Somewhere between hypercompetence & homeownership
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Whatever the hell that means.

Wednesday, May 29
Help?! Anyone understand how to use the SSI crap with blog archives? The new Hannah pages needs help...

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Eeeewwwwwwwwwww... Sarah's tale of pool yuck brings me back... I too can relate to the joys of opening the pool for the season. Such fond memories. One year, the neighbors big dumb dog decided to take a walk on our pool cover. I wished I'd had a camera handy that day.

But I digress, the title of today's blog refers to an event that occurred way back when my family had a Japanese garden pond. It held about 600 gallons of water, goldfish, lilypads, toads, algae and miscellaneous scum. When well maintained, it was beautiful. Part of the process of maintenance was the annual drain and muck. We'd catch all the fish and put them in a large clean trashcan filled with the clearest water we could drain out. Then we'd drain the rest of the nasty water with a hose leading to the end of the driveway and then put on rubber boots and shovel out the nastiest stuff on earth, which took hours. Anyway, as the water drained, it'd get darker and darker and stinkier and stinkier. We'd had the hose running for several hours and we were hanging around in the driveway when some guy we didn't know, riding his bike, stopped and reached for the hose. From here, it goes into slow-motion, like a movie. We all froze in horror for a moment as we began to process in our minds what he was doing. Then we all started to shout and rush towards him but the no sound came out and we moved like we were in molasses. "noooooooooo' we shouted but it was too late. He took a big swig from the hose, wiped his face with his arm and then kept on going down the street.

That was more than 20 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.


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Friday, May 24
Behind the mask.... lurks a pathetic 20-something hoping to get a better gig next summer...

Oh, Tina, Tina, Tina... trust me,
Pluto could see just fine. We took H to DisneyWorld last summer so we took in the full character experience, breakfasts and all. What's most disturbing to me are the adults with no kids in tow who go to Disney almost entirely just to meet the characters and get their AUTOGRAPHS. Please, people, get some therapy.

The character gig is actually quite coveted as these kids are hoping to further show biz careers and the line on the resume doesn't hurt. It's got to be a reality-warping experience, though. There are specific rules about how they can act and such. The characters with masks DO NOT speak, but in some cases, they can communicate through another character that is not masked. The other weird thing we saw was 2 20-something guys having breakfast and chatting up Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland, scamming for dates we assumed. So, when Hannah got to talk to Mary Poppins, we asked about the guys. Totally in character, she responded that they were friends and that she and Alice were friends, and that they all double-dated, etc. The real person / character dynamic is very weird. The Mad Hatter was acting annoying to Mary Poppinsm which is his job but her annoyance was not acting, but real. We were quite amused when she muttered under her breath to us about what a pain he was.

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Thursday, May 23
Sometimes non biodegradable is a good thing You wouldn't want to dump this stuff in a landfill but for my purposes, it makes alot of sense. The more I read about it, the more I like the idea. I'd never even heard of it before yesterday, but apparently it's already in widespread use.

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Wednesday, May 22
I can see the light! Praise the lawd! Praise the lawd!

And I guess the tree guys, too. They did a pretty good job as far as I can tell. I might have had them cut a bit more if I was there when they did the job, but still. It's a vast improvement, we can even notice a difference in the amount of afternoon sun that comes inside as well as reaches the grass around the trees. Along with the weed and feed application and moss pellets, I am optimistically hoping for the best. The lawn is not something you can fix or improve fast. It's 'do a little, wait a little'. Most of the dandelions look limp and withered but there are a few that are still looking too robust. I may go around and hit them with some spot application of the stuff. I am trying to avoid that level of handwork but it may be inevitable. I am waffling about attacking the grubs and dead patches too quickly. Clearing and seeding is a major task and one I need to be sure I have the bandwidth to fully undertake before I begin...

So many other tasks to undertake as well. I am looking into getting a neighbors swingset moved to our backyard for Hannah and the babes. I need to learn more about creating a suitable ground cover for the area. Some sort of containment, pressure treated 4x4s maybe, and about 6 inches of mulch or light gravel or wood chips or something. We never had this sort of thing as a kid but I guess there were too many injuries from falls so now they make you paranoid about backyard safety. It's not a law, but the guilt police will be ruthless if something were to happen...


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Monday, May 20
Ketchup! so, let's see...

The wee ones are still not sleeping through the night, so we are still terminally sleep deprived but our bodies are apparently adjusting to it. I have a certain feeling that I will never sleep through the night ever again anyway. Apparently, certain effects of male aging coincide well with the nightly ferrying of babies. It goes something like this: I get up, fetch and deliver a wailer, make a pitstop, go back to bed. Get up a little while later and repeat.

The little ones are getting cuter and more fun everyday. They are getting more able to self-sustain and self-entertain so we get a bit more of a window of opportunity to do things like cook and straighten up around the house in the evening. One pleasant result is that I can actually take a moment to take pictures of them. I still need to go through and edit and post but there are pictures to edit so that's a step in the right direction. They're getting more photogenic too so I have gotten some images worth sharing, well at least with other parents...

Another clear evidence of the slow return to normalcy is that I am working on the lawn. I am definitely not in possession of a green thumb and I don't harbor a serious case of 'lawn envy' but I do feel some level of guilt and/or obligation to my neighbors to maintain a presentable lawn. And mowing is a step by step torturous review of the trouble spots, of which there are plenty. In various places I've got: dandelions, moss, sowthistle, clover, grubs, small rodent damage, hardpacked soil, sinkholes, eroded top soil, deep shade, exposed tree roots, etc. etc. It's a mess. If I could, I'd rip out the entire thing and start over. But I can't, so I must attempt to make slow, steady progress.

On a related front, the tree guys came today. I wasn't home so Lara had to deal with them. It was not a reassuring experience, they seemed somewhat clueless about what they were supposed to be doing. I am half looking forward to and half dreading going home tonight to see what they've done.


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Monday, May 13
What a crappy day. Just the weather, I mean.

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Thursday, May 9
Can't upload and you should all be glad. For some reason, like I never use them anymore, I can't seem to get access to my free server site where I store images for this blog. I wanted to upload an image of a house centipede. Oh, how I despise these creatures. Do you know what I'm talking about? I thought these creatures were silverfish, but a web search revealed that I wwas completely wrong. There is a millipede with about a million tiny, tiny lil stubby legs that you can barely see underneath the body, and there's the centipede, a sort of cute little guy with about 30 slightly longer, but still stubby legs and then there's the 'house centipede' with 30 long, spindly legs that surround the sliver of its body like a splayed out grass skirt. Oh, how I hate these creatures!

There must be some proportional creep out response to the length and number of legs a creature has. These things make my skin crawl like nothing else on earth.


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Is it too much to ask? Is service dead?

No, it's just lazy, slow and late arriving.

I called a tree service company to get an estimate for some work around the house, trimming trees, grinding stumps, etc. The phone people were intense about getting the appt. time set up (6pm) and even called to verify the day before. We were sort of impressed, these sorts of companies are usually incredibly slack about scheduling, etc. Then, they call in the middle of the day and say they're coming early, (around 4). Not a big problem, Lara's home anyway but she rejigs her plans to accommodate them. Again, we're somewhat impressed by their efficiency and communication. Then the guy doesn't show and they call to say he'll come at the original time. Something of a pain, since we've rearranged schedule but we'll manage. Then, 6pm comes and goes and nothing, nada, zip. We call at 6:15 and they say he'll call back ASAP, he's n his way. 6:45, nothing. He eventually showed up at 7:15.

He apologizes, yeah, yeah, and cuts his estimate down a bit for it.

Should I even give him my business?


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Progress? Well, sometimes a well timed grumble gets results.

Person 1 apologized for the 'mishap', asked me to resubmit the request, hand carried it for approval. Person 3 already submitted it and I spoke with the actual order fulfillment people.

I may yet get the gadget.


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Monday, May 6
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....I had a feeling I was getting BS'ed and I was right....

A while back I discovered this totally cool
gadget. (Jenny thinks it's stupid, but....) I wrote up a properly BS loaded request to buy one,all sorts of reasons why we need to get one and investigate its possible productivity enhancement potential and it's a whopping $45. I put the order in, along with an agreement to do a rushed request to research and order a new scanner for the department, for which they give us a 'skys the limit, well, sort of...' budget. So, what happens? Sure enough, scanner arrives in a matter of days, I'm amazed (I expected it to take weeks) but figure things are looking good for the gadget. A few days later, I ask Person 1, who gave me the scanner request and agreed to push through my gadget order, about said gadget. Her response: "Uhhhh, I dunno... check with, uhhhh, Person 2." who's conveniently out for a week. Upon their return, they say, "Uhhhhh, check with Person 3" who brilliantly concludes that she has no record of the order submission at all (after looking in the same three places 3 or 4 times before I walk away) and then yells down the hall to me, "Check with Person 1" which is where I was already headed, and who starts to say "uhhhhh, check with person 2" before I cut her off with a distinct 'Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr' and walk away...

Did I forget to say 'Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

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Squibaddition Added Squib to the sidenav. Must not be too busy, or maybe not too concerned with deadlines, etc.

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I amaze even myself with my ability to defeat all systems designed to protect me from myself.

I have a knack for killing car batteries.

This morning, warm and sunny, my car battery was dead again. You can't leave the lights on, so you have to be clever to kill the battery in the Subaru. I think I (or someone) left the door ajar enough to keep the little light on all weekend. Of course, I couldn't find the jumper cables and I can't 'roll-start' the car since it's an automatic, so I call a neighbor at 8am to beg for cables. Pathetic.


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