Twiddling Virtually

What is it about spam?  No, not the Hormel version; the cyber version.  Am I using “cyber” correctly in this context?  Do I care?  Not even a little bit at the moment.  I’m at work and I’m bored.  Things tend to slow down during the holidays and even though I’ve had some work stuff to do I’m all caught up for now.  So I’m figuratively twiddling my thumbs.  I would have said literally but that would have been a lie.  How can you twiddle your thumbs AND type at the same time?  Can’t be done.  No. It. Can’t.  If you disagree you’ll have to prove it to me.  Video yourself doing it, post it on your blog and maybe then I’ll buy that it’s possible.  But probably not.  I’m obstinate that way.

So because I’m bored I log in to WordPress to mess around on my blog and I find 56 spam messages!  That probably isn’t a lot compared to what some of you receive but it seems like a lot to me.  Curious, I skimmed the list.  On the first page every message but one (18) was identified with the phrase lista de email or emails.  The one holdout was north face pink ribbon jacket.  Seriously. (They did all have individual email addresses but their aliases I guess? were almost all the same.)  Way to stand out!

Also because I’m bored, rather than immediately empty the spam folder which I haven’t done in awhile – and is probably why I have 56 – I start reading them.  I didn’t open them, I just read the snippet that WordPress lets me see from the inbox.  You would think I was some kind of blogging genius.  No, really.  Look:

claudio_nan2005 had this to say:  “yes! you did an awesome job! the blog looks great, and a belated congratulations!”  Obviously he didn’t read the post he was commenting about – Full of the Awe or he would have found a synonym for awesome, don’t you think?

cesarnozaki chimed in:  “you should publish more articles like this and you will be famous.  you have the talent to become a super star. your article is supuerb. keep it up.”  This comment was on my Sucess post.  Yeah, I should publish more posts about hanging my Christmas lights and annoying my husband.  You keep it up cesar.  Come back and compliment me some more!  Maybe read the post first though, m’kay?

Before that carlosbraga said he’d “seen some websites with very poor texts, and the attention they give to the readers is also poor.  I hope that yours will be different.”  I’ve got your different right here carlos!  Nobody asked you to come here and read my blog and fill my spam folder!

In addition, carinanabuco thanked me for my “excellent review.”  Since this comment was attached to my Recommended Reading page there’s a slim possibility it’s genuine.  Yeah, right.  And I’m a size 12!

Finally?  This gem from celo_ros:  “your texts are worthy a trophy, congratulations.”

Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Reaches for tissue) Sniff.



Success! Sort of.

It didn’t rain Saturday!  Not the drenching, gushing downpour I was afraid of anyway.  It was a bit on the misty, damp side, but those are the kind of raindrops I can easily dodge.  I foraged in the shed and pulled out several strings of Christmas lights along with my wreath and some red and green tissue paper.  Yes!  Only two bulbs were burned out too! 

My brain must have been functioning okay last year because I thought ahead and packed the wreath hanger with the wreath!  How efficient was that?  I was able to hang the wreath up immediately.  But I had to make repairs to it with a twist tie.  I’m not safe to operate a glue gun or I would have done it correctly.  As it is, the twist tie is only a little noticeable and at some point I’ll get Hubs to replace that with some hot glue. 

Then we met daughter K at the train station and went to brunch.  Followed by some shopping and by the time we got home it was too dark to hang lights.  That’s the way it goes sometimes.  Especially in Seattle where the days are growing shorter much too quickly.

On Sunday it was more than a bit misty but not quite a deluge so we tried again.  We used those plastic gutter hooks and hung the first string along the front of the house.  Or I should give Hubs full credit.  He can reach the gutter from the deck without any step stool or ladder.  Picture our deck planted in the middle of the front of the mobile home, open to stairs at each end.  The mobile is without decking at both the front and back so there was no way to hang lights there without a ladder.  Which we don’t have.  So there’s a lonely string of lights along the front of the house from one end of the deck to the other and where we had more lights than we could reach to hang we brought them down and circled the window in the front. 

Before we could do any of that though we needed a way to fasten the string to the wall and Hubs’ staple gun has been MIA since we moved.  Off to Wally World we went.  We needed milk and dog food anyway.  Hubs forgot his phone and when I asked him where we should meet he said electronics.  Welllll, I forgot.  I was up by the deli near the entrance waiting for several minutes before I remembered I was supposed to meet him in the grown-up toy department.  By the time I got there he was nowhere in sight.  So I thought maybe he was still in hardware and I headed that way.  Hey, it could happen! 

I didn’t see him anywhere near hardware and I reversed course back to electronics.  Where I found him walking toward me from the grocery end of the store.  Mr. Grumpy Pants wasn’t happy about not being able to find me after we specifically agreed to meet in electronics.  Yeah, sometimes I aggravate him unintentionally.  Imagine if I was trying to drive him crazy!  We often have discussions about how surprised we are to still be together after all these years.  The usual consensus is that no one else would put up with us which is probably true. 

Back home he loaded the new staple gun and headed out front while I donned my gloves and carried another string of lights out back.  After much wrapping my tiny back porch looked quite festive.  The only down side is that when the lights are on that chasing/flashing combo I feel like I’m going to have a seizure.  I quickly changed the light pattern to the slow fade on/off.  I must be getting old or something. 

There you have it – a successful weekend.  Sort of. 

And how are your decorations coming?  🙂

Please don’t let it rain tomorrow

It’s been kind of a downer week.  At work it’s been nutso crazy what with the Powers That Be emphasizing how important it is to get out the year-end invoices A-S-A-freakin’-P!  So hopefully our clients will rush them through the payment process and get us our money before the end of the year so our bottom line looks healthy.  Like they have nothing better to do themselves, right?

Home’s another story.  Hubs has been in the doldrums again.  He’d pulled himself out of the funk there for awhile.  Avoiding the Ex over Thanksgiving helped.  But with circumstances and finances weighing on him, he’s been grumpier than a bear whose hibernation is interrupted.  As a result he’s not sleeping much (ha!  hibernation interruptus!) and what sleep he gets is during the day while I’m at work.  Which of course leads to more sleeplessness at night.

So tomorrow IF it doesn’t rain, I’m going to dig through the shed out back and pull out our Christmas lights and hang them.  I’ll figure out how to get power to them later.  For now I just want them up.  I need a little cheeriness and seeing them up there waiting to flash a welcome home for me will be so lovely.  Plus I need to get out whatever Christmas wrap I still have and wrap the grandson’s gift as well as the white elephant present I’m bringing to work next week.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me that it is somewhat dry tomorrow?  Appreciate it!  And if I can do anything for you, just give a yell.  I’ll be over here spiking my hot cocoa with marshmallow vodka.


Full of the Awe

Not long ago I read a post where the author challenged her readers to stop using the word “awesome”.  (Apologies.  I neglected to take note of her name or her blog.  Sad face.  But to be honest, I wasn’t planning on writing about this so I didn’t know I’d need that info). 

If I remember correctly, she claimed “awesome” was overused, and as a result was losing meaning.  On one hand I felt she made a valid point.  I hear people use “awesome” all the time and have for as long as I can remember.  Her post has been percolating in my brain for awhile, and then other stuff jumped in and began cavorting with it until I finally decided I’d better write something down just to get it out of my head. 

I went to Merriam-Webster’s website and looked up awesome.  Not surprisingly, the definitions included:  “expressive of awe”, “inspiring awe”, and “terrific, extraordinary”.  Okay, I get terrific and extraordinary.  But it occurred to me that I might need a refresher on what “awe” actually means. 

Definition of AWE

1: an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime <stood in awe of the king> <regard nature’s wonders with awe>
2 archaic
     a : dread, terror
     b : the power to inspire dread 

Hmm…”dread” and “terror”?  So something that’s awesome can inspire dread.  Wow, good to know.  Sure, I see the “veneration” and “wonder” in there too.  That’s more along the lines of what I expected.  I did not expect to see dread and terror.  So much for awesome meaning really good things.  Awe + some = some dread.  Maybe that’s what the other blogger meant (man I wish I’d made a note of who that was and linked to her post, dang it).  Seems like we’re using it the wrong way?  People say things like, “Whoa!  Awesome post dude!”  But do they really mean they’re in wonder of the post?  Or that the post terrorized them?  Inquiring minds want to know!

So…the other stuff in my head – awful.  No the stuff isn’t awful.  Awful, the word was in my head.  Don’t most people hear “awful” and think of bad things?   Similar to awesome automatically being considered good?  I know I’ve always thought of awful as negative. 

Definition of AWFUL

1: inspiring awe
2: filled with awe: as
     a obsolete : afraid, terrified
     b: deeply respectful or reverential
3: extremely disagreeable or objectionable <awful food>
4: exceedingly great —used as an intensive <an awful lot of money>

Yeah, so it is a little negative in the same way awesome is negative.  But check that 4th definition:  “Exceedingly great”.  Yes!  Full of the awe!  I understand that in this case exceedingly great means a whole helluva lot of something but still.  Isn’t that good?  Okay, depending on the context it’s good.  If I won an exceedingly great prize in the lottery that would be most excellent.  On the other hand, an exceedingly great number of rats would be awful!  See?  See what I did there?  😀 

So what can we conclude from this post?  That I was bored and needed something to write about sure, that’s a given.  That awesome and awful aren’t exactly flip sides of the same coin – something I hadn’t thought about.  Also, that it’s entirely possible we’re using both words incorrectly at least part of the time.  One thing I’d like to know that I didn’t learn is why does awesome still have the E and awful doesn’t? 

I’ll bet some language mucky muck probably made up rules that apply here; I’m not an expert on language nor do I play one on TV.  My fellow blogger Dana is a lot more edumuhcated on language and words – see here and here.  She’s going to cringe when she reads this post; well parts of it anyway.  Sorry Dana! 

From now on I’m going to say awe-full for the great things that happen.  I think this post is Full of the Awe!  But I could be wrong.  It could just have some awe. 

It’s almost Friday Peeps!!!

P.S.  This is my 150th post!  Yippee skippee!!

Smug much?

From the Merriam-Webster website:

Definition of SMUG

1: trim or smart in dress : spruce
2: scrupulously clean, neat, or correct : tidy
3: highly self-satisfied
smug·ly adverb
smug·ness noun

Guess which one I’m talking about. 

After yesterday’s post lauding how wonderful the Sounder southline was and how it was never, ever cancelled?  This morning two separate trains were cancelled.  Okay, to be fair I didn’t say that it had never, ever been cancelled.  Just that in the time I’ve been commuting via said train service I’d never experienced a cancellation.  Well I still haven’t I guess since it wasn’t my train that was cancelled.  But it impacted my train.

This morning when I arrived at the station passengers were swarming for the stairs so I presumed the station agent had announced a track change.  You have to go up two flights of stairs to the bridge to cross to the other side.  It didn’t click right away that there were a LOT of people.  Not until I got off the elevator on the other side and went to my regular line only to find it was stretched almost to the parking lot!

While standing in line I overheard someone talking about delays and cancellations and wondered why I hadn’t received an alert on my phone.  And then I lamented that as far back in the line as I was I would probably end up standing at least part way to Seattle.  The train arrived and as it slowed through the station I could see it was already loaded and I inadvertently blurted “Shit!”  Definitely going to be standing now dammit.  But providence was with me!  As I neared the door I saw two of the bulkhead seats were vacant and I mentally crossed my fingers.

A few moments later I claimed the aisle seat and breathed a sigh of relief, along with a heartfelt thank you!  It meant being by the doors where you feel every gust of wind when the doors open at the other stations, but it was worth it to be off my knee for the duration. 

So what has Bubbe learned from this?  It will be a cold day in hell before I brag about my train again!  I’ll just keep my satisfaction to myself thank you very much.

And also?  Who comes up with those definitions?  I’m just sayin’.


Unfortunately not the yummy cocktail.  Or the scrumptious frozen treat.  But a down and dirty (see what I did there? :D) weather-related event

When we were losing the farm and looking for somewhere (anywhere but the back of the Suburban) to live I locked into OCD mode and started my research by polling some of my co-workers.  I asked them where they lived (duh), how they liked it, and what their commute was like.  It wasn’t as though my commute could get much worse than 2+ hours each way but I wanted to know what to expect. 

I discovered a LOT of my coworkers lived north of Seattle.  They expounded about its beauty, friendliness, lower tax bracket.  Commute times ranged as I would expect since some folks lived further north than others.  Most commutes involved riding the bus for a lonnng time.  Not my cup of tea.  But I knew the Sounder (commuter train) ran between Everett and Seattle because a former attorney with our office took it.  When it ran that is. 

In spite of the extremely high marks for the north, I focused my search on the south.  I wasn’t born yesterday.  In Seattle it rains … a LOT.  But unless you’re from another planet you probably knew that.  Knowing it intellectually is a bit different from knowing it up close and personal.  We get multiple flood warnings from Fall through Spring and invariably there’s a whole slew of mudslides in the area.   One of the areas hardest hit by mudslides is up north, near the commuter rail line.  This is from today’s Seattle Times:  “Mudslides have prompted several service cancellations since Thanksgiving week.” (Alexa Vaughn).  This is from a news item about train service resuming today for the Seattle-Everett route.  It also recommends watching the Sounder website as more storms are expected and conditions can change accordingly. 

The trains to and from my home in the south have been delayed but never cancelled as long as I’ve been riding them.  That’s peace of mind right there.  It doesn’t hurt that our place is only ten minutes from the train station.  So my commute went from more than two hours one way to about an hour and a half.  In my book that’s a WIN!

Now if they’d only figure out a way to cover the station platform so when the monsoons hit we don’t get drenched.