Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bug Man

Orkin came back in another attempt to rid my house of ants. This time, the Bug Man brought the Red Box of Death. It was marked "Ants & Roaches." No hosed canister was present; we were beyond Ghost Buster remedies. He had no equipment other than a plastic box - the kind that might contain highly valuable stuff like living organs or nuclear secrets.

Or, poison filled syringes.

Yes, from the specially marked box he withdrew a syringe labeled with blue writing and filled with a clear liquid or goo. A few squirts and he was gone with this message: Just leave them alone. Ignore them and they will go away.

They would be much easier to ignore if I didn't have to live with them in the meantime. It's difficult to ignore them when they're on my counter tops and impossible to ignore when they're actually on me! How much must I endure? The ants swarmed to the goo. How am I supposed to ignore that? But I did. I turned my back on them and gave them the cold shoulder. I even left the room. 

Ignore-ants may truly be bliss for this morning the ants were few. One crawled across my husband's arm but after a short burst of cursing, we went back to torturing the ants with the silent treatment.

Now, it's but a game of patie-ants.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Ringhy Dinghy

I've seen things pulled from watery depths and I've seen the decay and grime that results from long periods spent underwater so it should have been no surprise when we pulled our dinghy out of the water, after two years in the lake, to find the bottom of the boat had become vastly different than the part above water.

Oh, but it was. What surprised me the most was how badly it stunk. It reeked and it was a greasy shade of dark brown, pockmarked  by patches of a spongelike organism. Nasty is the best way to describe it.

We tried to clean it with Dinghy Cleaner. We tried Simple Green. We Googled for help and we tried bleach. We got advice to use a pressure washer (which might have worked if we had a pressure washer). We considered throwing it away.

And, then we tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I use this thing all the time and it really is magic. It's great on bathtubs. It does wonders for the drip pans on an electric stove (in a rental house that's been abused). It'll take the shine right off your linoleum, whether or not that's your intention. So, we tried it on the dinghy. Why not? We had absolutely nothing to lose.

It worked. In fact, it worked beautifully. We ended up going through nine erasers but the bottom is nearly clean of all the lake gunk. A few more and it'll look like new. I should have taken pictures to demonstrate the before, during, and after. It was that remarkable.

In fact, I'm remarking on it right now.

Lessons learned? 
1) Don't leave your dinghy in the lake.
2) Rethink skinny dipping.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What Could Be Better?

Top down.
Radio on.
Playing hooky.

The only thing that would make it better would be a little reverb in the car while I'm singing with the radio. (I always sound better with a little reverb....)

Friday, June 15, 2012

From Flora
I don't know what made me do it but I went for a walk a couple days ago. Fresh air, sunshine, and flowers.

I went home and immediately ate bacon to counter the effects.

From Flora

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I found ants in my kitchen yesterday morning. I only saw three and they were the teeny, tiny kind. Still, I cleaned my kitchen thoroughly before heading off to work.

When I got home, there were no ants in the kitchen. Instead, I found them in the living room all around a light switch - said discovery being made right after I turned the lights on. Ew!

I ran to Lowe's and bought some bug spray and came home only to find I couldn't operate the spray bottle, some child safety feature rendering the product unusable. I managed a squirt or two in the general vicinity and hoped for the best. I wasn't going back to Lowe's last night.

No ants this morning but there was a foamy streak on the wall where I sprayed last night. My guess is that won't qualify as an "inconspicuous place for testing" the product. I left the smear there. I'll clean it up later and hope there wasn't permanent damage.

I hope there aren't ants tonight when I get home.

The last time we had ants in the house, they were of the carpenter variety and, as I recall, they infested the house after a wet spell forced them to find a drier place to nest - aka our attic. That's the story of how we came to buy an extension ladder.

We just had an incredibly wet spell so who knows? The frustrating thing is we pay Orkin $50 per month just so this won't happen. I guess it's time to give them a call and see what they have to say. I believe their number is on their last freaking invoice....


Monday, June 11, 2012

You Can't See Me Anyway

I got up early today to take Hubby to the airport. I didn't bother putting on makeup or all my jewelry. Just some moisturizer and a curl of the eyelashes is good enough for me.

And, wouldn't you know it, this morning was glorious. The sun was shining and the water on the lake was like glass. Hooky anyone? was all I could think. Summer is wasted on a Monday.

We took his car because it's more comfortable and I was a sport and said I'd fill the tank. (The local gas station drops the price of premium on Mondays.) However, I was absolutely going to go back home before heading to the office to get the convertible. No reason to waste a perfectly good Top Down Day on a sedan. (Sorry, sun roof doesn't cut it.)

He said, "And, you'll even have enough time to finish getting ready for work."

Screw makeup. I went home and made a latte for my commuter mug.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sleep Tight

"It's ironic that fixing these life-saving devices could kill you," my husband said as we changed all the smoke detectors in our house. When I say "we," I mean "he." (I just held the ladder.)

Did you know smoke detectors have a ten-year life? We didn't until they expired and kindly let us know by rousing us from a deep sleep at 2 a.m. That sound is scary as hell at 2 a.m. This was in May so we figured it was our punishment for not changing the batteries in April. The alarms went off again that same morning at 4 a.m. These alarms weren't messing around.

We changed all the batteries latter that day. Only one can be changed with a stepladder. The rest require an extension ladder. But we were very careful and cautious and got the job done.

The very next morning, the alarms sounded again at 4 a.m.! Why is it that when an alarm really wants to alarm you, it must do so in the middle of the night? What's wrong with a gentle reminder at four in the afternoon? I suppose it has to do with getting one's attention but, still, there should be an app for this.

With research we determined (again, I mean "he") that the entire smoke detector units needed to be replaced because they were now ten years old. We also learned they will "chirp" (in our case, "scream") until the units are replaced (or dismantled). With replacements now in hand, we ("he") climbed the ladder once more to dangerous heights.

Safe and sound back on the ground once more, we have our fingers crossed for a good night's sleep.

Next time you're changing the batteries in your smoke detector, look for an expiration date in the smoke detector itself. It could save you from a rude awakening in the middle of the night.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Work-Averse Brother Decides that Even One Hour a Week Is Too Much

RAY:  Hey, you guys.  My brother has always said, “Don’t be afraid of work.”

TOM:  Right.  Make work afraid of YOU!

RAY:  And he’s done such a good job at it, that work has avoided him all his life.
Maybe these guys are fans of 76003.1414. Makes sense to me.

The Car Talk guys are retiring: Time to get even lazier.

As I Was Saying

Hello, rain gods? Feel free to take the rest of the month off.
Enough already! This isn't our usual June rain | Local News | The Seattle Times

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I had the strangest feeling that I should be putting up my Christmas decorations.

It's been raining a lot here lately, in the last few days anyway. I know, I know - it's Seattle but, come on, it's June! I'd like to whine about it some more but the sun's out. Go figure. It's like a cruel joke. The rain comes down in torrents and then the sun comes out like nothing ever happened.

The torment. It's like a rumor that days are still getting longer but we can't really tell.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still Here

Nothing will stagnate a blog more than not updating it. So, here I am blowing off the dust a little.

I've been busier than I generally like to be this time of year but driving back and forth between Seattle and Portland takes up a lot of my time. And then there's work that I'm trying to squeeze in. You know, making a living. And, lest we forget, goofing off. Practically no time for that although we are managing to do more boating this year. Sounds relaxing, and it is, but there's a certain amount of work to that as well. It's a bit like having three houses and trying to manage your time between all three.

My refuge right now, my moments of tranquility, include knitting and reading. The drive between Seattle and Portland is about two and a half hours by car and about three hours by bus or train. Knitting is a productive yet tranquil activity that allows me to be sociable at the same time. I started an afghan but switched to knitting little pink things for a granddaughter that will be born in September. I'm just finishing a little pink cap and will be starting on a little pink sweater.

I look forward to knitting, even if I'm not traveling. I like to knit during that time between work and starting dinner. I find it relaxing as well as rewarding. I like creating things.

I just finished Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a good story and funnier than I remember, and just started The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which is even funnier. Of course, I had read both before but a long time ago. I'm really enjoying Mark Twain's sense of humor, voice, and style. Always good to go back to the classics from time to time.

I've updated the public document a little with additional story notes and ideas for the next Now & Then adventure. The drive between Seattle and Portland provides ample time for generating ideas. In my knitting bag, I carry a spiral bound notebook with more ideas that I haven't transcribed yet. Hell, I'm goofing off now - I might as well keep going and get it done while I'm thinking of it.

Well, it's time for me to jump in the shower, get dressed, and make my mid-morning latte. After that, I'll probably get some things done at work and then maybe update my Now & Then file before hitting the road.

Today's a travel day which means not much work but I get to knit.

I'll try to stop by here more often.