Friday, July 29, 2016

Mother Nature and Trump broke my phone

"The Donald" Trump is visiting our fair city.   In fact, I think he may still be talking as I type.  He's speaking at the university campus, which in itself, has stirred controversy.  Some students and faculty don't like that the university is hosting him.  The university says it is not backing any particular candidate and respects everyone's first amendment rights and regularly offers up venues for events (in exchange for cash money), particularly during the summer months.

I agree with the university's response to the hubbub, although the timing isn't so hot.  Lots of testing and final projects and stuff going on right now for summer students.  The campus is pretty inaccessible today, what with all the protesters for both sides and all the security.

A news team was on campus yesterday reporting on the upcoming Trump visit, and got some comments from a few students, one of whom was our Wolfgang,

which was really my main reason for mentioning Trump's visit.  I'm not political here, remember?  And no, Wolfgang doesn't have a weird soul patch.  I just made a screenshot from the news video, so that dark blob on his chin is the play button.

Wolfgang didn't say anything controversial, just said something like, "I was gonna come to campus to study on Friday, but everything's gonna be closed and there'll be security everywhere, so ... guess not"

I told him his hair looked good and that he must have a talented barber.

Not my hands, not my hail

In other news, last night we got a bludgeoning from Mother Nature.  Not "We" as in this particular household and property, but south and east of us took a walloping.  Look at the size of these hails.  And I know that's not proper grammar in referring to hail, but they're just so enormous, it seemed appropriate.

I understand hail is mainly in certain parts of the country.  We get lots of it.  If you live somewhere that doesn't get hail, know that it can really hurt and really damage property.  Kiss your flower garden good-bye.

This morning, I got a text from Chaco:
"Might have to open an insurance claim on the Civic... quite a few dents from hail"

Yeah, he lives south and east of us.

In other other news, something's up with my phone.  Here's a tidbit about me:  I don't like talking on the phone - possibly a subject for a later blog post - but just know that I don't like to. Sometimes it's necessary and useful, and in those situations, I appreciate phone talking, but  I don't seem to currently be able to.

My phone rings.  I answer.  The following conversation, or something similar, ensues.

Me:  hello?
Phone person:  hello?
Me:  hello?
Phone person:  hello?

Well, you get the gist.  It seems I am not being heard.  I'm tempted to go to the phone store right now and see what's what, but this just started  happening in the last 24 hours, so I don't want to go there and find out my phone works fine.

That's what's going on around here.  Don't call.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

telling me you love me while you're looking away

No more words, I'm thinking.  Wordless Wednesday sounds good about now.

We're winding down the semester at summer school, which means grand finale assignments.  I've enjoyed my class, but it's involved a lot of writing.  I do enjoy writing, hence this here blog, but so many words...  And unlike most of my other classes, I haven't got to embellish with cute little charts or tables or diagrams.  This one's just werdz, werdz,  and more werdz.

So on with Wordless Wednesday, which taken literally, is too challenging for me.  Look at all these words, and no picture yet.

But I do want to warn, some may find these images disturbing, so be glad for the above ramblings.

See, I've come across a mysterious thing in the back yard among the usual cat carnage.  Have I mentioned we've had a bumper crop of bunnies this year?  Have I mentioned  how much the cat likes hasenfeffer?  It's good huntin' and good eatin' 'round here.

Okay, on with the images.  I came upon a murder site and saw something I don't recognize:

I've included my work glove as a size reference.  See the bunny foot?  This indicates that this particular meal was a juvenile bunny, maybe just a kid, barely out of bunny preschool.  They sound EXACTLY like squeaky dog toys as they're being murdered.  It's awful.  Should I save the foot for luck?  I don't think it was lucky for the bunny.

What I'm really interested in is the Mystery Thing.  I don't recall seeing such a thing among other murder scenes I've had the luxury of cleaning (or in some cases, going "ew", and leaving alone...).  It's clearly a part of the carnage as there's a few tufts of fur still attached.

Here's another, smaller view.  Feel free to make it grotesquely larger by clicking it:

I did a quick google image search on "rabbit innards", and think it might be a stomach.  It's a bit squishy - like a marshmallow with a hard plastic coating, if there were such a thing.  It seems kinda big, though, to be a stomach of this little kid bunny.  Ya think?

Or maybe I'm thinking about it way too much.

...and writing too many words for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

old but not that old

It has been one week since I blogged here (or anywhere else).  All this expected responsibility is seriously encroaching on my blogging.

But it's all good busyness.  My summer class continues, I took on a second tutor student, and P.E.O. Grand Poobah duty provides a never-ending list of tasks.  In fact, we just invited a woman to  join our P.E.O. chapter (the only way to get in is by invitation, but it's pretty easy to get yourself invited...), and I was actually relieved when she turned us down after she just found out she's moving soon.

My reaction is, "Rejection - OH good, WHEW!!",  since there's a whole cascade of activity stemming from an invitation - especially if its accepted.

Magnum's dad and stepmom were here for a visit yesterday.  And they took us all out to dinner last night, mainly to celebrate Wolfgang's 21st birthday earlier this week.  Yes, we have another official adult in the family now.

So we learned something about Bonefish Grill's booze policy.  EVEN THOUGH the driver's license shows the holder as being 21 years old, they do not accept a minor license as acceptable ID for booze consumption.  I don't know about other states, but here in Colorado, driver's licenses for people under 21 have a different layout than those for the older folks.  Since Wolfgang just turned 21 and hasn't gotten a new driver's license yet, he can't get Bonefish booze.

As a show of solidarity, we all abstained from having wine with our dinners...

Oh Heck No, we didn't!  We happily sloshed and imbibed while Wolfgang joined Meego at the figurative kids' table.
Bonefish did bestow a little special thing upon Wolfgang for the birthday:

a cute little box of "World Famous Enstrom Almond Toffee".

So know that if you go to Bonefish Grill before getting your grownup driver's license,  your milestone birthday won't be totally ignored.

As far as I can tell, there's no booze in the toffee.

So summer is quickly winding down.  Didn't it just begin?  Band camp ("this one time?...") starts for Meego tomorrow, and Wolfgang will be moving to the new apartment this week - taking his various piles with him.

Although it's been good and productive, I kinda feel like I've got little to show for the summer "break" as far as adventure goes.  Well, life is what you make it, I suppose.  Off for an adventure buying some crickets for the toads!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

hot and heavy

I just got back from the mall.  I hardly ever  go to the mall except once a year or so to remind myself of why I hardly ever go.

Magnum and Wolfgang went to the shooting range, and I'd dropped Meego off at a driving lesson.  I had a couple of hours to kill and "need" some short sleeve tops, so I went to the mall and found nuh-thing.

Really, I think I just went for the air conditioning.

This was a busy and productive week, between the tutin' and the schoolin' and the PEO-in'.  And when I wasn't doing one of those things, I either wanted to go out and play or watch some mindless TV while doing the obligatory housekeeping.  As a result, I've given my blog and the ones I regularly visit a lot of enthusiastic neglect.

Speaking of playing, I have been regularly using that high faluting gym we recently joined.  I'm trying to do something about my current state of scrawn.  There are quite a few strong-and-look-it women of all ages at the place, and I'm using them for my inspiration.  The basic recipe for improvement I've found from my extensive *COUGH* research, is to lift heavier things and eat more.

So far, I've noticed no changes whatsoever.  Except for maybe slight gains in the food baby.

Oh well, I'm still in the experimental stages.  Yay science.


Monday, July 11, 2016

smokey, hot, poor, and clean

Describe yourself in four words?  Actually, I wouldn't use those four in the title, but they feel about right in a spontaneous kind of way.

First of all, "smokey" since I live in Colorado.  No, I'm not referring to pot smoke.  Legal or not, I haven't touched the stuff since before a certain high school friend of mine cleaned herself up so she could join the army.

She kicked her marijuana habit, then dragged me with her to aerobics classes where we wore Jane Fonda-esque leotards and sweat a lot to further rid her soon-to-be-drug-tested self of any traces of the offending weed.  Apparently it worked.

I seem to have digressed...  "Smokey" is because there are some wildfires burning here and there and the prevailing winds are putting our air quality about on par with that of Beijing, China (are there any other Beijings?).

"Hot", and not in the good way, because it's just darn hot outside.  Remember back when it was all cold and dreary and I was whining about it?  And I recognized that some day soon I would be whining about the heat?  We're heee-eeeere.  So yes, parts of the state are burning, the temperatures are uncomfortably high, plus I'm 51 years old, so make the "hot" connection...

"Poor and clean" really go together.  That's how Chaco jokingly describes my interior decorating.  Now that he has an apartment to furnish, he  notices such things.  His "poor and clean" is my "practical and tidy".  Well, at least he notices that it's clean, thanks to his lower standards on that topic.

Why am I rambling on like this?  I was thinking about that robot.  That robot that's watching me.  Supposedly.  I don't know how often it visits, just when it will strike...


See, several months ago, I got an email from a Ph.D. student of Computer Science doing research work on personal blogs.  the email said, in part:

"I’m interested in how the thoughts and experiences written by people like you on weblogs and other 
social media can be used to make conclusions about society as a whole. I am contacting you because 
I am trying to collect reliable data about bloggers’ opinions, experiences, and characteristics 
in order to refine and evaluate my analyses"

The email included links to the department at the university and to his personal research page that further explained his project:

"My research focuses on how people present themselves on the web...  By leveraging the significant amount of text that these web authors provide about themselves, we plan to automatically extract information about them, including a demographic profile..."

So, similarly as to when my army friend got me to smoke pot with her, and then later got me to help her clean herself of the offending weed, I replied, "Okay!"

Really, the research does sound interesting.  In short, this Ph.D.-to-be has a robot reading blogs to see if it can make correct inferences about the authors.  So I had to fill out a questionnaire as part of the study.  I don't remember all of the questions, but several had to do with my political views, for instance.

So even though I don't typically blog about political views, the robot is trying to figure mine out by the stuff I DO blog about.  Get it?  Cool, no?

I do remember that one of the questions asked if I was truthful on my blog.  Which, yes, I am.  Unless I totally make stuff up about trekking in Nepal and making twin babies, later given up for adoption. Because even then, I eventually come clean.

Sometimes I think about that robot.  What is it thinking?  What is it thinking about what I'm thinking?  Would I vote for Hillary Clinton?

I'm tempted to put some comment here to give myself away on that question, but that's for me to know and for Robot to figure out.


Friday, July 8, 2016

a little escape

I need a break from the news for a little mundane blogging... so greetings on this Friday.

To commence the mundanity, we did find something fun to do on the fourth since the Hu Hot Half didn't happen.  Chaco came over, and we all decided to hit the trails for an adventurous hike.  All of us except for Meego, that is.  He went to a neighborhood 4th of July barbecue thing in one of his friends' neighborhoods.

So the remaining four of us headed up to Cascade and traipsed around on a trail that is near the North Pole.  North Pole of Colorado, that is.  Who is aware that Colorado has a North Pole?  Extra points if you are.

But we did not go visit Santa, and instead hiked this lovely remote trail that Chaco had found a little while ago.  It's so remote, that there was a total of four little parking spaces in the trailhead  "parking lot".

It was a nice getaway for a couple of hours.  We didn't hike the whole thing since some scary storm clouds were looking down at us like big hungry raptors.  But we got a good ways in before deciding to wimp out and turn around.

Wolfgang had seen the new Tarzan movie ("not that good") just the night before and wouldn't let go of lower primate mode for this photo...

God forbid I should actually get a shot where everyone is congenial and smiling.

And here's a shot looking out to the east and the flatlands of The Flatlanders.

So a good way to spend the holiday and not lose any fingers in a fireworks mishap.

In other news, I'm tutoring the son of a friend of mine.  He attends a private school, and his math teacher up and resigned three weeks before the end of the school year.  I don't know what was up with that, but the students still have to finish  up the last few lessons and take a test before moving on in the fall.  So when my friend called, I agreed to tute him.  

I'd been kind of missing the tutoring since putting the biz on the back burner these last few months, so this is a nice little assignment.  My summer class involves a lot of writing, so I'm enjoying playing with numbers while helping out a friend (and making a bit of cash...).


Sunday, July 3, 2016


This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "teeth".  Who comes up with these things??

Anyway, I drew lots of teeth while I, for some reason, listened to/ watched a documentary about all the drugs Hitler was on during the years he was in power.  If my drawing has a rather cold, heartless tone, I blame Adolph.

It's a holiday weekend here in the U.S. of A.  We don't have any special plans.  Actually, I was thinking of running the Hu Hot Half on the Fourth, which is kinda fun to say.  But, alas, I went to look into getting registered a couple of days ago and found that it's not happening this year.

Apparently, the event has changed organizing hands, and the new planners didn't feel they had enough time to put it together.  But they promise it will be back, and new and improved for next year.

So, that's that.  I was preparing myself mentally to deal with the heat, and now I guess I can just be a slug.  Well, hopefully we'll come up with something more fun than that.

I'm glad to report that the front lawn washer disappeared shortly after I vented about it on the blog.  the haulin' guys I called arrived towing a big old trailer.  They took the washer, that old trampoline I disassembled last year, some old computer carcasses, and (thank the lord) that big ugly TV that weighs a ton.

The gears in my own head are turning now to gather another pile for those wonderful people.

Happy Independence Day!