Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"My Guy"

I thought I'd give you a bit of an update on "My Guy"....There is nothing major going on with him.

End  of update.

(HAHAHAHAHA!!!  Sorry, I just couldn't resist.  Have I mentioned that I have a quirky sense of humor?)

But seriously, folks, Mikey  probably wouldn't say anything much different.  His life has been pretty quiet this year.  It's been a full year since his episode with Bell's Palsy arrived last August.  Everyone he talked to at the beginning said that the paralysis could last anywhere from 3 months to a year.  By then it was pretty much gone for most folks.  It wasn't a guarantee, however.  For some people it never went completely away. 

Even though it is much improved, he is still bothered by the watery eyes and the changes to his sense of taste.  But the thing he dislikes the most is that the muscles in his right cheek feel to him as if they have all tightened up and distorted the way it feels and sounds when he talks. It bothers him.  All of the doctors that he's seen have told him that there wasn't anything that could be done.  Either it goes away or it doesn't.  Well, that's encouraging.

He tried several weeks of acupuncture treatments, but they appear to have been ineffective.  Tomorrow he will see a physical therapist who has had some success with a course of therapy sessions.  We'll see how it goes.  If  that doesn't help, there doesn't appear to be any other treatment options out there.

As hard as it is for him to accept, he may well be one of the unlucky ones for whom it never completely goes away.  We know that this is NOT debilitating in the extreme, it won't kill him or disable him.  It will just annoy him.  And an annoyed Mikey is a no-fun Mikey!

On a more positive note, however, he is slowly becoming a mere shadow of his former self!  He has been on a liquid diet program (Optifast) since July.  He has lost something around 25 pounds and he is looking good.  His tummy is now flatter than mine!  (How unfair is that??  lol!)  His total weight is under 200 lbs for the first time in a number of years.  He has about 6-8 more weeks until he moves into the next stage of the process.  That stage is called the "refeeding" stage, which sounds more like something farm animals do at the end of winter!  It isn't that exactly, however, it is the time when solid foods are reintroduced and one actual meal a day is added.  

I want to assure everyone, this is all under a supervised program.  He weighs in weekly, he sees the doctor periodically for checking his vitals, he attends a weekly group session with a nurse/nutrition counselor (or something like that) and other participants in the program.  Also, he has done this before a couple of times and was very successful.  So we don't worry about his overall health being affected.

I would not ever have the strength and discipline needed to go through a program like this.  I would fail miserably, but he has the self-discipline and commitment to stick to it!  I don't know what his actual goal weight is but I know he will hit it (or pretty close).  The trick is (as always) sticking to healthy eating once the program is over.

Still, for the moment at least,"My Guy" is well on his way to becoming the lean, mean, fighting machine (well, not really, but you know what I mean), formerly known as The Big Guy.  Go, go, go, Mikey!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"And the Beat Goes On"

Actually, it should be "And the Beat Heat Goes On!!"

Really, I have no intention of turning this into a "weather blog" to continually write about the weather!  It is just that this has been an extraordinarily HOT summer and it has given no sign of cooling off!

Yesterday, 8/28/11, Austin reached a high of 112, which tied our ALL-TIME HOTTEST temp from Sept. 5, 2000, and also set a new ALL-TIME high for August (previously: 110 from 2003.)   It also ties with my own personal All-Time Hottest temp of 112 when I was in Phoenix in July some years ago. 

Today,  Austin, has set a new record for most triple digit temperature days in a year.  Today is the 78th day of 100+ temps during 2011Of course, with the 10 day forecast continuing to have us with highs above 100,  this heat wave ain't over yet!

We easily sailed past our previous record of 21 consecutive days of triple digit temperatures for Austin, to set a new record of 27 days on August 12, 2011.  Of course, high temps of 95-99F are certainly no cold front, but it's enough of a drop to mess with the accumulation of consecutive triple digits....even though it sure doesn't feel a bit cooler.

Once you get to this point, the numbers become a kind of measure of our survival skills or something.  The individual days are just hot, 112 doesn't feel all that much warmer than 108, and everyone is feeling the heat.  People like Mikey (who are always hot anyway, are seriously suffering when they are outside.  But then they don't go outside much!

I read that the world record holder for the longest heat wave was 160 days, but I can't remember where that was.  It doesn't matter though, 160 days is pretty close to six months!!  And 78+ days is not quite half of that!  I doubt that the 160 day world record is any danger of being toppled by Austin's heat, but it sure makes you realize that 78 days isn't the worst it coul be!

Remember all that kvetching I was doing about not having functional air conditioning?  Well, let me tell you, my dears, it got fixed just in time!!  Our new unit has been totally on top of it!  Thank you, Carrier!!  You make a heck of an Air Conditioner!!

One thing that we have learned though.  In our air conditioned world, you can survive the heat, no matter how much you complain!  But everything needs water!

Much more serious and worrisome is the drought!  We haven't had more that a cupful of rain at any given time for months and months and months!  Livestock suffers, crops die, wildlife does what it must to find water.  I wish I had some photos, but if you google "Texas Drought" for 2011, you will see some images that make parts of Texas look like another planet!   According to Time magazine.  93.9%  of Texas is in some sort of drought conditions.  And we all know how much "Texas" there is!  Makes for a LOT of drought!

Hazardous conditions all around make the entire area a danger zone for fire and rightfully so!  There were 15 homes burned to the ground in a wildfire that consumed a couple of blocks in a nearby town a week or two ago.  It's scary!

Everything is so dry.  They have finally resorted to mandatory water restrictions.  You can instantly tell who waters their lawn and who does not!  Being able to water only one day a week will soon make everyones' lawn brown!

We need rain, again!   Just like we did a couple of years ago....only worse!

[If this all sounds a little familiar, it's because conditions this year are pretty much a repeat of the summer of 2009.  I wrote about it here:  Go see what I mean!]

Watching the news and hearing about the recent conditions brought about by Hurricane Irene along the Coastal states, especially seeing the flooding and rain and all that water that was driven inland, just made Texans want to grab a bunch of buckets and collect that flooding water and bring it to our desperate farmers and vanishing lakes.  Ironic, isn't it?

If we don't get rain soon, the "dust bowl"  used to describe conditions in and around Oklahoma in the 1930s could very well make it's next appearance here in Texas.  Without water to hold everything in place, even the soil just blows away. 

Say a prayer for all Texans who so desperately need rain.

Sunday Stealing: The August 20 Question Meme

I haven't done one for a while so it must be time for

Today we ripped off a blogger named Riona from the blog I Run Seattle. She states she got it from “the even-cooler-than-I-thought” Trish. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time.

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. What's for breakfast?    I don't eat breakfast.

2. Do you read a newspaper daily?    No

3. What do you do when you can't sleep?    Read

4. Say a word that sums up your mood.      Content

5. Do you remember your dreams?   Sometimes, for a short time

6. Name something from your dream last night.   A piano

7. Where did you go on your last vacation?  Canyon Lake, TX   

8. Today you are wearing:   White capris and a red shirt and white flip-flops, very summery!

9. What's in your pockets?    Lint??

10. Did you sing in the shower today?   No

11. What's the last song you heard?     "Sixteen Candles"

12. Looking forward to the holidays?    Always!

13. Where do you want to be this instant?    Younger!

14. What's for lunch?     A sub sandwich

15. What's something you would like to do soon?    Go on a trip.

16. Reading anything now? What is it?    Nora Roberts' "Bridal Quartet"

17. What's for dinner?     Depends on who's cooking

18. A favorite part of the day is:   Late night,  I'm a night owl!!

19. Are you happy?    Mostly

20.    What was your most recent purchase over $50?   A medication....and isn't that a crying shame?

Friday, August 26, 2011

"It's Over"

"It's Over!"  Finally and completely done.  No more dangling.  No more visits.  No more repairmen.  No more problems!!!   Yay!!  I. Am. Thrilled.  Well, almost thrilled.  There was one more little problem....sigh.

The installers showed up at 8:00, smashed things around up in the attic (waking me up again), but eventually got all the proper connections made and got out of our attic for the last time.  That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is that when they presented the final bill, there was an additional 5% charge that was not part of the original agreement.  The Big Guy was not happy!  It's not all that much money in the general scheme of things, but still.....

I'm letting Mikey deal with it, because I am DONE with this whole project.  I don't want to talk about, fret about, think about, or even LOOK at another air conditioner right now.....maybe never!

Once we get over being hot under the collar about the new charge, we will be cool again. 

And that was the whole point!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"The Dangling Conversation"

It's been an interesting week. 

The final (I hope) installer/repairman is in the process of leaving.  I think that means that our new AC is finally finished, installed, complete, and up and running, without being jerry-rigged.  It appears to be putting out cold air.  They started on Saturday and today is what.....Thursday?

To be fair, we have had cold air, but the only way it could work was to have an industrial strength extension cord snaking it's way from the unit in the attic, dangling down to the nearest electrical outlet in the hallway outside my bedroom.  Very attractive.  

Well, the cord is gone so that's a big step in the right direction. 

Maybe I should start from the beginning.

Saturday morning:

Two young men arrived at 8:30 am, with the brand new unit.  Because they  had to shut off the AC completely, by 9:30 the house was pretty hot, so I packed up a couple of books, a big bottle of iced tea, and departed to spend a few hours ensconced in my mobile cool refuge, commonly known as my car.  They told us the whole process would take about 6-8 hours.  After periodic updates throughout the day from the Big Guy (who had to remain behind in what was his version of Hell), I ran out of places to go and went home.  It was almost 8:30 pm, 12 hours later!  They were still there. They hadn't even stopped for lunch, so I went to get them some sub sandwiches.  By the time I returned they were starting to get things cleaned up and packed up and we had a big ol' extension cord dangling from the ceiling.  Thus began "The Dangling Conversation".

According to what I learned, there was some problem with the 220v line in the attic, thus the cord to the working outlet downstairs.  It was ok though, we had cold air, and they said that they would have an electrician come out on Sunday to repair the problem.  OK, we were cooling off, so we could live with it overnight, right?

About 10:30pm the temperature had dropped to 79F inside and we were feeling comfortable again.  By 11:30 the temperature had climbed back up to 84F!!  What the......????  The brand new AC unit conked out!  We had nothing but fans again.  There wasn't anything we could do about it, except call the AC place (they have a 24 "hot line") to report the failure.  Of course, by that time, there wasn't anything that could be done about it until the next day.  So we went off to bed for another too warm night.


The repair guy finally showed up around 1:30 pm.  In a repeat of the day before, I grabbed a couple of different books and more tea and abandoned ship.  Surprisingly, it was only about an hour later that the Big Guy called to let me know it was "fixed",  I gave it another hour or so to let the house cool down again and then went home.  (I was pretty sick of my car by that point.)

When I got home, the first thing I saw was the dangling extension cord!  Arrrggghh! It was still there!   I thought it was fixed!!  Turns out that the reason it shut down was that there was a short caused by a twisted wire and that had been repaired, but there was still a problem with the 220v line and the repairman who fixed the twisted wire was not an electrician and he couldn't do anything about the 220 problem.  An electrician would come out the next day to fix it.  He didn't.


No progress on the AC.  It was cool, which was good, but we saw no electrician, no repairman, no anybody and we still had the dangling conversation!  We also still had most of the mess, because:

A)  There was no point in cleaning everything up, until all the things were done and we would have no more visitors to our unbearable attic!

B)  It had been too warm in the house to do anything as sweat-producing as cleaning and putting things back to rights. 

C)  I was pretty much distracted by the next problem to crop up in our never-ending cycle of mini-disasters that plague us.

The Big Guy had gone off to work as usual and a little later, I was ready to leave the house on my standard errands and such.  Got into my car, turned the key, and got......a fluttery clicking noise that did nothing to actually start the car!!! 

I hate the feeling of being trapped and without a functioning car I was trapped in my house.  It sort of feels like claustrophobia and it makes me very anxious.  Obviously I wasn't really trapped, I could leave the house to be outside, but it was 103F and the idea of walking anywhere made me twitch! 

Called Mikey.  Called AAA.  Called Kia to alert them I might have to be towed in for repair.  Called Enterprise to arrange for a possible rental car.  Waited in the hot garage to flag the tow truck when it arrived.   All of which happened in good time.  AAA came and got the car started but their little computer said the battery was barely functional.  Time to get a new battery.  In the meantime I could drive as long as I didn't shut off the engine!     Oh wonderful, more time spent in my car to go to places that had drive-thrus where I could at least accomplish a few things....that limited me to Walgreens and McDonalds.  What fun....


The Big Guy couldn't get my car started even though it had a charger on it all night, so he had to remove the battery, and take it to be replaced (under warranty supposedly).  When he got home he was livid.  The place that sold him the original (now non-functioning battery) would not honor the warranty until they tested the battery and tried to recharge it.  They pretty much didn't believe that it had been on a charger all night and that Mikey knew anything about anything.  So he was forced to buy a new battery, because they couldn't (read, wouldn't) go against their policy!

AC still working, cord still dangling, no electrician in sight....


Sales guy from AC company came out to "inspect" the installation.  He was up there about 3 minutes.  Came back down and told us everything looked fine.  Well, except for the cord dangling from the attic, of course.  Still no electrician!  Evidently Austin only has ONE electrician and he was busy!   Right. 

Phone call that afternoon.  Electrician coming at 8:00 am Thursday morning.  Again, with the early morning visits!! 


I was awakened at 10:00 a.m. by hammering.  A lot of very loud and nearby hammering!!  There had better be an electrician out there making that noise or I was going to have a full-fledged meltdown.
Mikey told me it was, in fact, the electrician (who arrived at 9:30!), there to sort out the 110v/220v situation. He was up there for not quite an hour.  When he came down, he told us he couldn't find any problem with the 220 line!!  He rerouted something just in case that was a problem, but basically all was what it should be!  SO WHY HAVE I HAD A DANGLING CONVERSATION OUTSIDE MY DOOR FOR THE LAST F0UR DAYS???  Answer?  Unknown.

But it was done.  The house was cool, the repairmen were gone, everything was back up and running, we were finished with AC people climbing around.  It was OVE.... (What?)  Excuse me, folks, the Big Guy is trying to tell me something.......(What? Tomorrow??? What are you....)   [.....whimpering.....]

Well, I was wrong.  It appears that we are NOT done. 

It seems that when the installers were up there (way back on Saturday), they discovered that the heat/cool register in Mikey's office had no duct work connected to the furnace.  We've lived here 10 years and Mikey never noticed that this was a totally non-functioning register!  So they agreed to come back and install the required duct work.  And guess when they are coming!  Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.!!!   ARRRGGGGHHHHHH!  Will this never end?


If the installers actually arrive and actually get it done today (and I won't believe it till it happens) that will mean that getting a new air conditioner takes:

2 Installers
3 Sales Presentations
2 Repairmen
1 Salesman/Inspector
1 Electrician
1-2 Duct Work Installers
6 visits to our house
5 1/2 days of Dangling extension cords
10,000 pieces of insulation floating around
1 Week (7 full days)

Sheesh!  Remind me never to ask this crowd to change a lightbulb!

And we are now up to 71 consecutive days of temperatures over 100F.  Like I said, it's been an interesting week.

Oh, by the way, we finally heard back from the battery place.  After attempting to recharge it for over 48 hours, they have found that the battery is no good.  No Shit, Sherlock!  That's what Mikey TOLD you!  They will be giving us a refund.    Maybe we'll use the money for a trip to the south of France!  HAH!

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Things I Couldn't Say" (aka Dear So and So)

Dear So and So...

It's veeeerrrrrry late on Friday, but it is still Friday for another 90 minutes.  So I think I'll be able to squeeze in a batch of  Dear So and So....filled with "Things I Couldn't Say"....

Dear End of Summer Administrators (who ever you are),

It doesn't seem possible but here we are already past the middle of  August and we are winding down for Fall and all that goes with it.  But really do you have to bring out the Kamikaze  Cicadas and the See-Through Geckos while we are still in the hottest summer on record??

The cicadas fly into the garage any time the door is open. The fly around madly, slamming into walls, cars, lights, floors, and people until finally they either find a perch they like or they literally fall to the floor, landing on their backs, and knocking themselves out.   Trouble is they revive, manage to get turned over and resume the Kamikaze flights.  You can't swat them, they move too fast.  If you manage to trap one under a broom, you can sweep it right outside, but the stupid things turn right around and fly right back in!!  Annoying in the extreme.  Darn things are about 2 1/2 inches long and look the size of a small commuter airplane about to land on me some where.    Ewwwwwww, go away!!

The geckos seem to like to hang out on the deck  climbing up to the light where they spend the night.  They just creep me out.  Little see-through lizards that move like lightening.  I'm always afraid they'll land on me too!  Ewwwwwwwww. you go away too!   Some people say they like to have them in their houses because they eat bugs and bring good luck.  HA!  I don't have bugs, thank you very much, and a transparent resident who can move at the speed of light is not my idea of a nice house guest.  Anyone who wants them, is welcome to come and get them!!  (Could you hurry, please?)



Dear Air Conditioner Installers,.

I am excitedly looking forward to your arrival tomorrow with our brand new Air Conditioner!!  I am really sorry that you have to climb up to the HOT attic to take out the old and install the new.  Bring your sweat bands and handkerchiefs, you are going to need them!  We'll have ice water for you!

After being without a 100% functioning AC unit for the last 6 months,  (What?  It hasn't been 6 months???  Really???  Sure seems like it!)  Well, for what SEEMS like 6 months, where the inside temperature has been hovering between 81 and 83 all the time.  Our poor old unit managed to keep going, but it just couldn't get it any cooler than that.  We are anxious to have you bring our new unit!

But really, do you absolutely have to come at 8 AM???  On a Saturday??  Did the Big Guy happen to mention he works nights??  Or that I sometimes stay up veeeerrrrrrry late?  Mornings are not our best time....well, not my best time anyway. Of course, my bedroom is almost directly under the part of the attic where the unit lives and the compressor is right outside my bedroom window.  I suppose it would be pointless (and maybe a tad insensitive) to ask if you could either come back later or if not that, maybe you could be very quiet????  Yeah, that's what I thought. 

Maybe if I sleep in my clothes, I can roll out of bed at 7:30.  Grab my pillow, quickly drive the car to the nice, shady, park close by and go back to sleep in my wonderful AIR CONDITIONED car until you are done?  What do you think?

Either way, we really need to get this house cooled off!  Do your best please!  If it doesn't get cooler in here soon, I won't be responsible for my actions.

Just Get it Cool, man!


Dear Mother Nature,

I have lived for a pretty long time now and have seen your rather quirky sense of humor before.  You like to tease us with good weather and inundate us with bad weather.  You are so unpredictable that I can guarantee that a lot of the people will be uncomfortable no matter what you do. 

I know that you too are very old and have been around for millenia.  I'm sure it gets kind of boring, day after day.  I mean you really don't have a lot of options to choose from.  Basically, you have to put together standard weather conditions (hot, cold, rain, snow, high pressure and low pressure, wind) in some configuration every single day!  So I can see why you like to mix it up sometimes. 

Like this summer for instance, completely different from last summer.  This year it's been non-stop heat, no rain, and clear sunny skies.  Several times you have rolled big, black, ominous rain clouds over us, complete with special effects (thunder, lighting, strong winds).  Making us all hope that at last the siege is over and rain and cooler temps are finally going to arrive.

Several times, you have then blown those clouds away, poked the sun through the remaining clouds, and pumped up the temperature without one single drop of rain falling to the ground.  Ha. Ha. You're pretty funny for such an Old Broad!

But I hereby give you fair warning.  Tomorrow and Sunday would NOT be a good time to play one of your little pranks by dropping the temperature like a rock.  I can guarantee that you would not like the consequences!  Yes, I will be driven to drastic measures if we don't get to use our brand new Air Conditioner, after spending so much money and so many days melting!!  I don't know exactly what I will do if the temperature does a complete u-turn, but it won't be pretty. 

Don't mess with the hot, cranky old lady!

I'm warning you!


Dear Time Magazine,

You did it again!  What happened to your standards?  Who ever is editing each issue is getting really lazy lately.  Each issue has at least one, often two or three, corrections.  Somebody's name misspelled, statements attributed to the wrong person, that sort of thing. 

In your August 22, 2011 issue, you outdid yourselves!  In an article about the Drought that has hit large portions of Texas and the rest of the Southwest, you printed several photographs showing conditions that the drought has brought about.  My favorite was a photo with the following caption,
"The lack of rain has ruined much of the region's pasture lands, forcing ranchers to sell their cattle earlier than planned...."
The accompanying photo was of a stockyard filled with......sheep and goats! 

Henry Luce would be appalled!  I don't know, maybe those New Yorkers have never seen a cow!


Dear Blogland,

If you like Dear So and So, and want to give it a try, just pop over to Kat's Place at Three Bedroom Bungalow ( ), hook up with her Linky and add your own! It's a great way to blow off steam, and you can read lots of other letters!

Your friend, Mel

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WARNING:  You already know that I am a smoker.  I have written about the loss of freedoms that are aimed at smokers.  This is the latest outrage in the fanatics' campaign to eradicate smoking.

You've probably heard about the latest labeling requirement by the FDA and the Federal Government to the Tobacco industry.  They are requiring graphic photos to be displayed on the exterior of each pack.  This is an excerpt from the Associated Press:
Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday over new graphic cigarette labels.... saying the warnings violate their free speech rights and will cost millions of dollars to print.
The companies.....said the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision whether to smoke. They instead force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands, the companies say. They want a judge to stop the labels.
 "Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products.".....
 The FDA approved nine new warnings to rotate on cigarette packs. They will be printed on the entire top half, front and back, of the packaging. The new warnings also must constitute 20 percent of any cigarette advertising. They also all include a number for stop-smoking hotline
One warning label is a picture of a corpse with its chest sewed up and the words: "Smoking can kill you." Another label has a picture of a healthy pair of lungs beside a yellow and black pair with a warning that smoking causes fatal lung disease.....
The companies also said the new labels will cost them millions of dollars for new equipment so they can frequently change from warning to warning and designers to make sure the labels meet federal requirements while maintaining some distinction among brands.  
The free speech lawsuit is a different action than a suit by several of the same companies over the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The law, which took affect two years ago, cleared the way for the more graphic warning labels, but also allowed the FDA to limit nicotine. The law also banned tobacco companies from sponsoring athletic or social events and prevented them from giving away free samples or branded merchandise.
 A federal judge upheld many parts of the law, but the companies are appealing.
                                                                                                        (Emphasis added.)

 Did you notice?  Nowhere does it say that the manufacture of cigarettes is illegal.  Nowhere does it say that the use of cigarettes is illegal.  Nowhere does it say anything about stopping government subsidies to tobacco farmers.  Nowhere does it say a word about replacing the tax income the government will lose should all the smokers actually quit smoking and thus stop  paying the exorbitant taxes we are currently paying.  And definitely no mention was made of what they plan to tax next to replace the lost revenue.

Nope, they just want tobacco companies to put horrible photos on their own LEGAL product in the hopes that will make smokers stop buying cigarettes.  Photographs that newspapers  couldn't print or networks couldn't  shown on television.

 "Well, why not??, some  might say.  "Those smokers are insensitive, unfeeling, uncaring, oblivious clods who won't do what we tell them to do!!  They just go around blowing second hand smoke in the faces of babies!!  They deserve to see ugly graphic frightening photos.  And those big ole tobacco companies can just go ahead a pay for the photos on their own products.  So there!!!

May I just point out that:

1.  Automobiles are not required to include photos of accident victims in their cars. 

2.  Liquor companies are not required to include photos of corpses of victims of drunk drivers with their products.  Nor are they required to prominently display AA's phone number!

3.  Gun manufacturers are not required to show every hunter or marksman pictures of a bloody human body riddled with bullets shot "by mistake".

4.  Are life insurance companies required to print in big, black letters, "NOTICE:  Someone must die before any money can be collected from this policy!"  Of course not.

5.  In fact, I cannot think of any other product or service which is required to try to convince people NOT to buy their product.  It would be absurd and ridiculous to even suggest such a thing. 

If the courts do NOT strike down this ruling, it will pretty much mean that the U.S. Constitution which talks about FREEDOM is no longer the fundamental and functional "rule book" for America.
Freedom will no longer mean what it means now.  Freedom will be only for those who let the fanatics dictate the rules. 

Gee, does that remind you of anything??  or anyone????

P.S. In the city of Austin and much of the surrounding area, there is no smoking allowed anywhere inside any public building of any sort. There is nowhere for a smoker to have a cigarette sitting down in any enclosed space out of the sun, the heat, the rain, or whatever. That is why you will see so many people smoking in their cars or garages. You can't smoke in your own house without affecting it's resale value!  There isn't anywhere else.   As much as I would hate to see it happen, I wouldn't be surprised if it is soon like that all over the country.

So, where is all this secondhand smoke that is being blown around that the fanatics are so worried about??    I'd like to go there and maybe I'd find a place to sit down inside to smoke!

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Today Is Your Birthday"

Today (Friday, that is) is my baby sister's birthday.  She was born a loooong time ago (but not nearly as long ago as me!)  It was fun having a baby around when you are 12, as I was, and suddenly you have a sibling.  Surprise!  Actually, all three of us (Mom, Dad, and me) were surprised!  Mom had been told there would be no more children, so our little bundle of joy was a gift from heaven (or someplace).

I was just old enough to help Mom with the new baby, and I was young enough not to resent having to share the load.  It was like having a little doll that actually moved and everything!  I had always wanted a sister, and although I had wanted one that was a little closer to my age.  Still.....

She was cute as a button!  Blonde, blonde eyes..... a happy baby who didn't cry all that much (at least not that I recall.)  She liked me to rock and sing to her when she was around a year old.  It didn't last all that long, only a few months.   Like all kids, she had places to go and sitting still got old.  About that time too, I turned into a teenager and my life got more social.  Nevertheless we both enjoyed it for a time. 

Sadly, tho, with the age spread, our personalities being so different. and the geographic distance between us, we've never had too many chances to just "hang out" as adults.  In fact, I believe it's about 2 1/2 years since I've seen her.  We talk on the phone occasionally, but that doesn't happen that often anymore.  She's busy, I'm busy, our lives are on different paths.  There are just too many  miles between Austin and Phoenix to get together on a whim.   Especially when one won't fly(me) and the other won't travel alone (her)!!

It's too bad, because I miss her.  

In honor of her birthday, I will share an oldie but goodie, that might bring back memories.  (You'll have to pretend you can hear me, 'cause there is no way I am putting a video recording of me singing on the Internet! use your imaginations.  Ahem......

(To the tune of "Marianne")

All day, all night, Debbi Ann
Down by the seaside sifting sand.
Even little children love Debbi Ann,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.

Debbi Ann, oh Debbi Ann, oh won't you marry me?
We will build a bamboo hut and raise  a family..
Leave  your fat old mama home, she never will say yes!
If mama don't know now, she can guess. 

Hurry up now!

All day, all night, Debbi Ann,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.
Even little children love Debbi Ann,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.

Happy Birthday, Little Sis!

With love, from Big Sis

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More A Capella

I know I sound like a broken record (hmmm, some of you might not know what that is!!  Arrrgggh!  Look it up!  It'll do you good. lol!) 

Anyway....We seem to be stuck in a crock pot set on high!  How many months has it been since our AC was actually working correctly??  Six or seven easy!  Well, that's what it seems like. 

Today's stats:  High 103F, Current 95F (at 10:30 at night!!), and Inside currently 83F.  Sigh.....!  I'm melting.....I'm melting..... (I guess that's been used.)

The Big Guy met with 3 separate AC companies this morning to request estimates for a whole new system.   They would only offer preliminary (i.e., ballpark) estimates today.   ACKKK!!  HOW MUCH???  Well, there goes our "disposable" income for the next 3 or 4 years.  That's ok, we didn't have any big plans anyway, and now I guess we won't make any!

We now wait for them to get back to us with final figures, then make our choice, give our okay to start the process.  Then it will probably take a bit of time to get the right equipment, and set up the removal of the old and  installation of the new, then the testing, the adjustments, and finally, with a little luck, we'll get honest to goodness COOL air again.  Ahhhhhhhh.......

You know, of course, that by the time all that happens, it will be September and the season will change and the temps will drop like a rock and we'll have to turn on the furnace.  When I mentioned that probability to the Big Guy, he said, "I'd pay double to have that happen right now!!" 

Did I happen to mention that he HATES hot weather?  And for the first time in the 47 years I've known him, I can't help but agree that it's just too damn hot!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"A Cappella"

It's too hot in this house to move.  The effort of lifting my fingers up and down to type is about the extent of energy I am willing to expend.  This is our punishment for having waited too long to call a repairman. 

We have no AC....none!  We had to turn it off  so that the 1+" thick layer of ice encompassing our compressor could melt before the repairman could check anything!  Today it is 100F outside.  So how there can be an inch or more of ice outside directly in the sunshine and this heat, I do not begin to understand!!

 Right now at 7:30 in the evening it is 87 frigging degrees in here! We only have two ceiling fans, but the house has 11 rooms (that includes the baths and laundry room, but heck they need cooling too!!)  Fans running, shades pulled, drapes closed, minimal lighting to reduce ambient heat.  I'm wearing lightweight clothes and not many of them (just enough not to shock the repairman!)  The Big Guy is sweating, I'm sweating, the repairman is sweating! 

I would go take a nice tepid bath, except that I know it would feel worse when I got out (one just can't stay in a tub for hours!)

The compressor appears to be leaking freon.  To repair, replace the freon, and all that goes with it will put a serious dent in the budget.

So now I'm hot, depressed, and broke.  Ain't life grand?

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Mellow Yellow" #10

It's Mellow Yellow Monday!!

Nature is truly amazing.  Through the process of photosynthesis and the creation of chlorophyll, most plants are various shades of green.  There are a gazillion different shades too, each plant has it's own version.  It makes for a lovely landscape.

But suppose, just suppose, that the photosynthesis and chlorophyll didn't make things green!  Suppose the most widespread color in nature was YELLOW!!   Things  sure would look a lot different!!  Sort of like this:

Yellow Palm Trees??
I don't think it will catch on, do you??

(I'm sorry for the blurriness!  It was taken with my cell phone and I guess I wasn't as braced as I thought I was....sigh.   Maybe I shouldn't be participating in Mellow Yellow, I'm such a rotten photographer! )

♪♪....They call me Mellow Yellow!....♪
~~ Donovan
My 10th contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday! Hope you liked it! If you want to join the ranks of lovers of all things YELLOW, go to

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"It's Too Darn Hot"

Here's a newsflash:  "It's Too Darn Hot"!!   Yeah, I know that's not new at all.  Apparently, the entire country has been having an extended heat wave....for weeks and weeks.  Isn't it odd, that the last two winters, have been bad ones and everybody sneered about Global Warming.  It's kind of hard to worry about warming when its freezing outside and the snow is six feet deep!

However, when the thermometer is at the other extreme with temps in three digits, Global Warming seems all too possible.  I just didn't expect it to start all at once!

Of course, as I wrote a few days ago, our AC is struggling to do it's best but there comes a point when our poor old machine just can't keep up.  Inside temps hovered right around 83F in my house for most of today.  As a matter of fact it's still there.  The AC is trying, but not really producing much "cool". 

The outside high today was a record high for Austin, 106F!  105F used to be the high for this date, and that record stood since 1954!!  Other parts of the country have been hotter I know.  I'm not saying it's worse here than other places.  But I know the Big Guy is going to be really uncomfortable tonight trying to sleep, actually I probably will too.  The temps have been over 100F for at least three weeks.  It's just miserable for almost everyone.

It's too hot to do much of anything.   Just about all anybody talks about is how hot it is.  It's enervating.  And it's getting on everyone's last nerve!

There is one teeny, tiny silver lining.   Many of the stores and businesses are voluntarily dimming their lights and raising their thermostats to try to reduce the drain on energy sources and avoid "brownouts".  In a town that maintains an inside temp near freezing in most restaurants, this is a welcome break for restaurant customers (like me).

The heat won't last.  Sooner or later the seasons will change and the 100F days will go away til next year.  According to the weather forecast, however, it isn't going to happen any time real soon.

However in the world, did people survive this climate before AC??  Even my struggling AC, is better than nothing.  I seriously doubt the Big Guy could have managed it.  Poor guy, the heat just does him in.
Me, I just usually (and discreetly) "glow" when it's hot.  Tonight, I'm "glowing" so much that I am
actually.....(gasp!).....sweating!!   Oh, yuck! 

What else can you do when "It's Too Darn Hot".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Writing Wrongs"

Following up from my last post....I hadn't originally intended to use something today from another's blog, but that was before I went to visit one of my favorite bloggers, Cass at That Old House.  If you love old houses and all things related to making a house into your own, you must go and visit Cass and her beautiful house!  She is quite funny to boot!

A few weeks ago one of Cass's daughters got married and Cass has been sharing all sorts of wonderful things related to the wedding.  Today she posted some photos from her daughter's honeymoon trip to China!  

This particular set of photos had to do with various English signs they saw in China.  Some were very funny (like the instructions you receive along with your latest electronic toy) and were definitely written by someone who's first language was definitely NOT English.  They were definitely "Writing Wrongs!!"

The last photo in the series may or may not have been of the same ilk. Take a look!

(This one is for you Little Sis! If anyone will think it's funny, I bet it will be you!!)

SPOONY!  OMG, it made me laugh right out loud!  Spoony!!  Charles Schultz must be laughing too!  Either that or spinning!

Cass pointed out that this may have been done on purpose to avoid copyright issues.  I hope not!  I'd love for it to be just a random funny mistake, wouldn't you? 

But more than anything, the thing that would really set it off would be if it were a Spoonerism  (the reversal of syllables in a sentence or phrase.... like Hoobert Heever, or one swell foop!.....but I'm not really sure it is. (Anyone know??)  Usually a Spoonerism is mixing syllables from two or more words, and this is obviously only one word.  Nevertheless I choose to think of it as a Spoonerism because that just makes it absolutely perfect!! 

Thanks, Cass, for letting me borrow from you!  This is the best laugh I've had all week!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I read a lot of different blogs, about a lot of different things, and I try to comment whenever I feel I have something worthwhile to say.  It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who reads my "musings", that I never write anything short!  So sometimes my comments get a trifle.....uhhhn....shall we say long?

When commenting I do try to be a bit more concise, but when the topic really interests me, or when I have a story to tell, or when I have an opposite point of view,  concise just doesn't cut it!  So I become a thief.  I will steal their idea, copy my own comment and drag it into my own backyard!  Sometimes I will be inspired to use the topic and my comment as the basis for an immediate post with a bit of embellishment.  Other times, I know it is a topic for another day and will somewhere down the road, use it for one of my posts.

Actually, it isn't really "Stealin'" exactly, it's more like copying their idea. There is not, however, a song called "Copy Cat" that I could find....though, there should be!...., so "Stealin" is sort of a substitute. 

If I end up using the idea fairly soon, I give credit to the original blogger, that's only fair.  But if I hold on to it for awhile before I decide to use it and I just use the topic, I generally don't credit it.  Just as a clarification, I do NOT, under any circumstances, EVER use the original blogger's post or photos without crediting and/or asking permission.  That, I think, keeps me from being an actual thief!

So, if you see a topic here that sounds kind of similar to something you wrote about, it could definitely have been inspired by your post, so if you look at it that way, it's kind of flattering, right?.  Does that sound like a questionable practice to anyone?  If  I did use your idea and it bothers you, please let me know and I will be glad to give you credit or pull it if you insist. 

I am a pretty honest person; I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm "Stealin'"!  I just use inspiration where I find it!!   :)

So, what do you think??

p.s.   Hey, look!  It's short!!

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