Saturday stuff, 9/3/22.

Smokey, to me: Today I decided I needed some excitement in my life. So I put on my RIGHT shoe first.
Me, to him: Oooh, good idea. I’m gonna try that, too!

Younger Son did not get the six-figure job with the tech mega-firm. So he will continue to have to pay into F.I.C.A. all year. (That last sentence is a tax accountant joke, which I am not going to explain. Google it.) “Not enough cloud experience” was what they told him. Shucky-darns.

Posted in Matthew, Saturday stuff, Smokey | 3 Comments

Saturday stuff, 9/3/22.

I was cleaning out my inbox and came upon an email with these. All these images are from this site.

Blue volcano in Ethiopia.
The US-Canada border.
Towing an iceberg. Icebergs are harvested for their water in Newfoundland.
The Pyramids viewed from a street in Cairo.
A Libya oasis.
Ice Canyon, Greenland.
Cross sea, a sea state with two wave systems traveling at oblique angle.
Posted in Photography, Saturday stuff | 1 Comment

Furry Friday, 9/2/22.

Adopt a… cow?

Posted in Furry Friday | 6 Comments

Ranting while lamenting the end of summer, 9/1/22.

PSA: Here are three YouTubers that Smokey watches daily. The first two have some entertainment value, the third is more informative and analytical (Glenn Kirshner is a former DOJ prosecutor). Please excuse the weird photo placement. WordPress will not cooperate.

Dr. NO.
Posted in Rants, various | 3 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday, 8/31/22. And more update.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.


I just started the second skein of the red yarn. (Each section takes almost exactly two skeins.) Next purple, then… what to knit next? Start a new project or return to the The Big Red Blob? I should do the latter; it remains to be seen if I choose that option.

A few words about this yarn, Knit Picks Shine Sport: it has been a pure delight to work with. A tiny bit splitty, but not worrisomely (is SO a word — I just used it). The “40% Modal natural beech wood fiber”, aka “rayon”, gives it a lovely drape and sheen. If I ever decide to knit a summer top, this yarn will be near the top of the list of possibles.


Great books this week!


Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Unlike a number of other readers, I liked this book a lot. It was okay with me that a number of things were never really explained; I found out some of those by googling after I finished the book. Okay, here’s the plot: Klara is a humanoid robot, one of (probably) millions of AFs, “artificial friends”. She is chosen by Josie, a little girl, and her mother to be the girl’s companion. The girl is sick (never explained with what), and the mother wants Klara to help her. The Sun of the title is the source of Klara’s energy — and, by extension, the source of all AFs’ energy — and Klara wants it to help Josie get well. Ishiguro’s prose is marvelous. Read more here. 4.5★


Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. I first encountered this author back in the early aughts when I listened to Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, a book about Paul Farmer, a Harvard-trained doctor and medical anthropologist and his quest to provide health care in Haiti. I may even have introduced Elder Son to Farmer through that book; for many years afterward, his life goal was working at Farmer’s Partners in Health, a Doctors Without Borders-type non-profit. Anyway, this book. It follows Deo, a medical student from his childhood in Burundi through the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi and his eventual arrival in the US with $200, no English, and no contacts. Through horrific hard work and incredible luck Deo is admitted to Columbia University and eventually medical school. From there he focuses on healing. 5★



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read a couple books by this author and been pleasantly surprised at how much I liked them, even though I doubted the subject matter was my cup of tea. Just started this one yesterday and hoping it will continue my love affair with this author.






Guess what? I am still watching Suits. Just finished season 6 last night, 3 to go. Mike went to jail, Mike got out, no surprise.


The humidity evaporated yesterday (see what I did there?) Temp of 70˚, 47% humidity. Heaven!

In other earth-shaking events, I got my nails done yesterday. The last time was February, 2019 — right before the pandemic. Sitting in an enclosed space 12″ from another person’s face did not seem prudent, so I gradually picked the gel off my nails as it loosened and vowed not to return until the pandemic had passed. A couple weeks ago a friend and I were sitting next to a woman with lovely nails. When we admired them, she said she had had them done at a local spa. I am much pleased with the woman who did mine (unlike the woman whom I had seen in 2019), already booked my next appointment in 3 weeks. I have always wanted longish nails. Practically my only vanity.

WordPress is giving me fits. I start a post, schedule it, then click to preview it. The most recent changes are never there! It seems to take several minutes for them to register, grrr. And if the text for Klara and the Sun is not situated to the right of the photo above, it is not because I forgot to left-justify the photo. I cannot tell you how many times I fiddled with that to no avail. WordPress has been remarkably bug-free since I migrated here in 2015. I hope this is just a temporary glitch.

Posted in Boxy, Unraveled Wednesdays | 9 Comments

Anti-rants, aka Good News Tuesday, 8/30/22. Also, update.

Fighting invasive species, one plant at a time.

Need to focus in a noisy environment/calm down/relax/sleep? Here are sounds to help.

Life continues here. The wretchedly hot weather left about a week ago, but the humidity lingers. Right now it is 70˚ with 93% humidity. Also, we have enough rain that the local drought has abated somewhat. Okay, enough about the weather.

Elder Son and Wife are now happily back in New Mexico after his COVID confinement here. No word on the potential pregnancy, but the baby blanket will be ready if and when they are.

Younger Son was recruited to apply for a job with a tech mega-firm at triple his current salary but still working from home. This is after he was recruited and hired earliler this year at a different tech mega-firm at double his previous salary. He has a very particular set of skills that are not common: extensive experience with computer storage networks. Sheesh. Nobody ever dangled a job with $$$ and challenges in front of Smokey or me. Pretty darned good for a kid young man with a high school diploma.

On Saturday I did a 3-hour shift of phone banking; the message was just to check in with people and make sure they are planning to vote in November. I made nearly 50 calls… and talked to 3 people. It was one the last weekends of summer, it wasn’t raining, and I think people were out and about enjoying themselves. But the ones I talked to were good people, and I enjoyed my chats with them. One was a woman planning to have hip replacement surgery (that’s why she cannot volunteer), so we talked about that. Turns out she had one hip replaced awhile back, and her surgeon, who will also do her next one, is part of the same practice as *my* surgeon. I told her I had had the procedure done at a surgery center rather than a hospital because there was far less risk of COVID there — they only do surgeries, no ICU nor regular med-surg beds. She had not thought about that and may change her surgery site. So although I didn’t change anyone’s mind about politics — which is never my goal — I did perhaps help one person.

I am writing this on Monday. No rain, my window is open, and the loons are singing. Life is good.

Posted in Amanda, Andrew, Anti-rants, Matthew | 5 Comments

Fiber Monday, 8/29/22.

Grow some indigo!

Posted in Fiber Monday | 1 Comment

The house, she is sold (fingers crossed)!

The house has little curb appeal, our realtor instead counting on the interior spaces and the location in a good neighborhood in south Minneapoli near Minnehaha Creek and Lake Harriet to attract buyers.

We have a signed purchase agreement from the buyers, all cash offer, $30K over the listing price, no contingencies, closing on September 16! Hallelujah!

Technology has made the real estate market way more fun than it used to be. Example: take a virtual tour of the house (click on play arrow in lower left corner).

I have to say that the house never looked like that when we lived there, we never having been fond of the clean, all-white style of decorating. It was much cozier, with a royal blue Chinese rug in the living room and a brick red Chinese rug in the dining room, rosewood dining room set, teak and leather in the living room, and all knotty pine in the sun room. But the redo was undoubtedly the right thing for our realtor to do; after all, she is the professional, and it looks great. But no, we do not want to live there again, no matter how nice it looks; it was great to live there and now we like it here.

Posted in Minneapolis | 10 Comments

Furry Friday, 8/26/22.

Ear worm if the day: Magic / Olivia Newton-John. This one baffles me. I was indifferent to ONJ, so why did this song pop into my head (repeatedly)?

Member of the wedding.

The Tasmanian tiger may be coming back.

Big pigs. Fun fact: my uncle exhibited Bill the Pig at the MN State Fair back in the 1990s. Bill won the prize for biggest pig. He was roughly the size of a Volkswagen and had his own website.

Eagle dance.

I read that Meta is trying to turn Instagram into YouTube. Hence, the plethora of Insta videos today.

Posted in Furry Friday | 7 Comments

Ranting in the dog days of August, 8/25/22.

How To Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools: A Plan to Keep Students Safe. Guess what? They do not recommend arming teachers.

Posted in Rants, various | Leave a comment