Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas!

I borrowed this from the Lenox site. I own the cup, so it is fair.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Death in the Neighborhood

I am semi-active in the neighborhood association. I manage an email list and am working on updating the telephone directory. I also am working on creating a web page of FAQ about the neighborhood. I am also a "blockworker" which means I deliver newsletters to people on my block and the next one down.

We have about 300 families in the neighborhood and of course one cannot know all of them. But it seems as if one should know when one of the neighbors dies. Last year an elderly neighbor up the street from me who I had seen several times walking her small dog died several months before I had heard about it. I tend to keep to myself. My volunteerism usually takes place in front of a computer monitor, but sometimes it makes me come face to face with the neighbors and that is good.

As a part of the directory activities I need to phone some other block workers and pick up any directory forms they might have had dropped off to their house. This afternoon I did that and discovered that one of the workers' husband died a few weeks ago. I only met the woman once, and that was to pick up some completed forms, but I can almost see their house from my house and they have children almost the same age as my children are. One of their children goes to school with my kids and probably rides the same bus.

I guess I think that when something like that happens, people ought to know. Their life is now turned upside down while other people's lives are the same. When the woman told me that her husband died, she said, "Oh, since you are doing the directory you should know that Chris passed away on November 23." I didn't know who Chris was, but then remembered that when I called earlier I asked for Gaye or Chris because they are both listed as blockworkers. I was not sure what the relationship was, and didn't want to assume Chris was the husband of Gaye. I wish I had made that assumption because I think I came across as an uncaring oaf. I didn't say anything at first, then said I was sorry to hear that. She said, something like, "so you will want to take his name out of the directory" and I pretty much said, yes I guessed we would do that. I followed up with another exclamation of sorrow, and then the conversation was over.

I have not been able to stop thinking of it though. It could be my family going through this. And the mail would still be delivered, the grass would still grow, the neighbors would still be getting on with their own lives. Most would not even know anything had happened. I don't have an answer for how to be more conscious of other neighbors, but somehow I will work that in to my resolutions for next year. Maybe something like to look outward instead of always inward.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Somehow, probably through stumbleupon, I signed up for Flork. I laugh when I say it because it reminds me of the way The Coach from Homestarrunner says job ("jorb").

Anyway, it is an interesting way of wasting some time. Exactly what I need in my life. I like that it is connected to Gnod, so you can at least have brief conversations with others who like your taste in music, books or movies.

A Humbling Event

We have these really tiny but strong magnets that we use to hold things on our refrigerator. My son likes to play with them and has lost several of them over time. He was playing with a stack of 6 the other day and I recalled seeing them somewhere, but could not place it. Both my husband and I asked him where the magnets were, but my son said he could not remember.

Yesterday I saw them on the floor of the bathroom, but by the time I was finished in the bathroom I forgot to pick them up, they are tiny after all. Last night, I went to the bathroom just to get the magnets, but they were gone. I confronted my son and asked where he put them, that I knew he took them and put them somewhere. I was relentless and he denied it. I left it off, finally, but let him know I was upset and didn't believe him.

This morning after my shower, I reached to put on my bra and found, attached to the metal underwire part of the bra, the stack of 6 tiny magnets. I must have worn them all day long inside my bra. Gee.

How am I going to explain this to my son? It won't be easy. Maybe I just will pretend I found them on the floor.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Hiptop Halloween Hunt or How I spent my Halloween Day and Night

Hiptop Halloween Hunt

Owners of Hiptops were invited to join in this event again this year. I did it last year and had a lot of fun.

This year I had an awesome team. We did pretty well, but as of right now, it looks as if we are not going to be the winners.

My team was Team Goblin Corps.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Birding Babylon

Birding Babylon

Heard this blogger/birder/soldier interviewed on NPR this morning. I have not read the blog in depth, but will when I have time.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Out bid post from last year

Outbid Once Again

Regarding this post. I ended up getting the book for a reasonable price a few months later. I read it and it turned out to be less wonderful than I remembered. Oh well, I guess life is like that.

Just ordered a book that had been haunting me for years through Chinaberry. Will blog on it after I get it.

My secret Sidekick II

I have a secret that I have been keeping from the world. But now is the time to share.

I have owned the Sidekick II for several years. I don't recall exactly which year I obtained it, but it has been at least a decade.

I had actually forgotten I had one, until the other day when I got it out to use, then realized what it was! It has a feature that the new Sidekick II doesn't have. It can clean your floor*. The fact that it cannot do it wirelessly is a different matter, that, and the fact that I cannot phone or IM anyone with it...

My Secret Sidekick II

For comparison, here is the back of the newer version - the one that won't clean your floor or upolstry.

Back of new Sidekick II

*This vacuum attachment came with our Electrolux vacuum cleaner. It is intended for use on the steps or your couch. It is not recommended you hold it up to your ear, especially when plugged in.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Sometimes I overreact to things. It never quite feels like it when I am doing it, but after the fact I realize I did.

Last night we discovered that rodents of the really bad kind were eating from the bird feeder in broad daylight. My husband immediately said we had to take down the feeder and went out like a soldier and removed the food. I went ballistic. I cried and screamed and swore and pretty much acted like a spoiled child.

Today It is not a big deal except for the scene I pulled last night. I am sad about the birds, but I was not the best bird feeder anyway. I never cleaned the feeders and neglected to fill them for months at a time.

Monday, June 14, 2004


Let's try again....


I may have found exactly the tool I have been searching for. I think I found a desktop application that will post to blogger. Even better it posts to live journal I think.

I am in heaven.

Let's check...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I always wondered how Google does it. Now I know:Google Technology

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Christmas was good. We stayed at Kevin and Diana's house in Batavia instead of at Mom and Dad's. It was a good change from the usual routine and Kevin and I never once fought. In fact last night I dreamed we were buying a house with him and we were all going to live together. That would be interesting!

We met Savannah, Leanne's baby. She is very sweet. Leanne invited us to her home in Kingston, Illinois for pizza one evening. It was a nice evening. We played Andrew's new "The Farming Game" with Diane and Carol. Then Ruth wanted to go home with her son, Danny and all hell broke loose. He felt he was being ignored and he ended up calling us "a bunch of Dumbshits". Clare was upset that we didn't remind him that there were children present. It put a sour end to our otherwise nice time.

I didn't get to see my Aunt Ginny much, being so far away from Elgin. There always seems to be things that get in the way of visiting with her. I wish she would come and visit sometime. Just her. I imagine she is a little "gun shy" of visiting after her last trip out here. I was a primo bitch. No excuses.