Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh, bother

I've been taking my dog to work with me. I take his plastic crate there and put it under my desk, and he stays in it most of the time. He likes his crate.

Whenever I plan to go somewhere after work, I've been bringing the crate home because he has to be in it if he's left alone in the house. Otherwise, unspeakable things happen to the floors and furniture.

So I bought a new crate to have at home, so I don't have to bring the old one back and forth. I picked out a nice wooden one that can look like a nice piece of furniture instead of a plastic box. Here's picture from the side of the box it came in:

I bought it a few weeks ago, and the box has been sitting unopened in my living room. Today I planned to stay home all day and get some things done and I told myself the one thing I absolutely will get done is putting this crate together.

How hard could it be? It's a box.

So I took all the pieces out of the box ...

I put all the packing material back in the cardboard box ...

And I looked at the instructions. The first thing they want you to do is "Attach Bottom Panel (B) to Left Side Panel (C)."

Easy enough. Here is the drawing of the top and bottom panels, A and B respectively:

Okay, so what have we here? Part A, top panel, and, oh, look, another Part A, top panel ...

and no Part B, bottom panel ...

So I called the customer service number on the instructions, and they -- he, actually -- asked if I still had the receipt. I said, "I doubt it." But I do have one of those store cards, and by looking that up, he found that I had purchased this box at the Petco on Bakerview in Bellingham, WA on September 1. He would send me an e-mail form to fill out and then e-mail back, along with a copy of my state-issued picture i.d. Then he'll send me a proof of purchase so I can take this back to the store for an exchange or refund. Oh, goody.

I've received the form and filled it out and e-mailed it back with the copy of my driver's licence. Now I'm waiting to receive the proof of purchase. I am not driving in to Bellingham today, however. That is not part of my plan.

Assuming Mr. Customer Relation gets me this proof of purchase back today, I'll stick the whole business into the trunk of my car and tomorrow after work I'll stop off at Petco on the way home and trundle it all into the store and ask for a replacement part.

This occurrence is somewhat annoying.

Year after year

The Walk to Defeat ALS:








Friday, September 28, 2012


Tomorrow I participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS in memory of my brother Dan. I used this picture of Dan for my fundraising page:

It's cropped out of this picture of both my brothers:

This picture is from August 2002, ten years ago. My other brother and his family were probably here for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Dan and his family lived in this area. I believe we were at Larrabee State Park.

For a year after Dan died, when the family got together we would light a candle in front of his picture to remember when he was among us.

Dan was at the 2006 Walk, but he was dead less than two months afterwards. I and my parents and my sister-in-law have been at every Walk since.

We still love you, Dan.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

High dynamic range

Neo-neocon linked to a web page of "35 Fantastic HDR Pictures," HDR being a photography technology that allows "a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques."

The second photo down, of an old-fashioned house, reminded me of Thomas Kinkade.

The fourth one down, of a tower, sea, and seagull, reminded me Maxfield Parrish.

And the seventh one down, of a wheat or hay field, reminded me of Van Gogh.

So maybe artists have a "high dynamic range" eye.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I had a day off today so I stayed home and arranged furniture. My folks recently moved into a smaller place, so that I received furniture from them, while handing over a love seat, as well as recently buying a recliner. I've also been working on -- for quite some time -- turning one bedroom into a library. Today I moved a bookcase from my bedroom to the library, shifted the position of a toy box and smaller bookcase, brought in a wooden file cabinet from the garage to replace a metal one, and moved some chairs. And just to get really crazy I even got out the vacuum cleaner to round up dust bunnies that had proliferated under furniture.

All this activity made my little dog nervous. Every time I sat down for a breather, he would come creeping up into my lap, looking for reassurance. Otherwise he'd slink around to his favorite places.

Life can be confusing and stressful for a small dog.
I still have lots more to do. It was one of those cases where the level of organization has to get worse before it can get better. Now it's time to sleep.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sun dried tomatoes

I don't like fresh tomatoes, but I do like sun dried tomatoes, especially if they have been steeped in olive oil.

Yum. I like to spoon this sun dried tomato pesto onto crispy toast made from thin bread.

My fingers get red and oily and I tend to dribble on my shirt. It's a good meal, and easy. Sun dried tomato bruschetta is good, too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ex cathedra

Well, I received my new recliner last night. It's rocker recliner, which I particularly like. The color is dark blue.

It has one little tear on the back:

Next weekend, I'll have to buy a leather repair kit and fix that so it doesn't spread. I think that may have happened in transit. Since the seller brought it here in his own truck with the help of his son, I really can't complain.

May I have many happy years of rocking and reclining.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


This morning I wanted to reprise last week's lovely experience of a leisurely morning watching gardening shows, so I switched on The Victory Garden, got comfortable on the couch, and fell asleep. I woke up for a few minutes of P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, but mostly slept through that, too.

A little too leisurely.

I had coffee with my parents then got my hair cut and colored -- a two-hour process -- then contacted a craigslist seller who had a leather recliner for sale. I went and saw it and bought it, and now am waiting for a call to say when the seller and his son can bring it over to my house. I think I'll have a new favorite place to sit now.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bird calls

Some days when I walk my dog in the morning I hear birds twittering, other days I hear crows cawing; today I heard only a mourning dove cooing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Of gardening shows, sunny decks, books, and family

Monday was Labor Day and a holiday that I had off from work. I slept until I woke up naturally and, happily, woke up at just the right time to watch two gardening shows on PBS before walking my dog. The first show was The Victory Garden.

I like any gardening show, but what I like best is when someone tours a garden with a gardener, and they basically look at plants while the gardener says things like, "And here I planted abc because its foliage makes such a nice contrast to xyz behind it. And here is plantus latinus namus, commonly known as plant name, which has outstanding color/fragrance/hardiness, etc." And the person touring says, "Beautiful. I love that. Oh, and look at this!"

And then came the one that I think I like best of all, and that is P. Allen Smith's Garden Home. Mr. Smith is a soft-spoken Southerner who shows some room of the house he's designing, then some part of the garden, then maybe some animals on the farm, a visit to a farmer or a botanical garden, a recipe involving fruit or produce, and a way to pot plants or arrange flowers.

Then I sat out on my beautiful deck for a while and enjoyed the morning sunshine.

In the afternoon, we had a delightful backyard barbecue with the family.

It was lovely.

Then I worked four days.

Today was Saturday, and I woke up in time to watch P. Allen Smith. Then I sat out on my wonderful deck to enjoy coffee, pop tarts, a book,

and the morning sun.

Then I (and the dog) went to Muddy Waters to get coffee for my parents and myself, and then over to their new place.

I spent a few hours visiting with them, the dog making himself quite comfortable,

then back home again, and for lunch had a tuna fish and cheese sandwich while reading Ivanhoe,

and then, not much else.

In the afternoon, the weather was a bit warmer than I am comfortable with. And that's about all there is to say.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Double impatiens and the fountain

The water had been getting cloudy and greenish, so I bucketed out the pool this afternoon and filled it with clean water. The old water had some tiny living creatures in it; if they were tadpoles, I'm sorry I threw them on the lawn; if they were mosquito larvae, I feel justified in getting rid of them.


Calla lily

Saturday, September 1, 2012

All my bags are packed

Ever look at your reflection in a spoon? Not very attractive, is it?

I've found that what's an even worse mirror for me is the screen on my cell phone. I wanted to look at Facebook while I was waiting around this morning, so I pushed my glasses up on top of my head and held the phone up a little ways from my nose. In the pale reflection on the small screen, I saw gigantic shadows under the bags under my eyes. I mean, okay, I've had a little sinusitis lately, but, really?

Later when I got into my car I checked myself in the sun visor mirror. In living color, and with my glasses on, my eye-bags were not nearly so prominent ... or so I hope.

Picture from: daveknott