Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Oldie but a Goodie in Binary Humor

"There are 10 types of people in the world, those who get binary and those who don't."

~ Unknown.

Working again on Wednesday

The high temperature on Wednesday was about the same as Tuesday, except there was no sun. Which meant it was gloomy and felt colder. Which also meant that the two walk-off rugs were not dry when I got home.

I need some sun to be sucked up by the black material and rubber to bake them dry. Oh well, it’s supposed to be sunny on Thursday.

I repeated the process from Tuesday: I treated the cats, changed my shoes and then got to work. This time, though, I swept the kitchen and the downstairs with the electric sweeper instead of the garage broom.

I did that to get any cat hair, toilet paper and/or tree roots that the first sweeping missed and the wet mop didn’t pick up. And there was some!

Then I mopped the little bathroom and the downstairs again with Pine Sol and hot water. I finished up just after 7:00 PM.

My old nemesis, the "Redford Ants" have returned. They are teeny-tiny ants that come every Spring and cluster about. B___ swears they are everywhere, but I have never seen this until moving here and local residents actually call them the "Redford Ants." So, I sprayed all the ones I could see with ant spray.

I really wish I had a weekday night that I didn’t have “something” on my agenda!

I warmed up the last of the meatloaf and the remaining half of baked potato for my dinner. I steamed some frozen peas for a new side dish.

I watched some TV (a taped episode of Sherlock Holmes) and then went to bed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cleaning up my Act

I got the oil changed in the car at lunchtime and I washed it on the way home after work. Other than vacuuming the inside, the car should be ready for Spring (I know I am!)

After treating the cats, I changed my shoes and got right to work downstairs. I put both walkoff rugs on the cement patio. BTW, it was 42 degrees F. and sunny at the time. I swept them off and dumped about half a bucket of hot water and Pine Sol on them. I used a scrub brush and worked it in. I used the other half of the bucket to clean the little downstairs bathroom floor and shower.

Then I dumped several buckets of hot water on the rugs to rinse. I stuck a 2x4 under them to allow the water to run off better and to help them dry (they have a solid, black rubber backing).

Back inside, I swept the kitchen floor and the downstairs floor, scraping off stuck-on bits with a metal paint scraper. I refilled my bucket with Pine Sol and hot water, and then washed half the floor. By then, the bucket was almost black, so I dumped it and refilled it again with my cleaning mixture.

I finished up and put the bucket, mop and scrub brush away. It was already after 7:30 PM and I was hungry. So, I skipped the kitchen floor (he just tracked mud in there) and made a box of macaroni and cheese.

I ate that watching a little TV (I ate too much). I was whipped, so I just sat around the rest of the night. I went to bed at 11:00 PM.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Good Flush Beats a Full House

It was still cold on Monday morning, with frost on everything. It feels more like early December rather than late March.

I ate two bowls of my melon, grapes and blueberry mixture for lunch. It tasted good.

I played phone tag with the sewer guy for most of the day. But we finally connected about 3:00 PM. He said they still had appointments for tonight, so I told him, “Great! I’ll be there before 5:30!”

His guy showed up and I hooked up my 100-foot extension cord (they need power for the machine). It took a while and a rake to find the outside cleanout, but I finally did (it was buried under three years of leaves and such). He got to work and I went inside to get warm.

About an hour later, he knocked on the door and showed me the pile of tree roots he’d cut out (impressive, but stinky). Then he asked me to turn on all the faucets, so I did. Unfortunately, all that happened was the downstairs flooded, worse than ever!

So, he brought the machine in downstairs and opened that cleanout. About 15 minutes later, he had another stinky pile of tree roots on the tile floor. We tried turning the water back on and this time it worked!!! All the water went down (including the flood in the back room).

He charged me $150.00 for the outside work, but gave me a break and only added $75.00 for the inside.

It was after 7:00 PM when he left and I didn’t feel like cleaning up the mess (I’m gonna have to thoroughly air out downstairs on the next warm day). Instead, I washed up and warmed up more meatloaf and half of the remaining baked potato. I ate that watching TV and I watched TV until bedtime, for a change.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Sunday Vegetarian

I woke up at 7:30 AM on Sunday. I reheated some of yesterday’s coffee and posted the Blog entry.

I was hungry for a change, so I made a three-egg omelet. I sautéed some of the mushrooms I’d bought yesterday. I added a little heavy cream to the beaten eggs and seasoned it with fines herbes (a classic French omelet seasoning), some frozen chives from my garden, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

I wish I had some Swiss cheese, but I don’t. All I have is shredded mild cheddar, American cheese and some goat cheese. I went with the cheddar. I put two slices of wheat bread into the toaster, too.

I ate it in the living room, still reading my book. The sunlight was streaming in the window, but I was not fooled. My thermometer says its 20 degrees F. Oh, the omelet was good, BTW.

In the cooking mood (or mode), I switched to something else I wanted to try: making homemade salsa.

So, I set the toaster oven to 400 degrees F., put tinfoil on the pan and massaged some olive oil on four big jalapeños peppers. I roasted them in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes, turning them once.

While they were roasting, I diced up a good-sized yellow onion. Then I minced five garlic cloves. I took the peppers out of the toaster oven and, once cooled a bit, I cut off the stem ends and threw them away. Then I cut the peppers into chunks.

I got out the food processor and added in the onions, garlic, jalapenos peppers, a tablespoon of plain white sugar, a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin and a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes. I pulsed that until it was about where I thought it should be (consistency-wise). Then I added a 10-ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (I used the Rotel brand from my pantry, but I am sure there are others). I pulsed that a few times (I want this chunky) and put it in a big bowl in the fridge to chill. I did taste test it (always taste test anything you make before serving, please) and it was HOT! I think when the recipe called for four jalapenos peppers, they meant smaller ones.

I washed the food processor parts (always a pain) and let them air dry.

Now, back to the downstairs drain!

I took my shower in the upstairs main bath as an experiment. You see, if the water goes down normally, then a plug must be in the line from the back room to the main sewer line. I can fix that myself. But, if the upstairs bath comes out the downstairs drain, it’s probably tree roots again and I need to call the sewer guy.

So, after shaving, I took a shower. Wow! Weird!! I haven’t used this in like three years.

I took as quick a shower as physically possible and then, after drying off, went downstairs. Flooded again!

So, I got dressed and went back to my book.

I made something I’d seen on TV for dinner. After yesterday’s meatloaf and baked potato, I wanted something light. So, first I cut a cantaloupe and a honey dew melon in half. One half of each got covered with Saran Wrap and stuck in the fridge. The other halves got seeded, cut into wedges and then cut into chunks. I added half of the green seedless grapes and half a packet of fresh blueberries (needless to say, these all came from Westborn on Saturday.

I mixed them together gently with my fingertips and stuck the bowl into the fridge to chill for snacks or even dinners this coming week.

Then I made dinner. It’s Italian, but I can’t remember what it’s called. I sautéed mushrooms in a lot of butter. When they were ready, I pulled them out with a slotted spoon and stuck two slices I’d cut off one of those Rustic Italian bread loaves into the pan. When the bread was toasted, I pulled it out, piled it with the mushrooms and ate them with my hands. I think I was supposed to add in some herbs, but just like this it was excellent!

I did watch the NBC Nightly News (from 7:00 PM until 8:00) which was the first time the TV was on today. I checked the menu, but couldn’t find anything interesting on, so I turned it off and went back to my book.

I dozed off around 10:00 PM. When I woke up for a bathroom break, I turned off the light and went to bed for real.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Special Saturday

I spent a lot of time during the night reading, so I woke up at an amazing time of 10:00 AM on Saturday. I made four cups of coffee and then posted the Blog entry. The doorbell rang, so I jumped into my clothes (I was wearing my ripped up robe, you see). My neighbor and another guy were just walking back to his house when I went out on the porch and called to them.

They were just here to check out what my problem was and then headed out to another job site. I showed him what I had and also asked for a quote to replace my 100 amp service box with a new one (push that, Push-o-matic!) They’ll be back in the afternoon sometime.

I made up a short shopping list for Westborn and then shaved and showered. I hurried there and got back as fast as I could. I don’t want to miss them!

They showed up around 1:00 PM and got started. They traced and checked and checked and traced. They were in and out of the garage a hundred times and even up in the attic. At one point, every affected plug had its cover off, the little pantry was open and the stove and the dishwasher were both pulled out!

They ended up removing the old plug that the dishwasher used to connect to (I put the dishwasher on another circuit, if you remember). It was hooked directly to the GFCI, but is unused now. The electrician rewired the GFCI, using wire nuts I supplied to connect like wires and ended up with only two wires going to the GFCI (instead of the six that were there before). Clean!

They hit the main breaker and, I’ll be damned, everything worked!

They spent another half hour putting everything back together and were finished about 5:30 PM. I asked how much I owed him and he said, “Forty bucks!” I said, “Bullsh*t! You’ve been here like four hours!” He said, “Well, that’s my “neighbor” rate.” Now, like the tree guy, I want this guy available when I need him and I want a deal on the replacement fuse box, so I gave him $60.00. He handed $20 to Rick and pocketed the rest. And they left.

I walked around, resetting digital clocks, restarting the computer and the cable box. The cable box didn’t want to come back, so I ended up rebooting the whole thing. But, I got it! In retrospect, I should have shut everything off before they came, but I didn't think of it.

It was getting late and I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I want to use the oven!!! So, I threw together a quick meatloaf (2 pounds of hamburger, breadcrumbs, seasoning, some shredded mild cheddar cheese, herbs and seasoning). I formed that into a loaf and placed it on a half sheet pan. Also on the pan were two big, beautiful Idaho baking potatoes I got this morning in anticipation of the celebration. I put that in a preheated 350 degree (F.) oven for an hour or so.

I glazed the meatloaf with a mixture of ketchup and vinegar about a half hour before it was done.

I ate dinner about 8:30 PM in front of the TV. I’ve made better meatloaves before, but this one was pretty tasty. And, the potato was to die for! A real "baked" potato, not just one cooked in the microwave!! Maybe I was just hungry...

I switched to reading and dozed off sometime in the night.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finally, it's Friday!

I woke up Friday morning to below freezing temps and a wicked wind. Damn! It’s supposed to be Spring! I’d like to strangle that Puxa-whatever Phil, the stupid ground hog!

I left work a little before 11:00 AM for an eye-doctor appointment. I’ve gone to the same eye doctor since I came to Redford, but they recently moved to downtown Farmington, about a mile or so where I work at Building 73 (in the mornings). I must admit, I was impressed with downtown Farmington. It’s a very nice looking little town, with quaint shops and pubs, brick-paved sidewalks, etc.

Anyway, I told the eye doctor my story about losing my glasses and trying to use my old pair (three years old). I told him I can’t read and can’t see street signs or traffic lights until I am right upon them.

My eyes have degenerated since my last exam, so that’s what makes these three year old glasses so ineffective. Also, the “floaters” have gotten worse (a particular concern for those with diabetes). However, he found no signs of diabetes-related problems. Whew!

I told him I wanted a cheap-ass pair of glasses to get me through until December (when my insurance would pay part of the cost). So, they scrounged around, but actually came up with a pair of glasses I liked. I left there $210.00 poorer and the promise I would get my glasses in 5-7 business days. But, they did knock off $75.00 from the original total for me, so I appreciated that.

Unfortunately, the eye drops they used to dilate my eyes messed me up, so I had to use a cheap sunglasses thing so I could see. And, for most of the day, everything I looked at was pink and if I closed my eyes, everything was red. God, I hate getting old… I hate the idea of being held hostage to old age, fear, grief or by anyone or anything.

It was too late to come home for lunch, so I stopped at a Chinese restaurant I’d discovered in the area and had some excellent chicken sub gum with wonton soup. Then I went to my other location at Building 3.

After work, I went directly to my neighbor Rick’s house and rang the bell. No answer. I was just about to leave when his wife pulled in. I asked if he was at home and she said “Yes, I’ll get him.” He came out a bit later, looking a little rumpled (I think he was taking a nap).

I asked about an electrician for this weekend (short notice, I understand) and he said he’d check around. He did say that some GFCI require you to break a plastic connection, but I told him the instructions for this one didn’t mention that. I told him I also wanted a quote to replace that “Push-o-matic” piece of sh*t with a modern breaker box.

Back home, after retrieving my water bill from the mail box and treating the cats, I tried another experiment. I took out the GFCI and separated the three wires that go to this box (I say “wires” meaning a black and white wire inside a casing). I deliberately moved them far apart.

Then I went out and turned the breaker on. I went back inside and checked each pair for electricity. Nothing! No wonder the damn thing didn’t work!! So, the problem seems to be between the fuse box and the GFCI. Nothing more I can do here…

I warmed up more of the beef vegetable soup for dinner. I watched TV until 10:00 PM (I forgot about the Friday night fights). Then I switched to reading until I fell asleep

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I'm so antisocial, I can't even stand the voices in my head."

~ Bobby Slayton (with style credit given to Mitch Hedberg)

And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’

It was cold Thursday morning. Winter has returned to Michigan.

When I came home for lunch, I decided to get a jump on the weekend (I’m hoping to get an electrician over here), so I loaded the dishes from last night into the dishwasher and turned it on. Then I thought I’d wash a load of clothes, too.

When I went down to put the clothes in the drier, the floor had flooded! Oh, the joys of home ownership!

Now, the question is, did it back up because I had both appliances dumping water in the drains, or are the drains plugged up again? I used to have to have the guys come out and cut the roots in the pipes every year or so, but it’s been a couple three years since that happened.

So, when I got home after work, I did another load of laundry. Hmmm... Nope, the drain backed up again (although not so bad this time). Dammit!

I was cleaning the house when my Grandson Carl V call to thank me for the birthday card. I still can't believe he's sixteen!

I kept watching for my neighbor to come home to ask him about an electrician (everybody he’s recommended so far, like the tree guy, has been very good and very cheap) but he never showed. He might be out of town. I’ll walk over on Friday night and ask his wife.

I was mentally wiped out: First the furnace, then the electrical and now the drains. Can somebody please remind me why I wanted to buy a house instead of renting? So, I went to bed at 9:00 PM.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chickening Out

It had rained overnight, so Wednesday morning parts of the backyard were flooded. It reminds me of several years back, when the same thing happened and two ducks took up residence for a while, swimming around. They even came back the next year (much to Jake and Carla’s delight) but then never returned.

It drizzled all day, but I’m not complaining. I heard on the news that Richmond got 6.6 inches of snow, and B___ said he had about 2 inches in Clinton Township. I’ll take the rain any day!

I heard on Tuesday that today, Wednesday only, Popeye’s Chicken was having a sale ($4.99 for 8 pieces). Now, I’ve never eaten there and didn’t even know where one was, but that sounded good!

So, I checked it out on the Internet (did you know that’s on computers now?) and found one about a mile from the house. I went there at lunch time and picked some up.Of course they tried to tempt me: "Want 4 biscuits for a dollar?" "How about some sweet potato pie with that?" (I almost fell for that one, lol!) but I stuck to the plan and just got the chicken.

I ate four pieces warm for lunch, and the rest went into the fridge. I hard-boiled three eggs (I got a plan!)

So, when I got home after work (again driving through drizzle) I treated the cats and then made a small batch of potato salad. I took the four leftover “baked potatoes” and peeled them. It reminded me of my Mother, who sometimes boiled potatoes with the skins on and then peeled them afterward (the peeling easily come right off!) I cut the potatoes into cubes, cut the eggs into big chunks and made a dressing with mustard, mayonnaise, some chives, salt, pepper and a little milk. I stuck that into the fridge to chill.

Then I finished installing the GFCI. Took a while, but the circuit never came back on. I called B___ and he said it’s time to call in the professionals (groan). I tried one more of his suggestions. I put the electrical tester on breaker and other side on ground to see if the breaker was bad. Nope. Worked perfectly, dammit!

I ate cold chicken and potato salad for dinner. Excellent! If I didn’t look out the window, I could pretend it was summer.

I watched an old black and white western (“Rawhide” 1951 with Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward). When I was finished at 10:00 PM, I went to bed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Playing with a Plug

It was sprinkling and colder when I went to work on Tuesday. This was annoying as I was in and out of several buildings during the day.

When I got home, I started work on changing the GFCI. I turned off the circuit and pulled off the plate. I took out the old plug and marked all the wires (see, I’m learning).

I took off the wires and left them hanging while I went out to the garage and got a hammer and chisel. I am taking the opportunity to clean up the excess tile grout around the box.

Of course, that made quite a mess so, after picking up the big chunks, I got out the vacuum and sucked up the dust and dirt.

By then it was almost 7:00 PM and I was hungry. The last thing I wanted was more soup (I’d had it for lunch and was about “souped” out!) So, I got out the four parsnips from the fridge, peeled them, sliced them and then boiled them until fork tender.

I ate them with just butter and salt. Delicious!

I decided the plug could wait another day (after all, I’ve done without it for about a week and a half now), so I quit for the night. I watched TV until bedtime.

Belated Birthday Shoutout

Happy birthday to my grandson, Carl V, who turned an unbeleivable 16 years old on Monday. I remembered the card, but forgot the shout out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday Moanin'

I woke up with a very sore back Monday morning. I attributed it to all the bending over during the trash operation on Sunday (too much trash was wet and couldn’t be stabbed with my stick).

It never got any better, but it never got any worse (thank God). As a result, other than swapping out the kitty litter, getting the garbage together and taking it out to the road, I took the night off. Speaking of garbage, I had a whopping (well, whopping for me) four bags! It was only because last week I was ill and missed garbage day altogether.

I ate more of my soup. It still tasted terrific, but now I’m getting a bit more critical. I liked the taste of the canned mushrooms, but not the texture (too rubbery). And, I should have put carrots in it. Oh, well, next time...

I watched a rather shoddy Red Wings game. They did overcome a 4 to 0 score and battle back only to lose 5 to 4. But the goal tending and defense sucked. I went to bed when it ended.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Rainy Night in Redford

I woke up at 7:30 AM on Sunday. I warmed up another cup of coffee and put the last load of wash in the dryer. I got cleaned up and when the dryer was done, I folded or hung up everything.

Then I left for Meijer’s. I got bare necessities (some onions, milk, some canned soup, kitty litter and cat food, etc.) Then I went to look for a new terrycloth bathrobe. I gave up and asked for help, and was told that that was a winter “seasonal” item. Huh? People just walk around naked in their house in the Spring, Summer and Fall?

I checked out their walking shoes (very limited assortment) and didn’t like any. Why am I looking at shoes? Well, a couple years ago, I bought some Rockport walking shoes for work at Famous Footwear and stumbled upon a sale (buy one, get one free). I wore out the first pair long ago and now the second pair is splitting at the seams (it has been for a while, but I didn’t have the money to do anything about it). So, I paid for my purchase and went over to Famous Footwear.

I browsed for a long while and ended up buying the same shoes again (unfortunately, they weren’t on sale this time. Then I went to Home Depot and bought the GFCI. On the way out, I treated myself to a hot dog. I don’t know why they taste so damn good after shopping, but I suspect it has something to do with the cute young girls who man the stand.

When I got home it was after noon, so I figured I better get tonight’s dinner on. I’m doing a riff on a soup Luanne used to make on Palms Road (when the boys were young). I’m raiding the pantry and freezers for this one.

So, I browned up a pound of hamburger and seasoned it with salt and pepper (but not a lot. I’ll re-season it later.) I added a sliced medium-sized yellow onion and when it got translucent, I deglazed the pan with a can of chicken stock, scrapping off the brown bits stuck to the pan.

I added three cloves of minced garlic and a four-ounce can of drain mushrooms. Then, I hit the freezers. I put in frozen green beans, peas, corn and some cauliflower (she always used canned veggies, but I like frozen better). I can’t tell you the measurements; it was just what looked right.

Back to the pantry, I added one 28-ounce can of hand-crushed whole tomatoes and one 14 ounce can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans. Then I cut up three medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes into cubes and threw them in. I added two bay leaves, some oregano, some thyme and some parsley. I brought it to a boil (it smelled great), then turned it down to simmer. I let it simmer from 1:30 PM on, so it could all get happy. It wasn’t until much later I realized I’d completely ignored the fresh carrots and parsnips sitting in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Oh, well...

It was sunny, but much cooler and windier than it has been. It’s supposed to rain later in the afternoon and I noticed the clouds were building up. So, I ignored the waiting GFCI swapout, got on my coat and work gloves and got out a trash bag and my stick with the nail in it. Yes, I was going out to pick up trash.

I got the front yard done first (there was even a broken plate in my ditch! Who breaks a plate and then throws it in somebody’s ditch?) and then reluctantly moved to the back. I guess living next to a wall and parking lot with a fast food restaurant, a Chinese takeout place and CVS (I really hate those bags) has its downside.

I used to think it was kids (all the candy wrappers and small chip bags) or careless shoppers, but now I’m suspicious. There’s too much additional trash not from around here (Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, etc.) I’m beginning to think it’s the truck drivers who park their rigs across the wall to spend the night.

Anyway, I gave myself one hour to pick up trash, but I had the garbage bag full to overflowing in 55 minutes (and there’s still a little more left. I came in about 3:00 PM and filled in the Blog to date. I posted the pictures of the trash so you can see what I mean.

I did a taste test on my soup by pouring a little of the broth into a small bowl and sipping it. I decided it needed a little more salt and a lot more pepper. So, I added that.

I was going to take a nap, but my daughter Melissa called just before 4:00 PM. We talked until 5:30. I noticed it was sprinkling on the patio. I was really hungry so, instead of installing the GFCI, I dished up a bowl of soup and watched the evening news.

I must say, the soup was excellent!

NONE of my Sunday night favorites was on (again), so I watched an old favorite movie, “The Hunt for Red October” with Sean Connery, on the BBC America channel.

During the commercials, I put the rest of the now cooled soup into three freezer containers and into the fridge.

Just after 10:00 PM, the thunder and lightning started. I took a break from the TV, put on my coat and stood on the porch for a while. The thunder was very loud, the lightning impressive and the rain was coming down hard!

I finished the movie at 11:00 PM. I thought about watching the news, but decided to hell with it. I went to bed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Trash in back #1


Trash in back #2

Triumphant Saturday

I woke up chilled around 7:30 AM on Saturday. I checked and sure enough, I’d run out of propane during the night. I hooked up another tank and fired that puppy up. Then I made eight cups of coffee, waited until it brewed and drank a cup, posting the Blog entry.

When the house was finally back to 66 degrees, I went back to bed (I had read for four hours during another insomniac night).

At around 10:00 AM, I got up, shaved and showered. After another cup of coffee, I headed out for the nearest Ace hardware. Unfortunately, this is now in Garden City on Ford Road (about four miles from here). I took along my old thermostat and explained my problem to a helpful sales person. I told her I “thought” I bought the old one at Murray’s, but couldn’t be certain, and that I needed one with a RH and the RC connectors. None of which was indicated on the outside packaging.

I asked about their return policy and she said, “Unfortunately, you can’t return it.” I hope to God that Home Depot doesn’t have that same philosophy or I’m out another $43.00.

But, she said my old one looked like a Lux, which is the Ace brand. She said to wait a few minutes and went in the back. She came back about five minutes later and said she had pulled up the owner’s manual online and they do have those connectors!

This one is a little smaller, but has most of the same features. So, I paid another $34.00 and headed home.

Once there, I installed the plate, hooked up the wires and programmed the unit. Then, I turned the furnace on, manually overrode the temperature setting and, in a minute, the furnace kicked on! Hurray!! Exactly six days later, my furnace worked!!

I shut off the propane heater so it could cool and then go back in the garage. I tried to call Michelle’s husband to thank him for his help, but got a wrong number (I must have written it down wrong). So, I’ll tell her on Monday.

I went back to my book with another cup of coffee. It’s not as warm as Thursday and Friday, but it would be a good day to start raking the front yard and picking up the winter trash. But, right now, I’m just content with being pleased.

Eventually, with all the sunshine, I decided walking around the yard would be nice. So, I did. I got a couple of pictures for you, but was dismayed at the trash, both in the front ditch and the back garden (there is TONS of it against the back wall). Sigh…

I came back in and posted the pictures. Then I started the first of many loads of laundry for this weekend by stripping the bed. While that was washing, I went back outside to get the mail. While I was there, I pulled out the driveway snowplow wands and hung up the forsythia wreath to herald the coming of Spring (which starts on Sunday I believe).

I called my friend B___ to let him know I got the furnace running. He asked about the kitchen plugs and I told him I’d been too focused on the furnace to worry about them (I’ve been lighting the burners on the stove with a barbeque lighter, so it was merely annoying).

But, I thought I better get back to it. I checked the breakers again and they still both “on.” I remembered what my daughter Amy had told me had told me about having a similar problem that turned out to be a tripped Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), so I checked: Bingo! But, it wouldn’t reset! I turned off the power and tried again. Still nothing.

So, either that plug has failed (it’s been here since before I was) or I got a “call an electrician” problem.

It was after 5:00 PM so I resolved to pick up another GFCI on Sunday and see if that worked. I used the rest of the leftover mashed potatoes to make some of those “Fran’s Potatoes Cakes.” I had added a handful of my frozen chives to the original mashed potatoes (to kick them up a notch) and it worked well in the potatoes cakes, too.

I ate them watching TV. I didn’t remember the “Super Moon” until about 9:30 (too late for moonrise) but I went out on the patio to check it out. It didn’t look that much bigger, but it certainly was brighter than usual. There were moon shadows everywhere (I felt like Cat Stevens).

I went back to watching TV and dozed off about 10:30 PM. When I woke up at 1:00 AM, I started reading to fall back asleep. I got caught up in the book and when it was done, so was I. I shut off the light and went to bed for real.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The daffodils under my east bedroom window


The first crocus in the front garden, next to the porch

An Odd Part of my Personality

(and yes, I realize that could be an entire Blog by itself, LOL!)

I deeply respect my hardcover books. I always use bookmarks and try to keep them spotless. I think it's from getting books from the library, starting at an early age.

But, I love to beat up my paperbacks. I bend their spines (Jake would be horrified) and dog-ear them so I know where I left off.

It somehow makes me feel like we are old friends...

And, then there was Friday...

At work, I was telling my story about my thermostat, when a co-worker mentioned that another co-worker (Michelle’s) husband worked in heating and cooling. So, I called her up (she’s in another building) and asked if her husband would be willing to come over on the weekend to fix my problem.

She said, “Hold on. I’ll ask him.” So, she conferenced him into our call. I explained my problem and the odd jumper wire. He said the jumper wire went between the RH and the RC connectors.

He asked if I had shut off the furnace when I was working on it and I admitted I hadn’t. He said, “Then you probably blew the transformer fuse inside the furnace.” Groan...

He said an easy way to check was to connect the red and white wires and the furnace should come on. He said he would be willing to come over, but first to call him (and he’d try to talk me through it) to save me the cost of a service call.

So, the first thing I did when I got home from work was to connect the red and white wires. The furnace kicked on!!! What a sweet sound.

I reinstalled the programmable one and attempted to rewire it per his instructions. But, guess what? There was neither an RH or RC terminal. So, I thought maybe they just called it something else (this is a Honeywell thermostat and I think I bought my first no-brand one at Murray’s Auto). I got out the instruction book and was reading through it to find the conversions of terminal names when I noticed a small asterisk on page 6 that read: “This thermostat cannot be used if your old thermostat had any two of the following wires: R, RC, RH, 4 and V.”

Nice! Why the hell don’t they say so on the outside of the package, so you don’t buy them?

I gave up and made some dinner: Another roast beef sandwich and some mashed potatoes. It was a filling, but satisfying dinner.

Jake had sent me an email regarding Saturday night’s “Super Moon.” He asked if I had noticed the moon on the way into work (I hadn’t) and said that it was HUGE!

They mentioned it on the evening news and said that Saturday night would have the biggest and brightest moon in nearly two decades. They explained it by saying the moon would be the closest to the earth in its elliptical orbit than it has been in 18 years. The effect is supposed to be at it’s peak when the moon rises and sets. Since Saturday night is supposed to be clear, I vowed to look for it.

I was flipping through the channels (bored and chilly) when I noticed that the Friday Night Fights were on at 9:00 PM. Now, that’s something I haven’t watched for a while! So, I turned them on and thoroughly enjoyed myself for a couple of hours. The first fight was good, the second fight (main event) was so-so and Teddy Atlas and crew were enjoyable as always.

When I got up to get ready for bed, I noticed the overcast clouds had cleared and the moon (about 1/3 up in the sky) WAS really bright. I gotta check this out tomorrow!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday's Tale

I had a lot of running around to do at lunchtime on Thursday. One of the thing I did was to buy a plain old thermostat at a hardware store.

I would have preferred using the programmable one I bought, but I am unable to wire it correctly. Upon reflection, the dumbest thing I did was NOT to take a picture of the wires BEFORE I disconnected them. But, since I successfully installed the last one, I never even thought about it!

I refilled a suet cage and took some pictures. The weather was beautiful and I wanted to be outside.

Anyway, I installed the thermostat. The furnace fan kicked on, but not the heat. Damn! It was already 7:30 PM, so I gave up for the night.

I ate leftovers for dinner and then read my book until bedtime.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My first flowers of the year: the crocuses off of Jake's patio

Hyacinths poking up


Hyacinths and daffodils emerging

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday through Wednesday

Sunday my furnace started acting up. I noticed it was getting very warm in here, so I checked. It was 88 degrees F.! I turned it off at the thermostat. When the temperature eventually went down, I turned it back on. But, it didn't come on. Crap!

I got out the propane heater and fired it up. Did I mention that I was sick? I was still sick on Monday and Tuesday, but I made myself drive to Home Depot and buy a new thermostat. But, I couldn’t get it to work! And the damn thing cost $40.00.

Oh yeah, the kitchen plugs aren’t working either, but none of the fuses are popped. I put the slow cooker in the living room to make my roast beef.

I did go to work on Wednesday, but I didn’t feel good. I got through the day (just barely) and tried to get the thermostat working. No dice. Now I have to take it back and buy another one. Oh, and I had to buy another tank of propane at lunch.

I apologize for not posting the Blog, but I just couldn’t deal with it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

I woke up after another long night of broken sleep at 7:00 AM Saturday morning. I posted the Blog entry and then debated on getting going. Upon reflection, I went back to bed and book. It was overcast and drizzling at the time.

I did fall back asleep (thank God!) and woke up around 11:00 AM. I decided that grocery shopping was not in my immediate future, so I hit the freezer. I took out a porterhouse steak and a beef round bone roast (whatever the hell that means) to thaw.

I took the day off. Other than doing three loads of laundry, I did nothing. I read and slept. I did reset all my electronic clocks ahead one hour (daylight saving kicks in tomorrow).

I made my Mom’s tuna and peas for lunch but, unlike her, my brother Carl and his daughter Hannah, I put them on wide egg noodles rather than toast. I ate about half of it and then settled on the couch to read some more.

I took another nap. It sounds silly but I was really, really tired from not sleeping well this past week. I was really fagged out, as we used to say (I don’t think this is politically incorrect as it had nothing to do with homosexuals). It means really exhausted in my world.

I was going to make the steak (along with a baked potato and salad) for my dinner. But that seemed like a lot of work. BTW, it was sunny but still windy at that time. So, I warmed up the rest of the tuna and peas and the wide egg noodles and ate that. Now I have one too many thawed out proteins for Sunday.

I continued reading my book, dozing occasionally and finally shut off the bedroom light at midnight (or 11:00 PM, I suppose).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Latest Confucius sayings

(courtesy of my brother Carl)

Confucius says.....

Man who wants pretty nurse, must be patient.

Passionate kiss, like spider web, leads to undoing of fly.

Lady who goes camping must beware of evil intent.

Squirrel who runs up woman's leg will not find nuts.

Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.

Man who runs in front of car gets tired, man who runs behind car gets exhausted.

Man who eats many prunes get good run for money.

War does not determine who is right, it determines who is left.

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.

It takes many nails to build a crib, but one screw to fill it.

Man who drives like hell is bound to get there.

Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.

Finally CONFUCIUS SAY. . .

"A lion will not cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood!"

Mexican (burp) Night

As I mentioned, I was awake Friday morning at 2:00 AM. Try as I might, I could not fall back asleep. I have noticed if I think of puppy dogs, or pretty flowers, I can sometimes fall back asleep. But I was thinking of work and never really went back to sleep. I think I dozed, but who knows? The alarm went off at 5:30 AM and I just groaned, knowing what a long day it would be.

It had snowed overnight, as I mentioned, but I doubt if we got an inch of snow here (unlike, say, Port Huron where my son Jeremy and his family live). On the morning news, they said Port Huron had like 4+ inches of snow. Note: they didn’t mention Bad Ass (Axe), probably as a suggestion from the management.

The packed-down snow had frozen on the road and driving to work was an adventure. But, I made it. I had to leave at 11:00 AM to go to B50. There’s a problem (there’s always a problem – that’s why I get paid).

I ate lunch at home (Campbell’s Split Pea with Ham soup) and then left for B03. The temperature was above freezing, the snow was melting, but the damn constant 20-30 MPH wind was killer.

I started yawning about 4:00 PM (and several people commented on it). I was embarrassed.

I ran into an old friend from Noise, Vibration and Harshness Testing or NVH (the building that this part of IT is housed in). He asked what I was up to in Facilities these days and I told him I was in IT now (I had built 3 sound proof rooms for NVH and worked on the plan for building a four wheel, sound-proof dynamometer back in the day in Facilities). He was shocked and said, “Is that an improvement?” I said, “Some times I wonder...”

On the way home, the sun was out and the temps were in the 40’s, but we still had that damn wind. The little snow we’d accumulated had melted, which was nice.

For dinner, I just raided the pantry. I made an Old El Paso Enchilada dinner kit (I added onions to the hamburger) and warmed up a can of refried beans. The refried beans were better than the enchiladas. I probably should have just eaten them!

I burped my way through a movie and then went to bed at 10:00 PM.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Damp Thursday

Well, we lucked out here in Redford and didn’t get any freezing rain. It was foggy durning the night, and overcast with occasional drizzle all day. Raw.

Naturally, this was one of those days where I had to be in and out of various buildings (B03, B07, twice to B50 and B73 to be exact) all day so I repeatedly got damp. But, at least it wasn’t snow!

When I got home, I found one of the cats had barfed on the bed again (groan), so I washed the bedspread and top sheet. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t he just close the bedroom door?” Well, I have thought about that. But I’d rather have them throw up on the bedspread that I can easily wash than, say, the couch or the rug.

I putzed around a while, straightening up and read some of the magazine that came in the mail. I watched the evening news. Then I made a simple, but tasty dinner: a grilled cheese sandwich and a big cup of Campbell’s tomato soup.

I either watched TV or read until about 10:00 PM when I fell asleep watching TV. I woke up at 2:00 PM, took a bathroom break (it was snowing outside, BTW) and then tried to fall back asleep.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I was watching the weather on the Channel 4 news. The weatherman was describing the various cities (like Port Huron) that might get 4-6 inches of snow tonight. When he pointed out Bad Axe, he said, "Bad Ass!"

The other news anchors cracked up. He apologized, saying he hadn't be here in Michigan that long and it was difficult to say.

I laughed my ass off...

Wet Wednesday

It was raining when I woke up on Wednesday (the temperature was above freezing). Not a heavy downpour or thunderstorm kinda rain, just a steady, annoying rain. I know because I had to go out in it several times during the day.

On the way home from a long meeting, I took the expressway. Big mistake! The rain, along with the thrown up spray made visibility terrible. I almost got into two accidents!

Back at home, into dry clothes, I started to slowly warm up my chili. About 7:00 PM, it was warm enough to taste. I added another tablespoon of chili powder, several splashes of Frank’s Red Hot sauce and another teaspoon of cumin.

I let that get happy and then dished out a bowl for my supper. Hmmm… not bad, but the lima beans and/or peas gave it a slightly weird taste.

I ate my supper and then watched some TV. I went to bed at 10:00 PM and it was still raining. The low areas in the back yard were flooded.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It was a long, grueling day at work, culminating in a 2+ hour’s strategy meeting in the afternoon. So, I was beat when I got home.

But I had a problem. If you remember, when the power went out on Saturday, I put three four-cup containers of that bean soup in the fridge to keep it cool. So, I was thinking WTF can I do with the thawed out 12 cups of bean soup? I don’t think I could eat it all before it goes bad! So, I had a thought...

It was a layered wine bottle that had dried kidney beans, pinto beans, red beans, navy beans, black beans, Lima beans, split pea and black eyed peas. It was cooked with just water, two cans of tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and a spice packet. So, could I successfully turn it into chili?

So, I sautéed one half of a large sweet onion in butter in my Dutch oven (I love that puppy! That and my cast iron skillet are my most favorite cooking vessels). I pulled them out when they were translucent, added some canola oil and cut up a pound of stewing beef into 1/2-inch chunks. I dredged them in flour seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I let them go, stirring often, until they were caramelized. I took them out and deglazed the pan with a 14-ounce can of beef broth. I scraped the brown bits off the bottom, added the beef and onions back in and dropped in a bay leaf. I put the lid on and let that simmer (after bringing it to a boil) for two hours. Needless to say, this is not my dinner for tonight.

I watched the nightly news. Tomorrow morning could be a problem, as they are predicting freezing rain until after 9:00 AM and then just rain the rest of the day.

I let the “chili” warm up and then tasted it. Hmmm... should I add chili pepper, cut up brined jalapeno peppers, cumin or what? I figured I’d do a little at a time and taste test. I added about a table spoon of chili powder, a tablespoon of chopped pickled jalapeno peppers and a teaspoon of cumin. I brought it back to boil, and then down to simmer again, setting the timer for another two hours, this time uncovered.

Meanwhile, I warmed up the rest of the rice and another chicken thigh and ate that watching TV. When the timer went off, I shut it off (without taste-testing) and let it cool. I eventually covered it again and stuck it in the fridge. Then I went to bed.

Odd, Late Night Reminiscing

Does anyone besides me remember back in the pre-computer age using a microfiche reader to research something?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Hawk #1

Hawk #2

I Saw It!

I had a staff meeting at B73 in the morning and, after lunch, went to B50 and then back to B73 to get two quotes for wiring I need done. About the only place I didn’t go was B03 (where I should have been).

I filled up my gas tank on the way home from work. I paid $3.65 a gallon for mid-grade! And, that was after I researched to find the lowest price in the area.

Back home, I looked out the kitchen window and saw my hawk way out back, eating either another pigeon or maybe a rabbit. I used my camera with the most zoom I had and barely caught him. I took a ton of pictures and will post the best two. Remember, you can click on the image to enlarge it and then use your browser's back button to return.

When I was listening to the news, I caught a brief story about the cloud cover that was moving in. They said there were still spots where it was thin, but in generally it will make people miss a celestial event. They said at 6:55 PM local time, if you looked low in the north-west sky, you should see what looked like two bright stars moving quickly across the sky. That would be the space shuttle and the space station.

Now, I fallen for this before and never saw anything. But, at 6:50, I donned my coat and boots and went out to the patio. I got excited when I first saw some lights, but it turned out to be a plane heading for metro airport. I saw two more planes and gave up in disgust. There were just too many clouds.

But, with my hand on the storm door, I changed my mind and turned around. And I saw it. It was way lower than where I had been looking and moving faster that I thought. But, I saw it!

I ate leftovers for dinner after calling my friend, B___, to tell him about seeing the space shuttle and space station (he was unimpressed).

I watched some TV and then went to bed at 10:00 PM.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Sunday Story

I had another uneasy sleep last night. But, I finally fell asleep in the early morning and slept till 10:30 AM! I checked outside and we seemed to have gotten an additional inch of light, fluffy snow. I took some pictures for you. I filled out a lengthy Blog entry and posted it. Then I posted the pictures and went to shave and shower.

I stripped the bed and did the last wash of the weekend.

I made my braised chicken that I planned for yesterday. I “loosely” adapted a recipe, but here’s what I did: I took four chicken thighs out of a “family pack” I’d bought on Friday. The other six went into the freezer. I seasoned the four with sea salt and pepper and let them come up to room temperature.

Meanwhile, I heated up a couple of teaspoons of canola oil in the Dutch oven. I threw in two stems of thyme to perfume the oil. When the oil started to smoke, I pulled out the thyme and added in the chicken. I browned them nicely on both sides.

I took them out and dumped the oil. Then I deglazed the pan with 3/4 cup of white wine (scraping off all the nice brow bits). I added four cloves of garlic (thinly sliced), the zest of one lemon and more fresh thyme. I added the chicken back in (bone side up), brought it to a boil and then reduced it to a simmer. I put the lid on and set the timer for 30 minutes.

I started watching an old movie I’d taped: Ernest Hemmingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” with Tyrone Power and Ava Gabor (1957), while the chicken was cooking.

When the timer went off, I turned the chicken over and added a slice of lemon on top of each piece. I put the lid back on and set the timer for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped up a couple of tablespoons of flat leaf parsley.

When the timer went off (again), I pulled out the chicken and covered it in tinfoil to keep warm. I turned the burner up and reduced the liquid down to 1/2 cup. I added the parsley, a tablespoon of butter and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (from the rest of the lemon). I stirred that until the sauce was smooth and the butter was melted. I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper (not much).

I plated two pieces of chicken with a side of plain white rice I’d made and topped everything with some of the sauce. It was delicious!

I ate it watching the rest of the movie. Then I remade the bed and settled in to enjoy my Sunday evening.

Sadly, none of my usual Sunday night shows were on. So, I contented myself to watching an old Indiana Jones movie and then some cooking shows.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Back to Winter

Icicles from the sun

The driveway

A Difficult Day

I woke up at 1:30 AM on Saturday morning and couldn’t fall back asleep (not unusual, as you know). So I read a book until about 3:30. Then I woke up just before 5:00 AM for a bathroom break. As I was standing there, the power went out. After a few moments, it came back on (yay!) and I started to reset all the digital clocks. But then it went out again (boo!)

I went into the bedroom to get the emergency flashlight, but couldn’t find it. Hey, it was dark and I was feeling for it, not looking for it! Then I remembered I’d used it while replacing my headlight. No way was I going to try and stumble about the garage for it.

So, I went back to bed. I woke up at 8:00 AM It was light enough (but still raining) so I got the flashlight from the garage.

I made breakfast by lighting the burner on the stove with a barbeque lighter. Then I heated up some water and made a cup of instant coffee (blech).

I was worried about the fridge, but not the house. It was 40 degrees F. and raining. The house was on the “overnight” mode (66 degrees) when the power went off. But it should stay warm for a while.

Outside, it was still gloomy and raining. The backyard low spots and my driveway (hemmed in by plowed snow) were turning into lakes.

I read a book in bed after opening the drapes and the blinds to let some small amount of light in.

At 10:00 AM, it was still raining, but the temperature outside was 34 degrees and the temperature inside was in the 50’s. So, I went in the garage and dug out the propane heater. Hey, it saved my ass (and my pipes) for like three days when this happened at Christmas two years ago. I placed it on the downstairs tile and fired that puppy up. I set it to medium, but by 11:00 AM, it was already 72 degrees in the house, so I turned it to low.

I can’t call DTE to check on this since I do everything, like bill paying, on the Internet. So, I don’t have a paper statement with the number to call. So, I called my friend B___ on my work cell phone and he said give him five minutes to look it up and then call back. So, I did. He gave me the number and I called.

A recorded woman’s voice answered and said. “Welcome to 1-888 Free Sex!” I hung up so fast I almost broke my finger! This was, after all, a work cell phone and they do check. I thought, “WTF? I didn’t even dial an 888 number.” So, I dialed it again (but much more carefully) and got the same lady and the same message. I hung up again and called B___ to bitch him out (if he was here, I would have bitch slapped him!

“Very funny *sshole! So what’s the real number?” He said, “Huh?” I explained and he said, “you called 4747 and got phone sex?” I checked my notepad (there’s one by every phone in the house) and I had written down 4777. Oh, my bad...

I called DTE and the recorded message said they were aware of the outage. They were reassessing the damage, had no estimation of when it would be fixed and to leave my phone number if I want to be contacted with updates. So, I did.

I wasn’t worried that much about the freezers, but I was concerned about the fridge. I thought of walking to the party store or gas station to buy a bag of ice, but I realized they were probably both shut down. So, I grabbed four of the four-cup containers of frozen soup (happened to be Lu’s bean soup I’d made) and stuck them on the top shelf of the fridge. I went back to my bed and book.

The power came back on at 11:30 AM. I waited a long while and then turned off the propane heater. I filled in the Blog entry and posted it. Then I fixed all the digital clocks (microwave, stove, programmable coffee pot, the office and my bedroom).

I took a nap. When I got up at 3:30 PM, it had stopped raining, but was noticeably colder. I walked out to get the mail.

By 4:30, it was snowing. By 8:30, there was at least one inch of snow on the ground. I warmed up another slice of lasagna that I had thawed for dinner and made a simple salad.

I went to bed around 11:00 PM. I’ll take the propane heater back out to the garage tomorrow (I kept it downstairs, just in case).

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Sign of the Day (my Dad would have loved this!)

A Wicked Weekend

I watched the morning news and it was all bad! We had had freezing rain overnight (they said) and things were horrible: multi-car accidents and sections of the roads closed down due to ice.

Worried (I got stuff to do and places to be) I looked out the window to judge the traffic on Plymouth Road. Everybody seemed to be moving along at the usual rate. Hmmm...

So, I got cleaned up and headed out about 7:00 AM. The road was clean and dry! I went to my old building (#50, about a half mile from my house) to check out the latest request. As I suspected, they are planning on putting people in the vehicle conference room. There is a work order in for Facilities to install five cubes, but for now they are just using tables for them to sit at. I crawled under the tables to record the “mail drops” that needed to be activated (for voice and data).

Then I went to my newest building (#03, where I am working on my latest project) and found the door to the IT suite was locked! So, I sat in the lobby and awaited the arrival of somebody with a key. Eventually, the Building Manager, Paul, (who I’ve know for years) walked by and asked me what was I doing. I explained and he got the door unlocked for me.

People straggled in (I think Jake was the first) up to two hours late, filled with horror stories about closed road, spinouts, accidents and ice. But, they all live north of here and repeated said, “After I got to Five Mile road, there was nothing!” Trust me, there wasn’t.

I went out to lunch in the drizzle with Jake (for a change) to a close-by restaurant. I ordered a fish sandwich with clam chowder instead of fries. Jake had a chicken sandwich with fries.

When the order arrived, I tore open the packets of what I assumed was tartar sauce and put them on the fish filet. I was puzzled about the dill pickle that was on the plate, though. Dill pickle with a fish sandwich?

About three quarters through our meal, I noticed Jake had disregarded a tub of tartar sauce and the lemon for his sandwich. I checked and the packets I had opened were just mayo (I did think that was the lamest tartar sauce I’d ever tasted). Apparently, they got the plates mixed up. Oh, well, it was still damn tasty!

It was still raining when I left work at 5:00 PM. But the whole weekend is supposed to suck: Rain today, tonight and tomorrow morning, then switching to snow sometime tomorrow evening and then snowing through Sunday afternoon.

So, reluctantly, I swung by Meijer’s and got the essentials I needed. Apparently the weather had put a damper on people’s shopping; because the aisles were relatively clear and I was the second in line at the checkout (I’m usually fifth or sixth).

I got home around 6:00 PM, treated the cats and unpacked the groceries. I checked the voicemail and Lu had called to thank me for my card and present (some flower seed packets - lame, I guess, but all I could afford). I tried calling her back, but the line was busy.

I tried and tried again and I finally got through to wish her a happy 54th birthday.

My daughter Melissa called and we talked for a bit. She has house guests over and was taking a break on the patio.

I was really beat. Working five days straight is hard after 17 months of having Wednesdays off, so I didn’t make supper. I just ate cheese and crackers.

I fell asleep somewhere around 10:00 PM, watching the Friday Night Fights.

The Dark Age Chronicles

My power went out just before 5:00 AM this morning. I am not dead. So, I'll send an SOS to the world and hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday, weather-wise, minus the sun.

I stopped on the way home for lunch at CVS, asked to have a prescription refilled and bought a box of Triscuits.

A meeting ran late at work, so I was later than usual getting home. I treated the cats and watched the evening news.

When it ended, I warmed up another slice of lasagna I'd thawed and added some marinara sauce to it.

I watched a movie until 10:00 PM and then went to bed.

Oh, yeah, I had a few Triscuits and some of that bleu cheese (that NOBODY brought me) as a movie snack. Excellent!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


It was sunny but still cold on Wednesday. It wouldn’t have been bad, except for the damn wind!

At lunchtime, I took the time to hose the salt off the car at the “quarter” car wash. It was stupid, really, as it’s supposed to start raining Thursday night and, throughout the weekend it will be either rain, snow or freezing rain. But I just couldn’t stand looking at the poor car anymore.

When I got home after work, I put on my boots and refilled one of the suet cages. Then I threw some seed on the patio (where it was thawed) for the squirrels and mourning doves.

I’d done a lot of walking in the morning (yet another part of a project at my old building), so I rested up at night. I talked to B___, catching up, ate leftovers for dinner and watched TV for a while. I went to bed early.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A very average Tuesday

It was cold when I woke up on Tuesday and took the trash out. But the only place that had bad ice on my way to work was my street.

Work was work, with nothing interesting to report. As I said in a comment, I made myself a ham sandwich for lunch (celebrating National Pig Day, in my own special way).

I had taken out one of those frozen packets of my homemade lasagna to thaw on Monday, so tonight I warmed it up in the microwave, topped with some jarred marinara sauce. It was even pretty good the second time around!

I watched some TV and read some of my book until 11:00 PM and then went to bed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I just learned...

March 1 is National Pig Day!

I wish I'd thawed out some bacon or pork chops!!!

But, I did have a ham sandwich for lunch...


When I woke up early Monday morning for a bathroom break, it was raining and thundering! Thankfully, the rain had more or less stopped by the time I left for work.

The temperature did get up to 36 degrees early on (which is why it was rain, not snow) but slowly fell throughout the day. And, while I like the melting snow, it will become a problem as the low tonight will be only 10 degrees F. Which means all the standing water will become ice. Spring, wherefore art thou?

I was able to eat lunch at home as I now am located in two buildings: one in Farmington Hills (where all my stuff is) and one in Livonia, where I am working on a massive software audit (and why I think they brought me back full-time – they need somebody to throw under the bus).

After work, I cleaned up the kitchen, washed the griddle pan and the pots and ran the dishwasher. I watched the evening news. At 7:00 I heated up two hot dogs and warmed up the no-bean chili (Carla had called and let me know she put it downstairs on my pantry shelves – the one place I didn’t look!)

The chili dogs tasted great, but I spent the rest of the evening burping and wondering why in the hell I thought chili dogs would be a good idea...