30 July 2011

Dear neighbor,

Please take into consideration that your secondary driveway is right next to the side of your neighbor's house where bedrooms are located, and that you have other parking options at 3:15 in the morning. Really. You have a whole other driveway that isn't right next to other peoples' bedrooms. You even have street parking available.

Lacking that, could you please not slam your freaking door shut? It sounds like a gunshot going off, and I'm getting tired of being woken up every damned night.

Oh, and you owe my cat an apology, because the first few nights I blamed his furry little asterisk, thinking he was getting into things he didn't need to be getting into.

One Passive-Aggressive Yawning Wabbit


29 July 2011

You: So, do you think your walk was fun today, Thump?
Me: Eh. Depends.

I noted the old woman sitting on a bench near the restroom from a couple hundred feet away; she sat there with a red walker set in front of her, and after a moment she seemed to sigh, then pushed herself and hobbled into the restroom. I was headed there myself, but didn't really think anything of it. People have to pee; I had to pee. When you're walking a lot, peeing is a good thing.

Drink, pee, no IV...

When I pushed open the door I saw her standing just inside the handicapped stall; she was leaning hard against her walker, her skirt was down around her knees, and she had one tab on a very soaked pair of Depends pulled back.

Very quietly, "I need help. I need help. I need help."

All right, this was not on my agenda for today, but what was I going to do? Say "No" and then turn around and leave?

Kinda wanted to.

I asked her what she needed me to do; she wanted to lean on me while she tried to get the diaper off, but it was easier if she just leaned and let me peel it off. I cringed inwardly a little; not at the sight of a wet diaper--I've seen literally ten thousand of the damn things--but because her one hand was warm and wet. Probably from trying to get the diaper off.

She didn't need much help after that, she got the fresh one in place easily and just needed a little help with the tabs and then getting her skirt back up. She was almost delicate in her modesty and really, it wasn't as gross as it could have been. One wrinkly butt cheek from the side, one soaked diaper tossed into the trash.

Lots of hand washing.

As we stood there washing our hands, the door burst open and a fairly breathless women about my age blew in with, "Mom? Mom! I told you to just wait there for me!"

Mom apparently couldn't wait for her kid to park the car.

And yeah, I went and bought a new shirt because there was no way I was walking around with a potential urine spot on the back of a shoulder.

And damn, I need to stop going out in public.



27 July 2011

Ya know your cell phone camera isn't half bad when you can snap photos like this:

We went to Six Flags today, and the Spouse Thingy rode a couple of the roller coasters while I sat in the shade. When I realized I had a good vantage point I pulled out my cell phone and caught it as he zoomed by.

See, there he is :)

I would have ridden with him, but my back no longer enjoys the rides that the rest of me would.


26 July 2011

We walked out of the theater today (Captain America! Stay through the credits!) and were surprised to see the sky overcast, looking as if it was going to rain any second, and rain hard.

It was surprising because we're not anywhere near our rainy season, and the forecast was for sunny and warm. And this was the mother of all storm clouds: heavy, thick, and dark...with a very odd sudden cut from dark to bright light.

As we cleared the covered building entry, we saw this:

The first thing the Spouse Thingy did was grab his cell phone to take a picture. The first thing I did was grab my cell phone to check the Channel 13 news app. And then I took a few pictures.

It was a 6 alarm fire at a plastics facility in Fairfield, near Travis AFB. By the time we left the theater it had been burning for a couple of hours and the area around it--which I would guess included the base--had a Shelter in Place order. We could smell it faintly, but by the time we were just a couple miles further away, the smell was stronger.

Once we were smell. But by then the fire was mostly under control and there's a nice breeze dispersing the smoke, and by 5:15 it was pronounced under control.

Still...that's a hell of a sight, walking out to what you think is a rain cloud and seeing it funnel up from the horizon.



22 July 2011

No more running for the Border's.
I has a sad...

I spent a lot of time here over the last 4-5 years. I wrote much of It's Not About the Cookies, The King and Queen of Perfect Normal, and The Flipside of Here sitting at one of the little tables while downing gallons of tea (extra ice).

Now the cafe in Border's is closed (as are the restrooms, which is unfortunate) and people are descending on the place like it's Book Nirvana.

The signs outside say "up to 40% off" but honestly, the only thing that was actually marked at 40% was a rack of greeting cards. There was a stack of DVDs marked at 20% off, but everything else is only marked down 10%.

Considering the deals you could get prior to this closing sale, that 10% off is more than you would have paid yesterday.

Yet that line? It goes from the starting point near the far right register, across the front of the store, and all the way to the back by the cafe, where I stood to take the picture.

I would guess people in that line will wait 45 minutes in order to pay more for books they would have 18 hours earlier.

I'd like to ask where they were all along, but I know the answer. They were buying books from Amazon, where they could get even better deals than they could buying stuff at Borders on sale. They were downloading e-books to their Kindles and Sony e-Readers and Nooks. They were paying dirt cheap prices at Costco.

I'm just as guilty of that as everyone else. I embraced the e-reader fervently, not just because of the price of books and the ease of which one can just buy a book no matter where they are, but because as a writer, I earn a hell of a lot more on e-books than I do print.

Still...I hate to see a bookstore go.

I really hate to see one where I spent so much time in go away.


21 July 2011

I was about halfway through my hour-long swim this morning, gliding down the lane with a slow freestyle stroke, minding my own business, when I noticed ahead of me a hand slapping the water in my lane.

Being the deductive person that I am, I figured someone needed my attention, and stopped.

It was like this, but...not...
"Your swimming keeps splashing my kid!" I was informed indignantly by a 20-something oddly complected blonde.

Fake tan gone wrong?

I glanced at the kid; maybe 6 years old, hanging on the rope dividing my swimming lane from the rec area of the pool.

In that entire area, there were maybe 2 two more people; hard to tell because I didn't have my glasses on. But that kid had been hanging on the rope for a good ten minutes and she obviously hadn't felt pressed to move him elsewhere in the vast nothing of that side of the pool.

I'm not a wild swimmer. I'm slow. Slow doesn't create much in the way of splatter. But holy hell, her kid was in a swimming pool and HE WAS GETTING WET.

Clearly I was at fault.

So I said the only thing one should say in such a situation.

"Get over it."

I will be so glad when school starts back up...


17 July 2011

If this were a little black kitty, it could be Buddah...
I've been learning to love the treadmill; on days when I sleep too late to get out and walk before it gets hot, or on high mileage days when I don't want to stay outside that long, I've been using ours to get my walking done. And I am learning to love it, simply because inside there's air conditioning, and I can read or watch a video while plodding through each step.

I also set the speed a little faster than I walk normally. And it's working; my walking pace has increased quite a bit.

I've also been swimming a lot. I'm not exactly a speed demon in the pool--I probably swim 3000 meters in an hour, right around 2 miles--but it's not torture and I look forward to it.

I was looking forward to it today; I planned on hitting the gym at about 10 a.m. and using a treadmill there, and then hitting the pool for an hour, but... 15 miles yesterday kicked my ass.

Literally, I think. It started last night with a pain to my right buttcheek, and when I got up this morning I hurt like crazy on my entire right posterior side. I know the cause--using a backpack I normally don't on a long walk--but knowing that doesn't exactly help every time I try to get up and feel like I'm 95 years old.

And nearly every time I get up I groan inwardly. I really am getting too old for this chit. Not that I'll quit because I do enjoy the walking and swimming, but I'm thinking it's time to go with one of the Spouse Thingy's long-term wants.

Not that, you sick freak.


If I'm going to keep moving on a daily basis, this is turning from something that would be nice to have to practically being medical equipment.

That's justification, right?



13 July 2011

When the July weather backs off and gives us a hint of April, it means taking the bikes out and heading for roads like these:

Highway 128 between Winters and the Monticello Dam
Pleasants Valley Road, heading toward Hwy 128 from I-80

Just before what used to be a hairpin was more fun with the hairpin
Didn't get much else done yesterday or today, but when the temperatures are a good 15 degrees below the normal and it's nice and sunny, you take the time to ride.

Even if you do wind up with bugs crawling in your helmet and across your glasses...


10 July 2011

Thumper's spelling lesson for today, having seen it no fewer than 3 times today and a dozen in the last 6 weeks:

bussed = kissed
bused = put on a bus and taken somewhere.

No, you were not bussed to the YMCA. You may have been bussed IN the YMCA.

And yes, I know that TECHNICALLY the dictionary allowed for "bussed" to be used when "bused" should be BUT IT'S WRONG, PEOPLES!

It makes my eyes all wonky and makes me want to stab someone with a spork.



7 July 2011

Know what makes an hour in the pool shrink your brain?

Having one line from an 80's song playing over and over and over in your head.

♫ The jig is up, the news is out, they finally found me ♫

Thanks, Michelle...


1 July 2011

How I know I'm getting old?

While swimming laps, I develop this strong urge to chuck aquatic kitties at the kids darting in front of me while screeching "Get off my lane!"

I'm really starting to miss the days of adult-only gyms...