.

It's a vicious cycle.  Ha, a pun!  

Either way, Meego's use of the term resonated.  The new bass does sound really good, and there are distinct differences from his other bass.   Seems like a very good choice of n+1 bass.  Besides, it's his money, and it's not every day he's willing to show his face, let alone his teeth, for a blog pic.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

I think fall is actually going to happen. It's chilly! Our furnace was one degree away from turning on today.  Another good and busy week it was.  Seems like I'm becoming just a weekend blogger, but oh well, I'm always floating around whether anything gets posted here or not.

Our P.E.O. Oktoberfest happened yesterday.  We made some good money once again.  I managed to talk Chaco, Wolfgang, and Wolfgang's girlfriend into attending, so it was nice have them along.  Magnum also helped me work the door for a while.  We didn't win any of the raffles.  Guess we'd have had to buy a raffle ticket for that to happen...

Meego was out at another band competition, so missed the wild times.  We could've used him to further help bring down the average age of participants.

I snapped this pic during one of Wolfgang's cross-country meets back in his high school days.  I thought these biker leads and tails looked like they were enjoying their duties.  Yesterday, Wolfgang and a friend did just such volunteering for a local meet.  As I suspected, they had lots of fun and were kept quite busy.  Five races in all, in some good boonies.

We actually saw quite a bit of the college guys this weekend.  Oktoberfest and picking up the mountain bike  yesterday, then they swung by again today because Wolfgang wanted a haircut.  but first, "We're here to eat your food".  All tasks were successfully completed.  

So Wolfgang's been seeing his girlfriend for a while.  They were friends first after meeting at their summer jobs and then started dating (is that the term?)  within this past year.  She seems like a great girl, plus I trust Wolfgang's judgement.  I'm thinking she might need a blog name.  I don't want to jinx things for them, but "Wolfgang's girlfriend" is kinda dull sounding, and requires more keystrokes than I care for.  

In other news, someone actually wants to buy one of those vacuum cleaners.  The excitement never stops!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

*not a real fan of the strap on, but it has its advantages

*I think Joey's blog title methods are rubbing off on me...

I've dusted it off and strapped it on, time to make some cash.

We've just started the final quarter of health incentives from Magnum's work.  One of those incentives is to log our steps each day.  We get points depending on the number of steps.  Points are transferred to dollars.  I'm not a fan of wearing a pedometer, but I'll do it for money.

This happens every quarter, and there is a maximum number of points to earn each time.  So once I get the max, the pedometer goes back into the drawer until the next round.  Good thing Magnum reminded me that with the start of October comes the final push for the year.  We get points for not smoking and points for sleeping too.  I'll take 'em!

This morning, as I clicked the button that said I agree to be tobacco free, I wondered about the cheaters.  All it is is a click of a button.  I could be sitting here puffing away and still get the points.  And apparently, if one admits to being a smoker, points are actually deducted.  Who would admit it??

But then I recalled some people just really want to quit and a little extra motivation goes a long way.

Years ago, I worked with a guy who was desperately trying to give up cigarettes.  He was a nice guy, quite intelligent and introspective, and it really bothered him that quitting smoking was so difficult.  He chewed gum until his head muscles were sore, he told me about his appointments with an acupuncturist who stuck needles into him and lit the tips on fire.

But still, he wanted those cigarettes.

For another friend of mine, it was those Yul Brynner PSAs that did it.  Until then, she could go through a pack like the best of them, but Yul touched a nerve, and she quit cold turkey.  She put on some weight, as is common, but didn't care.  She knew she would never smoke again.

Is there a gene that makes some people more easily addicted than others?  How much of it is emotionally driven?

Back when I was a teen and working in a restaurant, we'd take our "coffee and smoke breaks" regularly, as was the norm back then.  I guess it made us feel grown up or something.  I've never smoked since, nor wanted to.  It was more of a social thing, really.

The coffee, though... Good thing there's no button for that.