Monday, April 28, 2008

Need I Say More?

This is way better than reading about my weekend migraine. Consider yourselves spared.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Drew

No wonder you were so against getting a manual mower. Your parents used you as child labor. And didn't even give you any clothes to wear while you labored. Did you used to wear your underwear backwards? Was it good for another day that way?

Oh yeah, and happy birthday!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Worst (Strike That) One of My Worst Nightmares

I have read about this practice in Japan (I believe those uniformed helpers are known as "honorable pushers"), but I've never actually witnessed it until this video.

As someone who keeps a three-foot bubble of personal space around her at all times, this is absolutely chilling.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Random Notes Friday!

  • Something I would like to see: A montage of all the scenes in movies and TV shows of men wearing one of those women's negligee robes with the fluffy boa trim. Whenever men get caught without their clothes, the available closets always seem to be well-stocked with these things. I've never owned one. Am I missing something?
  • What is it with black SUV drivers? Why are they all assholes? Is it that a certain dicky kind of person gravitates to the black SUVs on the car lot? Or is there something about the black SUV that makes an otherwise sensible person drive like a kitten torturer?
  • I just realized that my boss drives a black SUV and she's like one of the nicest people in the world (and no, she doesn't read my blog). Her husband drives a black SUV too, and although he tends to forget to use his rear-view mirror while backing up, he's nice too. There goes my theory.
  • French cops on rollerblades. That will not stop being funny. Yep, still funny.
  • I am looking at the notes in my raspberry, and (I swear) one says, "Did he say I'm worth my weight in squirrels?" I know I'm becoming a little deaf, but what even sounds like "squirrels"? Girls? Epidurals? Okay, maybe pearls...but that's an odd thing to say.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Hurt My Hand on my Dog's Fur

Bathed and brushed two collies. Don't know which is worse - the short-haired version that shoots gobs of hair at you like a skunk shoots stink until it has clogged the drain, slimed your hands, and lays piled in drifts on the carpet, or the long-haired version who keeps his hair in the hope that he can turn it into mats if left unbrushed for more than 20 minutes.

Okay, it's the long-haired one. Getting the old winter fluff out from between all the long hairs is a painful process for both of us. My hands hurt, and I'm too tired to vacuum.

Although the name "collie" is said to be shrouded in history, it is thought that the name originated from the old Anglo-Saxon word "coll," meaning "black." I, however, claim that the word "collie" is Gaelic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

If I'm lucky, Drew will come home tomorrow and be disgusted enough to vacuum. He ought to do it. After all, I mowed the lawn today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vaycay Fotos - The Final Chapter: The Cask of Amontillado

We were passing through Wyoming, and glad to be summiting a pass so that the truck's engine could take a breather from pulling the trailer.

We had to pee so we stopped at a rest area.

And there was Abraham Lincoln,
miserable and mortified, standing shoulder-deep in a trap of stone bricks.

This, we learned inside the rest area-slash-statue-viewing station, was the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Monument, of which the State of Wyoming seems to be quite proud.

And no, they did not run out of money and decide to stop carving at the shoulders. It was planned this way, by an alleged art professor. If you want to know his name you can look it up. I see no reason to impune his name as well as his "vision."

It was completed in 1959. I like this picture of the head being plopped into place. Rather undignified, but not really as undignified as its final resting place.

If he only knew what Wyoming had in store for him, do you think he would have worked so hard at his job? I wonder.

We're sorry, Mr. Lincoln. It wasn't our idea.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Vaycay Fotos Part 4: Please Just Stop Already

A little Zion National Park for effect. We had to hike up into the back country to get away from the Spring Break crowds, which was fun, but next time we plan to bring more food.

All these pictures (except for those taken in truck stops and through car windows with my raspberry) were taken with my Canon Rebel XTi - the camera that gets no respect. It's the entry-level model of Canon's fancy pro-type cameras based on the 35mm SLR body. Thus, for the pros and elitist amateurs out there, it is branded as a kindygardener camera. But it has all the basics necessary for a true amateur to take decent pictures.

Everything except a lens hood, which is so embarrassing. My Rebel sticks out like a racing bike with a kickstand because it doesn't come with a lens hood (and one isn't even offered as an accessory - I checked today). Drew and I didn't even know the name of what I was missing ( we called it a rubber lens shady thingy), but all the cool kids seemed to have one.

A camera with a lens hood

I don't care. Let them laugh. I bet I still got better pictures. Mine have Drew in them.

The downside to having Drew as a hiking companion (besides the constant complaints about sore feet, knees, hips and/or back), was that he occasionally insists that I take pictures of geological phenomena that look like rude pictures.

Hence, the butt-crack hill photo.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

In Which I Buy Myself a New Chore

I bought a lawnmower online today. In spite of the fact that my new mower will be quiet, eco-friendly, better for the lawn (it snips instead of whacks), and a constructive way to get exercise and fresh (cleaner) air, forces from all sides were conspiring to keep me from purchasing a manual reel mower.

Spoiler alert: through the grass-roots (hah) resistance help of People Powered Machines, I totally won.

Drew thought it was stupid to do something manually that you could do faster and louder with a gas-powered machine. He was all firm in that Captain America way that if I bought a manual mower, I was the only one who would be using it. I felt as if I was asking Dad for a new puppy. "I swear I will feed it and walk it and clean up after it. I promise. Can I? Can I? Can I?"

Once I promised to never ask him to mow the lawn with the quiet, eco-friendly mower, I had, well, not necessarily his blessing, but his non-forbiddingness.

Today I went shopping. It turns out that the gas-powered devices have won the battle for shelf space in all the major (and local) home and garden stores. Yes, they sell a manual reel mower, but it is the old-school type that they only use in period-piece movies. The modern, silent, non-contact, welded steel jobs that need sharpening like once every 8 years and are engineered like Japanese cars are not offered. It's a good thing I did my research first and knew what to look for, or I would have bought one of the prison models and would have been disappointed and Drew might have seemed to be, you know, right.

So I came home and bought a slick awesome one for about the same price they were selling the old-school one at Home Depot.

Another day. Another world-saving action. And Captain America thinks he's so cool.

Did I mention that I drive a Prius?

VayCay Fotos Part 3 - The (nearly) Final Chapter

For your marveling pleasure, I give you Bryce Canyon.

That is all.

Friday, April 04, 2008

VayCay Fotos Part 2 - The Early Years

We stumbled into (while actually stumbling) a truck stop in Idaho called the Garden of Eden. Public Service Announcement: They have Garden of Eden Truck Stop Mugs with your name on them. Get one.

Meanwhile at the Garden of Eden, Jenny found her own blond Guardian Angel with Blond Baby Jesus and Flowery Cross. It was not at all too glittery.

I call this Road Trip at Sunset. Contact me for reasonably priced prints.

This was my favorite souvenir from Wyoming. Not at all too pearly and shiny. If you can't read the bottom of the pig, it is the State Motto: The Equality State. However, the words on this particular pig seem to be crossed out by the reins from the saddle pictured on the right, that seem to be laying in the Wyoming dust. Nice, huh?

This is proof that southern Wyoming has a layer of smog from all the chemical and mining processing plants dotted along the highway.

Oh, by the way - update for the Captain/Chief: a week and a half in Colorado Springs and Dean has staked out the most coolest bike shop in town and convinced them that they need to hire him without further delay.

Check in often for important vacation photo updates!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Vaycay Fotos Part 1

I had no idea how much I enjoyed having Dean and Jenny around until we left Colorado Springs and left them behind. Beside the laughs, I can now feel myself getting older by the minute. Any time now I'm going to start playing the oldies radio station and wearing elastic waisted pants with sweater vests.

Bryce Canyon is ridiculously baroque.
More on this later, as I took about 100 pictures at Bryce alone.

More Bryce ridiculousness.

Butler Indian Ruins. Just us and some old abandoned houses. In caves. If the housing crisis gets really bad, I know some places that aren't being used right now.

This guy already listens to classic rock. Imagine what he'll be listening to now, without Dean at least attempting to help him.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Raspberry Flavored Notes from the Road

I bought a new Blackberry. But since it's red, I consider it more of a Raspberry. It was useful during the approximately 70 hours I spent in the passenger seat of our Ford pickup the last week, half of it while pulling a U-Haul trailer over the Rocky Mountains (if you don't think a pickup can whine, wait until you ask it to pull a trailer doing 75 at 7,000 feet and climbing).

I started writing notes to myself while listening to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. He tends to lapse into poetry, and although I may be alone in this, some of it is ghastly purple colored.

Although I loved it when trees in a forest fire became "heathen candles," I must draw the line when commuters nuked inside their cars were purported to have "10,000 dreams ensepulchered in their crozzled hearts. " I don't know what a crozzled heart is, but I plan to develop one, just so I can use the word some more.

Here are some of the notes I made. Now that I read them, I realize how little entertainment value there is in them, but it's all I got, except for pictures, which will take some time to upload and edit (I got a little carried away).
And, no, I don't know what's up with the fonts. I tried to tame them, but they would not be tamed.

Apparently one must order food to be served alcohol in this Utah establishment. Dean plans to order one hundred beers and a taco.

Wyoming is smoggy. There are smokestacks in all directions.

There are trucks the colors of every jelly bean in the jar. How come trucking is seen as such a macho vocation?

Here is a porn exit. The only service here is porn. Looks like they had gas pumps at some time, but they must not have been nearly as lucrative as the porn.

Easter sunday and we are here and in need of wine. Blue laws are still in place here in Colorado. No drinks over 6 percent alcohol can be purchased in grocery stores and no liquor stores may open on Sunday - especially Easter Sunday. We feel like such reprobate winos.

If you see a pair of black skid marks on the road, you can bet you will see a dead deer on the side of the road. About every mile or two in some places.

By the amount of empty houses out here in the deserty areas of Utah, it seems like the odds of any particular modern-day pioneer's making a go of it around here are about 50-50. Either that or the folks here opt to move and start over about 50 yards away on their 40 acres of scrub when their old house starts to looked a little out of date.

Someone has performed random acts of Christmas out here - on randomly selected scrub junipers.

We passed by Mesa Verde, thinking we didn't have time to wait in line to see Indian ruins. Then we notice some just visible from the road - a small pull-out called the Butler Indian Ruins. There are 3 cars here (including ours). There was an iron railing and a wash between us and the caves both of which were easily breached with a little energy and some good hiking boots. You could see the little adobe-bricked rooms - just like at Mesa Verde, only probably a little snugger, and with no park rangers. Or crowds.

Drew heard his first "my heck" in Mormonland yesterday. Now it's his favorite new swear word.

There's a Remington print in our room tonight. I had to convince Drew that the Indians in the painting (the ones being perp-walked by some other Indians on horses) were horse thieves and not slaves.

Today we saw Zion National Park and a herd of buffalo with a pet cow. Oh, and we hiked 1488 feet straight up to Angel's Landing . No big thing. We weren't tired yet so we kept going another mile or so up the trail. On two granola bars for breakfast and lunch.

We are going through a town called La Verkin. The name was so off-the-wall that I had to look it up on my raspberry as soon as I had a signal (oddly, signals seem to come and go out here in the far red corner of nowhere) first I tried a French-to-English dictionary. The French would not claim such an ugly word. Wiki theorized that the name was a bastardization, or Mormonization, of the Spanish name (and pronunciation) of the town's river, La Virgin. That's where we felt the urge to buy cheese in a can.

Here I am, sitting in a Best Western in Boise squirting cheese out of a can on to a Triscuit cracker and waiting for Drew to come back from the store with some wine - completely medicinal for long-distance-driving-induced swelling - to round out my meal. Guess its time to go home.