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Reading In The Dark


Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:00:17 PDT


Hillary Clinton at St. Augs October 23, 2016

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:00:17 PDT


Friday Cats Blogging

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:29 PDT

Ch,Ch.Ch, Changes

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 04:00:01 PDT

 I bought my washer and dryer. It is not the washer and dryer I thought I was going to buy, I had a vision of what I was going to end up with and I was certain that I was going to end with a version of it.

I was going to get a fancy new thoroughly 2016 top loader washer and dryer and the washer was going to have a glass lid and they were going to be fabulous and super efficient because that is what I  really want when I get down to it, I am seeking energy efficiency and the more efficant the better .

Well. I ended up with Samsung  front loaders. They don't have to stack, they are just staged that way.

I didn't want front loaders, I didn't research front loaders and I had pretty much decided that I was not even going to look at front loaders because 1) Ew, so last whatever, I mean, so over them and 2) They are more expensive, 3) The new top loaders are so now, so new so sexxxyyy!

They are however, very deep and my washer and dryer are lifted up about six inches and I would probably have to have a step stool always parked in front of the machines  so I could load and unload and that could become kind of a pain after a while. The front loaders are better in the long run and are a more sensible choice, even if they aren't what I thought I wanted. They do a lot of the same sexxxyyy things the top loaders do and have many  of the same bells and whistles that I  probably won't use on these machines either.

Well. My front loader washer is very efficant!  Moren efficant than any of the top loaders I had been lusting over. I was really, really happy to learn this! I mean I was giddy. (Consumer Reports approves of my choice as well)

 I went with it initially because it was available on a schedule that worked for me, I can have it next Saturday and that is just fine with me -  and they were  also nominally on sale and I don't want to spend any more time on this. I need to be working on tankless water heaters.

Air Horn Orchestra Week 28 #loud

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 04:00:17 PDT


Lows. #loweshardwaresucks

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 04:00:08 PDT

Well that was a let down. I went to Lowes to buy my Brand New Washer and Dryer and came back with a head ache

It turns out if I wanted my BNWaD I would have to be willing to wait for a month to take delivery! I am not exactly ready to take possession right now, but I do not want to be running back and forth to the laundromat for a month. That is not okay.

They hadn't mentioned when I went window shopping that there was a chance that the model they showed me had availability problems. It was a great deal. It was too good a deal and I was roped in by it.

I came back on the last day of the sale and told the clerk that I wanted to buy this set. Ta da.

We went to a computer and he punched in the code and nada. Not a single Lowes in our area has it, Oh, sure I could drive an hour to go buy it in person - I don't have a real Lowes card yet, I used to, but I stopped carrying it after my purse got stolen and I decided to travel lighter and to stop casually carrying cards I rarely use, they now spend their time safely tucked away in my freezer until I need them; I so rarely used my Lowes card, they canceled it. So now I have a temporary card - not useable online, so no trip out of town for a washer and dryer.

I don't think I should have to travel for this anyway. Why can't the W&D come to me? That would be good customer service. You know what was bad customer service? Trying to upsell me on the next more expensive version.

No sale. I even tried to work with them.  I gave them choices : 1) "I would buy this other better model for the same price as the lesser model that you are making me wait on, because you made a bad faith mistake and you now owe me and you would do well to make me happy, 2) I will buy this available nicer model you are forcing on me, but at a discount because you care practicing bad customer service and there are laws againts bate and switch and that is what happened here. 3) Or I take my money and my good will and begin to draft my letter  of complaint to your corporate customer service department  before I clear the Lighting section

They should have called their manager and let he or she cut me a deal, because I'm sure it was within that person's authority to do that kind of thing.  They could have sold the product and kept the sale at their store and made a customer happy instead the floor staff decided that they didn't want any of these things and they let me and my money and my good will walk out the door.

Dear Sir or Madam...

Mitigate This

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 04:00:22 PDT

After many conversations with the insurance people it was finally revealed that the water mitigation people were going to magically appear tomorrow! life could start again!  I could get my washer and dryer, I could get my water heater and maybe, I could get a new freezer! Lets get this party started!!Cliche' sound of record scratching. Do you know how much water mitigation costs? A lot, a lot a lot. Do you know how much I'm getting from my insurance for this little adventure? Not a lot as it turns out - note to self, sit down insurance and fix that, next time this happens and you can be sure that this is going to happen again because  this shit happens, next time I want to be able to afford mitigation. Anyway,  this time around I can't afford water mitigation.Not the fancy, top of the line gold standard version that my insurance set me up with anyway. If I went with the mitigation that was so kindly made available to me, I would have a super clean empty basement. I couldn't afford to replace anything. That's how I'm going to explain it to the guy when I call him tomorrow and cancel him.I came home from work and worked like a dog. If you wondered how hard a dog would work if a dog went to work? A dog would work hard. A dog would be a very hard worker. Super diligent. This is what I got done in two hours. Imagine what I would have gotten accomplished if I had known over the weekend that they charged by how many trips up and down the stairs or whatever or how much stuff they had to remove. They charge too damn much regardless, I wish that had been made clearer to me at the start. They could have said : "You can have the basement cleaned out or you can replace your lost appliances and water heater you can not have both". My time management would have been different.My Dad is coming up tomorrow and he's going to talk with the handy man down the street and they are going to negotiate finding some men to move the dead washer and dryer and freezer out and hopefully, the other things I couldn't get out because they were too big and heavy to do on my own. Then he's going to power wash with my brothers power washer, and we'll see what that leaves us with. My handyman down the street is already on the look out for a electrician to hook up my soon to be tankless water heater. And I'm going to talk to my insurance people again to see where my check is.[...]

Post Matthew

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 04:00:22 PDT

The insurance adjusters came to my house and looked around were as horrified as I was. More so, because they told their boss I needed to move out!

I do not need to move out. I have pets, and clothes and a life. I do not need to go downstairs. I do however need my own shower, and now I have one.  The insurance people didn't insist that I actually stay at the hotel room they so kindly rented for me for a week,  so I go there every day and take a long, leisurely hot, hot, hot shower and I feel really good about using all the hot water. What I'm going to do after Thursday, I don't know. Check out would be Friday at 3pm, and I'm not available then so I'm going to have to turn my key in early.  I may have to keep the key card longer though if the promised water clean up crew doesn't get here soon. Because  if they don't get the place clean I can't pull the trigger on the water heater, no water heater no washer and dryer and then the freezer and then everything else. Also I need my check, first check then I can pull the trigger and start showering at my own house. And washing my dishes. And laundering my clothes.

I thought I was supposed to hear from them ( water clean up folks)  by today, Sunday, and I did not. I called my Insurance Desk Adjuster Saturday and they said the water people were very busy and I hadn't been scheduled, but they would be in touch. If they aren't in touch, they will be renting that room longer.

In the mean time, I have gone shopping for replacement appliances. I want a tankless water heater, however, this may be too expensive, I have to make some calls to see whats the what on that. I do know that I am absolutely dumping my gas line and going electric. I did some washer driver shopping and found  this little beauty and its dryer twin , I found mine at Lowes, new and for $50 more. But new damnit! I'm having second thoughts about the dryer. Dryers are dryers are dryers, I kind of think I could save a few dollars and get a still nice, but maybe not quite not as nice dryer that would still dry my clothes with fewer moving parts. I don't know, Maybe Lowes would do me a deal if I put it to them like that, I think they like keeping sets together.


I went in the basement to do some scavenging. Not everything down there was destroyed and not everything was in the way of the water. More than I thought, damn it, but not everything got wet and not everything that got wet was ruined. My tool chest did not get wet, nor did my other tools, so thats a win. I remembered, late, that I bought four deeply discounted green houses from Big Lots right after vacation and stored them under the stairs in the basement - they got wet. If I had pushed them to the rear of the stairs, I think the boxes might have survived but as it was, I didn't do that because WHY would have I done that? .

So, I got to spend Sunday afternoon wrestling rotting, soaked,  falling apart, stinky cardboard through my wet, nasty dark basement to the stairs and then getting the thousand pieces of the green house out of the box and up the stairs and out of the house and together. It helped enormously that everything in the rotting cardboard was in plastic bags.

Now I have four separate piles of green house to keep track of and I need to solve that. Any idea?

Friday Cats Blogging

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:00:14 PDT


Fri, 14 Oct 2016 04:00:02 PDT

 I set up an appointment for Friday afternoon with the adjuster!  that is one  more massive problem on its way to being solved!

Not much else to report. Hopefully by this weekend I will be able to start the process of getting everything out of the basement and into the yard to be either cleaned and put back or thrown out. Hopefully, the insurance company will feel my pain and cut me a check so I can replace my washer and dryer and freezer and dehumidifer and sigh, bike.

Air Horn #27 #loud

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 04:00:08 PDT

Every day is about solving problems. Every problem solved is a problem solved, I don't "size" my problems, they are all problems, all equal in my eyes.Today I dealt with the dirty dish problem and the empty the dishwasher problem and the laundry problem  as well as the  cleaning the refrigerator problem . I was very busy.I also went to Air Horn where we  harassed some ladies and completely  ruined their evening in the mansion garden. Well, at first they thought we were entertaining but then then we just didn't stop and they tried to move to a different part of the garden to get further from the noise and we followed them because we can, and they didn't think we were quite as entertaining.Last night I also thought I solved the publishing the entry problem but this morning I discovered Blogger did not publish the entry.[...]

Baby steps.

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 04:00:18 PDT

I got my claim number today, which is progress,  I can't reach a real person, but I did finally get an email only a day later than promised so I have that to cling to. I should hear from an actual adjuster within 24-48 hours which isn't exactly speedy service but it's at least a time frame. I cleaned out the upstairs refrigerator and freezer and threw out the food and made lists for the insurance.

I bought paper plates and bowls and will adjust accordingly to my new no hot water, no dishwasher ( it works but it needs hot water) lifestyle. Next step is taking the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and putting them away and then thoroughly  rinsing off the dirty dishes I have accumulated and storing them in the dishwasher

I had my first real shower in days (thank you Aphagal and Brosky) and days and I feel so much better. I was going to come home and clean out the newly empty refrigerator but I felt too clean to do that so I will do that yucky job tomorrow when I am less freshly bathed.

I turned on my HVAC and it functioned! So that it s point for me! Something that was down there still works, so yay! I started looking at electric water heaters online.

Next up ; Laundry.

Hurricane Mathew

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 04:00:20 PDT

So. It could have been worse, a lot worse. I need to  focus on what I need to do do now. I need a check list. I mean, I really need a check list, I need my insurance to come across with a checklist of things I need to do/can do over the next days.I know I need to clean out the upstaires fridge and freezer. They were without power for a day and half and while I didn't open the doors during that time, I don't think it would be a good idea to eat the food any more.  I am also insured for the loss of the food so I need to get rid of the food and make a list of what I am throwing away. I need to do this soonest. I just can't bring myself to start this because I don't want to have no food in the house, it makes me depressed and hungry.It will be a great opportunity to really  deep clean the fridge and freezer and they both so need it! I have wanted to for a while and it needs to get done in the worst way. Hopefully I will do this Tuesday - after I drive to my brother and sister and laws and take a shower.I also need to find a friendly neighborhood laundromat where I can do my laundry and not get mugged. There is a perfectly good laundry on Hargett that is used frequently and works just fine but I've used it and felt like I was I was going to die any minute- totally unfair on my part, but it's gross and there's almost no parking. There is another one on New Bern that's nicer but its always full of screaming children, however, I've also been in there and I did not get the feeling I was going to die. So. There you go.Everything is going to need to be replaced. The water heater, the freezer and the washer and drier. The basement space itself is filthy and everything in it will need to be removed and either cleaned or thrown out. Everything. There are a lot of things in there and all of them are filthy. The basement is another place that has been begging for a good deep cleaning and will be better after almost everything is thrown away.And then after[...]

Friday Cats Blogging

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:00:12 PDT

I am playing with a toy! Yay! Toy!

In preparation for the coming  distress I head butt these and claim the flashlights for myself.


Fri, 07 Oct 2016 04:00:25 PDT

I had plans to be very efficant when I came home from work. I was going to make dinner early, walk the dog early, eat the dinner post walk and then make my phone calls for Hillary. Super.

And then I actually did all those things! I made dinner - spaghetti squash and venison , walked dog, ate dinner and sat down to make calls.

Could not make calls. I logged in and what I needed was not there. So. No phone calls. I did email my handler and told her that I had a problem and then I logged off, I am a volunteer, I don't stress over this.

I ate more of my nummy dinner and essentially wasted a lot of time, so much time I almos forgot to cat nlog and ended up with half assed pictures. Sorry, my bad.

Also, let us all think positive thoughts and prayers and not  low level, bull shit, hateful Republican "thoughts-and-prayers", actual, genuine, Please -let- them- be -okay -and- let -them- be -safe- and- let- them- come- though -thy- will- be-done level thoughts and prayers.

Air horn Week 26 #loud

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 04:00:25 PDT

The storm has moved east, out to sea, so I may not actually need my flashlights or charcoal and I can perhaps take some of the stuff out of my shed and put it back in the yard where it mostly belongs. Wednesday night was my first Air horn in a month (!)[...]

Defcon Milk!

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 04:00:17 PDT

It may be go-time. I went to Wally and while the place wasn't a zoo, everyone had milk in their baskets! We are at defcon something, clearly.

Prepping ahead of the storm:

Thus far I have :

- bought flashlights that came with batteries, might want to get more batteries
- bought a bag of charcoal for my  tiny grill
- cleaned up all the small/light weight things from the back yard and either put them in the shed or just disposed of them.
- got the hoses ready to spend the winter in the basement
-  removed a couple of really light weight things from the front yard
- took down the flags and bunting from the from deck
- bought some cans of tuna for the long haul
-bought more food for the cats
- ordered a car charger for my new phone so I can keep it charged.

Things to do ;

- remember to bring up some ground meat from freezer to make hamburger patties to grill
-remember to get more batteries at Sams
-check and see if the lighter things I have still light
-get ice for nifty cooler I bought because it was Texas themed, not because I expected to actually need it.
-wash all dishes.
-get water?
- clear chair from front yard, put small plants by house.

Garden 2016 Update 9

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 04:00:33 PDT

I took what was left of the garden out of the ground on Saturday. There wasn't a whole lot left, a couple of barely producing pepper plants and a mostly dead tomato. There were two celery root plants that lived, but when I took them up they had not made any root at all, they were a good  try but no win.The lesson learned was that in the future I will only buy my plants from big box stores or Burpee, the plants are less romantic but they are hearty and they don't die. They are also cheaper and if they do die, they can be replaced without tears. I wanted the fancy varieties from the hipsters to do well and they all died. They were all too young and should never have been sold for transplant at that age. It was stupid on both of our parts. Mostly my part for giving them money for fetal plants that died of shock ten minutes after they got in the ground. Also, never, ever, ever buy "heritage" variety of anything again - its short hand for "going to die, going to to get eaten". Dumb idea. Gardening is not romantic. Its about cold hard, heartless capitalism.Grrrr. I had such plans! I planted a lot of plants, many! I planted in a new plot! With so much  direct sun! It was going to be amazing! I was going to end up with bushels of produce! I was going to give away record numbers of tomatoes. I had real plans for this garden. I got not one single tomato. Not. One. Single. Tomato. I was heartbroken.The tomatoes were a loss. A total loss. First it rained and rained and then it rained some more. It rained too much. And then it was hot. Very hot. Too hot. Tomatoes like the heat and sun but they don't like too much heat and sun. It turns out, hours of direct sun might not be the best thing for them. They  grew, they bloomed, they made baby fruits and then they never got ripe.Also, something was eating them.  Before the heat/rain/fungus?( I use drip hoses to avoid fungus but then it rained and rained and rained and the plants never dried out and thus, fungus spread and dead plants) killed the plants, a critter was eating the unripe fruits from the plants. Whole. It might have been rats, but I've had rats in the yard for years and they never bothered the garden before - however, the garden was on the other side of the yard and it might have been too much work to get to the unripe fruits in years past...  I don't know who was eating them, but someone or something ate every single one of them. Heart-broken.There were some bright spots. The tomato eater was not fond of first time  hire spaghetti squash and it turns out, I am! Those plants did very well and produced fabulously well I even was able to share the wealth. I really like them and the tomato eater didn't care for them either, I will plant them again.  I also planted zucchini for the first time and as it turns out, I like them too. Another good hire.The last plant out the garden and by far the best producer was my pepper plants. These guys survived everything that got thrown at them and still kept on going. They were uniformly brought to you by big box stores - as were the squash and zucchini. I harvested the last hangers on and brought them inside and cleaned them out, boiled briefly, chopped the small ones and got them ready for freezing and use through the winter in soups, stews, stir fries, pizzas, and pot pies and stuffed.I need to remind myself that this year was not a complete wash! I did get plenty of squash and zucchini and peppers. I am very fortunate that I did as well as I did under the circumstances and I should be grateful and I need to focus on my wins instead of my loses. I had some good ideas and they w[...]


Mon, 03 Oct 2016 04:00:26 PDT

I did a whole bunch of stuff, still less stuff than last weekend but I slept more this weekend so I will take it for a win.

I got laundry done, did some work in the yard, did my Walmarting, visited with Broskey and Alphagal, checked out the Halloween section at Target, discovered I do not look good as a blond, dyed my hair back to its correct shade, and spent some time on Fayetteville Street enjoying the Wide Open Blue Grass crowds - but did not get to enjoy much Blue Grass at all! I don't know where they were hiding it, but it was not out where it could be found easily like it has been in years past.

Rocket was a huge hit.

Did you know it was October?  The trip to Targets Halloween section made me think about costumes ; What do I want Rocket to be this year? There are so many options! So many expensive options. I decided to check and see if last years totally cute Super Man costume still fit and it did, so he's going to be Super Man this year again. I would love for him to be Elvis, because there is a super flashy Elvis costume out there. but its really hard to find in his size and it gets pricey.

I may make a trip to the big box pet stores to see what they have yet, but I really like the Super Man costume. I've seen some other costumes online that look interesting, but  I think what he has is good enough and works, but if I'm out and about and  I see something that is PEFECT, I  will have to entertain the idea of course.

Speaking of "his size" and costumes, Alphagal is making him a custom Santa Suit! Its is going to be stunning. He had a serviceable santa costume, but it was made out of sweat shirt material and it was just not as cute as it could be. I found him  a much nicer suite online but as it turned out, it was too small and he couldn't wear it. Enter Alphagal!

Friday Cat Blogging

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:30:42 PDT


Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:00:13 PDT

So today there was an upper level pressure thing in our Cloud at work and so we couldn't work at work for hours . I did get some things I had wanted to get done prior to the storm, but I still got almost nothing done.

I was not happy. So I went house shopping and that was fun. I haven't gone house shopping in a long time and there were a lot of new places for me to see. I also raised my budget a little, so I have a larger net this time around - but not that much larger. I'm not going to actually get another house, but you never know when you might have to bounce (President Trump), so its good to have an exit plan in place. I at the very least have an idea in what direction I am going to run to (Go West!).

I have put some thought into this! I have thought about raising goats, however, goats need to be bought and paid for first and then they require land and land is expensive. They also need to be cared for and fed and they need some where to live - they could prove to be just too much of an investment right off the bat. There is also the Christmas tree farm idea, again, the need for land is a stumbling block. A lot of these plans also depend on my house here selling for a big chunk of change. I need to put more thought into my exit strategy .

Here are two of my favorites from today

Small but workable

Landed but Little

I don't know where either of these places are, I'm pretty much all about what they look like. Its not for real (Please baby Jebus!) so I don't have to worry about real life issues like proximity to stores or hospitals or churches or electricity or water  or sewage or customers any of those pesky  real life details.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 04:00:28 PDT

The thing about being gone for vacation for so long is that it thoroughly disrupts my routine. I came back and had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to be doing at a given time.

Monday - I knew I had that exercise class that I was into and liked - but it was lame and it had become progressively more lame and I have opted to not return. It started off strong but it had really lost its focus and morphed into a "dance" class. The instructors weren't actual instructors, they were just herbalife cultists and really were more about keeping the group moving for a set time before they launched into their Herbalife spiel  - than being interested in how the group was moving.

 I know nothing about exercise, but I do know that there is a right way to perform and exercise and a wrong way to perform the exercise  and if you do it  repeatedly you can hurt yourself . Also, the Herbalife lectures were getting longer and longer every week and the work out shorter and shorter.

I can look up calisthenics on You Tube  and do the same things in my living room and get actual instruction.

Tuesday. I have no idea what I did on Tuesday. Maybe nothing. I don't know. I know there is nothing on TV. This Tuesday, I paid the nice man to mow my front and back yards  and then I flea poisoned the back yard into a toxic mess. Good. I took the dog for a walk and came home and vacuumed everything that didn't move fast enough to get away from me. I don't think the fleas are living in the house, I think they are coming from the outside. They would be easier to get rid of if they were just inside the house. This weekend will be more vacuuming, laundering and bombing.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. I know that it is Airhorn.

And we didn't have Airhorn. I came home, changed clothes, put on my tee shirt and made dinner. I was ready to go and then I saw the post. No Airhorn! The first canceled performance in six months. It was supposed to rain, a lot. Hard. And it didn't. Not a drop. So instead I  flea poisoned both cats (Ace really hates this and has been giving me the side eye ever since) stripped the bed and ate dinner very early. I should have walked the dog, but instead I rode the exerbike while I watched it get very dark outside and threatening and binged on Veep.

I'm still not sure I like it. I like the people kind of, but so far every one works very hard except for the titiller Veep in question, who does very little work at all yet keeps an entire office of people furiously working. They also curse a lot but no one ever gets naked - which is good because none of these people need to be naked ever, which is how you can tell it's an old HBO show.

I think they curse more than is professionally acceptable in the work place and it wouldn't be okay at all, and that takes me out of the story. We curse in my office too, but its not  the same non-stop-curse-a-thon either. I'm hoping it's just because I'm only on the first season and the writers are all excited because they are on HBO and they can curse at will, like first year theatre students in their  first non -constrained by UIL  rules college monologues.  Blah.

On to watch more.


Tue, 27 Sep 2016 04:00:17 PDT

On a completely different topic. The dog has fleas again My house has fleas again. So this weekend I get to vacuum  everything and everywhere again, launder everything again and bomb my house again. I blame my over grown back yard.


Mon, 26 Sep 2016 04:00:05 PDT

And I'm back.This weekend I went to Sam's about fifteen times, honestly,  I was there over and over and over again. I could not catch a break.  When I wasn't at Sam's, I  drove out to Pittsboro Saturday morning to go to a Outsider Art called Clydefest that I really enjoyed and while I was there I visited a museum, the Small Museum of Folkart where one of my friends is represented and went to a funky cafe that made me bus my own table and still insisted on me leaving a tip  - and on Sunday I went to a NARAL rally closer to home and  listened to Deborah Ross give her stump speech to a whole bunch of student dems from George Washington University down to make calls for Clinton and NARAL and about six folks who actually could vote for her.I drove 200 miles over the weekend. And I posted a whole bunch of pictures from Marquette  here[...]

Friday Cat Blogging

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 12:54:27 PDT

Vacation 2016

Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:48:42 PDT

Vacation 2016 officially starts this week so I am going to be posting infrequently for the next while. Be safe, have fun and stay tuned!