Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen things I will be doing for the next few days:

1. Hiking: through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world along the Na Pali cliffs.
2. Boogie boarding: in perfect half-moon shaped Hanalei Bay, and at a place called Barking Sands Beach for the sound the waves make as they recede.
3. Watching: the surfers at Lumahai Beach (also called Nurses' Beach from its role in the movie South Pacific ); the sunrise while I wade in Hanalei Bay and sip my coffee; the sunset from Kee Beach
4. Paddling: a canoe in the Wailua River (as they are quick to tell you, the only navigable river in all of Hawaii )
5. Eating: Lappert's ice cream, fresh pineapple, just-caught fish
6. Smelling: the incredible perfume of the plumerias and ginger; the meat as it comes out of the pit at the luau; the earthy scents of the moss and the ferns
7. Seeing: rainbows and waterfalls everywhere
8. Snorkeling: at Tunnels Beach and Kee Beach to see humuhumunukunukuapuaa and other fish
9. Swimming: in Queen Emma's Bath, a swimming pool-sized area hollowed out of the lava cliffs, which occasionally gets a fresh influx of water from a huge wave
10. Listening to the music: of the ukelele and the slack key guitar; of the hymns sung in Hawaiian at the charming little green church in Hanalei; of the breeze rusting the palm fronds; of the ocean as it crashes against the cliffs or laps at the shore; of small waterfalls trickling and large ones roaring; of red- footed boobies and albatross calling as they fly; of the lilting Hawaiian language
11. Forgetting: my job, my worries, that there is anything on earth except this paradise
12. Giving thanks: that I am once again in the place I love so much
13. Getting lei'ed --- if I'm lucky!

posted at 9:02 AM
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, August 28, 2006
A Meeting of the Minds
Like all couples, the Professor and I see eye-to-eye on some things, and disagree vehemently on others. He likes to scuba dive; I like to dance. He likes opera; I like classic rock. He is a Republican; I am a Democrat. (In fact, the one time in my life I voted for a Republican for President was the one time in the Professor's life that he voted for a Democrat.) He doesn't notice color or furniture or flowers; they are very important to me. He always knows what the stock market and Mother Nature are doing; unless it's something dramatic, I could care less.

But we get along beautifully (most of the time) because we are both teenage boys at heart. Now this was a revelation to me. I never got to actually BE a teenage boy because, well, for openers -- I'm not male! And back when I was a teenager, girls had very few freedoms and any sort of independence or irreverence was frowned upon.

I realized all this on Saturday when we went to see Snakes on a Plane. When I first suggested it, the Professor went into one of his grown-up moods and ridiculed the idea, but after pondering it for a while, he decided to "indulge" me. Well, the audience consisted of us and about 50 teenage and pre-teen boys. We all laughed at the same places; we all said the famous line:"I'm so sick of these m----r f-----g snakes on this m----r f-----g plane!" It was hokey and ridiculous and I absolutely loved it ... and so did the Professor.

So I have decided to come out of the closet, so to speak, and embrace my teenage boy-ness. I will no longer be embarrassed that I enjoy some really tacky, even politically incorrect, humor. Just one thing is lacking. Can anyone teach us how to do armpit farts?

posted at 8:12 AM
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Sunday, August 27, 2006
Ballunar Fest
This weekend is the annual Ballunar Fest, held at Johnson Space Center, and this morning I parked by the side of the road to see what kind of shots I could get. Here are a few.

posted at 9:22 AM
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Saturday, August 26, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Blue

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Scolded by her daddy, feeling pretty blue...

posted at 7:10 AM
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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
1. I got up about 3:30 this morning -- couldn't stay asleep, too much to do. But I've accomplished quite a bit.

2. I worked on a project that I can't mention because "someone" might be reading.

3. I folded a load of clothes and have another one in the dryer.

4. I paid all my bills. I still do this the old-fashioned way, with checks and envelopes and stamps. Getting money out of the ATM is as close as I'm going to get to "online banking."

5. I still have a few more things I need to get done today to be ready for our meeting with the architect tomorrow. The one I called previously strung me along for a month, then called me an hour before we were supposed to meet and told me he was over-scheduled and couldn't take the job. The thing that really bothered me about it was that he wasted so much of my time.

6. Guess I shouldn't count my chickens. I'd better wait and see if the new architect shows up tomorrow.

7. About 4:00 this morning, the Professor came limping out of the bedroom. He was trying to work out a leg cramp. He was dreaming that he was in a group working on a lunar exploration module, and they were trying to get the weight to an exact amount, since if it was too heavy it wouldn't drive, and if it was too light, it would float off into space. Someone test-drove the module right at the Professor, who jumped over it. Apparently he gets really involved in his dreams, because the jumping made his leg cramp, which woke him up.

8. I have some pretty detailed dreams, but I have never, ever dreamed about a lunar exploration module, have you? It amazes/amuses me that the Professor's dreams are always logical. Mine tend toward unrealistic things, like I'm having fun on the beach but suddenly I'm climbing a mountain, and it all seems to make perfect sense while I'm dreaming.

9. For the first 40 or so years of my life, there was always a man I was afraid of -- I mean, really afraid of -- and I had a lot of nightmares. I very seldom have a bad dream now. Occasionally, I dream that I am in the back seat of a car, talking merrily with other people, when I suddenly notice that no one is driving. Of course, that's when the car, which has been staying in the lane and maintaining speed, suddenly starts veering toward a cliff (which wasn't even there until I realized there was no driver!) I can never seem to climb over the seat and take control of the wheel in time, so I have to wake myself up. Even I can figure out that I have those dreams only when something in my life feels out of control. Other than that, a bad dream for me nowadays is that I find myself in a really dirty public restroom. No, I have no idea what that one means!

10. I expect to have some humdinger bad dreams when we start remodeling. I know that's going to be stressful. I think I'll let Stormii, my DIL, make most of the decisions for me. I trust her taste, and I can blame her if something goes wrong. (Just kidding about that last part.)

11. The Professor and I are going to Hanalei Hawaii for a few days over Labor Day. This is my favorite place on earth. I would move there in a heartbeat, but unfortunately Sylvester Stalone and Bette Midler and I-forget-who-else have discovered it and have run the price of land up beyond our means. It's not like I've ever seen these people around Hanalei, but I've been assured that they have homes there.

12. And, yes, that is Hanalei as in "the land called Hanalei" from Puff, the Magic Dragon. It is simply perfect, with a big half-moon bay on one side and mountains on the other. You have to cross a one-lane bridge to get there, which keeps the tour buses out. There are no hotels in town; we rent a garage apartment a half block off the beach when we go. In the mornings, I take my coffee down to the beach and watch the sun rise.

13. I can't start daydreaming about Hanalei yet; I have lots to do before we go. I've been dabbling back and forth between writing this and working, but it's time to get down to some serious work.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

posted at 6:58 AM
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Wordless Wednesday: Spoiled?

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Saturday, August 19, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Youth

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

I know it's wordless Wednesday, but I have something to say about this. This is Omaha Beach in Normandy. The tides are huge there, and we walked way out on the beach, to the point where the Professor calculated our soldiers actually disembarked from their landing craft. You look up, across half a mile of beach between you and the cliffs, and you see this.

These guns are placed about every quarter of a mile. It doesn't take much imagination to add in the barbed wire coils stretched along the beach, and you wonder, how did they do it? How did they run across that naked stretch of sand, with guns firing and their buddies dying beside them? How did any of them get to shelter of the cliff? But, of course, not all of them did.

11,000 of our World War II veterans are dying every day. If you know someone who fought, go give him a hug and tell him thank you, while you still can.

posted at 6:57 PM
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Glad That Day Is Over!
This was my Monday:

Up early, like 3:00 AM early, to catch up on stuff. No internet, no email. No high speed cable working.

Take customers to lunch. Get check, open billfold --- OMG, where is my American Express card?!!!!! Pay with other card, continue business discussion, while frantically trying to remember where AmEx card was last used.

Remember that card was used last Tuesday in a town about 60 miles from here. Run home to check restaurant receipt for name and phone number. Find Steven the Cable Guy in yard. Steven the Cable Guy tells me that squirrels have been chewing on the cable and the wind has twisted it into a knot at the pole. [Turns out that getting your panties in a knot is much less trouble than getting your cable in a knot.] After spending lots of time with repairing chewed cable and unknotting knots, Steven the Cable Guy discovers that actually a falling tree limb took out the cable, which now has to be replaced. My luck seems to be contagious today.

Start calling restaurant on cell phone. Every time I hit the send button, I get right in the middle of someone else's call. In several attempts, I get not one, but two different phone conversations. Finally give up, use land line, get right through to restaurant. They tell me yes, indeed, I left my credit card there.

Jump in car and haul the 60 miles to restaurant. Am going out of town; no time for mail. While driving, call hotel where I stayed while doing paper mill survey. Have they found the Nomex coveralls I left in the room? This question has been asked before; no one knew anything then; no one knows anything now. Pick up credit card, drive another 30 miles to hotel. Plant myself in lobby and make it obvious I will not leave until they find my Nomex. Ta-Da! Miraculously, a plastic bag with my still-filthy Nomex appears.

Make note to self not to leave things behind any more. Try not to leave note to self behind.

posted at 2:45 AM
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Saturday, August 12, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Funny

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Painting a clown face with chocolate-covered strawberries

posted at 7:49 AM
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Thursday, August 10, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen ways I'm not like a normal person:

1. I have no interest whatever in American Idol, Big Brother, Sex on the Beach (or whatever the latest one's name is).

2. I do, however, like Dancing With the Stars, although I would like it so much more if they would cut out the judges' comments, the voting, and the back stories and just DANCE.

3. In fact, if someone sneaked in and stole my tv, I might not notice it until Sunday night when it was time for Grey's Anatomy.

4. Politically, I am too conservative for the liberals, and too liberal for the conservatives. (I just end up making everyone mad!)

5. I consider worship to be a private matter, and am very uncomfortable when strangers ask me if I'm "right with the Lord", or insist on praying loudly in some public place.

6. I am not a gambler. I absolutely do not understand why people do it. It is torture for me to be in a casino where it is always dark and there is the constant background sound of bells and electronic nosies.

7. I have to use sponges in the kitchen. The feel of a dishcloth sets my teeth on edge.

8. I do not like anyone to touch my feet. I look longingly at the pedicure booths every time I go for a manicure, but I know it will never happen.

9. On the other hand, the most soothing thing I know is for someone to play with my hair. Under times of stress, I have been known to get a haircut I didn't need just to have someone play with my hair.

10. I didn't learn how to ski until I was past 40 -- and I did NOT consult my doctor beforehand!

11. I have never had my cholesterol checked. All the women on both sides of my family lived well into their 80's or 90's without knowing that there was such a thing as cholesterol; I figure the odds are on my side.

12. All the Professor's and my children and spouses were discussing their cholesterol and triglycerides and blood pressure one day, and all I could think was that our children are now older than we are!

13. I still have a sense of wonder and curiosity and excitement about things. I think that's why I get along so well with children. I know it's the quality I like best about myself.

posted at 4:02 AM
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, August 07, 2006
One of Those Days
1. Spent four days last week in 100+ degrees, getting filthy in a paper mill.
2. Two companies that supposedly fixed their mistakes on my bill last month made the exact same mistakes on my bill this month.
3. I am so far behind in my paperwork I may never catch up.

I can't decide if I feel like this:

Or like this:

posted at 4:03 PM
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Saturday, August 05, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Money

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Sometimes it even grows on trees!

posted at 9:21 AM
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Friday, August 04, 2006
Not-So-Pretty in Paper Mills
What a week I've had! I have been in a paper mill for the last four days, finding equipment and noting all the pertinent details of it. Now that sounds easy enough, I know. But it was really hot outside, even hotter inside (lots of steam involved in the paper making process), very dirty, and exhausting. It was also frustrating at times, because we couldn't find all the equipment; sometimes it was too high for us to read the nameplate, or too dangerous to get to, or the equipment tag number was missing.

I come from the generation that won't leave the house unless we are showered, powdered and perfumed, with our hair and makeup in place. Well, for the last four days I went to work in the same jeans and tee shirt (I did wash them at night, though) and with no makeup. It would have melted in the heat. Between the hard hat and the humidity, my hair was a sight to behold. I had the maintenance crew laughing when I told them that I'm not used to working for a living -- I'm a salesman, I drive around in my air-conditioned car and take people to lunch. I know I got their respect, especially since my competitor flatly refused to do a plant survey. The point of all this is to get more of the business. I can't say that it was fun, and sometimes it was downright scary (like when the boiler would let off steam), but it was very interesting.

You would think that with all the sweating I did, and all the miles I covered finding the machinery, I would have lost weight. My jeans are looser; I feel lighter. So last night when I got home, I jumped on the scale, all excited -- and it said I gained two pounds!

Might as well go eat some chocolate...

posted at 6:17 AM
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

posted at 9:29 PM
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Mitey Mite

Texas, United States

I am older than dirt, but I still feel pretty young & some call me the Energizer Bunny. I share a house with the Professor & 3 cats. Between us we have 5 grown children, all of whom are productive members of society (!), and 10 grandchildren. I have a job I love, a little money for the 1st time in my life, and so many more things I want to do than I will ever have time for.

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