Eventful Week

It’s been a busy week.

As noted on Monday, Robin passed his CDL exam.

Tuesday I stayed home sick (cold). Robin went to the DMV and got his temporary paper CDL. Shortly after he got home Wolf called with a paperwork oops. In the afternoon, the Werner recruiter called. Orientation starts Monday (as in tomorrow)…

…AAARGH!!!

Ahem.

The dogs seemed very snuggly the rest of Tuesday.

The first thing Robin did after talking to the recruiter was to institute a fix we’d come up with for the edge of the linoleum at the kitchen/dining room doorway, but hadn’t gotten around to. I love him so much.

Wednesday I made it to work, Thursday and Friday I stayed home sick and tired, while Robin ran here, there, and everywhere getting ready to go and I worked on doll clothes. Being sick I forgot to call a dog-walking service to arrange mid-day trips outside for the dogs.

Orientation is at Werner’s terminal in Indianapolis. They’d have sent him a bus ticket, but Gimi and I are going to take him – they don’t have space for parking/storing personal vehicles. Werner is building/enlarging a terminal in Joliet, so when that’s done Robin will be based there.

Friday night I didn’t sleep, between too much naptime during the day, coughing (drainage), and being unable to get comfortable – both temperature and propping myself up enough to minimize coughing. About midnight I finally got something like comfortable and fell asleep. About 3 AM I woke up (hack hack hack) and tried to poke my iPad to see what time it was. No iPad. WTF?

The sticky holding the metal plate to the case had given way and it had fallen off the wall, fortunately no damage, thank you Otter case. Turning on the light to find my iPad meant the dogs woke up enough for Gimli to demand a trip outside.

I took a blanket downstairs and spent the next couple-three hours on the chaise. I’d considered doing that while it was still Friday night, now I know I should have. Fortunately, I improved enough yesterday that I could sleep with only one extra pillow last night, which my back highly approves of.

Ron is on the way west to Peoria, depending on where he stops and how falling apart I am about my baby bird leaving the nest I may detour to see him on the way home this afternoon/evening.

More Bullet-Points

  • Since I’ve been more than a bit remiss in posting . . .
  • Robin passed the difficult 2/3 of his CDL test two weeks ago. I supplied fundage for couple more hours of driving practice, and this morning he re-took the road driving portion and passed. Yay!
  • MuseCon is dead. I have feelings about this. They’re complicated.
  • There are still brush piles in the backyard, but the still-growing stuff (some of which is grass, most of which is . . . not) has been trimmed to a reasonable level. I think I’m just going to buy a fire ring after all.
  • Still playing both versions of “My Singing Monsters” despite getting repeatedly annoyed at the sequel. Ron suggests the annoyances are what keeps me coming back. He might be right.
  • Done some Otter Necessities stuff. More about that in the usual place.
  • After thrashing herself out of her enclosure and falling to the floor while attacking her food two weeks in a row, I have successfully learned how to feed Aurora the corn snake without so much excitement. She still gets excited and thrashes around, but I open the door enough to admit the rat and tongs, so she doesn’t have space to fall out. This is particularly silly as she doesn’t get live food.
  • Robin took the air conditioners out of the windows a couple weeks ago. There were many, many shield/stink bugs.
  • Robin and I investigated the new (as in moved) Schaumburg Dick Blick store. I had a not-too-large fail, and also got Robin some additional sketching supplies to take with him during training.
  • Ron has started woodcarving, as he needed a truck-friendly hobby for his downtime. Chainmail is too itty-bitty if when rings are dropped.
  • I now have a set of tube watercolor paints, some test bits of basswood, and two dwarf/gnome-ish figures to paint.
  • I left my iPod in a skirt pocket and it went through the wash. RIP iPod. And Apple has discontinued the Nano, now all they have is the phone-size Touch with a bunch of features I don’t want/need.
  • OTOH, I’ve determined that I can use my iPad to play music from my portable hard drive through my portable speaker, which accomplishes what I used my iPod for, without stuffing the memory on my phone or iPad with music. I found Ron’s old iPod and Xap found a cable for it, and then Robin handed me his green iPod Nano, which he doesn’t use any more. So, options, I has them!
  • I downloaded recent-ish purchases from iTunes to the desktop computer, and keep forgetting to update the music on my hard drive, and/or replace some of the music Robin likes on the green iPod with what I like. D’oh!
  • My new-ish co-worker is loud, and I don’t always want to have my door closed, which only does so much good anyway unless I shut it tight.
  • At least I promptly quashed the use of speakerphone in his open cubicle. Speakerphones are only for use in conference rooms or offices with DOORS, which should be SHUT when using speakerphone, dammit.
  • Last Tuesday morning at oh-dark-thirty Gimli insisted that he really needed out. He caught a rabbit. There’s a reason I keep my wellies in the dining room. He was reasonably good about giving it up, both the initial confiscation and after we played tug with it.
  • I got back to bed about 4 am. Then I had to try to settle a wound-up Tommy, who had missed most of the excitement by being on his cable and/or in the house.
  • I kinda slept in. Then I gave up and stayed home.
  • Since Robin was home and mostly-unoccupied last weekend, the weather wasn’t stupid hot, and it was a bonus long weekend for me, we made pasties.
  • Lots and lots of pasties. 90 of them. The freezer is not quite full.
  • This weekend I made something like onion soup with lots of meat and Italian-ish seasoning, put it over French rolls in foil loaf pans, topped with provolone cheese, then froze it, so Ron and Robin have very wet Italian-ish beef sandwiches to take with them on the road. I was restrained and the batch was only a six-count.
  • We also made a usual stupid-big batch of chicken macaroni salad.
  • This morning Ron left with pasties, chicken macaroni salad, and I’m assuming at least one beef sandwich brick, in addition to the usual supply of canned or otherwise shelf-stable food.
  • I think Robin has decided to go to work for Werner. No schedule for training, etc. yet.

Maximum Acceleration!

When last we left this roller-coaster ride, it was Wednesday, and we were slowly clanking toward the top of the first hill, with Ron scheduled to start orientation with Roehl Transportation in Gary on Memorial Day.

Good thing we’d started shopping last week, and I will admit Amazon Prime’s fast delivery turned out to be a really good thing.

Friday morning I set off for work, and Ron to get breakfast and do some shopping. Before I got to work, admittedly slowed down by road construction, Ron called to tell me that a space had opened up in this week’s orientation class, and he’d be starting Moday, aka TODAY.

AAAAAAARGH!!! Top of the hill!!!

Ron shopped Friday morning. We checked lists Friday night. Saturday morning we discovered that there’s a Carhartt company store in Gurnee, an expedition was made, and fundage exchanged for useful clothing – shirts, a hoodie and insulated vest, coveralls, a hat, a pair of shorts for Robin (so he’ll have something non-pizza-infused), possibly another pair of pants, and probably one or more other things I’m forgetting.

Came home, packed, checked lists. Another trip out for something we forgot. Sunday morning was final packing. And a stop on the way out for the last couple things. Ron didn’t quite get everything into his two (heavy!) duffel bags, but it was close – one small tote bag not-full in addition to the duffels and his purse. But that packing included the coveralls and outerwear that will eventually just live in “his” truck.

And the snake housing project? Ron did get Fezzik’s new enclosure finished. Sunday morning he got it in place and Fezzik moved in. Also clipped the dog claws. The rest of the snake housing project is now my problem, with my blessing.

And now Fezzik’s old enclosure is cluttering up the living room. I can’t win for empty snake enclosures in the living room. I may have Robin move it into my truck just to get it out of the house. Also empty boxes and shopping bags and packing materials. Those will be dealt with by garbage day on Wednesday.

Yes, this post is more or less scatterbrained.

Sunday midday we went to Xap’s for X2’s graduation not-a-party. Tommy, as Ron’s dog, and X2’s buddy, and Xap’s family are all more or less dog people, got to come along. He was a very good dog, and didn’t really try to do much about the cat seen through the screen door. Elliot the dog in a cat body Did Not Approve of Tommy and said so in bad cat language, but they stayed on opposite sides of the door, so that was ok. Tommy didn’t bay. At all. That was very strange, but I’m not complaining.

Then we set out for Gary. It was an uneventful trip. Got there, found the motel, decided to get dinner, and consulted Google, which led us to a highly-rated local Chinese place. Which turned out to be a scroungy little hole in the wall, but many good restaurants are scroungy little hole in the walls. And this turned out to be one of those. I expect most of the business is pickup/delivery. The food was good, and the portions generous.

Dropped Ron back off at the hotel, let Tommy out to investigate the hotel lawn, and then we said goodbye to Ron and headed home. About an hour later we arrived, Robin happily accepted the leftovers for his dinner, and I was more or less mobbed by the dogs. And mobbed again this morning. They’ve known Something Was Up since about Wednesday, started Disapproving on Saturday, and Sunday morning we glaring at and/or snubbing Ron. Well, Ron says Gimli was glaring, I contend that’s impossible – Gimi can do sad and tragic, but I don’t think he knows how to glare.

Wait, What?

How did we get over halfway through March?

Vests came out pretty well, except for a minor issue trimming one, which pressed out. I wore them to the floodplain managers’ conference, and one of them to a meeting last week. In other sewing news, I also made a couple sorta-scrubs tops, one of which turned out fine, and one of which had to be rescued from a failed attempt at a boat-neck. And I looked at fabric at Spoonflower.com, and have a rather large wish list.

Took Metra and Amtrak to and from Springfield for the conference. From now on I’m paying the extra for Business class on Amtrak – slightly nicer seats, more legroom, priority boarding, and access to the something something club at Union Station – a nicer waiting area with snacks and drinks (including alcoholic, at certain times of day).  You can access the mumble club and get priority boarding by paying for it, which is what I did, and accidentally making 2/3 of the trip in Business class.

There are four more snakes in the house. Two weeks ago we went to the local herp/exotic animal show, and a Corn Snake and Irian Jaya carpet python followed us home. Yesterday we went to a big twice-yearly show, and almost made it, but a King Ratsnake and Water Python jumped out at us. I was also admiring Reticulated Pythons, but they’re tooooo big. And smart, from what I understand.

Today I went to Ikea and got some more shelving, triggered by evicting various things from shelving we had to make room for three of the four new snakes (My water python baby in a half-size Cambro tub (9″x12″-ish as Kajura (sex unknown) is so tiny).

The biggest chunk of shelving is on the second-story landing, replacing the laundry hamper, and holding new hamper bins. I don’t know why I didn’t do that years ago, much more useful than a hamper with unused space up above. The other pieces are under the windows on my side of the room and Ron’s.

Made a small rib roast for dinner, with new potatoes boiled, drained, cut into chunks, and added back to the pot they cooked in, where onions had been cooking in butter/margarine, seasoned with Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning (salt, alliums alliums alliums, and green peppercorns). Yum yum yum.

 

 

 

Higgledy-Piggledy Month

Since I last posted things have kind of turned upside-down and inside-out and higgledy-piggledy.

Ron and Toshiba have amicably separated, as of February 1.

Ron is working on getting a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) endorsement, so he can drive big trucks. At this point he’s passed the written exams for his CDL learner’s permit, not sure when he gets behind the wheel.

Since Ron has been at home, he and Robin made most of the baked goods we sent to the Capricon Cafe – banana bread, corn muffins, and many different kinds of scones (I did a few scones).

Nageswari definitely seems to be getting more used to us – she’s been seen out soaking several times.

Robin cleaned the pantry a couple weeks ago. Wow, space!

I could *not* come up with any good ideas for birthday/Christmas presents for my Mom, and finally in a fit of possible insanity I ordered her a reproduction china doll (with soft body) similar to mine, and sent here a couple Japanese-style outfits. She was thrilled. Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!

More natter about things that have been worked on over at the Otter blog.

Last Monday I fell off the step-stool while spot-cleaning snake enclosures. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Mostly just stiff Tuesday, pretty sore and uncomfortable (and stayed home) Wednesday and Thursday.

I was going to do some sewing last Monday afternoon, but instead I spent the day flopping around the couch being sore and headachey (did go to acute care, they didn’t think I needed imaging after physical and basic neuro exam).

We have new neighbors (house to the north sold, finally), Mom, Dad, and four grade-school-ish boys. They seem very nice.

The weather last weekend was insane. 30-40 degrees F would have been warm for Capricon weekend. Mid-60s was mind-boggling. Then last week lower-70s.

Had the house open to get fresh air in much of last weekend.

Then it got cold again, and so for the last week or more I’ve been reminded on or off that my sinuses hate big temperature swings.

Capricon: Robin commuted and worked for Dave, Ron commuted and lurked around the Cafe a bit, I stayed home.

We have a new stove, since the oven died in the old one (a while back).

Also a “portable” countertop dishwasher. Was not willing to sacrifice more floor/counter space to a larger unit.

Got rid of the full-sized dish drainer and mat, and obtained a small mat and a roll-up grate-mat that can sit across the sink for larger items that don’t go in the dishwasher (cast iron, larger pots & pans, etc.).

The downstairs bathroom faucet has been replaced with a high-arch bar faucet, with a hose adapter, and there’s a coil-y hose with good spray head hanging on a rack in the bathroom. Watering snakes is much simpler now.

Got the drafting table mostly cleaned off again (see Otter blog), and used my big cutting mat.

Did sewing this weekend – two vests and a jacket, all un-lined. The jacket is kimono-style, vests have kimono-style collars, and square shoulders. Finished the vests, except for a good pressing that will hopefully tame trim issues on one, hand-sewing on the jacket to go.

Vests are to wear over mock-tee shirts at the annual floodplain managers’ conference next week.

Waiting on a new enclosure for Fezzik, Tanami, or Nageswari – depends on how big they all are when it arrives in a couple months. Yes, a long wait, but worth it.

Non-Nesting Bullets this Week

Let’s see, what have I accomplished in the last week:

  • Nobody complained about how I dealt with the stench at work.
  • Got supplies to make a portfolio and started work on it. For extra bonus fun I decided to change the size from the instructions, but I was intelligent and went through and worked out all the sizes first. The instructions make a portfolio for A3 paper, mine will be for a hybrid of A4 and US letter (i.e.: larger dimension of each). I mis-understood one bit, but not so much because of dimension changes, but have figured out a fix.
  • Procured two more storage tubes, so now I have one holding un-cut paper and book cloth, one for cut paper, and one for cut cloth. When I finish the portfolio, I’ll probably put smaller odds and ends in it.
  • Yingarna is six and a half feet long, and goes where she wants to, dammit. Well, not exactly, but she tries.
  • Smaug is about half the length of Ying, but just as thick, if not more so. This is to be expected, as Ying is a ball python and Smaug is a carpet python.
  • Bruce had a really awful shed – patchy, flaky, a real mess (ideally a shed comes off in one piece, like taking off a sock). Three snake saunas and a bath and he’s mostly shed, what’s left are small patches that won’t cause any problems. The bath was amusing, but not actually helpful – we were trying to get his head cleaned up, and he was doing a really good periscope impression.
  • After Bruce’s bath, I tried Nageswari. She obviously didn’t quite get the memo that blood pythons often like to soak, and was Not Happy.
  • Updated the MuseCon brochure (dates and hotel) and created a legal-size flyer/sign.
  • On Sunday I chewed out the manager at a Panera Bread – one of the employees stood on a piece of paper on the stainless-steel counter to change a soup sign, then assumed she hadn’t stepped off the paper and didn’t wipe down the counter. Wow, both safety and sanitation fail! The employee waiting on me was not happy that I closed my order with “and wipe down the counter where the person was standing”, and pointed out the TREAD MARK on the counter, and not quietly/discreetly, dammit. She sulked, but eventually the counter was wiped. And then I spoke to the manager, who the counter-standing had happened about 3 feet away from. I didn’t tell him I called BS on his claim that he wasn’t aware it had happened because it was behind his back, but it was close. I’d actually have been marginally less grumpy about the counter-standing without the paper – that was just asking for a spectacular slip and fall. As we were leaving another customer thanked me for calling them on it.
  • This is the same store where a couple years ago I pointed out to a manager that he really should get the missing floor tile replaced, and not have the bread-slicer sitting there rocking when in use because it was on a non-level floor.
  • Got a manicure and Halloween-ish nail polish – orange sparkly on one hand, black with red sparklies (that read as close enough to orange to make no nevermind) on the other. Did the same thing last year, although it may have been a darker orange. Ron got the same colors, but alternating fingers.

After-Christmas Report

Wow, blogging *again*!

Christmas dinner was yummy.  The dogs got their shank bones in the afternoon. Pippin eventually came in; the beagles came in when I went out and confiscated the remains.

Saturday we did some running around doing boring errands, with more interesting stops at Games Plus where Ron and Robin got X-Wing games, and I went down the block to Mosaic Yarn Studio and got a new knitting project (colorwork socks). Then we stopped at Target to look for a new card table, as the one we have is probably 40+ years old. We wanted a plastic one, like our banquet tables, but struck out. I decided to just exercise my Google-Fu, and found a 48″ diameter round table on-line, and ordered it. Yes, that’s larger than a card table, but Robin frequently uses a 48″ square for miniatures games, and extra space is good.

While I was table shopping, Ron and Robin were playing a game of X-Wing. Fun was had.

Saturday afternoon, while playing guitar, things started feeling odd. This is why:

Guitar_Practice

Kiyohime decided I needed help practicing.

Yesterday I finally got around to making the noodle kugel I mentioned Friday. It was yummy. I also made shepherd’s pie out of the leftover roast beef and gravy. It was also yummy.

This morning I started to go to work, and by the time I’d gotten to the intersection of Ela and Palatine decided that I’d had enough and turned around at a church just to the west of the intersection. Palatine Rd. was not in good shape, nor was NW Highway, and I was driving the Explorer, which is 2WD. And I lacked motivation. So this was my view on the couch a little while later:

IMG_1629

And now Pippin has switched to the other end of the couch. I expect dogs-on-couch is going to be the order of the day, unless I exert my rights and evict them, temporarily.

I should know that the weather is horrid when the husky sticks his nose out the door and says “no thanks” – horrid in a cold and wet way, that is. If it was cold and *dry* that would have been a different matter.

I went upstairs Saturday to get the last three mice of the latest batch for Kiyo and the baby girls, and discovered a litter of babies. We’d already defrosted pinkies for Wonambi, Shai-Hulud, and Danger Noodle, so some of the bigger snakes took care of things for us.

Henry shed about a week ago, and Fezzik shed Saturday. Here’s a picture comparing their scale sizes:

Henry_Fezzik_Scales

Fezzik’s shed is the top one, Henry’s is the bottom. Henry is probably close to fully-grown. Fezzik is about half Henry’s length, but his scales are *much* finer. He has plenty of growing to do.

Which reminds me, I need to call Animal Plastics to pay off Robin’s birthday present skink cage (still in the waiting/design period, since it’s a custom size); and order another T8 for us, thank you parents!

Catching Up

Oops, I see its been over a month since I last posted. I blame the journal app I got for the iWhatsit (Day One). So to recap:
 
 Mid-September: Cleaned the dining room and the front entry. I can now use the dining room, and the doorway between the front entry and dining room is actually passable. IIRC I posted on the Otter Blog about it.
 
 Late September – Early October: The HVAC system at work went berzerk. It was up over 90 degrees F for a couple days. It still isn’t exactly fixed, but it is back to the same chronic state of not-quite-broken we’ve been living with for something like 10 years now. Low bid system, etc. etc.
 
 Various personal things were personal things. There’s been angst and ups and downs and Ron’s gotten really sick of not getting more than 6 hours of sleep a night. I suppose we should just admit than the term I’m avoiding is “insomnia”.
 
 Otter Necessities stuff has been happening. See the Otter Blog for that.
 
 Also for making chocolate babka. Or rather, marzipan-chocolate babka. Yum yum yum.
 
 Pippin is Pippin. Elrond is old, weak in the back end, has questionable vision, and is more or less senile. Back-end weakness means we’ll be replacing throw rugs at some date in the future, but for the moment he seems comfortable and reasonably happy, so we’ll put off the replacing of the throw rugs, thankyouverymuch.
 
 Been calling arborists today to see about getting the Tree of Damocles removed. The one right by the power and phone lines to the house. Fortunately, the neighbors are OK with having the work done from their side of the fence (which is only inches from the tree, at best). Yes, finally. I didn’t realize how long it had actually been since the Tree of Damocles incident.
 
 Guitar and banjo lessons are going well. I’m up to playing 5 of my 6 strings, and I expect to be formally introduced to string #6 in tomorrow night’s lesson. Working on learning “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. Got the triplets (faster) down, now working on the slower bits (which involve things very like chords, except they only involve two strings at a time, not 3+, and which initially broke my brain when I tried to wrap it around actually playing two notes at a time – in theory was fine, execution not so much).
 
 Robin seems to be one of the more dependable employees at “his” Little Caesar’s, including understanding the operation, disassembly, and reassembly of dough-mangling machines. AFAIK he hasn’t learned to run the register/customer service yet, because he’s been too busy trying to keep up with making dough, pizzas, and doing dishes. See above, re: dependable.
 
 We’ve discovered that there’s a pretty good Indian restaurant 2 or 3 doors down from Little Caesar’s. Unassuming/unimpressive little hole-in-the-wall with the simple name “Indian Bistro”, but clean, the food is good, abundant, and more or less cheap. Ron and I like the Aloo 65, which I’ve taken to calling “danger potatoes”, which are bright screaming red, spicy, and served with raw onions. The (vegetable) samosas are big. Like half a pasty in size.
 
 Last week I was watching something Bollywood while waiting for our food. Not sure what was happening because I don’t speak Hindi (I assume it was Hindi), but I was able to identify the smart (-aleck) kid, the heroine in the form of his beautiful older sister or mom, bumbling pickpockets who were outwitted by the kid, auntie/grandma and her comic-relief spouse (gargling floor cleaner instead of mouthwatch, thanks to kid), handsome hero (possibly kid’s dad?), and the Other Woman who the hero was romancing at that point. And then there were the musical numbers. I have no clue what they were about, I really don’t know the tropes. But they rival, no, exceed, any of the big Hollywood musical production numbers.
 
 I think . . . I think I need to watch some more Bollywood stuff, with subtitles. I expect American pop culture is equally inexplicable if you don’t know the language.
 
 Saturday night we went to see “Young Frankenstein”, the musical, at Cutting Hall. It was pretty good. It wasn’t a complete re-do of the movie, but it was clearly a direct descendant. Ron, Xap, and I all want to know how in the world they were stuffing all those sets back in the wings. We’ve been back there, we know how much room there . . . isn’t. And nobody was bitten by bats.
 
 Saturday and Sunday we worked on garb, a vest for Xap that didn’t go quite as planned, and had the side seams and front buttons replaced with lacing. But it came out pretty well, I think. Xap did the majority of the work, I advised, did a little pressing, and some top-stitching.
 
 Cut a Folkwear-pattern vest out of muslin, and tried it on Ron and Robin. It fit Robin with relatively minor changes needed. Not so much Ron. Teslacon is coming soon, so I didn’t want to wait to mail-order a pattern that went larger for Ron, but Reconstructing History had one I could download, print, and tape together. Which we did. And despite adding 4″ in length, it still was too short, too tight in the arms, and needed other changes. Printed out another copy to go up one size, decided what additional changes to make, and Ron and I have been puzzling over the collar. Today, after fussing about with muslin pieces and puzzling some more over the directions, I determined that the pattern and directions for the collar are . . . pretty much useless.
 
 I did find one blog/review about the pattern, and the author also had collar capital-I Issues. I’m going to have to come up with the collar on my own. I think I can do it, but it annoys me.
 
 3rd annual staff meeting for work on Thursday. Meeting stuff in the morning, in the afternoon we’ll be seeing the a project to burn off coal tar underground/under water (I think) in the City of Ottawa, IL.
 
 
 – Posted using software from hardware
 
 
 
 

Downtime Week Natter

Wednesday was Part One of our anniversary (we had separate legal and ceremonial bits), so Ron took me out to dinner at Siri Thai. Pot stickers, cucumber salad, and the house fried chicken, which is strips of boneless/skinless white meat with a tempura-like batter. Very yummy.
 
 After dinner we went home and read. It was nice to be a vegetable for a change.
 
 Last night I took the MuseCon grid Excel spreadsheet and made it into a handout for the WisCon party tonight. As I mentioned about this time last year, the plan was that Someone(s) Else would be in charge of the MuseCon party at WisCon, as ACen and WisCon back-to-back exceed my capacity for socialization.
 
 It was a good plan, and it was proceeding along smoothly, until the person who’d volunteered to be in charge of the party had a work-related monkeywrench happen. A good one, fortunately, but it took that person out of the picture. Someone else stepped up, but there were still insufficient bodies volunteering.
 
 The result is/was that Ron and Xap headed up about lunchtime to get day badges and help with the party. Bleah. I’m trying not to be cranky about it, but not entirely succeeding, since that means Ron probably won’t be home until late morning or mid-day tomorrow.
 
 Yesterday I started attacking the pile of clean laundry that’s been accumulating for a week or so. I’d gotten it down to a manageable size this morning, we’ll see if Robin made it bigger over the course of the day. I know he was baking this morning for the party, so he may not have done laundry today.
 
 Getting fed up with the mess in the living room, which is better now that Max has moved out to the trailer, but is still suffering from the pre-ACen chaos. Had Robin make a start yesterday, I’ll probably attack it more this weekend, especially since the Cleaning Fairies come Tuesday morning.
 
 Still waiting to hear about the result of my “Titanic” audition. I used a contact form on the theatre group’s website this morning to ask what kind time frame I should expect, with the excuse that I forgot to ask at the audition. First rehearsal/read-through is Tuesday evening, so presumably they need to let people know Real Soon Now.
 
 The network fascists at work have locked down internet access fairly tight, which is in keeping with the internet use policies, but that seems to include almost completely disabling anything but IE. The stated reasoning for the lockdown is to prevent malware infections, so by that logic they should be killing off IE and encouraging use of Opera or Firefox, not the bass-ackwards way they’ve implemented. Which is about par for the course for CMS. Grumble.
 
 – Posted using software from hardware

Flatware, Rock River Trip, Dogs, Etc.

We went to Crate & Barrel and looked at flatware on Friday evening. Nothing quite did it for us.

Sunday morning I found a manufacturer’s name on the flatware we have that we like, and started searching. Checked the manufacturer’s website and couldn’t find it. After plowing through many pages of pictures of Reed & Barton flatware at Replacements.com, I found the pattern: Newport Beach. Confirmed suspicion that its been discontinued.

Meanwhile, Robin had sorted all our flatware, and inventoried the Newport Beach. The good news was that to have settings for eight, we were only short one dinner fork, one knife, and two “soup” spoons (we never use them for soup, usually just for serving). Replacements had all those pieces, so rounding out those was cheaper than buying new flatware. Unfortunately, we don’t have a meat fork, ladle, pie server, or larger serving spoons, and the price for those was more than I wanted to pay.

We solved that by going back to Crate and Barrel, and experiencing quite a bit of frustration. Maybe I should have sucked it up and paid for the matching pieces. The two basic buy-single-piece open stock flatware patterns Crate and Barrel carries don’t include pie servers and ladles. What the flippetty-flip-flip?!?

Looking at serving sets for other patterns, they were all missing various things. So I got a couple serving spoons and serving fork in the “Fusion” pattern (brushed and round end, so clearly not-matching the Newport Beach flatware), and finally found a pie server and ladle not part of any other pattern.

Meanwhile Ron was looking at teacups and saucers for an Otter Necessities project.

And we forgot to get a couple-few more large dinner plates, oops.

Backtracking to Saturday, after the MuseCon meeting, we went to a party at a friend’s. We took not-Guinness ice cream, which was pretty good – made with the Guinness-like stout or porter we got at Emmett’s a couple-three weeks ago. Robin spent most of the day at Northwestern U. at a German immersion day.

Monday and Tuesday (as in two days ago and yesterday), I drove all over the Rock River floodplain, between Moline and Rock Falls, although mostly in the 25 miles-ish closer to Moline.  Including driving there and back, we put over 500 miles on the pool car.

Monday started with extra excitement, when the SUV my co-workers from Springfield were driving blew its transmission about 25 miles south of Moline. It actually all worked out OK, as I got there at the perfect time to pick them up (in relation to the tow truck having finished loading up their truck). I was driving a Taurus wagon, so there was enough room for the three of us and our belongings, and we didn’t have to either go back to Moline to pick up another vehicle or take both of them to Sterling (our end-point) yesterday. But somebody did have to drive up to Sterling from Springfield yesterday to retrieve them. Why Sterling? So that my co-workers could wait at our office at Sinissippi dam. (OK, actually Rock Falls, but even though the office for Sinissippi dam is on the Rock Falls side, everybody in our department says “Sterling”) Which didn’t actually turn out to be necessary, but it was a good plan.

Monday was craptastic weather for inspections – snow, sometimes heavy, and fog. Not great for visibility. And lots of time in/around swamps and sloughs. Cheery . . . not. Yesterday was still chilly, but at least it was sunny. Things looked better, although in part that was because we were on the higher sides of the river. But even the harvested/tilled fields looked better in the sun.

Yesterday was Cleaning Fairy day, so I got home to a clean house. Yay!

In minor bird-nerdery, over the two days I saw, in particular, a juvenile Bald Eagle, what I’m pretty sure are American Wigeon, a flock of American Coots (more than one of my co-workers has ever seen in one bunch), American White Pelicans, and lots of terns/sandpipers, Great Blue Herons, generic ducks, swans, Canada Geese, and assorted Little Brown Birds (see above re: swamps and sloughs). The pelicans and coots were at the dam. The pelicans are big. I thought they were swans until I saw the long bills.

Upset tummy today, I think its complaining about insufficient fruit/vegetables Monday and Tuesday, hopefully not something I ate.

Pippin snubbed me, as expected, last night, but not too much. Then he and Elrond were clearly happy to have everybody home, so they spent most of the night playing, with Pippin frequently attacking me and Ron.

Which reminds me, I think it was sometime early Saturday morning that Elrond fell off the stairs, which are open on one side for about the bottom 2/3. Fortunately, he landed on a pile of coats that have crawled out of the front hall closet. He couldn’t get out, because of other things in the way, and probably the mushiness of the pile, so he was happy when Ron found him and dug him out, but was apparently comfortable, as he wasn’t any more stiff than normal.  That explained why Pippin had been restless – I think he was checking on Elrond and/or trying to apply a clue-by-four to me. Yes, the coats are piled back up. Just in case it happens again.