Friday, June 28, 2019

it's 4:20 somewhere

I had the day off today and planned to be quite productive.  Well, it's now 4:20pm, and it's a good thing I don't smoke pot because I've already been enough of a slacker.

I blame the heat wave.  It's sunny and low 90's which I know isn't THAT bad, but we're wimps in Colorado because it's mostly pretty nice around here, and we usually get an afternoon rainstorm.  So I'm lazing around the house waiting for clouds. 

I did manage to make it to the allergist's for my bi-weekly allergy shot today.  I've had to scale down the amount of antigen in the shots because of all the seasonal pollen currently floating about.  It's like getting a double dip.  I don't think it was scaled down enough this week, because my left arm is all puffy now.   Here, see?  *plugs in webcam*

See the swelling?  I've indicated the bulginess of my usually scrawny rear upper arm.  Geej, the shot girl, says to let her know if the injection site swells to larger than a quarter.  It's about dollar bill size now. 

Sometimes I wonder if the stuff is even working, but I think it has had some positive effect.  Patience is not one of my virtues, and I think I'm entering my second year of shots.  I mentioned to Geej that I've been noticing the allergens floating about as I get symptoms when out cutting the grass and such.

"A lot of our patients wear a mask or just don't cut their grass.  They have someone else do it", she informed me.

Well, there's something.  I do cut the grass.  But I don't smoke it. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

selling, scammers, and the healing powers of mud

Yeesh, these are supposed to be the lazy days of summer, and I've been busy neglecting the poor blog!

My tutor workload has nicely mellowed - a few nice students a week, no evenings, no weekends. 😊
But I am filling the days with other things.  Since our April (snow) showers brought May (snow) showers brought a buncha downed tree limbs brought June showers, I find myself doing a fair amount of yard work this summer, trying to keep the yard presentable.

In my continuing tidying efforts, I've been selling a few items off on craigslist.  I get a kick out of the scammers out there.  They don't fail me.  Within minutes of placing an ad on craigslist, I get inquiry texts from interested "buyers".  So here's your PSA for today:

  •   If some stranger asks for a Google Voice Verification code to prove to THEM that YOU are not a scammer, THEY are a scammer.

I can usually spot them right off because they respond to ads shortly after the ads have been posted, the item for sale is usually named exactly as posted in the ad, and the English is not so good.  I like to humor them a bit before I block them.  Example, figure 1.

fig. 1

*sigh*  Eventually, they leave me alone, and the legit people come through.  

And craigslist hasn't been a one-way street this month.  Meego, still reeling a bit from his broken heart, has done some shopping therapy and found a sweet new-to-him, full suspension mountain bike, plu$ a few acce$$orie$ and shop adju$tment$.   Good thing he works a lot of hours in the summer.  He got it out to the hills last weekend, and this showed up in my instagram.

Well, y'know what they say, "best way to get over a man is to get under another one"
OOPS, wait.  Wrong scenario.  

I meant to say,  "best way to get over a girl is to get off  Snapchat and get on a new bicycle".

Thursday, June 20, 2019

they probably wouldn't want him anyway?

In addition to our on-street mailbox, we have a P.O. box.  We got it several years ago to handle mailings we want to keep secure - credit card, other financial stuff, and the like.  We don't check the P.O. box that regularly, about once or twice a month.  I empty it if we're expecting something specific or if I happen to be at the post office.  It does tend to get stuffed with junk mail, so it's good to swing by just to clean it out and make room for the next round of junk.

Yesterday, I was out joyriding around on my bicycle running a few errands and decided to swing by the P.O. box as it had been about 3 weeks since I last emptied it.  As I was going through the pile of sale flyers, insurance offers, and charitable requests, one piece of legitimate mail appeared:  a jury summons. For Magnum.

Apparently, he'd put the p.o. box address when filling out something related to his driver's license.  And apparently, driver's license info is a  main source of the jury duty pool.  Magnum's in Denver this week for some work related training, so I opened the jury summons to see his appearance date.

It was for last week.  *GASP*.

We're not sure of how much, if any, trouble he's in.  We couldn't find anything specific online.  I think he's going to try contacting the jury commissioner. 

Both of us have been summoned a few times, but have never had to serve on a jury.  The one time I made it to the questioning box, the defense asked for a recess before asking me any questions.  They came back and had decided on a deal.  That's apparently how formidable I am 😝

Magnum was questioned once.  He'd brought his Asperger's with him that day.  I think the case had something to do with a DUI.  In answer to his question, Magnum began with,

"The fourth amendment of the constitution states..."

After Magnum delivered his brief civics lesson, the lawyers didn't say much else.  Then they conversed quietly among themselves and sent Magnum packing. 

Want to be dismissed from jury duty?  Start quoting the constitution.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


I learned a new word today:  Floordrobe.
"Meego's been home from college for a month, and his floordrobe is now fully organized."

I've gotta pick my battles.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

two %$^@#$ doors down

I don't know them.  I'm not sure how long they've lived there - one year?  A little longer?  Our neighbors two houses up the street.

They've made nice improvements on their yard, giving their home nice curb appeal.  Laid down some fresh sod, put in tastefully-sized rock gardens including pleasing plants, the driveway is clear of debris...

Since the weather's gotten nice, we're all outside more, including myself.  In fact, two weeks ago, I spent most of my "recreational" time working outside in order to turn that big pile of tangled downed tree limbs into a manageable pile of easy-to-haul tree limbs. 10 yard garbage bags later, some blisters and possible carpal tunnel syndrome, I had this masterpiece:

I'm counting it as my major summer accomplishment.  I hired some guys with a big truck to haul it away and don't miss that pile one bit.

So, yes, I was working outside quite a bit that week, enjoying the various sounds of summer:  birds chirping, dogs and kids playing, expletive laced shouting...

Yeah, that last thing.  It happens quite frequently from the nicely landscaped house two doors up the street.  The first time I heard it, I wondered if there was a "domestic situation" in progress.  But since then, I've heard it with such regularity.  Maybe this is their normal??

I'm really wondering, though.  I mean, it's not just an occasional "oh sh*t", or such.  Here's a few example quotes:

  • "Get the F*CK outta the way!"
  • "I'm trying to F*CKING help you!"
  • "Move your F*CKING ass and quit being so F*CKING lazy!"

etc. on a pretty much daily basis.  This morning, while cleaning our dog restroom facilities:

  • "If you're not going to F*CKING work, get the F*CK out!"

This coming from their back yard, which I imagine is immaculately landscaped. Always from the same guy, and I never hear any other side of the "conversations".  Is he speaking to his wife? Kids? Work partner(s)?

I've rarely seen them to exchange neighborly pleasantries, and those instances were just in passing while they were focused on working on the front yard landscaping.  However, the week I was hacking away at those tree limbs, the neighbor guy came to our house during an intermission from swearing loudly.

Our mail carrier had erroneously delivered one of our vehicle registration renewals to Expletive Man.  Expletive Man came down and rang the doorbell to give it to me.  I didn't hear the doorbell because I was out back hacking up tree limbs.  I later found the renewal mailing wedged in our door, and footage from the Ring®️ doorbell showed Expletive Man politely bringing the renewal, waiting, and then wedging it in the door.

I thought it was a friendly gesture on his part.  He could've left it for the mail carrier to fix, he could've put it in our mailbox, he could've thrown it away.  He appeared calm and friendly, about mid-30s in shorts, t-shirt and cap.  He didn't seem annoyed in any way.

So, what to think?  He obviously takes pride in his home and property and has an eye for aesthetics.  He nicely takes time to correct an erroneous mail delivery.  He loudly cusses out someone or several people on a regular basis, seemingly not caring who hears.  I'm two houses down, and there are homes all around.  I'm sure I'm not the only neighbor who's heard.

I really wish I would've known and answered the door that day he came with our mail, to try to get a feel for what makes this guy tick.

Is it a bomb?

Ever overheard something violent/questionable/abusive going on at a neighbor's?  Did you act?  Anything come of it? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

divorce and do dishing... at the library

"How much does it cost to scan and fax?", she asked.

I was at the library on Monday printing off some materials for a tutee.  The library has a little work area for doing such things.  While I was there happily printing, this random woman around my age was walking around checking the place out and asked me about scanning and faxing.  Maybe she initially thought I worked there?

"Uhm", I replied intelligently, "the sign says 25¢ per page, but I've never used their scanner"

"Oh", as she seemed to realize then that I was not library staff, "How much is it to print?"

"It's 10¢ a page, and your first 10 pages are free".  That I could answer. 

She pondered this for a moment while watching my pages feed, then realized the cost could add up to quite a bit with a lot of pages.  I mentioned the FedEx copy place just down the street that printed for 8¢ a page, so depending on how big her job was, that might be the better option. 

"Welp", she continued, "there are a lot of documents involved in a divorce".

"Ah", my eloquent response.

Then she continued conversing with me about the niceness of the library. "I've never been here before", she said while taking in the digs. 

As I talked with her, I got the impression that she was happily turning over some new leaves - checking out the new library after a session at the gym for instance.  In our short conversation, I surmised that the divorce was good for her mentally and emotionally... if not financially.

And it is a nice library, but honestly, one of its drawbacks when I meet students there is that it's kind of... rowdy.  Some of the worst offenders I've seen have been library staff members.  And conversations like the one I had with divorce lady pop up often. 

I think I can honestly say that, random strangers are much more likely to strike up conversations with me at the library than any other not-particularly-social place I visit - the gym, post office, grocery store, DMV, etc. 

In fact, last week, I was there, again printing off some tutee materials.  A different woman - another tutor, I think - was also in the work area.  She told me she liked my hair, and then proceeded to ponder getting a similar hairstyle for herself.  She asked where I get my hair "done".

I told her the place and added, "I bring a picture, and they somehow make my hair look just like the picture".  Then I pulled up the current hair photo I had saved in Pinterest and offered it to the woman. 

"Okay, but y'know, I think I like your hair better.  Can I take a picture?"

Well, that was kinda weird, but okay.  She then walked around snapping pics of my head from various angles.  I covered my face for the frontal shot. 

I didn't mention that I'd spent the morning mowing the lawn, then rode my bike to the library while wearing a hairdo-wrecking helmet.  Apparently, that created a better touch than a Pinterest pic for this woman. 

Needing a break from the quiet?  Head to the library!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

the arrival?

I walked into the lab, expecting another typical day at work, but found it strangely crowded.  Aside from the handful of familiar faces, there were several people in there I didn't know.  They were all mostly middle-aged men wearing white shirts and ties.

"What's going on in here?", I asked a random tie.

"It's someone's birthday", he explained.  "There's cake."

Ah, cake.  Of course.  Then I realized it was MY birthday.  My 21st birthday, in fact.  The year was nineteen eighty-*COUGH*

I elbowed my way through the crowd and found Mary, my co-worker/sister from another mister.  She and our other coworker Martie wished me happy birthday.  Mary was holding a cake she'd brought for the occasion, and she set it down and handed me a knife to begin cutting.

I began to make the initial cut while the crowd of strangers waited, but nothing was happening.  Either I had the dullest knife or this was the driest cake in history.

But then Mary and Martie began to snicker, then full-out laugh.  This wasn't cake.  It was a big sponge covered in icing.  Okay, I thought it was pretty funny, but I don't think all those random engineers were as amused.  Thankfully, the ladies brought out a real cake, and everyone was happy again.

We worked 2nd shift in a quality control lab, which was why we didn't typically rub elbows with many salaried people other than 2nd shift technicians.  After the cake, the ties left, and things returned to the normal quiet.   

This throwback photo is from that evening:

L to R: Stan, our 2nd shift engineer; Brad the technician, who was also my boyfriend at the time; me with my sponge-cake; Mary; Rod, the poor male inspector who had to work with all us females (yes, our menstrual cycles did sync); and Martie.

It's kinda funny to look at this old lab photo with those "state of the art" computers and ashtrays and cigarettes.  The photo was taken with a Polaroid because film pictures were not allowed from inside the lab.  Consider yourself privy to former corporate secret sponge cake!

Brad and the girls took me out for drinks after work - my first legal alcoholic beverage.  

Twenty-one didn't necessarily feel much different from twenty at that point.  But a little over a month later, I was with Brad at a New Year's Eve party.  Despite his serious look in the photo above, Brad was a pretty happy-go-lucky guy.  We got along well and were quite compatible, but I wasn't interested in anything too serious.  He was, I think, 25 at the time.  

So we were at this party at the home of some friends of his - a nice couple in their late 20's.  I remember the house being tasteful and that the woman did watercolors in her spare time.  In addition to the new year, we were also celebrating another page turner:  Brad's divorce from his first wife had just been finalized.

I remember standing in this tasteful house at a tasteful party, while talking with the hostess about her watercolors, being there with my boyfriend who had an ex-wife, and I was sipping champagne from an actual glass - not a red Solo®️ cup.  

*OMG, I'm so grownup...*

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. A moment you realized you were a grown up.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

signs of summer

I put a "No Soliciting" sign in the front window yesterday.  In the past three days, I've had 4 cold calls ringin' my bell.

Magnum was in favor, although he didn't necessarily agree with including "Please" and "Thank You".

It strikes me as strange that, in this day and age, people still go around knocking on people's doors.  Even local girl scouts don't typically sell cookies door-to-door but rather set up some tables in good and legal locations.  In fact, some enterprising girl scouts set up shop outside marijuana dispensaries.  Now THAT'S good business thinking!

In contrast, to me, people going door-to-door soliciting business strike me right away as either not very skilled business folk or scammers.  The scammers solicitors this week included a house painter, a pest control guy, a church group, and a financial planner.

  1. My next door neighbor paints houses.  I'm pretty sure the solicitor guy saw the neighbor's trucks emblazoned with the company logo and contact info, which is why he didn't ring that door.  I pointed out to him that, if I want my trim done, I'll go to my neighbor.
  2. Yes, I know we live among bugs.  I'll deal with it without bug birth control
  3. I've heard of Jesus.
  4. The financial planner guy struck me as particularly odd.  He showed up in tie and sport coat, as seen in this footage from our Ring®️ doorbell.

I'm not posting his image here to shame him, in fact the angle of his face obscures it pretty well anyway (he looks like he might be praying?).  But he was walking up and down the neighborhood like this, and it was about 80 degrees and sunny out.

I wanted to say something like, "You got your bachelor's in business?  Maybe an MBA in finance?  Is this really what you saw yourself doing after graduation??"

But I just said, "No thanks", and the dogs were all a-bark, and he was probably glad to get out of there.  Merlin is a super sweetheart, but he's got a mighty bark that comes in handy.

Years ago, Chaco advised me to put a "No Soliciting" sign in the front window.  I said I thought it seemed mean, but he reasoned that I was doing them a favor in letting them know that we are a waste of time.  Made sense, but that sign faded and I took it down a short while ago.  Now the solicitors had us back in their sights, so new sign it is.

In the meantime, I'm still chipping away at all our tree damage from that storm a couple of weeks ago.  I'm making manageable limbs from big tangled limbs and it's piles o' pain.

Where's a tree trash hauler to ring my doorbell when I need one??

Do you get solicitors at your home?  Do you listen to their spiel, maybe enlist their services?  

Monday, June 3, 2019

loving the lazy... for now

It's a quiet morning, and I'm not complaining.  May was a busy tutoring month, what with final exams and the June 1st SAT.  I can't really complain with my flexible schedule that is very part-time.  But I often go several days - weekends included - without having a full day off, and that's when I start feeling the burnout.  So I was glad to turn that page on the calendar.  I've got a small handful of students now for summer, and am looking forward to the downtime.

And May did go out with a nice bang as I did take a couple of full days off last week for some catching up and family fun.  Monday was Memorial Day and Magnum's sis and her husband hosted a family gathering to help break in their newly renovated kitchen.  My sister-in-law and her husband like to cook, and the food was all delicious.  I got her strawberry shortcake recipe, thinking I'd make it next time it's my turn for P.E.O. dessert.  I dunno, though.  It looks like work...

On Thursday, my nephew (brother's kid) graduated from the Air Force Academy.  He's actually my second cadet-nephew, as his brother graduated from the Academy last year.  We didn't attend the graduation ceremony as it was several hours long and we had some things to take care of in the morning, but we caught some Thunderbird action in the afternoon from the cheap seats.

President Trump was in town for the commencement address which already extended the grad schedule, and due to some business at the airport, the ceremony was pushed back about an hour further.  We dubbed it "Make America Wait Again", or perhaps, "Make America Late Again"?

Anyway, it was a momentous day, and we had a good time at officer nephew's afterparty, of which I have no pictures.  I did take some good photos... with another guy's camera.  😑

Now, on this quiet morning, I'm getting some ducks in a row and taking time for some self reflection.  I was given a link to this Four Tendencies Quiz to "describe how we respond to expectations".

I completed the quiz and the result is that my tendency is "Questioner".

I'm questioning the quiz's validity and accuracy.