Friday, December 22, 2006
They sent me a high-end wine opener with assorted tools in a handsome black leather case. It looks great.
After Google's Xmas gift blew my Motherboard, I sure could use some wine.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Actually, I liked the gift too until it blew up my computer. Evidently, this Chinese-made piece of artwork doesn't have a good way to separate electrical currents inside of it, which spelled big trouble for me.
Here's how it shook out for me:
1) I loaded images
2) half of the images were broken, so I plugged the frame back into my computer to fix the images
3) After being satisfied with the images, I put the batteries into the frame to let it run continuously
4) the batteries started to go dry within ten minutes, so I plugged the frame into the wall with the power cord that came with the frame.
5) more images corrupted in the frame, so I plugged the data/USB cord into my computer (forgetting the frame was also plugged into the wall)
6) MY COMPUTER BLACKED OUT AND WOULD NOT RESTART immediately upon inserting the USB cord into my machine.
Now, $600 in repair bills and a week without my computer, I am starting to not like Google's idea for a Christmas gift.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
For instance, white socks with black shoes is NOT PIMPIN'
When we decorated our Christmas tree this weekend, Hambone suggested we put my furry purple pimp hat on top of the tree instead of the traditional star or snowflake topper.
After he had adjusted the hat on top of the tree, he stepped back and delared it PIMPIN'.
However, after the game we all went to Macri's for a hearty meal. My brothers were very interested to get our take on the nachos there, since we are the self-declared Nacho Connoisseurs.
I'd say those nachos were a 8 of 10. Part of it was that I was RAVENOUS by the time I got them, but to Macri's credit, the chips were fresh and they used real cheese. I deducted two points for using canned Jalapenos, but other than that they were very good.
It was great to see family again, and in Iowa (the next leg of the journey) we were able to catch most of Hambone's siblings too.
Here's what we learned on the trip overall, though: We added up the hours spent driving and it turned out to be 44 total. The trip lasted just over 4 days. That's a lot of driving. From now on we FLY!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
This year yeilded a respctable 15 rats, however it paled to the armageddon of last year. Total for the overall effort: 38 caugh in traps, and an unspecified number killed underground by the exterminator in 2005.
We didn't post as many gratuitous photos this year because the whole thing has become rather humdrum. Even Maggie doesn't get too excited when there's one in the trap. She goes over there and sniffs a bit, but unless she's got the energy to start playing with it, she just waits for Hambone to get the air rifle.
So now all is quiet on the western front until next June. I thought you'd all want to know.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
The funny part is that when the photographer came to the house, there was a live rat in the yard in one of Hambone's traps. It was screaming and thrashing around in a very conpsicuous way. It lent a little "white trash" to the event.
The rats keep us grounded. LOL
Monday, September 25, 2006
WARNING: THE BATTERIES IN YOUR WIRELESS MOUSE ARE CRITICAL
And I have to wonder, "Critical of what?" Are they insulting my hard drive and this is my computer tattling on this aftermarket mouse?
Or are the batteries criticizing the mouse itself, and this is the mouse asking me for more polite batteries.
Maybe the batteries don't like my new hairdo, and my motherboard is sick of hearing about it.
Either way, I suppose new batteries wouldn't hurt...
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
While many of you out there were attending barbecues and having big social time with family and friends, Hambone and I got it into our heads that we needed to find a Wardrobe to put in our living room because we currently lack a coat closet there.
After shopping the antique malls in the morning, Hambone remembered suddenly that he had a "perfectly good" wardrobe in his warehouse.
When we arrived at the warehouse, we found that the wardrobe had been walked on by his employees with drywall on their shoes, and some of his partners' dogs had peed on it, and the front door was broken in three places, and the shelves were torn out.
Here's a picture:
It didn't look like much, but I had faith. Hambone seemed dedicated to repairing the doors and every other structural problem you can see here, so I thought about how to clean this thing to make it look good again.
I settled on washing it with a scrub brush and dish soap for the really nasty stuff (including the pee) and then this great aerosol wood polish/oil that I found at the Getto Walmart by our house. As a finishing touch, I used Old English to camoflage the scratches and skishes.
Here it is in process--
And, after about 6 hours of just plain swearing at the thing, it was finally finished -- and I have to say it looks great. It's a nice addition to the room.
He sprinkles crumbs in the alley every day, which is only good for attracting pigeons. Great.
Now when Hambone and I leave the house, this is what we see. Every day.
I have to say that this starts our days out on a rather ominous tone. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of my neighbor's psychological handiwork...
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I became involved in our neighborhood association when I wanted to generate funds and permission to build the bocce ball court. And, when that project was finished I was in the throes of getting married and was pretty busy at work so my involvement lapsed.
For fun, I went to a meeting a couple of months ago and found that almost the entire board was empty because of others doing similar kinds of things with their time. So I volunteered to be the Vice President of the association. A vote was taken and voila, I was in.
Two days later, the President of the association called me up and announce her resignation because she had just gotten married.
The good news is that this term expires in October -- that's the cool part about being voted in during the term. We'll see what happens after that.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Because really, isn't an Irish pub the last place you'd expect to find good nachos? And the real stealth move is that they aren't called Nachos. In the Irish rendition, they're called "five layer dip."
The other way they fool you is by serving the guacamole, salsa, sour cream and refried beans in an ice cream sundae glass that is surrounded by nacho chips around the base of it. When these nachos arrived, it looked for all the world like we were receiving dessert.
But I have to say, the chips were insanely fresh and delicious and the chip-to-topping ratio was right on. Even the guacamole was fresh. I have to give this the thumbs up, with extra points for creative presentation.
Me gusta mucho!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Last week I went to the new salon on Charles Street called "M" (that's the entire name) and asked them to either straighten my hair somehow or to just shave it off. They decided to do a "reverse permanent" on me, which took my wild and ridiculous hair and straightened it right out.
Surprisingly, after the deal was done, my hair is long enough to cover my ears. Who knew.
Now that my hair is ... more normal, I have been trying the hairdos you'd usually see on TV and in the Movies. My current favorite is the "Carmella Soprano."
Yesterday I was having lunch at a cafe in Mt Vernon and this Chinese girl at the next table held up her phone and took a picture of the top of my head. I was really quite put off by this.
I think her picture looked something like this -- I tried to re-create the photo when I was sitting in my office this afternoon. (That's how I roll) I can't see what she wanted from that picture...
Monday, July 31, 2006
We went to the Columbia Mall, where I am constantly struck by the "whiteness" of it all. After frequenting Arundel Mills Mall, where we're the only honkies in the place, Columbia is like a trip to Stepford.
Anyway, we saw Clerks II and laughed ourselves silly. I mean, you have to really appreciate course humor and it is required to see Clerks I first. If you meet these criteria, the movie is dead on with the humor of the first Clerks.
But it's a dirty, dirty movie. Be ready.
Monday, July 17, 2006
What they didn't mention is the propensity to grow giant fungi all over the place. I'm not sure if the fungus comes from the heat generated by the black color or if the 80 bags we bought had spores already inside the bags.
Here's what we've got -- it starts out as this yellow stuff, then turns white, then starts BELCHING spores for days and days.
Monday, July 10, 2006
This is the top of our garage (see the photo, left) You can see the pigeons waiting there hungrily for me to refill the bird feeder yet again. Well that isn't going to happen. Not until they stop begging like mongrel dogs.
See the gap in the lineup there? That's because Hambone's buddy took one out with a B-B gun. See how the rest of them are undeterred?
As an added bonus, the birds didn't actually eat all the seed they had shoveled onto the ground, so now we have little plants growing under the feeder. It's quite a joy.
We did buy more feed over the weekend, but neither Hambone nor I am ready to recycle this set of events...
Thursday, July 06, 2006
The birds, those sweet little sparrows and nuthaches and such are HOGS. They go to the feeder in flocks. Most of the birds sit on the ground, and the bird or two on the feeder SHOVEL the food with their beaks out of the feeder to the others.
We've watched the seed fling off of the feeder to 30 sparrows on the ground on a number of occasions. Then the pigeons come between the flocks of sparrows to gobble any remaining seed.
In our three weeks of 'birding' we've burned through 35 pounds of bird feed. I'm not kidding.
I really enjoy the birds, but this seems to have grown out of porportion. Has anyone got any ideas for how to manage this? I thought I was on deck for about 15 birds, but the flocking is really more than I had bargained for...
Monday, July 03, 2006
On Saturday (July 1) a rat dug under my Clematis, one of the three remaining after the rat/plant carnage of 2005, and snapped off all the vines.
I declared to Hambone that "It's ON."
He put out a trap that evening and by morning we had caught the culprit. Hambone's become quite skilled in this area.
Afterward, I found out that he had been 'baiting' rats and pigeons by pouring seed on the ground because he missed shooting things in the yard. For those of you considering bird feeders in the city, you may want to keep the bird seed in the feeder. You'll also want to keep the seed dry -- when it gets soggy it produces *quite* a stench, which draws some of the undesirables from the neighborhood, if you know what I mean.
Yesterday we bought a new feeder that's a little more water proof. I'm waiting for them to make one "Hambone proof."
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I stumbled across a bird feeder for $4 so I bought it. Mostly I liked the shape of it, and wondered if there was such a thing as wild birds in Baltimore City.
Three weeks later, we bought bird seed for the thing. Evidently, getting the right kind of seed to attract the right kind of bird is a bit of a science. Luckily Lowes did most of the work for us by putting pictures of the kinds of birds we would attract with each variety of seed. Hambone and I pointed at the birds we'd like to see in the yard, and presto -- A $25 bag of seed was ours.
I filled up the feeder last week, and at first not a whole lot happened. Then the sparrows started to arrive, much to my enjoyment. On the 7th day of bird feeding, the pigeons arrived, which nearly caused me to pull the plug on the whole deal.
What a sight that was, with sparrows on the feeder and big dumb pigeons standing on the ground below the feeder begging like dogs.
However, the doves and the sparrows seemed to drive the pigeons off over time -- perhaps sensing my disdain at their presence. Now the main visitors to our yard are "nice" birds, and I can't begin to explain the change in our yard.
When we sat outside for coffee on Sunday morning, we were serenaded by wild bird calls and we could watch the birds playing and eating on the feeder. Even Maggie was transfixed.
These days she lays by the back door watching the birds all day instead of waiting by the front door for Hambone and me to come home all the time. We all sit outside (when it's not raining) after work to watch the birds. Hambone and I share a bottle of wine, and Mags chews on her rawhide. So peaceful.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
It took about two and a half hours to get from here to there, roughly double the normal commute. However, compared to all the others who had their rides quadruple in length, I felt pretty lucky. Many of the attendees were hamstrung by the two closed metro stops down town, and yet others were stuck on the wrong side of the mud slides on the beltway.
In Baltimore, we're wet, but not strangely flooded like DC. THEY really got hit hard. We don't even have water in the basement, if you can believe it.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
He came back from the trip quite cheerful and wanted to butcher the entire boar right away. However, our next door neighbors who are polite city-folk were having a little cookout with their kids and their parents. We were pretty sure they wouldn't understand about Hambone lugging in 200 pound hunks of boar with the spine and legs still attached.
We went for nachos instead.
He wound up hauling the meat in under the cover of darkness. The "stealth redneck" approach.
We prepped and froze most of the meat the next day, and Hambone made his special secret Rib marinade -- 7 limes, 7 lemons, 17 cloves of garlic, a yellow onion and 1/2 bottle of whiskey.
We let the ribs marinate for 3 days, and last night we grilled it up. As we lifted the ribs to put them on the grill, all of the rib bones fell out into the pan. We slathered the meat with BBQ sauce and grilled them for about a half hour. The meat needed to be removed from the grill with a fork because it was so tender.
That's some good rib eatin' there, man.
If you ever wind up with a whole rack of ribs, let me know how it works out for you!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
In a coincidental occurrance, Hambone and I found iPod Nanos on his AMEX rewards list, so we had one sent to us. When it arrived, I snubbed it for days. I wouldn't even take it out of the box. And when I did open the box, I mocked the packaging.
I loaded the iPod up with all of the CDs I already had, thinking that would be lame. But no.. no that wasn't lame. That was... the gateway to a new addiction.
Initially, I enjoyed the shuffle -- everything was on shuffle and I listened to it through the car radio adapter kit. Then I started with the ear buds. Then I started noticing I got anxious when it was not within my grasp.
I have become...
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I have to give Paper Moon's presentation a thumbs-up for real cheese and delicious guac. They lost a couple of points because the salsa was from a jar and the chips were pretty broken up at the bottom of the pile of 'good' chips. Maybe our plate of nachos was made from the last few in the bag or something.
The other thing that's cool about Paper Moon is that it's decorated with something like 50 mannequins. And little army toys. My personal favorites were the ceiling fans that had hundreds of tiny buttons glued to the blades.
Me Gusta Paper Moon. Yay!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I have found that using the Roomba is much like hiring a relative to vacuum for substandard wages. If you're sitting there watching, then they do a good job. As soon as you leave for work, look out.
When I leave, the Roomba finds unfathomable things to get hung up on for long enough to drain its battery. Yesterday afternoon it was a sock stuck in the brush. Last night it was tangled in Hambone's Atari cords. God only knows what I will find it tangled in tonight.
At one point, the Roomba shut off right at the top of the stairs, ominously claiming another of Maggie's favorite haunts. I feel a power struggle coming on.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I have always found that strange.
I started goofing around and realized that Microsoft Word also helps to brand Google as a proper noun. Everyone knows that a google is also a number (1 with 100 zeros behind it) so why does it show as Google the proper noun in my editor? I mean, it says I've misspelled it if I leave it lower case.
Ironically, Microsoft does not know its branding for the MSN content network online. If I type "msn" into Word, the program doesn't flag it as misspelled at all.
Anyone else see this going on?
Hambone has recently confiscated my Dyson and brought it to his construction company for their new-construction home cleaner to use.
I was sad about that for a little while, until Hambone bought me a new one this weekend. This one has a furniture attachment, so as soon as Hambone brings our furniture back from display in his model home, I am looking forward to testing it out.
I'll tell you why -- there is a dirty rat scoundrel hacker out there, who for some COMPLETELY UNEXPLAINABLE REASON hacked my blog down to its underpants and not only deleted the whole thing, but broke the code so badly that when I rolled the server back to the last time the blog worked, the server kept breaking the blog.
Not only that, but there were some spam robots installed that instantly posted 450 comments on the blog as soon as I posted any new entries. AND those comments only showed as "14" on the first page of my blog. The server was swarmed.
So you dumb turkey, I am over here now. If you start spamming me here, at least it's not on my server.
The Roomba is a cute little thing that beeps cheerfully when you set it to do the most mundane task in the house (next to dusting, but so far there aren't robots for that). It reminds me of the game "Simon" from the eighties. Happy sounds, blinking lights, what's not to love?
I put the Roomba down in the middle of the living room, in view of its infrared docking station where it can recharge itself and then immediately start vacuuming again. I went outside and had a glass of wine, and when I came back it was still happily roaming the floors.
Its suction isn't much, but it was very successful picking up the tumbleweeds of dog hair littering the living room. I liked that very much.
Maggie is a little less in favor of the Roomba and eyes it with great suspicion. When it runs, she likes to perch on the very top step and watch it to make sure it doesn't cause us any harm.
Yesterday I set it to run all day while I was at work, which was a little... less successful. Evidently, it got stuck on Maggie's favorite rug and ran until the batteries wore out. This made Maggie so upset that she threw up. The barf ran all down the stairs, which ironically the Roomba can't clean.
Ah well. I still like the Roomba. Today I am testing it upstairs.