Little Bits and Pieces

$1600 to fix the car, remember?
It has started stalling again.
This does not make me happy.

OTOH…I am really enjoying the Boy and his Significantly Better Half being here. I really missed him (don’t tell him I said that, though) and she is a total sweetheart. They’re cute together, though if you say that to the Boy he gets all flustered. Heh.

Today we got home from a movie (LOTR: Return of the King) and dinner (All You Can Stuff Into Your Face Buffet) and there was some surprise mail waiting for me: a book I’ve been wanting to read for a very long time, from a really sweet and thoughtful monkey. It totally made my day. I mean, it had been a good day already, and that was like the special dessert after an already awesome meal.

I woke up at around 6am spooning the cat again. I was on my side, and he was lounged on the body pillow I use for support, using my cheek as his pillow. I imagine it would have made a really cute picture; I didn’t move until he did, lest I upset the image of furry sweetness :)

No, I don’t spoil him.


And We Had Fun, Fun, Fun…

Ok, so I had fun. I can’t really speak for everyone else, but I had a terrific Christmas. We started the day with checking out our stocking stuffers and then had hot cinnamon rolls before opening our gifts to each other. The Spouse Thingy played Santa and handed them out—we tend to do the one-present-gets-opened-at-a-time thing, to kind of stretch it out (that’s easy with just 4 people; more difficult with 14, especially if there are little kids involved…)

PsychoKitty might have had more fun that the rest of us combined. I’m pretty sure he thought we were doing everything for his amusement. We decided to ball up the torn wrapping paper and just toss it between and behind the love seat and chair—the poor cat went nuts for a while trying to catch all that flying paper. And then there were the boxes…I kept trying to tell Max that he wouldn’t quite fit into the shirt-sized boxes, but he was determined.

That wound him up a little, and he was just cranked up a few notches as he started to smell the turkey cooking. I have to give the little Psycho credit—he was very good, even when the table was set and we were waving food in front of him. He stood on his perch and watched, and only jumped down to the floor to grab my arm a couple of times. I think he’s learned: if a kitty is good during special dinners, he will get more than just a tiny taste.

His day was just made better by the Boy playing with him with his new Christmas toys. Max got a new set of feathers on a string, and spent the better part of the afternoon chasing them through the air, and didn’t even seem too daunted when a particularly spectacular jump at them sent him crashing into the Christmas tree.

Later on we hauled out the 20th Anniversary Trivial Pursuit game and spent a couple of hours making ourselves feel very stupid. I mean very, very stupid. No, I don’t know the chemical equation for creating rubberized hydrogen on Jupiter’s fifth moon during a solar eclipse. I feel like I should know, especially when other people are looking.

In any case, I had a great time, got lots of warm fuzzies from having my family around.

Oh, and there are a few pictures right here!



Ok, my entire email system is hosed up--not just mine, but the Spouse Thingy's and the Boy's, too--so it might be a few days before we get any email people might have sent. And if we're not getting it, we obviously can't reply. I'm not sure what the problem is, but my webhost "upgraded" their email servers, and since last night email has been inaccessible. This thrills me not, especially since the "upgrade" is going to change the look of the whole freaking thing when it's done, and I was quite happy with the way it looked before.

It's kind of like buying a "new and improved" product. Why do they think that something that sells well need to be improved? People were buying it, so it obviously didn't suck, so why fis something that ain't broke?

Bleh. I'm just ticked because I can't check my email and see which Nigerian is going to give me 30 million dollars today.


Oh Holy...

Whilst reflecting upon this most joyous time of year, the Spouse Thingy seems to have discovered the first historial reference to PMS. Yes, he says, it's right there in the Bible: Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Bethlehem.


Lessons In Specificity

Ok. Let’s say your bathtub faucet has a steady leak. You live in military housing, so there’s maintenance people upon whom you can call to come fix it. On the hpone you’re told that because it is not an emergency (the drain works and you’re not about to flood the house) it could potentially take up to 15 days for someone to show up—but not to worry, they have a light work load so it should only be a day or so.

Yipee. The guy shows up the next day. He goes about his work, he’s been very courteous and seems professional. You stay downstairs and watch TV, and when he’s done you sign the paper and off he goes. He says he replaced some internal whatchamajiggy, and put a new faucet handle on.

Later, you go upstairs to take a shower. And the faucet leaks. And it’s the same old water spotted handle.

Hmmmm, you say to yourself. Thinking he got the wrong bathroom, you go check the other one. But it’s untouched.

Hmmmm, you say to yourself again.

And then it dawns on you—the paper you signed said Master bath faucet leaking. It did not specify the tub. So you go back, and sure enough, on your sink is a bright, shiny, brand new faucet handle. Tres chic, it is. But the tub still leaks.

So, you go ahead and shower, and when you’re done you palm heel the faucet handle a good one, driving it inward. It’s a good strike, and you’re proud of yourself for still being able to do it.

The leaking stops.

You should have tried that first…



The snow kinda makes those Christmas decorations a little prettier, don’tcha think?

We only got a couple of inches, and it’s going to melt today, but at least it made the trees in the lawn look kind of nice. We might get more snow late Tuesday, and that’s ok as long as it’s gone by Thursday, when the Boy and his Significantly Better Half get here.

The Boy has the flu, though…hopefully not too bad a case.

Aside: Finding Father Rabbit has finally made it to Though if you want an autographed copy, I have a few here...



I came home after running some errands to this wonderful postal note attached to my mailbox: Sorry we missed you, you had a package, but now you have to go to the Big scary Building on the other side of the base to pick it up. Loser.

Ok, so it wasn’t worded exactly like, that, but that was the gist of it.

I wasn’t pissed off, but a little torqued—after all, the mail usually doesn’t get here until after 2 pm, and this was at noon. And I really don’t like going over to that building. It’s huge, there are guards with guns, and finding a place to park is like finding a virgin in Southern California.

But, whatever…I knew I’d have to go, and there was no point in getting worked up about it. So I dragged the pieces of the Christmas tree out, and started to assemble it (figuring if I did that, then the Spouse Thingy could string lights, something at which I totally suck.) I listened to CNN Headlines on TV while I worked, and forgot about it.

At one o’clock there was a loud knocking on the door (loud because, perhaps, I have a note on the door stating Knock Loud, Doorbell Not Working.)

It was the mailman. He came back to see if someone was home yet, so that I wouldn’t have to make the trip to the Big Scary Building tomorrow.


And this was after having stood in line at the post office with a bunch of other people, all of whom were initially perturbed at the short perky blonde who just waltzed in and went directly to the head of the line—it was my turn at the counter, dammit! Why couldn’t she freaking wait???

She showed a receipt to the clerk and said “I was here about ten minutes ago. I didn’t get charged for the box I put my stuff in and I’d like to pay for it.”

Last year a woman held the line up with a temper tantrum over the price of an envelope she’d already written on. This year someone went out of the way to come back and pay the $3.75 the clerk missed the first time around.


‘Tis the season after all, I guess.


Stick It To Me

I caved. I went in and got a flu shot this morning. The immunization clinic had been running these booths outside the commissary for a couple of weeks, and I kept walking past them, avoiding the mere thought of getting a flu shot.

It’s not as if I’m afraid of needles—I inject myself every day. I’m not sure why I didn’t want to get a shot this year, but I kept putting it off. I decided this weekend that if the base clinic had any flu immunizations left, I’d get one…Spouse Thingy checked this morning, called me, yep, they have it and there’s no wait. So off I went, and it took like 3 seconds. Well, 5 minutes to walk from the far back of the parking lot (why don’t base hospitals ever have enough parking???), 5 minutes to walk through the hospital and sign in, 3 seconds for the shot, then back to the car. Less than 20 minutes of my time.

So, if you still haven’t gotten a flu shot and have access to military health care, you may still be in luck.

By request: Thumper’s Greedy Wishlist. But only for the few who requested it. I’m greedy but not that greedy…


It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

We finally finished decorating the outside of the house—there’s a few pictures here. Sometime this week we’ll put the tree up…thus beginning the annual Keep The Cat Off The Tree marathon.

I should admit, the little psycho has my sympathy. After being locked in the bathroom for at least 2 hours a day last week, Saturday I somehow locked him in the closet. I didn’t see him zip in when I reached in for a sweatshirt, and he wound up in there until the Spouse Thingy heard him hollering—two hours later.

Can you say “guilt-laden Mommy?” I knew you could.

Poor kitty. Santa better bring him something good.



Ok, so even though I really have no where to go (other than shopping, I need to go shopping) I hate being stuck at home. But! The last worker is here and installing the garage door opener (yay! I wanted that most of all!) so as soon as he’s done, I can go out.

It’s raining and that will turn to snow, but I’ll probably still go out. I have a gift to buy!

Poor Max has been totally inconvenienced by all this work, moreso than me. With strangers traipsing in and out the front door, carrying ladders and drills and other extremely loud equipment, we decided he probably would be better off hidden away in the bathroom. So I placed his bed in there, as well as his dry food, and (I really am sorry, Max) locked him in there for the two hour a day scary people (to him) were here.

He made sure we knew he was not happy.
He howled the entire time he was in there.

But, did that make him afraid of the bathroom? Hell no. Every time I go in there he comes in with me, as if I need help, and if I get in and close the door before he can get in, he shoves his paws under the door and talks to me.

So we probably haven’t traumatized him, and the ceiling fans are giving him something to ponder: can he make the leap from the top of the dresser to that strange new thing spinning on the ceiling?

I hope not! :)


Cabin Fever

Know what I hate? Having to stay home. There doesn’t have to be any place in particular that I need to go, but I don’t like knowing that I can’t go anywhere.

This week we’re being “renovated.” In military housing terms that means we’re getting some nifty little additions to the house—ceiling fans, a garage door opener, new deadbolts and porch lights, plus every room in the house wired for cable and phones. What I most want are the ceiling fans and the garage door opener … the rest is just stuff.

The thing is, they’re doing these renovations over a 5 day period, and they really can’t say who will be here at what time, just that it won’t be before 8:30 or after 5:30. Now, no one has to be here, but neither of us is comfortable leaving the house empty with total strangers traipsing around.

Not to mention the cat would go freaking nuts.

Not to mention that he already went freaking nuts the day the first guy knocked on the door—shot straight up out of my lap, sailed over an end table, knocked over a soda can and a telephone. Big brave kitty.

For the sake of his ego, we won’t mention that.

It’ll be sweet when they’re done (and I’ll be sooooo glad to have the garage door opener this winter), it’s just the staying home and waiting I hate.


el Cojones del Presidente

I’m not a big Dubya fan; as far as Presidential performances go, he’s so-so. I was worried when he was elected and stayed worried, knowing we’d head for war one way or another. I never believed he had the leadership stature necessary to run this country, and his basic intelligence has always been a giant question mark in my mind.


I was completely impressed yesterday when he pulled a fast one over the media and most of his own staff, and showed up in Baghdad to spend even a short time with some of the troops there. I don’t care if it was a political stunt, if it was propaganda, or if it was designed to give him something shiny to flash in his upcoming re-election campaigns.

The fact is, it took balls for him to go. Good President or not, stellar or mediocre, going into Iraq made him a giant target. The dark landing was not something new, done just for him—it’s a common landing technique in the region—but that in itself is a risk, and he took it willingly.

Only he will ever know his true motivation in going (and I prefer to think it really was what it seemed on the surface—a chance to be there for the troops, and a way to thank them for doing what most people won’t) … but anyone in the military understands what it means to have your Commander In Chief make that kind of effort on your behalf. He did for morale what a thousand crates of homemade cookies and pictures drawn by school kids attempt to do. Those soldiers will never forget the day their Commander In Chief risked his life to spend a couple of hours with them on Thanksgiving, served them dinner, and personally thanked them for their service.

Trust me, that goes a long way.



:::wipes monitor off:::
Sorry, didn’t mean to sneeze on you.

So. I’m sitting here with a proof copy of Finding Father Rabbit on my desk, and yep, it looks pretty. Tres spiffy. And of course, on flipping through it, Spouse Thingy spotted a typo right off the bat. Well, actually, a missing word, not exactly a typo. I think I can live with it…so, I ordered several copies of it for myself, and it should be up on Amazon in 2 weeks or so. Maybe less, they seem to be getting things up there pretty quick these days.

I played with the idea of making those who were most looking forward to it wait until Christmas, but decided against it, just in case they spotted it at Amazon.

The thing now is, what do I work on? I’ve spent the last few years getting the whole Charybdis set out, and I didn’t have anything in mind to work on after that. And no, I don’t want to write porn.

I think from now until New Year’s, I probably won’t work on anything—I think I want to just get a stack of books and read what other people wrote. When I’m working I still read, but not nearly as much as I’d like to. I picked up a book the other day and got sucked into it—after you’ve read Finding Father Rabbit (because, of course, that’s your #1 priority) you’ve got to read forever by Pete Hamill. I’m only 150-160 pages into it (and it’s a big boy, coming in at 640 pages) but Hamill’s narrative skills are awesome; when I grow up, I want to write like he does.


I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk I'm drunk


With Six You Get Eggroll

It felt like a milestone of sorts; this evening I uploaded the 6th book that will come out of Inkblot Books. It started with ’Boxer Shorts in June, and by the end of the year the Inkblot Catalog will round out with Finding Father Rabbit and Murphy’s World.

Pretty covers, aren’t they?

I admit, I’ll be stoked to get the proof copy of Finding Father Rabbit. It’s the third book in a series, and probably took me longer to write than the other two. It’s more involved, and, I think, my best effort.

Now we just wait…sooner or later it’ll be ready to roll off the press.


Drooping Eyelids, Face On Keyboard

I don't know how the Spouse Thingy does it, getting up almost every morning before it's even light out. The phone rang at a little after 4 this morning; he got up and left (so I assume it was a hospital recall exercise) and I never was able to get back to sleep.

By 8 a.m. I was dragging.
By 10 a.m. I was plastered in a chair in front of the TV, doing a pretty good imitation of Jabba the Hut.
By noon I felt like I'd been run over by a truck.

I am not cut out for mornings.
All I wanna do is go back to bed.


There’s No Place Like Someone Else’s Home

Want to give yourself a major case of the I Wants? Go into a fully furnished Open House. It will be doubly impressive if you’ve spent most of the last two decades living in military housing.

We drove by a couple of Open Houses today and stopped, because one was hosting a charity event, and we figured it was worth donating a couple of bucks. Plus, they’re raffling off some furniture, and while we don’t need new furniture, it would be a kick to win.

My intelligent utterance upon walking into the first house: “Wow.” It was awesome, this nice big kitchen with a sun room, formal dining, separate family and living rooms. Upstairs there were 4 bedrooms—and the wise home builder put the laundry room upstairs, where it belongs--and the master bedroom had these freakishly huge closet. I left with a major case of I Want.

Right next door there was another Open House. We were there so, why not just go peek? If my gut reaction to the first house was “Wow” for this one it had to be “Holy Freaking WOW.” It was beyond awesome…it was drool-worthy. The master bedroom was at least 3 times the size of what we have now, the bathroom was huge and the bathroom closet was the size of our smallest bedroom.

I left thinking “I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…”

But it wasn’t necessarily wanting either of those particular houses, as impressive as they were. It was wanting our own house. Our own, we can paint if we want, we can put our personal stamp on it, home.

That’s about 5-6 years off, once we’ve been able to pay off all the debt. Or sooner, if we win the lottery. But then, too, we would have to actually remember to buy a lottery ticket, something that’s only happened like 4 times since we moved here.

But damn. While the house we’re in is decent—it’s certainly livable and there’s enough space, other than the kitchen—it’s not ours. It’s not something we’d ever consider buying if we were able to. It’s low-bidder gets the contract military issue housing. There’s nothing in it to invoke that feeling of “welcome, this is home.” I’ve finally hit the age where I want that.

Or maybe I’m just tired of moving every three years.
Either way, I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…


Good To Know

We discovered today that the purchasing limit on our MasterCard-backed debit card is $1500. We now know this because, after transferring the right amount of money from savings to checking, we went to pick up my car, and attempted to pay for it with the card.

After it was declined twice in a 1 minute period, we had to leave—embarrassed and upset because we knew the money was in the account—and go to the bank, where we learned of the limit.

Woulda been nice to know that before, eh?

But, I have my car back, and they wasn’t to see it again in 10 days for a follow up. Kind of like a post-surgical consult. It shifts nicely, but it seems a whole lot louder than it did before we took it in. And there was this nice little notation on the invoice—alert owners to potentially faulty mounts. As in engine mounts.


As long as the engine doesn’t fall out, they’ll have to remain faulty for a while. I’m not shelling out anything else on this car until after the holidays, and after we know how badly Uncle Same will bleed us for taxes.

I’m griping, but in truth I’m happy… I got my car back! I can go places!
Like… grocery shopping.



My car is done; they rebuilt and installed the transmission, but it was finished at 4:30, they closed at 5, and they still need to test drive it. They want to make sure it works (well, that would be nice...) and make sure there are no leaks.

Ya know what's gonna happen? I'll get in, it'll drive like new, and someone will plow into me halfway home and total it.

:::slaps side of head to remove that thought:::

Seriously, I need for nothing to go wrong with that car for at least 6 months. Pleeeeeease... =whine=


Thank You, I Love It

With the holidays coming up, my friends and I have been talking about gifts—what to get, when to get what we’ve decided on, do we want to go shopping in one giant Spouse-Thingies-Got-Paid-Yesterday-And-We’re-Loaded-With-Estrogen mass—and we’ve also talked about the reactions we’ve gotten to gifts.

Now, granted, I’ve had very few negative comments on the gifts I’ve given. I do recall quite clearly being told to please never purchase a specific gift for a specific person again, but not by the person to whom the gift was given (does that make sense?) I’ve never given something to someone and had them screw up their face and sneer “What the hell were you thinking?”

So, given my fortunate track record, I was kind of surprised to hear how many people really do get that kind of reaction. One friend has a mother-in-law who isn’t shy about making comments about a gift’s cheapness, or how she doesn’t like it, or how she never gets a good one. Picture me with eyes wide, and a “What the F---?” look on my face.

I might expect rude comments from a toddler who doesn’t know better (yet I’ve never met a toddler rude enough to make snotty comments like that … if they don’t like the gift, they just play with the box.) From anyone over eight or nine years old, it’s unacceptable, in my not so humble opinion.

Whatever happened not only to gracious giving, but gracious receiving as well? When did people stop smiling—because someone thought enough to give them a gift at all—and stop saying Thank You?

Have I ever gotten something I seriously didn’t like? Not really. Have I ever gotten something that was slightly inappropriate for my personal tastes? Of course. But I’ve always liked the gifts, because someone went through thought and trouble to give it to me.

It really is the thought that counts.


Holy Moly

…..$1600.00 And I probably won’t even get my car back until next Tuesday.


Who’da thunk that a car dying upon stopping at a light could be symptomatic of a transmission problem?

We started out the day thinking we’d take the car in for a tune up, never thinking the guys at Midas would say it didn’t sound at all like a tune-up type problem and that it sounded more like a transmission problem. We wound up at AA=beep beep=MCO where they agreed, said they’d hook it up to their diagnostic machine, do a visual inspection, and then call us back.

Holy creeping crud, when all is said and done this repair is going to cost over $1000.

One. Thousand. Dollars.

I’m not happy.


Triple Sec

Yep, the talented monkeys at WWDN’s Soapbox have done it again—they’ve created an anthology of epic … well, at least reasonable … proportions. It’s chock full o’short stories and a couple of spiffy poems. Even a short by yours truly! I know you want to own a copy.
I woke up this morning with a slightly swollen, very sore finger. I have no idea what I did to it, and I know I didn’t bang it on anything, nor does it have a cut or scrape on it. It’s just sore. I had to take a ring off to make sure I didn’t wind up cutting off the circulation. It’s nothing earth-shattering—just odd.
AOL still seems to hate me.


Head Hanging Low

Yesterday, in spite of the dreary skies and threat of rain, four of my friends and I decided to drive about 30 minutes east and visit the Jefferson Township (or is it Jeffersonville?) Outlet Mall. It’s a decent enough place; not nearly as many stores as the Outlet Mall in Vacaville, CA, but still worthy of an occasional trip up there.

We went armed with cash and credit cards, determined to get a good start on Christmas shopping. Now, picture it, five women on a determined mission: shop until either the cash runs out or the credit cards are maxed out. Appreciate them, and get the hell out of their way.

I learned something about myself while we were there:

I am a shopping failure.

While my friends found gifts for several people and left with several bags each, I came home with a solitary, very small bag. I bought a pair of gloves.

That was it. A pair of gloves.
For myself.

Now, granted, I have seen these gloves for twice as much in the local mall, and I almost bought them a couple of times (because, after all, I need gloves for winter. We’ll ignore the fact that I have a perfectly good pair in my jacket already. These are fleece lined soft leather. At 50% off, I was going home with them.)

But … I am not a good shopper. I don’t browse well, evidently. I can’t walk into a store and spend 20 minutes picking through sweaters and shoes unless I’m looking for something specific. I don’t see a point going into a store from which I need nothing.

I had a load of fun being out there with friends, but the truth is apparent.

I am failure.


Booooooo Part Two

3rd grader joke:
Why couldn’t the witch have a baby?
Her boyfriend had a hollow weenie!

We tend to think too much: like trying to figure out why we had Halloween last night instead of tonight. Safety issues made sense, so we went with that. Yet on the noon news yesterday the anchors were talking about it, and the real reason surfaced: Halloween on a Friday night interfered with high school football playoffs.

Now, my first thought was “so freaking what?” (ok, freaking was not the word I thinked up…) But then I realized that if I had a 16 year old with what might be a once in a lifetime chance to play in a game that could lead to a state championship, and the chance to stay home and hand out candy … well, I wouldn’t be handing out candy. And HS Football is huge here, so I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t stay home. Having it the night before gave everyone a chance at some fun.

We didn’t get quite as many kids last night as we did last year (and thusly, we have lots of leftover candy) but it was still fun. We sat out with the neighbors and talked, and had fun with the little ones. The older kids were obviously pros—they know how to get to as many houses as possible in the 2 hours allotted to trick or treat on base—and the littlest of the kids had no idea what was going on. A few of the toddler aged kids didn’t quite grasp the idea—they kept trying to give us candy. We’d drop a couple of Crunch bars into their bag, and they’d reach in for something else to hand to one of us.

There were no screamers this year, no one terrified by being out there, but a few of the kids looked dazed and stoned, either tired from walking around or tired because it was close to bedtime already. And there were some awesome costumes (poor kids had warm costumes, so of course this year the temps were in the mid-60s), but the one I laughed at the most: a 12-13 year old boy dressed in a pink evening gown and blonde wig. This kid had guts.

And the surprise of the evening—some kids are still out there collecting for UNICEF. I haven’t seen that in years.

So now I’m $5 poorer, but I have lots of Crunch Bars left over!



Tomorrow is Halloween, but tonight is when the kids around here go out for Trick Or Treat. Well, they call it “Beggar’s Night” here, which to me sounds a little—I dunno, it just sounds wrong. But, whatever … a rose by any other name, and that sort of stuff, I suppose.

Initially, we were kind of perplexed about why the towns around here all were making tonight the night kids could go out instead of Friday. On the surface, Friday makes more sense. There’s no school the next day, the kids could stay up later and munch on their candy a little longer—and for those parent who take the kids’ haul in to be x-rayed, they have more time.

But then we started thinking about it. Friday night. People go out on Friday night. People drink on Friday night. The Stupid People who drink often drive, and they’re out there in greater numbers on Friday night. So the change may be a safety issue—send them out a day early and maybe more of the little monsters will get home in one piece.

So, okay, I can deal sitting outside handing out candy a day early if it means they have a better chance of not getting run over while they’re out.

Safety is probably a notch better on base—the routine speed limit is 15 mph to begin with, but tonight the housing areas will be crawling with security police. They’ll walk the streets with the kids in pairs, right up the middle, and stare down any potential troublemakers. Last year we saw no less than 4 pairs of cops on our street in the 90 minutes we were outside.

I suppose that means we can’t snatch candy away from the little one.



Today I harbored many ill thoughts towards a group of old people.

Their crime? After their Over-50’s Water Aerobics class, they did not vacate the pool. They stayed to float in the water and chit-chat. For once I decided to try the Y closer to our house, but they only have lap swim from 11:30 to 1:30. The class ended at 11:15, and by 11:50 they were still hogging all 4 lanes of the pool.

I waited, patiently at first … then with thoughts of jumping in and dunking them all. Then with thoughts of “aren’t you all supposed to be in a home somewhere?” (yeah, I was feeling a little snarky by then.) I finally asked the lifeguard how long they usually stay—“An hour, maybe two.”

What about lap swim? He just shrugged.

So I left and went to the Y where I usually swim, where I bought myself some really spiffy swim gloves (and I’ll feel it tomorrow… those really upped my workout a notch), and where my swimming was cut short by a severe cramp in my foot.

It’s all the fault of those old people.



Caught In The Web

If AOL is your service provider, and you’ve expected an email reply from me in the last 2-3 months, chances are you haven’t gotten one. I’m not sure why, but it seems I can get mail originating from AOL, but not very many of my replies actually make it back the other way.

I’m not ignoring you.
Really, I’m not.


This Wheelie, Wheelie Sux

Anyone who has ever been in a wheelchair knows how frustrating it is to get around. And anyone who has ever driven a car knows how frustrating it is to avoid unexpected obstacles—moving or not—in the road.

And then comes this kid from Iowa. He’s a 14 year old kid who keeps getting fined for rising his motorized wheelchair on the streets of Laurens.

Is he a traffic hazard? Sure.
Should he be on the street? Of course not.

When I first heard the story on CNN my gut reaction was to side with the cops—a wheelchair going down the side of the road is a safety hazard. Then came the little piece that makes a difference: Laurens, Iowa does not have curb cuts on its sidewalks.

It’s hard enough to get up and down curbs in a manual wheelchair. It’s damn near impossible in a motorized chair. Without curb cuts—those places where the sidewalk levels off with the street—this kid has no choice. It’s either ride in the street, or be held hostage to a town that hasn’t complied with the ADA of 1990.

Yep, they’ve had 13 years, and they haven’t bothered to make their town accessible for those with limited mobility.

So sure, I see the cops’ point. The kid is a safety issue.
And I definitely see the kid’s point. His town has done nothing to make it possible for him to get around.

Tally the points up—I think the kid wins. The town must provide curb cuts, not only for this one teenager, but for anyone needing reasonable access. Will they? I doubt it. Not until forced to by lawsuits that could bankrupt them. Then no one wins.


Molasses Be Quicker, Eh?

OK, I don't have a clue what the problem is, but I've noticed that it takes a freakishly long time for my blog to load. Spouse Thingy has noticed it, too--he gives up trying to check up on it after the page just sits there, all black and blank for 2-3 minutes.

I'm seriously considering moving it, and if I can figure out Movable Type, I probably will. The only thing holding me up is a fear of not being able to install MT on my web host's server correctly. It looks easy to use once it's up and running, but it's the actual installation that has me sitting on my hands grunting "uh huh uh huh uh huh" every time I check out their web page. I suppose I could pay them to install it, but, funny enough, they don't mention how much they charge for that particular service.

Until I work up the nerve, I'll keep it hosted here, and when I do move it, I'll leave a nice big link to the new location.

But first, I gotta grow me a pair...


Autumn Wonderland

One of the nice things about living in Ohio is that we get 4 real seasons. None of this “Almost Winter, Winter, Trailing End Of Winter, and Remember Winter?” like North Dakota. Or the “Cripes this is one hot summer” followed by a “where the hell did fall go?” mildly annoying winter like in Northern CA.

We get a real, honest to goodness autumn, complete with the changing of the leaves.

Last year was a dry year here, so the changing of the leaves was less than spectacular, and they dropped before reaching full color. This year we had a wet summer, and it’s awesome. Spouse Thingy and I went to the Cox Arboretum yesterday to walk the trails and soak up a little fresh air, and we got to see some of the most awesome sights.

Stuff like this:

There are more pictures to see here. Just click on the images to see the larger, better picture.

Pretty, aren’t they?


Uh oh

Dye your hair blonde.
Hate it.
Dye it back to its natural medium brown.
Be happy.
Go swimming.
Look in rear view mirror while driving home and wonder where you got all those copper highlights.
Get home, go about your business.
Look in mirror later.
Ask yourself "does this look lighter?"
When the Spouse Thingy comes home, ask him "does my hair look lighter?"
Say choices words to yourself when he confirms, yes it looks lighter.
Then think to yourself, "this really is a nice looking color."
Eye workout bag suspiciously, and wonder whether or not swimming again is a good idea.

We shall see.


Wants revisited

My former list of the material things that I want:

  • A convertible

  • A recumbent trike

  • A Honda Elite Scooter (not sure if I mentioned that yet or not…)

  • A portable word processor

  • $100,000 cash

  • I got the convertible (ooohyeah), I got a recumbent bike instead of a trike (sweet), and I came to the conclusion that I really don’t need a portable word processor, and really don’t want one—I have a laptop computer, that’s portable enough. I still kinda want the scooter, but not because I need it or because it’s even practical; it’s just cool. And the cash would be very practical, ‘cause with it we’d get out of debt and could look towards retirement with a sense of relief and fun.

    So, since I got the biggees on my Incredible List Of I Want, it needs to be revised:

  • A Honda elite Scooter (for the fun factor

  • $100,000

  • A house. Not too big, but not too small. The 1400 sq feet we have now is nice, but a basement would help. And a 2 car garage. Oh, and a game room.

  • A pool table, but only after we get the house and have a place to put it

  • A swimming pool, but again, only after we have a house with a yard in which it can be put

  • See, when you get most of what you want, there’s always more crap to add to your list.

    Oh, I want a better body, too, but since no one can give that to me, I better head over to the Y and swim a lap or 80…


    Back To The Dark Side

    I couldn't stand it ... I dyed my hair back to its natural color, or as close as I could get. I just haven't felt blonde lately, and it was bugging me. It freaked me out every time I looked in the mirror, and maybe it was my imagination, but the blonde hair made me look pasty and washed out.

    'Course, I only waited 2 weeks between dye jobs, so my hair might fall out overnight and I'll be bald as a cueball in the morning, but what the hell. Bald would be different...


    Round is a shape, but not a very good one

    There’s an odd, paralyzing kind of fear that, when faced with mortal uncertainty, descends on a person like a fog of befuddlement. It’s like being stuck in a circular room with no corner in which one can hide. We all have those moments in our lives; they can be defining moments, or moments that make you stick your head in the sand.

    Last year I came face to face with one of my greatest fears. And while it didn’t completely overwhelm me, it never really went away.

    Face it, like those moments, we all have our deepest fears.

    Mine happens to be death.

    Dying terrifies me on so many levels: I believe in God and in heaven; I believe that true faith and an honest belief in good will get you there; I’m not sure I believe in hell, at least not that of the fire & brimstone variety. Yet in spite of believing that there is something else that follows this life, it scares me.

    The seed of that fear is, I suppose, the questions that have the tendency to take on a voice of their own during quiet times. What if I’ve screwed this life up? What if the things I should be accountable for but don’t have the guts to own up to bite me in the celestial ass? And what if I’m wrong, that in spite of the faith that gets me over bumps in the road, that after this there’s nothing?

    I can’t abide the idea of not existing.

    There’s an entire theological spectrum that does sometimes eat at me, but it would take too much time to sift through it, and it would terminally bore anyone who bothered to read it. Or it would piss them off.

    I had an epiphany of sorts; I’ve had it before, one of those light bulb moments that makes you grunt “duh!” because you get it, but I actually got it this time.

    I’m feeding my worst fear. I’ve set myself up with a lifestyle that, aside from fits and starts and frustrating failures, is leading me down the path to the one thing I fear most of all.

    My nutrition sucks. I don’t inhale food the way an addict does cocaine, but I make poor choices. I go for the easy fix, whatever is convenient, whatever makes the least mess to clean up, because frankly, I hate cleaning up. If I had a kitchen fairy who could wave a magic wand and the kitchen would be instantly clean, I’d cook every night. Well, most nights.

    My physical activity is inadequate. Sure, I exercise, but not at the level of intensity that I probably could. There’s another fear that holds me back there—the fear of movement, because of chronic pain—but I allow that fear to hold me back.

    My goals have been typically unrealistic. “Lose weight” isn’t good enough. “Lose 70 pounds” isn’t much better. I need to set a series of smaller goals, and be specific in how I intend to achieve those goals.

    And yeah, I’ve been watching Dr. Phil.

    I like him; he can be abrasive, but he seems to strongly believe in personal accountability, and I appreciate that.

    My personal epiphany came while watching his show; I can’t even specifically recall exactly what was said or by whom, Dr. Phil or one of his guests, but I started thinking about my deepest fear—one I was already keenly aware of—and what it really meant.

    That annoying little voice that often compels me to get up and do the dishes, or finish a particularly difficult chapter, piped up something along the lines of, “You are headed straight for the white light at the end of the tunnel if you don’t make the changes you know you need to and get yourself back into some semblance of shape, and for you this shape is not round.”

    I hate that voice, mostly because it’s usually right. It’s the voice that also corrects me (and I sometimes ignore) when I think I hear M&Ms calling to me, or when I use having FMS and other assorted physical problems as a reason to not get up off my ass and work out.

    That voice also keeps telling me that in the vein of being realistic, I need to remember that I’m not 20 anymore, and I don’t need the body of my 20 year old self. That person was thin, but not terribly fit. The voice keeps reminding me that at age 30 I was 30 pounds heavier than at 20, but in terrific physical shape, with little body fat and lots of lean muscle. And the voice tells me I might not be able to get that back, either, but it’s a hell of a lot more likely than trying to ever squeeze into a size 8 again.

    So. Someone at WWDN started a 6 week exercise challenge and I’m joining in. It starts on Monday, so between now and then I’ll work on setting up some realistic goals for myself, take a good look at why I do what I do and why I don’t do what I should, and hopefully work up the nerve to face some of my own personal demons.

    We all have them.
    Fear of mortality is mine.

    While it’s inevitable that someday I will take that last breath, if I stake a stand and do what I can to stave off the end of my personal life story, maybe I can stare down that personal demon until I’m ready to accept it.

    Like, when I’m 120.



    One more thing off the list: the Hyundai is sold. The people who wanted to look at it Saturday took it to a mechanic today, and in spite of some needed repairs ($1200 worth, but $700 of that is covered under a Hyundai recall) they bought it, and we got $200 more than we really expected to. Coolness. Now we can either buy plane tickets for the Boy and his Significantly Better Half, or prepay taxes, like Uncle Sam wants.

    Money never lasts…


    Shiver Me Timbers … Again

    I was okay with the chilly temps today until the weatherman said the norms are in the low 70s this time of year. He said that when it was 52 degrees with a 46 degree wind chill. Dammit. We went out to lunch (Pizza!) and had to ride with the top up—because, frankly, I’m a wuss.

    Keep your fingers crossed for us; we’re showing the car to someone tomorrow. They’ve already seen it, actually, but because the Lemon Lot was blocked off for construction, they couldn’t take it for a test drive. Tomorrow they want to take it to a mechanic, and have sad that if it checks out they’ll buy it.

    I won’t hold my breath, but I’m hopeful.

    Not only do we need to buy airplane tickets for the kids, but Uncle Sam wants us to prepay some of our taxes. Granted, that really is a good idea, so we don’t get killed come April 15th, but in order to prepay the taxes, we kinda have to have the money. Funny how it works out that way.

    I still think I should follow that hoochie Karyn who got the world to pay off her credit card debt, and start a Get Thumper Out Of Debt drive. Paying off education and medical expenses isn’t as fun as someone credit cards, though, is it?

    Maybe I should start a pr0n site. I bet I could get rich that way…

    Ok, I went from complaining about the weather to pr0n.
    I need a nap.
    Or a drink.


    Theft By Any Other Name…

    I’m a writer. That’s no secret; I’ve been pimping my stuff (see the little book cover images to the left) for the last couple of years. I’ve put up sample chapters of each book online, a sort of virtual flip-through since you can’t hold the book in your hand and look through it. Soon there will be a third, and another sample chapter.

    That was my choice.

    You will note, however, that I did not place the entire text of either book online. Why not? Because as much as writing is not about the money (face it, there’s very little money to be made unless you get lucky), if you want to read the book, you either need to suck up to me in a major way, or buy it.

    No, it’s really not about the money. But it takes roughly a year, sometimes a little longer, to take those books from idea to final manuscript, a year of work without pay. So sure, I want people to buy the book. It’s just the same as anyone else who works—getting paid for the effort is generally a nice thing.

    I imagine it’s not much different for a musician. They work their collective asses off, create a product, put it out there for the public to hear, and hope that people buy it.

    Buy it, folks. Not stick it online to share with a million other people.

    “But it’s art. Art is not about the money!”
    “I paid for the CD. I can do with it what I want.”
    “What’s the difference between file sharing and just burning copies for my friends?”

    Honestly, if you have to ask those questions, your momma didn’t raise you right.

    Okay, you bought the CD. Paid full price even. So make yourself a copy, that’s fine. A copy is a good idea; stick the original away to keep it safe. I had a bunch of CDs stolen out of my car; most of them were copies, so I didn’t lose much. I understand that. Make a copy for a friend. I can live with that, too.

    But when you place someone else’s work online, you’re potentially sharing that work with millions of other people. Literally millions. And they didn’t get a say in it.

    You’re not hurting the music companies, or book publishers, or even the distributors, really. But you’re killing the people who rely on royalties.

    Put it into perspective. When my first book, Charybdis, came out, the entire text wound up online. Every freaking word. Roughly 25,000 people downloaded it, and who knows how many sat there and just read it. Twenty five thousand downloads.

    At royalty rates that equaled about $4.00 per book, had those been purchases, I would have earned enough money to get us out of debt, with a little left over.

    Even if only half of those had been purchases, it would have literally changed my life. And I’ll never know how many of those downloads were then shared with other people.

    While I’m partially thrilled that so many people have copies of my book, I’m still mad as hell that I was ripped off.

    Yeah, I said it. You who placed my book online without my permission, and those of you who downloaded it ripped me off.

    Every time you take someone else’s work, place it online and “share” it with others, without the express consent of the copyright owner, you are stealing.

    I know next to nothing about the RIAA or DCMA or whoever they are, I don’t care who they are and what they do, I don’t care if you’re for them or against them, or feel like because of their policies you deserve to swap music and text files to which you don’t own copyright. I do care that no matter what, when you do it, you’re taking money out of the wallets and pockets of the people who created that work.

    And really, if you don’t get that, there is something wrong with you.
    And if you’re one of the people who d/l’d my book, you owe me $4.00.


    Just For Cookie

    My brand new shiny thingy:

    It cost as much as girly-type shiny things...



    Remember when you were a teenager? More than once you probably heard some older person snort something like, “Those damn kids. They have no respect.”

    I know I heard it more than once. And I wish I knew then what I know now, so I could have patiently pointed out a glaring fact: Respect is a two way street. You get what you give.

    A couple of days ago I had an IM conversation with a friend who’s been struggling with her weight for the last couple of years. We met online when I was surfing for information on pituitary tumors, and she was a well of information for me, as well as understanding. She’d been through it, knew what I was facing, and pointed me in the directions I needed to go online to get the right information.

    We both have undeniable problems resulting from the tumors; I was thrown into very early menopause, have diabetes insipidus, my pituitary gland doesn’t make growth hormone, and probably a few things I’m not even aware of. She was left with some of the same problems, but she also lacks the hormone that prods the thyroid into functioning.

    So, she’s gained weight. She hates it, but it’s there, an all too visible reminder of what she went through, and what she lost.

    So the other day we were talking, and she brought up an encounter that she found a little startling, more than a little upsetting, and frankly, quite rude. An elderly woman sitting near her in a fast food restaurant leaned over and said, with a slight nod towards the food on the table, “Deary, you would be so pretty if you would lose some weight.”

    Backhanded compliment? Hardly. The message was clear: don’t eat those fries, you’re fat enough already and you’re only making it worse, and I don’t want to look at you.

    No concern over why she’s overweight, no thought to the idea that there might be a reason not obvious to the world that gets to live outside her body. Just a judgmental old woman who probably doesn’t care that she took what was a nice day, someone’s afternoon out with the kids, and deflated it in less than 5 seconds.

    Now, I get looks. I know what being overweight in this world feels like, and it’s rarely a nice feeling. When you’re overweight you get looks, sometimes the occasional derisive snort. But can you imagine someone leaning over and saying that to you? Do you know what you would say back?

    She had a good comeback. “Ma’am, if you would keep your opinions to yourself, you would be such a nice person.”

    Better than the “Bitch” I would have spat.

    I once belonged to a Body For Life support group online; I was giving the weight and nutrition program a try, hoping that it would work for me (it didn’t.) Most of the people on it were nice enough, but the underlying message to a very high percentage of the posts were the same: fat people are less deserving of respect than others. Fat people deserve the crap they get. It’s okay to sneer, frown, and make fun of fat people, including posting running commentaries on the contents of their shopping carts, because they are defective.

    It’s not all right.
    It’s rude.
    It’s disrespectful.

    So, I’ll say what fat people across the world think but rarely verbalize: unless you can look at a person and know, with 100% accuracy, what their story is, why they are the way they are, shut up. You don’t know, not really. You don’t know if that person shoves food in their mouth every ten minutes. You don’t know if they’re inherently lazy. You don’t know a thing about them, other than outward appearance.

    Give the respect you want to get.
    It’s as simple as that.

    I think I wrote that book, actually…


    Shiver Me Timbers

    The weather here is starting to turn; the days reach a nice, comfortable mid-70’s, but the nights are cool and the mornings are pretty nippy, in the low 50’s. Fall is definitely bearing down on us, something I’m both looking forward to, and wishing it could be delayed another month or two.

    Because of all the rain we’ve had over the last couple of months, when the leaves start to change it should be damn near spectacular. Last year was kind of a dud; the leaves changed—sort of—but fell off within a week or two. Or so it seemed. This year holds the promise of some sights to seriously behold, or at least stare at and ooze “Ooooh. Pretttttty.”

    You know. The same way you’d ooze over bright, shiny, new jewelry. ;)

    But, the thing is, cold weather means putting the top up on the convertible, and I haven’t had it long enough to be willing to do that. We had some things to do today and when we left the house it was still pretty chilly outside, but there was no way I was putting the top up. Nope, we ran the heat instead.

    It works. Zooming down the Interstate at 65 m.p.h. with the wind whipping our collective hairs around and the heat blasting from the dashboard, it was comfy.

    I don’t suppose that’ll work when it’s 15 degrees and snowing.

    Not that I won’t try.
    A month or two more of mid 70’s would be nice.
    Arrange it for me, willya?


    And The Neighbors Thought I Was Spouse Thingy's New Hoochi Mama...

    Unappreciative Little Furball…

    Ok, so I managed to do a couple things on my list. I went blonde—very blonde—and while I really didn’t like it at first, it’s growing on me. I’m not sure the cat likes it; I’ve woken up the past two mornings to him biting my head.

    But, in spite of his gnawing on my head, I rearranged the office yesterday to accommodate his incredible need to stare out that particular window. I had to unplug everything from the computer, there were massive amounts of paper to be shuffled through (what the heck, while I was at it I cleaned the office up a bit, too) and I had to figure out where to stick the scanner since moving the desk meant losing wall space.

    I got it all done (with a little muscle from the Spouse Thingy, who helped move the actual desk, which I couldn’t have done on my own. This sucker weights a lot) and then the little Psycho came downstairs.

    Did he notice the now free window?

    No, he jumped up on the desk, went behind the monitor, and stared at the freaking wall. And then turned to look at me with this “where’s the window?” look.

    I went blonde and the cat lost IQ points.



    Things I am going to do in the Very Near Future:

    1. Rearrange my office so that my desk is not blocking the window. Having my desk where it is is causing PsychoKitty great distress, as he cannot get a clear view outside without jumping up on the desk and pushing his way behind the computer monitor (which, frankly, pisses me off sometimes.) He’s a good kitty most of the time, and deserves to be able to watch the kids play outside.

    2. I’m going to dye my hair blonde. Very blonde.

    3. Rearrange bedroom furniture to make room for a couple of bookcases that are in the spare bedroom. We need the space so that we can stick a queen sized bed in there—we figure the Boy might want a place to sleep when he visits (ahem, and his Significantly Better Half, but we’ll pretend that one of them is sleeping on the floor, yes we will.)

    4. While I’m at it, I’ll strip down one of our old dressers and stain it. For the spare bedroom.

    5. Sell the Hyundai. For megabucks. Like, $1500. And then spend it all on plane tickets. For the Boy and his SBH.

    6. Did I mention, dye my hair blonde?


    No One Is Available To Take Your Call…

    If your name and number don’t show up on Caller ID, that’s what you’re going to hear if you call our house. Yep, we screen calls. If you want to talk to one of us, don’t hang up, just start speaking after the tone. We are just so tired of all the telemarketers, and while the numbers of calls instantly decreased the day the National No-Call list went into effect, we’re still getting them. You know the calls—those unaffected by the list. Companies we’ve “previously done business with.” Like credit card companies who don’t accept “no” and “never call me again” as a legitimate reason to place us on their own Do No Call lists. So as an FYI, if you call and you’re unlisted, start talking. We might even pick up.

    I was not at all surprised to get online this morning and read that Johnny Cash had died. After June Carter Cash died a couple of months ago, both the Spouse Thingy and I figured he would not be far behind. It was just a gut feeling; it’s not like either of us were huge Johnny Cash fans, though we both certainly respected his talent and really liked his last release, Hurt. I think we both just had that vibe that he’d rather be with June, and not here.

    On the other hand, I was completely blown away by the death of John Ritter. He was too damned young to die and had everything to live for. I first noticed him when he played the minister on The Waltons. And like most of America at the time, I watched him on Three’s Company. I was blown away by his true acting talent in movies like Sling Blade. And I had that thought every once in a while, when I would see him on talk shows, that someday we’d all be watching him at the Emmy’s, an old man taking small old man steps, accepting his lifetime achievement award.

    Instead, we’re robbed of a comedic talent far too many years too soon, his wife looses her other half, and his kids lose their father.

    And damn it all, for the rest of her life, his little girl’s birthday will be the Day Daddy Died.

    Another FYI: The new chicken strips at McDonald’s suck.


    Pimping My Wares

    It’s not as pretty as the cover for Charybdis (on sale now at!), but it works. In any case, As Simple As That went to the printer and should be in the online bookstores in 2-3 weeks. I got a proof copy yesterday, and it looks a whole lot better in hand than this little .jpg image does; my only gripe is that after I approved the proof, I found a whopper of a mistake—towards then end there’s a line that should be in italics, but it’s also in bold. The bold type is very distracting … but I’m not pulling the whole book over one line. I can be cheap that way.

    The third book, Finding Father Rabbit, is in the final editing stages. There are a couple of chapters I’m not happy with and I’m struggling to find a way to make them flow better, but I still think I’ll be done with it in the next couple of weeks. Overall, I think this book is the best of the three. The subject matter is a little more touchy than things I’ve written about in the past, and it might even offend a person or two out there.

    ‘Course, I don’t want to intentionally offend anyone, but being that I’m not Catholic and it does deal on some level with Catholic issues, I can see where I’m ripe for “What the hell do you know?” salvos. I can only point out that I had a lot of help from TK Scott, who was a priest until he was 40 years old. This is a guy who’s full of eye opening stories about his experiences over the years … he should write a book. I’d publish it.

    Heck, you should write a book.
    I’ll publish it.
    For a fee.


    Money Money Money

    Six a.m. is like, well, early. I’m a nine a.m. kind of person, and even that’s reluctantly, dragging myself up to feed the PsychoKitty. But this morning I dragged myself up, slooowwwly put clothes on, and went outside to start dragging stuff out of the garage and onto the driveway for the neighborhood yard sale.

    Spouse Thingy had to work, but he was home long enough to help me take most things out, and he got all the really heavy things. Not long after he left, people started coming; not as many as we expected, but enough. I managed to sell 80% of the crap I had sitting out there, including most of the big things we wanted to get rid of to make space in the garage.

    We’ve had several sales over the years and it still amazes me the things people will haggle over. I had a paperback book out, in dang near new condition, priced at 50 cents—some woman wanted to give me a dime for it. Would I take twenty cents? No, fifty. Twenty five? No, fifty. She finally paid the fifty cents and went next door and started haggling over the price of a toaster oven. Now, I heard my neighbor tell her—very politely—that the prices on the appliances were firm because they were new, but damned if she didn’t try to talk her down regardless.

    The funniest thing about everyone having sales on the same day was the kids. They bounced from one sale to the next, generating a wake of “I want” that just built as the day went on. They were all really good, though, and didn’t get grabby, they just drooled and wanted.

    I know that feeling.

    Now … since I ran the sale, I should get all the money. Right? Right. I’ll run out and spend it before Spouse Thingy gets home.

    Yep. All on jelly beans.


    It’s A Sunshine Day

    So. We took the convertible into Midas today to have the brakes checked out, and were pretty sure that when all was said and done we’d be looking at $700 worth of work—pads and drums, maybe even lines.

    They called an hour or so later to tell us the brakes are fine, but there were several other problems. The rear shocks were leaking, the rear bearings needed to be repacked, and it needed new front bearings. And a fan belt. Mike told them to go ahead and fix everything, probably because I kept saying the car felt a little bouncy when I drove it.

    Three or four hours later we went to pick it up, and they showed us the parts. Ick. The shocks weren’t just leaky, one was seriously split. The front bearing looked like crap. And the new fan belt just looks pretty. Best yet, it didn’t cost as much as we feared, and the car feels so much better. He suggested we put new struts up front, and we’ll probably do that in a few weeks.

    After that … we drove around topless. It was a beautiful day, no rain, lots of sun. And I even let the Spouse Thingy drive some. I mean, heck, he did buy the car for me. Tomorrow we’re having an alarm put in (kind of necessary, I think) and a CD player (thank you parental units and in-laws for the birthday checks!)

    I’d like to go cruising around tomorrow after it’s done, but I still have that nasty dental appointment. Damn teeth.


    I Wanna Go Zoom!

    I know, I have no comments right now. I had them for about 15 seconds today, but they vanished again. According to the YACSS site, it’ll probably be September 8th before we have them again. That’s not a royal “we,” that’s all of us who use them for our comments.

    It’s a shame, too, because I know everyone wanted to comment on my spiffy new red ragtop.

    I’ve had it for almost a week, and for almost a week it has done nothing but rain. I’ve hardly had a chance to go cruising in it topless. The weather broke today and we had sunshine, so I took the chance to get a coat of wax on it (did I mention that on my actual birthday, Spouse Thingy gave me a bag filled with car care products, even though I didn’t actually have the car yet? He had high hopes for me!) Now it’s all shiny.

    Tomorrow we should have nothing but sunshine—but we need to take it in and have the brakes checked out. We wanted to do that on Monday, but Midas had the nerve to be closed for the holiday.

    Friday looks to be good, too, but I have a dental appointment and will probably spend the rest of the day drooling on myself. I suppose I could drive around and just let the drool fly into the car behind me…


    Baby You Can Drive My Car

    And, of course, Thumper behind the wheel:

    It’s not perfect: it’s a ’95 Lebaron but it has pretty low miles, and the brakes started squealing after we paid for it and were 25 miles away. =sigh= It figures. It didn’t make a single wayward sound when we test drove it, but as soon as I was a block from the house, as I turned a corner, the squeal started.

    As long as it’s just the pads and not the drums, it shouldn’t be too much to fix.

    But it’s pretty, and it’s MINE!



    Last year I bought myself a nice comfy toilet seat for my birthday. This year I bought myself an adaptor for earphones—I had earphones with the mini-stereo plug but needed the older-style larger plug. We went to Best Buy and bought one for $2.99. The highlight of my day.

    Well, I did get to eat at the mall food court. Chick-Fil-Et (sp, I’m sure) strips and a large Diet Coke.

    After that, we sat around the house waiting. And waiting. And waiting. There were a couple of Lebarons advertised in the paper and we called about them, only no one was home. Spouse Thingy left messages on answering machines, but the calls were never returned. So I spent my birthday sitting here at my desk, playing computer Mahjong, one game after another, with sporadic internet surfing, until midnight.

    The problem with car shopping seems to be that we have a far smaller budget than the market seems to demand. There aren’t many listed for sale to begin with, but the ones that are even worth looking at are so far over what we can afford it’s not funny. Cripes, people are selling ’89 Miatas with 120,000+ miles for $7000. A ’97 Sebring is going for $10,000. The two Lebarons we’ve test driven have been around $5,000 but had problems that would have been another couple of thousand to fix. I really don’t want to trade one problem car for another.

    But it sucks, it really does. And it’s a little mind boggling. When I drooled over convertibles on the Lemon Lot at Travis AFB, they were 5-6 years old and the prices hovered around $5,000-$6,000. Same cars here are way more. Go figure.


    No Go Zoom

    My poor pretty little purple car is slowly dying L After putting new brakes and new front drums on it, a new sway bar, another stabilizer bar (not sure what it’s really called), the transmission is slipping and sounds like it’s about ready to just fall out of the car.

    Anyone wanna buy a pretty little purple car??? It’s cheap.

    So, we’re in the market for another used car. This time it has to be a convertible. We already test drove one (’94 LeBaron); it was marketed as “low miles mint leather.” Kind of made it sound like it was mint condition, but no, they meant mint leather. And it was, the inside of that car was absolutely perfect. The paint job was in need of some TLC, but I could live with that. The salesman fired it up, and it made an awful chirping sound—probably the alternator, but they would fix that before delivery. And it had a ding in the trunk, one of their guys backed it into a table, they would fix that too. So I had high hopes … but then we drove it, and the steering was a little loose. Not terribly, but I’m not so desperate I’d buy a car with loose steering.

    There are other convertibles out there.

    Hell, even Yugo made a convertible for 2 years. Heh. But no, I don’t want one of those. Just a nice ’94 or ’95 LeBaron, or a ’96 or ’97 Sebring. Or a Pontiac Sunfire ragtop.

    I’m not picky.
    Just not picky.



    You would think, at my advanced age, that I would have learned a few basic things. One being if you have a cat, leaning an uncovered plate of sliced turkey on the counter is not the wisest thing to do.

    My apologies to Spouse Thingy, who must now take a sandwich for his lunch tomorrow, because the PsychoKitty licked all the turkey…


    How Stupid Do I Look?

    I just checked my email and had something from a PayPal address with the subject header “Verify Your Account.”

    Now, I knew before I opened it that it was a fraud; PayPal does not ask you to verify your accounts via email. But I opened the email anyway, just to see what it said. And this was it:

    Dear Costumer,

    This email was sent automatically by the PayPal server in response to verify your identity. This is done for your protection --- only you, the recipient of this email can take the next step in completing the Verify Your Identity form. To verify your identity and access your account, follow these steps:

    1. Click on the link below. If nothing happens when you click on the link (or if you use AOL), copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser.

    (link removed)

    The link will take you to our Verify Your Identity page.

    2. On the Verify Your Identity page, answer ONE of the questions, and click Submit.

    You will then be able to access your account and becoming a REAL verified costumer.

    Thanks for using PayPal!

    Dear Costumer ??? =snort= #1

    You will then be able to access your account and becoming a REAL verified costumer =snort= #2.

    That’s a relief, to know that I can become a REAL verified costumer. I mean, that is my life’s ambition, to create odd clothing for people who perform on stage, or want to dress like it’s Halloween year ’round.

    Sheesh, if you’re going to run a scam, at least get it right.
    No, I Do Not Care To Smell You

    If I had my way, perfume and cologne would be banned. Along with smoking. It’s not so much that I wish to infringe on others’ personal choices to cover up their own body odor with alcohol-laden smelly things, or stop them from committing slow suicide; it’s just that I happen to enjoy breathing, something I cannot easily do while in the presence of someone wearing perfume, cologne, or who is smoking.

    Yesterday the Spouse Thingy and I decided to go to an afternoon movie; we got there early, got the seats we wanted (heck, we were the first ones there), and the theater filled up fairly quickly. And all was well, until three people came in during the previews and sat directly in front of us. One of them was wearing perfume—and a lot of it.

    I wound up watching the movie while breathing through folds of a sweatshirt. I tolerated it, but just barely.

    There’s no escaping the stuff, really. Walk into a department store, and guess what’s right up there near the front door? The perfume counter, complete with testers that have been sprayed so many times the air is thick with it. And in some stores there are so many counters, and they’re so freaking long, that getting past them while holding one’s breath is damn near impossible.

    And smoke… this is something I seriously miss about California. There I could go into any public place and know I’d be free from other peoples’ cigarette smoke. I’d be able to breath without the worry of suffering an instant, choking asthma attack within 2 minutes. Spouse Thingy I enjoy playing pool (badly) but we’ve yet to find a place here where we can play. The few places we’ve been into the smoke is just hanging there in the air, visibly even, and I can’t take it.

    Now the mall, I like it because it’s smoke free. Not perfume free, but in a space that large I can get away from people wearing perfume easily and I can just not go into stores with large stinky displays up front. But other places loose my business—and that of lots of other people like me—because they allow smoking. And really, that’s too bad.

    Face it, people can shop, and go to dinner, and play pool without smoking. I can’t do any of those things without breathing.

    I just want to be able to breathe without fear, where ever I happen to be.
    Is that too much to ask?


    Set The Night To Music

    I can’t sing.

    I used to be able to; not that I was ever in danger of becoming the next American Idol Old Farts winner, but I could carry a tune in a bucket without too many holes. I started singing in elementary school, was in the choir through 5th grade, and kept singing on my own—self-accompanied by the guitar—well into adulthood. I appeared in high school talent shows and did all right. No one laughed or booed me off the stage, in any case.

    Then came Real Life and the amount of time I spent playing the guitar and singing along decreased dramatically. I had other things to do, and never gave it much thought.

    Until a couple of days ago, when I bought a Roberta Flack CD.

    And don’t ask “Who?” unless you want me to reach through the monitor and bitch slap your way-too-young face.

    I seriously like this CD; it’s music from my youth, and I know all the words to most of the songs. I used to play a few of them on the guitar. So as I sat here at my desk, playing a computer game, I decided to sing along.

    If PsychoKitty could howl, he would have. As it was, I got a “you should stop that” look. He jumped off my lap and left the room.

    I’ve totally lost my singing voice.

    I am now equal to That Kid from the American Idol tryouts—you know the one. He tried to sing “Like A Virgin,” complete with Madonnaesque body rubbing, and had no clue he was completely, painfully awful.

    Really, it was that bad.

    It’s not a total loss, however. When the Boy comes for the holidays, I now have a sure fire way of embarrassing him in front of his Significantly Better Half.

    Life is good.


    Here, Kitty, Kitty

    Ok, so we decided the cat was too complacent in his life, and decided we’d dedicate the last couple of days to totally freaking him out.

    Well, it just worked out that way. He has the tendency to get his fur in a wad when the furniture is moved (slinking into the living room after a nap you can see the “oh HELL no! Sonofabitch we MOVED again!” look) and over the last couple of days it’s been moved several times.

    The urge to rearrange struck after realizing that we really only had seating for two, and the Boy and his Significantly Better Half are probably going to visit for the holidays. Our old sofa and loveseat were still in the garage, so why not move the love seat in? Sure, no problem—no problem other than the way this house was designed. The architect must have dedicated many waking hours to figuring out how to design a home with little actual usable space, both storage and furniture-wise.

    We got the love seat in, and it worked, but everything was awfully jammed together. It was enough to really get the cat going, so we left it like that overnight, figuring we could move it around again the next day. Just when he relaxed, I started taking all the knick knacks off the entertainment center and put them on the table.

    He was not happy. As I made my way from the table back to the entertainment center for a 4th or 5th time, he launched across the room and wrapped both paws around one of my legs, trying, I think, to stop me. Or trip me. Or rip my leg off. When that didn’t work, he crouched on a chair and watched as his little world was ripped apart. All the knick knacks were on the table. Pictures were taken off the walls. The rug was rolled up and moved. Then to add insult to injury, we moved the entertainment center across the room.

    Pissed off kitty.

    He began to relax as things were put back into place. It wasn’t as painful as he seemed to think it was going to be (but I am definitely checking the bed before I climb in tonight, just in case he left me a little present) and he seems positive that the love seat was brought in just for him—with the bonus that it still smells like the dog (could have something to do with all that dog hair embedded into the cushions…) The living room seemed much bigger once everything was where it should be, and there was more space for the kitty to play. Time to relax.

    We couldn’t have a relaxed cat. Nope. So we put a battery in the uber-nice clock that my ultra talented father-in-law made for us and got it going … and sat back to watch what he’d do when it chimed. Every fifteen minutes.

    Seriously pissed off kitty. Not as funny as the dog was the first time he heard it—he thought it was the doorbell and every fifteen minutes would run to the front door (hence, why the battery was removed. He was going nuts and the cat we had then had a heart condition, we were really afraid the chime was going to terrify her into keeling over and dying right there in the middle of the living room)—but PsychoKitty is going to sit on his loveseat and glare at the clock until it finally shuts the phck up.

    Poor kitty.
    It’s going to be a long night for him.


    From The Plain Dealer:

    Dog survives gas chamber with his tail wagging

    Jim Suhr
    Associated Press

    St. Louis- Cast into a city gas chamber to be euthanized with other unwanted or unclaimed dogs, it appeared that the roughly year-old Basenji mix had simply run out of luck - and time.

    But this canine had other ideas.

    When the death chamber's door swung open Monday, the dog now dubbed Quentin - for California's forbidding San Quentin State Prison - stood very much alive, his tail and tongue wagging amid the carcasses of a half-dozen other dogs.

    Animal-con trol supervisor Rosemary Ficken had never seen such a thing and didn't have the nerve to slam the door shut again on the dog and fire up the carbon monoxide.

    This 30-pound, orangish ani mal, she be lieved, beat the odds and should live on, doggone it.

    "She told me, Please, take him. I don't have the heart to put him back in there and re-gas him,' " said Randy Grim, founder and head of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the charitable shelter that took in the dog before taking the animal's story public.

    Quentin's ordeal was played and replayed yesterday on local television stations, drawing scads of people looking to adopt "such a sweet dog" that showed such dogged resilience.

    The center euthanizes dogs nearly every morning - about 3,000 a year.

    Quentin's fate appeared grim. Surrendered to the city by an owner no longer wanting the animal, the dog eluded adoption, landing him in the death chamber that he somehow managed to emerge from, groggy from the sedative but otherwise "pretty responsive," if not downright rambunctious.

    "There was a reason for this dog not to go down," said Rich Stevson, program manager for the animal center. "Maybe this dog is a special dog of some kind."

    The next morning, he said, "it was jumping up and down, wagging its tail."

    Grim said yesterday that Quentin was a little malnourished but "in very good condition," being checked for heartworm and other maladies by a veterinarian.

    "You can tell he's really digging it," Grim said of the dog. "He has a bed, love, food and water."

    And that invaluable second chance.

    Nuttin' else can be added to that.
    Just... wow.


    Ack, Fooey, Furball

    I woke up at 4:15 this morning.
    I was spooning the cat.


    I was lying kind of half on my side, half on my back (bolstered by body pillows on either side) and at some point he stretched out next to me, set his head on my shoulder, and snuggled close. When he realized I was awake, he tilted his head back and rubbed it against my chin—either “Good Morning, how ya doin’?” or “Move and I’ll bite you”—and then settled back down.

    Good thing I didn’t need to roll over. I scratched his little head for a minute and then went back to sleep, and he stayed there until Spouse Thingy got up for work at 5. PsychoKitty has his routines, and the Most Important Very Early Thing is to try to trip the Spouse Thingy on the stairs at 5:15 every morning. So when he heard Spouse Thingy get up, he launched off the bed (no, I didn’t need those boobs anymore, thank you) and let me sleep until after 9 a.m.

    He has been extremely affectionate lately. If I’ve been out of the house for any length of time, he comes running, complete with an excited feline squeal, as soon as I’m through the door. He’s not pestering me to get up and feed him two hours early. He curls up on me while I watch TV, and he “helps” me type.

    I’d like to believe he’s just maturing and enjoy my company, but I know better.
    That cat is plotting something.
    I am afraid. Truly afraid…


    On Another Note…

    Know of any cheap places to advertise online? Text ads, etc.? I’m ready to start (slow) advertising for Inkblot Books but I have almost zero dollars for an advertising budget. Any suggestions appreciated.
    Jesus Hates My Boobies

    Apparently, he does. I realized this in the middle of getting my teeth cleaned this afternoon. As I sat there, allowing a stranger to probe the deepest recesses of my mouth, it occurred to me that I was experiencing increasing levels of discomfort, and not from anything she was doing to me. The pain was coming straight from my chest. My crucifix—which I always wear and tend to keep hidden under my shirt—was digging sharply into fairly tender flesh. I peeked when I got out to the car. On one boob was a nice impression of our Lord and Savior, and on the other an imprint of the back of the cross. Ow.

    Double ow—I have a cavity. Phfft. And, triple ow, I need a crown on my back tooth.

    Oh yeah, the rain can stop now, at least for a couple weeks. I have this bitchin’ new bike and haven’t really been able to ride it because every time I turn around, there’s thunder and lightning and rain. Spouse Thingy even took my car to work and left me the truck so I could throw the bike in the back and ride the other end of the bike path in Fairborn, but the freaking rain kept me home. Sitting here, playing online, dreading the dentist—who I really only saw for 3 minutes.



    Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

    There really are nice people in the world. Yep, we met one today. While we were out running errands the sky opened up and a horrendous rainfall began—so hard that even with the windshield wipers on full blast (and in our truck, that’s pretty freaking fast) visibility was about 2 inches. We decided to stay alive and pulled off into the KFC parking lot to wait it out, and figured what the heck, while we were there we’d go in and get a soft drink, and maybe split a small order of chicken fingers.

    A lady in line ahead of us had a fistful of coupons, and having already torn out the one she wanted to use, turned and offered them to us. Totally out of the blue. Very nicely. So we split a 3 piece meal instead (and gave her back the rest of her coupons) and saved about a buck and a half. It wasn’t like winning the lottery, no, but her offer of the coupons was a very nice and unexpected gesture.

    And it even took the sting out of knowing we were headed to pick up my little purple car from the garage. Again. $$$.

    I love my little purple toy, but cripes, it’s more expensive than feeding a teenage boy.


    Where Did I Leave My Brain?

    I’ve got this short story… I started writing it at least 10 years ago, and recently found it on a floppy disk. It was in Word Perfect 5.0 format, so I know it was written when we were last stationed in San Antonio. I cleaned up some crappy looking code out of it, and then sat down to read it—and I remember starting it—but it’s unfinished and I have no idea where I was going with it. And that sucks, because up until the point where I stopped, it’s actually pretty good!

    I found a bunch of old unfinished shorts, but most of them are painfully awful. Not even in an amusing sort of way—they just stink. I think I’ll file those under What Was I Thinking??!!?? and leave them there.

    This week’s discovery: last minute plane tickets are horrendously expensive, and that really bites.

    This week’s reality: finding a way to tell someone that those tickets are much more expensive that the web sites say they are.


    Entitlement 101

    This afternoon I sat at the BX food court pretending to be absorbed in an issue of People Magazine (no pretense at going there to write today—I totally craved an egg salad sandwich from Robin Hood Sandwiches), trying to mind my own business and not get annoyed about the screaming two year old who seemed intent on torturing every single person there.

    I was doing a fairly good job at drowning out the sounds of the obviously too-tired toddler; what could be more enthralling than reading about Angelina Jolie’s deep and moving love for the new man in her life, 2 year old Maddox? It didn’t take long for me to find out; a couple roughly my age sat down right next to me (um, crap, there were like 20 free tables and they picked the one only 18 inches from me…) and began Bitching In Earnest.

    Their complaint? One of them has an elderly mother who is, I gather, a widow. And this woman apparently only has a year or so left to live (and while curious, I never figured out what is about to cause her imminent demise.) Her egregious crime? She is spending her money.

    Yes, her money.

    Male Assmunch: She bought a car. A goddamned forty thousand dollar car.
    Female Assmunch: She always wanted it.
    MA: Yeah, but how long can she drive it? Maybe six months?
    FA: I know, it’s a waste of money.
    MA: And then there’s all those stupid things. She doesn’t need more clothes or stupid knick knacks. She keeps this up and there won’t be anything left.
    FA: She has insurance…
    MA: You know what I mean.

    I knew what he meant. It pissed me off to no end, but I knew what he meant, and as they continued to talk, it became more clear: Mom was spending her money, and it pissed him off because he wanted an inheritance.

    What a complete obnoxious prick.
    No, make that Prick. With a capital P.

    Do people really feel this way? They’re a year, maybe less, away from losing a parent and they’re worried that they won’t get an inheritance? Holy freaking shit. I can’t even blame “those young people” because they were both obviously close to my age.

    Here’s my take. If you have an aging and/or dying parent, get a clue—don’t just get it, but absorb it. Swallow it whole. It’s not your money/house/car/whatever. You are not owed an inheritance. Your parents probably worked long and hard for whatever they have, and it’s theirs to do with as they please. Buy a car. Buy a house. Buy every freaking CD they can get their hands on. Buy a Play Station. A Game Cube. A screaming, kick ass computer and an assload of software to go with it. It is their money. All of it.

    And if you’re one of those aging or dying parents—blow it. Spend it. Have as much fun as you can with whatever you can. You don’t owe your kids an inheritance. The only thing you owe your kids is what you’ve already bestowed on them throughout their lives: love, respect, and an example of what a Good Person should be.

    Fortunately, I did learn restraint somewhere along the way… I really wanted to get up and bitch-slap the little weasels, or at the very least dump my Diet Coke all over their lunch, but I didn’t. I finished my sandwich, wiped off the table, and left.

    I hope the old lady dies broke.


    All The Pretty Things…

    The UPS man got here right around 3:30 this afternoon, bearing gifts. Well, bearing the proof copy of the new edition of Charybdis. It looks so good. I knew the new cover would be much better than the old one, but I couldn’t believe how amazingly perfect it is. Hopefully it won’t take too long to pop up on Amazon—I want a couple more copies myself, but I’m not going to buy 25 from the printer. Well, maybe not. Depends on how many other people want a copy.

    Next up… a cover for As Simple As That and getting it uploaded to the printer. And I need to finish proofreading the 3rd book. It was originally titled Father Rabbit, then Finding Father Rabbit, then Being Naked (after Finding Nemo hit the theaters), but I’ve decided to go back to the second title, in spite of Nemo.

    Yesterday Spouse Thingy and I went bike shopping. I was looking for that spiffy recumbent trike, and a couple places around here actually carry them, but they didn’t have any in stock. What one bike shop had was the 2 wheel version, a straight, entry level ‘bent. And they had a decent sized parking lot, on which I could test ride it (I really didn’t think I could keep it balanced, but I did, and it was fun)

    We didn’t buy it, though. We left and drove up to Springfield to check out a mall there (not worth the trip.) After buying a pair of jeans at Old Navy (gotta get ‘em when I can find overdyed black in my size) we drove all the way home, where Spouse Thingy threw ribs on the grill (he makes awesome ribs) and discussed the bike a bit more. It would, he said, be fun to be able to take bike rides together.

    So he called the shop to see of they were still open—while I’m sitting there saying “It’s after six, I’m sure they’re closed all ready”—and they were. So off we wentm back to Kettering, where the mighty Spouse Thingy bought me a spiffy red recumbent bicycle (turned out to be much cheaper than the trike.) It was almost dark by the time we got home, and rain clouds were forming, so I didn’t get to do much more than ride it around the court a few times… and I bravely decided to try to go up the hill that is our street.

    I made it. Several times.

    So this afternoon we put our pretty little helmets on :::eyeroll::: and headed for the bike path behind base housing. It’s a nice path, but very hilly. We rode down it about 2.5 miles before turning around to come home… but I did it. I not only rode without reams of pain, but I managed those damn hills—all but the very last one coming back into the housing area (I admit, by this point I felt like puking.)

    I haven’t been able to ride a bike in a good 12 years, not really.

    This was just too freaking cool! And Spouse Thingy took it for a spin later, and really liked it. It’s much easier on the butt (his main complaint about biking) and it’s easier on the knees and back (my main problem.) Once he gets paid from his moonlighting job at the end of the month, he just might have to buy one for himself. Only he’ll probably get his in blue.

    Between the swimming at the Y and the bike, gosh darnit, I should get into shape. A shape other than round!



    Another thing to add to my list of I Want. And I want a lot it seems. But this is sooooo cool—a recumbent trike! I can’t ride a regular bike anymore and I’ve played with the idea of a recumbent for a few years, but the good ones are expensive. And difficult to learn to ride. This thing is only about $600. That’s right! ONLY about $600! And it’s got three wheels! I wouldn’t fall off! Can I use any more exclamation points?!!!???!

    So, thus far, I’m coveting, in this order:

  • A convertible
  • A recumbent trike
  • A Honda Elite Scooter (not sure if I mentioned that yet or not…)
  • A portable word processor

  • $100,000 cash

  • Really, I’m either going to have to get a Real Job ™ or stick a Tipjar on here. Or start, in the words of the HMIC, a “cam-whore wishlist.”

    Still, the trike would a cool thing, and it would be beneficial and healthy. Healthy!

    Convertible first. Though if I got the $100,000 first, I could be debt free and get the ragtop. Eh. I know my priorities.