Showing posts from March, 2018


Gus, you fat old dog, No asparagus for you. It makes your toots stink!

EASTERTIDE 2018: Holy Saturday

...the Ramblings of a Tired Old Gruff Chick 

Easter.  It doesn't feel like it, what with all the snow and flooding recently.  Yet today the air is clean and clear, and we've thrown the upstairs windows open to drive out all the bad humors. 
I most likely won't attend Mass.  Last week, I offered to drive my mother.  My dad most likely wouldn't be able to sit through Mass without having an "accident", thus she would be stuck at home.  She insisted that her Ecumenical minister was stopping by with communion on Sunday. Um, alright. I sorta wanted to go. Then, out of the blue yesterday, she announced that dad would drive them. No offer for me to accompany them.  No explanation of how dad would suddenly be able to hold his "stuff" through the service. 
You know, that hurt. Seriously.  
Though I walked away from my faith a few years back, Better Half and I did attend Christmas and Easter Mass in Steubenville.  I absolutely loved how peaceful and joyous the…

HOUSE HUNTING: a new target in sight

Found another one.  It's not that difficult, actually.  I'm just fussy as hell.  I can see past the beige and the bland, and the clutter and the stains. What I'm looking for is character - that special charm that my ideal home should have.  Hence I obsessively troll, sometimes hourly if I'm bored enough.  If anything, I currently have the luxury of being able to take my time with it. I can turn my nose up at things that I normally might jump at if we had to find a home in a matter of a week or so.

This newest offering intrigued me from the get-go.  It wasn't all that outwardly charming. In fact, it looked rather bland.  I'm not one for privacy hedges and evergreens.  
A cursory glance at the stats, and it hit several markers. "Nice 3 BR home w/lots of nice features including hardwood floors, built in bookcases/curio's, 2 sunrooms, built in china cabinet, French doors & more. Equipped kitchen + Formal DR, LR w/decorative fireplace, …

KNITTING (Part 3: beginner's frustration)

Black dog stares at me. "Hey, is this a scarf, Momma?"        No Gus. Just a snake. 
I have a cousin on my dad's side that could crochet a zucchetto for the Pope in five minutes flat. It would turn out flawless, you bet. Meanwhile, my magic circles become magic knots, my sides are uneven, there's big ol' holes in spots, and I lose track of where I am in a pattern.  I should probably give up.
I won't.  I will learn this hobby if it kills me.


Sometimes waking up and clicking on the news brings a humorous surprise.  Such is the case today.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) - The Ohio House passed a bill Wednesday that would take away state funding from cities that use automated speed cameras to issue tickets.
House Bill 410would also move the traffic violations to municipal courts, instead of before a Mayor’s Court or hearing officer.
The local government that sends the ticket would also have to pay the court costs.
State Representative John Boccieri voted against the bill saying it would hurt local communities.
State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced that bill that would offset revenue cities earn from cameras by reducing the same amount from its state funding.
The bill passed the House in a 65-19 vote. It now goes to the Ohio Senate.

Seriously, I haven't any sympathy for the cities' loss of funding.  I've been the victim of local speed traps.  These cities rake it in hand-over-fist.  Let me tell you how it goes:

You pu…


Feeding time here is usually interesting.  Who would have thought so much effort would go into getting three geriatric dogs to eat?  The only one that wolfs down whatever we put in front of him is Gus, of course.  His obesity is proof of that.
Tonight's treat was a bit of canned food for Gus, though the others demanded some as well.  It was my guilt offering.
Poor Gus. He's the gentlest dog.  Earlier today, my mother's raindog (aka Dante) decided to attack him for the crime of walking into the dining room.  No blood spilled, though Gus stood his ground.  My mother smacked her dog's rump and sent him to a comfy chair next to her.
No. Uh-uh. This in no way sends her dog a message.  I got angry.  After all, I've lost my "shadow" to a dogfight in the past. I was not about to lose my PSD in a tragic manner.  I told her that her dog needed to go into his plastic kennel.  It would send a message: you are shunned for your behavior.  The lack of interaction and t…


Better Half sighs at his age today.  He's officially a senior citizen.  He joked that he was turning into Grandpa Simpson.  "I'm alone, and cold, and there's wolves after me."

Dude, no. As Gru said to Dr. Nefario, "Why are you so... old?"

I should point out that the man never acts his age. Eternally the goofball, taking BH into a hobby or gun store is a calorie-burning experience on par with herding cats. Or herding otters.
Many moons ago, when we were in the Denver Aquarium animal husbandry department, BH had a chance to care for otters.  These are his favorite. He was happy to chop up fish and hose off Lutrinae shit.  It became obvious to everyone that this was his totem animal - it was difficult to discern which was more hyper at feeding time.
Speaking of food, we did a raincheck on BH's birthday dinner.  Burgatory is in the works on Thursday. We probably won't get out of there for under $55 but a quick glance at the menu tells me the price…


... or how Big Things with More Than Two Legs scare the shit out of Humanity's offspring.

Water towers unsettled me as a child.  Perhaps it was because they were massive balls suspended on only a few thin legs?  They groaned when the wind was fierce, and creaked when temperatures suddenly snapped from one extreme to another.  Foreboding due to their mass and height, they stood like resolute sentries, sometimes silhouetted by the full moon when not obfuscated by grumbling storm clouds.  We didn't climb them. We didn't go near them. Instead, we sat in our beds on stormy nights, and we waited with all the fever of a child eager to catch Santa at his job... but what we waited for wasn't anticipation of presents.  Nay, we wanted verification of the Supreme Truth that all children in my tiny town knew: water towers were alien machines.
Oh, you can laugh all you want.  It won't make much sense to people that haven't known a world without the internet.  Those of us th…

RUSHED SNIPPET: Social Experiment - Basic Income

Rushed snippets are things that catch my attention when I have the least amount of time to sit down and mull over them in full.

Such is the case with the "basic income" social experiments going on in Canada and elsewhere.  There are several lines of thought regarding it. The reasoning depends greatly upon whatever is motivating the proponent.

For some, the approach stems in part from opinions concerning automation. In a nutshell, "huge swaths of workforce would suffer layoffs if robots end up displacing them. If we supplement their income while they go back to school, we'll be investing in people willing to be productive" etc.

 For others, current social programs do not address the situations which lead to poverty. It's the "fish principle": if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. 

What are BI experiments?      

Of course, there are plenty of YouTube videos covering BI, both pro and con. …


We're thinking of finding a small place where we can expand... meaning a place where we can put our furniture, decorate and landscape as we see fit, and reclaim our lives as adults.  Better Half becomes an official senior citizen in a few days. It's time we rebuild our future.
I've narrowed it down to a few.  I'm hoping to take a look at one on Monday.  Given my drive to landscape the shit out of everything, I've drafted a basic garden plan.  
It's currently bland lawn and a thin bed of manky hosta.   There really isn't much space. It's full shade come the afternoon/evening.

If I took up the grass, I'd have room for two rows of largish plants on the left, as there's a sidewalk between the thin bed and the grass. We could drop in an ornamental tree. The right is another thin bed with grass flowing to the city sidewalk.  I'd tear this out completely.  

The beds would have dark bark for the winter months.  I tend to plant three season beds, so…


Steven Hawking
8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018
Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA was a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

I've been awake a while, surrounded by the cocoon gifted to every person that arouses to a quiet house and slumbering people. In that quietude I made my coffee and reflected upon the day ahead.  It promised to be a dreary one.

Thus equipped with caffeine, I shambled back up the stairs to park myself in front of the monitor.  Thus was my daily habit - when plans didn't go awry due to pain.  I settled down to pull up my first news feed.   The first headline drew my interest:  "The Latest: Swedish academy pays tribute to Hawking".

Nice.  It's always a pleasure to see him still active.  I clicked, then bit back a shocked grunt.
4:05 a.m. A University of Cambridge spokesman says theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has died.