Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The 18-wheeler and the post office

Our post office sits on one of the two state highways which intersect in our downtown. Several years ago, in an attempt to clear congestion, the street curb was painted red and large letters of "mail drop only" (or so) were painted. For a while, no one parked in front and ran up the stairs and in to check their box. Then people got sloppy and the red faded and now everyone thinks they're special and the parking in front has run rampant. Most people don't block the mail drop boxes which was the purpose of the red in the first place.

But today, fortunately, the street in front was empty. So it was that an 18-wheeler came roaring up, blinking to go right. The driver scooted its length into place and stopped just shy of the drop boxes. The driver door swung open and the driver emerged. He bounced down, came around the front of his truck, and dropped one letter into the box.

It struck me as funny. I followed in the line of cars behind him as we drove north, he eventually pulled over at a convenience store, parking on the shoulder, and I watched in my rearview mirror as he bounced down and went in for his snack.

I bet he's an interesting fellow.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to make a closet clean-out more palatable

Once I buy something--clothes, kitchen utensils, furniture--I want to keep it forever, or at least until it wears out to my satisfaction. The exception to the rule is clothes that, no matter whether too large (rare) or too small (alas, not so rare), no longer fit. They go.

But I have found a way to make closet clean-out a little easier on my hold-it-forever soul: consignment.

Our local second hand shop has recently moved and changed some of its policies. Major change: consignment of really, really nice things. I actually have some of those, and as they were no longer fulfilling their roles in my wardrobe, I took them in. True, there were only four of them, two skirts, a dress, and a blouse, but we found a price and I consigned them with the understanding that after 30 days, they belonged to the store, do with as you will.

I popped in today to see how it was going in general and was handed $25! Not that that covers a multitude of my shopping sins, but it was very nice. That was my 50% for the sale of three of the items.

The dress still lingers, but there's time yet. It's only been a week.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why that's Duchess the cat on my Facebook page

Last night's supermoon was gorgeous and hot pink, then orange, then ecru, then... moon-y. I tried for some photos but there wasn't enough light to always set the focus so the camera refused to cooperate. Then if enough light did leak in, by the time the automatic shutter speed for night-pictures went off, the moon had moved. Not that I could see if move, or you could see it move, but the camera knew what was what and it blurred.

So I just watched as it set apricot-colored this morning.

Then, tired of moving my capri pants one pair at a time from the other closet, I changed the winter and spring/summer wardrobes. This guarantees cold weather before Easter so consider yourself warned.

THEN, I decided to join Facebook. Supposedly, it's easy. Let me count the ways it might not be:

1. My profile photo. I held the iPhone up and took a today-pic of myself. Several times. Found one that didn't make me look too pale and ten years older than I am and emailed it to myself. Instant gratification. Uploaded it. Facebook turned it sideways. Yes, that's right, I was on my side. And I couldn't seem to get it any better. I finally figured out that maybe the parameters weren't right, so I loaded it into iPhoto, changed the shape and gave it another go. It worked! Five minutes later, the sideways one reappeared. That is why I deleted the sideways ones and put Duchess the cat up. She is the alpha female in the backyard. I am the alpha female in the house. It's fitting.

2. I made a password like you have to. Then when I went to check back in, it wouldn't work. Three times. Which is all the tries they give you before the message to re-do it comes up. And the two emails. And the code. And the warnings. So I made a new one. We'll see how long this works. I saved the emails.

So, welcome to Facebook?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shine on, Supermoon

Tonight's the night of the supermoon, when our God-given satellite is at perigee, or closer to the earth in its elliptical orbit than usual. First time in 18 years and since there's nothing on TV and the local movie house is similarly devoid (although I could see Rango), we'll be setting up shop in the golf course parking lot and watching, camera on tripod, remote in hand.

The moon will look bigger and be brighter. The bigger part is being played down, as "only" 15% bigger. Now, if I were only 15% bigger, I'd be bigger than I was with either pregnancy.

'Nuf said. That's bigger.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pulling memories from your pocket

For the second time this month, I grabbed my winter coat off the coat tree downstairs and hauled it up to its closet. Once before I'd thought that I wouldn't need it again and I'd been, obviously, wrong. This time, with the first day of spring on Sunday, I'm more optimistic that it'll stay put.

That being the case, I thought I'd better clean out the pockets. Not that I expected to find any money there--and I didn't--but I did find the detritus of our entertainment, three movie ticket stubs.

My coat pocket is a favorite place to stuff the stub as I hunt the theater. "Number 15, down the hall," the ticket taker may say, but I've got to find the ladies' room and number 15 and wait for my spouse to get a drink. Into the pocket goes the stub.

The yield from my pockets were three very different movies: from Thanksgiving with the family in Austin, Tangled. The girls went while the boys golfed. Tangled is a good movie and I was as rapt as my grandchildren. A lovely afternoon.

Next stub was True Grit, which we saw locally. Excellent retelling of the John Wayne classic. Better than it. Way better, because we'd just watched The Duke a few nights before in his Oscar winning role.

Finally, Little Fockers, again local, in early January. It was an okay movie and for the senior rate of $3, I couldn't complain.

Sometimes it's just as well to pull memories as money from your pocket.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Catomic clocks

From the Wikipedia entry on Atomic Clocks:

Since the beginning of development in the 1950s, atomic clocks have been based on the hyperfine (microwave) transitions in hydrogen-1, caesium-133, and rubidium-87.

Or so they say. Personally (purrsonally?) I don't think so. I think somebody had a cat.

The transition to Daylight Savings Time, the old "spring forward" is hard on us all. An hour less sleep, never mind that we "get it back" in the fall, is exacerbated by having another hour to wait until the sun comes up. Oh, we rejoice after a few hours when the sun sets later, but it makes for a hard day and into the week. There are studies to prove it and I'll find them maybe and add them to the post, or maybe not. Because that's not the observation here.

This post concerns DST and my cats.

Pyewacket cat is most assertive in his pursuit of being well-fed. One might say he's aggressive if he can see the bottom of his bowl. Just one square inch is enough to send him into kitty overdrive. So I was amazed this morning when my alarm went off and he didn't immediately pounce to my side and begin the routine of up-up-up-you-lazy-person-feed-me! No, he stayed on the floor. It's wasn't time for breakfast. It was an hour too early. What was I doing getting up?

His brother Tuxedo wasn't concerned either. The outdoor cats, being an extremely opportunistic bunch, are willing to eat when I'm willing to feed them. Still, Duchess was stayed abed in her box. She was getting her full 20 hours of sleep.

I've no doubt their kitty stomachs will quickly adjust to DST. Which just goes to the point of this post: The scientists who started messing with the idea of atomic clocks based them not on Cesium etc., but on the most reliable of time keepers, a cat's stomach.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I didn't see it, I didn't ask for it, but I got it

Ten or fifteen years ago, I decided that coloring my hair was a waste of time and money and besides that, the chemicals burned my scalp. So I "went" gray, a color my hair had been aspiring to since I was 21. It was a "gift" from my mother, who also was prematurely gray. She fought the good fight throughout her 30s and 40s. I can remember her using gold hairspray. Really. I don't even know if they still make the stuff. Finally, she too gave up and went the most glorious white.

I am not there yet. I still have faint streaks of color, albeit not any name on a Miss Clairol box. But it's me. One might say I look my age.

Obviously I do to a young clerk at a Jack in the Box.

Needing the facilities and thinking a cold drink would be a refreshing break from Goodwill hunting, I popped in mid-afternoon yesterday. I scanned the list and chose a Diet Coke. Small. He rang it up. $1.72. I handed him two dollars and received a handful of quarters in exchange. Thinking he had missed what I'd given him (although if it were a five there would have been bills), I opened my hand for him to take back the extra, something like you do in a foreign country when trying to pay for something, not understanding the coinage, and are just hoping the seller is semi-honest.

"Oh," he smiled at me, "I gave you the senior discount."

I didn't have the nerve to look back to the board and see exactly how old he thought I was.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 07, 2011

Barney's Version

The weather was too bad on Saturday, cold and windy and where is spring?, to do anything outside, so we took ourselves off for a little shopping in the Big City, or at least its suburbs. Shopping accomplished, it was too early for dinner (because if you go to the trouble of driving an hour to shop, you're not coming home to leftovers), so we decided on a movie.

Movie prices vary greatly by locale. Where we live, they're $5 after 6PM, $3 before and always $3 for "senior" citizens and children under 12. Since we qualify (former, not latter), it had better be a very good movie to pay more than that. Last one which qualified: The King's Speech.

So we chose a movie which we didn't think would make it to our local neighborhood, Barney's Version. We hadn't heard of it, read only the barest description of it on my iPad as we're tooling down the toll road, and decided what-the-heck. It was at our favorite indie theatre and restaurants abounded in the area.

I usually know quite a bit about a movie before we go. I read the reviews, see the ads. But this one was off the radar. I really expected we'd be the only ones in the theatre, but it was probably 3/4 full. Mostly people who looked like us and had decided it was too cold to work or play outside.

It's refreshing to have no preconceived notions about a movie. I don't know that I'd want to do it all the time, and I don't think I could give a "go see it!" to everyone I know, but I'm glad we went.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Texas Co-op Power Magazine and me

The March issue of the Texas Co-op Power Magazine has my article on catfish buffets. It's the back page if you have a physical copy and it's here, if you read online!

I had so much fun researching this article and then writing it, so to finally see it in print------WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Labels: , , ,